Where is God in the midst of tragedy??

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Right there in the middle of it, and I can state that absolutely and categorically because He is grieving with those who grieve, and perhaps more so because He can see things from both a worldly AND a spiritual perspective, with the repercussions for a life wrongly lived so much more clear to Him than us.   All of us, no matter how strong we may feel our relationship with God is, suffer from a devastating shock when He appears to have suddenly withdrawn His providence from us and instead has thrust us (like Job) into what we consider to be horrific circumstances we feel He should be protecting us from.   Our initial response stems from our errant prideful attitude that just because we have committed our lives to Him that He somehow then owes US!   And that if we are being “good” we shouldn’t have to suffer in any shape or form.  And that sense of entitlement ironically is often escalated in those who rarely give God a second thought in their life.  Many in the privileged West think they’re doing a great job in how they live their lives – they treat others well, jump in where they see injustices (perceived or real) and give regularly to charity.  How’s that not “good” they ask?   Well, in humanistic terms and even in superficial spiritual terms yes, all those things are indeed good and in fact commanded by scripture for those who do know God and are true Christians.

But what many either don’t know or certainly don’t appreciate  is that while those traits are good in human terms God has categorically stated through His Word that nobody is good – not one of us, as we all regardless of our spiritual state continually sin against Him one way or another in thought especially if not in word or deed.   And this is what sin is at its root – a refusal (directly or indirectly) to give God His rightful place in our lives.  And this is why death entered the world – God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden or he’d die but then Eve easily accepted the lie of Satan that they wouldn’t die but rather have their eyes opened to good & evil, and so when she didn’t drop dead the minute she ate the fruit, she persuaded Adam to do so too and that, as they say, was that!!  Not only did death enter the world physically but spiritually as well and mankind has paid the price ever since.

But the story didn’t end there as God told Satan that his day would come for his part in man’s downfall – that One would come who would ultimately destroy him and so it was.  Over 2000 years ago, Jesus gave His sinless life as a sacrifice on the cross as a final means of payment to God for ALL of mankinds crimes against Him, past, present & future.  BUT that gift of a reprieve would only be offered to those willing to acknowledge their sinfulness to start with, then repent (tell God they were truly and deeply sorry for their rebellion) and to acknowledge and accept Jesus as their ONLY Redeemer.  It would take too long here to go into all the aspects of salvation if you’ve not encountered them before.  If you do want to read more – check out my other couple of posts on the topic  So you want to go to heaven? WHY????    and  Every nanosecond counts..   Or if you want even more check in the sidebar for the Categories section & click on the Salvation tag.  The point here is that God more than understands the pain of death – He has created us in His likeness which means He has many of the emotions we feel, and one of the primary is grief.  Many times in scripture He says about how sad we’ve made Him or our actions have grieved Him,   We tend to think of Him sometimes being so high & mighty that He never feels anything let alone feels for us in our suffering.  But even more evidence of this is present in Jesus own walk on this earth – we’re told He wept over Lazarus dying and Jesus is God in human flesh so He understands more than anything the pain we feel on losing a loved one.

Then finally God had to allow Jesus to be born into His own creation, live amongst them not as their Creator and King, but rather as a lowly carpenter and itinerant preacher, before allowing His creation to brutally torture Him and kill Him in one of the most unimaginable ways of its time and to hold back the legions of angels just itching to rescue Him, because this is the price He himself had to pay in order to have creation once again made whole.

I appreciate some of the finer points of redemption can sound strange if you have no interest in such or are searching more analytically than spiritiually, but the main point is to just appreciate that God isn’t what man makes Him out to be sometimes.  DIscover the true God in the pages of scripture and learn more about how He loved you enough to die for you!!

Heading to heaven?? Part 2

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Finally getting this up after losing it in the Drafts box for a year or two.  Oops!

Well, perhaps you might then be interested in re-reading the first post I made on this topic first as the two sort of dovetail together.

What I really wanted to focus on in this post is the chronic disease of assumption that has hit so many in the world today.  If you were to ask a large group of individuals with any vague notion of scripture, and the Christian God etc they would pretty much all say they “hope” to go to heaven without any concept of what it is other than what they’re reading in the secular press, the latest fictional book or some film that makes heaven look like a continuation of life here just for longer & more peaceful!!  Most have the idea that those who’ve gone before them are all up there and moreover watching everything they do and “rooting for them” down here.  And of course there’s also a slew of modern day “I went to heaven & came back” novels avidly read by all and many times foolishly accepted as the real truth.  Heaven forbid (pardon the Pun) that anyone should ever read the reality about our final destination in the Bible – that would be too boring!!

The point is – everyone thinks they’re going to heaven but Jesus says:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matt 7:13-14

What He’s really saying is that when it comes to finding the way to heaven, it’s not going to be the easy one that just somehow “is” or “happens” or is a given in any sense, and that if you stop to think about it sensibly, if EVERYONE could ultimately go to heaven bar a tiny TINY minority (since many don’t even count murder a bad enough sin to prevent access) then what would be the point of life here.??  Or indeed what would be the point of death?  And especially what would have been the point of Jesus being the ONLY PERFECT MAN to walk this earth to die and be resurrected (proven fact) from the dead, saying that the purpose was to provide teaching on God’s Love for His people and how they could get to heaven to be with him.

Jesus also said definitively – “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – nobody can get to the Father but by Me“!  John 14:6  There was no arrogance in that statement – just pure fact.  If you are by any chance interested in knowing more on that score -then check out some of my other posts:

Weak religions trying to appear strong, ,  Are you a New Age Christian? and Every nanosecond counts.

So, if perhaps you’re one of those who’s been guilty of meandering through this life without really giving the next one any great deal of thought, know this – Jesus really IS the Son of God, He really did live and die for a particular people and purpose, and He really IS going to return any day soon and once He does (or if you die before that day comes) then it will be too late to suddenly determine that you were wrong for not accepting your need of Him as Saviour.  God says we are all sinners and not one of us is good in His eyes, because He is a righteous and perfect God and thus when we die He will judge us as our Creator and find us guilty unless we have someone in that heavenly courtroom able to mediate on our behalf and be our defence.  And that’s where Jesus comes in – because He’s not only perfect but also because He alone has lived a perfect human life and submitted to God’s Will perfectly to die as a sacrifice to pay that ultimate price on our behalf.  And I know that’s where many struggle – some think that God’s into human sacrifice – He’s not – but from the outset He stated that there had to be a price for sinning that was high enough to show the huge crime of it in His eyes and thus blood sacrifices were instituted.  It’s a much larger topic than I can cover here but

Heading to heaven??? Part 1

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I can’t tell you how many people I hear say that they are a “Christian” yet when asked about any particular tenets of the faith or indeed of their own Christian walk, are left speechless and unable to answer because they are little more than what I term “cultural Christians” – those who believe they have a right to the title because of where they live,  I vividly remember a conversation I had with a Roman Catholic lady in a staunchly Republican are of West Belfast.  We were all attending a meeting with a shared interest in a medical condition we each suffered from, so at least had that in common.  Somehow the conversation turned to religion – a dangerous topic at any time in our Province but definitely a no-go one in the heart of IRA Belfast for a Protestant at any rate.  Yet I stood my ground.  It went something like this…. Me “I’m a Christian”, “Her “Sure, isn’t everyone?”  Me “How so”  Her “Well, if we’re not Christians, then what else are we?” Me “But Christianity isn’t a right, nor a hereditary faith” Her “Well, I’m not a Muslim, not a Hindu, not a Protestant, nor any other religion, so I’m a Christian.  I live in a “Christian” country so I’m a Christian!!”.  After another 10 minutes bouncing the topic around by the end of which she was starting to get just a shade more antsy than I wanted given I was there to talk about my role as chair of a medical charity, I had to just let her have her view and hope that what little I did manage to say about “true” Christianity might be used to turn her around at some later point.   But sadly in this little part of the world, religion has come to be more than a hot button topic given how many lives have been affected by the actions of those insisting on using it as a weapon complete with actual weapons to back their views up.  But before I finish this little portion, let me just be very clear on one thing – the “war” here has never been about religion.  Sure, it’s been used to whip up sentiments and attitudes etc but the Troubles were always primarily about power, control & eventually money – on both sides.  Left to themselves, here as elsewhere, Protestants & Catholics can live happily together and often forge lifelong friendships (one of my very best friends currently is an RC girl who connected with me through my charity work.  In the very early stages of our developing friendship we started discussing our differing views on faith, and discovered we had polar opposite views on many important topics from abortion and sexual attitudes etc, to who the Black Pope was etc, yet never once did it impact our friendship to any degree.  If anything I think it’s strengthened it – we don’t discuss faith matters as much these days purely because of circumstances but are very comfortable doing so nonetheless).

Belfast itself has more churches and chapels per square mile than probably even the Bible Belt in the US and is only now beginning to see an odd one being taken over for demolition.  Yet during the “Troubles” it was still interesting to see how the Protestant paramilitaries (more than the IRA) insisted their part in the war was for “God and Ulster” somehow totally missing the 6th Commandment as if God would somehow be pleased with them for continually breaking it.  But while the IRA never openly put God anywhere in their statements much, they were many times equally tied in to religion in some sense usually through priests who had no problem burying “volunteers” having a firing “squad” sendoff or Chapels providing safe haven for others etc.  But aside from all of that, most of those involved on both sides saw themselves as “Christian” “good Catholics”, or at the very least likely to make it to heaven.  Even murderers often think they have a right to heaven!!

If you’re not a Christian in any sense of the word let alone a “true” one, think on this.   If everyone could just die & go to heaven, what would be the point of living here?  After all, if there is a heaven to start with, then obviously there is a God Who created it and logically also the universe, earth & everything therein, and He could have obviously just not bothered creating us to live on a decaying planet in decaying bodies etc.  He could have just kept us in heaven to start with and save all this hassle.  But He desired more from us than initially mankind (aka Adam & Eve who by the way were real people!!  I’ll write up something on why you can believe that soon) wanted to provide Him – love and a reciprocal relationship.  Should have been easy don’t you think, but sadly there was a fly in the ointment aka Satan, who told the first lie to Eve, who determined she then knew better than her Creator and His “rules”, and the rest is history.

So ponder on all those things and if you find you then maybe are intrigued enough to return for Part 2 I’ll outline a bit better on the dangers of assumption of your eternal future and guide you on how best to ensure you DO end up in the most desired final destination.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

If you believe in evolution then you need to learn biology…

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I never cease to be amazed at how supposed intelligent rational thinking scientists forever put that intelligence & rationality in their back pocket when it comes to the subject of creation.  Why do they prefer to consider that mankind “evolved” from apes & monkeys (& all the way back to single-celled organisms) rather than consider we are created by an awesome God?  They twitter on about all the “evidence” for evolution and throw out crazy figures like 150 million years ago in the hope that the more they bandy about such terms the more society will accept them, & sadly, for the most part, they’re right.  Too many nowadays prefer to get their “truth” from television & biased BBC programs rather than actually investigate any alternative, lest it point them in a direction they truly do not wish to ever go.

dna_500 But there is indeed evidence in abundance in every single living creation on the planet to prove their theories are wrong, yet when faced with it, they just shout all the louder that they are right, & creationists are so very wrong.  But I have no concerns of their erroneous position ever actually becoming the right one, as while they can warble on endlessly about fossils, carbon dating & other things they insist point to evolution, I just sit back & throw out one word which they really can’t deal with as it invariably throws 90% of their arguments out the window.  And that one word – DNA.  Yep, the basic building block of life – the life that evolutionists insist had to start out as nothing & then become something without any Divine input!!  Yet without DNA no life can exist and not just DNA but its counterpart – Messenger RNA.  You can’t have one without the other, & both are arguably the most complex protein molecules on the planet.  But we’re expected to believe that somehow time & little else produced DNA as well as everything else.   But the evolutionists neatly sidestep that whole thorny topic of how DNA came into being given it’s a zillion times more complex in itself than the first organism in the chain that’s supposed to somehow end up with mankind!!!  However, even an article in Evolution News & Views alludes to the design in mRNA as well as throwing out another long-famed argument of evolutionists – that of “junk DNA/RNA”.  It also accepts the enormous complexity involved in just a single 4-amino acid sequence coming into being and how mRNA is considered even more complex than DNA due to its dual role in DNA production.  For life to be formed from all the materials we have available to us from scratch, we would have to engineer or design it to function, and that’s the whole point. Life has the appearance of being engineered, and points in the direction of a Designer & one with a rather exceptionally higher level of intelligence than us!!

But the evolutionists, utterly intent & locked into their worldview, continue to just consider all of this information, while bothersome, to be just another thing that the passage of time will sort out, & in their view prove their hypothesis.  In other words, no amount of alternative evidence, regardless of how concrete will ever convince them otherwise, because they’ve all too much to lose, from credibility through to major investment in research projects & employment etc.   Sadly it’s a flaw of human nature that sometimes when we fix our worldview & opinions in one direction, few are willing to truly consider any objections to it lest they prove right, & then huge decisions will have to be made which may change lives.

But even if you’re dead set on accepting evolution as a worldview I’d still suggest you consider your reasons why!  Is it because you’ve just accepted all you’ve heard about it and figure it makes sense to you – in that case I’d suggest you go and spend a bit of time doing some more meaningful research into your opinion before fixing it.   Or perhaps you’ve spent most of your life pursuing the evolutionary aspect and thus to ever consider it errant or faulty, would be to have to accept you’ve wasted most of your life, & madna-detailed-structure-5ybe face criticism & ridicule should you change your views now?  I would just ask – what’s worse – continuing to live in ignorance & accept something that even on the most basic level is utterly flawed, or seek out the more plausible reason for everything you know – a Person Who can provide more than just answers to creation questions, but answers to sin questions etc too.  Or is it because you really don’t want to consider a Creator God just might be real and if you accept He created everything, then other things you don’t want to accept might just be true too?   Then you do have a serious dilemma – ultimately whether you accept evolution or not as a worldview isn’t going to kill you, but denying God & ultimately the existence of Jesus absolutely will, not just in this lifetime but eternally!   It’s far more important that you get to know the Saviour of the world Who will determine your eternal future, & in doing so, you’ll also find a lot of your creation/evolution questions answered along the way.   Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, & the Life, & only in Him can you find real life both here & eternally.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”   John 14:6

“…..but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel….”    2 Timothy 1:10

If yankerberg-show-512x288-v1ou are in a position of genuine desire to know all angles of the issue, and you’ve heard all the evolutionary “evidence”, then please consider spending some time hearing this mini-documentary on the John Ankerberg show a while back – The DNA enigma.  It might not provide all the refutation possible, but will go a long way to countering much of the error pushed out from the evolutionary camp, and from a Christian point of view.  If, however, you’d prefer a secular scientific approach then you could check out http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/20025768653/of-codes-and-rna but be warned this is a fairly complex topic.

Ultimately, every argument has 2 sides and thus each person has to make their choice on which side they will stand, but at least ensure that you’re standing on a side you’ve comfortably researched until convinced of its worth, rather than just standing on a viewpoint because it’s where your peers are or others you respect, or worse, because you’re just too lazy to bother finding out the truth of it.

As ever, I welcome comments, but please provide them on the basis of the evidence, & not my writing ability etc!  Thanks.

Christmas Greetings

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mother1-nativityYet another year has disappeared faster than I can understand looking back over it, but one I’m quite glad to get to this point in without any further hospital admissions since my last one last month, and with a vague hope that I might actually now manage to stay out a lot longer than before, I’m hopeful of at least seeing the year out from home!!

Goes without saying it’s had a major impact on my blog writing which has been almost non-existent through the year.  However, if the Lord provides me the health I desire, I should hopefully pick up a bit through the coming year.

Today is the first major celebration in the Christian Calendar and always a joyous occasion into the bargain as we celebrate reconnecting to family & friends, and sharing gifts.  There is much in the Season yet to remind us of its true meaning despite the ever increasing secularism of society.

May God bless you all as you celebrate the remainder of this wondrous time of year and I pray you all have a wonderful New Year next week too.

2012 – it’s not the Mayan calendar you need to worry about…(Pt 2)

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**Please see my earlier post on the same topic from last year.**

For the past 2 years or more, the world has been somewhat fixated on 2012,  as they’ve presumed the ending of the Mayan calendar means the end of the world.   However, many historians have proven how the Mayan calendar only ends in 2012 because the Mayans figured it was as far a date into the future they needed to concern themselves with in the presumption that others after them would continue on the calendar (which of course never happened).  It’s a bit like the early computers which only had dates pre-2000 & which everyone figured equally somehow meant a similar fate to the world when they rolled over into the New Year.

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Is God schizophrenic….

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Following on from watching a TV programme “Tsunami- Where was God?” some time ago, I got to thinking about how the presenter had talked to those in other faiths (primarily Hinduism, Islam & Buddhism) using the generic term “God” in his conversations with them, asking questions about whether they felt angry with “God”.   The glaring obvious error he was making was in assuming that they worshipped the same God he himself supposedly did in being a somewhat lapsed Catholic.

This is a fundamental error too many make in the world today whether through ignorance or design.   Whether the world likes to know it or hear it, there is only ONE God – and His name is Jehovah.   And the reason I can stand on that statement is not through arrogance but rather revelation.   There is only one God who has not only created everything and told us about it in extensive terms (both physical e.g. creation & written i.e. the Bible), there is only one God who has revealed Himself to the world in human form i.e. Jesus, and there is only one God Who has provided a reason for and an answer to the age old problem of man’s sin/evil, through Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross, and there is only one God who has provided the surety of heaven for those who are willing to accept their sinfulness, repent, and submit to Him and His Will for their lives.

The gods of other religions are false and glaringly so much of the time.   The god of Islam is a god of war not peace and promotes fear, deception, and angst amongst most of his followers who have no peace of anything much nor any surety of what will happen to them when they die.   Their religion of “peace” is a facade, a veneer which got overlaid on the faith after 9/11 in a means to appease the West temporarily and to promote the idea that muslims weren’t seeking trouble.   However, the years since have shown that while there may indeed be many peaceful muslims their religion is certainly not one promoting peace with a plethora of verses that provoke followers to kill Jews & Christians wherever they may find them.   Deception and fear are twin cohorts in this faith that uses them when it suits to force people to submit.   And if they don’t – well the edge of the sword will maybe help them but if not, they can be swiftly despatched without concern.  Again, I say – this is NOT the God of the Bible Who is being followed in any sense of the word.   Indeed the glaring obvious difference is that the God of the Bible has a Son – Jesus – who is the Saviour of the World, and I contend that that fact stands whether both Jews & Muslims deny its truth.

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.  By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’  Isa 45:22-23 

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