Archive for Faith

Philip Pullman speaks for himself

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I’ve come across some other very interesting sites regarding Philip Pullman since I first wrote this entry and I would love to share them with you. While this does not change my opinion as a parent, it does bring a sense of urgency to my spirit as a believer. Here are a few interesting tidbits from some of his interviews. These are really petitions to pray him, as are all evidences of Satan’s confusion and corruption. I feel a great burden for souls of this nature because their conflicts are valid in light of the darkness in which they unknowingly reside. My father may very well answer questions of this nature in the very same way, so my compassion is inevitable. The interview can be read in full here.

What were the values that were instilled into you?

 

The conventional middle-class ones of the time. My grandfather was a clergyman and so every Sunday I went to Sunday school and church. I was confirmed, I was a member of the choir, all that sort of stuff.

 

We still had the Authorised Version of the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern – all those old forms of worship that had given comfort and joy to generations were still there for me to enjoy. Nowadays it’s all been swept away, and if ever I go into a church and look at the dreadful, barren language that disfigures the forms of service they have now, I am very thankful that I grew up at a time when it was possible for me to go to Matins and sing the Psalms in the old versions.

A lot of Christians are nonplussed by the picture you present of the church in His Dark Materials, which is unrelievedly cruel and oppressive. It doesn’t sound like the church you grew up in.

 

No. Grandpa was a very kind man – though a man of his own age, mind you: he was a Victorian, born in 1890 or so in a little Devon village, the sixth son and 13th child of a poor farmer, and unquestioningly both conservative and Conservative. His values were already beginning to look a bit dated by the middle of the century. For example, as the chaplain of Norwich prison it was his job from time to time to attend executions, to be with the condemned man for the last hour of his life and give him Holy Communion and go to the scaffold with him. It caused him a great deal of anguish, but he didn’t question it or rebel against it.

 

But he was a very good man who was full of love for me and my brother. He was a wonderful teller of stories, from the Bible and from his own experience – here, I’ll give you an example.

 

When the First World War came, he joined his local regiment, along with a friend from the village called Fred Austin, a big, powerful man and a wonderful horseman. Fred Austin didn’t have any leave for 18 months or so, and when eventually he came home his little daughter didn’t know who this frightening man was and she fled from him. But he was very gentle with her and he didn’t force the issue, he just spoke quietly; and after a few days the little girl came to him and let him pick her up.

 

And Grandpa used to say that this was like God. We’re frightened of God at first, but God is gentle with us and he loves us and wants us to come to him, so he doesn’t force himself on us but he waits until we’re ready to come to him. And that was the sort of values Grandpa would try to put across.

You’re not really giving us any clues to the source of the extreme antipathy to the Church in your books.

 

Well, all right, it comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches – and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban.

 

Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don’t accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on.

 

I was going to say that its logical conclusion seems to be nihilism.

 

Can I elucidate my own position as far as atheism is concerned? I don’t know whether I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I’m both, depending on where the standpoint is.

 

The totality of what I know is no more than the tiniest pinprick of light in an enormous encircling darkness of all the things I don’t know – which includes the number of atoms in the Atlantic Ocean, the thoughts going through the mind of my next-door neighbour at this moment and what is happening two miles above the surface of the planet Mars. In this illimitable darkness there may be God and I don’t know, because I don’t know.

 

But if we look at this pinprick of light and come closer to it, like a camera zooming in, so that it gradually expands until here we are, sitting in this room, surrounded by all the things we do know – such as what the time is and how to drive to London and all the other things that we know, what we’ve read about history and what we can find out about science – nowhere in this knowledge that’s available to me do I see the slightest evidence for God.

 

So, within this tiny circle of light I’m a convinced atheist; but when I step back I can see that the totality of what I know is very small compared to the totality of what I don’t know. So, that’s my position.

 

Throughout His Dark Materials there’s a strong sense of ‘ought’. All the most attractive characters – Lyra and Will, Lee Scoresby, Iorek Byrnison, Mary Malone – are driven in the end by a sense of duty, at least to their loved ones if not to the world. Where in a world without God does that sense of ‘ought’ come from?

 

I’m amazed by the gall of Christians. You think that nobody can possibly be decent unless they’ve got the idea from God or something. Absolute bloody rubbish! Isn’t it your experience that there are plenty of people in the world who don’t believe who are very good, decent people?

Yes. I’m just curious to know where it comes from.

 

For goodness’ sake! It comes from ordinary human decency. It comes from accumulated human wisdom – which includes the wisdom of such figures as Jesus Christ. Jesus, like many of the founders of great religions, was a moral genius, and he set out a number of things very clearly in the Gospels which if we all lived by them we’d all do much better. What a pity the Church doesn’t listen to him!

 

And you can find more here.

 


 * poiccard – 04:06pm Jan 22, 2002 GMT (9.) Do you believe in God?


n PhilipPullman – 01:44pm Feb 18, 2002 GMT (9.1) I see no evidence for his existence, but of course that’s not to say that he doesn’t exist; I simply haven come across any yet. Furthermore, in my view, belief in God seems to be a very good excuse, on the part of those who claim to believe, for doing many wicked things that they wouldn’t feel justified in doing without such a belief.

 

[deleted user] – 09:41pm Jan 23, 2002 GMT (27.) I work in a bookshop and constantly recommend your books to children. I try to explain why I enjoy the books, but that’s not always adequate. If you were recommending your books to a child, what would you tell him or her ?

 


n PhilipPullman – 01:55pm Feb 18, 2002 GMT (27.1) I’d say: “You are forbidden to read these books. They’re too old for you, and they’re full of things you shouldn’t experience yet, like sex and violence and dangerous ideas about religion. I’m putting them up here, on this shelf, and I’m going out for an hour or so. You’re not to touch them.”

And his official website.

 

His Dark Materials seems to be against organised religion. Do you believe in God?

 

I don’t know whether there’s a God or not. Nobody does, no matter what they say. I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away.

 

Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.

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The Golden Compass – what is it really about?

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Many of you may have seen this poster in the theatre or seen an advertisement on television. If you are anything like me, I was drawn immediately to the film for its artistic rendering. The work is beautiful. The storyline, as revealed, intriguing; much like sin. It is so attractive, so alluring, and so seemingly harmless and rewarding. However, this evening I received the following email:


THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that “My books are about killing God.”

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.
The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.
You can research this for yourself. Start with this article on Snopes.com, then go to Google.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

So, I decided to check out the snopes link above which led me to further research the movie. I checked out the trailer and official movie website which can be linked by clicking on the image. Even while watching the trailer, I would have no inkling that the focus of the movie is to undermine Christianity and promote the pursuit of wordly pleasures because “all we have is the here and now.”

This will be a series of movies that will, I’m sure, mistakenly be associated with the likes of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”. However, by reading the following article, you will see several references to the original series of books that will surely disturb most parents – Christian or otherwise.


An atheist’s ‘Narnia’ knockoff


Posted: October 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
On Dec. 7, 2007, the movie “The Golden Compass,” based on the first book in the fantasy trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials” by atheist Philip Pullman will be released in theaters throughout the world. Pullman wrote his fantasy trilogy because he was so upset by the Christian evangelism of C.S. Lewis in his wonderful series of Christian tales entitled “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” Pullman is an avowed atheist who has dedicated his life to undermining Christianity and the Church among young readers. The film’s release is only another example of a culture spiraling away from faith, a culture into which we must step in and declare truth. Pullman represents God as a decrepit and perverse angel in his novels, who captures the dead in a “prison camp” afterlife. As one fallen angel tells one of the novel’s young heroes:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty – those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves – the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust as we are, and Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself.

When the hero finally finds this “god,” he is ultimately described as a “demented and powerless” creature that “could only weep and mumble in fear and pain and misery.” The boy then kills this “god” by breaking him out of his crystal cell, thereby evaporating him. The only “god” in this universe is matter.

Meanwhile, the Church is depicted as an organization bent on power, control and the torture of children by cutting. One-character notes of the Church:

Killing is not difficult for them; Calvin himself ordered the deaths of children; they’d kill her with pomp and ceremony and prayers and lamentations and psalms and hymns, but they would kill her.

One heroine in the story who turns from the Church did so when she realized “there wasn’t any God at all and … the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” Instead, the Church just kept her from finding love, thinking freely and pursuing bodily pleasures like sex. As she notes:

“I’d made myself believe that I was fine and happy and fulfilled on my own without the love of anyone else.” Later, she says, “I knew what I should think: it was whatever the Church taught me to think. … So I never had to think about [science] for myself.”

There is no heaven in this universe, just a dank and dreary “prison camp” afterlife. Pullman thought Christians’ positive view of the afterlife, like C.S. Lewis’, was a “celebration of death.” One of the characters the story’s exploring children run into in this hell pursued spiritual things while on Earth, and regrets it:

They said that heaven was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the almighty, in a state of bliss. … And that’s what led some of us to give our lives, and others to spend years in solitary prayer, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us, and we never knew.

The children in the story ultimately discover that true wisdom is doing what is right in their own eyes, becoming their own gods. As one of the heroes says:

“Don’t tell me. I shall decide what to do. If you say my work is fighting, or healing, or exploring, or whatever you might say, I’ll always be thinking about it. And if I do end up doing that, I’ll be resentful because it’ll feel as if I didn’t have a choice, and if I don’t do it, I’ll feel guilty because I should. Whatever I do, I will choose it, no one else.” “Then you have already taken the first steps towards wisdom,” said Xaphania.

The result of this “wisdom” is a focus on bodily pleasure over eternal truth. Although ambiguous as to what exactly happens, at the end of the novels the two children pleasure each other bodily and finally experience true joy.

The world of Pullman’s series mechanically mirrors that of C.S. Lewis. While “The Chronicles Of Narnia” starts with Lucy going into the wardrobe to get to Narnia, Pullman has Lyra going into a wardrobe. But, what Lyra finds is not the supernatural world, nor a world where God rescues His creation, like Narnia, but rather a world that ends in dust, where the highest meaning can be found in pleasuring each other, and God is just a sniveling old man who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Pullman’s world is a sad, animalistic universe. Since this is the only world there is, the trilogy ends in hopelessness. Love is not selfless giving, because that would be useless in a materialistic world. Love instead is the lust of pleasuring each other. In Pullman’s world, there’s no hope of eternal life where the lame and the blind and the deaf and dumb can walk and see and hear and talk, where the old are made youthful. There’s no heavenly banquet, there’s no loving God, there’s no order, and there’s no peace.

The logical consequences of Pullman’s atheism can be found in the lives of the leading atheists of the 20th century – Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – men who killed millions of their own people and had no respect for justice or love. Ultimately, it is a road that only leads to meaninglessness and murder.

We urge people of faith and values not to corrupt their children with the odious atheistic worldview of “The Golden Compass.” Instead, there are plenty of good movies this Christmas, such as “Enchanted,” that will build and not destroy values.

A society shaped by the materialist and godless ethic promoted by films like “The Golden Compass” is a society without hope. If there is no God and no eternity, if all that exists is matter, human life loses all value. Sex becomes the ultimate form of pleasure we can achieve, and unlimited autonomy from other people while being our own gods becomes the goal. A society like this will destroy itself.

And if you still haven’t had your fill of information regarding the movie, Wiki the movie and the author to read some quotes from the director and those who revered the original storyline:

Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story’s perceived anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans,[32] anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said ” they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it”,[33] “this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech.”

Pullman is an atheist and his objective is to promote atheism. Pullman has made remarks that he wants to kill God in the minds of children, and that’s what his books are all about. He despises C.S. Lewis and Narnia, etc. An article written about him said “this is the most dangerous author in Britain” and that Pullman would be the writer “the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.” Pullman said he doesn’t think it is possible that there is a God and he has great difficulty understanding the words “spiritual” and “spirituality.”

I am a researcher. The last thing I want to do is express a strong conviction without having the knowledge to defend it. I encourage you to investigate this film and its origins. More importantly, I encourage you to protect your children from the all-too-attractive package in which this “magical” world is wrapped. It really is a beautiful banner, a beautiful cast, a beautiful use of artistic imagination. Remember, Lucifer was the most beautiful angel:

Isaiah 14:12-15 (King James Version)

12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? I will attempt to become God, and in doing so I will discover that life is hell. Well, I suppose that’s one truth Philip Pullman managed to incorporate in his writings.

Learn more about Pullman here.

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Healing rain: awakening soul survivors

While driving yesterday I was reminded of the power music wields in its rising and falling waves of notes.

You know what I’m talking about.

Those songs…the ones that transport us to the past and bring us face to face with who we once were, as if that person has been living within us all this time without so much as a whisper. It’s as if those pivotal ages/times in our life jar us to the point that they burn a copy of our very being into our soul and there they lie in wait; in a coma-like state, that 15-year-old forever remains in the recesses of our soul…until.

Until we are stirred. Until we are pierced. Until we cry.

Those are the tears that heal us. Those are the tears that wash away another layer of the substance that forgotten child clings to. Those are the tears that eventually leave them with nothing to hold fast to of what once was. Those are the tears that reveal the rainbow of what is and is to come.

So this begs the question – how many tears does it take to wash away a painful memory? How many soul survivors are living within us…

the five-year-old who said goodbye to their mother, not knowing it was the last time

the eleven-year-old left in the chasm of two families torn apart by divorce

the thirteen-year-old having lived through the screaming silence of sexual abuse

the fifteen-year-old trapped in the prison of physical and mental abuse

the twenty-five-year-old enduring the divorce that they swore would never plague their own children with

the thirty-five-year-old facing a seeming lifetime of singledom

the fifty-two-year-old hearing the word “cancer”…again.

The younger we are when a soul survivor is burned within us, the deeper the etching…the deeper the scar…the deeper the sleep…and the more intense the awakening. These are not the moments for strength.

These are the moments for weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

These are moments for tears.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance”

These are times for healing.

Psalm 6:6, 9

“I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.”

The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no rain.

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A Chuck E. Cheese kind of God

A devotion from “Grace For the Moment” by Max Lucado:

No Limits The love of God has no limits.

Human love is conditional. Whether we’re dealing with a friendship or a marriage, our commitments will only go so far. Friendships fail and marriages end in divorce because one can no longer tolerate the other.

But God’s love is unconditional. He loved us before we were even interested in him. He continues to love us even as we disappoint Him with out immature attitudes. And His love for us prevails although our conduct may offend Him. There is nothing we could do that would make God love us less.

God’s love extends to us in full measure. It is not distributed in small portions as we earn “spiritual brownie points” if we are good deed doers. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more.

God loves us unconditionally even though He knows we can’t love Him back to that extent. That’s what makes His love so perfect.

Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

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This devotion inspired the following:

As I read the line “spiritual brownie points” above I recalled an image that God brought to my mind long ago – allow me to illustrate.

Remember as a kid going to the Chuck E. Cheese and earning all those tickets? Remember being certain you were going to get a handful of tickets for your efforts and occasionally not receiving any at all?? Remember pushing all the tickets into every pocket available for stuffing? Remember laying out the tickets and counting them one by one…the coveted LONG strands that were so great because that meant you did a really GREAT job to earn so many…and the piddly singles that never seemed to add up to quite enough? Remember gazing at the prize cabinet…and even up to the prize wall? Remember not even turning them in for the piddly prizes because you were saving up for the BIG prizes on the wall??

Some people think we have a Chuck E. Cheese kind of God. That He is standing behind the counter guarding His “Wall of Blessings”. That we can look but will not receive unless we earn enough “perseverance and good deed tickets”.

Imagine such a thing…here we are going through life doing good deeds and earning our tickets. Sometimes we do something really good and out comes the coveted LONG strand of good deed tickets! Sometimes we put forth great effort but not a single good deed ticket is produced and we are rewarded with the mere frustration of our insufficiency. However, we know that if we persevere and continue to do enough good deeds we could pocket those occasional perseverance tickets that would add up to something worthwhile in the end. Imagine taking all your tickets and stashing them away, hoarding them for the eventual personal satisfaction you’ll receive one day.

The day arrives and off you go, pockets bulging and anticipation high! You’re willing to bet you may even be able to get one of those really GREAT blessings on the blessing wall! You wait in line thinking about all those people in front of you and wondering how long they have been saving up for this day. You walk up to the counter, present all your tickets to God, certain that the more you pull out of your pocket, the more impressed He becomes…counting them one after another, after another until you’ve calculated all your good deed tickets and perseverance tickets. Your eyes climb the wall to the top where the best blessings reside. You’re sure you must have enough perseverance tickets to earn that long-awaited Godly spouse. Or maybe earned enough good deed tickets to finally get that mission field opportunity! You are nervous with excitement…

Your eyes scan for the price, shifting back and forth, but it can’t be found. Where could it be?? How much does it cost?! You have waited this long, put forth this much effort, persevered and done good deed after good deed all for the purpose of claiming your prize and now a nervous anxiety grows up inside of you. Your gut reaction is one of anger, “God, where are the prices??!! How do I know if I have earned enough?! I have been waiting for this day to come and claim my blessings and I have no idea if I have enough!! ”

“My child, why is this the first time you have come to me? Why have you waited so long? Every day I have longed for you to come to me and simply ask, ‘Lord bless me, indeed!’ You will find no price upon my blessings. Their value is not made perfect through your payment, but rather through My timing.”

God has no use for your perseverance and good deed tickets. He is not looking for those who are hoarding their talons. Thank the Lord that your tickets are worthless and that the fact is that the blessings are free! Thank the Lord that He doesn’t want to give you what you deserve or even what you have “earned”!

Have you been saving up your good deed and perseverance tickets to present to God?

God’s saving grace is a gift, not one that can be earned, we all know this if we are truly saved. However, we so often stubbornly maintain our human mindset that we somehow have the ability to earn the blessings of God. Do not present your good deeds and perseverance as an offering to the Lord. It is your life He requires…love keeps no record of wrongs and humility keeps no record of rights. God will prove to you that when you wrap your arms around His will there are no hands to grab your good deed and perseverance tickets and better yet, no need to. Lay down your rights and pick up your cross.

God’s blessings are never out of reach.

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Free Prayer

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So, we were driving down the road and my husband says, “See, there’s the couple I have told you about.” There on the side of the road was the couple you see here with neon orange signs that said, “FREE PRAYER” plastered to their motorcycle. I thought that it was such a great idea to minster to people right where their at (literally on the road in their car contemplating life) that we had to go back to encourage them and chat with them a bit about their ministry.

The name of their ministry is “Bikers with Boundaries” and Emil and Karen are the couple you see here. They started this ministry a few years ago and in that time have seen as many as seven cars stop for prayer in a day. They pray about the locations and days they are to set up. They truly believe that God makes the appointments and they simply have to be where He leads to be God’s hands and feet. What an awesome testimony!

Bikers with Boundaries is a self-supporting, non-profit organization. If you would like to donate to their ministry of reaching people with Divine appointments or simply send a word of encouragement, please check them out.

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National Day of Silence

Today marks the 11th annual National Day of Silence. For those of you who hadn’t heard or weren’t aware, “the event encourages students to take a vow of silence and to hand out cards explaining how their silence highlights the bias that often silences lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, [otherwise known as] LGBT, students.” In other words this is a day to celebrate tolerance of the aformentioned – even more accurately it is a day that is dedicated to somehow “helping” them by demonstrating the mandate we as a society have placed upon them to stay silent or remain in the closet so as not to be harassed or otherwise belittled.

Now, I have seen a vast range of responses to homosexuality, from those who harass, to those who speak muddled truth, to those who speak Truth, to those who speak the Truth in love. There is such tremendous irony in the title “National Day of Silence” simply because the day is reserved to respect and accept those it is dedicated to, however to keep silent is a condemnation to a life of dissatisfaction and pain. So often we forget that those who live in bondage to sin are not joyful. Oh sure, they may appear to be happy, and even be and feel happy at times, however their joy has been held captive without bond. They will never have the ability or means to pay their bondsman (Satan) for the release of their joy ; however, they will spend their whole life facing the rejection and sorrow of trying to do so. Only in Christ will they have the power to breakout of the confinment of sin and into a life of joy, the life He longs for us to live. I refuse to stand silent for homosexuals, but more importantly, I refuse to stand silent for God. I refuse to whisper about homosexuals as it is degrading, but more importantly, I refuse to whisper about my God and Savior. I refuse to shout names and label sinners, as I am a sinner just as you are. However, I will never refuse to spread the hope and joy found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am fully aware and do not long for you to be naive to the fact that the Christian’s life is not always a happy one. We are human beings in a fallen world, not exempt from the temptation of sin, the heat of emotions, and the seduction of the world. The difference does not lie in our world, but in our heart. We, as Christians, have the Holy Spirit residing within us to give us the strength to do anything within His will. I can assure you that includes the ability to overcome your addictions, be it to alcohol, shopping, drugs, gossip, sex (be it adultery, pornography, fornication, or homosexuality), outbursts of anger, overeating, or the grip of depression. Satan’s grip is sneaky, often not terribly uncomfortable, like asphyxiation by means of an invisible gas unnoticeable until it restricts us to the point of paralysis and pain. Only then does the deserving terror of the father of lies become tangible. And then only One can save us from our immenent fate.

Is your sin suffocating you? Are you so comfortable in your sin that it wasn’t until this moment that you felt Satan’s hands around your neck? Are you crying out for someone to love you the way you have been created to be loved? Your desire is a good one, a holy one, given you by your Creator because He wants to fulfill it! Sin is comfortable because we are creatures of habit in an instant society, but I can assure you that it will not bring you the comfort you are seeking. Your Heavenly Father desires to take you in His arms and shower you with blessings; to allow you to experience the love you have resigned yourself to believing is not for “someone like me”. “Someone like me” – what a subjective phrase. Please know this, God does not love us because we are worthy. We are worthy because God so loved the world He sent His only son for you and me…not someone like you…not someone like me. He sent His only son for YOU! Call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and claim Him as your father, your creator, your protector, the lover of your soul, your provider, your healer, your strength, your comfort, your joy, your peace, your contentment, your wisdom, your passion, your compassion, your completion, Savior, and your revivor. Breathe in deeply the breath of Life…eternal Life that is yours. The breath is often a painful one, as if you can been forced underwater until nearly all your oxygen supply was depleted yet you surfaced just in time. Your heart beats rapidly and your breath is piercing. A reminder that something real and life-saving just occurred. How many of us are living on shallow breaths, unaware?

“What a pity that we would rather worship tolerance than tolerate worship.”

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God is.

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no heard in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instrument.

This passage reminded me that the reason I can find joy in all circumstances is not because the circumstances are joyful, but because my joy stems from the mere existence of my God. This has inspired me to “get back to the basics”. My analytical mind so often wants to reveal the grandeur of God and often neglects the simple, childlike faith we are called to. My joy is in this simple fact: GOD IS.

In meditating on these verses I was very intrigued when reading the King James version of Habakkuk 3:18 because it reads:

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

The word “yet” shows clear intention that “in spite of his current circumstance” he will rejoice, or exult, or triumph in the Lord. But then it goes on to say he will “joy” in the Lord. Now, we do not use the word “joy” as a verb today so I was very intrigued to find out the meaning of this word. To “joy” in the Lord is to rejoice OR to tremble (from fear – I would see this fear as a display of reverence). In verse 16 Habakkuk was distressed and it says “I trembled in MYSELF, that I might rest in the day of trouble”. This shows a clearly disquieted spirit and one that is relying on self. The references for the word tremble in verse 16: to quake, be disquieted, be excited, be perturbed, to cause to quake, disquiet, enrage, disturb, to excite ONESELF – these are not words of joy. However, by verse 18 Habakkuk says he will “joy in the LORD”. It is such a perfect parrallel that he would move from trembling in himself and in search of rest to trembling in the Lord in an act of rejoicing. The same verb – trembling – has been transformed solely by the Lord’s sovereignty…what was once sickening through self reliance became rejoicing in God’s presence. Habakkuk’s circumstance hadn’t changed, but his heart had.

*The above meaning were taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. This is an invaluable reference tool to use in order to discover the true Greek and Hebrew meanings of Biblical text. An online version of the concordance, along with many other reference and Bible study tools may be accessed here.

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