Saturday, January 27, 2007

In The Beginning

Thanks to the Moscow Times for this article. It is such a joy to see the changes that have allowed for a wide and varied expression of love for God in Russia. Read the article all the way through and you will find some surprises given the source of the article. Yeah God!

PS While your checking out foreign papers try this for podcast news from the JP.

Winter in.......Abbotsford???

DSCN0327, originally uploaded by feshyasdad.DSCN0326

Believe it or not this was taken a week or so before Christmas at my folks place in Abbotsford, B.C.. It doesn't happen often, but for all the folks who chuckle at the Fraser Valley and their idea of winter here ya go. They didn't even have to call in the army or anything, brave folks that they are.

A Humbling Thought

This is a quote that I found and the link above will take you to the site where I found it online. I actually read it in the latest newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs. The content is slightly different and may have been edited for the newsletter, but the story is the same. The sovereignty of God can be a fearful thing if we forget the 'mad love' at the center of it all. We must also remember that at the center of sove-reign-ty there lies reign.

The Unreasonableness of God

Pastor%20WurmbrandBy Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Taken from an excerpt of his book"The Oracles of God"

I shared and viewed the sufferings of many fellow prisoners in an underground Communist prison. What intrigued us the most was that we did not obtain from heaven what it was obviously reasonable to us to expect: a slight improvement in our situation, food to quiet our hunger, and abatement of our cruel torture. We did not get what we expected because heaven is not - humanly speaking - reasonable.

Jesus said, "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7)". This is surely not reasonable (from a human standpoint).

Nowhere does the Bible speak about the "reasonableness" of God, according to man's reasoning. Was it reasonable to sacrifice the unique Son of God for witless, dirty, dumb sheep? I have asked many shepherds what they would do if they saw a wolf. They all replied, "We would run for our lives". No man dies for sheep (at least not a "reasonable" one). Yet the Lord Jesus Christ did. He died for beings much worse than sheep - for those who denied and betrayed Him, for those who demanded His crucifixion. He died for His killers and prayed that the Father forgive them. Would you say that Jesus' actions were "reasonable"?

Do not be surprised if you fail to get from God what you might reasonably expect. If He were truly "reasonable", He would never listen to the prayers of sinners like us who continue to disobey Him time and time again. If God were truly "reasonable" we wouldn't even have salvation. Rather, our God listens, loves and forgives far beyond the point of folly and "reason".

If you feel that you are in the sad situation of not being able to understand His reason, nor feel His mad love, just remember that following Christ is not about logic or reason or some great feeling that you are hoping to experience - IT'S ABOUT FAITH! Those who are faithful will continue to press forward even when God doesn't make any sense to them and even when it feels as if He is not with them. Those who are faithful will stand strong in their belief of the teaching of Hebrews 13:5: "I will never leave you nor forsake you".

When in solitary confinement, I waited for years for God to come to my aid. In solitary we were happy about His mad love even in moments when we did not "feel" it.

Do not count on "reasonableness" from heaven and you will never be disappointed. Do not expect God to operate according to your limited and sinful ways of thinking and you will never be upset with Him for not answering your prayers in the way that you want them answered. Count only on the fact that He loves you to such folly that He condescended to leave His throne and come down into a sin cursed world to die for you. Forget about sweet "reason" and continue to follow Him no matter what your circumstances may be. For as faithful Job once said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him".

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some Statuary For Pasha

Here are the pics I promised Pasha. They show the connection that has existed between the former Soviet Union and China in their modern ideological beliefs. Both countries display a flair for the aggrandisement of the people they are portraying. Modern day heroes, eh? It does have a certain appeal.

Dec 25,03 (1)

Apr 04 (78)

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Different Point Of View

This is an article worth checking out. I don't know at this point if the US media would give this kind of coverage or slant to what this guy is saying, but the Chinese media usually has an interesting take on things.
As an aside, if you want to check out some great pics from all over China check out this link. Do yourself a favour though and install the east asian language packs or you'll be pop-up killing all the way through it.
My own personal take on the above article is that the U.S. has long worked at keeping the rest of the world at arms length. By this I mean that they are quite content to keep people at a level beneath them so that they can continue to ensure their own lifestyle at the expense of the rest of the world. They, of course, are not the only ones, but they are the largest and most visible from our northern vantage point. It really is no wonder to me that the Arab world has such a hate on for them, nor that the enemies of the U.S. would find ample allies in the 3rd world. The rape of the nations to fuel Notrth American comfort will only go on for so long before the balance shifts. History has always shown this to be true. Just yesterday I was reminded that when the Nazis began their rise to world domination they had the most powerful army on the planet which, if not for multiple armed forces converging on them, would have achieved its ultimate goal. The U.S. is currently the most powerful armed force on earth, but again, this means nothing in historical terms. The current government in China owes its origins to the last one pissing off enough poor people that they finally rose up. The U.S. needs to understand the responsibility it has to the rest of the world is not to try to export its idea of democracy or lifestyle, but rather to aid in bringing other nations to a place of self sufficiency. They need to seek equality around the globe, but not base it upon their own ideologies. The fiasco in Iraq is a prime example of what happens when we try to cram our ideals down someone else's throat. Saddam needed to go, but the nation of Iraq does not need to be a little america. Iraq needs to be Iraq just as much as I need to be who I am and you need to be you. The war, the oil, the politics aside our leaders need to seek cultural and socio-economic peace rather than ideological peace. I believe dictators would have a lot less chutzpah if they were in a world united across these lines rather than the current pool of paranoid naval-gazers we have now. Boy, do we ever need to pray for our leaders. They NEED Christ now!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Too Cute

So this morning when our smiley 3 year old Ethan scooted up to the table for breakfast I was constrained to inquire as to where he obtains his seeming limitless supply of cuteness. Without batting an eye he said

God put His peace in me and He put His strength in me so that is where I get my cuteness
Sept 17,06 (4)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Well Nathan, it has been awhile so here goes.
5 Things you may not know about me.

#1. I used to have a dog named Snoopy, but she was a she not a he.

#2 Most of my life has been spent in B.C., but I was born in the prairies.

#3 I only got into construction because during the days I was doing drugs it was the easiest thing to get into. I have found out though, that you don't actually have to be stoned to be a carpenter, or at least to be a good one.

#4 I started smoking on the night of my grade 12 graduation. It has been said that if you haven't started by then you probably never will. I always seem to leave things right to the end.

P.S. Been quit now for 8 years now

#5 I'd still pick S'toon over Kelowna for a place to live in Canada. Course I've never been to Cornerbrook.

So there you go. Since I don't know who all reads this thing you'll have to leave some sign of your passing for me to know where your tag is.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

There Can Be Only One

Hey, any Highlander fans out there? That one was for all those who think the first movie was the best and only one.

It does refer to the context of this post though, because someone else said there can be only one. Before diving into who what and why, though, lets first peruse some visual history.

Exhibit 1
No intro needed here. Even when I asked my wife for a list of historical baddies this guy topped the list. He has come to represent evil personified. Old Adolf is still number one.
Exhibit 2
This man also hit the list in the same order when I asked my wife. Papa Stalin, king of the political purge. Blood of the masses for the masses was his credo. We must be headed somewhere with this, right?? Right.
Exhibit 3
A little more modern feel to this expose of Dudley Do-wrongs. Mr. Milosevic definitely belongs here for his all out attempt to eradicate an entire people group from his country. Just as much Haman here as with baddie #1, the genocidal maniacs club seems to like company. Is that why Mr. M is on this particular list though? Nope!
Exhibit 4
Remember this guy? No, it's not Martin, it's Idi. The Ugandan butcher himself. Wow, this doesn't seem to follow even racial guidelines. Everyone is welcome, as long as they have the credentials, but what are those?
Exhibit 5
madam mao
Oops, nope, it's not gender related either. Madam Mao is here too, to represent the ladies out there who may have started to feel a little too secure in their gender credentials. This gal could rip and tear with the best of them, and for now she will round out the dean's list. Just for now, though.
Oddly enough the inspiration for this post came out of this morning's worship time as I focused on the majesty of our Father, the beauty of Jesus, and the power of the Spirit. All it took was the above mentioned quote to stir some thoughts. 'There is only one good' is what Jesus said when someone called Him 'good teacher'. It seems to me that He was implying to the person His own divine identity, but the fact remains that He said that God is the only good guy out there. That leaves a whole lot of people on the other side of that line, doesn't it? My wife indicated to me just the other day that my own divine resemblance was lacking of late so I know where I stand in relation to that line. Sadly, since Eden, we have all found ourselves born on the wrong side of that line. The other thing is that emigration policy on this side is pretty stiff. We gotta concede the truth of where we are. It can be difficult to do though, because we tend to gather people around us who like us and hopefully don't mind telling us so. That's not all bad since we are told to encourage each other, but it can narrow the view if we only look there for an accurate portrayal of who we are. Every once in awhile we need to climb up on a ladder to peer out over the heads of our peers and see from whence we have come. From that vantage point the hit list above suddenly starts popping out at us. From that vantage point we get a fuller view of the mirror. It ain't pretty is it?
I know I start to look for some way to look away at this point, but He tells me to not forget what I have seen. Eeeek! This gets uncomfortable. How can I be like those guys and gals. They are the dregs, aren't they??? Ain't I floating somewhere near the top of the barrel looking down?? Nope, it's all flat here (sorry S'toon pals, no jab intended). The murdering thugs in the pictures were gathered into my corral when Jesus said that being angry at my brother was the same as murder. The worst skid row hooker is in with the one with the wondering eye. AAaaahhh, what will I do??? He didn't come and lower the bar. He didn't come and eradicate the bar. He came and showed us where it really is, un-freaking-reachably far above us. He showed us that the bar is God Himself. There is only 1 who is good. Suddenly I am faced with the reality of my position. The good thing is that it happened while I was beholding God. This revelation of our place leaves us at His mercy alone, and that is a good place to be. A good place because when the Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin it will be for the sin of not believing in His mercy, and we can only truly believe this when we are seeing ourselves for who we truly are. What a wonderful liberty ensues the fervent grasping of this truth. Freedom reigns in this place where we understand the fullness of God's great mercy towards us. In fact when I looked at these guys during that time of worship I realised the mercy of God in a new way. The mercy He had on these people. The food they had to eat. The beauty their eyes took in. The very breath in their nostrils was mercy. The very breath in my nostrils is mercy, the fragrance of God.