and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Island

       Released in 2005, this movie is about Lincoln who lives in a highly structured, Utopian like compound.  The residents believe the world to be contaminated except for one island with the only chance to live there given by an individual’s random lottery win.  Lincoln is unsatisfied with his life and his curiosity leads him to explore inaccessible areas of the compound only to find out all they believe to be true is a lie.  (spoiler alert)  He and the other residents are really clones of rich people who pay big money to have compatible organs and surrogate mothers available to them.  The lottery doesn’t send you to the island, but to organ donation or birth of baby and then death.

       As I watched part of this movie during my treadmill run, I realized it is very much like society.  We have been brainwashed into thinking certain ways such as: my happiness is a priority, success is more important than character, making money is more important than family, political correctness is more important than truth (truth is relative after all).

       God might exist but if He does, He isn’t relevant. It’s more important to speak kindly than honestly, following our heart in all matters; we can do anything we want, attaining our goals and visions, be tolerant of everything and everyone, esteeming intellect, power, leadership, assigning more importance to one man’s skills than another’s, placing self first, and much more.  It’s a world of distorted views, temporal values and unhealthy behaviours.  All these lies and twisted truths we hear so often since birth flow into our Christian walk and come from the enemy of our souls.. 

(Jesus to Pharisees) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it. Jh. 8:44

       Our ‘natural man’ heart leads us astray all the time, but we still insist on following it.  Perhaps we should follow God’s heart instead.  All truth comes from God and it does not change over time or to fit our needs/ desires.  His Word is truth.  Jesus is the Word (Jh. 1:1) and the Truth (Jh. 14:6)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I Jehovah search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Jr. 17:9,10
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jh 8:32
Your Word is true from the beginning... Ps. 119:160
Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth. Jh. 17:17

       We need to pray for God to open our eyes to His Word so as we read, study and meditate on It we learn the truth and begin to desire only the truth.  We need to apply it so it will change us.  We should pray for discernment between Truth and lies.  We will learn God’s ways instead of our own rebellious ways and His thoughts instead of our own corrupt thoughts.  Little by little we will ‘see’ the lies and stop believing them.  The end of the lies is death.  The enemy wants death for us but Jesus Christ died to bring us life, abundant life (Jh. 10:10).

Oh send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me
Ps. 43:3

Lord, help us see with open eyes and walk in Your Truth!
We love Your Truth!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teens are Weird

       I’m not saying this is news to anyone, but teens really are weird today.  Here are only a couple reasons.  Apparently it’s not okay to look up a love interest’s address/ phone number in the phonebook (that’s stalking Mom!!!) but finding out their class schedule and what they do all week isn’t.  Another thing I find weird is they hold friendships but don’t seem to ask important (in my mind) questions to know their friends more deeply.

       I can’t remember how many times I asked my kids questions about their friends but they didn’t know the answer and said, “Mom, we don’t talk about those kinds of things!”  Well, what on earth do they talk about- unimportant nonsense?  Things have changed because when I was a teen, we talked about everything from light surface conversation to very deep and dark secrets of our lives.  How else do you get to know someone?  Lots of time, lots of conversation, lots of fun…

       Now, I am familiar with Sandra Bullock; I appreciate her talent, have seen lots of her films- some interviews, read about her, saw photos of her, and heard stories from others who learned things about her.  But I don’t know Sandra Bullock.  I don’t know her because I haven’t spent time with her, heard her thoughts, laughed, shared and lived some of life with her.

And this is life eternal, that they might know* You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. Jh. 17:3
that I may know* Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings… Php 3:10
but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me… Jr. 9:24
And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us an understanding so that we may know* Him who is true. 1Jh. 5:20
*know- ginosko- to know, to understand, to perceive

       Unlike the actor above, we CAN know our God because He IS with us (Js. 1:9; Mt. 28:20; 1:23; Is. 7:14).  And as I have found in all relationships, the more time I spend with the Lord (in His Word, in prayer, in quiet times with Him and as we walk this life together) the better I know Him.  Lots of time, lots of conversation, lots of fun…  Yup, we can have fun with the Lord.  And we can know Him better.  It won’t happen by osmosis, wishing, or even just going to church, but by our desire AND effort.  And it is certainly worth it!!!

       The Lord also promised Israel that they will one day know Him because they return to Him with their whole heart. 

I will even betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you shall know Jehovah. Hs. 2:20
And I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am Jehovah; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. For they shall return to Me with their whole heart. Jr. 24:7

Lord, we pray to You as Moses did. Help us to give great effort to that end:

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found grace in Your sight,
make me see now Your ways, that I may know You,
that I may find grace in Your sight
Ex. 33:3

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Losing and Gaining Weight

(Well, this is my third night trying to get through this post without falling asleep at my seat.  As I can’t seem to start until after 10:30pm and I haven’t been sleeping well, it is expected… Please forgive my inconsistency)

       I enjoy learning, studying and researching.  Sometimes I look into health related topics either due to need or curiosity.  Here is an interesting fact that I wonder how many people know:  if we sit like a lump on a log all day, for 24 hours, we will still burn lots of calories- and since we aren’t moving to eat, we will lose weight J.  Of course we wouldn’t be very healthy without physical activity or food, but that’s a different matter.  (This information is all found in my research of late.)

       This burning of calories ‘without activity’ is actually activity we don’t think about much such as breathing, organ function, digestion, temperature regulation, blood movement, hormone adjusting, blinking, growing and repairing cells, etc.  Calories burned this way are called basal metabolic rate or BMR.  There are many online calculators out there to do the math for you (just input weight, height and age) and many rely on different formulas, but here is the one I use:

(these are only estimates)

Men:  66 + (weight in lbs × 6.3) + (height in in. × 12.9) - (age × 6.8) = BMR

ex:      66+ (200×6.3= 1260) + (70×12.9= 903) – (63×6.8= 428.4) = 1800.6

Women:  655 + (weight in lbs × 4.3) + (height in in. × 4.7) - (age × 4.7) = BMR

ex:      655+ (128×4.3= 550.4) + (64×4.7= 300.8) – (47×4.7= 220.9) = 1285.3   

       To know how many calories our daily activities (walking, exercise, chores etc) burn, we have to consult other online sites that can help, and add that number to the BMR to know how many calories we need every day to maintain our weight.

       If we want to lose weight, we should eat 15% to 20% less calories (than our BMR+ activities) a day, or if we want to gain weight, then add more calories.  The man in the example would eat 270 to 360 less calories a day to lose weight, and the woman 194 to 258 less.

       It may seem like even a bigger decrease in calories would promote faster weight loss, but the opposite is true.  If we have too large a calorie deficit, our body will think it is starving and it will go into survival mode, maintaining fat stores but promoting lean muscle loss.  It’s a double whammy.

       All this brings me to a few thoughts in all of this weight loss and gain:
Formulas might work with BMR’s and total calorie needs, there are no formulas for relationships as there are far too many variables to consider.  That means we need to give relationships our best effort and adjust along the way for what works and what doesn’t.  It seems to me our relationship with the Lord is also not based on a formula of sorts (so much prayer, worship, church time, etc) and that we simply need to give it our best effort to know Him.

(Jesus prayed) And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. Jh. 17:3
And they shall no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Jehovah. Jr. 31:34

Sitting like a lump on a log spiritually will starve us just as bad causing fleshly fat gain in the wrong areas like worldliness, and loss of spiritual muscle mass.  Another double whammy!

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Jm. 4:4
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another… Gl. 5:17

We spend a LOT more time on our bodies than our spirit man.  Yet it is our spirit that lives forever, while our bodies return to dust.  Seems to me, we have our priorities messed up.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the present life, and of that which is to come. 1Tm. 4:8
Of whom let not be the adorning of garments, or outward braiding of hair and wearing of gold, or of putting on clothing, but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, the meek and quiet spirit, which is of great price in the sight of God. 1Pt. 3:3,4
Read the Bible: 2Tm. 3:14-16; Hb. 4:12; Ps. 1:1,2; Ps. 119:11

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Church is Full of Hypocrites

       I’m guessing you’ve heard that excuse for not attending church before just as I have.  People say it as if there aren’t hypocrites everywhere else in society.  Their point, I guess, is that there shouldn’t be hypocrites in the church and they are correct.  In case we don’t know what a hypocrite is, here is the definition:

(1) One who engages in the same behaviors for which he condemns others.
(2) One who professes certain ideals, virtues, beliefs or principles but fails to live up to them.
(3) One who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself.

       If any of these are found in our lives, we need to be on our knees repenting.  It’s funny how neither John the Baptist, Jesus, nor the apostles called out the sinners, or the repenting sinners/ new believers on hypocrisy, but only the Pharisees, scribes and Sadducees,  “…The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do. But do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.(Mt. 23:2,3)  I guess sinning and or repenting of our sins does not make us hypocrites, so what does?  It would be when our actions do not line up with our words.  Ponder the meaning of these, spoken about the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes:

John the Baptist:
But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance; and do not think to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And now also, the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.  Mt. 3:7-10

Isaiah 29:13 (Jesus said this concerned the Pharisees and scribes)
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, "This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Mt. 15:7-9
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! said 7 times in Mt. 23 with Jesus calling them out for specific behaviours.  Does that make them complete and perfect hypocrites since 7 is the number of completeness and perfection?

Paul to Ananias- the high priest a Sadducee
Then Paul said to him, God shall strike you, whitened wall! For do you sit judging me according to the Law, and against law command me to be stricken? Ac. 23:3

       So, is the church full of hypocrites?  Answer these questions to deicde…  Are those who claim to be Christians:
   -bearing fruit worthy (deserving) of repentance?
   -acting out of pride?
   -lacking growth of good fruit?
   -drawing near to God / honouring Him by mouth but not in heart?
   -worshipping in vain (to manipulate, not genuine)?
   -teaching man’s doctrines, ways, rules, ideas, thoughts?
   -dead inside though they look alive/ spiritual on the outside?

       We are the church, the “called out ones” (ekklesia) called to be mature (1Cr. 14:20), holy (1Pt. 1:15), righteous (Ps. 106:3), merciful (Lk. 6:36), and loving (Rm. 12:9,10): in other words, called out of the darkness into the Light (1Pt. 2:9) and imitating our Lord and Savior…
   -who was NEVER a hypocrite;
so let us be like Him!

He who says he abides in Him
ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
1Jh. 2:6