Archive for April, 2007

Born Again… In the Flesh?

Monday, April 30th, 2007

 Born of the Spirit while living in the flesh. A water source cannot put out sweet and salty water. A good tree cannot grow bad fruit. Yet a Christian who is born again  can also have a desire to live in the flesh. Why does this happen?

We feed the beast. We contaminate ourselves by what we perceive. We are sullied by participation in flesh centred activities. Being with like minded people only hastens our destruction.

To change the destructive behaviour…
The internal man has to change.

This cannot be done through the exercise of will-power. Even if we successfully stop sinning we become less fit for the kingdom of heaven. Denial of the flesh only hardens the heart.

We are changed by the gift of self-control, a fruit of the Spirit. The growth of our spirit increases that self-control. The way this is done is through pruning. God prunes out activities and people that feed the beast. He replaces it with God centred activities and Christ centred people. The more time we spend with his Spirit in these God centred activities the more we grow. Our being with like-minded people aids us on our road to glory.

Will-power is the ability to stop… Failure!
Self-control is the ability to direct… Victory!

Caffeine and Late Nights

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

I use to drink coffee. I thought it helped me when I was up late on the computer. But boy, when the caffeine high wears off it was a lot like being gassed at the dentist. (does any dentist use gas anymore or am I just dating myself?) I would be typing away and then I would drift off. My face resting on the keyboard. Out like a light. I would come to and find that my face had letters imprinted on it from the raised lettering of the keyboard. Funny thing though, sometimes what was imprinted on the face made more sense then what I wrote just before passing out.

The Written Word and the Oral Tradition

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

(this article moved from tripod)

 The Crux of the Problem

We have all read in the bible where Jesus accuses the Pharisees and Scribes of being hypocrites. Jesus  then goes on to give a couple of examples: how they twisted honouring parents to ending their obligation to them; how the altar sanctifies the gift to the gift sanctifies the altar. It seems plain to Christians that the Pharisees and Scribes had it wrong. I am certain that they meant well. So how did they miss the mark?

The Written Word

Moses took pen to scroll and wrote down five books. These five books are called the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They believe, like the fundamentalist Christian, that it is the inspired word of God. That every letter is God breathed and not subject to change.

The Oral Tradition

There was a code given to Moses for him to write down. The Jew also believes that God spoke to Moses and that additional  information was given to him. This information was not written down until much later in history. It existed solely by word of mouth passed down through the generations. This became the traditionally accepted interpretation of the Torah. To deny “the tradition” is the same as denying the Torah in whole. The person who denies the oral tradition was given to Moses and then passed down the generations was classed by one rabbi as being a heretic. It is equal to despising the word of God, both written and oral.

The Christian

In time the oral tradition was written down. The vast majority of Christians never read any of this material. Our word of God was written down in letters by the apostles and a few others. (Before these letters were written the new covenant was passed on by oral tradition. Its strength rested in the Old Testament as interpreted by the apostles, prophets and teachers.) Those letters which eventually were accepted as authoritative were placed together and today form our modern New Testament. Since then the church has come to believe many things and brought about the un-ending birth of new traditions. Within the church the accusation of “heresy” was shouted. Divisions and wars were fought over the traditions… not the word.

Back to the Jew

That Moses talked with God… yes. There is a place in the new testament where Jesus says that Moses hit a compromise with God over the subject of divorce because the men would not be able to follow the ideal of  “one man one woman one flesh.” What else was discussed between God and Moses that we are not privy to? What additional instruction did God pass on to Moses and then Moses to the leaders? And the final question. What part or parts of the oral tradition of the Jew are valid and which are not? I could be open to a charge of heresy by the Jew. Yet I believe that is the same accusation they made about Jesus.


So you can say that I am on a voyage of discovery. I will travel down the road of the Jewish oral tradition by reading an English interpretation of the commentaries. What will I find? Who knows? A better understanding of scripture? A better understanding of how they went wrong? Perhaps a new idea will come to my mind. You are invited to join me in this adventure.

The Unknown Soldier(s) in my life

Monday, April 16th, 2007

I do not walk alone
For silent witnesses
Watching over my life
Lift my name to the King
Interceding before His throne
For this struggling soul.

In a valley,
Called depression,
I walk by His light
Burdened by a mind
Filled with troubles
But not bowed down.

As time passes
A warrior perishes.
My struggles increase.
I walk in a rift
And question the struggle
With thoughts unbearable.

He will not leave me
To stand alone,
Another Saint bidden,
To take on the task,
Of raising voice
To aid my soul.

Then once again
I climb from the pit
And raise my eyes
To my gracious Father
For raising another
Unknown Soldier.

Fear of Heights

Friday, April 13th, 2007

I grew up climbimg the escarpment to try and overcome my fear of heights… didn’t work. As soon as I got to the top and looked over, wham. The reason for the fear? As I look over the edge I lose all sense of balance. Vertigo? Who knows.

Then I found myself in Alberta at the tar sands. Big construction projects. I was a labourer for a brick laying firm. Made $800 to $1000 a week. Not bad for 1976.

Where did this job take me? Sometimes up to 40 feet in the air, on a windy day, pushing a wheelbarrow full of wet mortar along a 10″ wide board. I guess the greater the reward the greater the bravery. Kind of explains all the “survivor” shows on TV.

These days I am not getting paid for climbing. Guess what? Yep, standing on chair to change a light bulb is a harrowing experience. Thank God they came out with the super lasting light-bulbs.

An Easter Service

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Easter Sunday. An actor by the name of David Morris visited our church today. He did not, however, show up as himself. Dressed in traditional Jewish garb of the time of Christ he gave the testimony of John, the beloved disciple. The story weaved its way from when he first met Jesus until the restoration of Peter. He gave a very good portrayal. I tip my hat to his performance.

Watch and Pray… a necessity.

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

There are times when I am in church that the Spirit whispers to my conscious mind. The thought is just out of reach. I use to run through a list of “what can it be”. I have learned early in my walk to watch while praying softly in tongues. In time he would reveal to me what is hidden. Sometimes it may be days later before I understood. Other times I got the message within minutes.

If I am already in a watchful spirit then understanding what the Spirit whispers comes quick and easy. To always be attentive, to walk with God, to watch where the Spirit leads, then to go. Not a bad way to live. My hope is that I get better at it. I know I do well when I watch and pray, and badly when I don’t.