Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rambling Thoughts - Mar 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone, even if you're not Irish!

I am both saddened and heartbroken over the loss of my dear friend. The memorial service at Richmond Hill Presbyterian on the 11th was good as good can be under the circumstances. I found myself smiling at the eulogy that the pastor gave. 'Sounds just like him' I kept saying to myself. I feel blessed to finally meet some of his family. Ian was a private man - as I am - so it was nice to meet his sisters Susan and Cindy. Funerals, like a wedding, does that to a family. The dynamic of a family dealing with tragedy or triumph is a marvel to behold.

On a personal note, my second career ambitions are moving along swimmingly. No confirmation from the school board yet. The process began on March 9th and it takes at least three weeks before the educrats look at your case. A bit of selfish prayer is indeed called for! God willing, I'll begin a full year of paralegal classes on April 20th at TriOS college Mississauga campus. June is the alternate start date. Soon as I get word, I'll post it here. I've not worked a minute since December and my funds are starting to dry up. My EI kicks in in May for 38 weeks. After that, Employment Ontario will hopefully bridge that 14 week gap for living expenses. It sucks being unemployed. Without working you feel like a dead weight.

I was pondering about this personal journey. Namely, you have to exercise patience to allow God's plan for you to unfold. Speeding it up leaves you vulnerable. Too slow and you miss out on God's best. This process of getting all you ducks lined up in a row is one that doesn't happen overnight. Yet like a cat with nine lives I've always somehow managed to land on my own feet. God's firm hand is guiding my situation. I'm now a licensed and certified security guard able to work anywhere in Ontario. Tomorrow I'll be dropping by three (or four) security companies in Toronto to drop off resumes. Wish me luck!

There's something to be said about keeping things simple. Simplicity equals sanity. Order over chaos. Today I went through every link in my sidebar. Faith Girl has not posted since May 2008 and so has been removed from my contributors list. I will try to contact her to see if I can get her back in the fold. Faith Girl's favorites, News Links and New World Order are no more. I am excited over my new addition 'Muslims Curious About Christianity'. I've noticed that I often get visitors from non-Christian countries such as India, Dubai and Malaysia (to name a few). What a tremendous gift it would be if a Muslim (or Hindu) chooses Christ as a result of my foresight. Islam is one of the major religions in the world and I believe it's vital Muslims hear about the promise of salvation that only Christ can offer. They may agree. They may disagree. But make no mistake! A face to face meeting with Biblical truth leaves one without excuse. Truth demands personal responsibility. No wonder so many despise it!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the new and improved X-Def. If you know of any relevant links you'd like me to add (or reinstate) please leave a comment. Be specific! Saying 'your blog sucks' isn't going to be highly regarded as an effective form of communication. I've linked the Canadian flag and Johnny Cash picture too. They now lead to cbc.ca and johnnycash.com respectively. Links that were off-topic, obsolete, unreadable or not up to date have been deleted. It's amazing how far behind you get when you don't update your blog on a regular basis. I hope you like the result.

Johnny Cash

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ian Douglas McAlister - Jan, 21, 1948 - Mar, 8, 2009

While we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
(2 Corinthians 5:4,10)

It is with great sadness to report that my friend Ian has passed away. For all intents and purposes he died Wednesday night (March 4) when he had his stroke. I do not for a moment consider my prayers for his recovery to be in vain. The damage to his brain was clearly too much and God showed him mercy by taking him home. I'm glad he didn't have to suffer long. He went to sleep and forgot to wake up. What is done is done. So many die daily without ever hearing the saving message that only Jesus Christ can bring. So long as I'm alive I have the chance to change someone's eternal destiny. That's always been the reason for this blog. I believe I'll see Ian again in heaven. I hope you'll be there too.

Johnny Cash

Correction as of Mar, 14, 2009: Ian's last name has only one 'l' and I was off by one day as to his birthday. The title is now correct though the URL for this post will remain unchanged. A final thought on my friend's passing: 'Closure' is vastly overrated. He was like a big brother to me and will be sorely missed.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Prayer for a Friend - Mar 6

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
(John 11:25-26)

I've a friend of mine who's suffered a stroke. He's 22 years my senior and I've known him since September 2006. Right now he's resting comfortably at hospital but he has no movement on his right side. The road to rehabilitation will be a long one fraught with difficulty. He considers himself a Christian, indeed his favorite jokes are religious ones. He's not a church-goer but I do believe he has put his faith in the Lord. Pray that he comes to and starts talking and eating. May God comfort him and guide him as he faces this new chapter in his life.

Johnny Cash

Monday, March 02, 2009

Beware the Moral Man! - Mar 2

Have you ever wondered why totalitarian regimes find it so easy to recruit? It's amazing how quickly a moral man will become intoxicated by a fleeting whiff of power. Here's a familiar conversation recorded between Jesus and Nicodemus:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
(John 3:1-3)

What's Wrong With Being a Moral Man?

If the basis of that morality is of the flesh and not of the spirit then we have plenty to worry about. Satan's favorite tactic for damning souls is through telling us how good we are. We then accept such vain flattery without hesitation. But if Satan is telling us how good we are, shouldn't we be suspicious? YES! That's the beauty of the deception. This raw appeal to our ego and our overwhelming sense of self-importance causes us to believe this falsehood. Jesus said 'You must be born again' in His conversation with Nicodemus. If the Devil can convince you of your own goodness then by logical extension you won't pursue that second birth. No second birth, no salvation. No salvation, no chance at eternity being spent with God!

Destroying Magnificently

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
(Genesis 3:1-5)

Has there every been a more recycled lie than "You will be like God, knowing good and evil."? Look back through history at all the genocides that have taken place. We point to such leaders of men such as the Prophet Mohammed, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Yet these men were just that, men. How were they able to successfully mobilize their acolytes to execute their evil plans? Simple. Tell these seemingly ordinary men that they are like gods, knowing good and evil. Get an unsaved man to believe that and he will destroy magnificently without batting an eyelash.

Behold! The Moral Man Cometh!

Convinced of his own goodness and morality, the unsaved man (or woman) is putty in the hands of those who dream of war. The 'goodness' that the unsaved man boasts of is a mirage. The humanist model of goodness is a flawed one, based upon what Man believes to be good rather than the absolute sinless purity of God. We are and still remain in this imperfect state. Few are able to recognize this hard truth about our corruption. Many walk around believing in their heavenly citizenship yet having never trusted fully in the perfect sacrifice made at the cross.

Salvation: Now and for Eternity

Did you ever hear or see something and say, 'There's something not right here.' That's called discernment. For the Christian, it is the indwelling of Holy Spirit that warns us of error and convicts us of truth. Without it, we are the proverbial sucker born every minute for every false Christ and false prophet that comes our way. God is not interested in saving you purely for eternity's sake. He wants you to have victory right now! It is the presence and working of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer which enables to see things correctly and in context. Our emotions, our intellect, our pride and our instincts will throw us off at every instant. Hence the constant need for divine instruction.

Withstanding the Devil's Wiles

Be not deceived! Satan is doing everything in his power to keep you from trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. There's no way you can resist his lies on your own power. Nor are we encouraged to do so! Only by coming to faith in Christ are we able to keep ourselves safe from dangerous and hurtful doctrines. Don't be a dupe for those evil men who wish to be like a god. Please protect yourself and trust in Him. It's the only way.

Johnny Cash