Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hello There Stranger!

Hi my friends,

   I know it's been a long time since I've written in here.  There have been a great deal many changes since I left Calgary.  Particularly after starting this new job there have been alot of changes.  I don't get the same 15 minute coffee breaks regularly at 10:15 and the other at 3:15 like I did when I was in Calgary.

   Most days I'm also working through lunch so I can bank up some time for Christmas.  My daily schedule used to be (in Calgary) 7-4.  I'd go home at lunch and spend lunch with my family or have a nap.  Then go back to work.  Come home at 4 and start cooking supper, kiss my wife goodbye as she runs off to work.  Take care of Cass until I put her to bed around 7.

   Do some writing, gaming, or watching TV til 9 and then go to bed.

  Now I work 30 - 40 mins away from work.  Get off at 5, get home by 5:45 and have supper.  Give Cass a bath, play with her for a while and get her to bed around 7:30.  Get a few odds and ends done and head to bed around 9 or 10 depending on how tired (or sick) I am.

   Fortunately these days my migraines have been few and far between.  Getting better every day.  Although the last week I've been sick.  Hell we've ALL been sick the last 2 weeks.  Jana, Cassiday, Gail and Bob.  Flu and Cold making it's rounds between us.

   Better now than Christmas though.

   In the last month, I've felt homesick.  I don't miss the copious amounts of snow, good god no.  But I miss the comforting familiarity of my home.  I miss my friends, both old and new.  I miss my parents coming through and drinking wine with me every so often.  Hell, I miss making wine and beer... and yes, Brock, even port.

  I miss going to the Cat and having a beer and hanging with my buds.  I miss my coworkers.  Julie, stopping by and chatting about what's new.  I miss Candace, her head just clearing the tops of our cubicle partitions, which signaled she was heading over to me.  I miss Jeremy and our chats about games and the newest toys at Memory Express.  I miss coffee breaks in the lunch room laughing at stuff with my coworkers.  Pizza days, the Paliser, BBQ's...  Lunches with Amber and other friends.

   Having Cassidy's siblings over, and Selene...  Claude and the neighbors and over the fence conversations...

   I admit, there have been times when I stop and wonder what they hell I was thinking when I made this, almost SNAP decision to move out here.

   And then I get back to myself and remember... Oh yeah, it wasn't always all roses.

   I had massive migraines where I missed work and social functions.  I had vertigo for a week because it got so bad.   Jana missed her family and their support.  And most of all I wanted Cassidy to grow up with a close knit family that Jana's italian side had...

  And the major reason... well to put it honestly, I felt the Spirit of God gently prodding us to move out here.  Conversations with people, frustrations in Calgary.  Stress. (Not that it's been entirely stress-free the last few months after moving here either) ... Just as God gently pushed Abraham out of the land of Ur onto his journey of faith, I felt similarly that God was also telling us to come here to Vancouver.

  And so here we are, 3 months later.  Not everything has yet settled into place.  It may take a year or more before that really happens.

  But I'm starting to figure out my role in my company.  And our big family at home with Bob and Gail is starting to feel like a haven that we feel at home in while we get on our feet and forge a new place for us out here.

  It's not been easy, but it's been an experience.  I now know exactly how my wife felt when she moved to Calgary.  A lesson I'm grateful for as I can finally understand and marvel and how much she loved me to leave Vancouver to be with me in Calgary.  With no friends, no family, and no safety net out there to speak of.  In fact, I'm moving to Vancouver with far more support than she had.

  Yeah - my wife is awesome.

  And so is God... And he's been teaching me things every day out here.  Constantly.  

  This is good.  And in this, I'm contentedly happy.  Very, Very happy and very bless.

  God loves you all, and a Merry Christmas in case I don't get back on here for a bit.

Sincerely with much love,


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Experiencing Freedom

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

It's been busy

Hi faithful readers,

   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.

Travis Penner

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Catching up.

  Things are finally beginning to settle in place for us out here in Vancouver-land.  We have settled into our home with my in-laws and I'm starting to become familiar with the area.

   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!

  Having a migraine?  When you're weak, he is strong.  Feeling tired and need a nap?  When you're weak he is strong.  Feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of your job/  When you're weak, he is strong. Feeling intimidated by the responsibilities you have?  When you're weak he is strong.  For all am I strong in HIM who is INVIGORATING me!!

  My wife made a good point to me last night.  "You may be intimidated by your new responsibilities - but remember, God brought us out here for a reason, and surely He's given you this job.  Trust him."

Our Celestial Calling

  Because of some of Martin Zender's shows, and things I have read in Romans, I have been thinking about this.

  In 1 Corinthians 15:49 Paul tells us that those in the Body of Christ will be receiving Celestial bodies.

  In Ephesians 2:1-7 it says that God will be using us to demonstrate his grace to the celestial regions.  In essence we  will be evangelizing the furthest regions of space!

  Paul repetedly talks of our celestial calling throughout his letters.  He also writes that we are constantly being blessed by God.  Whether good or evil happens to us, these are ALL blessings from God, and preparation for our work in the eons to come.

  That's intense!  Today's experience is the school, the education, and the workshop all to prepare me - and everyone in the Body of Christ, for our eventual job as missionaries to the furthest reaches of space, bringing the glorious message of God's grace to ALL of creation!!

  I cannot get over that.  That God would grant us, the most powerless beings in creation, on a far flung ball of mud, the privilege and power as the very representation of Christ takes my breath away.

   It is this that I'm often thinking of, these days.  We have left the ease and comfort of Calgary, where everything was predictable.  Everything was safe.   I was largely a cad monkey, with very little responsibility beyond making sure my drawings were done correctly, on time, and i was learning about engineering and design a little bit every day.

  Now we live in another province, another city, and into a job that has far more responsibility and risk than I've ever had.  It is here, I am constantly forced to trust God and believe that he is in control.  And every once in a while, I stop, look behind me and see all that he has done and go...

Oh my God.  How did he do that?

  To see that and embrace it and realize that these experiences are the textbook I will be referring to in the eons to come...Wow...

  Anyways, I gotta go.  Love you all, and god bless.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Pendulum Swings

What a day...  What a month really.

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

Hello, Goodbye and Baptism

Sorry guys, I know it's been a very very long time since I wrote.  The past month has been extremely busy.  We finally got everything moved, September 25th.  It was exhausting, however, by the end of the move every single one of us was sick, tired and burned out.

  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.

Baptism is driving people Batty

  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:

Romans 11:6
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

Acts 2:14
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,

It also says in 1 Corinthians 12:13

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

Disarming a cult

Sorry everyone, I've been so busy packing and getting ready for our move tomorrow.  I really haven't had much time to study or much on my mind other than "lets get the frack out of here and get to Vancouver already why don't we?"

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

One last Friday Quote

I'm really enjoying reading this book.  Anyways this here is one great quote that really thrust it's point home;

"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

The Blindness of Christianity

I will write more later but I had to write down this quote that really took my breath away.  I'm reading A.E. Knoch's "Concordant Studies on the book of Daniel" and he said something truly chilling;

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

His Achievement


Ephesians 2:8 For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present,
9 not of works, lest anyone should be boasting.
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.

  There is nothing so stunningly humbling than when someone gives you a gift that is so lavishly expensive that you could not afford it.

  I had a friend who gave me a tablet once.  It was brand new in fact, and my family and I were unable to buy much at all at the time.  My friend knew that for years I had wanted a tablet, but could not afford it.  A month or two before Christmas, he gave me a brand new Nexus 7.

   I could not believe it, I was humbled by his generosity.  I felt like I had to do something to earn it, program a program.  Fix a computer.  Write a symphony.  Construct a house.  I don't know what it was, but I felt compelled to do something to earn it.

   He expressly said it was a gift, and I didn't need to do anything for him.

   It was humbling.  All I could say was thank you.  Of course, if he needed anything, I would gladly do it for him, and he remains a good friend today.

   How much more so than this wonderful gift we have been given?  Not merely the salvation of our souls, but also the faith to believe it.  Those of us who are in the body of Christ must continually remind ourselves that nothing we do or will do will ever earn for ourselves this precious and lavish gift which has been given to us.  To be part of the celestial calling in Christ Jesus.

  Christianity teaches that our faith saves us.  Those that teach this do so in gross ignorance of Ephesians 2:8-9 .  Paul knew this doctrine was worming its way into the lives of believers.  Your faith is not your own.  The grace given to you is not your own.  Even the baptism that every believer experiences upon the "I GET IT" moment is nothing we can achieve ourselves.

Ephesians 1:4 says; according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight,

  Christianity teaches that we choose him.  They've got it backwards.  Ephesians 1:4 says he chooses us.  Long before Adam was even created, he choose us.  That's huge.  We were planned.  There were no mistakes.

   His achievement are we.

  Embrace that.  Live it.  Be ever grateful that this eon and the ones to come have been granted to you beause of His gracious generosity.  If that doesn't put you in a fantastic mood; I don't know what else can.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Happy God

The Happy God

  There is a tragic view of God that most religions depict.  This is not exclusive to Christianity, Islam and many other religions throughout the world depict an angry, vengeful God who will quickly smite you if you do not obey even the smallest commandment.  Westboro Church is famous for peddling this kind of hatred.  Even Mark Driscoll depicts a God who has more in common with a wife beating husband than he does a God of grace.

   The very Bible they profess to believe in denies this attitude of God.

1 Timothy 1:11 in accord with the evangel of the glory of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.

  Paul who calls himself the worst of sinners 1 Timothy 1:13-16 also declares that he was overwhelmed by the grace of God.  This does not sound like an angry God.  When your wife overwhelms you with her love and grace what image do you have in mind?  Certainly it's not one like those fellows from Westboro holding up picket signs.

   Too much of religion teaches to be afraid of God and to fear his judgment.  To be sure Proverbs 9:10 tell us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; but that is not the end of it.

1 John 4:18 Fear is not in love, but perfect love is casting out fear, for fear has chastening. Now he who is fearing is not perfected in love.

   But what about sin?  Some people will say, doesn't God hate sin?  Yes, God does, that's why he sent his son to the cross.  Now is the era of grace, purchased by the blood of Christ in fact Paul writes;

Romans 5:20 20 Yet law came in by the way, that the offense should be increasing. Yet where sin increases, grace superexceeds,

  Where there is sin, grace is GREATER than the sin that was commited.  That is how large the grace of Christ is.  You can never outsin God's grace!!

   What about judgment?  Hell?  

  Well first off, Hell doesn't exist.  In fact, God's grace is so large that he is not even at odds with humanity anymore;

 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
18 Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation,
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.

  God is at peace towards you, in other words.  We now have the ministry asking of the world - be at peace with God!  To make it even clearer, the only person who's angry and at war is humanity.  God has made the peace offering through his son, and is not at odds with us.

  There will come a day of judgment where God will correct all men's hearts, but hell is not the destiny for anyone of mankind.

1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.

Death will end, and if death itself is done with.  What remains?  Life, which by implication means everyone will be alive.  To which the ultimate goal of all creation, the consumation that God will be All in All (1 Corinthians 15:27-28)

  There is no other faith that teaches this.  God is at peace with you.  God wants you to be who you are.   God loves you regardless of all that you have done or will do in this life.

  Don't listen to those who are professing a hateful angry God.  That is the lie.

2 Thess 2:11-12 And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood,
12 that all may be judged who do not believe the truth, but delight in injustice.

hmm... Sounds alot like some people holding signs declaring God's hatred.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Counting Down...

  Well this weekend has been productive.  We've sold couches, tables, bookshelves... There's not much left furniture wise in our house.  When we watch TV we're pretty much camping out on the floor.

  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 said;

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. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

  Just because you are being blessed does not mean God is happy with you.  On the flip side, just because you are enduring hardship, does not mean God is angry with you.  And here's the catch all.  Just because you are being persecuted, does not mean you are being persecuted for Christ.

  There's another verse in the Bible, (go read the whole Bible, you'll find it, I can't remember where it is) that says that the sun falls on the wicked and the good alike.  Similarly so does the rain fall on both men as well.

  Yet; All is of God, and in every circumstance - we ought to give thanks to God for EVERYTHING whether good or evil, is all meant for our benefit.

  I'm saying this to point out that no matter what happens in the future when we move, however it slides... I'm going to remember - God lead us there, and there is ALWAYS a reason to benefit everyone.  Myself as well as those around me.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning to say Goodbye

Getting ready to say goodbye...

  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..

Romans 8:28 Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose

2 Corinthians 5:18 Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation,

  And I can rest assured that even the very decisions we make are of Him and in His hands.

Psalms 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God...

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart, it devises his way, Yet Yahweh, He establishes his steps.

  This is meant to be, and for whatever purposes.  For good or evil, I can be certain it is always always for our benefit.

Praise God,


Thursday, September 5, 2013

What a day...

  It's been a bit of an exhausting day today.

  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

Religion and the Shame Game

  Well, it looks like the house deal is going to go through.  However they've asked to extend the closing date two more days to allow an appraisal to be done on our house.  Fun fun. :P

  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.

Religion's Shame Game

  So, last night I was checking out this blog that someone had posted online and asked for an opinion on.  I read it, and in the beginning the tone sounded quite reasonable and I could find nothing wrong with it.

  At least not until she started shaming the girls and talking about purity.

  So - let's talk about purity.

  Typically most religious folks point to 1 Timothy 4:12 when they talk about purity so here it is;

12 Let no one be despising your youth, but become a model for the believers, in word, in behavior, in love, in faith, in purity.

Yet if you read in context the entire chapter, Paul isn't talking about "sexual purity" he's talking about doctrinal purity.  He even describes the impure in 1 Timothy 4:1-5

1 Now the spirit is saying explicitly, that in subsequent eras some will be withdrawing from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons,
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.

  Look at that, all that and NOT one word of sex.  In fact, you would be surprised to read through all of Paul's epistles and you will discover he only touches on the topic of sexuality a few times in comparison to the topic of false teaching.  It's obvious which is of far more concern to Paul.

  So let's stop listening to the crap that mainstream religion is teaching us.  Arterburn's books, and all those "Men of God" movements.  They have lost touch with what really matters.  The truly sexually perverted are not those who admire the female body for what God has created it.  The truly perverted are those who deny what God has naturally instilled in them, and instead fall into all other kinds of perversion.

  Incorrect teaching begets incorrect desire.  You don't have to take my word for it; just look at the scandals in the catholic Church.  Abstinence, Celibacy, and "sexual purity" haven't done all too much for these guys.  Do you really think "bouncing your eyes" and condemning other women for their natural beauty is going to make you more righteous?  It's not like you've discovered something new.  Even the Taliban went to the extreme of covering their women head to toe in fabric.  Guess which nation in the world has the highest rate of rape and perversion?

  It's certainly not our "lustful" north American nation.

  So, BE pure.  

1 Timothy 4:16 16 Attend to yourself and to the teaching. Be persisting in them, for in doing this you will save yourself as well as those hearing you.


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

Down to the wire...

Well... Today is the day we find out if we're moving in 3 weeks or not.  The house sale conditions must be closed today or we go back on the market.  I have a strong feeling though, it will.

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

Not much on my mind today, I decided I'd quote from Clyde Pilkington today instead...

Right Division: The Answer to Understanding Scripture

“Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
The Word of God itself provides us with the key to its own proper understanding through “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” God’s ecclesia, the Body of Christ, is not the only people in the programs and purposes of God. People in other ages need Scripture to instruct them in the specifics of God’s dealings with them just as we do. Remember that all of the Scripture is for us – but it is not all to us, nor is it all about us. If we fail to recognize this important fact, we will never properly be able to understand just what God is doing today, nor will we know just what He would have us do.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Rich Man and Lazarus is a FABLE

  Good news, we had the house inspection done last night and it looks like everything is going smoothly.  Papers and deposit have been dropped off at the lawyers and it's starting to look like this might be a lock.  Yay!

Jesus - Telling Tales

  Anyone who's spent any time in Sunday School in the last century knows about the Rich Man and Lazarus.  I'm not going to bore you reciting the whole tale or waste time repeating it.  You can find it in Luke 16.

   At any rate; in this section of Luke's Gospel Jesus is telling a series of parables explaining things to people.  In particular, he is explaining things to the Pharisees using their own mythology and doctrine to condemn them.  These were taken from their book "The Talmud" and are not rooted in scriptural truth.

   For a deep analysis I recommend you buy the book "The Rich Man and Lazarus" by EW Bullinger.  He gives an easy to understand explanation of the parable and it's historical significance in Jesus time.  It's quite brief but easily dismantles traditional teaching on this.

   But lets be honest here; this parable conflicts with everything scripture teaches about God and death.  Here are some significant points;

A Rich man goes to hell and a poor man goes to "Abraham's bosom"(tradition teaches this is heaven).  So what is the point here?  We need to give away all our possessions and become destitute and persecuted to get to heaven?  If we're rich and eating well we go to hell?

Is God that unjust?  There's no indication that the poor man had repented, knew Jesus, or even knew of God in this entire exchange.  His only "redeeming" value was that he was poor and it really sucked.

Also, these people are dead, yet are somehow... not.

If so - we really need to redefine the word DEAD.  Of course, Jesus is using the pharisees own traditions and not actually trying to explain what happens after death.  Dead is dead after all.  As Ecclesiastes 9:5 says;

...The dead know nothing whatsoever...

  Indeed, if we are alive after death, as popular Christian mythology teaches; believers get to party it up in heaven while everyone else goes to hell... So then what is the point of

1 Thess 4:15-18
15 For this we are saying to you by the word of the Lord, that we, the living, who are surviving to the presence of the Lord, should by no means outstrip those who are put to repose,
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 Death is actually life partying it up in Heaven, why go through the effort of raising us from the dead?  Doesn't that seem a little redundant?  I mean frankly, if I'm having a good time without a nasty old body in heaven, I would frankly be pissed off if I got smacked back into it just cuz Jesus felt like blowing a tune.

  And lets not forget, 

Revelations 20:5 
5 (The rest of the dead do not live...

  I guess John felt something might be lost in translation so he decided to say "Just in case you don't understand what dead means, the dead do not live..." it seems a little redundant, but then - religion is quite fond of making a kaka mess out of something that should be crystal clear.

   But seriously, read Bullinger's book, it's really quite well thought out and explains what a terrible injustice is being done to the word of God by taking a fairy tale Jesus was telling, completely out of context and making an entire doctrine of eternal conscious torment out of it.  Are you crazy?

  This is what I posted this morning on my facebook;

If Hell exists, it means God is not Lord over all creation.

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.

  I don't know how else I can be more clear than that...