Sunday, July 25, 2010


The wife and I are sitting here in the living room with a bored dog and a cat that wishes the dog would go away. It is raining outside, cold, wet, and nasty. So much for a nice summer day in Alaska. I am still thinking about the message from Pastor Mark this morning. He made a comment that really resonated with me: Focus on God, absorb His character, and your character will be changed. I thought of the the old movie The Blob where people are absorbed by it. When my son was little,  I used to cover myself with a blanket,  crawl on the floor, shouting "Absorb" and try to cover my son. This is a poor example but best I can come up with. (: This poor example illustrates the fact that our creator wants us to know Him in a close and personal way, and the best way to do this is to get close to Him. Study His word and follow it; Pray, which is just talking to God really; Find a Bible teaching church and learn about your creator.
All for now.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

strength from fear

At the Thursday night online Bible study I attend, we got talking about strength from fear, a line from the Crystal Lewis song “Beauty from Ashes”. Here is a portion of the song.

He give beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

A question was asked about strength for fear and how to understand that phrase.
Proverbs 14:26-27 states: He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

I like Matthew Henry’s comment on these verses:

Where this reigns it produces a holy security and serenity of mind. There is in it a strong confidence; it enables a man to hold fast to both his purity and his peace, whatever happens, and gives him the boldness before God and the world.

Some other verses:
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

After some discussion, we decided that as long as we have God in our hearts and a strong unshakeable belief in Him, we will be protected by Him. We will have a peace that no matter what happens, God will be there to help you and I through this life.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comments on Jacob and his dream (From Mark's sermon)

What struck me today about Mark's sermon was his comment that most of the significant events in the Bible did not happen in church. Any place can be that certain place where God meets us. He met Jacob in the middle of nowhere; Jacob had nothing - a rock for a pillow and his father's blessing. Just as He met Jacob in that certain place, God shows up in ordinary places and will never condemn us, because we are a broken people and God does not condemn broken people. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can’t get no satisfaction

What satisfies you?

Food? Money? Cars? Sex? Things?

But do these things really satisfy you?

Another angle may be to ponder your own funeral. What do you want people to say? Is there any hope beyond the grave? The only two certainties in life are death and taxes :). If there is hope beyond the grave, then live your life backwards with this long term view in mind.

From creation to now man has been looking for something to fill an internal longing for significance. For something more than the short time they have here on earth.
From Greeks and Romans gods to Shintoism in Japan to Jainism in India all with their various gods to monotheistic ones like Islam, Judaism to Christianity, all are searching for a relationship with God.

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself. [Pascal, Pensees #425]

427. Man does not know in what rank to place himself. He has plainly gone astray and fallen from his true place without being able to find it again. He seeks it anxiously and unsuccessfully everywhere in impenetrable darkness. [Pascal}

Man, writes Loren Eiseley, is the Cosmic Orphan. He is the only creature in the universe who asks,“Why?” Other animals have instincts to guide them, but man has learned to ask questions.“Who am I?” man asks. “Why am I here? Where am I going?” Since the Enlightenment, when he threw off the shackles of religion, man has tried to answer these questions without reference to God. But the answers that came back were not exhilarating, but dark and terrible. “You are the accidental by-product of nature, a result of matter plus time plus chance. There is no reason for your existence. All you face is death.” Modern man thought that when he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that
repressed and stifled him. Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed

W.L. Craig writes: For if there is no God, then man’s life becomes absurd. If God does not exist, then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to death. Man, like all biological organisms, must die. With no hope of immortality, man’s life leads only to the grave. His life is but a spark in the infinite blackness, a spark that appears, flickers, and dies forever. Compared to the infinite stretch of time, the span of man’s life is but an infinitesimal moment; and yet this is all the life he will ever know. Therefore, everyone must come face to face with what theologian Paul Tillich has called “the threat of non-being.” For though I know now that I exist, that I am alive, I also know that someday I will no longer exist, that I will no longer be, that I will die. This thought is staggering and threatening: to think that the person I call “myself” will cease to exist, that I will be no more! The Absurdity of Life Without God

Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

King Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, had wealth beyond measure, wisdom beyond any man of his time or ours, hundreds of women, palaces and gardens that were the envy of kingdoms, the best food and wine, and every form of entertainment available. He said at one point that anything his heart wanted, he pursued. And yet he summed up “life under the sun”—life lived as though all there is to life is what we can see with our eyes and experience with our senses—is meaningless. Why is there such a void? Because God created us for something beyond what we can experience in the here-and-now. Solomon said of God, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men...” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In our hearts we are aware that the “here-and-now” is not all that there is. The theme of Ecclesiastes is that life is meaningless without a relationship with God.

The unease of atheistic life was typically expressed in a question without an answer by one of the characters of André Malraux: "What is to be done with the soul, if there is neither God nor Christ?" (La condition humaine). The soul is what makes a man human. To ask what is to be done with the soul is the same as to ask what is to be done with oneself. In one way or another, we always solve this question in the act of living our lives. But are we always satisfied with our solution? "LIFE WITHOUT GOD AS AN ATTESTATION OF GOD" from THE MAN WITHOUT GOD
Volume 15, No.2 - Summer 1969

“Thou hast made us for Thyself O God, and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” St. Augustine

In a fallen corrupted world, people keep searching and searching, like frustrated channel changers, never finding what satisfies (and often never turning off the TV to look elsewhere). Ultimate satisfaction can be only found in God, the gracious giver of all good things. We were made for Him and we will never be satisfied with less. Coming to grips with this is one of the great keys to Christian living. As long as we hold onto the illusion that we can find what we’re looking for somewhere else, we’ll never give ourselves fully to God. It’s easier not to. And yet, in the long run, the easy road we choose proves to be much harder than the hard road we turned away from. Randy Alcorn

Relationship with Him is what God desires for us

• the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected Oxford Dictionary

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth. ( We are acting as God’s agent to represent His claim to kingship over His creation)

the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. ‘Gen 2:7 (Our relationship to God is unique among the creatures that He created. We, humans,, are servants to God and stewards over the creatures of the earth.)

We are connected with God because we were created in His image and His creation shows His majesty

Acts 17:16-34 NIV
16While Paul was waiting for them (Timothy and Silas) in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. (Epicureans and Stoics Epicureans were followers of the Greek philosopher, Epicurus who died in 270 B.C. He was an atheist who taught men to seek, as their highest aim, a pleasant and smooth life. The founder of the Stoics (Stoicks) was Zeno (300 B.C.) He taught that a man’s happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. In practice, they were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. )
Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. (17:22 Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill. In the Areopagus. Those who were there considered themselves custodians of religious matters. Let the reader keep in mind that this address was spoken in the literary capital of the ancient world, the most cultured city of the earth to which every Roman who sought a finished education resorted to complete his studies, the home of philosophers, orators, sculptors, painters and poets, and the great university where many thousands of strangers were gathered for study. This ancient city of so glorious history is the modern capital of Greece, and has about 100,000 inhabitants. People’s NT)
23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. (The word reach out here means to touch or handle so as to ascertain the existence of an object, that we may know with assurance that it is real.) 28‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Aratus and Cleanthus)
29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, (tradition holds that he became Bishop of Athens) a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
(Notations in red from the NIV study Bible and Archaeology study Bible)

• “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for thee, O God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2)
• “My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is not water.” (Psalm 63:1)
• “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house: you give drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:7-9)
• “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)
• “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
• “Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture said, streams of living water will flow from him.’” (John 7:37)
• “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost form the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6)
• “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)
• Isaiah 26: 8-9 states, “Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you”.

Relationship with God – God is there for you. His creation speaks of His love for you
Relationship with ourselves – Realize that only God can truly fill the longing in your heart.
Relationship with others – Stick close to other believers so you will be encouraged and taught. But also, go into the world and represent Christ to those who don’t believe.

We humans are hardwired for a relationship with God and have been seeking Him since the beginning of creation.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The basics

Just to make sure I am understood I would like to define the following terms using the second edition of the new world dictionary. Tolerance - a tolerating or being tolerant, esp. of views, beliefs, practices, etc. of others that differ from one's own (pg 1495). Tolerant - to recognize and respect (others beliefs, practices, etc.) without sharing them (pg 1495). Diverse - different, dissimilar (pg 411). Diversity - variety (pg 411).
So, based on the above definitions, if all groups with a different background than myself - I have a conservative christian world view - those groups should respect my opinion and allow me to express my views without being bashed, belittled, put down, ridiculed, etc. I will be tolerant of others opinions and viewpoints and recognize that people have varying views. That does not mean that I will not question some of their beliefs, opinions, etc.