Monday, July 19, 2010

$$ The Million Dollar Question $$

WHAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION?

It is: will you go to heaven when you die?

Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks on a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart". Have you ever looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgement Day?

If you have done these things, the Bible sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell.

God is not willing that any perish. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for sinners. We broke God's Law, but Jesus paid our fine. That means God can legally dismiss our case. He can commute our death sentence: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please repent (turn from sin) today and God will grant everlasting life to all who trust in Jesus. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

www.LivingWaters.com
http://NeedGod.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turning Away Do-Gooders

An ethical & practical consideration of blood clinics

DISCLAIMER: Adult themes discussed.


I gave blood today, and the entire donation process made me consider recent worries of some people about possible discrimination against certain people groups based on lifestyle choice in the decision to disallow them to donate blood.

It is my personal opinion that Blood Services makes an entirely practical decision when they ban people in high-risk lifestyles from donating blood. If they didn't, they would be placing patients in an even greater danger than they face even now of receiving diseases from donors' blood.

Of course the real issue revolves around whether or not certain behaviors (such as homosexual activity) truly place people at greater risk of contracting diseases such as the HIV virus. Yet, where peoples' health is concerned is it not best and most pragmatic to assume the worst until it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be otherwise?

Is there enough evidence now to support the conclusion that homosexual behaviors do not place people at greater risk of contracting HIV?

What are your opinions on this issue?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

February in Fredericton

February Break at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick

It is the weekend. February Break is now over. We had a week off, and now we're all playing catch-up on the work that we were supposed to be diligently doing during the break.

But thanks to a girl in the Campus for Christ ministry at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, not everyone's Break was spent sleeping in and vegging (which is a good thing).

This girl (not myself for those who were wondering) decided to see about finding a way to better-use the time she'd been given, and so she worked with Campus for Christ staff to start a missions trip to the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Thanks to her, five students and four staff members decided to spend three days ministering to and evangelizing students at the University of New Brunswick (and St. Thomas, which is so close, they share the same Student Union Building) and connecting people to the Campus for Christ ministry that is just getting started there.

I was part of this team.

It was a great experience, and I am glad that I went. God used this time to explain to me a number of different things that I didn't understand half as well beforehand, including grace to allow that "whoever is not against us is for us" as Jesus said in Mark 9:40 (NIV).

I get caught up in methodology at times, without realizing that at the heart of it, if people's real desire is to make Jesus Christ known, then methodology is secondary; and I shouldn't wish to inhibit people from sharing about Christ, even if I disagree with the methods they use.

I do believe, however, that some times we can get the method wrong, even if our heart is in the right place. Remember that the disciples were unable to cast out a demon because the particular type could only be cast out with prayer and fasting and they had neglected these two very important things (see Mark 9:29). If we neglect Christ's teachings and our 'duties' as His followers, then this will result in spiritual impotence (as He said to remain in Him and only then would we produce fruit in our lives; see John 15:4).

These are some of the things I have been considering since the missions trip.

It is good to wrestle with these things, as each answer hopefully spurs me on to growth in Christ.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent

Lent is a part of the Christian liturgy, or "set form of ceremony or pattern of worship" [wikipedia.org]. It is the part of the Christian calendar leading up to Easter, and consists of 40 days and 40 nights of self-denial, such that the believer partakes in and sympathizes with the trials and sufferings of Christ.

I am a Protestant, and a Southern Baptist, specifically. We generally believe that we do not need liturgy, as it is not something prescribed by Scripture, but by tradition. My church does not observe Lent, and I have never had a reason to observe it before.

As a tradition, I think it too often becomes something that "Everyone does" (as I heard a girl say in the cafeteria). But I bet if you asked those people why they did it, they wouldn't be able to tell you. They'd say "Everyone does it" and that explanation would have to suffice.

I never want to worship God out of empty tradition, when my heart is not in it.

In Isaiah 29:13, God says "These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." (NIV)

I do not want God to say this of me, so I think it is good that I have never observed Lent until now, as it would have been empty and meaningless. While I had no heart for God or His Word my sacrifices could not have pleased Him, but now that my heart is growing, and I better understand God's love and sacrifice, I believe that my sacrifices, as a ways of worshiping God, are indeed pleasing to Him, if I give them out of pure motives and a cheerful heart.

Therefore, I am observing Lent this year. It began Wednesday, February 17th. My sacrifice is taking variable forms throughout the next 40 days, as I identify different things I can give up for the sake of denying myself and better-understanding the gift of Christ's death for the remission of sins.

Some of the things I have already identified (to remind myself):
1. Food purchased with my DalCard (hot chocolate, coffee, pizza, etc.)
2. Novels (I tend to obsess over them to the point of neglecting my school work and Bible study)
3. Elevators
4. FarmVille (and other online games)
5. Puzzles in the Newspaper (I tend to obsess over these until I finish them)
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LENT UPDATE [March 18, 2010]

I was doing well until a week or two ago, when I somewhat gave up the task. Even now, though, it is good for me, for I realize how weak-willed I am on my own without full reliance on the Spirit of God within to direct me.

To God alone be the glory.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rock Climbing and Life Lessons

So, I went rock climbing for the very first time in a climbing gym the other day. I was quite surprised that when the opportunity presented itself I didn't run and hide like I usually do. You see, I am terrified of heights and falling, so much so that just going up the stairs in the Health Library at my univeristy is enough to give me vertigo.

So, what is a girl like me doing going rock climbing? I might have asked myself the same question, but the strange thing is that I wasn't afraid. That is, not until I got off the ground.

From the floor, it all looked simple and I convinced myself there was nothing to it. I could make it to the top. No sweat.

But it's different when you're in a harness, and the only thing that seems to be holding you up is a rope and your own arms and legs. And let me tell you how much faith I place in my own arms and legs = 0. None whatever. When I got on the wall and started to climb, I'd barely get three feet off the ground when my arms would start shaking from the strain or the terror or both. Nope. The only thing I could trust was the rope to hold me up and my friend to catch me if I were indeed to fall.

Not much help to a scaredy cat like me.

Trust a rope. Right.

My mind would scream at me in protest! Hellooo! A rope?! Ropes are made by men and subject to error. How can I trust in a rope to hold me? Besides, didn't I just sign a waiver releasing the gym from liability in the case of my injury... and even death?! No way! No how! I can't trust something that's so uncertain.

But mind you, these things went through my head as I was climbing. Not when I had my feet firmly planted. Was there a difference in the rope? Or a difference in my relation to it?

There's no difference in the rope, that's certain. The difference was I wasn't hanging from it. I didn't have to trust very firmly in it, because my safety wasn't on the line.

The point? Danger and uncertainty test our trust and our faith.

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, You don't know how much you trust a rope until you have to swing from it.

Mr. Lewis was talking about our faith in God and how we don't know exactly how much faith we have until that faith is tested--that is, until the situation becomes dire, and God is the only thread to which we are holding as we dangle over the great precipice of life.

But there is hope for the scared ones like myself: as we exercise faith, we become braver.

And the same thing is true for rock climbing and the like: the farther I am able to push myself, the farther I'll be able to go, because I will become braver, and able to take more risks because my trust in the rope has been tested and proven true.

May it be the same with our faith in God.