Merry Christmas everyone! I'd like to give that to the Wall Street Journal and to the late Vermont Royster for this timely article.
In Hoc Anno Domini
So the light came into the world.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.
And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas everyone! I'd like to give that to the Wall Street Journal and to the late Vermont Royster for this timely article.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Section 469 of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) contains a list of the most serious offences. These are not charges that anyone should minimize. They are included below:
469. Every court of criminal jurisdiction has jurisdiction to try an indictable offence other than
(a) an offence under any of the following sections:
(i) section 47 (treason),
(ii) section 49 (alarming Her Majesty),
(iii) section 51 (intimidating Parliament or a legislature),
(iv) section 53 (inciting to mutiny),
(v) section 61 (seditious offences),
(vi) section 74 (piracy),
(vii) section 75 (piratical acts), or
(viii) section 235 (murder)
God's Perfect Holiness and Man's Sin
The reality is that until we truly repent and turn our lives over to Jesus, we are very much in that category of s. 469 of the CCC. When we are in a state of unbelief, we are that person committing treason, alarming Her Majesty, intimidating Parliament, inciting to mutiny, committing seditious offences, piracy and murder. Understand this is not a case of 'just missing the mark'. It is a serious indictable offence against God to be found in a state of unbelief.
Salvation is by The Sacrificial Blood of Christ Alone
Furthermore it can be found no other way. Not by tithing or perfect church attendance. Not by works or by acts of charity. It is only by the blood and through the blood that a person can be saved from the horrors of hell. God does not joke around when it comes to sin. While God is a God of love, mercy and compassion - and praise Him for that! - God takes His laws, commandments and statutes seriously.
What Must I Do To Avoid Such Condemnation?
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
More to the point, how can you know you're saved? Here are five points to consider.
- Have you laid your pride to rest? If I dare hear pride and self-sufficiency that person is not saved.
- Is there a clear distinction between the 'old you' and the 'new you'? If you're still behaving just as the way you were before I would seriously question your eternal destiny.
- Have you become wiser and more discerning? A sure sign of salvation is when you are 'locked in' to the mindset of God.
- Do you have a Biblical worldview or a secular one? More to the point, are you able to tell the difference?
- Are you kinder, gentler, more merciful and patient with those who constantly test us? A heart of love is a sign that you've been reborn.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The memory of it is still fresh in my mind. On a Friday afternoon after coming back from my run I was called into the office and told my truck was to be taken off the road. After 11 years of faithful service, I was laid off.
While my previous employment gave me the stability I needed, the reality was that I was being left behind both in terms of personal and financial growth. When you can't remember the last time you got a raise it's probably best to move on - or get gently shoved through the door as was with my case.
Hard to believe how far I've come since then. I really feel good about where I'm at right now. The future is indeed a bright one. My paralegal studies have gone swimmingly. Having passed all my courses with an A average, I have flourished in my new environment as a legal student.
As I look forward to the new year, 2010 looks to be both exciting and somewhat terrifying. In May I'll be celebrating my 40th birthday. By that time my classes will have come to an end and I'll be smack dab in the middle of my internship. On August 11th I write my paralegal exam. What happens beyond that is a mystery.
2010 is a year which has as its theme, 'Finish What You Started'. All my travails at getting into school (which I detailed in the first half of this year) came to fruition in June. By May 2010 my tenure at TriOS will have come to its completion. In a way, it's like leaving the womb. You may be safe and protected there, but there comes a point when its time to leave and start growing.
God has indeed provided for me. Mind you, it hasn't been easy. I've had to make some withdrawals from my RRSP's and on more than one occasion I've been totally broke - usually at the end of the month. My commissionaires pay and EI still managed to sustain me throughout. Despite my delicate financial position, I still had the chance to do all my regular summer stuff, including:
- CHIN Picnic Bikini Pageant (never get tired of that!)
- Carabram (All pavilions visited like a trooper should)
- Taste of the Danforth (The food! The crowds! The music! Did I mention the food?)
- And as always, the CNE (twice!)
I firmly believe God has sent me this adversity for a reason. Much like the Israelites being driven from Egypt, this has happened to me at the precise moment of God's choosing. Like the Israelites, I too moaned and complained when things weren't going my way. Only now do I appreciate His divine wisdom as He has set me upon this path. God is still in the business of weaving small miracles into my life. I feel blessed and fortunate to be given this second chance. May His name be glorified through my scholarly efforts.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Ever wonder what one of the most well-known stories of the Christmas season would look like if translated into legalese? Well look no further! You can view the original here. Mr. Lloyd Duhame is a lawyer out in Victoria, B.C. and is one seriously funny dude. His website is a must-see for all lawyers, paralegals (to be) and others working and living in the legal field.
Also known as "Santa Claus", "Kris Kringle", "Saint Nicolas" or "Father Christmas"
I, Occular. W. Itness, of 174 Main Street, Whoville, do solemnly affirm and swear to the truth of this, my sworn statement:
1. Whereas, on or about the night prior to the 25th of December, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to, a mouse.
2. A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus" or "the subject") would arrive at sometime thereafter.
3. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.
4. Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "I"), being a tenant-by-the-entirety in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep (at such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, to wit: kerchief and cap).
5. Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved portion of real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance.
6. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance. At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer.
7. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus, as more specifically identified below.
8. Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the aforementioned eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"; upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved).
9. The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature.
10. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, specifically on the rooftop thereof, causing unspecified damage thereto by means of the hooves of said animal co-conspirators.
11. Whereupon Claus entered said House via the chimney.
12. The party of the first part positively identified said Claus from the following appearance: The subject was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. Claus' face was identifiable by certain cherry-like and bow-like features and he was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations, the fumes of which assumed a wreathiform shape around the subject's head.
13. Said Claus made no utterances or admissions, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts (said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minors pursuant to the applicable provisions of the tax statute or any applicable or relevant Gifts to Minors legislation).
14. Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts".
15. After vaulting in the Vehicle, signaling his co-conspirators and abettors with a whistle, Claus abruptly departed for an unknown destination. However, prior to the disappearance of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" (or words to that effect...).
SWORN BEFORE ON THIS 24TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2008.