Works and Faith go together like

Works and faith, you can’t have one without the other. Not quite as catchy as ‘Love and Marriage’ but the concept is the same and perhaps more fundamentally true. Marriage is the public visible expression of love while works are the public visible expression of faith.
Continue reading Works and Faith go together like

Arguing about Evolution is a waste of time

I know patience is one of the fruits of the spirit but I have to confess to I lose mine whenever I hear the Creation/Evolution argument. Why? Because it’s the wrong argument. It’s not important how God created the universe – only that He did. A truth that is lost as soon as the debate starts.

Evolution Editorial cartoon depicting Charles Darwin as an ape If we are honest with ourselves we have to admit we don’t have the facts to prove the world is 7,000 years old. We are not going to convince someone who wants to argue the ‘facts’. All the scientific evidence available say the Earth is 5 billion years old and the universe 15 billion.  The sad truth is we will lose if we try to argue creation against evolution based upon available data – things we can see, measure and test.

The only evidence we have of God is our faith.  Whenever I hear people debating Creation vs. Evolution Hebrews 11:1 immediately comes to mind

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

A gentle answer deflects anger

When I first came to God it wasn’t because I believed the bible. I came to believe the Bible because I knew God. No brilliant ontological argument convinced me of God’s existence. Quite the contrary, arguing with someone is possibly the worst thing you can do.

Aesop illustrated the point very well with his fable, The North Wind and The Sun.
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger when they saw a traveler coming down the road. The Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.”

So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. At last the North Wind said, “I will try no longer, but you, Sun, can do no better.”

The Sun said nothing, but came out from behind the cloud and smiled down upon the traveler. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.

Choose the better part

The more we attempt to force our beliefs on someone the harder they resist.  I think we have to ask ourselves, which is more important – to win an argument or introduce another human being to God? Does God require that we memorize verses or listen to his word? In Ephesians 4:17,18 Paul writes,

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; (New King James Translation)

To me Paul often comes across a little harsh.  In these verses however he is saying, quit thinking small. When we start arguing carbon dating and dinosaurs we have darkened our understanding. The most important verse in the creation story is the first one – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)   Further we cheapen the Bible when we try to use it as history book.  The Bible does contain a lot of history but that is not it’s purpose. The Bible is the story of mans fall from grace and eventual salvation.  That is the message that needs to be told.

Creación de Adán (Miguel Ángel).jpgSo the next time someone wants to argue evolution versus creation remember these words
from Proverbs 15:1, A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NKJV)

Twas the Night Before Christmas – updated for the 21st Century

Twas the night before Christmas and all though the land
not a heart was stirring for the true Son on Man.
The presents were all bought and stashed neath the tree
to be ripped open and discarded for a moment of glee.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Ipads danced in their heads.
And mamma in her guccis, and I in my sweats,
had just settled down with our credit card debt.

When out on the lawn there shown a bright light,
I sprang from my bed knowing something’s not right.
Get back from the windows I yelled with alarm
get the kids into the basement and bring me my guns

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But an Angel of God with a message so clear.

With a gaze so lovely, a vision so clear
“Behold”, he said, “I bring you tidings of great cheer”!
“Your savior was born in a manger this day
but it is not his birth but His death shows the way”.

Like the shepherds of old I fell to my knees
And prayed for my family God’s love to receive.
All the goods I had boughten now seemed so trite
compared to the gift of Jesus – wondrous eternal life.

The greatest gift any one will receive
Is to find Salvation on this Holy Christmas Eve.
So O man if you truly want to give
Tell others of His love, every day you live.

The Angel then left as quick as he came
But his message of hope will always remain.
Be of good spirit on this new Christmas morn,
for unto you a savior is born.

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The Knots Prayer

Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all the am nots’
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.
Amen

Author unknown (but blest)

What does Love mean?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What does love mean?’

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined See what you think:

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‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’

Rebecca- age 8
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‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’

Billy – age 4
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‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’

Karl – age 5
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‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’

Chrissy – age 6
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‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’

Terri – age 4
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‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’

Danny – age 7
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‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss’

Emily – age 8
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‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’

Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)
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‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,’

Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)
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‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’

Noelle – age 7
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‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’

Tommy – age 6
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‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.   He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore. ‘

Cindy – age 8
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‘My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’

Clare – age 6
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‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

Elaine-age 5
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‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’

Chris – age 7
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‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’

Mary Ann – age 4
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‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’

Lauren – age 4
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‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image)

Karen – age 7
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‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’

Mark – age 6
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‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’

Jessica – age 8
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And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’
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Thought for the day

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple.

But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. - George Bernard Shaw

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“God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. Instead it says, My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2.

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