I have a habit of wanting to write follow-up articles. I like doing a series of articles and all that. There’s something fulfilling and purposeful about writing that way. It’s more than a one-off. So, I did a sequel of sorts to “Spiritual hunger”. Here’s that article:Continue reading “More spiritual hunger”
I’ve always believed, quite rightly, that the key characters of the original Star Wars trilogy were one of the films’ trump cards, as they are believable and life-like. But I’ve noticed something else about Han and Leia that is quite true, as well.Continue reading “The 'in-crowd'”
The previous article ended on what the Church can do to positively engage in the public arena in a culture that is ‘church-less’. The following, written in 2004 for Challenge Weekly, is, however, a critique of a church-backed rally, deemed by many, as a negative display by the church in the public arena in New Zealand, in 2004. It was the way it was done that got quite a few upset. It was a protest march that stood for family values while decrying the erosion of moral values in public policy, but that might have been intimidating for onlookers. Let’s have a look.Continue reading “In the public arena”
The Shining (1980) is a more multi-layered horror/thriller movie than most in the genre during the early 1970’s and 1980’s. The basic idea is: is the “possession” of Jack (Jack Nicholson) really a supernatural happening?Continue reading “Canny or uncanny?”
Today there are superheroes, but do we need another superhero, or hero for that matter? Although Flash Gordon (1980) has some great Queen music and occasional moments of “get on board” action that may worm its way under the skin, is the hero of Flash Gordon a phony just like the pantheon of heroes and their fictitious deeds and heroism?Continue reading “Do we need another hero?”
An artist who draws covers for albums wants more out of life. A retired muso who’s contemplating a change. A Greek muse comes into their lives and inspires them to begin again.Continue reading “Can we find inspiration?”
The Blues Brothers (1980) is a sort of ‘road of redemption’ story.Continue reading “Road of redemption”
Fill life with living life to the max or empty life from the need to? Sometimes, we want to fill life by embracing all of it, but then we find we’re empty. Is living life to the max detrimental to living life? According to the gospel of All That Jazz, perhaps it is. All That Jazz (1979) has an angle on living life to the max. Simply, it’s when Max living gets out of hand…Continue reading “Life to the max and all that jazz”
The Final Countdown (1980) is about time travel—in that an American aircraft carrier finds itself in time-past and could change the course of events that led to the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It’s such a significantly grave event that one is impressed how it can be prevented.Continue reading “It’s a world without time travel”
In the film Fingers (1978), Harvey Keitel plays a promising artist with ambitions to play piano at Carnegie Hall. He’s passionate about his talent and future fortune, but he’s also a heavy for his Dad in collecting debts. He should make a choice, one way or another.Continue reading “A double life at heart”
There’s nothing like a good paragraph to start an article, but what if your own one (this one I’m writing excluded) sounded gratingly off-putting?Continue reading “First paragraph blues”
It’s great to read an old article of mine. What somebody said in it are quite simply words of wisdom and even encourage me today. I think that anyone who enjoys reading, will find that the stories and articles that they look back on, can still resonate, years later. It’s like those pleasant surprises one finds in the attic and the basement; a long lost card or report that surprises one and causes a most pleasant feeling to emerge in you.
It’s a reflective ‘exercise’ looking back at my older articles. It still conjures up a vague, cloud-like impression of the past, but still with the concrete markers or posts of yesteryear, like why I wrote something, where I was, what I was doing. Perhaps its cathartic, in that it washes away a past memory, but a good one.
I have vastly underrated U2’s The Joshua Tree album over the last couple of years, but it is a great album once I got over the hurdles, hurdles that I ignored in times past for the love of the album. One of those hurdles was coming to terms with the song I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.Continue reading “I found what I was looking for in this U2 song”
It’s always interesting to take a few moments to reflect, but a reflection can dissipate like water slipping through your hands, so what’s the point? As long as one can clarify something in the moments away in one’s mind.Continue reading “Clarifying what’s on the mind”
I put on a song called “Endless” that was released in 1994 and is sung by Eric Champion. It’s about God’s endless love.
As I listened, I may not know a lot about God’s love, but I got to thinking about the godhead, that I believe God is three persons in one, and are bound together by love. But I have a question.Continue reading “A question about the godhead”
The passage I mulled over recently seemed to be the inspiration for a classic movie title, but it is not really.Continue reading “Being worthy”
“The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? It is the same with you [Jesus’ disciples]: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.”
Luke 17:7-10, Good News Bible.
I have seven devotional ideas to write into devotions, with probably more inspired by my readings each day.
In the gospel, Jesus taught his disciples to pray. He is teaching all of us how to pray, if we take on board the “how to pray” part of the gospel. Jesus taught how to pray through the Lord’s prayer.Continue reading “When praying”
Somethings in the book Youth Aflame have stuck with me. One of those things is the instruction to never act on a vague impression. Only act on clear, vivid impressions. What has this got to do with anything? Well, I apply this to my writing.
The sin or base nature is in every human being which can cause a fully blown sin, an act of evil or darkness, something which displeases God. But God can give us the power to overcome.Continue reading “With God’s power”
Carrying on from last post, the cross is also powerful to forgive. This is God’s way to forgive the sin in our lives. Our sin or tendency to dark, selfish acts in whatever form is what displeases God, but God’s way to forgive us is the power of the cross.
God’s forgiveness when it is felt is liberating. The burden of sin is lifted off one’s life. Only God can forgive in this kind of way, that goes to the very heart of a person and sets one free.
God’s forgiveness is wonderful. It is so wonderful that God’s forgiveness can enable us to forgive those who have offended us, if we can truly appreciate how God has forgiven our own sins. One who loves much, has been forgiven much.
Carrying on from the previous post, what is the message of the cross that it is so powerful? Even more powerful than people’s power? Here are my thoughts:
Jesus hanging on the cross looks like defeat, but there’s a hidden power behind the cross. The power of the cross is like a whirlwind, a storm of supernatural origin that one can’t see, but is something that operates in the spiritual realm. This power is power over sin and death that can help a human being overcome one’s powerlessness over death and sin. God’s power suffices instead of human power, to overcome the problems of death and sin in individual lives.
I find it interesting that a verse in the Bible on giving is juxtaposed with a verse on not judging others.Continue reading “What’s giving got to do with judging?”
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame
(Proverbs 3:27-35, New International Version)
One of things I’ve learnt from reading the Bible is that everyone is equal because they are made in God’s image, everyone.Continue reading “State of being human, state of falling short, state of being whole”
I’m no biblical scholar or bachelor of divinity, but I am open to God and the Bible, and I try to read the Bible as it is. In that vein, I have read in the Bible that Jesus existed to save people from their sins. What does this mean? And why do Christians still sin?
As has been said many a time, one needs to define sin so that one’s hearers understand what is meant by sin and why Jesus came to save people from it.
So, for the purposes for this post, I think it is helpful to define sin simply. Sin is an action that displeases God to the extent that God finds it repugnant and can’t be tolerated. Sin’s worse than you and I think.
But Jesus Christ came to save people from their sins. But why do people who believe in Jesus still sin? When someone believes in Jesus that should put an end to sin in their lives, shouldn’t it?
I’ve heard many arguments to explain this, none I must say were my own thoughts, and if I used those here, they would be second hand explanations, and not my own. But I do know that I believe in Jesus and that I can still sin.
At times, sin cuts deep through my soul, and when it does, I was not saved that day from my sin. It was me who let it happen. I confessed the sin to God, and was healed of it, but why didn’t Jesus save me before it happened, if Jesus came to save people from their sins?
I think it’s not as easy as all that. Jesus was on earth to save people from their sins. To save. God hasn’t eliminated the sin nature in every human being entirely. Sin is still there, in the sin nature in human beings.
I may still sin again, somehow. Through all this, God provided the Lamb of God (Jesus) to justify me before God, that I am acquitted of all my sins in front of God. By faith in the Lamb of God I am justified. In other words, I am under God’s grace.
I still want to say no to sin and I have faith to believe that Jesus’s Spirit, which I have received, can enable me to say no to my known sins as I cooperate with him.
This Christmas, we remember that Jesus was born to enable one to overcome their sins and weaknesses while he justifies the sinner who puts their faith in him.
If you ever get lost, remember the good voice of the Heavenly Father, and slip into safety.
There was once a train track that went through a tunnel. The tunnel was situated by a summit, surrounded by hills.
When people walked and spoke in the tunnel, it echoed. They were not allowed to walk through it, though. If they walked through it, they were in danger of a fatal collision if they collided with a train.
One morning, some girls got together and climbed the grassy hills around the tunnel, some of them reached for the top, others preferred an easy climb. Some girls stopped, picked daisies, and threw dirt and stones at boys.
Mothers tried to keep an eye on their children, but kids were tempted to go in the tunnel. The mystery was alluring and Sandy rushed into the tunnel. The others were so involved with playing that they did not notice.
As Sandy stood at the tunnel’s entrance, she saw the light at the end. As she ran towards the middle, the tunnel became darker and darker like an eclipse of the moon.
In pitch black, a train was coming. Sandy heard it and shivered. She thought she should have listened to her Mum who told her again and again, “Don’t go into the tunnel!”
Dad had told her about the manholes, like the good voice of the Heavenly Father, guiding to the right course. “Just slip into the manhole if a train comes,” said Dad.
The train closed in as Sandy ran. She saw a cut-out in the tunnel’s wall, which fitted two people. She slipped into it and waited.
The train seemed to take a long time to pass, but it did pass her by like a strong gust of wind.
She took a large breath, relieved she survived a close shave.
Billy Joel is a consummate, highly skilled storyteller in song. His songs always hit the mark in dealing with life, living, the human condition and relationships. He is so accurate and observant.Continue reading ““Second wind””
Some philosophers have said that God has created the world and leaves the rest to our own devices. So, how can God be remotely interested in us?
However, if God hadn’t created the world, he wouldn’t be interested in us, but since God did create the world, he is interested in us.
God must be interested in people, since he first created human beings. It makes no sense to say that God created the world then having lovingly created human beings left us alone.
God is very interested in our lives.
Yet God’s involvement in my life surprises me at times. Sometimes I doubt it. I’m reminded of the line in the 1982 film Gandhi where a priest says to Gandhi, I’m not so egotistical to think that God is trying to solve my dilemmas.
But there’s a verse in the Bible that says to present all your anxieties to God. Give your concerns to God and he will look after them. God sees The Big Picture.
So, I talk to God about my life. There are times when I look at what’s happened and think God must have had a hand in it. I give it more than a rational reason. I call it more than co-incidence. God, the great orchestrator and composer.
What has love got to do with God?Continue reading “What’s love got to with it?”
Submitted a short ‘meditation’. On the surface of it, I wouldn’t have called it a meditation, though.