Thursday, 11 August 2022

A-I And I

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. 

      In his book, The Price Of Tomorrow, Jeff Booth, makes an observation, explaining the impact of AI artificial intelligence on the economy, jobs, and the life changes that will occur because of the staggering effect on our ability to keep up with the fast acceleration of change. When AI is compared to the advent of electricity becoming available for the world's use and the effect it had on human history, AI will be - If electricity was a match, artificial intelligence is the sun. Dan. 12:4 But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam about, and knowledge will increase. Like most world-changing innovations we eventually catch up and adjust our lives to the technologies available. However, the hypothesis in the case of AI is that we may not catch up, or it may take us a long time to do so.
      I was listening to a news report explaining how fifty-two mortgage brokers who worked for a major bank in Toronto had been replaced by two people who manage an algorithm that could do the same output of work and diagnosis as to whether the applicants for mortgages qualified. One of the major observations is that AI will be affecting the middle-class lifestyle more than other workers because of all the clerical work that will be replaced. In the same report, they went on to explain, that from all the legal files now available online, law firms are starting to use software to find cases and precedents needed to declare in court. There is no need for the same amount of paralegals who once did this work. Plus, this work is being accomplished at record speeds that the paralegal cannot compete with, and the time saved in work hours gives law firms greater profit-margin.
      Of course, the mortgage brokers and paralegals who owe on their student loans, are now scrambling for and competing with those who normally apply for entry-level service jobs, thus causing disruptions for the first-time job finders. These indebted professionals have to pay off their student loans while they consider new loans (a vicious circle) to take new courses in other career choices that may also fall redundant to the advancements of artificial intelligence. A lot of those who have been affected end up moving back in with their parents because the cost of living is overwhelming. Rev. 6:6a Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages. All because of the fast and changing technological advancement coming in at lightning speeds. 
      It is difficult for many of the youth to make career choices for what is not known will be needed in the future. Some young people are graduating after years of study, only to find out their chosen field and the work that was available when they started the courses have been replaced with algorithms. No one saw it coming, including the faculties of the institutions of learning. In some cases, the need for a workforce for that area of service that was chosen no longer exists. These are the dilemmas our next generations are faced with. The wisdom that these future students will need will have to be divinely inspired wisdom to know what to do for a lifetime career. Prov. 9:10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
      After fifty and some years that I have been in business, I have had to contend with change. When I started in the sales department of my company, the average business had an adding machine, a typewriter, and a black rotary phone on a desk. The high-tech office might have a Gestetner machine for rolling off multiple copies of documents. Then the first thermal roll paper photocopy machines came along, and the electric typewriters started showing up, plus a flashy digital display calculator. Green or orange word display screens on small monitors connected to big computers started replacing the typewriters and plain paper copiers were the had-to-have in every office. The thermal fax machine replaced the noisy teleprinters, and on it went until many of my contemporary salesmen were replaced with robotic phone services. 
      Yes, change is inevitable, and it comes along whether we like it or not. I was the one selling a lot of these new office products and kept up with all the advancements until recently when company policy changed and started phasing out the need for sales reps. After all, anything can be ordered within seconds on any connected device. I am fortunate because the older owners of the said companies I serviced for years, wanted to keep using their old equipment until they shut down, and servicing those office products is something I know how to do. So, as strange as it turned out, I have a small niche business fixing and servicing all kinds of older office equipment. Therefore, AI and I get along. 
      Artificial intelligence will never replace our soul's desire to serve the Lord. All the God-haters, who will misuse AI because of their arrogant visions of grandeur, will be like those who participated in building the Tower of Bable. With sorcery and the advancements of their day, they tried to play God, but they ended up dispersed, confused and lost in their communication. Gen. 11:7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. Thus babbling their way to the next time they tried to be better than God. 
      There is no man-made technological plan or insight that can outwit the Lord or come close to God's eternal genius. Prov. 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. What we see as advanced artificial intelligence and the threatening changes that may occur because of it, will still be child's play to our Mighty God. Look to the Lord for wisdom as to what to do with the inevitable changes of life coming our way. Life with God goes on and it is good. Amen!

Thursday, 4 August 2022

God In A Box

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
     
       It must be irksome to God to have people who think they know everything, question God's integrity who does know everything. When we judge God from our human standard, we are demonstrating how dimwitted and ignorant we are because we are missing it; we are deeming God's capabilities inside of our limitations. Mal. 2:17a You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them. They try to promote the idea that God is happy and agreeable with the status quo of our times. When these dispensers of pseudo-knowledge try to expand and explain the idea of God with their inaccurate descriptions of His perfection, they inadvertently put God in a box of distorted ideas of their own making. The great I Am becomes a totem symbol of human invention.
      History has shown us that we cannot contain the fullness of God within our understanding. The universe cannot contain Him. How then can we think we can constrain God within the limited dimensions of our making? Yet, we keep trying to organize and maintain God within a denominational framework that in most cases has only scratched the surface of just one of God's thoughts. After Solomon had built the temple for God, he rightly said, 1Kings 8:27b Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! What makes man think he can box God up and dispense Him as needed? The finite mind that tries to explain an infinite God will have difficulties thinking things through. We have to respond to what God is doing and not the other way around.
      When Naaman the captain of the army of Syria asked to be healed of his leprosy, he had a certain idea as to how the procedure might be done. 2 Kings 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. However, when Elijah sent his servant out with instructions for Naaman to go dip seven times in the Jordan river and he would be healed, Naaman was incensed, and his pride was hurt. 2Kings 5:11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me! Naaman had expected the healing to be done his way and within the understanding of his ideology of how miracles worked. People are doing the same thing today. They put God in a box and say to Him, "Work my miracle my way, or do it the way you did for my cousin."
      God rarely dispenses blessings or miracles the way we instruct Him to do it. Yes, go ahead and keep praying for the miracle needed, but realize that God works the way God wants so that there is no doubt about where the miracle came from and by whom it was created. Naaman's servant girl had to reason with him and subdue his anger and pride with loving logic. 2Kings 5:13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
      The good news for Naaman is that he did what he was told, and the miracle is greater than even Naaman could have imagined. Naaman wanted to be cleansed and healed of his leprosy, but God had a bigger and better idea in mind. Not only was he healed, but his skin was rejuvenated to that of a young child. 2Kings 5:14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. God's way is always better than our ways because God is thinking eternally.      
      When we seek God's word on a situation and we are blessed to be given an illuminated answer, then to turn around and ask for another word because we do not think the one we got is good enough, or not powerful enough to suit our inflated opinions of ourselves, we need to stop and repent of our idiocy and self-worship. The Lord has all the answers to any question or any situation happening in the universe and He wants us to ask for His help, not tell Him what to do. God wants to be part of our lives because we were created to respond to God's love and friendship. Jer. 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
      The mystery is, that God will not live in a receptacle of human invention, but, He will live in a human's heart. Wow, what a miraculous concept. The God of the entire universe wants to live in our hearts, and He wants to be invited in the way He has made a way for it to happen. Through Christ, our Lord, God will live in our hearts. How amazing is that? Salvation is God's plan, not ours. Let us submit to what the Lord is doing in our lives and hand over the pathetic images we try to make of God. Blessings to us all.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Whose Eugenics?

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.      

      Eugenics: The study of how to arrange reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Humm, who are the ones determining what is regarded as desirable? Our history has had a few megalomaniacs who tried eugenising - if that is a word - a race of people that would coincide with their vision of human perfection. This ugly philosophy has a way of sneaking into the scientific community under the guise of wanting to enhance the betterment of mankind. It also has a way of leaking into political rhetoric to protect a certain segment of the population from the unwashed per se. However, as history demonstrates, human beings cannot be perfected outside of God's intervention. 
      The blood of Jesus has the power to change a soul to fulfil the requirements of God the Father's standard of righteousness regardless of who a person is. Eugenics, as practised among the monumental arrogance and the wilfully conceited, may at best, have a limited power to help develop a certain quality of perceived supremacy, (again, whoever determines what that is,) but, at the end of their efforts, they still have a human being in need of salvation. That person's soul will still require the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus to give him or her eternal life. This Frankensteinian approach that says we can create a flawless man is erroneous because it is a flawed man trying to do the creating. God says, "I am your creator." Psalm 100:3a Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves. Plainly said, "It is He who has made us, and NOT we ourselves.
      The Lord's method of eugenics actually works for all mankind because our Heavenly Father is the original eugenicist. God, our creator, had no intention of leaving anyone out of His eternal plan, therefore, our Lord designed diversity within mankind. He also implemented what it would take to bring His plan to fruition. God takes the weak, sick, rich, poor, healthy, and every ethnicity there is and makes us the righteousness of God through Christ. I know this will bother all the pitifully boring supremacy groups, but there it is, we are one in Christ, regardless of race, colour, or ethnic background. Rev. 15:4b All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. All nations, mean all nations. Even though mankind is constantly trying to eliminate a particular segment of the population they deem unworthy to live, God, in His love, still wants all nations to come and worship Him.
      In the book of Esther, we read how Haman hated the Jews and plotted to destroy and remove them from the earth. Ester 3:8 Then Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live. The more things change, the more they remain the same. These plots and ambitions are still desired by some nations today. We can't seem to run out of people to hate. 
      Haman felt inferior and lashed out to destroy the segment of the population that made him feel that way. Instead of improving and growing in character, he chose genocide as a solution. By eliminating a segment of the population, Haman felt it would enhance the standing of the people group he was part of, thus making them a superior race. Prov.14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. The plot backfired as so many of these plots do, and Haman ended up sentenced to hang on the gallows he had built for his hated enemies. Est. 7:10a So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Not only did Haman's prejudice get him killed, but the far-reaching stench of his ignorant philosophy also got his ten sons' hung as well. Est. 9:13 And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to do according to this day’s edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.” 14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.     
      The philosophies of eugenics and ethnic cleansing seem to run hand in hand and tend to support each ideology with the same evil intent. Eugenics says, "Let's breed perfection into the sub-human race," and ethnic cleansing says, "Let's kill the breed of sub-humans we don't approve of and remove them from our sight." Both concepts are anti-God, anti-Christ, and racist. Let us remember what Jesus said, "Whosoever believed in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life." Whosoever is all nations. Be careful of the rhetoric you start high-fiving. You might be agreeing in terminating your own life and those you love. Most of the people reading this come from a people group who were once persecuted for just being alive. We were all made in the image of God. That ought to be acceptable. Amen!

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Conditioned For Cruelty

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother.      
      
      Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
      I'm paraphrasing here because this narrative is so off the wall. I think this is the gist of it. A news reporter was interviewing a recidivist criminal who was bemoaning the fact that it was not fair that his residence had been broken into and robbed while he was in custody for a crime he had committed. He felt the State should pay for his losses because they were holding him, prisoner, while he was not at home to defend the stuff he had stolen from others. I must have heard the report wrong because surely, this is not where we have ended up in our reasoning. How has this become the commonsense of the day?
      The attitude of entitlement that is now becoming a given in our society, which no longer holds people accountable for their actions, is the result of our nation reaping what has been sown throughout the last generation. Hos. 8:7a For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. We have allowed the moral choices of the last few generations (mine included) to falter and be led by whatever felt good at the time, whether it was righteous or not. As my friend Scott says, "The formally accepted givens or basic standards that people lived by, have changed, and the commonsense givens that most people understood, are gone. The once caring expectations of uprightness that came through regular upbringing will have to be retaught to a generation who have been raised on violent imagery promoting cruel intent, and they have acquired their ethical values from everywhere and anything that seemed plausible at the time." To me, the scary part is that the generation who got their guidance from Beavis and Butt-Head and similar role models are now in charge of the levers that make the world work.
      Every generation needs a God-inspired awakening so they can come through the difficulties of their day, and this generation is no different. We all need the reassurance of God's love and purpose for our lives. God's love can elevate a soul to choose life and find real righteous direction. The Lord's affection and salvation can pull a person out of despair and a visionless life. As the world system tries to equalize and make carbon copies of everyone through the philosophy of human-centredness, the authenticity of a person becomes muddied and uncertain. Plus, humanism, socialism, and authoritarianism in themselves cannot feed the hunger in a soul that was created to be fulfilled by God's eternal purposes. Instead, acts of cruelty become the results of all the emptiness people are experiencing as everyone lives by their own moral code.
      As so many of you are wondering, I am also trying to understand, what are the governing authorities and bureaucratic departments counting on? What is their end game in trying to make everyone the same? What are they expecting as a result of converting everyone's thinking into a vegetative mundane state of existence? What are they counting on? I know a teacher who grinds her teeth when the subject of participation trophies for all comes up. She says, "What do we (as a society) expect when we are encouraging a generation of children who will not accelerate in trying to conquer the hard things that confront them? We give participation trophies for just signing up on a team, even though they do not show up to participate in half of the games. Then, these same kids (and their parents) feel entitled and expect the teachers to give away straight 'A' grades on their report cards even though they have not done the work. Where has this dullness of thought come from?" I think this dullness of thought has come from a few generations sowing sinfulness and expecting liberation.
      Prov. 30:11a There is a generation that curses its.... leaders, teachers, neighbours, nurses, and anyone who has a genuine thought of kindness. The ever-increasing cruelty in life that we are watching unfold has become the world's inheritance. These acts of selfishness are people's expressions of what is in their hearts. Out of the heart will flow the issues of life. Luke 6:45b For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. We are watching the crumbling of human resolve and strength fall apart. What we are seeing and hearing would have been thought insane at one time but is now mainstream thinking for many. The self-righteous declaration of "If it feels right, then do it," regardless of how destructively it affects others, has come back to bite humanity with consequential results. Meditating on cruelty and acting out what the cruelty expressed has become the given within a confused society. Prov. 1:16 They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
      We are not the only ones who have ever gone through this mess and felt the heaviness of the times. Habukkuk was written around 586-BC. Habukkuk is describing the very same things we are witnessing daily. Hab. 1:2 How long, O LORD, will I call for help, and You will not hear? I cry out to You, “Violence!” Yet You do not save. 3 Why do You make me see disaster, and make me look at destitution? Yes, devastation and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. 4 Therefore the Law is ignored, and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out confused. Confused is right! How true a statement that the world is confused and without remedy.
      The Lord said that we would have trials and sorrows, but to be courageous because He has overcome the world and all the cruelty in it. We are to take heart in that fact. Jesus is letting us know that He has overcome so that we may have peace on this earth. John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. One translation says, "Be of good cheer I have overcome the world." Be courageous, be of good cheer, and take heart when we see all the cruel and unjust events taking place around us because the Lord has overcome the one who is causing the mayhem. Be assured, that Satan's days are numbered.
       God asks us to meditate on what Jesus said because His faith-filled words will bring peace to our hearts and minds in the center of all the chaos. If we keep our eyes on the Lord, then the woes of the world will be a noise in the background as we walk with our God. We overcome because Christ has already overcome the hellish disorder that brings distress to our hearts. Keep praying for the loss and one another, and trust in the Lord's victory, then the peace of God will be our peace Amen!

Thursday, 14 July 2022

White-Caning It

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.      
      
      Although many blind folks see much clearer than people with sight, my pastor used an interesting expression that brought a vivid mental image to mind. He described people who did their own thing that was contrary to God's will - as those who were white-caning it through life. Literally, the blind, leading the blind. I could imagine all these people with white canes tapping everything around them and each other trying to figure out what to do next as they followed their personal interpretations of morality and the idea of a successful life. The Lord instructs us to realize that God is in control of our lives, and we are to proceed in His direction with our eyes wide open toward God's plan for our lives. James 4:14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”
      My dream or ideal life goal has always been to own an art gallery. I even picked out the one I wanted in Central America and could visualize what types of art would be displayed in each of the spacious rooms and corridors of this magnificent sixteenth-century Spanish architectural building. There is no reasonable limit to the size of paintings that can be hung and sculptures that could be exhibited because the open grandeur of the edifice could accommodate most artistic creativity and mindsets. I was thinking along the lines that this would be the ideal setting for my creativity to flourish and grow when I start to take it easy in later years. Well, as the saying goes, "Man plans and God laughs," came into play.
      It seems that when I would seriously think this idea through, I would get an interruption from God saying, "You have not finished the assignment I have given you. I will let you know when it is time for a new assignment." What I noticed was that when God said, "I will let you know when it is time..." He was not necessarily saying, "It is time to start your gallery." The use of the word assignment seems to be loaded with - I wonder what He means by that? Then, I would find myself white-caning it through the thoughts of getting the art gallery together, and the logistics of accomplishing it seemed overwhelming. It just didn't come to fruition. I don't feel hard done by, and I'm not at all dramatically saddened that my vision for my life, has not come to pass yet. No, I am at peace because the direction the Lord has taken me in has been rather amazing. My Heavenly Father has brought me to a place where I would never have thought possible. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
      While l was looking and considering the possibilities of opening an art gallery, I was led to start writing. Talk about opposite directions. The idea of writing books was not on my horizon as far as I knew. However, having ten books published to date, God's leading brought me to a place that was beyond what I could think or imagine. Eph. 3:20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. I have not had to white-cane it through the book writing, publishing, or organizing process, because the Lord, in His mercy, has brought the most amazing people alongside me to accomplish what God has set out to do in my life. My heartfelt prayer to God is a request to anoint Miss Jami, Clay, Scott, Masud, and Lee who have put their hearts into making sure my books come out with a standard and beauty of excellence that God can be pleased with.
      I'm not saying I would not have been successful at running an art gallery had I gone with my idea of life's fulfilment. What I'm saying is that moving forward in life with God backing me up in book publication has been a healing balm to my soul and has given my heart noticeable purpose in Christ. I might have missed out on the miracle of being able to leave a written legacy for years to come. This has become important to me because there will be a time in our future when what I expound upon and declare in my books as a writer will be illegal and considered narrow-minded in its scope. The Word of God states that in the end days, the governing authorities will not accept the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord. They will justify their maltreatment of me and anyone who ministers the Word of the Lord by stating that we are anti-humanist subversives who are causing emotional conflict by hurting the feelings of sinners because we adhere to the laws of righteousness in Christ.
      Biblical eschatology declares that my Christian views will not be looked on favourably by the antichrists of a soon-coming day, and persecution may be part of what I have to suffer through to be a lover of God. As Jesus said in John 15:18 If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. Whether you are a pre or mid-rapturists believer, imagine white-caning it through the end times. What a horror show that will be. I would rather have the Lord directing my steps and bringing me home into His presence, than tapping my way through the maze of a demonic world dictatorship. 
      Jesus Christ is Lord! and He is the author and finisher of our faith. It would be wise to let the Lord direct our steps and plans for life so that the finished work that our God created us for, is accomplished. Prov. 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The choice is yours. You can white-cane it through the inventions of your imaginations, or you can walk with your eyes wide open into the magnificence of God's planning for your life. The Lord's wisdom be upon us all, amen!

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Let God Bug You

Proverbs 3:12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

      In the spring of 1986, I was trying to organize my family's return move to Queensland, Australia. The target date to be in Queensland was mid-July and there were all kinds of things not falling into place for a smooth move back to Australia. A sister in the Lord came up to me and said, "I was praying for you, and I felt the Lord say that if you sold your Cadillac, everything would fall into place, and things would go smoothly." She also remarked that this had been a strong impression in her spirit, even though it seemed an odd instruction. My thoughts were, "I didn't think she is that spiritual and most likely this statement was just her own idea." I wanted to sell the Cadillac in the last week before we left the country so that I had reliable wheels till it was time to leave.
      The next day, as I was driving my metallic peacock blue Fleetwood Brougham Cadillac (one of the smoothest driving cars I had ever had to that point) to work, I could feel a nudge starting to bug me, and I speculated that the nudger was God. As I wrestled with the idea of selling the car, my argument kept coming back to the fact that I wanted to sell the car in the last week before we left to return to Australia. However, the nudges became stronger and turned into a conviction that was starting to set in my spirit. By the end of the day, I had unenthusiastically agreed to sell it if a buyer came along. That same evening, I was reading 1Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. I got the strong impression that the Lord was saying I had been bought by Him and everything I owned was His. I then sensed the Lord say that I was not to make a profit on the car because the favour of the Lord was on me and He had blessed me with it at a low price. I was using the car for my business, and because of tax advantages, there was a small loan owing to it. I was to simply hand the car over with the balance due. In other words, whoever got the car was to simply pay off the balance of the loan and the car was theirs.
      What God had said was bugging me so much that I blurted out, "If this is of you Lord, then this will take place so fast and will be so clear to anyone involved." Early the next morning, I had to stop by the Bible college where I was teaching a few classes. In the parking lot, a student, Michael, came running up to me and said, "I was praying last night, and asking God for a big solid car that I will need to go to school and work. I need a car that will be able to handle the mileage that I will be putting on it. I heard God's voice in my spirit say to come and ask you!" At that point, I heard an inner voice say, "Is that fast and clear enough for you?" Isa. 30:21 And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” I said to Michael, "Just take over the balance of the loan and you can have the car."
      His eyes popped and he asked if God had spoken to me?" I said, "Yeah, He has been bugging me since yesterday and last night about it." By 11:00 am all paperwork was done and the car was his. The same day, I happened to get an amazing deal from a rental company of which I knew the owner. He offered me a deal that was less than the payments of the loan. The car he had was a big boat of a car that he was having trouble renting because it was so big. The proprietor said I would be able to use the rental up to the day I left for Australia. 
      The sister in the Lord who spoke that odd instruction, as she had called it, was right. Absolutely everything fell into place in record time. Everything that consists of a move to another country was done, and paperwork was filled out and accepted a whole month before we left. My wife and I had nothing to do except get on the plane and head for Australia. Not only did things fall into place in Canada, but in Queensland, within the first week, my wife and I both had jobs, a furnished house to rent, and a church to attend. Within a short time, we were moving into a house we had bought. We didn't have to do much as God had prepared the way on both continents.
      What I realized is that when God is bugging you about something, then let Him bug you until you obey because the stage is being set to bless you. God loves you and is correcting your choices so that you walk towards the destiny He has set in place for you. Prov. 3:12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. God is not the killjoy Satan says He is. The devil is out to kill, rob, and destroy you, and will bug you to choose sin over life, then when you fall, Satan will kick you when you are down with endless accusations of failure. The contrast could not be clearer. God bugs us with His love to preserve our lives, and Satan bugs us to death to destroy our lives. Not really a hard choice to make here. Let God's love bug you into His kingdom where your life is eternally blessed beyond what you can think or ask. Blessings.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Healing Of The Memories

Proverbs 10:7 We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
     
      Quote, Carl Jung: "I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become."
      She said, "I don't like talking about that, it brings up painful memories, but I want to be healed of my anxiety."  I said, "You can't fix what you will not admit needs fixing." There it is saints, a battle that so many people are fighting and getting nowhere because of their strategy - I don't want to think about it!
     If the memories of your past are not affecting your ability to function, and you feel things are copacetic, then move on and give life the best you can. However, if your memories are haunting you and causing anxious apprehension, which hinders your ability to move forward, then you have to confront that ever-present issue. How are we going to get healed of our past anguishing sore spots that keep showing up if we do not confront them and bring an end to their painful effects?
      When a traumatic memory continually finds its way into our thoughts, then it is time to deal with and forgive the root reason that causes the reoccurring pain. In most cases, we will have to forgive those who did hurt us regardless of how awful the atrocity was, and we might have to also forgive ourselves as much as the others who were involved in causing the hurts that keep resurfacing. Forgiving ourselves is a hard row to hoe. We can be merciless with ourselves and more judgmental than Satan. The problem with this kind of self-punishment is that we end up giving the enemy of our soul ammunition to beat us up with while crying out to God for help. How neurotic is that?
      Once the Holy Spirit prompts a person to acknowledge the hurts of their past, they would be wise to allow God to heal the emotional wounds that person carries. I remember the process I went through when God started nudging me toward forgiving my father for all the evil that he lashed out on my mother, siblings, and myself. It took a few years from the first promptings of the Holy Spirit until I was clear in my intentions to fully forgive my father. Through Christ, the Lord, and by faith, I finally received the healing that was given to me at the cross, and broke the shackles that bound my heart because of the anger and unforgiveness that was living there. The liberation and feelings of peace that filled all areas of my life, could not be adequately expressed or explained. All I can say is that when I forgave my father, I received my healing. Prov. 10:7a We have happy memories of the godly. Was it easy? No, but for me, it was necessary.
      We have to realize that when the Lord is prompting our hearts to reason with Him and become healed from our painful memories, there is no better time to do it. God is leading the healing process and He will guide us through all that is needed to be done in the right way, even if it seems difficult to us. The Lord can be trusted not to betray our exposed souls and raw emotions because His intentions for our lives are always from His heart of affectionate love. Sng. 2:4b And his banner over me was love. God wants us healed and living in His peace.
      There is an epidemic of mental pain and hurts throughout the world and it is just as prevalent in the church. The latest statistics of people who are looking for help because of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and mental disorders of every kind have exploded, and the services available to the public cannot tackle the backlog of people screaming for help. Is it any wonder the number of psychopathic eruptions throughout all aspects of life and locations is manifesting in such irrational behaviour? People who are at the end of their rope, are lashing out with whatever weapon is in arm's reach and destroying anything and anyone in front of them. This is madness gone to seed, because of the raging pain within.
      It is easy to dispense advice and say one should be healed but how does a person go about it? I have counselled people in this area, and I have found a few methods that have worked and helped people take the step of faith toward their healing. For me, my step of faith in becoming healed was to write the whole story down on paper, leaving none of the gory details out. The words written came out in fits of anger and spewed expletives, and that was the way it was. The act of describing the events that caused my deep wounds were a tumultuous and teary experience, but still an act of faith.
      I noticed that once all the horrific events were written down on paper, it seemed easier to voice my words of forgiveness toward my father. Once fully written, I tossed the stack of papers containing the vile story on the table, and as the collated papers slid along the tabletop, so did all the pain that was once in my heart. The old hurting memories were now in the pages that lay on the table and I could see that all the mess described was over there on the tabletop and no longer within me. Hallelujah, there is power in the name of Jesus, who heals all wounds when we call upon His name by faith for our healing.      
      I shared this method with someone who did the same as I did, but he took the process a step further. Not only did he write the whole sordid mess out with snot and tears staining the pages, (I didn't say this was going to be pretty) he then burned the pages as a symbol that his past life was now in ashes and he could rise out of the ashes whole and healed. I have also found that using a confessor who is a trusted friend, minister, or counsellor to spill your guts out and describe the whole pustulent mess in the full vernacular of expression, is also a step of faith forward toward confronting all the structures, devils, and people who were responsible for the past pains and traumas a person may be living with.    
      It is a strange dichotomy that some people can live through the most horrific events and move on without letting anything bother them. Then, there are so many who cannot move forward without voicing a roaring scream that can be heard in a distant galaxy because they are containers of torment. The enemy of our soul is working hard to make sure people remember their past pains while also impressing upon people's hearts to become unreceptive to the idea of forgiving the past that hurts so much. Satan puts in overtime, influencing people to focus on the agonies of the past and the fears of the future so that they do not live a victorious life in the present. The devil maneuvers people into a place where they are torn apart by two opposites of past and future, keeping them unstable in their thoughts and feelings. Their lives become a wasteland and their ability to live stagnates.
      We cannot be slothful in this area of our lives when it is time to confront the burdens of past hurts. Otherwise, our lives will be a mess of thorns. weeds, and broken walls forever in need of repair. Prov. 24:30 I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. Why would anyone want to live that way if they do not have to? The healing of the memories is possible, but you have to want to do it. May God's healing hand be on us all, in Jesus name.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

I Remember When

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
      
      In 1969, I remember when a gallon of gasoline rose in price from forty-five cents to fifty cents per gallon. A lot of people were fearful that they were not going to make it financially. An eleven percent increase in cost at that time was unheard of. The feeling that the sky was falling - because so many people were saying that very thing, made the times seem uncertain concerning the future and everyone's well-being. Of course, looking back, the sky did not fall, and a lot of worrying and unnecessary suffering of the mind, that took place - was for naught. Matt. 6:25 Therefore 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 than food, and the body more than clothes?
      The above scripture admonishes us not to worry or stress when times get hard or are perceived to be overwhelming. This is still a good lesson to take to heart. Lately, many people are expressing their fears concerning the future, and they are making general statements like, "I remember when things use to be much better than today. "Maybe it is the age group that I am in, but I hear that statement voiced a lot. The words "I remember when" seem to come out as an expression of surrendering to life's difficult changes which give rise to a person's feeling of helplessness to do anything about their circumstances. So, they just sigh and say, "I remember when life seemed to be much easier to handle." Eccl. 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. I'm not sure if life was ever easier or if we are choosing a false memory that we find comfort in because we have survived life to this point. But now, because we do not know the future or the challenges that are coming, we are faced with a fresh new set of anxieties. Therefore, we stew in the thoughts of "I remember when."
      What I do know, is that wringing our hands and fretting about all the problems coming upon the earth is not good for our inner peace or our ability to be positive toward our future. Thinking constantly and fearing what we cannot control will affect a person's emotional well-being and the health of their body. The stress will eventually cause sickness and disease throughout their whole body. Job 21:6 When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. This is not a healthy way to live or plan life's goals. Therefore, we have to commit our ways to the Lord so that we get real answers for planning our life in the peace and health God has for us. Prov. 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. 
      God's salvation is for our whole lives, which includes our spirit, soul, and body. The Lord is always ready to provide what we need when we ask of Him. But, there seems to be an indication from God's word that worry and pining for the past interferes with the flow of the blessings coming our way. Worry and stress will weaken our faith in believing that God is for us. Faith is courageous and it humbly steps forward to receive from God what we need to live victoriously. Stress and worry are born in fear, and God has not given us the spirit of fear. Authentic faith believes the love that God has for us, and in the light of God's love, there is no darkness or fear. 1John 4:18a There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.      
      Our Heavenly Father is not against us remembering events from the old days that bring fond recollections and expressions of gratefulness toward God. The Lord wants us to remember who He is. He is the mighty creator who is here for us and He wants us to remember the wonderful miracles He has given us throughout our life. Habitually remembering the Lord throughout our time on earth will help us remember Him when the days are hard. Eccl. 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Isn't that what people are saying when they say, "I remember when life was better than it is now." They are saying, "I have no pleasure in the days God has given me." No Saints. We need to be grateful for the life God gave us and to use our lives to bring gracious pleasantness to a hopeless world full of woes. Lam. 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
      We can sit back and bemoan the fact that things are not as they were. But I would rather remember that when my life was a mess, God, pulled me out of that ugly nightmare to live for Him today. I remember when I was an alcoholic and God delivered me from that addiction so that I could face the challenges of today in His strength. I could sit around remembering a lot of things that are probably worth forgetting, but I would rather remember the blessings and opportunities I have had throughout my life since Jesus became my Lord and Saviour. I remember when I was lost, but now I am found in Christ. That is something to remember. Amen!

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Perspective

Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
      
      Within two days, I heard odd statements describing beauty in opposite terms. A friend was visiting from Louisiana and had noticed some very tall tulips in full bloom. She said, “Those flowers are so beautiful they look fake.” She had to touch them to make sure they were real flowers. The next day, I was at a business establishment servicing a piece of equipment when I heard a customer say to the proprietor, “Those fake flowers look so real I can’t tell the difference.” She had to touch them to be assured they were artificial flowers. It struck me that things are not as they seem. We tend to take things at face value, and once we believe something is real or not, It can be difficult to change our perspective on that belief. 
      The strange thing about perspective is how some people can end up with a point of view that just seems ludicrous. The world is flat theory, has a worldwide following, and they have explanations galore to explain away the ability of ships on the sea and planes in the air that circumnavigate around the world. Big pharma and governments are making sure that all Chemtrails in our skies are filled with toxic chemicals to control the shopping habits of society. Alien Lizard people live among us and are plotting a takeover by introducing climate change to suit their climatized needs to live here and take over the planet. I'm sure you have heard some of your friends and family come up with some of the most unbelievable ideas and perspectives out there. 2Tim. 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
      Our understanding and beliefs can be adjusted by the Holy Spirit if we let God sow His truth within us. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to condemn the new Christians for stating, "Jesus Christ is the Lord." His perspective changed when God knocked Saul off his horse and revealed Himself to Saul as Christ the Lord of the church and the universe. Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!" Not only did the Lord help Saul change his perspective of who Jesus is, but the understanding of Jesus as our saviour was so profound that it changed Saul's perspective of his own life and he became known as Paul the Apostle.
      As ambient light hinders us from seeing the stars at night, so do the ambient attractions of worldliness hinder us and may change our perspective from seeing the glorious light of the Lord that He asks us to walk in. If you believe God is out to get you, then no matter how much you try to satisfy God, your outlook on life will be arduous and bleak. If you believe that Jesus is Lord and you have been set free through Christ's sacrifice, then your standpoint of faith will give you peace and freedom throughout your life. Only after the Lord has revealed His goodness to us can we take on a new view of who Jesus is and discard what the enemy of our soul has been lying to us about all our lives. Prov. 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. God's perspective of us is a wonder to behold.
      I have been asked many times why I read the bible regularly and why I promote the idea of staying current by reading God's word. My explanation is simple. Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who reveals His word to me, I get to see how God sees me and the perspective I need to have about myself. We can get a glimpse through God's eyes of what He sees in us. Even though it is through a glass darkly or a mirrored reflection as the word explains it, we can get a perspective of God's love that He has for us. 1Cor. 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. How good is that?  To have a sense of peace that we are loved and can call on God's name at any time, and to know that He hears us because our perspective of Him is based on His love for us and not what we do. I like that. Blessings upon us all.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Stumbling Blocks

Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
      
      Hebrews 12:1b Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. The statement of caution we are to take notice of - is, "Let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles us." We all have that sin or those transgressions that so easily cause us to stumble. I know someone who fights jealousy to the point of crying about it. I know of a person who cannot stop visiting gambling facilities and is repenting regularly for wasting so much money that he knows God has blessed him with. A few sipping-saints have reported that they are having difficulty stopping their use of alcohol. All these activities are not a problem until they are! Yes, I have my nemesis too. We all seem to have something that just beats us up and reminds us of our constant need for our saviour.
      Someone might say, "The temptations mentioned above, are not a problem to me at all." I could agree with that, but at the same time, we need to realize that what becomes a demonic dragged-out war for one person is not a big deal for another to withstand the temptation. Meanwhile, the sins you fall for might seem so lame to others as they roll their eyes wondering why you just can't get it together. There is always something we are trying to overcome and we cannot do it alone. We need Jesus at all times in all sinful situations to help keep us in the light of His grace. Eph. 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 
      Even when winning our battle over sin, it is God's grace at work within us. Defeating sin is not accomplished through our willpower alone. Sin, iniquity, and transgressions are overcome through the blood and sacrifice of the Lord working within our free will so we can walk in Christ's righteousness. It is all God's redemptive grace and finished work at the cross that gives us the power to overcome any stronghold. The Lord even dresses us up in His righteous armour so we can fight the battles the enemy throws at us. Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
    Cain's stumbling block of jealousy toward his brother Abel, got the better of him because he would not listen to what God was saying. The Lord's warning that sin was crouching at the door of Cain's heart and the sin of jealous anger was waiting to destroy him. Cain rejected God's loving admonition, and the result was that jealousy won the battle. Gen. 4:10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! God's warnings are for us to hear and work out with His guidance so we can defeat the sin that so easily entangles us. It is not a one-time fight and that trespass is destroyed forever. No, it is spiritual warfare that we engage in every time the temptation shows up to tempt our souls again. The good news is through Christ we can win the battles. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
      King Saul's insecurity and inferiority caused him to become jealous of David because of a few song lyrics exalting the battle David won over the Philistines. 1Sam. 18:8 Then Saul became very angry, for this lyric displeased him; and he said, “They have given David credit for ten thousands, but to me they have given credit for only thousands! Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul was inventing a kingdom takeover by David that did not exist. It was all in Saul's mind causing his imagination to create problems where there were none. His insecurities were an entrance for the devil to create jealousies and anger to manifest. The sin of jealousy then created the sin of hatred and murderous rage in Saul's heart. Sin begets sin, and if we do not deal with the sin that so easily entangles us, it leads to uglier transgressions.
      Another stumbling block the enemy of our soul uses - is when we sin, Satan tries to cause us to hate ourselves. This is such a successful tactic. If Satan can get us into self-loathing, it can be a long way back to redemption because we cannot shake the ugly image we have created of ourselves. Meanwhile, God is in love with us, wanting us to come to Him with a repentant heart so we can defeat the works of the devil. While tangled in sin, we tend to forget that Jesus defeated Satan, death, and hell with His perfect sacrifice of Himself on the cross. Rev. 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. This battle has already been won by God. We need to use our faith and act within the Lord's master plan that overcomes any iniquity that becomes a battleground for our souls. 
      If anyone has fallen into sin, then get up, and repent. God has won our eternal souls, and our names are written in the Lord's scarred hands and the book of eternal life. Don't let the failures we have experienced sour the multiple blessings that we live in and that await us through Christ our Lord. We are more than conquerors in Him. Yes, there are stumbling blocks in life, but there are far more victories that await us in Jesus name. Amen!