Thursday, December 12, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I need to write this as this really became apparent to me today.
After having been in cults and experienced church life for nearly all my life ; i am finally free. I can do as I wish, go where I wish, and say what I wish. Love is my only constraint and it is no burden. When I was in any religious practice I had to follow the rules. Do as I was told. Say only what was permitted. In short; at no time during those many years was i truly free. There was always the spectre of religion standing in the background.
Most people confuse religion with God or Christ. Far from it; God is far more liberal than people realize. I am convinced the law of moses has more liberty than religion has today. This verse hit me this morning like a freight train. How many times have i read it and not taken it in?
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the spirit; yet where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
In short; if you're not experiencing freedom; true boundless freedom - you are not experiencing the life of Christ. Let me be even more blunt. You may be in a religious body but that body is not the body of Christ.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I'm so sorry I've been delinquent in writing. It's been extremely busy. I also don't feel that it's particularly wise to do my blogging at work, as a brand new employee.
At MPE, there were established break times, which made it very easy to take 15 mins to write on a blog. At my new job, there are no such clear cut times for breaks. So for me to go online and start blogging could easily look like I'm slacking off.
Right now, I'm working hard at putting together a database, as well as other drafting concerns that I need to help with. So, I'm learning lots every day, as well as doing alot every day. My hours are... unusual. 8:30 - 5. And I work 25km from home. It's a 30 minute drive, depending on the level of traffic each day.
My free time is even more fleeting it seems.
I love you all, and when I get a routine established I'll try and get back to more regular writing.
I'm also looking into meetups out here and trying to find a social life for me and my family. It's tough not having many friends out here. I'm hoping we can change that at some point.
Take care fellow seekers, God bless.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I find it hugely ironic, that Albertans get all fussy about the speed limit laws in BC (if you go over 40 you can have your car impounded), and yet most people out here in Vancouver often go 40 - 50 kph over the posted speed limit. Whereas, even in Calgary, I wouldn't do more than 10 over.
It's pretty crazy sometimes.
Jana and I have also both found jobs out here. I start on Tuesday and Jana has been working at Van Heusan on weekends. Although, my job now is more challenging than I've ever had. Rather than just being a cad monkey - I will actually be organizing files, determining project schedules, working within a budget... etc. etc. Essentially becoming a CAD manager.
This is more responsibility than I've ever had so I will definitely be working harder than I've ever had in a CAD job before.
I know Paul was talking about something else in this passage but I continually think of
2 Corinthians 2:10 Wherefore I delight in infirmities, in outrages, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake, for, whenever I may be weak, then I am powerful.
Phillipians 4:12 I am aware what it is to be humbled as well as aware what it is to be superabounding. In everything and among all am I initiated, to be satisfied as well as to be hungering, to be superabounding as well as to be in want.
13 For all am I strong in Him Who is invigorating me -- Christ!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Life is like a pendulum. It has it's high moments, and then it will swing down to it's lowest points and come back up to the highest again.
A month ago we were scrambling to get to BC. Everything was going wrong. The barbecue fell apart in the truck, crap fell all over everything. Our cat got lost on the trip. Cassidy was sick. Jana was sick. I was sick. My tablet broke. Our lawyer failed to disclose some important financial details on the sale of our house to us...By the time I got out here I was having significant doubts as to the wisdom of our move.
Nevertheless, we had clearly felt God directing us to move here. So we held on and thanked God that my in-laws had given us a home for refuge.
We dug into our savings to clean up some of our financial needs.
We lived far more cheaply than we have ever done before.
Jana's parents took care of our immediate needs.
God is incredibly good.
I drove back from a job interview this afternoon enjoying the beauty of the countryside and feeling particularly blessed. I felt the interview had gone really well, and thus far from what feedback I've heard it has.
The pendulum has swung up again. And things are looking well. I know there are valleys to come, and other mountaintop experiences that will also come my way...
But at this time in Canada, it's thanksgiving. And I'm incredibly thankful to God for the blessings, and beauty and everything he has given me. He is constantly faithful to me and my family. Giving us far beyond all we need or ask.
I have been studying Romans lately and in my studies and meditations, I am learning that which can be painful. Even evil - is also from God. And God blesses us through evil as well as good.
Paul has written in Hebrews 12
11 Now all discipline, indeed, for the present is not seeming to be a thing of joy, but of sorrow, yet subsequently it is rendering the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those exercised through it.
In fact of all the apostles it seems Paul suffered the most for his evangel and often talks of the blessing that resulted from persecution and other evils he experienced.
Anyways... It's funny, I was accused today of being in a cult. To which I had to laugh.
I'm not in any kind of cult as I have no leaders about me. No organization I've joined. No creed I worship. In fact, the only reason I believe what I believe is because the Bible says in black and white what I believe.
I've been in cults. Cults are about deprivation of freedom. Deprivation of happiness. Deprivation of time. Cults are all about control and manipulation.
My life's only master is God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. So... I'm not so sure my accusers are even aware that they, more likely than I, are probably part of a cult.
That's what I find really amusing.
Anyways... Just some random thoughts today... It's been a good day, and I'm hoping for even better ones to come!
Saturday, October 5, 2013
In addition, not all things have gone smoothly. Let's just say, if I were to have remained in Calgary - I'd never use that lawyer again. We still have no received all the monies due to us from the sale of the house. In addition, he did not cancel our TIPP program so we ended up paying someone else's taxes for the month of October.
To say we're upset is putting it mildly. This move has been extremely stressful and expensive. A lawyer who's not representing my interests very well is extremely frustrating.
Fortunately, we're living with our extremely generous In-Laws and while we may not have much, we still have each other, a roof over our heads, and are eating healthily every day. Which is more than some people have. I know...
Cassidy was so thrilled to see her grandfather she literally ran and flung herself into his arms when he saw her. Those two have a special relationship, and I'm very happy to be out here to allow her to have the privilege of enjoying her grandfather's company as much as she can.
In addition, I am happy to report that for the first time in over a decade, I am enjoying fall weather without struggling with a migraine nearly every day. It is such a relief not to wake up every morning dreading what my head might feel like.
However, I'm still job searching, and Jana is considering looking for another job with more hours. So we're not completely settled yet. It is somewhat discouraging not to be working. I am expecting a job interview after Thanksgiving, but it's a long time to wait. In the meantime, I'm learning to be patient and content with what I have.... and resigned to knowing that God is directing everything in it's time and order.
A few times in the last week baptism has come up. It's amazing, how even today - this practice of water baptism continues to be a contentious subject that people go so far as to hinge their entire salvation upon it.
This amazes me. When Jesus Christ died on the Cross and said "It is finished" at no point in time did he add "PS. You need to get baptised" or some other bullshit.
In fact Romans 10 makes it quite clear
8 But what is it saying? Near you is the declaration, in your mouth and in your heart -- that is, the declaration of faith which we are heralding
9 that, if ever you should be avowing with your mouth the declaration that Jesus is Lord, and should be believing in your heart that God rouses Him from among the dead, you shall be saved.
10 For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, yet with the mouth it is avowed for salvation.
11 For the scripture is saying: Everyone who is believing on Him shall not be disgraced.
Yet there are those that say that the declaration is done at baptism. And yet - not such inference is made by Paul in the entire book of Romans.
We are saved by grace, and Paul expounds on this constantly in all his letters. Here; he makes a simple but profound statement:
6 Now if it is in grace, it is no longer out of works, else the grace is coming to be no longer grace. Now, if it is out of works, it is no longer grace, else the work is no longer work.
Grace and works are mutually exclusive. One cannot exist at the same time. There is no "Partial grace" or "Partial works"
So why did Peter preach baptism in Acts 2?
Look at who he is speaking to when he does
14 Now Peter, standing with the eleven, lifts up his voice and declaims to them: "Men! Jews! and all who are dwelling at Jerusalem! Let this be known to you, and give ear to my declarations,
Peter was addressing the Jewish nation. The very people who had crucified Jesus. His declaration was their repentance of their hard hearts that had crucified Jesus.
As you read through the book of Acts, it begins with such promise, such stellar happenings that had never happened before and will not yet happen again until the Body of Christ is removed from the nations. I will not go into it into detail, as a whole book can be written on this (and has been). Suffice it to say, what began with baptism and was received with glad hearts on the part of jewish nation quickly ended in sorrow and hard heartedness on their part as the book of Acts closes with this pronouncement.
25 Now there being disagreements one with another, they were dismissed, Paul making one declaration, that, "Ideally the holy spirit speaks through Isaiah the prophet, to your fathers,
26 saying, 'Go to this people and say, "In hearing, you will be hearing, and may by no means be understanding, And observing, you will be observing, and may by no means be perceiving,"
27 For stoutened is the heart of this people, And with their ears heavily they hear, And with their eyes they squint, Lest at some time they may be perceiving with their eyes, And with their ears should be hearing, And with their heart may be understanding, And should be turning about, And I shall be healing them.'
At this the baton has been passed from the 12 disciples to Paul. The book of Acts closes with this statement;
28 Let it be known to you, then, that to the nations was dispatched this salvation of God, and they will hear."
And as I have said before Paul's gospel to the nations is significantly different from the gospel Peter preached to the Jews. Peter was a gospel of repentance and forgiveness. Paul's was one of grace and justification.
Where the jewish nation needed to be forgiven and work to stay forgiven. The gospel preached to the nations was one of grace where sin on our part is not even recognized. This is the meaning behind Justification.
What does this mean for baptism? Simply this; there is nothing a believer does to earn or achieve this grace from God. Water baptism has nothing to do with this salvation. Even the belief in water baptism for salvation disqualifies you from the Body of Christ because you have no yet appreciated the gospel of Grace.
And yet some will point out Ephesians 4:5
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
13 For in one spirit also we all are baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and all are made to imbibe one spirit.
If there is only one baptism, which is it? Baptism of the spirit or baptism of water? If our salvation is not of works but of grace, then how can we possibly be saved by water baptism? Minimize it as much as they will, religion tries to teach you water baptism saves you. It doesn't, it can't. The minute you embrace that, you deny the grace of God and his sufficiency in saving you.
If you read the Bible, Paul began with baptism as he did in Acts, but ceased doing so towards the end of his ministry. If it was so essential to salvation, why did he stop doing it?
Answer: It wasn't. In fact, Paul gives us an example for HOW destructive this kind of thinking can be
1 Cor 1:11-17
11 For it was made evident to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe, that there are strifes among you.
12 Now I am saying this, that each of you is saying, "I, indeed, am of Paul," yet "I of Apollos," yet "I of Cephas," yet "I of Christ."
13 Christ is parted! Not Paul was crucified for your sakes! Or into the name of Paul are you baptized?
14 I am thanking God that I baptize not one of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 lest anyone may be saying that you are baptized into my name.
16 Yet I baptize the household of Stephanas also. Furthermore, I am not aware if I baptize any other.
17 For Christ does not commission me to be baptizing, but to be bringing the evangel, not in wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ may be made void.
Religion's gospel of baptism is created to divide and exalt one group of people over another. It has nothing to do with the Body of Christ. Nothing to do with the gospel of grace.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
So it's been mad mad mad...
Anyways, here's something that I've been pondering. When I was in the ICOC it was frequently impressed upon us that we could lose our salvation. Like snake oil salesmen, cults typically create a need in order to sell a product. That being the need for their brand of doctrine.
This created a very real fear in me that allowed them to control me. If I missed my quiet time, or disobeyed my authority or felt particularly sinful that day - I was likely going to hell. However if I felt like I had a good quiet time, my authorities were happy with me, and I was firing on all 4 cylinders - I was making it to heaven. This is complete and utter bullshit and NOT the life that God or his Son intended for us.
Let's disarm the lies.
First of all they love to base their entire "fall away" doctrine on Hebrews 6:4-6
"4 For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit,
5 and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
6 and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy."
this letter that was not even written to the gentiles of the nations, which, unless you're a jew - does not apply to you. This letter was written to the jewish nation of Paul's day. In particular those who had been present at pentecost and given gifts when the Holy Spirit descended upon them.
When the Kingdom failed to appear due to the lack of repentance on the part of Israel their powers and their repentance when with it. After which, it was impossible to renew it as the means that which produced it were no longer available.
Today we live in an age of grace, which Paul expressly taught. In place of repentance and pardon, we have faith and justification. For which there is no falling away, it's entirely of grace from first to last.
In fact, ironically as the ICOC and COC attempt to justify their salvation by works (baptism, legalism etc. etc.) actually do the opposite. As written in Galatians 5, those who try to earn their salvation by the law actually FALL AWAY from Grace. This does not remove their salvation from them, only the privileges given tot he Body of Christ. For by attempting to earn salvation for one's own self - you in effect deny the work of Christ at Calvary.
Further Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly states "For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting." It was never out of us to begin with. We had NO involvement in this salvation at all.
Again 2 Timothy 2:11-13 says "Faithful is the saying: "For if we died together, we shall be living together also; if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also; if we are disowning, He also will be disowning us; if we are disbelieving, He is remaining faithful -- He cannot disown Himself."
Please note - If we are DISBELIEVING he is remaining faithful. Faithful to what? Faithful to his plan to redeem the human race, for this is why he is called the Christ.
If we disown him, we may not take part in the Body of Christ, but we will STILL be saved. That's what Jesus was tortured and died for after all!!
Please - if anyone dares challenge your salvation believe this; you were saved 2000 years ago because of what Christ did through his torture and death, burial and resurrection. There is nothing YOU can do to challenge the work that GOD accomplished through his Son.
Any belief that denies that is utter arrogance and self worship. Who are you to say that your works, or lack thereof can deny the power of God?
Friday, September 13, 2013
"The Mohammedan is sure that he has the true faith and all the rest are infidels. He is shocked by the many gods of the Hindu and the three Gods of the Christian. Just as men condemn themselves in accusing others, since they do the same, so the religionists of the earth mutually incriminate one another, though each holds fast to his own righteousness. Christless Christianity, which believers must associate with His revelation in a special way, for it is supposed to be based on the Bible, is the most self-righteous of them all, as well as the most guilty, since it has the outward shell of the truth and a form of godliness based on God's Word, nevertheless lacks life and power, and is not only ungodly, but inhuman and sub-beastly, beyond the others."
- A.E. Knoch "Concordant Studies in the Book of Daniel
Christendom, however, is so deceived that it is blind to the powers that impel it. Like Eve in the garden, they are pleased with the prospect of being as gods, and accept the leadership of the spirit which promises to make man divine. It should make us dreadfully afraid to learn that the leading religions of the world are satanic in their origin and end.
- A.E. Knoch in the chapter "Organizations of Mankind"
Thursday, September 12, 2013
10 For His achievement are we, being created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in them.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
19 how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation.
20 For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We are beseeching for Christ's sake, "Be conciliated to God!"
21 For the One not knowing sin, He makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God's righteousness in Him.
Monday, September 9, 2013
I spent most of the weekend pulling boxes out of storage and throwing things away. I have so many papers to take to a shredding facility. It's unbelievable the amount of crap I've got piled up.
We're really looking forward to the move and the lifestyle change. However there is an element of disbelief too in all this. Cassidy, I'm sure, is completely confused as to what is going on. In some ways she's reacting emotionally to it. Fortunately, in 9 more days we'll be out there.
I'm trying to see my friends and let them know I'll miss them and how much I care. But with 9 days left, there's so much to do.
Most of you know, I believe all things are of God. And it's funny... I was talking to my family this weekend and we remarked how, if I hadn't had that 8 day migraine and gotten vertigo - none of this would've happened.
It got me thinking... Even the bad things in life, God intends for our benefit. I was thinking earlier this morning, how that has been so true historically. Noah, gets ridiculed and abused by society for building an ark, and it turns out, that was awesome. He and his family are saved.
Joseph, gets thrown in a well, and constantly abused until adulthood, becomes the bigwig of Egypt and saves everyone from famine.
Job, gets caught in a verbal sparring match between God and Satan, a shitstorm of bad luck happens to him and in the end he turns out better than ever before.
Jesus himself, is abused by those of high place in society, gets the shit beat out of him, nailed to a cross for what? 6 hours? I can't remember, but it was hell...
Gets resurrected into an awesome kickass body, ascends to heaven and given Lordship over all creation.
Sometimes... When our lives change, and things don't always work out to our "benefit" as we think they should, we think God is mad at us. We've done something wrong. Or worse, we get angry at God for leading us down this path of thorns and thistles.
Job 2 9Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Joel Osteen is not the first to come up with this kind of theology. It has been common even in Jesus' day
John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Friday, September 6, 2013
I think it hit me sometime in the middle of the night. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and get some water and I looked at my home and realized... This isn't my house anymore.
Even this morning at Coffee break I realized, in 2 weeks I probably won't talk to many of these people ever again...
I look outside the window and see the fall colors starting to change here in Calgary, and realize that this city has been very much home for me for most of my life. Yes, we lived in Madden from 1990-1996, but all the same we were only 45 mins out of town. Calgary has always been very much a part of my life.
We were also extremely blessed to have a beautiful house when by all rights, every bank would have been justified in laughing us off. And God has certainly watched over us as at times, we had made bad financial decisions. There were times when we treaded water and I would go to bed stressed...
So there are literally 12 days left until we move and I feel quite alot of thoughtful reflection filling my thoughts and my heart now. Not too unlike the time when I turned 18 and I had to find my own job and everything in my life was getting turned upside down... no more school, no more dependency on my parents...
I realize this is a new season in our family's life. We're going to a new province. For Jana it will be going home. For Cassidy, well she probably won't know much of what's going on, but she's excited to be close to her grandparents. She adores her grandfather and that is also a big factor in why we're moving.
But still... it's a new season and so much change is coming. New job, new culture, new lifestyle... That scares me sometimes. I wonder if I was crazy in making a decision to do this.
And then I remember...
Ephesians 1:11... the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will..
Thursday, September 5, 2013
This morning my wife let me know the appraisal came in somewhat under our asking price. Nearly so low that we would end up owing the bank if we sold at that price. We obviously refused that offer. Fortunately, the buyer himself was not at all happy with what his mortgage lender was doing to sabotage our deal. The mortgage broker had indeed been quite difficult to deal with the entire time we've had with working out this sale.
He ended up offering extra money on top of the mortgage to seal the deal. It was at that point we realized, we either take this deal and move to Vancouver. Or deal with the headache of going on the market again and possibly playing the same game with someone else.
After getting advice from many different people, including professionals. We concluded we should take the proffered deal.
SO. We ARE now moving on the 19th for sure. As far as I can tell, it's done, closed, finis. Time to move on.
On the downside it might mean we will be living with the inlaws longer than we originally intended. Perhaps, God has a good reason for this delay. In this, I will trust him, as always.
So, a bit down and disappointed about that, I had to pick up my spirits and attempt to sell myself on a phone interview in Vancouver for a job. I did my best, but it was a little difficult as I am sure I was on speaker phone. Their voice was muffled and it was extremely difficult to hear. Fortunately it looks like I will get a second, in person, interview when I get out there. Crossing fingers and hoping.
I got home, and rather than take my normal time of rest. I spent lunch with my wife and daughter which consisted of getting a few bites, scanning our 5th damn adendum for this house sale, get a few more bites, correct it, and scan it again and email. And on top of this, as soon as I walked in the door I dared to look at a tax bill from the CRA.
It was not a pretty tax bill.
So both Jana and I are a bit emotional from being on tenterhooks for the last few days. Poor Cassidy can sense the tension and got a little emotional, for which we finally put her down for a nap before I left and Jana and I agreed... we need to relax and chill.
Fortunately after re-examining the assesment and my tax filing, it seems everything is ok. It's not as dire as I first thought.
Siiigh. Well, I'm ready for Saturday, I want to go out with my friends for our farewell party. I need a few beers and some fun. How about you?
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
In the meantime, we're proceeding as though the sale WILL go through and moving on the 19th. This Saturday night we're getting together with friends in a farewell party. If you're interested in coming, message me and I'll give you details.
I've handed in my resignation today and... well.. It's in God's hands now.
2 in the hypocrisy of false expressions, their own conscience having been cauterized;
3 forbidding to marry, abstaining from foods, which God creates to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who believe and realize the truth,
4 seeing that every creature of God is ideal and nothing is to be cast away, being taken with thanksgiving,
5 for it is hallowed through the word of God and pleading.
EDIT: I also commented on her post and this is what I said;
You began this article in such a great tone. You came across as a reasoning individual and then quickly descended into a religious tone.
You are right, young boys are simply not mature enough to handle seeing the beauty of the feminine form. These girls have done nothing wrong, except show poor discretion in who sees their pictures. It is natural for them to explore their sexuality and discover who they are.
Yet it is you who have done that which is impure. You have taken what God has called GOOD and what is natural to his creation and called it evil. THAT has a far more damaging affect on your boys than seeing scantily clad girls in their bedrooms.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
At the moment, I don't have anything poignant thoughts to share, as all our thoughts and actions are towards getting ready to move. Giving my notice and all the things that must be done in as little as 15 days before the moving truck is out front.
Of course, lately on Facebook there has been tons of political flack that has been going around. Syria, Harper, and etc. etc.
People are getting so worked up lately. And yet. I keep thinking about the composure of Jesus, as I have mentioned before. Even the composure of Daniel, and his friends when they were all faced with political situations and men in power.
In every case, their attitude was this;
John 19:11..."No authority have you against Me in anything, except it were given to you from above..."
And that is the thrust of it. There is nothing I can do against those in authority when God has given them the power to do so. Only when they overstep their bounds and impose their will against God and my worship of Him can I stand in opposition. Even THEN, I do it with all respect and humility. As displayed countless times through history as recorded by the Bible.
It's not that I don't care about the wars, and all the evils that go on throughout the earth. It's precisely because I DO care, I know that God ultimately is inflicting this evil on the world for the short term pains that will provide long term benefits for ALL of us. And ALL creation.
Reminding ourselves that "ALL is of God" allows the spirit to be at peace; HE is in charge, and HE always does good work... Even if it means I don't get to move to Vancouver this month.
His will is always the better choice.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Right Division: The Answer to Understanding Scripture
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
16 for the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall be rising first.
17 Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord.
18 So that, console one another with these words.
If Hell exists, it means God is not Loving to all his creation.
If Hell exists, it means it were better for me to have been born an animal than risk the flames of hell.
If Hell exists, it means evil is more powerful than God.
If Hell exists, it means evil is eternal.
If Hell exists, it means God cannot be all in all.
If Hell exists, it means those who live in Heaven are truly cruel to enjoy an "eternity" while others suffer.
If Hell exists, it means that Jesus sacrifice at the cross was limited and feeble.