Archive for July, 2009

Waiting for Answers to Prayer

July 27, 2009

One of the challenging things that christians often  face is waiting for answers to prayer.  Sometimes God may take a long time in answering prayer.  For instance when we pray for the salvation of close friends or family members. 

A friend of mine shared with me that she heard a helpful sermon where the preacher likened this process to planting a small seed and waiting for it to grow into a large fig tree.    When we first put the seed in the ground,  we may need to wait  for weeks,  months and sometimes even years where we see nothing happening above the surface of the ground.  However does this mean that nothing is actually happening?  No.  Not really.   Underneath the ground, the small seed is slowing germinating and gradually growing special roots beneath the surface, to form a foundation for a small seedling to eventually sprout out of the ground. 

This is what it’s like when we wait for answers to prayer.  We may sow small seeds to our friends or family when we talk to them about Jesus, as the Holy Spirit leads us.  Even though it may seem on the surface that we don’t seem to be making any progress with our non believing friends or family, our actions and prayers are never in vain.  The reason is that God, in his infinite wisdom is doing the work in His own time.  This work,  will eventually in the long term, grow into a beautiful fig tree.

So take heart.  Just like the planting of a tiny seed to grow a fig tree,  our prayers and actions are not in vain.  Instead God is doing his own work beneath the surface of the soil,  even though we may not see with our own eyes any progress or change.  This is where we need to execise faith and trust in our loving Heavenly Father.  “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” – Hebrews 11:1

The Bible According To A Child

July 19, 2009

If you need a laugh today, then this should do it.

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. I wonder how often we take for granted that children understand what we are teaching? Through the eyes of a child:

The Children’s Bible in a Nutshell
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden…..Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, ‘Close the door! Were you born in a barn?’ It would be nice to say, ‘As a matter of fact, I was.’)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.  But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Interpreting the Bible

July 13, 2009

Interpreting the bible properly & correctly can be a great challenge especially for those who are not familiar with reading the bible.   For instance it is important to note there are two sections ie the Old Testament and the New Testament.   This is another name for the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.  The New Testament is when Jesus eventually came to the earth to bring ultimate salvation through his death on the cross.  As a result the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross replaced the need for people to offer animal sacrifices to atone for people’s sins.  In fact what Jesus did replaced a lot of rules and regulations that were practiced in the Old Testament.  For instance salvation was no longer just exclusively for the Jewish people anymore, but became available for all races of people on the earth. 

Many things that were described in the Old Testament were cultural and only pertained to the period of time those 2000 years ago.  For instance during the biblical culture wealthy people often had slaves to work for them.  This does not mean that christians today believe in slavery.  In biblical times most women were not educated .  This does not mean that christians today  believe that females should not be educated.

A  good book to read about how to interpret the Bible correctly is :- “How To Read The Bible For All It’s Worth”  By Dr Gordon D Fee.   It discusses the type of literature each book of the bible is,  and how to read and interpret it properly.

Homosexuality – The Christian View

July 11, 2009

The bible states that the act of homosexuality is a sin according to God’s laws.  See :-

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).

Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (NIV)

Homosexual tendencies within individuals are often caused by a degree of abuse or dysfunction experienced during the early childhood and or teenage years.   People are not born as homosexuals. Here are some examples :-

1.  If a boy was sexually abused by his father,  step father, uncle,  male teacher,  male peer or any other male figure,  this boy may develop homosexual tendencies because of this abuse .   Sometimes these incidents can be so traumatic they can become suppressed memories in the subconcious and may only surface in later life when the survivor is ready to deal with these memories.   Incidents of severe abuse may also be so buried in the subconcious, they may sometimes  only surface in dreams or nightmares.

2.  If at birth the parents of the child wanted a girl  instead of a boy, and this is clearly made known to the child while growing up,  the boy may subconciously reject his maleness and adopt female characteristics in order to please his parents.

3.  If the wife continually puts down or rubbishes her husband due to discontent, infedility or disapproval and puts down men in general,  in front of her male child,  this child may in turn grow to see that being male is a negative thing and hence learn to take on female qualities and desires instead. 

Every individual case is different as to  the root causes of their homosexual tendencies.   It may be a series of different incidents and effects that can contribute to their homosexuality.   It can also depend on how continuous the abuse or negative input into a child’s life is.    How sensitive a child is, can also make a difference in how he or she reacts to their environment.   Not every child will react in the same way to the same abuse or negative input.

The good news is that it is possible for the power of God through Jesus Christ  to heal the homosexual.  God loves the homosexual person and in his compassion desires to see him or her fully healed and restored to wholeness.  This can be achieved through skilful and trained prayer ministry and inner healing.  Even suppressed memories from childhood,  can be unearthed and revealed through the power of Jesus, in the form of skilful and trained prayer ministry.  However it is not always a quick process, but can often take a long time –  even a number of years.    The length of time can depend on  how severe the root causes are and how willing the person is willing to work on change.  See :-

1.  Exodus International  http://www.exodus-international.org/
2.  Living Waters Ministry http://www.livingwaters.org.au/

Unfortunately many homosexual people,  do not choose the road of wholeness and healing,  partly because they do not want to admit they are broken people who need  help.  It is much easier to believe  that homosexuality is now a normal and accepted state of being, in society.  In this way one can live in denial that there is anything wrong and that deep issues need to be dealt with in their lives.  

However it is not a weakness to admit that one is “broken” and in need of help or healing.  Instead this is really the beginning of true freedom and restoration in a person’s life.   And if it is any consolation,  all of us a broken and wounded in various degrees and in different ways.  This is due to the fact that we live in a world of sinful and imperfect people,  many who will hurt us and wound us whether they realise this or not.   This is why all of us are in need of the saving power of Jesus and that is why Jesus came to die for every one of us not just for homosexual people.

So the fact is all of us are broken people in some way or another.  Some people just live in denial that this is so.

Another point to note is that the more a homosexual person willingly engages in this sin and lifestyle,  the more that person gives a foothold for Satan to enter his life and eventually take control of him or her.   They will soon succumb  to the deception that what they are doing is normal acceptable and OK before God.

Since God sees the homosexual act as a sin,  these people would also need to abstain from carrying out their sexual desires in this area.   Many people may view this as harsh and unloving for God to demand such a thing. 

However I would like to argue that abstaining is not a new thing  within the Christian faith.  For instance for Christians,  if one is single one has to wait until they have found a marriage partner until they are able to have a sexual union.  Some individuals may only find their life partner when they reach the age of 40 or  50 .  Hence they have to abstain from sex for 20 or 30 years.   Even married people who are Christians, have to abstain, in a sense as well.  Not necessarily from their spouse (but this may also occur due to sickness etc) .   However if they become attracted to other members of the opposite sex,  which may occur  through the process of everyday life,  they cannot  just act on every impulse that comes their way.  They have to choose to abstain and exercise self control as well.

God’s laws are always given for our own good and well being-  to protect us from a life of disaster and emotional and physical chaos.  It is up to the individual whether he or she chooses to believe this or not.

Join me in signing this petition

July 7, 2009

Hi,

I just signed a petition ask Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to reverse his terrible track record on extreme poverty and I hope that you’ll do so too here:

http://www.one.org/international/2009g8/?rc=2009g8taf

On Wednesday, Berlusconi is hosting the G8 – a group which he has no credibility to lead.

While some countries are showing leadership, the G8 as a whole are behind on their promises, and Mr. Berlusconi is easily the worst of the group. He has no credibility to lead this meeting. To date, has delivered only 3% of his 2005 promise to Africa. While other countries are making aid increases in an effort to keep their word, he has cut aid.

Thanks
Bev