Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A week and a half ago I returned to the church of my youth. Not the exact place but a church one town south that is also United Methodist. I went the first time on a Saturday as I know a good church would be busy with some endeavor on a perfectly good weekend day. It turns out they were selling a variety of things for the home from nic-nacs to decorations. I resisted the urge to turn over the tables since they weren't selling any doves or goats or any thing to use for a living sacrifice. No, it was just a church bazaar and it is a practice sometimes ill made use of for generating revenue for charity.

I didn't have money to buy anything so I helped move boxes and straightened displays and just acted friendly to everyone I could when I came to them. It's good to meet people in an informal atmosphere when they are more open and more like themselves. Anyway once I had perused the reception room I felt like sitting down so I sat in the dimly lit sanctuary. I opened a hymnal which wasn't easy to read with the dim light but I picked out the words "Jesus Christ" "God from God" and other words relating how we, the faithful belonged to Him and would dwell with him for eternity. I thought: This is my church. It was good enough for my grandmother and it is all I will ever need.

I felt at home there even though there were some there that knew me. However, in a small town you are always in the light of day for easy viewing of every aspect down to your soul and , well: you get used to it. So far no one has led my to the altar to make an emotional display of my repentence for staying away from church for for years. I guess I was treated in a similar manner to the Prodigal Son who went to live with pigs and then changed his mind and went back to his Father's house to be welcomed by a feast and dancing They had a few tables with snacks that were delicious but no dancing. As a Charimatic I may have something to offer to these Methodists who are steeped in tradition and formal in their worship and methodologies. But one thing at a time for I am a bit radical and have even sometimes been referred to as an infidel. I think that means "a person you don't know what to do with".

They are sticking me in the choir. Good choice.

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Do you ever seriously think about what worship means. I know some of us don't fully understand what worhip is all about but most, I'm sure, understand it on some level. No, it is not something we do to have fun in church and it is not meant to give us pleasure per se. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to worship God and yet we do it. What does that say about the experience? Perhaps that we are doing this for someone besides ourselves? If not for ourselves, then who?

Heb 13:15
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

This scripture reveals that praise, which is an integral part of worship, is rendered by him and to his name. We need to praise Him in the Spirit and exalt His holy name. Hebrews 13:15 says "the fruit of our lips giving thanks..." That means the fruit we are giving is watered by His Spirit. How else can we offer fruit that is by Him if He didn't water it. I just hope we can understand this simple statement which is really apparent from the words: "By him"

Monday, February 14, 2005

How do you manage to keep a positive attitude when it seems the world is in a downward spiral? I could tell you about many ways of thinking positively and that might help but there really is only one way. You can't have your mind in the world and be happy. By that I mean that you can't put all your eggs in that basket and see them all stay unbroken. No, if you would try to avoid the negative you must put your mind on higher things.

Matthew
6:31
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat ? or, What shall we drink ? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?

6:32
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

6:34
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I learned today that a fellow citizen of my home state is in danger of losing his life because he spoke out against the terrorists. He informed an ISP that one of their websites was publishing terrorist information and it was shut down. Kudos!!! Just when the nay sayers say there is no war and that we have no reason to be in Iraq; they pull us back in. I can't personally guarantee you that our military will be there forever. However, it will be a cold day in Costa Rica before you hear me say this war was unjustified. It may be a lot of things and war is never pretty but as sure as the ballots were cast into their boxes; this war holds a definite place in our history. Even if you see it as part of a war to end all war or a great Jihad; it has already spilled over into history and we can never deny that we were given a choice to silence those who tried to silence our freedom of speach or just become silent. Have you ever tried that? That's pretty funny because I believe I can hear your opinions blasting even now. About the war in Iraq, about the terror, about Bush, about 1PM in the morning when people are trying to sleep in this country and nobody even wants to hear your opinion. Still, no one drags you out and...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

One gets the feeling when trying to guage the response to the success of the Iraqi elections that there are many in this country who feel Democracy is still an experiment. As if we had to wait to see if the Iraqi people would take to the idea. As if we hadn't done our homework in the security department. As if the sacrifices of many American lives would go unnoticed in the struggle for Iraqi freedom. As if George W. Bush winning the election would have an adverse effect on the election. As if any American president held the final sway in any democratic process. As if he had invented democracy and he alone controlled it. Kind of like Al Gore now controls the internet. As if!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

There is really not much point in trying to offer wisdom to a ruler. When the Lord speaks of the lack of benefit in advising a fool I think He means those who hold sway in government. The western powers have poised themselves for war with Iran. This is obvious from the timing of the dialogue with Iran. In the same way that George W. Bush refused to wait for a peaceful resolution of the dispute with Iraq, the European Union (and undoubtedly the US government) are poised on the brink of yet another war. It may be said that this war is also inevitable but I think the question is: do we fare better by going to war too early or too late? The US has not had an impressive history with choosing the timing of initiating war in this respect. We entered World War II late, World War I was also held in question. The Spanish-American war was never really proved satisfactorily to many whether it should have even started.

There are two schools of thought, basically. One says that things will continue pretty much the same. Jesus said: "There will always be wars and rumors of war." but He didn't say they would always be of the same scope as we well know. The other school, which is comprised largely of fundamentalists, believes there will be nuclear war in the middle east. How do you head off such a conflict? You start a war and fight it on a conventional basis before your enemy has strategic weapons. Now the problem with choosing the correct timing to start a war basically boils down to logistics and the placement of your allies. This ensures a streamline and effective campaign (as far as is possible). Of course, none of this matters if you don't care about the body count.

The one casualty we can be sure to incur as a result in all of this is a downturn in world opinion. By that I mean that either way there will likely be war and lives will be lost which no one can predict in terms of numbers.

However, the question I want to pose is: What if there is no nuclear war or rather no speedy resolution to these conflicts. In terms of bible prophecy, Armageddon is a word which has arisen out of land conflcts with armies of vast number. It comes from the Valley of Megiddo which was a strategic location near Jerusalem where many great battles were fought. So tell me, what are we gearing up to fight? A war that will avert the deaths of millions or a war that will see the deaths of millions.

note: If you think that the bible's reference to Armageddon means that a war will be fought exclusively in a valley where only soldiers will get killed I have to tell you: there is no guarantee. And if you really think that such a battle wouldn't include vast numbers of civilian casualties,well, you haven't been paying attention. Obviously, vast numbers of you haven't.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This particular Blog will remain at the top of the postings indefinitely.

In reference to the Bush administration's stance on Iran's nuclear program; let me say this:
No one wants Iran to have nuclear weapons except perhaps Iran. However, we need to be careful we don't over-react in yet another confrontation in the mid-east. Iran has been banned from enriching uranium and yes they have continued some research in this area. While this may be a discrepancy and perhaps a violation, it is not a serious violation. Why? Because we are talking about the use of a couple of enrichment centrifuges. It takes more than a thousand centrifuges working for months to produce enough uranium for a warhead.

Certainly the activity of the Iranians should be observed in this area but it is highly premature for any further action or sanctions at this time. I believe that the dialogue which is already in progress should be continued to see where it leads. Once again, there is no "smoking gun" to suggest intervention; certainly not by the U.S. What is needed is a definite timeline to full compliance. Obviously, there is plenty of time between now and the time when nuclear weapons could be made since the infringement is only purported to envolve a couple of certrifuges. Otherwise, we look like warmongers again for forcing a confrontation again needlessly. This one needs to be watched more closely.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Want to know what is wrong with American society today? That's simple. No, it's not just too much selfishness; we've always had that. It is a fundamental failure of the leaders in this country to not only embrace the truth but to grasp it in the first place. We pride ourselves on the trust we have in our technology while technology creates more social problems than it solves. In politics, no explanation should be necessary. Suffice it to say that the leaders of government don't really know the people they're leading or if they do they ignore them. In the last election there was a substantial percent of fundamentalists participating which totally took the pollsters by surprise. It is quite likely that these fundamentalists have been ignored too long.

What about spiritual leadership. It is largely stagnant; not because pastors and evangelists aren't doing their jobs because most are. But that's all they tend to do. Even the most creative minds in evangelism today risk falling into a familiar pattern. While some are redefining the very fabric which holds the church in a collective whole; others are forcing the church to be defined as a collection of pews which it has been for some from the beginning.

Let me just say once again that these are dangerous times. If the church is to be effective it must break out of its four walls and redefine itself in the world. To do this it must draw from the examples of dynamic men and women who brought it about fully two thousand years ago. Especially of that evangelist and pastor who kept an appointment at Calvary on a day when there had been no meetings set. We know that this movement is well received just by the success of the film "The Passion of the Christ". So the question arises: "Can Christianity once again survive as a movement en masse with only Christ as its head?"

"Or will we just lose momentum waiting for another Billy Graham to act as an evangelical spearhead?"

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Now with the holidays approaching, what should we be thinking about? Well, just let me advise you not to get swept away thinking about the pleasures of the season or the monetary gain to be had at this time of year by businesses. Why? Because these are dangerous times. That is well known. But the most notable risk that we face is with our values. We need to get closer to the values of love of family, friends and neighbors; of service to our fellow man and a renewal of true worship of our Lord and Saviour for all He has done to increase the quality of our lives. There is an alternative and yes, it is filled with festivity and even some companionship. However, the choice I am speaking of does not lead to joy. You know what I am talking about.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Now that the election is over, fundamentalists have breathed a sigh of relief. However, those who are looking ahead to the next election know it is not over. Nearly half of the voters who were polled prior to the election were ready to vote for a candidate with undesirable values. Since it is the populace which not only elects the president but also mandates the popular policy mindset for that candidate; we can expect that another presidential candidate with a poor value system will run in 2008. One word of caution: don't assume it will be a democrat even if it is in all probability likely to be.

For Web Ev you will find that at least 90% of this year's revisions have already been made. If you'd like to check just try the links on the left side of the page and you will not only see additions but improvements as well. If there is something you have seen in the past but can't find now; you might try the Google search engine or contact me with the Email link on the bottom of the page which reads "Robert Diffin" in bold blue. That Email address is bobdiffin@lycos.com

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Let's forget about the campaign for a minute. I'd like you to check out the changes on Web Ev. There is a new Missions page and there will be an article posted on the index page. Just when you thought we had stopped adding fresh content to our website. The only way to know for sure is to visit. So stop by. If you forgot the address just use the link >

What will tonight's presidential debates focus on? Topics guaranteed to generate votes, of course. You can believe, if you choose, that there will be significant change in these areas by either candidate when in office. I simply ask you to remember, for once, past promises concerning taxes, economic growth, health care and the like. On the one hand we are asked to believe that John Kerry will bring about change when he has had twenty years to change his own bad voting habits in the Senate and failed miserably while still saying he has made the right choices.

And what about changing the rate of unemployment? Well it has stayed rock steady for at least three months; not varying more than one tenth of a percent. You couldn't do that well at "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" if you could take your blindfold off. Not to be critical of the Bush administration; I remember from Economics class that a president needed to pay attention to his economic advisers in order to regulate the levels of unemployment and inflation which are related inversely. I guess we won't need to worry about inflation any time soon.

I'm also going to hazard a quess based on the level of enthusiasm for both candidates that the average voter is still relatively uninformed. Why am I so critical of both sides? Well, it looks as though, now, that I will have to get used to another Commander-in-Chief. That's right, if tonight's debate goes in favor of Senator Kerry I'm predicting change in the oval office. I'm not about to welcome that change. Why? Because every time I start to like a president he does something stupid like pardoning his predicessor who is a criminal or I find he assasinated him or he is yet another heir to Satan. Don't even get me started.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Let me see if I have this right. Forget about any envolvement with Iraq. There is, after all, a possible reason for the 9/11 attack. We really have never been given a real reason in the past, have we? Now I haven't finished watching Fahrenheit 9/11 yet but the short version is that both George Bush senior and George W worked for the Carlisle group and they owned United Defense http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/industry/carlyle.htm and the bin Laden family invested heavily in Carlisle/United Defense. So now we see where the whole insider trading racket can lead to.

If we aren't careful, in the future someone with heavy shares in pest control companies may leverage shares of sugar and then when they've accumulated enough they'll bring on the ants and make a killing killing them. If you think that is bizarre, I ask you: "What isn't anymore?"

You see people in power sit in elegant rooms in places like DC and New York and watch the mayhem while they sip their bourbon and smoke their cigars or whatever and all the time they discuss their holdings and spend their dividends. Now I have no problem believing that such things happen. However, to conceive of even a few of the things that must have happened for us to have an event like the attacks on New York and Washington DC; you have to have the same kind of willing suspension of disbelief that a theater goer utilizes.

That is why we are left with a feeling that it was all too incredulous. Because instantly we knew that something this big couldn't have taken place in a vacuum. Normally you would be lucky to get by airport security with a nail file but on that day someone smuggled a band of terrorists aboard four airliners and about half of them were former visa holders.

Now we're told that we have to have tighter security, especially better organized intelligence.

Yet the Osama bin Ladens of this world move freely to and fro and always have; for a season.

But what am I trying to say? It has lately come boldly to my attention that if we are trusting in our leaders or our government we have misplaced our trust. We need to be involved in the workings of government but not trusting in it. And who should we be trusting in?

That's right you can say His name. As of this day you may still proclaim His name.

But the wise will proclaim that name forever more.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Tired of election year rhetoric?

I'm sure the candidates must be too. Both the Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards teams seem to be running out of rhetoric. If you haven't noticed, there are times when the recorded sound bytes are almost verbatim from the other side. Does the Bush team have a clear plan to put the economy back on track? No. Does Kerry? No, but if Bush comes up with something that sounds good you can be sure he will try it out on the campaign trail. Who knows what to do about Iraq? Don't get me started! As far as I'm concerned, George W. Bush got us into Irag and I would hate to see him get out of getting us out-- if we ever do, that is.

What does the Lord have to say about all this flap about who should be president? Well, I really wouldn't want to say anything about it but I certainly wouldn't take the Florida excursion as any kind of a "good" sign.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Whole Chapter: Philippians 4 In context: Philippians 4:12-14)

Ever feel that there is something you should do that you just feel you can't do? If it were just something you wanted to do for yourself it probably wouldn't bother you much unless it was really important. But what if it is something God would want you to do? Philippians 4:13 assures us that we can do those things that the Lord would have us do that will strengthen or edify us. Of course, that is not an encouragement to do whatever comes to mind with the conviction that He will "have our back" so to speak. But if there is any good that can come of it then He will be faithful to enable us to fulfil the task set before us. If we fail it means one of two things; either we chose the wrong thing to do or we didn't place our faith in Him to enable us to do it.

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