Friday, 13 December 2013

Darwin's Doubt

Eric Metaxas and Stephen Meyer, author of, "Darwin's Doubt" discuss Intelligent Design on Vimeo.



It appears that the hard-core Darwinists of today are as closed-minded as what they accuse the Church as being historically. They are the modern equivalent to flat-earthers. We are told the science is settled? Science is never settled. It always investigates, always questions, always examines all evidence and all possibilities.

Over an hour, but fascinating.

Take Care

Monday, 9 December 2013

Edson Home Dedication Ceremony



This is the dedication ceremony for the largest rural Habitat for Humanity build in Canadian history. Much of it is thanks to my friends Bob and Karen (Karen was the project coordinator, I believe) from Edson, where I lived for about 8 years. Karen's speech begins at about the 1:45 mark. In her thanks, she acknowledged Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, but this part was not included in the video. Kind of weird, as HFH professes itself as a Christian organization.

Anyway, congratulations, Karen and Bob. Job well done.

(And if anyone cares, the apartment building in the background at the 3:47 mark is where Eva and I lived our first year in Edson.)

Take Care

Monday, 2 December 2013

Child Poverty!

Most family break ups involve unmarried parents, Co-habiting couples

We have an epidemic of family breakdown because so few people realise how badly the odds of  success are stacked against unmarried co-habitees.
I won't say much more, because this is old hat, but something that, in today's climate of self-centered morality and entitlement will never be discussed, much less addressed.

So... Just sayin'

Take Care

Friday, 8 November 2013

"Atheist?" Super Bowl Ad?

The following video, which someone has declared is, "the best commercial on the planet," was apparently originally an ad for the Church of Scientology that someone merely tacked on the word, "Atheism" over the last part.



Interesting! What does it say, either about atheism or Scientology, that one can use the other's material without so much as an internal edit?

In my opinion, atheists who think they have an exclusive lock on logic are the most arrogant of all people. The Christian faith is completely logical. The difference comes from the basic premise on which one's logic is based. And the founding premises of both atheism and theism have one thing in common - they both rely on "unproveable" assumptions, at least, each one's premise based on, "evidence" unacceptable to the other.

Christians begin with the premise, not accepted by atheists, that, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Atheists begin with the unproveable assumption that there is no such being as God. From there, each side develops its worldview based upon its chosen founding premise.

As I have probably said before, a number of years ago, after having been an atheist, or at least an apathetic agnostic for much of my life, it began to occur to me that it made as much sense that God existed as that He didn't. God Himself has turned that dawning realization into a certainty.

Having accepted that basic Christian premise, I find the Christian faith to be completely internally logically consistent, much more so, in fact, than the atheistic worldview, and much more in tune with reality than the atheist way of thinking.

Take Care,

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Someone's Dream

 
L'il Dave's Service N' More.
 
I passed this place the other day on one of Alberta's secondary highways. Did you ever see something like this and imagine the story behind it?
 
This was someone's dream once - a dream to be one's own boss; a dream perhaps to be independent and provide for one's family. By the look of the trees growing up around the gas pumps this place has been abandoned for about 10 years or more. I can imagine a guy named Dave dreaming of owning his own small business. He may have been a mechanic working for someone else, the facility obviously consists of a gas bar, perhaps a convenience store, perhaps a small restaurant, and a separate garage - possibly added so that Dave could service cars in addition to the other business.
 
Maybe he had a young family. Maybe he and his wife sat at the kitchen table agonizing over whether or not to buy the place. Maybe Dave pleaded with her, sharing his dream about how great it was going to be.
 
I can imagine Dave buying this business then adding the shop, convinced that people would flock to his doors when they realized just how great a mechanic he was. And then, perhaps things didn't work out.
 
Many people dream of owning their own business. The majority of newly formed small business go out of business within a few years.
 
As one who has succeeded in my own small business, then been a part of a hugely successful company that started small and grew to medium size, I have a bit of a heart for people with these dreams. I realize how difficult it is to succeed and I ache for those who go in with such dreams then find them dashed.
 
And so I imagine the story of this place.
 
But maybe it's nothing like that at all.
 
Take Care



Monday, 7 October 2013

Two Is Better Than One? Who'da Thought It?

From here
This is one of my favourite hobbyhorses - the relationship between marriage, single parenthood and social/economic position. Once again, statistics and reality bear out the relationship.
“This is the marriage crisis behind our inequality crisis. It is not complicated. It requires no regressions. It is the simplest math equation in the world. It says: Two is more than one.”
However, it occurs to me that the correlation may not be as simple as at first sight. It may be that the persons of a certain group are less inclined to marry, and that that particular group also happen to be the ones who tend to be at a lower economic level. Such a group may be grouped by intelligence, education, social environment, moral values or something else. But in fact, I wonder if the relationship may be more correlational than causal. In any case, for whatever reason, they may be less inclined to hold to what we may call traditional morality and, as I have posted a number of times, I believe (and statistics and reality seem to bear this out), there is a direct relationship between uncommitted sexual activity, single parenthood and poverty.

Obviously I am writing in a general sense, and there are surely some wonderful exceptions, but also in general, there is a right way of doing things, and if people would just see it and do it, we would all be much better off.

Take Care
.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

You Have Saved the Best 'Til Now

“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (John 2:10)

Great things are happening in Alberta, Canada. Alpha is on fire. We have hundreds of churches offering  even more hundreds of courses this fall.

But some are new to Alpha, and not sure of what to expect. I have spoken recently to a few who seem disappointed with the numbers attending. One of these was a local pastor Monday evening who was wondering whether to cancel her course because her church had only 3 or 4 guests registered. I told her I could not make this decision for her team, but the decision, with prayer, would be theirs.
 
Then I told her about what I consider, humorously perhaps, my most successful course. It consisted of my wife and I and two guests in front of our home TV. One guest was already a Christian and the other came to faith on the course, so I can claim that by the end of the course, 100% of my guests had become Christians.

The following evening she then came to my house to pick up some resources because by that time they had 10 people registered.

 The real point is to take the long view. Not all such prayers are answered so quickly, but I believe that every effort we make in accordance with God's will, will somehow bear fruit - even if we don't see it immediately.   The key is not to give up - Jesus sometimes saves the best for later. And later may be just ahead.
 
Take Care

Monday, 30 September 2013

A Quote From Ravi Zacharias

      
Marx's maxim has been reversed: it's now atheism that is the opi(ate) of the people, the idea we are not ultimately accountable for our actions.

Perceptive and true, I believe.
 
Take Care

Friday, 27 September 2013

Rocked Royal Albert Hall

Enough to wake up Queen Victoria. I was there.

I even saw the back of my head in the crowd.
Enjoy &

Take Care

Friday, 20 September 2013

My Stroke of Brilliance (I Hope)

I had an interesting day this past Tuesday. I was invited to Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) in Three Hills Alberta to address a discipleship class of about 30 young people, to inform them and hopefully enthuse them about Alpha. My presentation was well received. I ran through a Power Point slide show on, “What is Alpha” (not all of them were familiar with it) and a quick overview, “How to run Alpha.”  Especially relevant to them, I spoke about the new Youth Film Series, coming out right now. The students learned how Alpha can be a low-key, non-judgmental and non-threatening way to introduce others to Jesus.
 
I shared with them that their generation is the most un-churched generation in history, and yet many of us, for various reasons, feel awkward in communicating the hope that we have to others. Alpha can be an effective way of overcoming our fears in this regard.

Let’s back up a bit. Years ago I took some classes from Briercrest, another good Bible College. I was also the Alpha coordinator at my home church in Edmonton, and I was able to earn Field Education credits for my work in this area. (“Field Education” is a requirement in many Bible School programs.)

So… a brilliant idea occurred to me: we in Alpha might approach various Bible colleges with this idea: that their students be offered the same opportunity to earn such credits in their own educational path, by participating in or instituting Alphas in various churches, either locally or in their own home churches.

Briefly, this would accomplish a number of things;
           It would raise awareness of Alpha in one of the very generations we are yearning to reach – youth and young adults.
           It would, “multiply” our own efforts, by sending out a number of enthusiastic young students eager to earn credits toward their religious education by participating in Alpha
           Again, 30, or 20, or 10 young, “ambassadors” approaching local churches on Alpha’s behalf would increase our effectiveness beyond just one Regional Director trying to do the same thing.
           Done properly, it will raise up a whole new generation of leaders; leaders within Alpha, or young people developing their leadership skills through Alpha and moving on to lead in other areas of church or missions.

Thus the call and the trip to PBI. The next logical step is that I return, hopefully with an assistant or so, and present a more intensive training on how actually to run an Alpha. This has already been discussed with both the discipleship coordinator at PBI and the school’s president, both of whom are familiar with Alpha and enthusiastic supporters.

Please pray with me that this will indeed come to pass, that much fruit will come out of this relationship, and that other Bible Colleges might join this vision so that many more of our teens and young adults would be inspired and equipped to reach out into their communities through Alpha.

Take Care

Wednesday, 14 August 2013



 Question Everything
 
This is an initiative by local churches throughout Alberta to re-engage friends and neighbours, family members and acquaintances in matters of faith.
 
 
It stems from the consideration of a number of statistics from Reg Bibby:
  1. Church attendance in the last couple of generations has declined dramatically. At one point, around 1950, a higher percentage of Canadians actually attended church regularly than Americans.
  2. As shown above, many people would be open to greater religious involvement "if they thought it was worthwhile." (what that means is a whole 'nother subject for discussion.)
  3. Most of these would probably re-engage with a tradition with which they felt some connection - either a denomination they themselves had left, or that their parents attended, etc.
  4. A program was needed that could be run by, and was acceptable to, all denominations, across the board.
  5. The best fit seemed to be Alpha.
So my time leading up to the launch this fall has been contacting and encouraging churches all around the Province to reach out to their communities through Alpha. I tell people I love driving and I love Alpha, so I have the perfect job.

Interestingly, I really like the avatar, "Question Everything." Years ago I participated on an atheist discussion board, dedicated to debunking the Christian faith (it is no longer in existence) and that was my signature line. I have said before that I believe a person is an atheist because they haven't asked enough questions.

Christians don't need to be afraid of questions if the inquirer is truly seeking the truth. Jesus, as we know, is the truth, and he has promised that anyone who seeks, will find.


Take Care

Monday, 12 August 2013

It Only Comes Out When I Bite

This is a rant about dentists.
 
The tooth you see missing was a crown. It was originally the result of an accident I had when I was in my teens, driving a 1961 Vauxhall off a gravel road and into a culvert.


For years I had a gold tooth there, until I finally, a number of years ago, had it replaced with a regular-looking crown. This one had been coming loose for the last few months, but I kept hoping beyond hope that it might never come completely out.

But it was a recent cob of corn that finally did the deed. (Yes, I know... I should have known better.) Actually I can put it back into place and it looks completely normal, as I have done for a couple of weeks now.  But it just sits there, as a decoration. It comes back out every time I try to bite something.

So... what about this rant I was talking about.  Well, years ago I had another crown, a molar, that came loose. I went to a dentist to have it re-attached. He told me he couldn't do it; that I had to have an entirely new crown made for a couple of thousand dollars. I actually was able to afford it then, so I went ahead.

Fast forward to about 5 years ago. This crown - the one in the picture (or, more properly, the one not in the picture) broke off the day before my wife and I were to leave on vacation. I went in to my local dentist and asked him if he could re-attach it. He started on the "official dentist line" about not being able to fix it - I must have a new one. I told him I was leaving for Mazatlan the next day, so could he just glue it and I would come in as soon as I got back. So he "glued" it back into place.

That was five years ago. It has lasted that long. I have phoned my current dentist (not the same one)for an appointment. I will see if he can re-attach it again. I will be happy if he can make it last another five years, because I don't now have the money for a new crown. Frankly, I don't expect I will have it in five years either but whatever works, even temporarily. I know I'm being unfair here, but I just had a sense that some dentists are like unscrupulous auto mechanics - "Oh we can't repair that, you have to buy a new one!"

Thus endeth the rant. Having said all that, if my current dentist is able to re-attach it for me, I will completely recant everything I have said here. Stay tuned.

Take Care

UPDATE!: My totally awesome current dentist has re-cemented it, so I take it all back (most of it anyway). Now if I can just remember to stay away from hard apples and corn on the cob, it might even outlast me, although he didn't give me a warranty on it.

Friday, 9 August 2013

PC(USA) Removes, "In Christ Alone" From Hymn Book

From here...

The Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Songs for the Presbyterian Church (USA) has decided to not include the hymn "In Christ Alone" because one phrase speaks about God's wrath.
 Mary Louise Bringle, who chairs the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Songs, recently wrote about the decision in her blog for the Christian Century. Bringle shared that after they initially voted for the inclusion of the hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, they discovered that although they had found materials that changed the words, "as Jesus died / the wrath of God was satisfied," to "Till on that cross as Jesus died / the love of God was magnified," if they wanted to include it in their updated hymnal, the wording would have to be printed as the authors originally intended, and not revised.
...we discovered that this version of the text would not be approved by the authors, as it was considered too great a departure from their original words [good for Getty and Townend, JK]
Also of note in the article is this grammatically awkward phrase, a reflection of the liberal attitude of anathema towards any hint of uninclusivity: 
"...the cross is primarily about God's need to assuage God's anger,"
One can only shake one's head in wonder at those in the liberal church who sit and shake their own heads in wonder at why people are abandoning their numbers.

Take Care
h/t @pastormark

Friday, 26 July 2013

Federal Government Bans, "Bless You!"

From here...
The Department of Employee Well-being for the government released their list of phrases no longer permitted in federal work environments and topping the list is saying "bless-you" after someone sneezes. Other phrases include: "OMG," "cheers" and "thank heavens."
Is this not the silliest thing ever? Maybe it would be OK if we said, "Damn you!"

Yeah, I think I got punk'd.
 
Take Care

(Updated: It was brought to my attention that perhaps I should not have unilaterally removed this post, so here it is back again to wind its way down the board as more posts come online.)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

An Atheist Family Spat

From Here...
With a link to here..., if you can take the time to read the whole thing.

I find this whole exchange fascinating, because it exposes, or at least brings into the light, what to me is the basic flaw in the thinking of those who categorically reject the existence of God, or even the possibility of His existence. That is that they assume an unproven premise - that there is nothing beyond the purely physical, material or natural. That is an assumption. And once one chooses that particular road or direction and begins to travel down it, one can only follow it to wherever it goes, even if it is the wrong road or direction, and even if they refuse to see or admit that it is the wrong road or direction. Once one assumes a premise, all the rest of their thinking must follow in the direction dictated by that premise.

The fly in the atheist ointment, to me, is the very thing in which they insist they are participating - rational thought; the ability to hold one opinion, or make one decision, over another. Because this necessarily involves some kind of conscious control over physical patterns. Some mechanism by which we, as humans, are able to direct the paths of the atoms and molecules that travel within our brains and by which are composed our thoughts and memories.

Atheist Jerry Coyne has said,
...all sciences are in principle reducible to the laws of physics,”  Either we’re molecules in motion or we’re not. (Jerry Coyne)


But as the writer of the longer article says,
Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
I think this blind atheistic position is well summed up by another quote from the article, this one by author George Orwell
“One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

Take Care

Monday, 22 July 2013

One of Two Possibilities

Kingston, Ont., lesbian couple threatened, told to move out of town
From here

This seems to have gone a bit viral, with all sorts of sympathetic comments on the one side and bigotted and hateful ones on both. Most comments seem to be rather over-the-top on either side, IMO. It is amazing to see the number of commenters who leap, almost as an unthinking, knee-jerk reaction, and with the poorest of grammar and writing skills, to the defense of this poor couple.

As I see it, there are two possibilities:
  1. These notes are the work of someone on the level of Fred Phelps and therefore worthy only of being ignored as idiotic and irrelevant, or
  2. They are fakes designed to elicit sympathy for the one side and contempt for the other.
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised by either one, although I lean toward the second. If they ever find out who wrote the letters it will be interesting to see.

Take Care

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Atheist Study Reveals That Non-Believers Are Just As Varied As People Of Faith

From here...

The article lists a number of categories into which, it says, atheists fall, but I found these two interesting.
"Seeker Agnostics" were characterized as the happiest slice of non-believers. They see themselves as non-believers open to possibility when it comes to belief.
Not all of these so-called "religious nones" are anti-religion, except for the most visible group, the "Anti-Theists." They are defined by their belief that religion is a destructive force in society, and rate highest in levels of anger and dogmatism...
Interesting that the most open-minded were the happiest, while the most closed-minded were the angriest. This has certainly been my experience, judging by comments on various of my blogs on atheism.

The angriest seem indeed to be the most closed-minded and the ones least willing to engage in reasonable and rational discussion. They are the ones least likely to consider that Christianity is, as I posit in the title of this site, a Reasonable Faith. They suffer most greatly from what is, to use a Christian analogy, the log in their own eye, and about which they are most likely to rage in people of faith: dogmatism.

Take Care

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

"Raising Awareness™" and Other Meaningless Cliches

Check out this video from CBC News and the idiot announcer doing the interview with a young lady campaigning to have Chris Brown's appearance at a music festival boycotted.
Frankly, I probably sympathize with her campaign, and, if I was ever tempted to attend a Chris Brown event, once I learned he was a violent partner-abuser, I too would probably, intentionally, not attend.

But look at some of the silliness from the announcer.

First of all he says that poor Chris has "paid his price to society," so to speak. And Rhianna has, "forgiven" him [like a moth to a flame, JK]. Shouldn't we?

Then he uses the completely meaningless cliché, "raising awareness™", actually suggests it to her, and she takes the bait. Frankly, I'm tired of the raising awareness™ nonsense. The clerk at the grocery store asked me if I wanted to donate a buck to cancer awareness. I said, "No thanks, I'm sure most people are aware of cancer by now." Just as I'm sure most people are aware of spousal abuse by now and that it is a bad thing.

Then he whines that because this woman is campaigning online against Chris Brown's appearance at a concert, there is a danger of similar campaigns being mounted against gay and minority entertainers. Yah, right! I would stand for anyone's right to start an anti-gay petition online, but I sure don't like the chances of it getting very far. Such a person would be lynched, virtually speaking.

And the, "other" meaningless cliché, I'm afraid, is the creating of, "memorials" by laying flowers, candles and other memorabilia at various sites where people have died. Aside from various traffic accident sites, the latest is the hotel in Vancouver where the guy from Glee died. What's the point? Does this somehow assuage an inner need for ritual. I suppose, and I'll probably be accused of insensitivity, but I just think it's silly.

Take Care

 



Friday, 5 July 2013

Democracy Fetish?

One often hears Western leaders speaking of democracy as the ideal form of government for less developed nations. But is it really?

It is almost like the White Man's Burden, this time in a political sense, all over again; assuming that what works for us should be encouraged, even forced, on others.

Is a democratically elected despot better for a people than a benign monarchy, or a just dictator (if that is not a contradiction in terms) where the rights of minorities are protected?

Here is a fascinating discussion on the current situation in Egypt. The real discussion, with Aurel Braun, begins at about the six-minute mark.
Democracy or freedom - the two are not necessarily synonymous. Interesting food for thought, I think.

Take Care

Thursday, 4 July 2013

New Religion

  "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you" Augustine of Hippo 
"He has also set eternity in the human heart..." (Solomon - Ecclesiates 3:11) 
 "...when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." (Jesus - John 13:32)
"When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he will believe anything." G.K. Chesterton. 
Vancouver wiccan cop and founder of the Order of Scathach believes in philosphy of personal responsibility
From Here...
Knightly values such as chivalry and the warrior code seemed to Kerr Cuhulain to be as good a place as any to start a new ­“religion.” Cuhulain, who says he is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror, founded the Order of Scathach (pronounced Sky-Ah) in 2007.
The Order of Scathach is named after a female warrior who had an Irish pupil named Cuhulain
Members of the pagan order wear minimalist black robes and paint their faces.
Their symbol is a full moon with a branch of three leaves symbolizing three levels of initiation.

The order’s rules emphasize ­personal responsibility and begin with “I will” as opposed to “Thou shalt not.”
Members of the order see divinity in everything, says Cuhulain.
“The divine is not separate. It permeates you, me and everything. ... I don’t worship, because it implies the divine is out there on a pedestal and I’m bowing down,” he says.
He advises troubled people to make up a “god” to help them... “We tell people to identify a problem you have in life and create a god to fix it. It ­really liberates a lot of people.” (emphasis mine, JK)
I rest my case.

Take Care



Richard Dawkins and Free Will



Watch this brief video with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss bumbling their way through a question on free will. And, of course, bumble is all they can do, because they really don't, nor can they, have an answer. Krauss, says something about the, "particles in the room," and that touches on a completely relevant point. If all the universe is just, "particles in the room," how can there be anything like free will? How can there be any choice on the part of these particles? How can there be any explanation for rational thought? How, indeed, can there be any point to two atheists onstage discussing free will, if every word from their mouths and thought from their minds is merely a function of the random movement of particles, each one contingent on antecedent events since the beginning of the universe?

As Dawkins himself says, "It is a question that I dread."

And with good reason.

Take Care


Friday, 7 June 2013

One of Those Difficult Questions

At a recent Alpha conference in Calgary, during an on-stage panel discussion, someone from the audience asked the question, "What is the most difficult question you've ever been asked, as an Alpha small-group leader, and how did you answer it?"

I was not on the panel, but wish I had been, because I thought of this example.

It was during one of my prison Alpha courses. A Native Canadian - would have been in his late'40's or early 50's I suppose - tall, distinguished, in a warrior sort of way that the prison system had not been able to beat out of him; long salt and pepper hair pulled back behind his ears and over the collar of his orange jumpsuit, said this:
When my father was a boy he was taken from his home, his village and his people, and sent to a white man's school. They tried to take away his language and his culture and turn him into a little white man. He never recovered from it, nor did my family. The people who did this represented your Jesus. What do you say about that?
 
I must admit I didn't give the standard Alpha small group leader answer, "That's interesting. What does anyone else think?"

Instead, I remembered a story told by, I believe, Ravi Zaccharias:
There was a small village. In that village was a well respected man, loved by all. This man had a very distinctive coat and a very recognizable hat. In fact, you could tell even from a distance when he was coming, because you could see his hat and coat. They would say, "Here comes Mr So-and-so; we can see his hat and coat."

One day a thief stole that coat and hat, put it on and robbed a corner store. Police were called in and all the witnesses said, "It was Mr So-and-so - we recognized his hat and coat." But, of course, it wasn't Mr So-and-so. It was just someone wearing his hat and coat.
Many things have been done in Jesus' name - some of them even well-intentioned. but don't blame Jesus for some of the pain. Sometimes it's just been someone wearing his hat and coat. 


I left it at that.

Take Care

 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

These Brits are so Thoughtful...



...of their North American guests. Although even after a week here, I still look the other way for traffic.

Some other trivial things I have noticed here in London:
  • There are very few overweight people here. both men and women seem very trim and beautiful.
  • Their seems to be a pile of money in this area (South Kensington). Every other car is either a Mercedes or a BMW, with the odd Mazerati or Bently thrown in. The main difference from Alberta? No pickup trucks. A Dodge Ram or a Ford Super Duty would probably attract a crowd of curiious onlookers.
  • Real estate prices are, for lack of a better word, stupid. I saw a 1000 square foot flat in need of renovation listed at 1.5 million pounds.
I may think of more, but for now...

Updated:
  • There are uncountable Italian restaurants. Every block seems to have 2 or 3
  • The wall sockets have their own switches on them so you caan turn them off. Also, wall switches are backwards from ours - 'On' is down.
Take Care

Saturday, 11 May 2013

In London for Alpha Leadership Week

Holy Trinity Brompton has a record of taking over dying churches and bringing them back to life. In addition to these three, they have planted 21 others.
 
The Original Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), birthplace of the Alpha Course

 

HTB Onslow Square - Rocking Youth Worship

HTB Queen's Gate, serving meals to the homeless.
 
 
What could possibly be the reason for their success. (Hint: it's not because they try to appeal to the popular culture by compromising on issues of morality or the message of the Gospel.)
 
Take Care


Monday, 6 May 2013

The Umportance of Ejakayshun

Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina answers a question.



And gets applause!

Take Care

Two Parents are Better Than One - Research


From here...
A new study out of the University of Calgary is suggesting that two parents may be better than one when it comes to learning and memory in their children.
Frankly, I'm surprised the story even saw the light of day, considering how politically incorrect it would seem to be in this culture. However, one significant and obvious question was indeed ignored:

The scientists divided mice into three groups:
  1. Pups raised to adulthood by one female
  2. Pups raised to adulthood by one female and one male
  3. Pups raised  to adulthood by two females. 
They then waited for the offspring to reach adulthood to find out if there was any impact on brain cell production.
The study also revealed that the advantages of dual parenting were also passed along to the next generation, even if their offspring were raised by one female.
The researchers say the data provides evidence that parenting and the environment directly impact adult brain cell production in the mice model and that it is possible similar effects could be seen in other mammals, such as humans.
The question being, how did those raised by two females fare compared to those raised by one female and one male. Wouldn't it seem natural to answer that one?

Apparently not.

Take Care


 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A New Day (Updated)

A group of us have officially left our Anglican Church of Canada parish to form a new congregation (now - "Christ the King") in the Anglican Network in Canada, a more theologically orthodox denomination but still within the Anglican Communion.

Many such church splits across Canada have been marked by bitterness and anger on both sides - even spitefulness by some, but that has not been the case here, I don't believe. At least not to as great an extent as in some cases. We even had a service of leaving and blessing for the benefit of both those departing and those staying. I will say it again that St Paul's Edmonton has been the most wonderful Christian community I have ever known, and what has happened to tear it apart is both painful and disgraceful.

Yes, there has been anger. On my part it was not toward our leaders, or those who decided to remain, but toward those who were responsible for promoting and passing the motion allowing the Bishop to bless same-sex unions at last fall's Synod. That is what destroyed our church, not those within it who held differing opinions. But pass it did, and those responsible knew it would cause a split, but they did it anyway. That is what angered me - the deliberateness of it all.

But the time for anger is past. It is time to move on, each gracefully going his own way. My only hope is that each of those who stayed did so out of genuinely held convictions of faith, not for reasons of convenience or personal attachments to either people, buildings or institutions. I believe those who left did indeed do so because we were sure we were following God's call to stand firm in our faith.

The one thing a genuine Christian should never be heard to say is, "I know I should (or shouldn't) but..." That indicates a compromise of one's faith, and our very faith has been built on the shoulders of those who did not compromise in the face of attack or opposition.

Take Care

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sympathy for Rapists

From Here...



Rape is wrong. Period.

But our sexually entitled society is playing itself out in so many other ways as well, so that every sexual desire seems to have a "right" to be satisfied. There seemed to be as much concern for the poor rapists and what they have done to their future in this story as for the victim.

Having said that, however, where is the parental guidance in all of this, both to raise their children to know that rape is wrong, and to be aware of their sons' (and daughters') attendance at an under-age drinking party. Yes, the young men concerned have blown their futures out of the water, and that is very sad indeed. And in the end, they themselves are entirely responsible, but who, or what else is?

Why and how have we come to the point where sexual activity, for 16-year-olds, is such an ordinary and expected part of their lives? The consequences for the general direction of our society's moral standards run deep.

Meanwhile, the chipping away of those moral underpinnings that have built and hold together a healthy society are continuing apace.

Take Care

Monday, 11 March 2013

Being a Christian After the "Arab Spring"

Rev. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death

This morning I received this e-mail from a friend who is involved in an Arabic-speaking Alpha. It speaks to something I have posted on before - the danger of getting involved in something before we completely understand it - in this case the so-called, "Arab Spring," which, I gather, was supposed to result in freedom and democracy in the Arab world. Well... some Arabs are not so free.
A Hero in Libya  
This morning I received the news that my brother and friend Ezzat was killed in Libya He was arrested, tortured and killed by the Libyan authority His crime was sharing the Good News with others He left his wife and two kids Ezzat is a hero. Heroes cannot throw out dangers but they can throw out fears. We mustn't disgrace our life in Christ by standing in fear of death. Death is no more than transforming us from mortal status to eternity and immortality. Death is not the end of their story but only the next chapter. Will our actions continue impacting the world after our departure? Will the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the blind and the bruised, hear the name of Jesus and receive the salvation of Jesus long after we're gone? Heroes who have lost their lives in battle will not be forgotten. Those of us who knew Ezzat best will tell stories of his bravery, his heroism and his sacrifice. Ezzat was steadfast throughout torturing and embraced death with a smile and peace. He is gone from this life but he will not be forgotten as he will live on within us. He has taken his place in heaven and will spend eternity with God and with those whose hearts are brave, good and full of love to God just like his own. Heroes like Ezzat have made us better people and for that, we should be grateful. His memory will live on through us and it is our privilege and responsibility to ensure he is remembered forever for how honorably he lived, how bravely he broke through the powers of darkness strongholds and how honestly he loved his savior. We will carry the memory of those heroes of faith in our hearts forever, we will celebrate their lives and we will cherish the memories of their tremendous loyalty, unwavering convictions and deep true love for Jesus. For the powers of darkness in Libya, they might think that they get rid of one of God’s light bearers but as a matter of fact we can now be more confident than ever that Libya is for Christ. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding shall keep his wife and kids hearts and minds through Christ Jesus Hallelujah

My heart aches at this news. Let us in the west never confuse societal disapproval or anti-Christian attitudes with true persecution.

See my previous posts here and here...

Take Care

Friday, 15 February 2013

Sunday, 20 January 2013

There Must Be More To Life Than This (Bumped)

Or the original title,
"Christianity: Boring, Untrue, Irrelevant?"

Introductory video to the Alpha Course.

Sometimes I tend to post sporadically, so if my last post seems to be here for a long time, this is the one I want people to see when they come here.

Take Care

Friday, 11 January 2013

Nicky Gumbel Interviews Ravi Zacharias

Two of my favourite people. An evangelist and a defender of the Faith. A fascinating interview.
One of my favourite moments, a question for atheists:
"Some cultures love their neighbours, some cultures eat their neighbours; which is right?"
And I would ask the atheist, whatever his answer, "Why?"

Take Care

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Secret to a Fulfilled Life

I've been thinking. (Please - you may hold your applause ;)

The internet is full of self-help websites. Bookstores are full of self-help books. Facebook is full of cut motivating posts with soft pictures and warm and fuzzy messages. But do you want to know the real key to the best life possible?

Two things:
  1. Love God
  2. Be Generous
That's it. That's all. Everything else will fall into place.

Take Care

Monday, 7 January 2013

Satan Knows How to Change a Culture

Today's program by Ravi Zacharias was a thought-starter for this post.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. (Daniel 1: 1-8)
 
Nebuchadnezzar placed these youth into comfortable surroundings - surroundings where they lacked nothing. They were afforded every luxury. Every need and desire would have been satisfied. They were to learn the language of this culture in place of the native language of their native Judah. They were to be taught new literature, in place of their traditional books, which would have been the Torah, the word of God. It isn't hard to believe that the plan of the king was to bribe them, in a sense, to forsake their former values, with all the luxuries of his court.

I see a parallel with the culture of today; especially (being the curmudgeon that I am) in our youth. The enemy has taken advantage of prosperity to give us a life lacking nothing, generally and comparatively speaking. He has lured us, as a society, away from the Word of God and into everything the supermarket newstands and the internet can lure us with. He has taken our eyes off the values of our past and laid enticing temptations before us; temptations of sexual freedom, of self indulgence, of self-centeredness. Temptations that enable us to satisfy every physical and material desire. Many have arrived at a point where they consider it their "right" to fulfil every personal whim, both physical and emotional.

But not all the youth in Nebuchadnezzar's day fell for it. Some may have, because as it says, among them were Daniel, etc. There obviously were others taken captive in addition to the four specifically mentioned, so we might assume that there were other young people who actually were seduced by the king's, "dark side." But Daniel, in this story, and the other three in a later event, resolved not to defile themselves. They stood for what they inew was right.

And so it is, thank God, with today. Not all our young people have been seduced by television programs lik Glee, or video's like those of Katy Perry, Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Let us pray for a remnant of our youth who will not succumb to the enemy's schemes; that they may stand firm in the face of temptation and ridicule from the world at large that sees them as outside the mainstream. Pray for today's young generation, and the next and the next.

Thus endeth the rant.

Take Care

Friday, 4 January 2013

Anthem of the, "Full-of-Myself" Generation

My nomination for the most self-centered message ever in pop music. (slightly edited from original).It would take a book to fully examine every lyric and expound on the complete self-centeredness of it, so whatever I say here, I am probably not expressing each thought fully, and omitting much else that could be said. But this song seems to me typical of the hippy mentality of those who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s (my own generation), whose children were raised on a steady pablum of, “self-esteem,” and whose legacy has led to the, “I/We/You Deserve” state our society is in today.



The lyric:
And the sign said, "Long-haired freaky people need not apply." So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said, "You look like a fine upstandin' young man. I think you'll do." So I took off my hat and said, "Imagine that. huh , me workin' for you."


The message: “You as a potential employer have no right to have your own rules as to the conduct or appearance of your employees. My right to the job you offer trumps your right to choose the public image you wish to present to your customers. I will dress as I want, groom myself or not as I want, and you owe me a chance at your job no matter what – because I’m worth it!”
Whoa, sign, sign. Everywhere a sign. Blockin' out the scen'ry. Breakin' my mind. Do this. Don't do that. Can't you read the sign?
Pure poetry, isn't it? The lyric:
And the sign said, "Anybody caught trespassin' will be shot on sight." So I jumped on the fence and I yelled at the house, "Hey! What gives you the right To put up a fence to keep me out, and to keep Mother Nature in? If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, 'Man, you're some kind of sinner.'"
The message: “I am entitled to go anywhere I want, even if it inconveniences you as a property owner. I have as much right to your property as you do. And despite people in the Bible owning and even being given their own property, because I think so, and because my opinion is so important to everyone, you are a sinner and God agrees with me.”

The lyric:
Now, hey you, Mister, can't you read? You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat. You can't even watch. No, you can't eat. You ain't supposed to be here. The sign said, "You've got to have a membership card To get inside." Uh.
The message: Similar to #1 above. “My feelings, desires and wants translate into my rights, and they trump yours.” The lyric:
And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in. Kneel down and pray." But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn't have a penny to pay So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign. I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
The message: “I am so self-important that God is impressed with my writing a note telling Him I am fine, and He might not have known it if I had not written that note. My thinking I am fine is important to Him – even more important than whether or not I am considerate of others’ rights and feelings, because I am the center of all things.”

As per Nicky's comment below, the original author probably intended it as a biting social commentary. And I was young and foolish once, and in 1971 I probably agreed.

Take Care