Monday, 27 December 2010

Reset! Reset! Reset!

At church we have just started going through the Gospel of John.  This Sunday we were taken through chapter 3, specifically the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus.  We were reminded the whole concept around being born again can only be experienced by those who recognize their need to hit life's reset button.

I pressed that button in my 35th year.  Having pressed it I experienced the wonder of grace - the unmerited favour of God.  How many of us, who can truly acknowledge that they have messed up in life, wouldn't like to start over with a clean slate?  I find the real wonder of grace is that God presses the reset button for me repeatedly.  Every time I make a mess of things and go to God confessing my screw-ups He presses the reset button.  In Christ my 'sin count' can always be zero.

So many have the wrong impression of God, seeing Him only as some kind of cosmic bully.  My God is different.  He loves me!  Passionately! 

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Stephen Hawkings' and his Grand Design

Reviewing Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design, The Guardian's Tim Radford wrote "Here is how to create a universe fit for both Stephen Hawking and his readers: first, you need laws of physics that embrace gravity, quantum electrodynamics, special and general relativity and a few other things that are very simple to describe but very difficult to comprehend."  Hawkings, like many other spiritually blind 'experts', devise more and more convoluted theories in their efforts to persuade the blinkered  masses that God is not necessary, they can simply argue Him away.  A classic illustration of the blind leading the blind. 

It is a correct assumption that no one can prove God's existence but God can and does reveal himself to the millions who earnestly seek Him.  Regardless, one can look at nature and intelligently conclude that there is an omnipotent Creator. Conversely, one can ignore the evidence and create theories to suit one's own paradigm.

The real crux of the knowledge of God's existence is that He is Spirit and it is only by his Spirit that He can be known.

Just prior to Jesus assent into Heaven we read in Matthew 28:16-17 "Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!" Ten of those eleven doubting disciples would become so convinced of God and his Christ that they would die for their faith (John died a natural death). Over the past 2,000 years hundreds of thousands of others have chosen to die rather than renounce their faith in the existence of God and the opened the pathway of a personal relationship with Him through the person of Jesus Christ. That is not blind faith.  That is CERTAINTY!  That is KNOWLEDGE!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Reminding myself to remember...

The last time I posted anything to my blog was five months ago. Somehow I've been sidelined by all the 'problems of life' that can so easily distract us from what is truly important. A response to a previous blog popped up an hour or so ago and sent me back there to review it (thanks Phil). I ended up re-reading most of my old blogs and was again left in awe of God's watching over my life. God is that very special friend who,when you feel like you've made a complete fool of yourself and thoroughly messed up, doesn't think you've done a permanent job. And, lest I forget, He sent Jesus to pay the price for all my foolishness. I so want to give God a hug!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Trusting God

I have been challenged in many ways and many fronts in the last few weeks.  Prayer gives peace for the moment but there’s always that, “God, am I doing the right thing?” thought going through my mind.  Often I feel like a deer caught in the headlights and become immobilized.

Last night I had just crawled into bed and, while waiting for Wendy to join me, grabbed the Bible on my bedside table.  It was the Amplified Bible that belonged to Wendy’s mom, Eunice.  As I randomly opened it the ‘God, won’t you speak to me?’ thought went through my mind.  It opened at Psalm 139 with one of the many little notes left by Eunice.  It read: “If one trusts in God to guide him, God can be relied upon to close doors which one might by mistaken convictions try to enter.  Sometimes circumstances may force the Christian to make some sort of move even though he is unsure about it.  But as long as the Christian is moving, trying to find the proper way, the Lord can actively guide him, opening a door here, closing a door there, until he arrives at the proper place.”  A tear came to my eye as once again I realized how much God cares for me.  I thanked Him, read Psalm 139 and went to sleep.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

I am not a bigot and I am not homophobic! I am a forgiven sinner.

In the past 48-hours a lot of [mostly unprintable] vitriol has been sent in my/our direction.  The two words most commonly used have been homophobe and bigot.  I vociferously deny being either. It has become all too apparent that the word 'liberal' (in respecting other's opinions) has become a one-word oxymoron!

From Wikipedia:

A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is an intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. When the fear is beyond one's control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.

I/we do not have a fear of homosexual individuals.  That we do not condone their lifestyle does not make one homophobic.

The word Homophobia first appeared in print in 1969 has become a word exploited by those with who have an explicit pro-gay agenda to attack anyone who is in disagreement with them [rather than using it in the true meaning of the word].  Their typical use of the word is, in fact, bigotry.

Again, from Wikipedia:

A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of obstinacy, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing devotion. The origin of the word bigot and bigoterie in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of "religious hypocrite". Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views.

I/we are neither obstinate nor intolerant.  Simple belief, expression of opinion or disagreement with others does not constitute bigotry.  That I believe the Bible is the Word of God, that Jesus is the Son of God and that all men and women sin (self included) does not make me a bigot.

Finally, from the great resources of Wikipedia:

In religion, sin is the concept of acts that violate a moral rule. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Commonly, the moral code of conduct is decreed by a divine entity, i.e. Divine law.

The word ‘sin’ is an olde English archery term meaning to fall short of the target.  In the Bible this means to fall short of God’s perfect standard.  As such, throughout all history ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’  And that, thankfully, is just where Jesus comes into the picture... and why I constantly live in the wonder of grace.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Changing Paradigms - Becoming a Creationist

Coming from an atheistic background it was easy to accept the concept of evolution.  Today it's taught not so much as a theory but as fact.  I would carry this belief system with me into my Christian life.

In 1986 I found God.  He was always there I just didn't recognize Him.  Having got my attention, I was introduced to the Person of his Son, Jesus Christ and thereby entered into a personal relationship with Almighty God.  It sounds unbelievable even as I write it.

Upon my confession of faith I believe I was given the spiritual gifts of faith and encouragement.  That is faith in God and His Word and the ability to encourage other followers of Christ in their faith (we live by faith, not by sight).  I would brag that, "If God said it - you can take it to the bank!"  Such was my confidence in the truth of God's Word.

This past weekend I was invited to a Creation Conference by a close friend.  I went there more to encourage my friend than for any real, personal interest.  But, it turned out to be a Divine appointment.  In the very first session of the conference the very foundation of my belief in the Holy Scriptures was challenged - by God himself.  David, either you believe all of my Word or don't bother with any of it.  You can't be selective in what you believe.

I had always been taught that the Creation account in Genesis was open to interpretation, but as the presenter talked (not about evolution or Creation specifically) rather about what the Bible said, and how the Bible said it, I was convicted of the error of my ways and the false understanding I would share with anyone who had the time to listen.

I remember when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, that is 'born again', how the Words of Scripture came alive.  It was an amazing experience.  Well, I can say that this past Friday evening it was as if I was born again, again.  As I reread the Genesis account and the genealogy in 1 Chronicles, it was if my spirit was illumined. There was an inner peace and affirmation as I grasped the [old] Truth.

The next day the presenters (both former atheists and one a PhD in geology) explained the Creation account from a scientific perspective and the bad science on which evolutionary theory is founded.  We all know what Jesus said about the man who built his house on a weak foundation.  Their presentation factually explained what I had come to accept by faith the previous evening.   I had faith and knowledge.

Jesus reminds us of the First Commandment, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart (passion), with all your soul (faith) and with all your mind (knowledge).  Our faith is never to be blind - it must be steeped in knowledge so that when our faith is eventually challenged it holds firm because it is built on the foundational rock of knowledge.