Archive for August, 2006

Giving Alms: Matthew 6.1

Friday, August 25th, 2006

From whom do you wish to receive praise. There are two avenues of approach to the situation. You could give so that the public is fully aware of the gift you are giving. In such a case your reward will be the thanks they give and the elevated stature you will attain in the social order. The other way is to do the giving in secret so that there are no witnesses to the event; that is, no witnesses except for God and perhaps some of the spiritual host. When this approach is taken, then God, who wishes to reward well doing, will openly give you favour in the eyes of others and/or blessings of health/wealth. It comes back to the scripture of “you cannot serve two masters.” Anyone can give some type of earthly reward. Only one master can give a full reward. You can receive, mammon from Man or blessings from God. Either you will aim for the temporal and lose the spiritual or you will aim for the spiritual and also gain the temporal. You will have either a win/lose event or a win/win event. When doing things for the approval of the crowd or a specific individual you gain only a temporary benefit from a temporal world. Only when doing alms with a good heart and for the eyes of God only do you achieve the double win.


Got This Unsolicited Email Today

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

I got this unsolicited email today. It was sent by someone calling themselves Rev Franklin T Grayson. He was passing on an article written by James Cieben. He said it was an eye opener for him. I had received this message once before. I have read it through both times I have received it. It is titled: the Flesh and the Spirit. It would take dozens of pages if I were to answer every statement that Mr Cieben makes in his article. This is what I wrote back to Rev T Grayson.

To: Rev Franklin Grayson,

This is a very long piece to be sending over the internet without prior approval from the recipient. You see, I have read this article many years ago. It was sent to me by James Ciebien. I asked to be removed from his mailing list. Must I now ask you to do the same?

As relates to the article itself? Bit by bit I believe this gentlemen turned the scriptures upsidedown. I would remind you of John 1 chapter 1. It shows that Jesus, before his birth, was the Word of God. He spoke and the universe was created. He became flesh. Dwelt among men. Taught the way of God. Was the blood sacrifice to take away our sins. Was ressurected the third day. As Paul wrote we also will be changed, in the twinkiling of an eye, and this corruptible will put on incorruption. Hmm… just like Jesus on his resurrection day. That is the promise.

There are many more, of what I believe to be, twists and “learned” suppositions that Mr Cieben make in this article. I have spent 28 years reading the bible and doing many private studies. He does have one or two unique ideas (which I believe to be incorrect), yet most of what he has written is also held by many others who would deny the diety of Jesus and the true purposes of God as revealed in John 1 and the rest of the scriptures.

So we disagree.

I believe most people getting this email would simply delete it because of its length. If you receive this email and are tempted to read it may I make a suggestion? Delete it! Unless, of course, you know scriptures well and want to exercise your discernment and your “sword of the word” skills.

Hmmm… or just delete it.

PS: Surprise, surprise, surprise! (as Gomer Pyle would say) The email I sent was bounced back to me because the return address does not exist. I can only guess as to whether this somehow reflects the character of the original sender? If so, what to make of his message. Spammer?

Israeli Hezzbolah Conflict

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006


Hamas is the newly elected government of Palestine, bent on destroying Israel. They were being squeezed by the U.S. and Europe to change their stance. Iran was being pressured by the United Nations to stop processing nuclear material. Hezzbolah negotiations with the rest of the Lebanese government was coming to the point they would have to give up their arms. Syria was simply being ignored by the United States. What are nations and people to do when faced by the global community expecting them to behave in a civilized manner?

Hamas leads the way. Israel was moving their troops out of the Gaza Strip. The wall between Israel and the West Bank grew longer. They fired rockets into Israel. That didn’t work. Israel continued to withdraw. The noose of isolation was tightening. They were left with their own people angry and wanting an improvement in living standards. There was no way to make the life of the common people better. They crossed the border and kidnaped an Israeli soldier. Their people would be united after Israeli’s expected response. Success at a high price.

Iran needed a diversion. They saw what the Hamas had done. They knew that a greater conflict would be the focus of the coming G8 conference. If a problem of great enough magnitude were to occur the members of the summit would be fixated on the new problem. They had friends in the region they supported with training, money and munitions. Time to call in a favour. They got what they needed.

Hezzbolah needed to make their enemy strike against them. They saw Israel’s response to the kidnaping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas. They would have to be as bold to pull Israel into a conflict. They would take a political hit at the beginning of the conflict. .. Acceptable. There would be many Lebanese casualties… Acceptable. They would use many of their rockets and missiles to kill Israeli citizens… Desired. Muslim passion would be fanned to fever pitch against Israel and the west… Desired. If all works out well they will have a stronger position in the Lebanese government when it was all over… Expected. Shia Jihadism would be stronger in Sunni nations… and other countries… Dreamed. They kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. They got the response they wanted.

Syria wants the United States to open formal talks with them. They are the pipeline of weapons from Iran to Hezzbolah. They do not want to get directly involved in the conflict. They gain “face” by negotiating with the greater power. To stop the flow of support the powers that be will have to talk to Syria. Their importance will rise as negotiations begins. They still wait. They still hope.

Politics, religion and tribalism are the foundations of a people. In the case above their idiom is war.

Israel, wants to be left alone in peace. They would like to have good economic relations with their neighbours. It is a dream. It is a hope. It appears for a moment before being taken away yet once again.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.