Thursday, December 31, 2009

Around the Blogosphere: Just some things I noticed



Excerpt: With everyone writing obituaries and whatnot for the emerging church movement, and with myself coming across more and more as a critic, I feel a personal push towards taking a time-out to recollect some positives and praise for a movement, that while mixed, and in many ways losing momentum and splintering, has been significant for me in my journey.



Brian McLaren writes about Five Special Gratitudes for 2009

Excerpt: Five Special Gratitudes for 2009

As I look back on this year, yes, there have been some trials and disappointments, but five blessings have far outweighed them in 2009:







Andrew Jones gives us the Tall and Skinny on Avatar:
Excerpt: I watched Avatar last night with my family. Good flick from James Cameron. Part Tarzan, part Pocahontas with a hint of LOTR Revenge of the Forest People on the Wicked Machines. Romanticism meets pantheism. And an Avatar figure to save the day who just happens to be tall and skinny [yeah!] rather than a mountain of towering muscle.




My good friend David Foreman who posted on the contrast between the Law and Grace in his post called  It Doesn’t Get Much Clearer Than This

Excerpt: The law is “all or nothing,” pass/fail: Gal. 5:3, James 2:10

(There is no “try harder.”)
Those who try, but fail to keep all the law are cursed: Gal. 3:10
The law breeds sin: Rom. 7:5,8
The law brings death: Rom. 7:10
Where law increases, sin increases: Rom. 5:20
The law leads us to Christ: Gal. 3:24


And finally to wrap this up is another good friend Rob Witham who has returned to the blogosphere. Hey Rob! Welcome back.

 
 
 
 
 
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The God of Show and Tell… or is it Tell and Show?

The God of Show and Tell… or is it Tell and Show?




The other day my Kids had “show and tell”. You know, when they take something important to them to school to share with the other kids… like when my daughter Ciana brought her silver jewelry box to school and was so excited to show it and tell how her Auntie gave it to her. I began to think about God and what He showed us through Jesus. God did not just “tell” us how to live, rather God told us and then through Jesus showed us… thus, God is the God of show and tell… or rather, Tell and Show. In fact, if you get right down to it, Through the bible we see God telling us how to live and then through the incarnation of Jesus, showing us how to live, and died… and then live again. With this, we have a model of how we are to live, die and live again.

Now many people just view this as living now, dying now and living again later, but what is happening is that we are doing all of this “now” for “later”. We live now to die not for death’s sake, but for Christ’s sake so we may live again in abundant life. This New Life in Christ starts “now” and for those who are “in Christ” continues into the “later” or New Creation, which is the fulfillment of “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis talks about the idea that we live either in or for heaven “now” or in and for hell “now” which then is part of the decision as to where we spend eternity later. This is not about works salvation, but whether one lives out the New Life that comes in us from Jesus or we keep hold of the old life. In the bible, (Matt 25: 31-46) there is the parable of the sheep and goats who hold to their “beliefs” to save them. Yet the sheep find they are the ones that did the things that God desires. The rub is that those who held to “believism” did not enter into the Kingdom, while those who did the work of the Kingdom now, entered in the Kingdom for eternity. This is scandalous if you think about it! Those who believe “rightly” are punished? Why are they punished? They were just tellers of the Word but not, “Show and tellers” of the Word. (Now I know technically it is Tell and Show, yet I am not about to set in stone some formula as I find God sometimes has one show others the Gospel so they can earn the right to tell the “other” the Gospel, so for now the idea of “show and tell” is interchangeable.)

In God’s telling and showing, we learn that what one believes is not enough. We see this in how Jesus confronted the Pharisees for their “correct” belief, yet their doing or showing was inadequate. They would tithe the smallest of amounts even down to the spices they had, and meanwhile let someone starve in their city. They would pass by someone they deemed “unworthy” or less worthy of God’s mercy and grace as they saw them “unclean” and if touched would defile them. They clung tightly to their own righteousness…

Paul Tillich writes about the Pharisees “righteousness”… (To be honest I am still sorting this out in my own heart and head) Jesus fully acknowledged the Pharisees as “righteous”. Tillich states that the righteousness of a Pharisee was a very high standard; even Jesus stated that one’s righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisee to get into Heaven! To be clear, there is no argument allowed to claim the Pharisees as being unrighteous. Yet, by whose righteousness do we get into the Kingdom of Heaven? The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it is only by the righteousness of Christ we make it in to the Kingdom. Rom 1: 17. For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." It is not our own righteousness that gives us life… For all the righteousness of the Pharisee, the Law could not give them eternal life for the Life is in the Son. (John 3:36; 1 John 5: 10-11) One must have life to live… forgiveness is not enough… I like how Luke puts it in Acts 1:1

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach

Jesus came to tell us and show us how to believe and live and that is our challenge… to allow Jesus to do that today in and through us. We are now called to let Jesus live His life in and through us today and forever and to tell and show others of The Way, the Truth, and the Life of Jesus.



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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Changes and choices

Changes and choices



The last few weeks have been tough. School has been a challenge as once again I am taking math, which has never been a strong point for me. Last week I ran a red light and took out another car. Praise God no one was hurt though the car I hit had some real damage. It was surreal in a way as I slid into the other car that was also the same make, color, and model as my own! It was like hitting my self. The young girl was driving her mother’s car. I was thankful she was a sweet girl, as it took excessively long for the police to arrive and take our info. I was on the way to pick up the kids from school so had to call the lovely TES to arrange to get them. A coworker of hers was able to get them as she lived a few blocks away.




On top of all this, math class and Psych class are out of sync. One started a week earlier than the other did so I have to think on terms of one class being in week 1 and the other in week 2. This already has caused me confusion as I did week 2 assignments for Psych which was in week one. The teacher, (who found me on Facebook and we are now friends) was gracious. It turns out that she is also a graduate from a Baptist college. The class is on positive psychology so it should be interesting as I balance my theological views with the psychological views. It is nice to know that the teach is a believer as she will understand my struggles… and even better that she is a friend as she will see me on a more personal level.

Now, all last week I was thinking about all the reading and writing I was going to do this week and get caught up on things like adding Christmas music to my radio station…. Moreover, when Monday came, I was burned out! It is now Thursday and I am finally starting to begin to think on terms of writing. Today will also be the day to decide if iggyROCKS! will play Christmas music or not. Usually I upload a show and just repeat it the whole day so I am thinking that is what I will do again this year. I found last years show so I may just upload it. I am not sure why it is so hard to get the Christmas show going each year but it seems to be a chore every year.

I did finalize my decision to step down from leadership at Vineyard. I am just overwhelmed with school and other things. There are a few personal reasons, yet I will not go into those here. I am thinking on terms of starting a study at one of the coffee houses in town that is open to anyone. I am praying that God will direct me in this. Some of you may already know what direction this ministry is heading, and I need your prayer as many people will find this very controversial as well as not udnerstand what I am doing. I am also asking you to pray and consider helping me out in other ways as God leads you.

Other things I am attempting are trying to find a way to help get funds to some ministries in Africa. It seems PayPal and other such online businesses blacklist Africa. The only way to send money seems to be through Western Union yet even that is limited. I am doing a ton of research on all this, and think I may have to set up a PayPal account here in the states. Then I can send the donations to the ministries as people donate and designate which one they want. I am not that happy about handling the money but see no other way to get the donations to these that need it. I jokingly stated to Ivan who is the director at Afayo Foundation Uganda, that those Nigerians really screwed things up for the legit ministries in Africa… and he stated, “Yeah they have cause real problems for us.” (I am speaking of the Nigerian email frauds that have been going on for years now). If anyone knows of any other way, please let me know, otherwise I guess I will become an Unincorporated Association or Donor Advise Foundation.

On a personal note, it seems my gastric bypass surgery is still in the hands of the insurance company. There was a change in policy that now makes it that I need 6 months of weight loss management (WLM). Of course, the local WLM did not know of this change in policy so resubmitted my medical claim again. I should know next week if I would need to wait longer or not. I feel a bit in limbo over all this. For those of you who see this as new news, I decided that for health reasons I am going forward. There seems to be a lot of success in helping diabetes with the Gastric Bypass surgery as it seems to through the body in shock a bit and when is stabilizes things seem to kick in and work better. Since my condition with insulin resistance is not only making me fatter, but also hurting me in other ways, I decided to take the drastic measure to improve my health.

So please pray for me in all this as well as the regular family stuff and have a great Christmas!




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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Control and true freedom



Control and freedom are interesting topics in themselves. If one is in control is he free or reacting to what is happening around them to maintain that control? If one is a servant or slave, there is a sense of freedom from the responsibility of higher things others are controlling so one is free to pursue other thoughts, wants or desires. Yet, that person is still not "free" as they are subservient to the lord, master, or boss.

I do not believe we are at the mercy of others control, yet see this tension that holds these things in place. In a way, I see that we may be a slave to one thing, then free to others, yet also then become a slave to that other thing. Being free to me is more than the fulfillment of my want or desires. I see it as sort of surrender. I may be a surrender to something far superior than one's self that works hand in hand with trusting this superior "Being" which I believe has a person's best interest in mind.

To surrender one self to pursue this best seems a means of freedom to me that leads to higher freedom. It brings the ability to love in spite of hate, to give in spite of need, or to forgive when wronged. It is bringing one's self as not at the mercy or whim of one who wants to harm or does not have a person's best interest in mind.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paul Tillich: What is Truth?



I have tried to avoid reading Paul Tillich for quite a while, yet I stumbled on The New Being which is a book of his sermons. I decided to read the chapter called "What is Truth?" and found much of it familiar. I had to laugh as I felt I was reading some of the stuff I have written on truth over the years. I always find it strange to read someone else (who is much more articualate then I am) explain what I have tried to express.

Here are a few excerpts from Chapter 8 of The New Being called, "What is Truth?"

"Twofold are the temptations to evade the burden of asking for the truth that matters. The one is the way of those who claim to have the truth and the other is the way of those who do not care for the truth. The first ones are called "the Jews" in our gospel. They point to their tradition which goes back to Abraham. Abraham is their father; so they have all truth, and do not need to be worried by the question which they encounter in Jesus. Many among us, Christians and secularists, are "Jews" in the sense of the Fourth Gospel. They point to their tradition which goes back to the Church Fathers, or to the popes, or to the Reformers, or to the makers of the American Constitution. Their church or their nation is their mother, so they have all truth and do not need to worry about the question of truth. Would Jesus tell them, perhaps, what He told the Jews—that even if the church or the nation is their mother, they carry with them the heritage of the father of untruth; that the truth they have is not the truth which makes free? Certainly there is no freedom where there is self-complacency about the truth of one’s own beliefs. There is no freedom where there is ignorant and fanatical rejection of foreign ideas and ways of life. There is not freedom but demonic bondage where one’s own truth is called the ultimate truth. For this is an attempt to be like God, an attempt which is made in the name of God."

"But those of us who dare to face the question of truth may listen to what the Fourth Gospel says about it. The first thing which strikes us is that the truth of which Jesus speaks is not a doctrine but a reality, namely, He Himself: "I am the truth." This is a profound transformation of the ordinary meaning of truth. For us, statements are true or false; people may have truth or not; but how can they be truth, even the truth? The truth of which the Fourth Gospel speaks is a true reality—that reality which does not deceive us if we accept it and live with it. If Jesus says, "I am the truth," he indicates that in Him the true, the genuine, the ultimate reality is present; or, in other words, that God is present, unveiled, undistorted, in His infinite depth, in His unapproachable mystery. Jesus is not the truth because His teachings are true. But His teachings are true because they express the truth which He Himself is. He is more than His words. And He is more than any word said about Him."

"The Church very early forgot the word of our Gospel that He is the truth; and claimed that her doctrines about Him are the truth. But these doctrines, however necessary and good they were, proved to be not the truth that liberates. Soon they became tools of suppression, of servitude under authorities; they became means to prevent the honest search for truth—weapons to split the souls of people between loyalty to the Church and sincerity to truth. And in this way they gave deadly weapons to those who attacked the Church and its doctrines in the name of truth. Not everybody feels this conflict. There are masses of people who feel safe under doctrinal laws. They are safe, but it is the safety of him who has not yet found his spiritual freedom, who has not yet found his true self. It is the dignity and the danger of Protestantism that it exposes its adherents to the insecurity of asking the question of truth for themselves and that it throws them into the freedom and responsibility of personal decisions, of the right to choose between the ways of the sceptics, and those who are orthodox, of the indifferent masses, and Him who is the truth that liberates. For this is the greatness of Protestantism: that it points beyond the teachings of Jesus and beyond the doctrines of the Church to the being of Him whose being is the truth."

"How do we reach this truth? "By doing it," is the answer of the Fourth Gospel. This does not mean being obedient to the commandments, accepting them and fulfilling them. Doing the truth means living out of the reality which is He who is the truth, making His being the being of ourselves and of our world. And again, we ask, "How can this happen?" "By remaining in Him" is the answer of the Fourth Gospel, i.e., by participating in His being. "Abide in me and I in you," he says. The truth which liberates is the truth in which we participate, which is a part of us and we a part of it. True discipleship is participation. If the real, the ultimate, the divine reality which is His being becomes our being we are in the truth that matters."

The whole book is available online here.




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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Three Stages to growing in Christ.


      What did happen at the Cross of Jesus and what do many people miss about the Resurrection? Many have tried to answer this so to attempt it in a blog post seems rather ridiculous, yet, to me by gaining an understanding that there is a distraction between the Cross and Resurrection one can gain insight to what God is doing for, in and through you as a believer.

      When I first came to Jesus I was told the basic, “Come to Jesus and give Him your sins and he will save you.” But I never really asked what I was being saved from, let alone realized that maybe that was not the real point and that I was not being saved “from” but into something greater and more wonderful than myself. For years I walked with a “self” focus. “I am not going to hell.” “I am going to heaven.” “God loves me.” And yes all that is true and I am grateful, yet as in the biblical book of Song of Solomon, one must move from “My lover is mine and I am his…” (Song of Solomon 2:16) to “I am my lover's and my lover is mine…” (Song of Solomon 6:3) and again move onto “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.” (Song of Solomon 7:10) from where we grow more in the knowledge of the grace of Christ and knowledge of what God has for us. We become like the beloved who states, “But my own vineyard is mine to give…” (Song of Solomon 8: 12) freely giving all we are to God through Jesus.

      Each stage is like a step unto a fuller and richer life in Christ. Yet so many stay at the first stage and never realize that there is more. We fall at the Cross and never realize it is not only Jesus on that Cross but our self… dead. Some may realize this yet not move into the next stage where we find that “I am Christ’ and He is mine” as we try to still assert ownership of “self” and not relinquish our self to the death that is required of us. Even less find the richness and greatness of the third stage where one finds their wholeness and life comes only from the Beloved. One at this point has found themselves dead, the old is gone! And behold I am now a New Creation!

      Now I know many are saying, “Oh this is basic 101 stuff, yet is it? I do believe one must pass through the stages to develop as a new creation. Do you need each stage to be saved? No, you need Grace for that, yet to grow, God must become all in you through Christ. You must relinquish your life and receive His life. How? The Life is in the Son. By receiving all that Jesus has for you. Have you done that already? Great! You are now on your way to learn how to become the beloved of God!




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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Atheists View of Christians: Christians for Torture




Brothers and sisters, the world is watching us. Don't you get that? They seem to sometimes know more how we should act that we do! My friend Steve Lay who has a blog called The Groundworks emailed me this article and really, it breaks my heart...

iggy

Christians for Torture

So what in the world is an atheist to think when he sees the widespread Christian support for torture? Yes, torture. But don’t Christians claim to follow the ethics of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament? These are unbelievable poll results. Christian torture advocates should be ashamed of themselves for being so ignorant of New Testament ethics. We associate torture with the Soviet Union under Stalin, China under Mao, .....

It is pastors who ought to be teaching and warning their congregations about what is wrong with the U.S. empire, the U.S. military, the CIA, U.S. wars, and U.S. foreign policy. Instead, we have pastors that lead their congregations to pledge to the flag, sing praise to the state on every national holiday, and honor the U.S. war machine on special military appreciation days.

What have we come to in the United States when people who name the name of Christ support torture? How dare Christians criticize Muslims for saying that Islam is a religion of peace and then advocate the torturing of suspected terrorists? By their support for torture, Christians have given "great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme" (2 Samuel 12:14).

Continue the article from: lewrockwell.com



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Monday, November 23, 2009

Show me how to live...

Each day we struggle with being a fallen creature who God has redeemed. If one is honest they will look in the mirror and see there is really nothing "special" about them that God would stoop low and offer salvation to any of us.

Yet, through Jesus we have just that! Audioslave is not a "Christian" group, yet within some of their lyrics there is this sense of struggle to live true to one's beliefs. Taking in that balance of coming into faith and believing God does see you as you are and loves you... and wills not to leave you how you are but to draw you ever deeper into Jesus Christ and show us how to live... and overcome our broken and fallen being and enter into something deeper that we could even imagine. "You gave me life now
Show me how to live"...




Show Me How To Live Lyrics
Artist(Band):Audioslave


In with the early dawn
Moving right along
I couldn’t buy an eye full of sleep
And in the aching night
Under satellites
I was not received
built with the stolen parts
A telephone in my heart
Someone get me a priest
To put my mind to bed
This ringing in my head
Is this a cure or is this a disease

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life now
Show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life now
Show me how to live

In the afterbirth
On the quiet earth
Let this things remind you
You thought you made a man
You better think again
Before my role defines you

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me a life
Now show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life now
Show me how to live

And in your waiting hands
I will land
And roll out of my skin
And in your final hours I will stand
Ready to begin
Ready to begin
Ready to begin
Ready to begin

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life now
Show me how to live
Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life now
Show me how to live
Show me how to live
Show me how to live
Show me how to live
Show me how to live




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Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Podcast site is up!

I finally found a new home for my podcast. Not saying it is great, but it will only get better.  You should be able to find it on iTUNES soon.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just a thought...




Many want to interpret the bible through their words; I resolve to interpret the bible through my actions.




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Great quotes: Walter Martin versus Ken Silva


I find it interesting that I am called a heretic when I state that Adam was created "innocent". Many have attacked me over this over the years. Yet, tonight I was skimming through a book by Walter Martin who states:

“…Adam was created innocent, and God put his divine stamp of approval on that creation by calling him, “the son of God” (Luke 3:38)…”



“Even though Adam was created innocent, by an act of free will he fell into imperfect practices which God allowed so as to not violate the freedom which alone makes it possible for men and angels to choose to love Him.” ~ Essential Christianity by Walter Martin page 17

Many so called "Discernment" ministry people have argued with me... one in particular states I am a "semi-pelagian" (Hi Ken Silva) Yet, it is Ken who claims to have been "mentored" by Walter Martin... this same Walter Martin from whom most likely I first heard this teaching from... (Oh and Ken Silva's definition of mentoring is that he has listened to Walter Martin tapes... he never met the man so if that is the case, I listened to him live for many years as well as listened to tapes and read his books... so I am also "mentored" as Ken Silva... so have all the same credentials or lack of that he does)

So, as I read this, I find it sad that Ken Silva uses the name of Walter Martin to legitimize himself, yet never met the man... then attacks others for the very thing Walter Martin taught! It is as if Ken Silva is the Anti-Walter Martin.

Walter Martin for all his flaws was a great man in my view. He taught me much... such as not attacking the person but addressing their doctrine when you are trying to lead them to Christ. Ken seemed to miss that point I guess... The point here is that I have addressed Ken Silva's doctrine... and even now am. He is a brother in Christ... though I see him as very confused. Unlike his words to me, I consider him saved if he claims Jesus. I think his actions and words dishonor Walter Martin greatly and that Ken Silva may need to bone up on Walter Martin as it seems to Ken Silva, Walter Martin was a semi pelagian heretic as he believed and taught many of the same things I do.



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Sunday, November 15, 2009

TO SCATTER FLOWERS




To Scatter Flowers


O Jesus! O my Love! each eve I come to fling


My springtide roses sweet before Thy Cross divine;

By their plucked petals fair, my hands so gladly bring,

I long to dry Thine every tear!

To scatter flowers!—that means each sacrifice:

My lightest sighs and pains, my heaviest, saddest hours,

My hopes, my joys, my prayers—I will not count the price—

Behold my flowers!

With deep untold delight Thy beauty fills my soul,

Would I might light this love in hearts of all who live!

For this, my fairest flowers, all things in my control,

How fondly, gladly would I give!

To scatter flowers!—behold my chosen sword

For saving sinners' souls and filling Heaven's bowers:

The victory is mine—yea, I disarm Thee, Lord,

With these my flowers!

The petals in their flight caress Thy Holy Face;

They tell Thee that my heart is Thine, and Thine alone.

Thou knowest what these leaves are saying in my place:

On me Thou smilest from Thy Throne.

To scatter flowers!—that means, to speak of Thee—

My only pleasure here, where tears fill all the hours;

But soon, with Angel Hosts, my spirit shall be free

To scatter flowers.

June 28, 1896.

________________________________________

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/therese/autobio.xxxii.iv.html

From: ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX

THE STORY OF A SOUL (L'HISTOIRE D'UNE ÂME):
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 17th World Prayer for Uganda

I recieved this on Facebook.com and thought I would pass it along.



Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for continuing to spread the message that regardless of one's theological belief system, this legislation is wrong. Dr. Warren Throckmorton and I (Andrew Marin - author of Love is an Orientation) are assembling a day of prayer.

Dr. Throckmorton and I know that there are many of you in this group who are not religious, and we are not asking you to do something you are not comfortable with. But for those who do have a faith tradition we ask that on Tuesday November 17th, you take at least 30 minutes to pray for the following:

1. That this legislation be thrown out

2. For protection and peace for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters living in this oppression in Uganda and around the world

3. That the Ugandan Church realize this legislation is not morally or Scripturally correct - as there has been disturbing news recently coming from some of my contacts in Uganda and Parliment that the Ugandan Church is starting to make official statements in favor of this bill. I will be posting those as soon as they are official.

The world will feel this impact! I know that on the evening of November 17th I have a large group gathering in Chicago that will be focusing our time in prayer for the aformentioned three requests. This Facebook group has members located all over the world, and we have a unique opportunity to gather throughout the globe to lift these injustices to our Creator to make a divine impact. If your belief urges you to do so, please join us in this day of prayer. Thank you.

Much love,

Andrew Marin
Dr. Warren Throckmorton


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do You Love Gay People? - A Love Issue

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The comments are really revealing as to how blind and hateful some really are. Sadly many do not even realize how hateful their words are... when someone states:

We should love people the way God loves them; with truth, and pure love. There is gay people outthere who would be willing to change their lives and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. We as christians, cannot decide who will accept Jesus or who won't. Our duty is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our own testimony, and with Love. I have known gay people who repented and now are living a normal life (according to God's purpose). Believe me, God can still change people's lives. Let's pray for all those beautiful people (including gay people) who need Jesus as their personal Savior. Amen.


Sadly this is one of the more "loving" comments posted on the site. Yet, when a gay person hears a Christian say the word "change" they hear us saying they must clean up their lives before they come to Jesus! That is NOT the Gospel... We are saved by Grace, straight or gay.

The hate just keeps on coming proving the video over and over again as right on, yet as you can see they are blind to their own hate. It is time to stop hating and start loving... Will you take a stand for Unconditional Love?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Constitutional Amendment





Proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

"Congress shall make no law that applies to any citizen of the United States that does not apply equally to all U.S. Senators and Representatives and Congress shall make no law that applies to any U.S. Senator or Representative that does not apply equally to all citizens of the United States. All existing laws and regulations that do not meet these criteria are herewith null and void."


 Not sure who started this but I like it. Feel free to pass it along.

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…"Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40

…"Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew26:40







Lately I have had some people state I seem to only focus on what is wrong with the Church but seem to not offer any solutions. I somewhat took some offense to this at first, but then realized it was an honest opinion. I have written much as far as answers to issues and ways to look at how we current do things like evangelism or church… yet I think one of the core things we as the Body of Christ need to grasp is the importance and even urgency of prayer.

So many times I am approached by someone who asks me, (of all people) how one can go through tough times and stay hopeful and faithful. Honestly, I often fail that test myself, yet at times I am able to rise above fear and circumstances when others cannot. I do not mean this as bragging as I owe so much to one thing… Prayer.

When I pray, I am faced with myself. It is often like I am looking in a mirror and seeing who I was, who I am and yet who I will be in Christ when He is finished with me. Of course I do not see clearly who I will be, when Jesus is finished with me. In fact I wonder if Jesus will ever finish with me or if I will be an ongoing hobby in all eternity.

In this mirror though I see flashes of my past that humble me yet give me great hope as I see how far I have come from where I was, and yet also see how much more I need to learn. I also see where I am and at times, Lord willing, I see where I am going and who I will be. Again, there is not single technique… in fact most often the one rule is to pray as simply and honestly as I can.

I was given the gift of tongues early in my walk. For years it was something I struggled with… not in believing it of doing it, but in how it fit into my life in a practical way. I know many do not believe in this gift, yet I cannot deny what God has done in my life, so if you do not believe bear with me a bit out of Grace.

Tongues to me are like a spiritual laxative. I know that sounds a bit too earthy for some, but that is what I found. At times I am so blocked mentally and spiritually I just have not clue how to pray. I will try words, yet they fail me. Often I used to just give up… Yet, I found this wonderful gift will kick in and I will have the Holy Spirit pray in and through me. As I pray, I do most often begin to have a clear idea as to how I am to pray. I may not always be given understanding to the words I spoke, yet also sometimes this weird language will begin to blend and become English and I gain full comprehension of what I was saying. Yet, in the end, it is out of this I gain a heart of worship and praise… I then am brought to a sense of pure humility as to the greatness of God’s Grace.

Now sometimes when I pray nothing great or awesome happens… sometimes it feels like going through the motions. Maybe I am. I do know that even in those times God gives me focus. I can’t recall the movie, yet the scene is that of a Jewish man on a bicycle. He is heading down a hill on and realizes he has no breaks. He begins to pray, “GOD BE WITH ME NOW!” Often that is my simple prayer… yet I found anther way also. I now pray not that God blesses me as I go about my day, but that I am part of what God has already blessed! Think about that. Often we want God to trail behind us as if He had nothing better to do. Then when we need Him, we are like the man on the bicycle… We expect God to be there when we need Him. Now He is, yet, I found in this simple portion of a verse a powerful truth. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matt 26:40) We are to watch with God as He blesses us. Jesus was praying for strength to do His Father’s will at this time. He needed those who would later be the pillars of the Church to watch with Him. To pray WITH Him. In other words be a part of what Jesus was doing. In stead we tend to do as the disciples and do what we want believing God will bless us…even as we fall asleep when God needs us most. We tend to make things all about us… we create a self centered world and still want to be our own god… and want God to bless us as we do this!

Now I am not trying to condemn anyone. We are all on this journey of faith together. But I challenge you to start praying this way. I believe you will find a new power not only in your prayers but in your daily life you never had before. It is learning to turn prayer from a self centered practice to a way of seeing outside ourselves and into what God is doing. In this God will still bring you to the mirror, yet now it is not about keeping the focus on you, but on you in Christ and Christ in you… and together doing the work of the Father you were created to do.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

John Piper answers: Was Jesus tempted with homosexuality?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWivqRMVkHg

I was a bit amused at John Piper's ability to answer this rather easy question. Though he sort of gives an answer it misses the point as to be tempted is not the same as sinning. One can be tempted, but it is the acting upon the temptation that it becomes sin. Jesus was tempted on three levels by the devil.

Luke 4: 1. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2. where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 4. Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.' " 5. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." 8. Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" 9. The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10. For it is written: "`He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully;11. they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' " 12. Jesus answered, "It says: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' " 13. When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. 14. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

1. Body = Turn the stones into bread
2. Mind = Throw yourself down from this steeple as God said He would send angles to protect you.
3. Spirit = Worship me (the Devil) and all the world is yours.


Each point was a test for Jesus. He had fasted and was hungry. Test God to see if He is real and will be faithful to His word and finally, worship the devil in exchange for all the world. The would cover about all temptations I can think of. Bodily pleasures, mentally believing one is too smart to believe in God, and worshiping the creation instead of the Creator.

Yet, the verse in question would not neceistate Jesus to be tempted to participate in homosexual acts.; Hebrews 4: 15. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

The humorous part though is that Piper seemed to miss or at least in his attempt to explained was not clear in his explanation that one sins because of one own evil desires. Now he stated that, but temptation works like this.

If I was walking through a restaurant and saw the tips left on a the tables for the waitress and thought for a second, "No one would know if I took it." and then took I was tempted then following my evil desires committed the sin of theft. Yet if I had the same scenario, and I did not take the money I was tempted but did not sin as I did not take the money. Though Jesus would say I committed the sin in my heart... which to me is the idea of recognizing that the potential for me to think and take the money is there.

Now a person may also walk through the room and see the money and not even have the thought cross their mind to take it. To me, I see that Jesus was like that. If He was "tempted" as we were, I do not think He struggled as we do to morally decide to act or not. Instead all the things that tempt us were present for Jesus to see and partake of, including homosexuality, yet, Jesus would not have giving the temptation a thought but only did as His Father told Him to do.

Piper was compassionate in his answer, but seemed to miss this as a simple question. It seemed to rather perplex him, which in turn perplexes me that a man held in such high regard as a theologian, could not easily answer a rather simplistic question on temptation.



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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Take a stand against the anti gay bill in Uganda


Please fight against this horrible Bill that is trying to be passed in Uganda. Take a stand for human rights.

Please sign this petition



http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/10/15/15609


Here It Is: The Text of Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill


Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2009

We just received early this morning the full text of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was introduced into Uganda’s Parliament yesterday. It is greatly expanded from the earlier draft dated April 20, 2009.



Like the earlier draft, the current bill reiterates a lifetime imprisonment on conviction of homosexuality, and defines a new category called “aggravated homosexuality” with provisions for the death penalty upon conviction. Among the factors which can lead to “aggravated homosexuality” is if one partner is HIV-positive. This bill would mandate HIV testing to determine eligibility for “aggravated homosexuality.”



Also like the earlier draft, the bill includes a complete ban on all LGBT activities — including blogging — which could be construed as “promoting homosexuality.” This infringement on free speech, peaceful assembly, and redress of grievances marks the elimination of fundamental human rights for LGBT Ugandans. The bill also bans all organizations which advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens and holds their leadership criminally liable with fines and imprisonment for up to seven years.



The bill also retains provisions which require that if someone knows that someone is engaging in homosexuality, that person is to report them to the police within twenty-four hours or face fines and/or up to a three year prison sentence themselves. The bill also extends jurisdiction to acts committed outside Uganda by Ugandan citizens. In other words, if a Ugandan citizen is known to be in a gay relationship outside the country, he will risk lifetime imprisonment (or death, if he’s HIV-positive) upon his return. The bill also provides for the extradition of citizens from abroad.



The bill also voids all treaties and international obligations which violate ” the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act.”



The new bill adds some additional provisions over the previous draft. This bill adds the category of “attempted homosexuality” and provides a penalty of seven years in prison. For “attempted aggravated homosexuality,” the penalty is lifetime imprisonment. It also provides for compensation for “victims” of homosexuality, a provision in law which is sure to result in consensual partners turning against their partner to not only avoid the draconian legal penalties, but to claim the status of victim and seek compensation.



Further, the bill now adds an explicit ban on same-sex marriage. Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage, either in Uganda or abroad, will liable for a lifetime imprisonment. New charges of “aiding and abetting homosexuality” and “conspiracy to engage in homosexuality” would carry a prison sentence of seven years. There is also a new charge for operating a brothel, with a definition so broad as to include any hotel owner. That, too, carries a prison sentence of seven years.



The original PDF of the document is here (PDF: 847KB/16 pages), and the full text is provided below.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL. 2009.

MEMORANDUM



1.1. The principle

The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any Government entity in Uganda or any non governmental organization inside or outside the country.



This Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.



This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sell attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.



The Bill further aims at providing a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda. legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.



There is also need to protect the children and youths of Uganda who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care, or otherwise.



2.1. Defects In existing law.

This proposed legislation is designed to fill the gaps in the provisions of other laws in Uganda e.g. the Penal Code Act Cap. 120.



The Penal Code Act (CapI20) has no comprehensive provision catering for anti homosexuality. It focuses on unnatural offences under section 145 and lacks provisions for penalizing the procurement, promoting, disseminating literature and other pornographic materials concerning the offences of homosexuality hence the need for legislation to provide for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing of offenders.



This legislation comes to complement and supplement the provisions of the Constitution of Uganda and the Penal Code Act Cap 120 by not only criminalizing same sex marriages but also same-sex sexual acts and other related acts.



3.0. The objectives of the Bill

The objectives of the Bill are to:



(a) provide for marriage in Uganda as that contracted only between a man and a woman;



(b) prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family;



(e) prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols, agreements and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act;



(d) prohibit the licensing of organizations which promote homosexuality.



3.1. Part I of the Bill incorporating clause 1 provides for preliminary mailers relating to interpretation of the words and phrases used in the Bill.



3.2. Part II of the Bill incorporating clause 2 to 6 prohibits homosexuality and related practices by introducing the offences of engaging In homosexuality, and the penalties of imprisonment upon conviction. This pan also provides for protection, assistance and support for victims of homosexuality.



3.3. Part III of the Bill incorporating clause 7 to clause 14 creates offences and penalties for acts that promote homosexuality, failure to report the offence and impose a duty on the community to report suspected cases of homosexuality.



3.4. Part IV of the Bill incorporating clause 15 to clause 17 provides for the jurisdiction of Uganda Courts in case of Homosexuality, including extra territorial jurisdiction.



3.5. Part V of the Bill incorporating clauses 18 and 19 provides for miscellaneous provisions on International Treaties, Protocols. Declarations and conventions and the Minister to make regulations to give effect to the Act.



Schedule of the Bill gives the value of the currency point.



HON DAVID BAHATI,

Member of Parliament, Ndorwa County West Kabale.



THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY BILL, 2009.

ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES.

PART I — PRELIMINARY



Clause

I. Interpretation.



PART ll-PROHIBITION OF HOMOSEXUALITY.



2. The offence of homosexuality

3. Aggravated homosexuality.

4. Attempt to commit homosexuality.

5. Protection, assistance and payment of compensation to victims of homoseuxality

6. Confidentiality.



PART Ill — RELATED OFFENCES AND PENALTIES.



7. Aiding and abating homosexuality.

8. Conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.

9. Procuring homosexuality. by threats, etc.

10. Detention with intent to commit homosexuality.

11. Brothels.

12. Same sex marriage.

13. Promotion of homosexuality.

14. Failure to disclose the offence.



PART IV — JURISDICTION.



15. Jurisdiction.

16. Extra-territorial Jurisdiction.

17. Extradition.



PART V — MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS



18. International treaties.

19. Regulations.



Schedule





Currency point.













A BILL FOR AN ACT

ENTITLED

THE ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY ACT, 2009.



An Act to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; prohibit the promotion or recognition of such relations and to provide for other related matters.



BE IT ENACTED by Parliament as follows:



PART I — PRELIMINARY.



I. Interpretation.



In this Act. unless the context otherwise requires –



“authority” means having power and control over other people because of your knowledge and official position; and shall include a person who exercises religious. political, economic or social authority;



“bisexual” means a person who is sexually attracted to both males and females;



“child” means a person below the age of 18 years:



“currency point” has the value assigned to it in the Schedule to this Act;



“disability” means a substantial limitation of daily life activities caused by physical. mental or sensory impairment and environment barriers resulting in limited participation;



“felony” means an offence which is declared by law to be a felony or if not declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for 3 years or more.;



“gay”" means a male person who engages in sexual intimacy with another person of the same sex;



“‘gender”" means male or female;



“HIV” means the Human Immunodeficiency Virus;



“homosexual”‘ means a person who engages or attempts to engage in same gender sexual activity;



“homosexuality”’ means same gender or same sex sexual acts;



“lesbian” means a female who engages in sexual intimacy with another female;



“Minister’” means the Minister responsible for ethics and integrity;



“misdemeanor” means an offence which is not a felony;



“serial offender” means a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences;



“sexual act” includes –



(a) physical sexual activity that docs not necessarily culminate in intercourse and may include the touching of another’s breast, vagina, penis or anus:



(b) stimulation or penetration of a vagina or mouth or anus or any part of the body of any person, however slight by a sexual organ;



(c) the unlawful use of any object or organ by a person on another person’s sexual organ or anus or mouth;



“sexual organ” means a vagina, penis or any artificial sexual contraption;



“touching” includes touching—



(a) with any part of the body;



(b) with anything else;



(c) through anything;



and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ. anus or mouth.



“victim” includes a person who is involved in homosexual activities against his or her will.



PART II — HOMOSEXUALITY AND RELATED PRACTICES.



2. The offence of homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-



(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;



(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;



(e) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.



(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.



3. Aggravated homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the



(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;



(b) offender is a person living with HIV;



(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;



(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;



(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;



(f) offender is a serial offender, or



(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,



(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.



(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.



4, Attempt to commit homosexuality.

(1) A person who attempts to commit the offence of homosexuality commits a felony and is liable on conviction to imprisonment seven years.



(2) A person who attempts to commit the offence of aggravated homosexuality commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.



5. Protection, assistance and payment of compensation to victims of homosexuality.

(1 ) A victim of homosexuality shall not be penalized for any crime commuted as a direct result of his or her involvement in homosexuality.



(2) A victim of homosexuality shall be assisted to enable his or her views and concerns to be presented and considered at the appropriate stages of the criminal proceedings.



(3) Where a person is convicted of homosexuality or aggravated homosexuality under sections 2 and 3 of this Act, the court may, in addition to any sentence imposed on the offender, order that the victim of the offence be paid compensation by the offender for any physical, sexual or psychological harm caused to the victim by the offence.



(4) The amount of compensation shall be determined by the court and the court shall take into account the extent of harm suffered by the victim of the offence. the degree of force used by the offender and medical and other expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the offence.



6. Confidentiality.

(1) At any stage of the Investigation or trial of an offence under this Act, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judicial officers and medical practitioners, as well as parties to the case, shall recognize the right to privacy of the victim.



(2) For the purpose of subsection (I), in cases involving children and other cases where the court considers it appropriate. proceedings of the court shall be conducted in camera, outside the presence of the media.



(3) Any editor or publisher, reporter or columnist in case of printed materials. announcer or producer in case of television and radio, producer or director of a film to case of the movie industry. or any person utilizing trimedia facilities or information technology who publishes or causes the publicity of the names and personal circumstances or any other information tending to establish the victim’s identity without authority of court commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty currency points.



7. Aiding and abating homosexuality

A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.



8. Conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.

A person who conspires with another to induce another person of the same sex by any means of false pretence or other fraudulent means to permit any person of the same sex to have unlawful carnal knowledge of him or her commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.



9. Procuring homosexuality by threats, etc.

(1) A person who–



(a) by threats or intimidation procures or attempts to procure any woman or man to have any unlawful carnal knowledge with any person of the same sex, either in Uganda or elsewhere;



(b) by false pretences or false representations procures any woman or man to have any unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex, either in Uganda or elsewhere; or



(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section upon the evidence of one witness only, unless that witness is corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.



10. Detention with intent to commit homosexuality.

A person who detains another person with the intention to commit acts of homosexuality with him or herself or with any other person commits an offence and is liable on conviction for seven years.



11. Brothels.

(1) A person who keeps a house, room,set of rooms or place of any kind for the purposes of homosexuality commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.



2) A person being the owner or occupier of premises or having or acting or assisting in the management or control of the premises, induces or knowingly suffers any man or woman to resort to or be upon such premises for the purpose of being unlawfully and carnally known by any man or woman of the same sex whether such carnal knowledge is intended to be with any particular man or woman generally, commits a felony and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.



12. Same sex marriage.

A person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex commits the offence of homosexuality and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.



13. Promotion of homosexuality.

(1) A person who –



(a) participates in production. procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating, publishing pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality;



(b) funds or sponsors homosexuality or other related activities;



(c) offers premises and other related fixed or movable assets for purposes of homosexuality or promoting homosexuality;



(d) uses electronic devices which include internet, films, mobile phones for purposes of homosexuality or promoting homosexuality and;



(e) who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality and related practices;



commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a line of live thousand currency points or imprisonment of a minimum of five years and a maximum of seven years or both fine and imprisonment.



(2) Where the offender is a corporate body or a business or an association or a non-governmental organization, on conviction its certificate of registration shall be cancelled and the director or proprietor or promoter shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.



14. Failure to disclose the offence.

A person in authority, who being aware of the commission of any offence under this Act, omits to report the offence to the relevant authorities within twenty-four hours of having first had that knowledge, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years.



PART IV — JURISDICTION



15. Jurisdiction.

Save for aggravated homosexuality that shall be tried by the High Court, the magistrates court shall have jurisdiction to try the other offences under this Act.



16. Extra- Territorial Jurisdiction.

This Act shall apply to offenses committed outside Uganda where –



(a) a person who, while being a citizen of or permanently residing in Uganda, commits an act outside Uganda, which act would constitute an offence under this Act had it been committed in Uganda; or



(b) the offence was committed partly outside and or partly in Uganda.



17. Extradition.

A person charged with an offence under this Act shall be liable to extradition under the existing extradition laws.



PART V — MISCELLANEOUS.



18. Nullification of inconsistent international treaties, protocols, declarations and conventions.(1) Any International legal instrument whose provisions are contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act, are null and void to the extent of their inconsistency.



(2) Definitions of “sexual orientation”, “sexual rights”, “sexual minorities”, “gender identity” shall not be used in anyway to legitimize homosexuality, gender identity disorders and related practices in Uganda.



19. Regulations.

The Minister may, by statutory instrument. make regulations generally for better carrying out the provisions of this Act.



SCHEDULE



One currency point in equivalent to twenty thousand shillings.




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Prophetic voices from unexpected sources: Nobody's Hero ~ Rush

This song is amazing to me on many levels. First the idea that heroes are often not the ones that win, but that struggle and lose, yet what they bring to our lives is something triumphant. It is almost unexplainable in a sense, yet in it is death and resurrection. The death of the one that struggled bring a sense and renewal of those around them.

The second thing is the humanizing of AIDS and victims of violent crimes. The first stanza is about a gay man who died of AIDS. According to Wikipedia:

"Nobody's Hero" is a song by Canadian prog-rock band Rush from their album Counterparts. The first stanza deals with the AIDS-related death of a homosexual man named Ellis, a friend of Neil Peart when Peart lived in London. After the chorus, the third stanza speaks of a girl who was murdered in Peart's hometown, Port Dalhousie. The girl is rumored to have been Kristen French, one of Paul Bernardo's victims. The song charted #3 on the U.S. mainstream rock charts.

This made begin to think about who the "heroes" in my life really were and are. Of course Jesus was the greatest Hero to me, that he willingly gave His life for me, to give His life to me, so He can Live His Life through me. How can one not be amazed at this. I am literally resurrected spiritually (and later physically in the New Creation's fulfillment).

Of course Rush is not a "Christian" band, yet, God spoke through a donkey in the OT. God can speak  through me (at times I am not much different than that donkey), so I believe at times God can speak through the poets and musicians at times. As you listen ask yourself, "Who are my heroes?" Ask yourself, "How have I dehumanized others?" Then ask yourself, "How can God change this in me?" Then pray and be open to what God has in store. I am not guaranteeing this will be an easy road, but then without some pain, their is no real growth. Without some sacrifice, there is no real gain.

As I listened to this song today, this verse came to my mind:

2 Corinthians 5: 14. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.15. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!18. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvw1BGXmDZM


"Nobody's Hero"




I knew he was different in his sexuality

I went to his parties as a straight minority

It never seemed a threat to my masculinity

He only introduced me to a wider reality

As the years went by, we drifted apart

When I heard that he was gone

I felt a shadow cross my heart



But he's nobody's hero

Saves a drowning child

Cures a wasting disease

Hero...lands the crippled airplane

Solves great mysteries

Hero...not the handsome actor

Who plays a hero's role

Hero...not the glamour girl

Who'd love to sell her soul

If anybody's buying

Nobody's hero



I didn't know the girl, but I knew her family

All their lives were shattered in a nightmare of brutality

They try to carry on, try to bear the agony

Try to hold some faith in the goodness of humanity

As the years went by, we drifted apart

When I heard that she was gone

I felt a shadow cross my heart



But she's nobody's hero

Is the voice of reason against the howling mob

Hero...is the pride of purpose

In the unrewarding job

Hero...not the champion player

Who plays the perfect game

Hero...not the glamour boy

Who loves to sell his name

Everybody's buying

Nobody's hero



As the years went by, we drifted apart

When I heard that you were gone

I felt a shadow cross my heart



But he's nobody's hero

Saves a drowning child

Cures a wasting disease

Hero...lands the crippled airplane

Solves great mysteries

Hero...not the handsome actor

Who plays a hero's role

Hero...not the glamour girl

Who'd love to sell her soul

If anybody's buying

Nobody's hero



Hero




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