New Year’s Eve 2012

Praise the LORD!
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever!
Psalms 106:1

Thank you, Lord, for this past year. I am amazed at Your goodness, your will for me, your blessings to me and opportunities to serve you.

You know I haven’t had the best of days
But I want to stop and thank you anyway

Cuz every single moment whether sleeping or awake
Is your creation
And what you’ve made is good
I don’t always thank you for the rough days and
The hard times in my life
Even though I should

It’s odd to come to this point in the year and be thinking about O.C. Supertone’s Jury Duty but that’s how I feel about this year, particularly the lyrics referring to being thankful for the “rough days and hard times.” Oddly enough, these feelings aren’t about screw ups, or what we often think of as punishment or God’s discipline, but instead it had to do with positive decisions on my part that are causing anguish for a time with the hope of long term reward. I did this knowingly, but it’s one thing to understand a thing in the mind, it’s another to execute and endure that thing in the flesh over a period of time.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalms 27:13-14

I will wait and trust in the Lord for his good plans because I know what He has planned for me exceeds my vain dreams and fantasies. I know this first hand.

One thing I have found invaluable this year is reading the scriptures. For the latter half of 2012 I started posting certain verses from my daily reading of the bible to Facebook. The reason I do this is because (1) I know God’s Word is living and active, and (2) I have always had difficulty describing just how brilliant the bible really is. So I decided to let God’s Word speak for itself since God has said it will not return empty. I truly believe the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts of those who hear the Word and there will be results – I don’t have to dress up God’s Word.

Once again I think I’ll close with the words to Blessed Be Your Name as a reminder to myself to give thanks in all things,

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Selah.

101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe

Great article over at Creation.com: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe. Yes, there are actually 101 bullet points of findings that support a young earth or challenge existing beliefs in an old earth!

vincens ut vinceret (a reponse to Henley’s Invictus)

After writing my own response to William Ernest Henley’s Invictus, I’ve come across some responses to the poem (I admit, I google my own blogs!), including vincens ut vinceret by Will Hapeman. I quite like it. It took largely the same tack as mine, swapping words and phrases, and ended up with a number of similarities.

Motion 312 – Defining the fetus as human

Check out Pass 312.org, the central website for information about an MP Motion in Canada for changing the criminal code to identify an unborn child as human (contrary to what the law currently says). Here’s a little bit of info from the site,

1. Canada’s Criminal code defines unborn children as non human beings!

2. One brave MP Stephen Woodworth has brought forward Motion 312 in an attempt to evaluate that law and possibly change it.

3. Every political party in Canada is opposing Motion 312. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that he will vote against it.

4. An estimated 100,000 plus letters and emails have been sent to our MPs this summer urging them to support Motion 312. And yet the word from MPs is that it will not pass unless they hear more from Canadians in support of it.

5. There are over 4,000,000 evangelical Christians in Canada. That means 4 million people who have no excuse for ignoring the abuse of our unborn children (Psalm82:2-4). Nearly 4 million people, however, who have no idea what Motion 312 is and have not yet contacted their MP in favor of it.

Not sure if a fetus is a human? Check out this article.

Contact your MP. Who’s your MP?

For more third party information about the motion check this article.

You are loved

This phrase has stuck with me since I first heard a story, via James MacDonald’s Walk in the Word, about a man who doubted its sincerity and then found out just what it meant in action.

Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, close each service, from what I understand, with the words “you are loved.” This simple phrase reflects profoundly the heart of God’s relationship with us and sums up the ministry of the Church. It succinctly focuses in on the basic human need to be loved. If we are to reach the world then we are to love them – really love them. As God loves us, we are to love.

I was pleasantly surprised to find Heather Williams’ You Are Loved from her album on iTunes just after her hit single Hallelujah. This is as close to the perfect musical complement to the sentiment we’re likely to get.

Is Christmas a Pagan holiday?

Many people often ask if a given holiday, traditionally Christian, are actually originally from Pagan holidays. Christmas is one of those. If you’re wondering and carry some uneasy feelings, put your mind to rest. Take heart with an answer from the book The Bible has the Answer. It’s a great book on all kinds of questions about Christianity. Here’s an excerpt of the full answer

Continue reading “Is Christmas a Pagan holiday?”

Put me in, coach

Richard Wurmbrand and wife Sabina are an inspiring pair who left their mark on Christian history and founded The Voice of the Martyrs, “a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide.”

Richard Wurmbrand was born the youngest of four boys in a Jewish family on March 24, 1909, in Bucharest, Romania. Gifted intellectually and fluent in nine languages, Richard was active in leftist politics and worked as a stockbroker.

After their marriage, Richard and Sabina were converted to Christ in 1938, chiefly because of the influence of a German carpenter, Christian Wölfkes. They joined the Anglican Mission to the Jews in Bucharest. Richard was ordained, first as an Anglican, and then after World War II as a Lutheran minister.

During World War II, Richard and Sabina saw an opportunity for evangelism among the occupying German forces. They preached in the bomb shelters and rescued Jewish children out of the ghettos. Richard and Sabina were repeatedly arrested and beaten and, at least once, nearly executed. Sabina lost her Jewish family in Nazi concentration camps.

In 1945 Romanian Communists seized power and a million “invited” Russian troops poured into the country. Pastor Wurmbrand ministered to his oppressed countrymen and engaged in bold evangelism to the Russian soldiers.

That same year, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand attended the Congress of Cults organized by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime. Sabina said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.” Richard warned, “If I do so, you’ll lose your husband.”

“I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband,” she replied. Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone.

Between 1945 and 1947, Richard distributed 1 million Gospels to Russian troops, often disguising the books as Communist propaganda. Richard also smuggled Gospels into Russia. On December 30, 1947, the People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed. Persecution.com – About our Founders

There are few things more powerful than a Godly woman who understands her man, and gives him the license to act like one.

Sarcastic Jesus

I came across Luke 13:31-34 today, an account of Jesus’ remarks about Jerusalem when he was told to leave because Herod was looking to kill him,

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! Luke 13:31-33

I was mildly amused at Jesus calling Herod a ‘fox’, you don’t hear that kind of language very often from Him, but I was really surprised at Jesus’ painfully sarcastic comment, “for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” Jesus was heading to Jerusalem in the full knowledge that He would die there.

Isn’t it amazing thar our Lord and Saviour, Who died by crucifixion for our sins, was able to maintain a sense of humour about it all. Then again, perhaps, that old saying, ‘if we didn’t know how to laugh, we wouldn’t know how to respond to some things’ may apply here.

Note, also, that His use of sarcasm was directed at Himself. It is our modern use of sarcasm against others that can hurt so very deeply.

Lest we overemphasize Jesus’ sometimes flippancy, His very next words leave no room for trivializing his remarks or deeds,

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:34

To me, reading the gospels again and again has shown me something new each time. I’m always hit — hard —  by some sections and I always seem to come out with something new. It’s a gold mine in there. In this case, I see again just how completely human Jesus was alongside his wholly divine nature.

G.K. Chesterton, of course, might suggest that what we think of as completely human may be more like God than we suppose…

There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth. (Orthodoxy, 1908)

Selah.