Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Called To Love

Love is singularly the most ambiguous and divisive concept of man's history. Its evolution and devolution has fueled controversies throughout the ages. In our 'age of enlightenment' we have via many articulate and knowledgeable men misused, overused, underdefined and overdefined the word. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity states, "Love, the most crucial and central concept in Christian theology and ethics, is one of the most theologically, ethically, psychologically and culturally ambiguous concepts, with diverse interpretations and contradictory definitions."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Labels

I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday and we talked about life, situations, people and relationships. We talked about managing relationships, how we are to deal with parameters, areas of feelings and emotions, where we are to put limits. As we talked we started to label the type of person we were striving to be. The labels were ways of defining or putting definition to our interactions.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Reason, Logic, Truth, Hope, Faith, Too

1 Samuel 12:7, " ... stand still, that I may reason with you ... concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord ..."


The word translated as 'reason' in this verse is 'shaphat', meaning to judge; by implication to vindicate or punish,; by extension to govern or litigate. Although this is out of context with the previous post, it is the process of reasoning and deducing possible outcomes which is being addressed. It is in the context of the verse, where Samuel is scolding the people of Israel for rejecting and ignoring what God had done, that is of interest to myself.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Reason, Logic, Truth, Hope, Faith

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." All who live, have a reference by which they guide their conduct through life's journey.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Amos 5:24; Justice, Bondage & Stress

Amos 5:24, "... let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Romans 4:16; Faith Plus Nothing

Ephesians 1:7 (New King James Version)
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace ..."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tattoo-ed

Isaiah 49:16, "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me."


Exodus 13:9, "It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has (delivered you)."

Pulling Onions

The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love him and imitate him.—John Milton (writer, poet)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lying;The Truth be Known

"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly smear on your own. (Luke 6:41)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love's Bitter Turn

Quote from Kierkegaard's Works of Love.


"There is nothing, nothing, which cannot be done or said in such a way that it becomes up-building...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Zechaiah 13:9

Zechariah 13:9, "I will bring one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, "This is My people'; and each one will say, 'The Lord is my God.'"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Intent and Wisdom II

Ecclesiastes 10:10, "If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Intent and Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 8:1, "Who is s a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
A man's wisdom makes his face to shine, and the sternness of his face is changed."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Matthew 17:20

"I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."(Matthew 17:20) 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

2 Corinthians 10:4,5

"Reasonable people will look with distrust upon too much reason."


"A man convinced against his will is unconvinced even still."


A logical and reasonable, perhaps implying an articulate and incomprehensible explanation or defense of a point of view, may leave a party in a position from which words or apologetics are unable to extricate them.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Problem With 'I' (me)

"All our lives , every day and every hour, we are engaged in the process of accommodating our changed and unchanged selves to changed and unchanged surroundings ..." Samuel Butler

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My Soul

If the soul is immortal, it demands our care not only for that part of time which we call life, but for all time; and indeed it would seem now (in this life, while it is yet today) that it will be extremely dangerous to neglect it. If death were a release from everything, it would be a boon for the wicked, because by dying they would be released not only from the body but also from their own wickedness together with the soul; but as it is, since the soul has emerged as something immortal, it can have no escape or security from evil except by becoming as good and wise as it possibly can. Socrates

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Problem with Conceit

Conceit is a lamentable product of mis-placed pride. There is required of a man to have a sense of his own ego, a value of his existence that is exemplified in a balanced opinion of himself with regard to his talents, abilities, position, reputation or any other related categories.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Problem with Puppets

As Oscar Wilde wrote, "There are many advantages in puppets. They never argue. They have no crude views about art. They have no private lives".


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Problem with Writing

Writing is an activity that I enjoy.
It really isn't the writing so much as the communication and permanence of conceived thoughts being recorded for some narcissistic and egotistic purpose.
Posterity rocks!
Inflation affects everyone!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Problem with Evil

"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." Ben Okri


Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created ..."
Genesis 1:26-28, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion ... and God said 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the Earth and subdue it; have dominion ...'"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poison Arrows

There exists a wide spectrum of opinion with respect to the epistemological validity of faith. On one extreme is logical positivism, which denies the validity of any beliefs held by faith; on the other extreme is fideism, which holds that true belief can only arise from faith, because reason and evidence cannot lead to truth. Some foundationalists, such as St. Augustine of Hippo and Alvin Plantinga, hold that all of our beliefs rest ultimately on beliefs accepted by faith. Others, such as C.S. Lewis, hold that faith is merely the virtue by which we hold to our reasoned ideas, despite moods to the contrary.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Poisoned Arrow

The Parable of the Poisoned Arrow

One day, a new follower of the Buddha approached him with a series of questions.

He asked, "Master, do we have a soul? And does the soul survive our death?"


The Buddha responded, "Why do you wish to know these things?"


"Because," the man replied, "without these answers what is the point of following you?"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Fallacy of Forgiving (Self)

"When you have finished taking all the tithes of your grain... make the following declaration before God: "I have removed all the sacred portions... I have given the appropriate portions to the Levite, the orphan and the widow..." (Deut. 26:12-13)


The passage is telling us that to properly evaluate our spiritual status, the key ingredient is to speak it out loud. "Make the following declaration before God" -- i.e. articulate verbally where we have succeeded and where we have failed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Notwithstanding: Light into Flame

Our wills must be abandoned to the will of God, our bodies presented as a living sacrifice. It is through the body that all the gracious principles and affections of believers reveal themselves in life, through action our belief becomes palpably manifest to the world. We are moved, powerfully, to an overcoming love toward 'time-blinded' mankind.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Notwithstanding:Faith and Freedom

The most significant risk we take in life, is in loving others. Passivity and self-absorption restrict our ability to take relational risks. To 'turn the other cheek' when the our mechanic seems absent-minded, when our classmate has a 'blonde moment', and remember a kindness, a conversation, to pay attention to and choose how you construct meaning from experience is an act of maturity. When we focus on our hungriness and our fatigue and our desire, we will loose the socially-conscious sensitivity that is conducive to a healthy and holistic outlook on life. It will re-shape perspective and faith.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Notwithstanding: Dangerous Faith

Within the context of this culture enters the big, I, Me, the center of the universe, Self, MySelf. "Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. (This is) ... natural, basic self-centeredness. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our motherboards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute center of."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Notwithstanding; Kitsch

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"

We live in a capitalistic and individualistic culture. Capitalism is so deeply entrenched and embedded in the surrounding culture that the consumer mentality of the Church cannot be clearly differentiated from that of our community. Individualism as a pervading consciousness has its influence in the autonomous, independent mind-set which many in the Church claim as a right and a freedom of expression.

Jude 12 "These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, ..."

Whether this is called apostasy or hypocrisy is irrelevant. The corruption is not from the secretive and hidden sins, it is a corruption from the things that are in plain view. The fault of the Church is not in understanding, but in our wills, our appetites, our affections.

The character and personae of the Church are all painted with the same broad brush strokes. What is seen by one as culturally definitive stains all. The parking-lot of your Church tells a story in and of itself. Whether it communicates worship, necessity or want is determinant upon 'innocence' and 'naivete'. After all, are we not asking the same question, "What the hell is water?" In that lies our justification, and our condemnation, we are part of our culture and its subtlety and pervasiveness has won the day and the Church present.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Notwithstanding ...

As each generation 'comes to pass' the evidence of their convictions becomes manifest. Honest evaluation of lives lived in reality only occurs when faced with immenent demise. Therein lies the strength and courage of belief and faith. Each generation seeks to 'pass on' the wisdom and knowledge of life's lessons; to translate meaning into footpaths.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Honesty: An Obscure Point

Life, honestly faced, is too much for people to bear.
So we blame, make excuse and make life tolerable for ourselves in the face of a dishonest evaluation of what we have made life.
This is why many believe that Christianity, like all religions, performs the function of a crutch, a narcotic or an anesthetic.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Ye Stand in the Faith", Firm and Stable; or in the Grace of Faith"

1 Cor 3:13-15 "... each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Language of Words

We use words and forget the language that words communicate; language speaks of the heart, soul and mind.


Ecclesiastes 12:12 says "Of many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Cherish; Charis; Charity

People who know me, know that I like watching sports. Being Canadian it can be properly assumed that Hockey is my favorite sport, followed closely by Football and Basketball.

There is something intensely entertaining watching the abilities and strengths of opposing players vieing for supremacy. In more relative terms it is more akin to beating each other up. It is about battling through adversity, weakness, it is about individual effort and team play, personal strength and prowess, mental preperation and fatigue, failure and mistake. It is man and team against an opponent, the equality to be determined by the outcome, usually indicated by the score. However there are times when teams play there best games in a losing effort.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Beauty; Part V

"But what if man had eyes to see the true beauty-the divine beauty, I mean, pure and dear and unalloyed, not clogged with the pollutions of mortality and all the colors and vanities of human life-thither looking, and holding converse with the true beauty simple and divine? Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may. Would that be an ignoble life?" Plato 

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sanctified: A Continuing Search for Beauty Part IV

Sanctification means to make holy; to consecrate; set aside for sacred or ceremonial use; to free from sin; to purify. Sanctification unlike justifiaction and imputed righteousness is a life process of consecration, founded upon the instantaneous act of receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savoiur. John 3:16, " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Righteous: A Continuing Search for Beauty Part III

There is no greater form of slavery than to be a slave to your own lusts. The condemnation of our sin is not just our justifying death, it is also the shackles and enslavement to sin and unrighteousness. Our inherent desires are at cross-purposes to the intents of God.
Romans 6:16, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" 

Justification; A Continuing Search for Beauty Part II

Justification is often taught as 'just-as-if-I'd-never-sinned'. It is a standard of Christian teaching because it is concise and full of meaning. However is it accurate?


In Scotland an official notice of the execution was posted on the prison gate, it would say as an example,
On Saturday 18th January, at Dumbarton Prison, Patrick Lunnay was justified. It meant that Patrick Lunnay had been hanged by the neck until dead. The punishment imposed on Patrick as sentence for his conviction of a crime had been justly administered.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beauty Part 1

Do you want to live a beautiful life?

So what kind of life is beautiful? What is your aesthetic?


What is true? What is good? What is beautiful?--

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thy Will Be Done!

Genesis 1:3, "... God said, "Let there be light", and there was light.
Just to sound redundant, What choice did light have? It was spoken into existence. It was perfect, it is still perfect, it will always be perfect. It does not exist apart from being perfect. God was satisfied in its existence. It was a word proclaimed as an expression of the mind and creative power of God; light was an explicit interpretation of the spoken word of God. Light cannot deviate from its existence because the Divine Will declared it to be. There is contained in this phrase the dignity, authority and omnific power of God.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12

Behold, My servant will prosper,

Jesus Christ will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So Christ's appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
Thus Christ will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Jesus Christ;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

2 Corinthians 5:21

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

A wonderful passage, beautiful in its succinct, grave and profound encapsulation of the entire purpose and message of the cross. It makes no pardon, provides no reasoning, just simply states the fact of the work of Jesus Christ in reconciling the world to God.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I Wonder ...

Is the questioning of faith a denunciation?  Am I guilty of some form of blasphemy by challenging my thoughts with regard to existential fears and placing them in the same context with faith, hope and love? "Thou shall not tempt the Lord, Thy God."

Friday, April 02, 2010

'Just Imagine'

"Show me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy." F. Scott Fitzgerald


"Cowards are usually seen to have avoided or refused to engage in a confrontation or struggle which has been deemed good or righteous by the wider culture in which they live. On a more mundane level, the label may be applied to those who are regarded as too frightened or overwhelmed to defend their rights or those of others from aggressors in their lives."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why God?

The question is asked many times, "Why? God."
It is usually a question tied to a person experiencing some form of pain.
The question is asked in relation to an understanding that 'God is love', and perhaps a misunderstanding that 'all things work for good'.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Malachi 3:2

Malachi 3:2,3, " ... For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify (all who are made priests unto God in righteousness) and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Isaiah 42:16

"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Praise God for His Wondrous Work

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. Augustine

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Choose Faith

Faith has become an absurdity, because it can't really be defined, unless one is willing to give the power to define faith to some authority apart from reason or rationale. Those who are contentious about faith in God hold fast to the supposed strength of logic and free-thought. They will contend with the assumption of higher authorities and/or powers that govern the world. Their arguments are persuasive, they are well-versed, educated and more than willing to provide sound reasoning to prove that their way is right and any other way is constrictingly narrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Humble and Real

Humility is the virtue by which a man knows himself as he really is, truly. St Thomas Aquinas defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility" that "consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior". Humility is said to be the foundation of the spiritual life and inferior only to faith. Humility is considered foundational because it removes the obstacles to faith. It removes pride and makes a man subject to and a fit recipient of grace. "God resists the proud, and gives His grace to the humble" (James 4:6). Humility is the product of self-respect with a true understanding of oneself in relation to God. Humilty is transitive, meaning, "... to lower someone in dignity."

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Humility and Reality

" ...self-deception is everywhere and it affects our ability to be honest with ourselves."


"...beginning with Kierkegaard, the existentialists (including Sartre, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and others) elevated authenticity to a place of primary importance in their understanding of the virtues. Due to the writings of the existentialists and other cultural trends, the "Good Person" was increasingly understood to be the "Authentic Person." Being true to oneself became a--or, in some cases, the--chief good. Self-deception, then, was given a promotion in the ranking of vices. What was once a derivative vice--one whose primary importance was found in its ability to facilitate other, more serious, vices--became itself the most egregious of all sins."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Refuge

Hardship, warfare, provision, peace,...



"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. God only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. God be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; Lord have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peace Too

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” Mahatma Ghandi


“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”


"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
Helen Keller

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Peace

Why is it that searching for peace seems to involve regressing? Assuming a view of regression and devolving as unfavorable. It seems that finding peace means removing oneself from society. Finding a place of seperation where the 'I' in 'me' is found and replenished. It is for me personally 'getting back to nature'. We seek a sense of peace removed from the constructs of culture, the business of life, the machinations of society and in this I believe we are attempting to find peace by simplification.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Riddle of Faith

"I am a spiritual being; after this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ." Max Lucado

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Defence/Offence

Being offended is a popular position. Crying foul, or in our times, claiming political correctness is the 'right' of an individual. Being offended, claiming mistreatment as a victim of political incorrectness has become the mark of the oppressed. The irony is that 'being offended' creates an implicitly positive self-description. It isn't about the 'right-to-be' or the 'right-of-being', it has become about the 'right to differ' or to be  'different'  without viable or reasonable justification for that position. It has created the mantra for the self-proclaimed 'liberators' of our culture. Marginal and fringe groups of society have taken as a right of ownership the option of holding hostage the world-view on issues of behaviour, gender, culture and sexual orientation to a politically correct agenda. The creation of a position whereby they posit themselves as a victim (tenuously) as a result of being offended by a politically incorrect statement. This has become an accepted, if not credible, argument in the verbal repartee of this age. It has become the excuse for the absence of debate and the exchange of ideas by reasonable advocates of differing opinions. After all, I am rendered powerless to voice my opnion because of a 'politically correct' prohibition. The declaration of a right (way, or view) is no longer a right I possess.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Death in the Box


Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Snake-handling throws an interesting twist on Christian faith and practice. Leaving hermaneutics aside and focusing upon the mind-set of a Christian who believes that, ..."If I get bit, don't take me to no doctor. If God can’t deliver me, let me go on home to be with Him. I believe that with all my heart. I'm not going to no doctor for snakebites. God said to do this and if you do it and He can't take care of you, He'd be a mighty poor God." ... I find myself questioning the depth of my own faith. What do I believe about God? What am I being saved from?  What are the parameters of my Christian life? Is there a limit to my obedience to God?

Friday, January 08, 2010

CD/HD/ID/AD/VD/OD

As you read through my blog entries, it should be noticeable that there is a prevalent theme or thought which I am in the process of investigating. My topic list is rather extensive, however, the main impetus of this blog is the attempt to resolve for myself, personally, the faith/fear continuum. Whether I am talking about humour, God, father, love or any aspect of Christian life, I find at the end I am still seeking to define the relationship of fear and faith. In my life I find that there is a continuous connection or association between these two and there affinity affects every aspect of my life.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Penta 5

Mark 16: 16-18, "He who believes and is baptized will (shall) be saved; but he who does not believe will  (shall) be condemned. And these signs will (shall) follow those who believe: In My name they will (shall) cast out demons; they will (shall) speak with new tongues; they will (shall) take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will (shall) lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Friday, January 01, 2010

Humour, Comedy and Life

A good laugh, Chesterton argued, can be a sign of taking something seriously. The seriousness of a moment provides the context that makes for comedy. It is the jarring contradiction.