Hearing God: Can you hear me now?

July 7, 2009

Hearing God: Can you hear me now?

So many times you hear Christians say “I don’t know what God wants me to do” or “If I only could hear what God is saying” and such. It seems to be such a sticking point with so many, what did God say, what does He want, how can I do what I’m supposed to if I don’t know what that is? All those questions are about one thing.

Hearing God.

It is many times not the “doing” of God’s will that can be so frustrating for Christians (and here I mean REAL Christians who are on their walk of discipleship) but knowing how to follow Christ in the first place. Many times we seek the path, but don’t know which way to go. It makes it rather difficult, if we can’t hear, to avoid the pitfalls of “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 KJV).

It is so important NOT to following our own ways that God even said it twice in exactly the same word. God tells us things for a reason, I think we need to pay attention to what He is saying. As I always say we can’t do what we don’t know to do. In other words, we NEED to know what God is saying, and then obey. It is necessary to our walk of faith.

So this is all about “hearing” God. I am no expert, just another sojourner on the path home. But I believe if we can understand the principles of hearing God, then we can use them not only to following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but that it will draw us closer to our God, and keep us in the living center of His will.

Or within the living center of His purpose, His power and His plan!

His purpose is to bring us home, just like the story of the Prodigal Son. His power is the strength He gives us to meet the challenges along the way, it is that which saves us, supports us and gives us the power of His might in our lives. And of course His plan for our lives, the destiny, the calling and the mantle He places on our lives that accomplishes all the aforementioned.

So like the phone commercial, God is saying to us “can you hear me now?” We need to be able to say back to Him, “yes Lord, I hear you!”

The Basics

“Be still, and know that I am God…” — Psalms 46:10(a)

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” — Hebrews 13:21

What did you say?

Have you ever thought to yourself that you really don’t know what God wants you to do about this or that concern? Or perhaps you have spoken to a friend that says, “If I just knew what God wanted me to do I would do it”? In each of these incidents it is concluded that you just can’t “hear” God and what He is trying to say. That it is too difficult to get connected and know what God wants you to do.

Some even goes as far as to say that you can’t hear God anyway. Cessationalists, people who believe the gifts of God no longer operate today, will tell you that He doesn’t talk to us anymore at all, citing a function of the Holy Spirit that does not manifest in the present day, that that time has passed. Or that you can only follow what is in the Bible, as it is the only voice God has given us to listen to. These are the things many professing Christians truly believe, however, this is far from the truth.

We must always remember that God is the same today as He was in the past, or even will be in the future. God never changes. (Hebrews 13:8 ).

What actually keeps us from hearing God, besides our own unbelief, is that we are too busy with life to stop, be still, and know Him. A good starting point here is to know what know means. It is very interesting and enlightening study. The following definitions are taken from the OneLook Dictionary Search (accessible online at http://www.onelook.com):

1. know; verb: be familiar or acquainted with a person or an object
2. know; verb: be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about
3. know; verb: be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt
4. know; verb: have fixed in the mind
5. know; verb: have firsthand knowledge of states (state of being), situations, emotions, or sensations
6. know; verb: perceive as familiar
7. know; verb: be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
8. know; verb: know the nature or character of
9. know; verb: accept (someone) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority

Let’s take a look at each of these nine aspects of what it means to “know” someone or something. In this case to understand how to know God, and what we should do so that we will know Him. We will then begin to get an understanding of how to hear God and to be guided by Him in our lives. In other words, how we can effectively build a dynamic, and interactive, relationship with God.

This is important in our walk of discipleship, because we are called to be disciples in Christ. In Luke 9:23 it states: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me…” (KJV). How are we to follow Christ if we do not know where He is going? Yes, we have the Bible and it tells us the principles, tenets and the details of our faith and how to follow.

First, it is vital to our walk of faith to know what is within it’s pages. But our relationship with God, once established, is also a dynamic, living connection with Him and He speaks to us through it. He guides us, correct us, supports us, and of course, answers our prayers. So we need to be able to hear Him, and obey.

When a person disciples themselves to something, they must understand it, live it and make adjustments along the way to accomplish it, no matter what it is. Like a master of any endeavor they start out as a novice, then an apprentice, then a journeyman and finally a master. Their tutelage is to a master of the craft, and in following him they learn their way about and deepen their understanding, until one day they too are a master in their own right.

And this is expected of us in our disciplining to Christ (Roman 8:29).

Let’s get acquainted

(1. know; verb: Be familiar or acquainted with a person or object)

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” — John 7:37&38

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” — John 6:35

First we must know that God exists and that He can, and does, function in our lives. In other words, we must first be followers of God and the Lord Jesus Christ in order for us to have a relationship with the same. How can we have a dynamic communication with someone that we don’t even believe exists or are familiar with in the first place? So we must then know that God is there, and be acquainted with who and what He is. This, of course, is the first step we must take.

To understand WHO is God.

We are not here to explore and discuss Salvation and becoming a Christian. This is for those who are already Christian, and are seeking a more real relationship with Him. Where there is no separation and where they can hear His voice and know His will. And again, to establish a dynamic relationship between us and God. And when I say God, in this sense I am speaking of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The triune God of our faith, and with whom we have a divine heritage through Christ Jesus.

This of course is a function of belief. Faith follows as we exercise our belief in God. We become acquainted with the personage of God, and just as importantly, we establish a relationship with Him. Any time we pray, we are establishing and exercising our relationship to God. Any time we study the Word of God, we are establishing and exercising our relationship to God. And there more examples, but the underlying truth is that when we seek God, in prayer, in study, in worship and so on, we will find Him.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” — Matthew 7:7&8

So what really happens when we find God? We, in that moment, establish a link to Him, a moment in time when we have a relationship with Him. And in that moment we know Him, can communicate with Him, and more importantly, He can communicate with us. The question is “can you hear Him?”

So what we have so far:

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives

But do I really know you?

(2. know; verb: be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information; possess knowledge or information about)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” — II Timothy 2:15

Now that we know of God’s existence, we must understand what God is all about, how He does things, and what He expects of us. There is only one way to get that information, and that is through research and study. We can’t do things that we are supposed to do if we don’t understand what those things are. We are held to a different standard under Grace, however, the law still has the effect of judging sin when we are not living by Grace. So we must understand what this living under Grace is all about, otherwise we are judged under the law (Roman 6).

And all mankind falls short of the glory of God.

Remember that it is the Word of God that gives us the power to understand how to live life. II Timothy 3:16 states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Our purpose, when we are truly Christian, is to live a life of righteousness that we may gain an holy reward and be with our God eternally. It is why we are walking this walk of faith.

So if we don’t know what faith is, what Grace is, what God expects and what His laws, promises and unctions are and do, or have affect in our lives; then how can we apply them in our lives? We aren’t able to, so therefore we must understand them in order to live by them.

This takes study.

So we see that in order to hear God, we must understand these things and how they apply to our lives. We must also understand how to apply them IN our lives. We must seek understanding, not of manmade doctrines, or the “isms” of the world, but in what God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the men and women of God (being divinely inspired and moved) actually said. We must discard the filters of men, and how they perceive the things of God, and perceive for ourselves.

So we see the need to be responsible for our own faith. We are the only ones that can deepen it, widen it, and apply to our lives. We are the only ones that can establish a real and dynamic relationship with God, our father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our beloved Holy Spirit. We are family, and we can not interact and live with our family through the minds and actions of others. WE must establish and live within our familial ties with God.

We are God’s kids.
So we must learn what it means to be God’s kid. We must have the information and understanding of it, then live it. It is expected, it is part of our son/daughtership in Christ and it is the adoption to our God (Romans 8:11-17).

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth

I believe in you

(3. know; verb: Be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt)

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”
— Matthew 21:21

The second step is that we must have faith in God. In order to have faith in God we must first believe in what God is all about. This of course leads us directly to Christ, in whom we must place our trust. Trusting Christ is an act of belief and faith. First that we believe in what He teaches, and then having faith that what is taught is the truth, that it has the power to effect change in our lives for the better. That the heavenly goal is real and tangible — without doubting the truth of it.

Believing in essence means “being” and “living”. Being a Christian means that we know the truth, it is part of who we are. Living as a Christian mean the we live those truths daily, constantly and consistently, again as disciples of Christ. Christianity is not just something that you do (living it) but also WHOSE you are (being). So this dynamic believing is truth of our walk of faith. It is not only the what, the who and the why, but the how of our faith as well.

Faith extends from this, as you don’t place your faith in something that you do not believe in. That would be foolishness. But we must understand what we believe in first. We then can take that and make real and alive in our lives.

We can live it.

This is the walk of Christianity for this is our walk of faith, and this is what faith is. In this we build an awareness and regard for the truth, without doubt because we now are beginning to know that God is real and seeing Him act in our lives. We believe in Him, the truths He teaches, and have faith in Christ Jesus, and trust that in doing so, will place the power of God in our lives to effect dynamic change.

We are that much closer to hearing God.

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth
3. We must have faith in His truth and believe without any doubts

Heaven on my mind

(4. know; verb: Have fixed in the mind)

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” — Matthew 6:22

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3

Here we understand that we must constantly be aware of our relationship that we are building with God. This is accomplished by setting our minds on godly or heavenly things. Too often we are consumed with our own lives, in other words, we are NOT still-ing our world in order to focus on God. Work, family, and other concerns fill our lives so fully that we lose sight of our connection with God. It is important to note that the very quality of those concerns, is firmly founded on our connection with God and how He does or does not interact in our lives.

In other words, if we are focused on other than God, then how can we put God into those things? What we are focused on is what we will reflect in our lives. We focus on lack, then we will only see and react to those things lacking in our lives. This will make our lives bleak and lifeless. But if we focus on the abundance in our lives, we will have a life abundant and overflowing. This makes life vibrant and joyous.

Just think if we are focused on God what our lives would be like!

So it is important to be mindful of not only our connection with God, but how it impacts and interacts in our daily lives and to apply our relationship with Him to our other relationships that we have in life. In other words, change our focus.

We don’t have life and then add God, we have God which adds quality to our lives. So, this is how we draw closer to Him, in that we place His will in the living center of our existence and effect powerful and lasting change in our lives. It becomes a living and dynamic focus of our lives. It is when we leave God out of the equation that we lose our ability to connect with Him and hear His voice.

It is in following these steps to know God that we firmly connect ourselves to Him and begin to understand His purpose, power and plan for our lives.

1. We must know that God exists and that He functions in our lives
2. We must understand the principles of our faith and God’s truth
3. We must have faith in His truth and believe without any doubts
4. We must place God in the center of our lives

By Jonathan Payne: http://theenochcovenant.com

Two Horses and the Bell

July 1, 2009

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing….
Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing.
If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.   Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.
Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell.   It lets the blind friend know where the other  horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends,  you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse,  and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk  to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two  horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

God watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way….

Good friends are like that… you may not always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.
And remember…

be kinder than necessary-everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly…..

Natrual Highs

June 24, 2009

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the super market.
5. A special glance..
6. Getting mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake (vanilla or strawberry).
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling..
14. A good conversation.
15 The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you
19 Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for ab s olutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you’re beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke with FRIENDS
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips wi th friends..
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38 Holding hands with someone you care about.
39 Running into an old20friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone’s face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the su nr ise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you’ve done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

Pass on These Natural Highs

Find more at Single Christian Network

Christian singles dating

June 15, 2009

Christian dating sites are just like other dating sites that help you find your perfect match, but what sets them apart from others is the fact that they are mainly focused on providing their services to Christian singles. These sites promoting Christian singles dating serve as online matchmakers to the Christian community by using the power of the internet to bring people closer to one another through convenient communication means.

There are many Christians living in the United States but with so many of them around, why is it still difficult for them to date? As an answer to that problem, there are Christian singles dating services offered on the internet. These services make it easier for you to find new friends while ensuring that you can date like-minded individuals. Nowadays, you can find many Christian singles dating websites on the internet. It is also easy and fast to sign up for these services and become a member.

Christian dating sites have contributed a lot to the success of Christian singles dating by allowing their members to mingle and interact easily with like-minded individuals. Whether you are searching for a soul mate or you simply want to participate in casual dating or find new friends, joining these dating sites for Christians can benefit you in many ways possible. The good news here is that you won’t have to worry about meeting people with questionable conduct and morals.

There are services that come with a price while there are those that are entirely free. There are also those that allow you to sign up for a limited period of time and then requiring you to subscribe for their services later on to unlock extra features or to continue using your account. However, don’t let the price or the number of features determine how beneficial the site can be for you when it comes to Christian singles dating. In fact, there are free services that contain simple yet effective features with a lot of success stories to share.

Single Christian Network lets you sign up for free. Upon signing up, you can already gain access to our site’s features that allow you to meet new people and find the one who is destined to you. The Single Christian Network hones a caring, dynamic, and fun place where you can meet fellow Christians. In fact, we have a lot of success stories about our members who ended up together. Learn more about the Single Christian Network and its benefits to your love life in this website.

Keep the Sabbath Holy. What does it mean?

May 16, 2009

First one must be cogizant of the fact that the Law (Mosiac) is still enforce. It is the Law that judges sin, it is Grace that bears mercy to believers. Both are intact and functioning. However if you sin and walk from underneath Grace’s covering you stand squarely in the Law. So how do you walk from Grace? Sin. Which is the breaking of the Law. The 10 Commandments are the foundation of not only Judiasm, but Christianity as well. Christ said He came to fulfill them—not do away with them. If you fulfill a promise to someone that you will pick them up after work, and then do so, you have fulfilled your promise. Does that then mean the promise has no meaning? Does that mean if you promised to do it every day, that the one time you did, negates the rest of that promise? No and no. The same is true of the authority of the Law, it is not negated! So looking at the Law (or commandments in this case) we must first note that it is NOT the 9 Commandments, or the 10 suggestions. And as a commandment from God, He is not looking for our input, or if we want to do as He says—it is a command meant to be obeyed. Therefore Christ observed Shabbat every Friday night to Saturday night. He spoke in the synagouges on that day, and many other things as well, to glorify God and place the focus on Him. Christ did this in everything He did. “I do nothing save my father bid me to do so….” (paraphrased) So Sabbath keeping, or Shabbat, is a manditory unction of the Law. You do not keep the Sabbath you break the Law, and that is sin and you have walked from out of the covering of Grace, any willful sin does this. Many will say that these ordinances of God do not apply today, ignoring completely that God said it was an “everlasting” covenant, and one Christ Himself kept. So do we believe, or have we given the authority of God to someone, or something, else? The authority is God’s and no one else’s. The Catholic church, by the declaration of a catchism (sp?), claimed the first day of the week holy. Their contention was, and is, as the only true church they have the authority to change it. They note that the only true protestant churches are the ones that convene on Shabbat. The others are obeying their ordinance, whether with knowledge or not, thus reinforcing the authority of the RCC. This was addressed directly in the 1500’s when the church issued it’s position that they, not God, had changed the day. In actually the changing of the day to Sunday was to claim authority over the pagans who worshipped the literal SUN on that day. Now the church covered all areas of authority, and solidified Roman rule over ever facet of society. Remember that the RCC was the ecclastical arm of authority of Rome. It was born as a political entity, not a religious one. That only (the declaration of the RCC), the very admission that God had issued this command first, tell us the validity of the Law—and the RCC’s need to circumvent it. SDA, Seventh-Day Baptists, and many other churches follow the First Century Church’s adherence to this Law. Some will cite about the disciples meeting on the first dayof the week, this does not speak to the ordinances of God, but rather a tradition WITH Sabbath observance by the disciples. That is all. Even if we could take that scripture out of context, and many do, where do we get the notion that the disciples, humans all, could circumvent and change what GOD had ordained? They didn’t, couldn’t and didn’t even try. This also speaks to the claim some have that it is written not to judge or condemn those who choose another day of worship. Yes it IS written in the Bible, but like Paul’s admonishment to Peter, it was addressing evangelism and not Christian observance. The Judaic roots of Christianity were still prevalent at the time. Even today, Messianic Jews observe many of the traditions of Judiasm. This was so then as well. But everyone has an opinion. In the end only God’s counts. So if every Patriach, Prophet, King, Disciple, Apostle, and the Begotten Son Of God Himself, kept the Sabbath day of Friday night to Saturday night (after the commandments were issued) can we do no less?

 Be blessed, be loved and be at peace, Jonathan

Jonathan has a blog here: http://www.adeeperfaith.com

What Does God Require?

May 8, 2009

I got a thought about this. I’ve thought this for a long, long, long, long time. Like, for years and years.

What God requires of you, might not be what God requires of me.

This principle is caught up in the parable of the talents. The man with 1 talent could not do the things of the man with 10 talents. And he wasn’t required to.

Jesus required more of the 12 Apostles than he did of a poor blind man that lived his life by the pool.

A homeless herion addict that eats in the soup kitchen and has just met the Lord probably can’t keep up with you, or us. It is OK for him to walk a bit slower, and to stumble some. Whereas you, you are required to do more because you know better. You’ve developed some strengths. You’ve learned how to resist some temptations.

God didn’t require you to do all the things you do now way back when you first met the Lord.
I hear you preach some Cattleman. I know God didn’t require you to do that way back when. You had to grow first. You had to learn some things. You had to get stronger.

I think sometimes we try to transpose “our” gifts, and skills and talents and our STRENGHTS into others.
Sometimes that does not work.

If you tried to force that herion addict to live up to the expectations that you have for yourself, then I’d challenge you. I’d say – “Back off.  Leave him alone.”

When we do that, we are way to often only encouraging them to backslide because they just can’t live up to that yet. We heap guilt on them, make the way too difficult and we give them burdens that they can’t carry.

So – they give up. And, it is our fault. We drove them away.  I’ve seen this so many times it is quite sad.
And then we blame them. “Oh, they just couldn’t cut it. They couldn’t keep the commandments.”  

We lay burdens on people that they are not ready for. And we justify it too. “The bible says so.”

Now, in some other threads we’ve been talking about marriage and divorce.
Some have said “If God requires me not to get married again, then I will obey.”
And I say to that – you bet. You would be obeying the commandents as you know them and as you have the strength to do. So, you should live that out. Anything less would be wrong.”

I gave the illustration of an immature teenager getting married on a drunk lark in Vegas and then us trying to force OUR lives into her life and forcing her to live in imprisonment all of her life. To that, I say we are wrong.
There is a place in this thing we call life where we deliver forgiveness and we accept that level of repentance that they are able to give.  

Some are able to repent at a certain level – and that is where God’s forgiveness meets us.

Here is where the church must nurture others in the faith. The church must bear their burdens and accept that degree of repentance which it is possible for them to achieve.

What I see way too often – is seasoned, mature Christians trying to transpose their maturity and strength into others who just aren’t there yet. And we heap coals of guilt into them and we push them down into despair because they just don’t measure up.

And, to that – I say “Shame on us.”  

We don’t demand that a 6 month old baby do the same things as a 10 year old boy.
Even a mature man of 30 who has little educational skills and people skills, we don’t demand of them that they become the president of a major corporation. We don’t demand that they become school teachers. We don’t demand someone who can’t read to become a newspaper editor.

So, why do we demand some of these things on our Christian brothers and sisters?

I’m perplexed by this.

Let’s learn to help each other walk, and encourage each other to grow.

This might be a little of of the intended topic, but it did seem to fit. I hope so. Carry on.

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AIG Bailout

March 17, 2009

AIG just received $85 billion from taxpayers. This, of course, is in addition to the $30 billion bailout received last year.
Whew! That was a close call.
For a moment I thought AIG might actually go under. After all, a group of executives have run that company into the ground at the tune of a $65 billion loss last year. 

$65 billion loss. Wow. Whoever was running that company was apparently making some boneheaded decisions.
So, what punishment does AIG dole out to these guys who ran this company to the tune of a $65 billion loss last year? A cut in salary? A demotion? Fire them?

Why no, they gave them $165 million in bonuses of course!

Well, if that doesn’t make you smile, the you might consider that they also spent $440,000 entertaining themselves at a spa. A $440,000 spa treatment? Do they charge extra for massages and facials when the client is millionare client who is paid by tax payer dollars? It seems like they must.  Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that those millionare executives could afford their own massages and didn’t need tax payers to pay for them? Wondering bout that…..

Finally though, taxpayers are angry,  and now it seems AIG has gotten the message. They went hunting partridges in England at a cost of $86,000. Seems to be a fair reward for making poor business decisions doesn’t it?

The hunting adventure seems small potatoes though, as now we find that AIG is continuing to pay for a luxury suite at Madison Square Gardens. Do you know what a luxury suite (sweet?) costs at Madison Square Gardens costs? Best not ask if you don’t want to pout the rest of the day. They won’t let you into that suite unless you are an AIG executive who helped the company lose $65 billion. You’ll have to pay cash for nose bleed seats like the rest of us.

AIG defended their hunting party on the grounds that it is an annual event and was planned before the bailout. Perish the thought that after losing $65 billion in one year, they might take another look at what might be a prudent way to spend money, or at least cut back once they are put on the public dole.  Have any executives at AIG considered the possibility that they lost $65 billion dollars because they were making poor business decisions like spending money recklessly on spas, bird hunts and luxury suites?

AIG head Sebastian Preil said the following: “The recession will go on until about 2011 – but the shooting was great today and we are relaxing fine.”

I feel much better.



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Jesus and Muslims

February 16, 2009

You do not treat an enemy with the same respect that you treat a brother in Christ or even a stranger.

I do think Jesus had something to say about that.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

I know we are quoting the Koran here in order to find out how bad a particular religion is. Perhaps it is better to quote the Bible to find out how we should respond to this religion.

The question is not, “Is Muslim a good or bad religion?”
The question is, “What is the Godly/Christian response to this religion?”

If we believe that the proper response to this religion is with hate, then what better are we than they? This is the same question that Jesus asked. Even the “bad guys” love each other. That isn’t hard.

I know people will say that we should hate the Muslims and/or kill them.
I am one that disagrees.

I also believe that Jesus taught something different, and we who are to call ourselves followers have a greater calling than to respond with hate.

Are the Muslims your enemy?
Are you a follower of Jesus?
Then do what Jesus said: “Love your enemy, pray for them,” and hardest of all perhaps – do good to them.

Why 40?

January 21, 2009

Anyone have any insight to this? Why 40? I am going to study this. Does it relate in any way to the seed which fell on good ground? As we are to be “tree’s” “grafted into the vine” which is Christ. I wonder, I am going to study this to see if I can find understanding.

Anyone who knows, please do tell, I am very curious.

Gen 7:4 – Rained 40 days and 40 nights
Exo 24:18 – Moses on Mount Sinai 40 days and 40 nights
Exo 34:28 – Moses fasted 40 days and 40 nights
Num 13:25 – Israel spied out the land 40 days
Num 14:33 – Israel wandered 40 years
1Sa 4:18 – Eli led Israel 40 years
1Sa 17:16 – Goliath taunted Israel 40 days
1Ki 19:8 – Elijah’s trip to horeb took 40 days and 40 nights
Eze 29:12 – No one will be able to pass through Egypt for 40 years
Jnh 3:4 – Jonah preached Ninevah would be destoryed in 40 days
Mat 4:2 – Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights, then tempted
Act 1:3 – 40 days and 40 nights between resurrection and ascension

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We are one in the body

December 11, 2008

When I raised my own family the decision of one would affect the rest. When my son made a foolish mistake while working at CompUsa and tried to impress a friend by not ringing up his DVD and slipping it into the bag, he wasn’t the only one that paid a price. Oh, he suffered for sure. He was led out of the store in handcuffs. I got the call when he was at the juvenile dention center. Then it was my turn to suffer. I was scared FOR him. I spent that night taking care of the things needed to get him out of there. I spent another 6 months taking him to court required meetings with probation officers and the other required items.
His small mistake affected other people. He was not the only one affected.

When I was growing up there was enough trouble caused by me and my siblings to affect the whole family. One of us didn’t pay the price. We all did. The whole family was impacted by the decisions of one. Was it everyone’s fault? No. But we all shared the burden of a mistake. I shared the consequences of the actions of my brothers and sisters.

When I cut my hand opening a can a while back, my whole body hurt suffered along with my hand. I had trouble sleeping. Had trouble typing. I didn’t feel like doing normal things that I might have done. My life was altered because of something that happened to my hand. My body was affected by a body part.

Now listen to what Paul said in Corinthians speaking of the body: “If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. “

I have other brothers and sisters outside of my immediate family. Not just within a church body, but within the body human. My actions affect my neighbors. The actions of my neighbors affect me. We are all connected – intricately.

If I think of “judgement” as the lashing out by God to punishment I perhaps misunderstand. If I see judgment as the natural result of my decisions things become clearer. In the same way that my human body is affected by the pain of an appendage, we as the body of Christ — and the body of humanity — all do experience the judgment of God because of the choices and actions of our fellow travelers. If someone harms my loved ones I really do experience that “judgment.” I experience the pain, and the loss and the suffering even though I may be completely innocent. I hurt for and with those people. If I make stupid decisions and do harm to someone else, then not only I will experience that judgement, but the person I harmed will suffer, and the people around that person will suffer. We are all intimately connected.

When we start seeing this intimate connection we might stop thinking of “us” and “them” and stop seeing good guys and bad guys and seeing some people as the “enemy.” Instead, we’ll see that we are all brothers and sisters – yes, even those people that we don’t like. We are all composed of the body of humanity.

So, will I be judged for my ancestors decisions to keep slaves? You bet I will be. WE are paying the price for that right now. All of us. The struggles that one race still goes through in America is a direct result of the actions of our forbears and we all still experience that struggle with them.

Slavery is only one example. Humans have made so many terrible, horrible choices, and today, we as society and civilization still are recovering from those choices. Entire nations, countries, races, peoples of all walks of life are affected. They are experiencing that judgment. The innocent people in Iraq are paying the price of decisions made by other people including their leaders and the leaders of other countries. That country will be suffering for a long time, for generations.

When Jesus said that sin would be carried on to the 3rd and 4th generations he was not eliciting and indictment as much as statement the truth. What I do affects my children, and their children, and their children. What we all do affects the rest of us.

Some might disagree with the labels that one might choose to use to express this judgment, but the reality is the statements of Jesus are coming to pass. Innocent people today are suffering from the result of the  decisions of others. Call it judgment or the result of consequence — It is the same thing. And yes – innocent people experience it along with the guilty.

Now, listen to what Paul said again about the body. This time expand your thinking of what the body is. Think of the body as being all of us jointly connected as humans. The body of humanity.

 As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.

Now the body is not a single part, but many.

If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.

Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.

If they were all one part, where would the body be?

But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.”

Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary,

and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety,

whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it,

so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.

If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy