Barrack for gospel joy not just a footy team

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We seem to get busier and busier as the years go by. I know that from experience, house, cars, careers, family, wealth, technology,  can all get in the way of BUILDING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. Life’s materialistic things can be a huge distraction!

Most of us think that we have no need for God. That nothing is out of bounds, that if something is there, that if the media says we need it, we should have it.  However, there are things that are not from God, the tempter is out there, trying to deviate us from the truth , from our creator God to prevent us from building a relationship with Him and His Son Jesus Christ.

LIFE SHOULD BE ABOUT BALANCE….. it’s about including God into our everyday,  not making idols our of our footy teams, money, technology, cars or worshiping ourselves etc……..I was told from a very young age that if there is a will there is a way.

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The gospel does bring me joy. As a parent, the story of the Prodigal Son(The Forgiving Father) Luke 15: 11-32 gave me great comfort, that I didn’t have to do everything on my own, that I can ask God to help me. The gospel of the Lost Sheep Luke 15:4- 6 does remind me that to God I am special, that He will deliver me. The gospel of the Lord is my shepherd, ( Psalm 23) tells me that in my time of darkness God is with me fighting for me.

Some people whom I know have wealth, fame and fortune but are not happy, they are not immune to life’s problems, they seem to have more problems. Things we have made into idols do get in the way of God, do lead us to sin.

Below is a way of looking inwardly and asking ourselves……. are we doing what God would want us to do? Because at the end, all He wants is for us to be united with HIM.

A Self Examination of Conscience – using the 10 Commandments

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
Have I wanted more things, making things or money more important than God?
Have I made an idol of sports or entertainment figures, etc……?
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Do I use God’s name carelessly?
Do I use God’s name in anger?
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Did I keep the sabbath holy by going to church?
Did I spend quality time with the family and children?
Have I remembered to pray daily?
4. Honor your father and your mother.
Have I helped my elderly parents without complaining?
Have I done things for them without being reminded?
Have I been disrespectful to others in authority?
5. You shall not kill.
Do I keep my patience or do I lose my temper?
Do I hold grudges and try to get even with others?
Have I been unfair to others, especially those who are different than I am?
6. You shall not commit adultery.
Do I show respect for my body and respect the bodies of others?                                Do I keep my vow of being faithful to my spouse?
7. You shall not steal.
Have I taken something that belongs to someone else?
Have I “forgotten” to return something that I borrowed?
Have I used money responsibly?                                                                                          8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Do I live fairly or do I cheat to get ahead ?
Have I been honest or have I lied?
Have I hurt someone by what I have said or done or omitted to do?
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Have I been jealous of the spouse that someone else has?                                                Have I lusted over someone’s spouse?
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Have I been jealous of the things that my friends have?
Have I compared myself to others, spending money in order keep up with the Jones’?
Have I helped others when they needed help?

BELOW..DENZIL WASHINGTON SAYS…….. “TO PUT GOD FIRST”

 

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DO FACTS MATTER IN THIS WORLD OF IMPERMANENCE?

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It seems to me that more and more, facts don’t matter these days,  but public opinion does, the populist view wants to dominate.

Everyone can have an opinion,  but one that should be informed and researched.

Facts and evidence don’t seem to matter but individual opinion does? I believe that is wrong. Opinions can influence young minds or change them. I believe that if our opinions are going to be given outside the family unit, that we have a responsibility to look at the facts and figures before trying to impart them onto others. What you think and your opinion on the topic is your own.

Empirical evidence is information that verifies what is real and what is really happening. Stats that can help isolate the issues, how to make changes and assist in planning for the future, that is what should matter. When you try to bring facts and evidence to the situation, some people don’t care and try to impose their opinions onto others disregarding any fact or evidence.  Then they give you the labels as being sexist, homophobic xenophobic etc. etc…

In this case below, Judge Jeanine was invited to speak on “”THE VIEW,” she wasn’t allowed to speak because they didn’t agree with her views based and facts, evidence and experience in her court rooms. Judge Jeanine was thrown out. How insular, how disrespectful this whole thing was. Judge Jeanine would have lived experience enforcing the law in her courts yet, she was deemed so evil by the panel that she couldn’t be heard? Just listen to the commentary below.

 

All individuals act on what is right for them, but then once you start to enforce your opinion onto the mass, then it’s imposing on the other.  This is a real example or relativism. How can that be right for all? It doesn’t work.

If one were to rely on truth and facts more then we could all start to look for solutions based on the evidence.

 

 

RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES: RELATIVISM

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The oxford meaning of ‘Relativism’ is……The doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.

So looking at this from a moral perspective, this would mean that there is no truth and that it changes as society’s views change…I believe this is ridden with problems.

According to Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict....”Relativism is the idea that there is no universal absolute truth but that truth differs from person to person and culture to culture. In other words, truth is relative to what each person or culture thinks. who warned  “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” Relativism is a poison. It attacks our most human capacity, the capacity to seek and know the truth, including the moral truth.  It’s the greatest problem of our time sais Joseph Ratzinger- Pope Benedict)

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For a family to grow and thrive, it must have a set of values and beliefs that ensure the smooth running of its household for the benefits of all its family members. To do this it must have a common understanding of what is right and what is wrong, what to do and what not to do under given circumstances.

But could this be true of any workplace, establishment, society or country etc.?       I would say YES!! Because without a system of beliefs, values and a common understanding, how would its employees, members, participants etc. come to the truth? How would they come to some consensus? How could any family , or institution function? How could they be fair and just?  Again, having a common set of beliefs would assist, enhance the teamwork, involvement, productivity etc. Companies, schools, establishments, workplaces  have vision and mission statements to differentiate them from the rest . I deem this to be necessary of society as well. I’m not sure how all would function without a common set of values and beliefs.  All would collapse, all would not be able to function and thrive.

So then what is the truth??????????????????????? Many today think that science is the only truth, that if it cannot be verified then it’s just an opinion or it’s subjective.

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One of the greatest manifestation of this is the question of what is evil/right/wrong/? Just take a look at this youtube video (below)

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Shouldn’t parents have the right to hold on to their child? Countries who have had euthanasia laws well established, have people going into hospitals wearing badges saying “Please don’t euthanize me.” People should have the right to choose according to their values and beliefs?  Where there is life there is hope. That hope was taken away from Alfie’s parents. Similar situations would come under abortion, euthanasia, marriage, gender issues and more.

This belief that truth evolves and that there are no absolutes would be difficult to live to, this would lead us to believe that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself but that there is only better than and worse than….Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstance and on the evil in view. Anything can be good or bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences and in the process it ceases to exist. ( Joseph Ratzinger 2008)

So how do we get around this?????? Jesus gives us the model to live by for all civilizations. Much of which his model is based on common core values of: love, hope and charity, respect, pro life and more, gospel truths that have been handed down from Jesus Christ using over 2000 years of intelligence.

No matter what faith one might have, these rules and themes as handed down by Jesus Christ, are universal. Who wouldn’t want to uphold love, hope and charity, respect or pro life issues? These can unite us and lead us to Jesus Christ who leads us to the absolute truth and to our Heavenly Father in Heaven. . Show me your evidence that negates this?

All churches, families, workplaces, or any establishment who serve people should adopt these values and not water them down because it is not fashionable.

Here are some problems. When relativists apply and start imposing their opinions unto others, problems surface, because where then is that common set of beliefs?  Which is right, your view or mine?As a relativist, why should anyone adopt or believe in someone who imposes their views? So why should anyone conform?????

So, how does all this relate to my life? Well, in my own family Jesus is the centre, he is our model to live by.  These values are the ones that I have tried to instill in my children.

As for the workplace, first I tried to find a place with the above values and when the workplace didn’t uphold them, I upheld them and tried to bring Jesus into the situation. I left the workplace when the common core values were not upheld or were not aligned with my faith. When it got tough, I prayed that Jesus would lead me to the next stage of my life and He always has in His timing not mine.

When sitting amongst friends and colleagues and the conversation because contentious, I politely bring facts and the truth to it. I try to evangelise as much as I can. I volunteer at my church and instruct students from  ages 8-11 years about my faith. The rest is up to them and whether they are open to the truth.

If people don’t believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and Their Spirit, then it becomes their responsibility to search for the truth. I’m still discovering and getting a better understanding of Jesus’s message because I’ve joined a bible group to help me grow in understanding. God is good because when He created us He programmed us for Him no matter what your beliefs are. God will bring opportunities to you via media, other people, a song, a report  etc.

At Election time, I research the parties’ candidates to see what their beliefs and world view is and then I vote for the candidae/party that best represent my views. I write letters to politicians and sign petitions.

Finally, I can live in the word but not be of the world and I try to have a heaven perspective.

PRAYER:

Dear Father in Heaven, make us strong and steadfast in avoiding temptation.      Lead us to the absolute truth and to reject new age philosophies that lead us to false beliefs which ignore the gospel truths of Your Son Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Where do you get your validation from?

What I see today is many people who look for approval from their peers, it’s not necessarily a bad thing but consider this. To a degree we all have biases, a certain unfulfilled ambition, unresolved issues, disappointments, judgements and problems that can all cloud our judgements and decisions when we look to our peers for advice and validation.

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Our peers may be  people who may have a wealth of knowledge but may be experience or spiritually poor.  Where are they in their journey to strive for the truth? So how can advice or validation from anyone be what we need, or be the answer to our problems?

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I say we need validation from the higher one. The one who knew us before our parents had us, before the world even knew our name, before the world hated us for bearing his name.Image result for validation from God not peers

 

How do we get validation from God?  Make your path straight, repent, forgive, pray, give, acknowledge, praise, worship the one who died to know you. We ask for the answers we need and wait to hear from Him. Try it! It works!

MAY YOUR JOURNEY FOR THE TRUTH BE A PEACEFUL AND RIGHTEOUS ONE!

THE ANSWER TO ALL THIS TURMOIL IS ABOVE

I don’t think I’m alone in  saying that there is turmoil in and around us right now! Increase in crime, suicides, unemployment, family abuse, robberies and break ins, carjacking, disrespect for authority and the law, disrespect for democracy, drug abuse, alcohol,  depression, anxiety, bullying, poverty, sexual/verbal abuse, homelessness.. and more. So  this is where progress and our increased freedoms have lead us to? GET ME OUT OF HERE!! Really…… who needs this kind of progress???? I say…… we are going backwards.

I remember a time when life was simpler, easier, less congested, uncomplicated and orderly. Society is too quick to throw out what was good from our past to make way for progress.

The latest IPhones, IPads, cars, holidays, designer attire, isn’t going to fulfill us(it might for a brief moment) I’m talking about something that is lasting, that inner peace that translates into good sleep, good relationships, happy families and a relationship with God.

I hope this video clip will help put things in perspective, that only when things are right with God can we be truly at peace. A heart at rest is a heart at peace. When our will is united with God’s will, then and only then can we have union with Him.

God gave Jesus dominion over this earth, God gave us His Son Jesus to help fight our battles. We need to have a heaven perspective not an earthly one, because the second brings destruction and the first brings us in union with our creator God.

PRAYER

Dear Father God, we thank You for this beautiful world we live in. Please help us to follow your Son Jesus as He will lead us to the absolute truth and through Him, we will be in union with You in heaven. AMEN

 

 

Pantheism is the belief that God is everything and everything is God-NOT SO!!!!

This belief that God is in everything is misleading. Yes! God has created everything but not everything has chosen to be in union with God. Not all that is in the world is God. Satan, his demons and evil are also in the world. They inflict pain and destruction upon God’s creatures which does not come from our Almighty, All powerful All knowing Father God.

 

1 John 4:1-4 The True Spirit and the False Spirit

My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. This is how you will be able to know whether it is God’s Spirit: anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being has the Spirit who comes from God. But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God. The spirit that he has is from the Enemy of Christ; you heard that it would come, and now it is here in the world already. But you belong to God, my children, and have defeated the false prophets, because the Spirit who is in you is more powerful than the spirit in those who belong to the world.

All that is the world is not God. Evil exists in the world because God’s given man a free will, because Satan and his demons operate in the world and they turned away from God. Pantheism makes no distinction between God, Satan, demons or any form of evil even humans. Humans and everything in this world are not equal to God. Putting everything into a minestrone does not make lasagna.  If that were the case, then you and I are God. We can, in effect, create our own reality. Well that’s wrong!!!! Because the only real truth is the truth that God has revealed through the prophets and His Son Jesus Christ.

The First and Second Commandments state: “You shall have no other gods before Me [God]” and, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image … you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Exodus 20:3-5).

It is important to get rid of idols and only worship the true one God, the God of Jesus Christ.

TRUTH…..What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

                                                                                                                                                    WE ARE NOT GOD. WE DON’T CREATE THE TRUTH. WE COME TO KNOW                                                        THE TRUTH  

                                                                        

     

What is truth asked Pontius Pilate in the time of Jesus? John 18:37. Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born for this, and I came into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is committed to the truth listens to my voice.” I AM THE WAY,THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE”. Jesus said.

Pontius Pilate refused to see the truth and missed the opportunity of witnessing the power of God because he was spiritually blind. The power was in his hands to let Jesus go but no!!!! He was too scared to stand for the truth. It is not enough for great men to do nothing!!!!!! This is the central theme of John’s Gospel………… When brought before Pilate, Jesus professes that He himself is The Truth and the witness to the truth. He does not defend the truth with legions but rather makes it visible through his Passion and thereby also implements it.

It is easy to rationalise and explain your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening to make a point.It is equally easy to make value judgments on just about anything. There is a danger in this in that it …….“does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate standard consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.  A ‘Relativist’ makes of life something that works for them, that there is no definite truth……. you discover your own path …make life something that works for you …..If it works for me it’s cool, it doesn’t hurt anyone so it must be right?? …..”FOLLOW YOUR HEART” some would say.  THIS HAS A PROBLEM because it takes the meaning out of life.( J. A. Ratzinger )  There is more to life than that………………So then…. “What is the true meaning of life?’’ “What is the goal???? ( J. A. Ratzinger ) The long term goal should be salvation and we have to map out our path as given to us by our saviour Jesus Christ. Today, in fact, truth is regarded as far too subjective a concept for us to find therein a universally valid standard.( J. A. Ratzinger )

Everything is to some extent negotiable. This has a problem because coming to some consensus would be near impossible and we face the risk of having no standards. The opinion of the majority would be the only criterion that counted. The minute one uses the word ‘’should” they are undermining relativism.

an example of relativism

One is making judgement imposing one’s truth onto others. This is a self-contradicting proposition. There is nothing everyone should do?  If you think you know the truth then you are an absolutist. We are not God, God is absolute. Jesus revealed who God is to us and that He came for the truth. So, the truth that leads to salvation is in the gospels according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.