An inevitable discussion..
This April i will devote most of my time looking up on cults, false teachings and its affiliations, its concepts, ideas, and methods of manifestations of our minds. The enemy is intangible and the battlefield are our minds. Alot is going on, alot are proclaiming, and it seems to me in the midst of all the progression and advancements taking place globally has blinded many people or robbed people of their time to really care and address what on earth is going on. I will draw upon many works of other people, as well as the Bible, for that is where we Christians should resort to FIRST, in ALL circumstances.
It's inevitable that we must debate issues like this, or things like stem cell research and Terry Schiavo. The times now would mark divides in Christianity become more apparent, the notion that religion is a bothersome hindrance to the progression of mankind, and the love and peace with which Satan masquerades himself and his hidden agenda will loom upon this world with delight and ascend upon our futile minds.
I won't know for sure how long will i blog on these topics as being in April now, time is a rare commodity. I've got exams and assignments pouring in this month, and i'll spend whatever time i can afford on blogging.
Quake hits off Indonesia
An earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off the coast of Indonesia today -- on the same fault line that originated a December 26 earthquake that launched a deadly tsunami. The director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said scientists there feared another tsunami might hit the area. "There is a potential for some wave activity
," said Julie Martinez, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.
Please pray for the people in those areas, pray for their lives and for early anticipation of what ought to happen for measures to be taken in areas affected.
"For in due time, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself." - Romans 5:6
Happy easter everyone! It sure is a nice weekend to be heading out here and there. We've lightsped our way all the way to the end of March now and it sure is refreshing to come across a significant weekend to reflect upon. But what are we reflecting about in this day?
Easter is a day to remember the glory and triumph of Christ over Satan and our sins. His resurrection puts him on the right side of our Heavenly Father's throne interceding for us and building the bridge by which we would walk to heaven. We are reconciled to the God who seeks to know us personally by the blood of Christ. Lest we slack and take things for granted...
For life is not a bed of roses, and after Jesus had been crucified and subsequently resurrected, his teachings have not died. He had came down to die for our sins, and left us with teachings that we should abide by, for obedience is greater than sacrifice. Let Easter serve to us a reminder for the troubles that Jesus had to go through in order to save us from eternal damnation, and not deviate far away from the Word.
Let us not wander astray for Satan has not given up hope to reclaim our souls. I need not remind the state of this world that we live in, which masks Satan's hidden agenda.
But one which perhaps does not seem so hidden afterall yet sinister enough to convince us that Satan does know where to start is this story.A Christian leader—we’ll call him Steve —was traveling recently by plane. He noticed that the man sitting two seats over was thumbing through some little cards and moving his lips. The man looked professorial with his goatee and graying brown hair, and Steve placed him at fifty-something. Sure the man was a fellow-believer, Steve leaned over to engage him in conversation.
“Looks to me like you’re memorizing something,” he said. “No, actually I was praying,” the man said. Steve introduced himself. “I believe in prayer too,” he said.
“Well, I have a specific assignment,” said the man with the goatee.
“What’s that?” Steve asked. “I’m praying for the downfall of Christian pastors.”
“I would certainly fit into that category,” Steve said. “Is my name on the list?”
“Not on my list,” the man replied.
Common Ground, Vol. 10 No. 7Source: http://www.bible.org/illus.asp?topic_id=386
Now how could we all Christians slack amidst such devotion into bringing down our leaders? The thought of this is scary, but it's just one of many ways we are being edged out. Easter is a time to celebrate, but we cannot afford to be negligent and underestimate Satan.
Know that a 3-inch tongue can kill a 6-foot man
With reference to my previous post; Apply Matthew 18.When you speak in truth & sincerity, you are doing out of love not of spite. We are called to set ourselves apart to stand in the gap & pray for the oppressed, the sick & the needies. Why then, do we need to be concerned with the behaviours of many, who serve not to edify you but to bring you down with thoughts of criticism, judgment & condemnation? God did say that vengeance was His. We give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. There is so much power in the words that proceed from our mouths. Remember God spoke & the world came into being. If we are made in the image of Him, how much more can these words bring forth? Especially when we have the Christ living within us? How much more could we proclaim if we do not proclaim in the name of Jesus?
This comment was made by pummkin under the comments section of my previous post "This is the way with some of us
" which i found extremely encouraging.
This is the way with some of us
is quite a commentary. A bold uncompromising Christian living beside compromisers speaking his mind. and the truth too might i add.
For your convenience, if you don't feel like clicking the link
, this is the part i really like from the article:"The problem with the progressive wing of today’s Church is not that the devil makes us do bad things - “smoke, drink, chew or go with boys/girls who do” - but that we are so damnably quiet, so status quo subservient in our niceness, that we ignore the Spirit’s leading and play patsy with the most seductive temptation of all: namely, to go along in order to get along, which is natural for us and all human beings, given the innate hunger for bread, power and entitlement all of us harbor." - Joseph Sprague
It's not Greek nor is it hard to understand what implication this paragraph serves to show. It is true that people value companionship with high regards, that some people would go a certain distance for friend. At times for us as Christians, it goes beyond what we are supposed to do. We compromise, we keep quiet, we stand back, stand still, tremble, we ignore, we contemplate, we question ourselves, we accept, and we allow the feeling of being accepted to forge ahead of our priorities in life.
Don't misinterpret me. I am not asking people to sever any ties with people who do not share the same views or hold the same beliefs as you. But rather to speak up, aloud of Christ and do not be ashamed of Him who is greater than all of us. Why do some of us profess our faiths so timidly as without regards for the Saviour who purchased our souls with blood? Why do we keep the knowledge that Jesus came down to save us from eternal flames to ourselves?
Our Bible is being defiled, our rights to voice as Christians are being limited, the Bible is being disregarded with many of people's own interpretations and yet our community is so damnably quiet. It's like we're sitting here basking in all the pleasures and glories of this world, forgetting we serve a sovereign God. If we sit tightly and quietly too long, we risk losing our voice to voice out the truth later on.
Easter is near. Take a friend to church, or go out as a family and rekindle the REAL significance of Easter. Speak out, and let us all rededicate our dicipleship and follow after Him all the days of our lives.
Isn't God supposed to make life easy and cool?
Isn't going to church and worshipping God supposed to make everything easy and cool?
Apparently not. I'm perhaps echoing the sentiments of many bloggers out there, who seem unfulfilled by church-going. Who desperately tries to find 'home' in churches, who are deeply affected by people who are fake but appear in church all the time, who wonder what in the world is going on with their lives.
I'll say that perhaps if feelings such as these follow you wherever you go, it's good
(im not crazy/stupid). It probably means that many are genuine in their search for God, trying to use hope and faith to seek Him. Obviously we all hope we would be able to go to a church we are comfortable with and we step into church with faith, believing God has set the right path for us. But the emptiness sets in, the feeling of devoid in the people around you sets in, the hypocrisy of the congregation sets in.
This i believe is implanted by none other than the Devil himself. The eternal liar and the father of lies. The Devil is cunning in all its schemes. He takes advantage of your desperations of looking for a church, the emptiness you feel inside. He creates negativity in your mind and your thinking about the church. He takes advantage of our confusions, and fused them with lies. Although i must not attribute everything to the Devil, i believe, if you were genuine about going to church you WILL face temptations not to go, you WILL meet people you wished you hadn't known.
It is simply illogical that the path to the Kingdom of God would be a smooth one, for why would Satan allow you to get to know God better so easily? Why would he not tempt you? Why would he not try to confuse you? Why would he not try to make you feel empty? Why would he, out of all the perils he can bring to you, not find something to inflict upon you and hinder you from experiencing the great joy of going to church? I might add that the decay of churches of the world is not something many Christians themselves would freely admit. We have to pray harder than ever for our churches to stay together, to stay in the Light and to preach the word.
If we weren't really genuine (not going for the sake of going, or to boast, or to feel good, or to give yourself a chance to sin since God would forgive my sins when i ask him to) about going to church and building relationships with God, treating church like a Sunday morning activity, that is all we're ever going to get. Appointments in church but nothing much more than that. Life in church would be easy and cool, but unfulfilling.
Bear in mind that life as a Christian is not easy. If we were earnestly seeking God, life would be hell. Satan would present to you hell at its highest temperatures. If we were walking in line with the world, there is no need for Satan to make life a living hell because we've got an eternity of hell to look forward to anyway.
So let me reiterate that it's normal for life to be hell. You just have to stand firm, hold strongly and deflect all the negativities about the church from your mind. If you still consciously have doubts, don't give up, just try another church and pray harder. God listens. And yes, God does make life easy and cool, but we often underestimate the existence of Satan and how he can manipulate us just like he did with Eve (and Adam) and make life hell, confusing, depressing and empty.
Ways God uses problems
Five Ways God Uses Problems :-
The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you - depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing toconsider what benefit they might bring. Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:
1. God uses problems to DIRECT you. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
2. God uses problems to INSPECT you. People are like tea bags... if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? "When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience."James 1:2-3
3. God uses problems to CORRECT you. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something by losing it. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." Psalm 119:72
4. God uses problems to PROTECT you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem - but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management's actions were eventually discovered. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good" Genesis 50:20
5. God uses problems to PERFECT you. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you're going to take with you into eternity. "We can rejoice when we run into problems... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." Romans 5:3-4
Here's the point: God is at work in your life - even when you don't recognize it or understand it. But it's so much easier when you surrender to his plan for your life.
God Bless You
Note: this was taken from an email forwarded to me, and i wish to note that i am not the original author.
Where does adultery begins?
"Do you not understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man." Matthew 15:17-20
Adultery, like sex, is beginning to lose its meaning, opting for a more literal sense of the word. Sex, is regarded as a fun activity, something for any man or woman in love (even love now has many meanings) or even not in love but are fond of each other's looks/physical attributes. It's pleasurable, in the case of some women, validation (as i've learnt from watching Sex & the City, something of it that i will post both here and skitzels
). Sex can be communication, speaking of adoration or love. But mostly, sex is the course of action by which a man inserts his penis into a woman's vagina.
Matthew 19:9 quotes Jesus saying, "And i say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexuals immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
When does adultery occurs in the definition of our society?
I have read in some blogs of experiences of being cheated, the various circumstances in which they tell of it. Some consider fondling, the holding of hands to be a form of adultery. Some say not until they have sex. One particularly dubious one, when i asked him if he considered oral sex with a married woman to be adulterous, was that he said, no. And after that, i asked him if your wife had oral sex with another man then, he answered "YES".
There were some who said that if they lied to them and went to see another woman, it was adulterous behavious. Those reactions above are mainly by women, unless noted otherwise. When i asked some guys, it was ever only about physical confrontation. They can give group hugs, not one-on-one hugs, look eye-to-eye but not touch. No fondling. No sex. But they wanna have physical confrontation with others, wishing for women to be ultra tolerant.
And i read with dismay, how certain couples resort to using fantasizing other people to enhance the 'effect' of their sex lives. How during sex with her partner, that a woman would dream about another guy doing his thing with her and vice versa. How much of this action constitute adultery? (many sex therapists actually encourage this, bothers me to no ends)
Pornography. I've read many a times in CLEO mag (reading off my gf's mags) about confused women who write in to tell that they found their boyfriends or husbands watching porn, having porn, or downloading porn, stacking porn mags somewhere safe and etc. But they cannot decide for sure, where does the adultery begin?
Quoting from healthynewage
"For the male, desire and arousal may begin by just the sight of a beautiful woman. As any man can tell you, love at first sight can happen - men respond incredibly to visual stimuli."
It happens. I believe it happens all the time, to both man and woman. We are sub-consciously eternal sinners, and consciously tempted every second of our life. But God has this to say to us:With men, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
The answer to the question posed in the topic lies in Matthew 5:27-32 which reads:27 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 "But i say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already commited adultery with her in his heart. 29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 31 "Furthermore it has been said, "Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 "But i say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."
Even Jesus can't please everybody!
While on my way to my uncle's house (mother's brother), had a brief discussion about church, the length of services and about pastors with my mum and HER aunt (my mother's mother's sister).
My mum was quoting of how her aunt reacted when my mum said that the service was 2 hours, gasping, "wah so long ar, come out earlier la, my church sermon 10 mins only."
But as she sat there, she was so taken aback by the message ministered to her that when the sermon finally concluded, she went, "so fast over already?"
Mum went on to quote her about the whole time in church, how she said she'll walk out in the middle of the sermon or so, sceptical about the preaching and all. After it was all over, she felt as if God had ministered to her through the pastor, and she kept wanting to go back for more.
I liked my church pastor; he talks lots of sense at times, and while some people thinks he's quoting the Bible in his own way, i'll assume that God is working marverlous works through him.
I told my grand-aunt, "Even though we sing praises about the pastor, i still know of some people bashing his style, his preaching and his interpretation of God's Word. Some find themselves outgrowing what pastors have to say about how to live life." (something i feel is a shame, how could one outgrow God's word, or outgrow living in the light of His Word)
My aunt, coming out of her stride of using Manglish, said, "The church will always have its doubters. But what can a pastor do? He can only preach so much on a Sunday. Let's face it, no one can please everybody. Not even Jesus! Even Jesus couldn't please everybody!"
I pondered, and had nothing but to agree. Yes, Jesus was perfect, yet some people were dissatisfied with Him. What more could we want?
Then we talked about persecution and trials, the molding and the journeys. How we often take for granted and think that life is good. We forget that with the persecution, comes the molding and then the end product. But people think that, "No lah.. I go to church all is well, no persecution and sufferings in walking in the Lord's directions."
And my grand-aunt, again, made some sense when she said, "Satan even dared to tempt Jesus, to send people to persecute him and torture him, what more us? If he dared to try to persecute Jesus, why would he not want to do the same unto us?"
Walking in Christ is not easy, and the journey is long and winding. All i can count on is to walk close enough to Jesus, and with Him and through Him, all things are possible.
A reminder for moving
Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you. (1 Tim 4:14-16 NLT)
LORD, I know that You have a purpose for my life and I want to recognize and appreciate the gifts you have given me to accomplish it. When I feel so pressured by the demands on my time and for my attention, help me to focus on the things that are truly important,especially my relationship with You, which is the most important of all. In Jesus' name, Amen.
I think this has some particular meaning for me, as i'm 2 days away from moving to Sydney, starting all over in a new environment and country, that i should not stray away from God. It's so easy to be lazy and stop seeking God in a new place, that this email from E-min
( a daily subcription to verses and prayers that we could use, read about my post here
) has reminded me to constantly walk in obedience.
Dear Father, I will no doubt have to find a church for me in Sydney, and if anyone knows of one, pls feel free to let me know. I pray that the Lord will guide me, and minister to me and help me find a church i can belong to for a year. Help me to juggle the many areas of my life, and keep things well balanced, from my studies to family and relationships. Also, bless all those around me in Malaysia, my family and friends and especially Jamie, my dearest who i will leave behind, that we both would cope well being apart. Hinder us from constant misunderstandings and arguments, and instead lend support and encouragement to one another.
And remind me, when i'm straying away from the light, that i should roam in darkness, that You will lead me back. In Jesus' name, Amen.