Tag Archives: love

ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

WHAT IS THEOLOGY?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

Theology is neither a nine-to-five job nor a career. To know and speak truly of God is a vocation that requires more than academic or professional qualifications. The image you should have in mind is not the professor with a tweed jacket, but rather the disciples who dropped everything to follow Jesus. Becoming a theologian means following God’s Word where it leads with all one’s mind, heart, soul, and strength.

Theology is the study of how to speak truly of God and of all things in relation to God. But theologians can’t approach the object of their study the way biologists study living creatures or geologists the earth. God cannot be empirically examined. God is the creator of all things, not to be identified with any part of the universe or even with the universe as a whole. Speaking of God thus poses unique challenges. If God had not condescended to communicate to creatures something of his light, we would be in the dark.

BY GOD, OF GOD, TO GOD

Are you familiar with Thomas Aquinas’s definition? “Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God.”

By God. Only God can make himself known. We’re simply children who love their father and want to know him better, who trust their father’s wisdom: And He (Jesus) said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                     Matthew 18:3

Of God. Theology is thinking hard about what God has taught about Himself and all things in relation to Himself.

To God. Theology is ultimately about cultivating godliness, in oneself and one’s community. A theologian is a certain kind of person, whose created intelligence has been illumined by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

SOLUTIONS TO BULLYING

Bullying Solutions

SUFFERING IN SILENCE

Bullying can enter a kid’s life at anytime and send them spiraling down towards hopelessness and despair. The young victims are rarely aware of the options available to them, which is why they continue to suffer in silence. You need to help your child realize that they’re not weak and help them discover ways to bring their torment to an end.

A SUFFOCATING EXPERIENCE

Bullying can often leave the victim feeling utterly distraught, making them feel like the walls are closing in on them and that there’s no easy escape from the nightmare. People they turn to for help can let them down, thus reinforcing their sense of isolation. Depression despair and desperation can drive them to the edge, tempting them to end their misery at the expense of their health, dreams and even life.

WARNING SIGNS

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) identify these possible warning signs for bullying:

  • Child comes home with torn, damaged or missing clothes, books, or belongings
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, scratches
  • Has few friends, if any
  • Seems afraid to go to school or take part in after-school activities
  • Takes a long “illogical” route when walking to and from school
  • Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly
  • Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he/she comes home
  • Has trouble sleeping and/or frequent bad dreams
  • Experiences a loss of appetite
  • Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem
  • Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
  • Sudden change in language (calling themselves a “loser” or a best friend a “jerk”)

Continue reading SOLUTIONS TO BULLYING

CARE OF THE SOUL

Materialistic life can be so absorbing that we get caught in it and we forget about spirituality. Many don’t believe in the soul and therefore many don’t give it any place in the hierarchy of values. What we need is soul in the middle holding together mind and body. A spiritual life of some kind is absolutely necessary for psychological ”health”.

CARE OF THE SOUL

Psychology is a secular science while care of the soul is a sacred art. We separate psychology and religion, therapy and spiritual practice. Psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one. Psychology is incomplete if it doesn’t include spirituality in a fully integrated way. When the soul is neglected, our problem doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning.

The emotional complaints of our time that are heard by therapist: 

  • Emptiness
  • Meaninglessness
  • Vague Depression
  • Disillusion about marriage, family and relationship
  • Loss of values
  • Yearning for personal fulfillment
  • A hunger for spirituality

OUR QUEST

All these symptoms reflect a loss of soul and let us know what the soul craves. We cannot solve our “emotional” problems until we grasp the mystery that honors the Divine.

We yearn excessively for entertainment, power, intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and material things. We think we can find these things if we discover the right relationship or job or therapy. We strive to attain alluring satisfaction in great masses, thinking that quantity will make up for lack of quality.

Yet, without soul, whatever we find will be unsatisfying. What we truly long for is the soul in each of these areas. Soul doesn’t pour into our lives automatically. It requires our skill and attention.

We cannot care for the soul unless we are familiar with its ways. We need to make the necessary changes revealed by depression and anxiety. These problems make it felt because the soul needs attention.

care of the soul

 

ILLNESS AND HEALING

Doctors are learning that there is an actual correlation between psychological experience and physical ailments. For example, one’s colon is unhappy. Doctors know that there is a relationship between repressed anger and colitis. If cancer cell growth has gone berserk, is there something that has been disordered?

The word, “disease or dis-ease” says it all. It means without ease and disease emanates from stress. Disturbances created from marriage and family can be more stressful to the soul than conditions of work.

Modern medicine is hell-bent on cure and has no interest in anything about the soul. Maybe our lives are too secular and in need of such a visitation through the soul. Do we know what can be speaking silently to us in our body? “Recognize what is before your eyes, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.”    Gospel of Thomas Continue reading CARE OF THE SOUL

SLEEP DEPRIVATION

SLEEP DEPRIVATIONSLEEP DEPRIVED?

Do you count yourself in with 100 million Americans who are sleep deprived? The root causes are overcrowded schedules, the desire to accomplish one more thing before retiring and too much stimulation from watching television in bed.

You say that you have a rough time falling asleep. Try an Epsom salt bath, which allows the magnesium to be absorbed into your skin and they will put you into a total relaxation mode.

Sleep and relaxation are basic necessities in life. We need sleep: our body needs time for the liver to start its cleansing process and time to allow the proper production of hormones. When we don’t sleep enough, our appetites become unregulated.

The Great Physician has a prescription, “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”                             Genesis 2:3

INSOMNIA

Individuals who were extremely obese had higher odds of reporting insomnia than those of normal weight. The prevalence of insomnia among seniors was largely attributable to poorer health, not age. 

One elderly lady had always problems with sleeping. She had been heavily involved in yoga when she was younger. There are some dangers with this practice if one delves into too deeply. We call this an ungodly superstitious belief.  A crack in a person’s spirit is opened to allow an influence from demonic attack. Deliverance is needed!  “…Oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them.”                                                                                                            Psalm 54:3

Life stress also kept Canadians up at night, the study says. Nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of people who described most of their days as being either “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful reported insomnia.

In the mist of all David’s troubles he still honored and praised God as his protector, his shield, and strength: “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”                                                                                                                                             Psalm 3: 3

BRAIN HEALTH CAN HELP!

Your brain is the fattest organ in your body. The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We’ve learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Continue reading SLEEP DEPRIVATION

IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?

life after death
Life after death

YES, LIFE AFTER DEATH

One thing we know for sure about our God: Our God is a God of the living, not of the dead. God is life. God is love. God is beauty. God is goodness. God is truth. God doesn’t want us to die. God wants us to live. Our God, who loves us from eternity to eternity, wants to give us life for eternity.

When that life was interrupted by our unwillingness to give our full yes to God’s love, God sent Jesus to be with us and to say that great yes in our name and thus restore us to eternal life. So let’s not be afraid of death. There is no cruel boss, vengeful enemy, or cruel tyrant waiting to destroy us – only a loving, always forgiving God, eager to welcome us home.                                                    Henry Nouwen

Life after DeathYOU’VE DIED! NOW WHAT?

Reincarnation Buddhism
NAPOLEON
What would you do if you were told that you only had     
  • One week to live?

  • One month to live?

  • One year to live?

TO DIE ONCE AND THEN THE JUDGMENT?

Jesus taught about Judgment and Heaven and Hell. The Bible clearly teaches that righteous people will NEVER suffer torment because they have a confident hope of IMMORTALITY, and that the wicked will suffer in a fire that NEVER goes out: “(He) will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.”                                                                                         Luke 3:17

When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.” There is no “reincarnation” after death in the Bible:  “Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment.”                                                                                               Hebrews 9:27 

Sikhism Reincarnation Biblical

It is also contradicted by our Lord Himself: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.”                                                                                                                                            John 8:23

“Be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” Matthew 24:44 loses not only its effectiveness, but its essential meaning.

Is there a particular reason you think God needs to create us to preexist before our lives here on earth?  If every soul had once pre-existed with God, then Christ wasn’t anything special to have come from God. 

What divine  authority on reincarnation claims this? That could just be made up:”I don’t like the idea of Hell so I’m going to choose not to believe in it.” What they see is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

A DISTINCTIVE HUMAN SOUL

 

life after death

It fails to make the essential distinction between men and animals. Human beings alone are created in the image and likeness of God; and therefore, possess rational and spiritual souls: a human person is a body/soul composite.

Consider a person alleged to have reincarnated; would the person have been himself or someone else, or partly himself and partly someone else? Of course, either alternative is illogical. A human person is a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL BEING with a spiritual soul and a material body.

AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS POSITION

Continue reading IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

“Live by following the Holy Spirit.”                               Galatians 5:16

“The true children of God are those who let God’s Holy Spirit lead them.”                                                                                    Romans 8:14

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

To simplify this, the Holy Spirit is the Presence of God in our lives, carrying on the work of Jesus. The Holy Spirit grants us all the fruits of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23.(“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”). If the disciple teaches, it is the Holy Spirit that teaches the disciple. Luke 12:12 (“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”)

If the listener is convicted, it is because the Holy Spirit has penetrated. John 16:10 (“Concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no longer”) If the listener is converted, it by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:11 (“He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”)

If the new believer matures, it is because the Holy Spirit makes him or her more competent. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”                                            1 Corinthians 6:19

 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”                                                                                                                                                          John 14:16-17

How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in your own life?

HOW DO YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT?

HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

“As I (Peter)began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Acts 11:15,16  There are four different ways, which can be used by the minister of baptism:

  1. Laying on of hands: “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. ” Acts19: 2-6
  2. Praying : “When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ”                            Acts 8:15,16
  3. Speaking: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.”                   Acts 10:44-45
  4. Breathing: Jesus commanded that the disciples receive the Holy Spirit, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”                                            John 20:22

The most important part of the rite is that the person being baptized in the Holy Spirit be in acceptance:  ” I receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.”

What to expect with”Baptism of the Holy Spirit”

Continue reading HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMATION

CRASH INTO HEAVEN

CRASH HEAVEN

HERE’S A SEARCHING QUESTION? 

“If you were to die tonight, and “St Peter” or “Elijah” or “Mohamed” was at the “Pearly Gates of Heaven” and asked you, ’Why should God let you into His Kingdom?’ – what would you say?”
   1) What would your own personal answer be?
   2) What do you think the answer would be from a true believing Christian

THE MOST COMMON RESPONSES ARE:

     a) I am not perfect, but in all honesty, I think I’m a good person.
    b) I sincerely try to keep the 10 commandments,
    c) I always try to do my best ( – although I sometimes fail)
    d) I know I am a good person ( – and at least better than one of my neighbors !)

The answers assume that if a person rates high enough on a divine “scale of goodness”, then that person SHOULD get into “heaven” based on their performance (or merit). The answers from people in other religions have a lot in common with these same answers.

CRASH INTO HEAVEN Continue reading CRASH INTO HEAVEN

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

ECONOMIC STRUCTURAL DISORDER

There are profound problems with our economic system – a structural disorder of the system itself. We need a critical analysis of the essential dignity of human labor and its priority over the maximization of profits—not just through handouts. Cosmetic changes are not enough.

We need to look at the humanizing role of labor and the equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We need to look at the full value and meaning of work.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

We have an economy that continues to serve the needs of the rich nations at the expense of the poor. This is not to be considered an antagonism toward the rich, but the defense of the defenseless: the uneducated, the native poor and the immigrant poor who have no voice to speak for themselves.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

 Do we run a risk that some of the economically oppressed nations of the world will rise in judgment on the rich nations?

WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?

Continue reading FAITH AND SOCIALISM

HAVING TWO MINDS

TWO MINDS

When Neymar’s Brazil won gold in its home Olympics in 2016, Neymar took the podium to receive his gold medal with a headband reading “100% Jesus.” Yet this ostensible display of devotion caused controversy, given the star player’s out of wedlock son and public love life. Fame and fortune are always dangerous to the Christian. 

TWO MINDSThere are those who have two minds because one is wavering or inconstant. This person has no settled principles. He is controlled by passion; he may be influenced by popular feeling. In other words, he is inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another. “A man is of two minds, unstable in all his ways.”      James 1:8 

TWO MINDS

David of the Old Testament commanded that Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, be put at the front lines of the battle and that the troops be pulled back from him. Just as David had hoped, Uriah was killed. David then took Bathsheba as his wife.

David’s behavior presents a perfect example of a double-minded man. Even though he had God’s Life in his heart and had been “a man after God’s own heart,” he nevertheless chose to go with the tide and follow the lusts of his own flesh over what God was prompting him to do.

TWO MINDS

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Are you unstable about your relationship to Christ?

If you lack wisdom, you must ask for it. 

Continue reading HAVING TWO MINDS

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

A NOISY MIND

An immoral mind is a noisy mind because it is filled with the clatter of one’s own ego. Other noisy minds lose its center because its energies are scattered over a multitude of concerns: multi-tasking. This is the big flaw of our culture.

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

When the mind is quiet, things become clearer. We become aware of what we must do. We must learn to slow down our minds to become more focused and more sensitive to God’s presence.

PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY?

Dr. Victor Cline (1996) posited four progressive effects of pornography:

(1) Addiction, where the need to view pornographic materials leads to a loss of free control over behavior;

(2) Escalation, where the person delves into progressively harder pornography, usually to attain the same level of sensation and arousal;

(3) Desensitization, whereby the user is no longer morally sensitive to the shocking, repulsive, perverted, or immoral quality of the material, but instead views it as acceptable and begins to look upon others as objects; and

(4) Acting out, where the fantasizing becomes overt behavior. This includes normalized aggression towards women in sexual and other interpersonal encounters. Pornography kills love!

The issue of sexual addiction is catching society unawares. All around us marriages are beginning to fall apart; husbands are getting caught with pornography, in affairs, and visiting prostitutes.

On a more serious note, there is a proven direct correlation exists between crimes of rape, child abuse, and the physical abuse of a spouse, and the proliferation of pornographic materials in a community (Uniform Crime Report, 1990). One out of every six persons in our federal and state prisons is a sex offender, and sex crimes are second only to drug crimes.

What is the basis for Jesus’ position on pornography?

Continue reading PERSUASIVE  PORNOGRAPHY