Saturday, December 19, 2009
1) Things can exist in 2 ways: in the mind, and in reality (this actually turns into 4 possible ways to exist: In the mind and in reality, in the mind and not in reality, not in the mind and in reality, not in the mind and not in reality [this last one sounds weird, but think of it like this, a bowing 747 jet did not exist in the mind or in reality 1000 years ago, but it is still a thing which exists] this bracket is not actually important for the initial argument, I just think it's interesting.)
2)The GCB (Greatest Conceivable Being) can possibly exist in reality (in that it is not a completely absurd concept like a square circle.)
3) The GCB exists in the mind (we can think of it)
4) Anything that exists in the mind and possibly in reality might be greater than it is (in that, Superman, as he exists in my mind is pretty awesome. But how much greater would he be if he were real!)
5) The GCB only exists in the mind (this is the atheists summation)
6) The GCB was possibly greater than it is (this is based on premise 2 and premise 4)
7) The Greatest Conceivable Being is a being that than which a greater being is conceivable (a GCB that exists only in the mind, is by definition not the greatest CONCEIVABLE being, because to exist in reality is a conceivably greater quality than to exist in the mind only.)
8) It is false that the GCB exists only in the mind
9) thus, the GCB exists in both the mind AND in reality.
So there you have it. I've run it over several times, trying to find the fault in the argument, because although I believe in God, this just seems to easy or ridiculous, in that if we can think of the GCB he must exist. As of yet however, all of my attempts have been thwarted by logic. Most people will attack the argument based on premise 2, saying the GCB could not possibly exist in reality, however their argument usually falls through as most people don't like to deny the possibility of God, even if they don't believe in God.
So what do you think? Is this argument sound or is it simply the drabble of some old Catholic Saint? give reasons for your acceptance or objections.
I love Philosophy.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NIV)
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
Paul lays it out. If things didn't happen they way we think, then this is all in vain. But I am taking it a step farther. If we don't acknowledge that these things happened, if Christ is not REAL, then this is all in vain.
About a year ago I fell away from God in the exact way I'm talking about. I got too caught up in meaninglessness and emptiness that I missed the fullness of God. My crisis of faith revolved around the fact that I could find no one, not even myself for whom God was real. I could find no one who took the red words and lived them out. I could find no one who in essence, seemed changed by what they learned through God. Now part of it was that I couldn't see the realness of Christ in others because I didn't know how to look. Eventually my wife and I started doing a daily Bible study, and I began to be confronted with the very realness I was lacking. I had to make important decisions, namely, was I going to be changed by this, or was I going to continue on in empty vanity.
Was Jesus born on December 25th, Year 0? No. But through a cataclysm of historical ironies we celebrate his coming on that day... or at least we should. I pray for you this Christmas that you discover the meaning of this holiday, that Christ is real. This really happened, if it didn't then this is all just pointless and we should avoid the headache. In this discovery I pray that you will find the fullness of God, and never be separated from it. That it might change you, for the better, and for the better, and for the better.
Ephesians 3:9 (NIV)
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Go, and be blessed and be changed by the realness and fullness of Christ. Oh, and Merry Christmas
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth
Okay, okay. I know. Because I am neither hot nor cold God will spit me out of his mouth, right? But honestly, when it comes to evolutionism and creationism, I just don't see why I should care. I am completely on the fence. I don't think it is completely out of the realm of possibility that God could have caused a big bang or caused evolution. On the other hand, I don't think it's completely ridiculous to think that God, in his infinite ability could create the world in seven days. Part of me thinks it's naive to limit God either way. So how was the Earth created? How was man created? I don't know. I wasn't there. I can't see why it matters either. The defining feature of my faith is not how man was created, it's how man was saved. I don't know whether the Earth is 6,000 years old or 6 billion years old. What I do know is that 2,000 years ago God the father was embodied in the flesh, lived among us, and suffered and died for our sins in accordance with the words of the prophets. He was then raised from the dead, giving us new hope for our own future resurrection, at which point he ascended into heaven, leaving his spirit among us to guide us. That is what drives my faith. Once I have grasped that fact, anything else becomes almost futile. Perhaps then our energies could be better spent talking to people about Christ and spreading that gospel rather than squabbling pettily about evolutionism and creationism. Maybe I'm too idealistic. Maybe I'm not idealistic enough. I just feel like somewhere along the way, in the name of “preserving our values”, we seem to have lost them. Then again, what do I know? I'm just a damned fence sitter.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What's that? School work counts as work? But God, you don't understand, this is due on Wednesday, and I have to work Monday, so today is really the most convenient time for me to read this...
It's just built in. Years of living in North America has ingrained this workworkwork feeling into my brain. This country of lost sabbath has tricked me into feeling guilty if I'm not busy.
Why can't I just trust you God? You've never let me down before, and yet I'm so hesitant. I should trust that you've made time in the week for me to read, that you've made my mind in such a way that I'll be able to read fast and comprehend everything I've read.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
We have created a world of instant gratification. A world where there is always more work, and it needs to be done now.
God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested.
We have created a world where it is always day number 6 and never day number 7.
Day after day it is just 6,6,6...
And it is written on my forehead as I think about all the work I have to do instead of reflecting on the words of the Most High.
And it is written on my hands as I work on the holiest day of the week.
So here is my trust my hope and my prayer; that you have made me a competent person Lord, that you have made me industrious enough to read all I need to, and do all I need to in 6 out of 7 days. Here is a whole day for you, a day sacrificed to you, torn away from the altar of overtime. Preserved and dedicated for me and you.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Philosophy is great, it's probably my favorite subject ever, and what's even better is I'm good at it. I'm the guy in the corner of the coffee shop reading Nietzsche for fun. Anyway, I was in philosophy class and we were talking about truth, namely objective truth verses relative truth which lead to a brief diatribe about self defeating sentences. (like if some one was to say "all truth is relative" their statement would be self defeating due to the fact that it was presented as a truth, which is relative.) In any case the subject of the trinity came up, and my prof addressed some common analogies for the trinity that although are widely taught, are in essence heretical.
The first analogy likened the trinity to water. Water can appear in a liquid state (water), a hardened state (ice) or a gaseous state (evaporation), three different states that are all different, but at a base level the same
heresy! ha ha.
The problem with this argument is that in each state the water had to change.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
God is unchanging! If the water then changes it can not be like the trinity!
In the second example the trinity was likened to an egg. The egg has a shell, a yoke and a white, three parts one egg.
To crack the egg metaphor (if you will excuse the pun) you need to isolate all parts of the egg. If one was to crack an egg and dispose of the yoke and the white, but hang on to the shell, would they still have an egg? If someone were to crack an egg into a siv, and separate the yoke from the white, and throw away the shell so that all they had left was the yoke, would they still have an egg?
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
Jesus was both fully human and fully God! A shell by itself is not an egg, but a Jesus by himself is still God.
After the prof said all this one woman in the class just about lost it. The prof had shattered the poor woman's faith.
"If you take away our egg metaphor," she said "How will we explain the trinity to new Christians or children? What metaphor can you give us that stands up to theology?"
"I don't know" said the prof. "I don't have one."
"Then how can you stand there and tell us not to use the egg metaphor?" she seemed quite distraught.
"Well. I don't have a good metaphor for the trinity... but I don't think we should tell people things that are not correct! Do you?"
that's when I started to think about how I would describe the trinity. And I realized I couldn't. The easiest way of describing it is just how it's laid out in the Bible. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. They are all God, the same God. There is no polytheism here, just three dimensions of God that are always. That last part might not make sense to you, but trust me, it's the best way of saying it, they are always.
Now if you need to know the inner functions and how exactly the trinity works I can't tell you that. What I can tell you is how exactly the trinity doesn't work.
#1: It doesn't work like an egg, because when isolated the 3 components of the egg no longer make an egg, but God is always God, no matter which form he is working in. He is 3 in one.
#2: It doesn't work like water, because when water turns to ice it goes through a physical change, and God is unchanging, also like the egg, when water changes to ice it is not also water, but Jesus is also God.
So there you have it. How the trinity doesn't work. exactly.
Monday, September 7, 2009
1. the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.
2. devotion to pleasure as a way of life: The later Roman emperors were notorious for their hedonism.
When I think of hedonism, often the thought of some Caesarian, toga wearing king with an olive branch for a crown being fed grapes by semi-naked women. Which is not far off from the intention of the word, so I found it sort of odd as I ran this morning, reflecting on my mini-labourday-vacation that the term "Hedonistic Christianity" popped into my head.
I am not a stranger to hedonism, in the truest sense of the word. As a young man (well, youngER man) I would wake up, have an actors breakfast of coffee and cigarettes, and maybe some McDonalds, go to work, make crude jokes with the guys and laugh at inconsiquential things, then after work I would head to the bar or to a party, or go play a show and I would drink to my fill, often flirting with older women who might buy me a drink. I would get home at 3 in the morning, smoke another 3 cigarettes before going into the house and then fall asleep on my couch (I didn't do beds back then... I don't know why...) Then I would wake up in between 11 and 3 and do it all over again. Expensive? yes. Fun? yes. Satisfying? hmmm...
Sarah didn't have too much of a different youth than I did, in fact when we met part of the attraction was that we were both beautiful broken people.
Lately Sarah and I have become the couple who would rather watch Grey's Anatomy and go to bed at 11, a big change for us, but not nescesarilly a bad one. So when we were invited by some friends this weekend to go to a bar where there would be sexy dressed people, dancing and cigarettes, we were hesetant to agree, but something from our past started pulling us towards our old lifestyle. After much persistance we agreed to meet them at the bar later. Once we got home however we began talking about how, although we aren't opposed to going out once in a while, we didn't feel tonight was the night. We didn't want to be thrown into the same temptations of our old life, which although were fun, would ultimately leave us unsatisfied.
Needless to say our friends were disapointed by our no-show, and our phone call to let them no we weren't coming was met with more than a little animosity.
"I don't know why she's so mad..." Sarah said.
"She'll get over it." I said.
"I just wish she could realize that I've changed. I'm a little more conservative, but it's not that I'm a prude... My past speaks to that. I'm just... happier now."
That's probably where the seed for "Hedonistic Christianity" was first planted. If happyness is pleasurable, and being more conservative made us happy, then wouldn't the pursuit of that happiness be at it's basist level, a true act of hedonism? In which case the rejection of the pleasures most comonly associated with hedonism is actually the embrace of hedonism.
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
and it doesn't end there either! When you deny yourself to help others and you get a good feeling from that, that's also hedonism! In fact, I am most happy when full heartedly following the will of Christ! Which is a complete rejection of physical pleasure, and a complete rejection of self! An act of whole hearted love, which spreads like wild fire, and comes back to you. and when the love comes back to you that is another form of pure pleasure!
so I encourage you, reject the selfish hedonism of the past, embrace this new, selfless, wonderfull hedonsim. A hedonism that gives pleasure to all at it's most base and most complex forms. This wonderfull Christian Hedonism.
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Duck billed platapus? Lemmings? Even sheep are pretty weird looking, we're just more used to them.
But weirdest of all is this pink, flabby, lanky ball of flesh that for some reason you love. This odd thing that for some reason is alowed each day to keep breathing.
How did you design me? How did you know exactly which pieces to put where? How did you know how to make my brain the way it is? That it would respond to this stimulae and that? trigger this thought, then that one?
You are so weird...
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
I hate excercise, I love to sit and be lazy. Under my own strength, with my own will, I could run 50 feet...maybe.
How is it then, that when I think about you, about your word, and praise your name that the kilometers melt away? And no pain resides in my body, and my body disapears and I feel only a reflection of your spirit?
How is it that when I focus on your word, your promises, your greatness, you can take this pink, flabby, gangly thing and turn it into wind?
Early in the morning, when the moon and the sun still fight for a place in the sky, how can you transfrom me?
And so your praises flow from my mouth, albeit dry, parched, breathless, non-existent.
"Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ?"
When my mind is focused upon your glory, my body transends itself, it breaks it's bonds of lazyness and becomes a slave to my mind, which is bond servant to Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:27
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
So praise be to God, the God of transformation, who can take this weak flesh and make it strong, who can take this weak will and make it his,
who can take this
and make it
Like the Wind
Thursday, August 13, 2009
12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
A friend of mine was teaching Adult Sunday School classes at his church, and happened to point out that the Hebrew word for Angel is the same as the word for Messenger. So occasionally, when the Bible says Angel, it could mean messenger. As he pointed this out one of the students became quite angry with him, and shouted "that makes no sense!" This fact however, gives us a better understanding of the text, it neither negates or degrades the verity of the messenger's words. It is still a message from God to his people.
2 Timothy 3:16 says
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,"
so why as Christians are we so afraid of scripture? If by reading and examining the scriptures will we unweave the fabric of God? On the contrary the in depth study of scripture can only affirm the true nature of God in his righteousness.
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
1 Then Job replied to the LORD :
2 "I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?'
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.'
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes."
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So today at work I'm standing there, greeting people at the door, when this guy and his girlfriend walk in. I greet them, then stop for a second and say "Jon?" It was a friend of mine from way back in high school, I barely recognized him (you will recall in my last post that I thought I recognized the guy and the girl but it turns out I didn't) Jon attends a church I used to attend called TACF, a church that I now (or at least when I left) fundamentally disagree with their worship and leadership structure. When I asked Jon what he was doing he told me he was the youth pastor at one of the TACF church plants in Brampton (you will recall from my last post that when I asked the unfamiliar guy and girl what they were doing they laughed and said "planting a church")
any way, that was about the extent of the conversation with him. I told him about Tyndale and how I got married and that was about it. I don't think the dream was about them... I don't think I do anyway... Just something to think about.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Two Verses I Need to Trust:
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I had a weird dream last night. I have these every once in a while, scary, nightmarish, almost prophetic dreams that leave me rattled. Whenever I wake up from them I feel like I've been release from a paralysis.
In the dream I ran into Carlos Whittaker who writes a Blog called Ragamuffin Soul. He needed to use my cell phone and he needed a ride, so I let him drive my car. We were driving by Lake Ontario (that might sound weird but I live right by there so it's familiar territory to me) and some one called my name. I told Carlos to stop the car, and there was this guy there trying to pee on the car. He wasn't the one who called my name. I told Carlos to move the car over more towards a girl and a guy who were digging in some sand. They were the ones who called me. He moved the car, and the guy followed us to pee on the car. When question on if he needed to pee on the car he said "yup." I ignored him and walked towards the diggers. I thought I recognized the girl, but as I got closer I realized I didn't. They also stopped speaking in human voices and now sounded like demons. They kept digging a hole, putting a seed in, filling the hole with sand again, then patting it down, then in the same spot would do the whole thing over. When I asked them what they were doing they laughed (still in demon voices) and said "We're planting a church." then I woke up. I have no idea what it means. I am open to interpretations if anyone has one. Interpreting dreams is not my gift, but discernment is, so if you think you have an interpretation, I will be able to discern whether it is from God or not. anyways, that's it.
Quid Pro Quo: You pray for me, I'll pray for you.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
If you've never been a 10 year old boy, you should know that it's mostly comparing scars and proving how not weak you are. Whether you accomplish that by jumping straight up in the air and purposely landing on your knees, or having a punching competition with your best friend is completely up to you.
I also feel like his above statement of faith accurately represents the modern day Christian. It seems that people are either over exuberant and short sighted, or trying their best to be wallflowers, blending in with society.
I'm tend to go back and forth I think. I try to just be honest and faithful, but I think it comes out differently. Truth is, I feel like this kid most of the time. Trying to prove that I'm tough, trying to prove that church is cool, or at least okay. When confronted about my faith I turn into a 10 year old boy, comparing my scars. Maybe I need to work on that.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A lot of people think I was too young to get married, and where I would agree with them on that from a maturity standpoint, I would disagree with them on the front that I don't think age had anything to do with it. I was immature, being married forced me to mature. I wouldn't have been any older if we had waited a week or another 5 years. That is not to say that people should get married hoping to change their spouse, because that is not a viable solution and it is an unlikely outcome. Rather when two people choose to love each other by the bibles outline, that is when relationships and personalities flourish. That is where independence and interdependence stems from. 1 Corinthians 13 has an excellent outline for love. If you haven't read it, you should. In Ephesians 5 Paul compares a marriage to the relationship between Christ and the church (and vice versa)a lot of people view this and place the man in a place of authority over his wife, however when viewed in the context of how Christ interacted with us while on earth, it seems to me that the role of a husband then becomes one of servitude. Christ was endlessly faithful and self sacrificing to the point of death. Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." That doesn't sound like any man I know, myself included. I seems like the husbands authority is one of "you first, then me", completely self sacrificing, and it is only through that sacrifice that we can claim the authority that the bible talks about. It took me a year and a half to figure this out. I hope my friends can get it sooner.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Having no experience in construction or carpentry and being overall a pretty lousy painter I wasn't exactly sure why I was going. We had to fill out skill assessment sheets, asking us to rate our skills from 1 to 5, 1 being "what's a hammer?" and 5 being professional trades person. mine was 1's all across the board, except for the "cooking" slot where I lied and put a 4, and the "pastor" slot, where most people put "N" for no, I lied again and put a 2. I figured it was justified because that is my current career aspiration, lol.
we had a good trip down, although very turbulent during our descent into New Orleans, but I jokingly said "Don't worry guys, we have too much work to do to die right now. On our way home though, we might not be so lucky." I was trying to ease their nerves through humor, it didn't work.
We arrived in camp, and it was everything that I had feared about mission trips. No bed, instead I got an army cot that my feet hung off the edge of at night. I'm a short man too, so I felt bad for everyone over 5'10" in our group. We slept in large Quansit tents, which are large pieces of canvas stretched over pipes on top of a wooden floor. There were no bathrooms, instead there were blue porto-potties that in the heat of the Mississippi sun felt like detention booths for prisoners of war. We showered in a trailer, we ate in a tent, we cooked in a 10x10 room with 2 industrial stoves and an industrial oven that made the room temperature rise to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It was terrifying.
Day one was excruciating and exhausting. We went to the house expecting to paint (although with our skill set I'm surprised they let us anywhere near a work site) instead however we ended up having to clean up broken bits of drywall, sweep all the dust off the floor, wash down the walls, only to realize they needed to be re-mudded and re-sanded. We kept looking at our watches only to see time almost going backwards. Here we were, a bunch of no-skilled Canadians in 86 degree weather, on a construction work site, rebuilding a house for some people we've never met. I don't think we could have been more out of our element. It was so hot we had to take a break every hour. I remember thinking around 3:30 (we stopped working around 5) "I can't do 4 more days of this..." We brought our lunch with us the first day, but drove back to camp every other day just so we could spend 10 minutes round trip in the air conditioned cars.
Day two was a little bit better, we were more organized, we got a little bit more accomplished and we had set the groundwork to begin painting the next day. We also went out after work to have dinner in town and take a tour of the damage along the coast.
Day three was a turning point for me. I we started painting, we set our sites on God and dedicated the work to him, and what helped out a lot was we stopped looking at our watches. We were still sanding for most of the day, but we also started painting. Sarah, our friend Colleen and I were in the "kitchen" (I say "Kitchen" because that's what it will be eventually) we got the ceiling painted and the edging on the walls.
Day four was a great day. I met the home owner. I had seen her milling around here and there throughout the week, but I hadn't had a chance to introduce myself yet. She walked in while we were putting the first coat on the walls of the kitchen. Her eyes just lit up, she loved the colour. She didn't care that we got a bit on the ceiling (which we fixed later on) she didn't care that it was patchy (we fixed that too) she was just ecstatic to have paint on the walls. She just walked in, took a deep breath and with an enormous smile and a southern accent said "thank you. Y'all have a very special place in heaven waiting for you." It was at that point that I remembered Matthew 25:40 where it says "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
I wasn't talking to some southern lady, I was talking to Jesus. That was really special to me. I painted for 10 and a half hours that day. I started at 9:00 am, and my group dragged me away at 8:30 pm. I was exhausted, but I got such a kick out of how much she loved seeing paint. We got 5 rooms painted that day, so it was worth it.
Day five was a half day, we quit working after lunch to go into New Orleans. Sarah and I caught a mule drawn carriage tour of the french quarter and then we went out for dinner and caught a live Jazz band. I ate an alligator. It was awesome.
Six months ago I didn't ever want to go on a mission trip. After my week in Mississippi I now have the missions bug under my skin. Suddenly once I realized exactly why I was down there I didn't mind pooping in a blue box, or showering in a trailer or sleeping in a tent. In fact I loved doing it. When I proposed to my wife my exact words were "we are going to be broke-ass-poor. But I love you. I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?" I said that because I work retail, and that makes me poor. I see now that it was more of a prophecy, we're going to be poor because we're supposed to be missionaries... which is a lot better than retail. lol.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Anyway, I'm falling asleep, possibly from running exhaustion, so I'm going to go. I'll keep everyone posted on further Mississippi trip details as the progress. cheers.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"Is there a catch?" I asked
"no catch." she said
"what about the fine print?"
"no fine print."
"But if I take the modem out of the box that constitutes a three year contract, right?" (I've been taken before.)
"Nope, no catch, no fine print, no contract. just 3 free months."
so I did it. And low and behold i blogged, I face booked, I youtubed, and so help me God, I lived. Eventually 3 months turned into 4, more accidentally than purposely. And as the recession hit us, and my hours got cut we realized... we can't keep it. It was like looking into the face of God and having him say "$50 a month!", okay so maybe not. All sac religious similes aside, we unplugged and shipped it back to Bell. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I haven't posted in a while.
Things have been good though, for the most part. Weird, obnoxious, needlessly complicated, but good. God is good, people are annoying. But we'll get through it. stay tuned!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
God has really been working in my heart as of lately, teaching me how to love. In the past on Easter Sunday I would sit in anger and cynicism at the crowded church. Here I am, a faithful attendee of the congregation, surrounded by people who are attending bitterly out of guilt and obligation because it's a holiday. I would sit and sing to myself a little song along the lines of:
"If I had a little box to put my Jesus in,
I'd take him out at Christmas time,
then put him back again."
I realize it's Easter, not Christmas, but the song was still applicable. This year however God instilled in me a new sense of compassion. Where before I was filled with contempt, now I was filled with love. These are people who's only exposure to Christianity is the three times a year that they attend out of guilt. If a church service lasts an hour and a half then we have approximately 4.5 hours a year to effectively witness the love of Christ to these people. That's not a lot of time. And if the majority of the church feels the same way I did in years past then I doubt we are doing a good job of it.
I have a friend named Derek who once said to me "Baker, you are the first Christian who hasn't told me I'm going to hell. You haven't said I'm not going to hell, but you haven't told me I am." Is that what we've become as a church? Instead of loving the lost are are condemning them?
The truth is, there probably isn't a way that we can reach people in an hour and a half, three times a year. But what are we doing the rest of that year? We need to be contagiously lovable, we need to be out in the world, serving, loving and having fellowship and community. Then the Christ who lives in us, who transforms us, would seem irresistible. And that is how we will resurrect the Church. That is how we ourselves will be resurrected.
4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Now although I do believe he speaks about miracles in this passage I also think there is a deeper, more integral meaning in this passage. It wasn't so much that Jesus was healing people and raising the dead, it was HOW he was doing it. He was loving people. He would touch the lepers, he would touch the deformed, he would speak to the blind, the bleeding and the lame. He lived with the poor, the hungry and the destitute. He ate with tax collectors, prostitutes and Romans. We are the hands and feet of Christ, we are to do his will and we CAN do miracles, but we must first align ourselves with the will of God. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 it says this:
1 Corinthians 13:1-2
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
We must love each other. We must love people as God loved them. We need to get over our social barriers erected to keep us safe. Realize that God loves people like Mother Theresa, Timothy McVeigh, Billy Graham, Hitler, The homeless guy at the end of your block, you. He loves zealots, hypocrites, fools, saints, bigots, Liberals, Conservatives, gays, straights, pastors, construction workers, social workers and call girls. HE LOVES EVERYONE! and so should you. If you read this, think of someone who's wronged you. Some one you hate. Forgive them. Love them. The bible says that even the pagans love their friends and families. We need to love our enemies. A crazy scandalous kind of love. The kind of love that gets you killed. I love you.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
14 "You shall not commit adultery."
Where do I start with this one? It seems like it should be easy, just keep it in your pants right? But this is an issue that most guys, and most girls struggle immensely with. It could be that we live in a society that seems to be fueled by sex. We have this urge to be independent that isolates us so that the only time we feel loved or accepted is when we're having sex. TV and movies are filled with people engaged in adulterous behavior, advertisements on buses, in magazines, even in some free newspapers are specifically geared to trigger lust. It is impossible to escape it.
But why is it bad? I mean, sex feels good right? Well, aside from the risks of STD's and STI's, pregnancy etc. The bible has more than a few things to say about it.
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Older translations say "will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife..." which paints sort of a graphic picture. But the part I want emphasis on in the last bit, "They will become one flesh." This is a clear statement, that when sexual intimacy occurs there is a uniting of the two parties. In first Corinthians 6 it says this:
1 Corinthians 6:16
16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?
If you are married and you have an extra marital affair with someone, you then become married to that person, maybe not in the traditional sense of marriage that we have in North America, but in the literal definition of the word marriage, which is the joining of two things together.
One of our biggest downfalls in North America is our sense of love. We have no idea what it means to love. Some blame the English language for only having one blanket word for all the different forms of love. I blame tv, movies, fairy tales and ignorance. I had a friend who was cheating on his wife, when I asked him why, he said "I'm in love with this other woman..." I tried to explain to him that there is no such thing... There is attraction, there is infatuation, but there is no "in love" at least not in the way that we think. To be "in love" as the words describe would be in the constant act of love. Love not being a feeling, but rather a choice. You choose to love someone by choosing each day to treat them with respect, honour them, listen the what they have to say, do nice things for them and participate in your relationship. If you are not doing these things then you are not in love. And I can guarantee you that if you are in love, then you won't find yourself looking elsewhere for love and gratification. If you are doing these things for the one you love, they will do similar things for you, and the cycle begins to grow.
In Proverbs 6 it says
"32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment;
whoever does so destroys himself."
Adultery is not just something that effects married men, if you are unmarried and having sexual relations you are still committing adultery. God has a plan for your life, some one he wants you to be with, or maybe he wants you to be happily single, either way, when you sleep with someone you are not meant to be with you are robbing yourself of God's riches for you, and you are robbing your spouse of their rights. Furthermore, if you are dating the person you are meant to be with, don't you think you owe it to them and to God to wait? They are not yet yours. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says "19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,"
The issue goes much deeper than this however, Jesus says this in Matthew 5:27-28
27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Kind of shoots down the "It doesn't hurt to look" theory. I can't even count the amount of women I've committed adultery with because of stray thoughts...
A lot of people will tell you that adultery is bad, but not many people are ready with an answer of how NOT to do it, or better yet how to get back on the straight and arrow if you HAVE committed adultery. Many people, after messing up, have an attitude of "well, I guess it doesn't matter now..." and then they think it's okay, or doesn't matter if they keep going on their current path. But God wants you back, we serve a God of forgiveness and grace. Thank God for grace. After all, Jesus forgave the adulterous woman.
3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus wants to forgive you too. But how do you live afterward? How should you conduct yourself? The verse I sited earlier from 1 Corinthians 6 has some good advice.
1 Corinthians 6:15-17
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
So be joined to the Lord, be in communion with him, walk in his perfect will and trust his plan for your life.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
So go, be joined to Christ, and sin no more.
Monday, April 6, 2009
That really hit me. That's what baptism is, being dead to your old self and then being alive in Christ. So that is my prayer for him, that he would truly die to his old self and be raised in Christ. God bless you Darce.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The truth is, sex is not the steamy, sexy, charismatic thing that you see in the movies. It is often awkward, usually messy and not always mutually satisfying, which is why God intended it to be with someone you love, someone who loves you. Someone who can see you at your most vulnerable and embarrassing and embrace you with love and respect, and the truth is that can't be achieved with someone you are not in a committed relationship with.
I have some friends who have had a lot of hurt introduced into their lives recently due to poor decisions made by either themselves or their partners in terms of sex. I have other friends who had their hurt long ago.
Sarah and I both forgave each other our pasts before we had even considered marriage. A few months back however I had this revelation, this realization of how much I loved her, and how I had wronged her, before I even met her, through the decisions I had made is past relationships, and so I apologized, and she forgave me again. We have a duty to our future spouses; Our duty is to abstain from sexual immorality. We need to abstain to show our respect to our spouses, you are their future property and you should respect that. You should also when you are with your future spouse, respect that they still belong to God, and are his property, and you wouldn't want to abuse that.
It's a messy, heartbreaking, wonderful subject. It's a sexy calamity the likes of which mankind will never get over. It's sex.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
When do I become a grown up again? oh yeah, it's happened. this is as good as it gets. How did my parents do it?
15 "You shall not steal."
Seems easy doesn't it? Just keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times and you should be okay, right? Well, sort of. We seem to have developed a strange sense of entitlement in our country where we can justify thievery. And you can steal just about anything now too, so much more than when this verse was written. You can steal cars, bikes, satellite signals, movies, internet, video games, music, the list goes on! It seems the more tech savvy we get as a species the more inclined we become to steal things. And we have a strange justification process that we go through, "I deserve to take this because..." (insert pretty much whatever reason you want.) I am not innocent of this either, I used to work for a movie store and I would get hungry or thirsty in the middle of my shift and feel entitled to have some pop or candy. I of course wasn't the only one on staff doing this. One other employee had an affinity for Dr. Pepper, one night during inventory the store manager looks at the inventory results and asked (in a very stressed out voice) "How are we missing 46 Dr. Peppers!?"
I try my best not to steal anymore, but I find I'm still tempted some times. It's the thrill of thinking you can get away with it. Luckily, I've never been caught.
I'm noticing a recurring theme withing the commandments. Stealing, like coveting, comes down to a trust issue. To steal isn't only wrong because you are taking something that doesn't belong to you, it's also wrong because you are telling God "I don't trust you to provide for me, so I'll take it myself."
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
is the man who gains riches by unjust means.
When his life is half gone, they will desert him,
and in the end he will prove to be a fool.
God calls us to a life of faithfulness and integrity. We are to be Christs ambassadors on earth.
In Matthew 7:16 it says;
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?"
in Titus 2:10 it says;
"and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive."
It comes down to this, if we are doing things like stealing, no matter how small the gain or how innocent it may seem, then we are not being an effective representation of the love of Christ. So remember, we are not a people who steal, we are a people who trust in the Lord. So try and have good fruit on your trees ;)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
What does that mean exactly? To me it always inspired thoughts of a court room, and perhaps in part it does refer to that, but I get the feeling it goes so much deeper than that. When you get right down to it this verse is referring to false testimony, slander, lying, deception and well, dishonesty in general. Old testament justice, in cases of courtroom false testimony would punish the liar in the way the accused would be punished as we can see in Deuteronomy.
16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.
Pretty serious stuff. In Proverbs it says this;
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who pours out lies will not go free.
I am the worst with lying. I love it, and I think I'm pretty good at it. What I don't love is the after effects. We all lie, and anyone who says they don't lie is probably lying to you at that very moment. and why? Why do we lie? We know what trouble it will get us into, we all know the stress, the having to tell more lies to cover the one small lie we just told. I mean, come on, this is sesame street stuff. We learned this when we were 5! Let's watch some veggie tales and see how Larry Boy deals with a lie.
But why is lying bad? What about it is harmful? It all comes back to trust. If you are lying it means you have probably done something unrighteous and you want to cover it up. When your heart is set on righteous things and you trust in God to put a righteous want in your heart then you have nothing to hide and honesty becomes easy. However when you start lying, you remove your trust from God and place your trust in your lie to keep you secure.
15 You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death
and have made a deal to dodge the grave.
The coming destruction can never touch us,
for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”
17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Lying is a problem, especially for me. God has been doing a work in my life lately and I feel I can not lie anymore. Every time I do lie, I feel sick until I come forward and tell the truth. If you can, stop lying as soon as possible, because one day you may receive the same call to honesty as me, and then you will have to be honest about all the lies you've told over your lifetime. And the people you come clean to will be your wife, your friends, your parents, your boss, basically anyone you've been dishonest too. That can damage relationships, and make things quite awkward for a while. However after the awkwardness passes, I'm sure you'll find your relationships are ten times better than they ever were before.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
If you trust in lies, then your heart is not with God. So trust in the Lord, don't succumb to the temptation of lies, be strong and courageous and love the Lord your God with all your heart.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
It's amazing how one can feel so happy and yet so abysmally sad at the same time. I'm ecstatically happy because Jesus is my Lord and savior, God lives, and he lives in me, I'm married to the most beautiful woman in the world and I have a generally great life. And then I have this other feeling, this meaningless emptiness. I feel like someone left the tap on without putting the plug in the drain. There's lot's of water going in, but just as much flowing out.
With depression comes the want to do things that are self destructive. Probably the worst of these things is the want to stay depressed. It's so easy to get comfortable with your depression. It becomes your friend, it's reliable, it's dependable. Eventually however it becomes you god.
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Those words ring true. I will remain vigilant however, I will trust in the Lord, I have no god but God.
18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."[a] 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."
and so I hold true to this promise from Isaiah and hope that it will be credited to me as righteousness
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death [a]
a light has dawned.
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
When I was 17 years old, my friend rented a very nice guitar from Long and McQuades. If I remember correctly it was an Ibanez hollow body blues guitar with the burnt ash finish and the humm-bucker pickups that made her sing like a crying fairy. She was beautiful, and at the time I don't think I'd ever held a nicer instrument. The best part about it was my friend (the renter) did not actually play the guitar, so he lent it out to all of us guitar guys. Holding this guitar was like holding a muse, I must have pumped out 15 songs on that baby. Around the time that my turn was over I was trying to figure out who to lend it to next. I turned to my friend Reg and asked "Hey man, you wanna borrow it?" I was expecting a resounding "YES!" but the answer I got shocked me. "No," he said "I think if I had it I would covet it." I took a step back. I had heard of coveting girls, oxes and donkeys, but never guitars. That was the first time I had ever really thought about what that commandment was really talking about. It wasn't so much about infidelity or ox wanting as much as it was about being to focused on material things.
In Proverbs 13:4 it says "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
Not coveting seems to be more than just being satisfied with what you have, it also seems that when you set your sights on God's desires the things you want will shift from material things, to more righteous things.
I have a real problem with coveting, I love that butterfly feeling I get thinking about my next purchase, or wanting to increase my lot in life. I love longing for things in the future, or planning out what I want to do with what and when. That's bad news for me, as we see in Luke when Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, in which a man spends all his time making his barns bigger so that he can store more grain for himself and be better off, and when it's finally finished his life is demanded of him. That's not to say it's wrong to have a five year plan, or that we shouldn't save money or anything like that, I think it's more of a warning against spending all of your time worrying and dreaming about things that you can't necessarily control. In Matthew 6:25-26 it says
25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important that clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
And in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 it says
10Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. 11As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
When we trust in God to provide for us what we need, and not necessarily what we want, then we are showing him our faith, our trust and our Love. When we spend our time worrying about how to further the kingdom, and less about how to further ourselves, we are showing love to God. So remember, the commandment, being terms of service for the Christian and Jewish faith, we are not a people who covets the things of the world around us. We are a people who trust in God, and therefore show him love.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I don't know where this blog is going. I just feel so frustrated. I read through a quarter of psalms today, honestly, like 40 chapters. Sometimes (and especially on days like today) I feel so hungry for God that I have to devour the word like a fat kid on so much birthday cake, and yet on days like this one it doesn't help. I feel like David, crying out "HOW LONG OH LORD!" but I'm screaming it to the empty walls inside my brain! I feel like my anger is separating me from God, and that makes me angrier which tears me further from him! And yet when all my anger and energy is expended I know he'll be the first voice I hear, BUT IT"S SO FAR AWAY at this point. Here is a good bible verse that pretty much describes how I feel today, a bit over dramatic, but that's the David we've all come to know and love. cheers.
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Today's sermon was on faith, and the difference between immature, adolescent and sacrificial faith. One of the points was that immature faith was relying on the magic ability to make God's will do what you want, where as sacrificial faith is relying on God's will to happen in your life, no matter what. The pastor probably worded it better than that. Jesus tells us to have faith like a child, in Matthew 18:3 it says
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Phil has faith like a child. If I can't take 2 hours out of my week and spend it worshiping God and loving a brother in need without complaining about it, how can I further the Kingdom of God? The truth is I don't think I can. My faith seems pretty immature. I want to know how pastors do it, (especially since I hope to be one some day) every week, working on Sundays (I hate working Sundays!) not sitting with their families, sacrificially loving the body of Christ... come to think about it if it happened that way I'm sure church would be a lot more appealing to people. But that's where we need to be! That's where I need to be! I wish I had that sacrificial faith, that I could be more concerned with what I'm doing to further the Kingdom, and not so much with how the Kingdom can further me. At the same time however, I really feel that one needs to have an outlet where they can be spiritually filled... Maybe that's where small groups come in. Also, morning devotionals, evening devotionals... okay God I get it! It's time to suck it up and be a man. Time to suck it up and be a Christian! In Romans chapter 8 verse 11 it says
"11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
It goes on to talk about obligations, and I truly believe I have an obligation, to God, to the Church and to myself. I have to be the church I want to see... oi, well I'll give it a shot.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering.
My conscience is clear for as long as I live."
So here goes. I had a hard day today. Not actually, I was just being a wimp. I was feeling really angry and resentful for no reason. I was getting mad that I had to clean my apartment, mad at the way people were driving, mad at my friend for making snide comments during a meeting and there was really no reason to be that mad. I had to clean my apartment so that people could come over, the other drivers were going the speed limit, and my friend was only joking, but I was still getting irritated over nothing. I think what was even more frustrating was I couldn't find anything in the bible to help with the situation. I live on biblegateway.com, and I was searching through the topical index for anger, resentment, frustration etc. I think I have some kind of topical index in my pocket bible, but I can't find it. The worst part is I know I'm being a huge baby about it. I haven't even asked God to help me with it yet. I'm just being stubborn. Okay I'm going to try and find out what the bible says, wait here... Okay! Psalm 73:21-25
"21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you."
So that helps a bit. I'm going to pray now, you can keep reading if you want. God, why am I like this? why do I let this stuff get to me? It's senseless and ignorant, and we all know it. I ask God, that you would hold my hand and guide me with your counsel, guard my heart and my mind and walk with me. cheers.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
"6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I started repeating the verse aloud to myself in the car over and over and suddenly a wave of calm came over me. It turns out God did have a plan, and I followed instructions pretty well. Although I wanted to barge into the meeting with a "YOU CAN'T FIRE ME! I QUIT!" attitude, I managed to keep calm. Apparently the issue is that I work too independently, now at other jobs I was encouraged to work independently and to seek out projects to do on my own, but apparently I'm not seen enough because I'm always diving into projects on my own. To each company their own preferences I guess. I'm just glad they didn't ask me why I loved working there like they have before. I may have thrown up. I actually ended up having a pretty good day, despite working where I do, having to work on a Saturday, not feeling well and the pretenses upon which the day started. I guess the peace of Christ was on me the whole day and I actually (dare I say it) had some fun at work.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It`s frustrating to go to work, spend the day processing returns and then have your hours cut at the end of the day because of it. I spend my day hearing vapid complaints meanwhile my wife and I barely have enough money to pay rent or buy food. Don`t get me wrong, the LORD takes care of us, and when we are found without he sends us an abundance and we pull through, it is still however discouraging.
I feel called to the LORD`s service, and I am itching to get moving on it. I had a conversation with God a while ago and he told me it was time to leave my current job. Upon further prayer I felt God tell me to stay. Heartbroken I questioned God, wondering why the God who doesn`t change his mind had changed his mind. I meditated on the subject a while longer and came to the conclusion that God didn`t want me to take another job that I would wind up hating in a few months, but that I should wait for his timing to place me in a job I will love. I also feel like maybe at this point, the LORD`s work might be ministering to the people at work. However I seem to be taking Jonah`s reluctant stance on this. Hopefully I won`t have to be swallowed by a whale to get the picture. even so... work sucks.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Now that puts husbands in a very unique and difficult situation. Although we are all to strive to be more Christ-like, this verse then puts husbands in an extra sub-category of Christ-likeness that should scare most men. Firstly, Christ was brutally honest, about everything, secondly he died for the church, and thirdly (women your going to love this) in both Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 it says "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"
When I first got married people would ask me dating or marriage advice, and my main response was "Just don't call her a bitch. Name calling is bad." And although name calling is bad I soon discovered that marriage was so much more than not calling your wife a bitch. It's clear from scripture that the role of a husband is a role of faithfulness, servitude, honesty, honour, protection and holiness. And near as I can tell we have been messing this up from day one. Venture back in time with me as we look at the first married couple, Adam and Eve. Now Eve often gets blamed for the fall of man, but I think that is mainly by people who haven't read past the first two books. In Number chapter 30:10-15 it says " 10 If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. 15 If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt."
This demonstrates a husbands obligation to his wife. Firstly, upon closer examination of Adam and Eve we see that Eve was deceived, not Adam, had he taken the opportunity to rebuke her, the fall may never have happened, but because he stayed silent he confirmed her sin (and then took part in it). Secondly, from the passage in Numbers we see that it is clearly the husbands duty to take responsibility for his wife's actions (especially when he has consented her decision to sin) but when God shows up Adam does two things; he hides, and he invents blame-shifting. In Genesis 3:10-12 it says
10 He (Adam) answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he (God) said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
The Catholics believe that sin is transferred "semenally". Maybe that's why we all seem to blame God for problems that we bring on ourselves. It appears to me that God gave Adam several opportunities to get out of the fall. First: If Adam didn't eat the fruit. Second: If Adam confessed on behalf of him and his wife for eating the fruit and accepting the consiquenses. Third: If Adam hadn't strait up blamed God and his Wife for the trouble in his life. If any of the three a fore mentioned things had happened, who knows, we might all still be naked vegetarians hanging out with God.
It seems the bottom line is, we need to man up. Husbands are the representatives of Christ in a marriage, while wives are representing the Church and the nations. When you look at it in that light, no matter what, wives are holding up their end of the bargain. Are we? This then is a charge to all married men, and all men who will soon be married. Live in servitude to your wife, love her as Christ loves the church, honour your vows to respect her in everything you do. Take note from Corinthians 7:1-7 (the whole chapter is good, but long so read it yourselves!)
1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.a]">[a] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Just remember what Proverbs 18:22 says "22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the LORD"