Category: religious


 

 

In July last year  I wrote about a rather spiritually ignorant Hugo Chavez who said his cancer is not going to kill him. “It is not time to die” he had said at the time.

One year later, and many trips to and from Cuba, the same Hugo Chavez is right now battling for his life in Cuba. He is on a respirator, breathing through a hole pierced through his neck.

Not many days ago, our own country’s prime minister participated in a prayer vigil for the recovery of Hugo Chavez. It shows that even his regional counterparts are sensitive on the matter of his mortality and the inevitable end of every man born of a woman.

Below is an extract from Caribbean 360 which shows the critical nature of Mr Chavez’ illness and its political realities on the ground in Venezuela.

“We trust that, with the help of God, we are going to be victorious,” he said. “And that sooner rather than later, we will have our president here.”

The Venezuelan government did not say when Chávez will return home, or whether he will be ready to begin a new six-year term next month.

But Minister of Information Ernesto Villegas said the nation needs to be prepared for all eventualities.

“We trust that, with the love of millions, the Commander will respond quickly and return before January 10,” he said.

“But if not, the nation needs to be prepared to understand it,” he added. “It would be irresponsible to cover up how delicate the situation is now and will be in the days to come.”

Chavez undergoes tracheotomy in Cuba after fourth surgery – Caribbean360

I have been more than baffled over the years how the “civilized” world just seems to whimper and retreat like a frightened dog whenever The Islamic world gets myopically upset at some ant-Islamic development.

The most recent tirade and Islamic tantrum is because of a mere fourteen minute video shown on You Tube.

Apparently, that video, because it originated in the USA, led to the death of a US diplomat in Libya a few days ago. Other fiery protests have been going on in other Muslim territories.

But now a cabinet minister in Pakistan has openly offered a bounty reward for the killing of the American film maker. This is an inexplicably regrettable high point in international relations and the acknowledgement of common sense.

Almost every day, somebody somewhere utters or communicates some displeasing comment about all major world religions, but the Muslims seem hooked by an irremovable barb which drags them helplessly to the cliffs of religious intolerance, murder and mere hatred for other human beings.

indeed, it is my opinion if their “holy Prophet” is offended then Allah and that prophet would have been naturally fitted to exact their own justice. the real and living God does not need to ignite bands of suicidal cabals to defend his cause and reputation.

I suspect that the Muslims are never going to be at rest from their protests, murders and eager human threats because every entity under the sun will always have its critics—no matter what.

But a most vexing irony is that Muslims are quick to call other religious followers “infidels” and other less than honourable names. Sometimes I believe that sanctions should not just be imposed on governments and people who are threatening military rebellion but religious intolerance which breeds senseless and avoidable deaths beckon similar impositions of said sanctions.

 

 

Pakistani bounty placed on anti-Islam filmmaker | Reuters

Make this moment the “one moment in time” when you choose to overcome your own personal struggles

The world is reeling from news that singer Whitney Houston is dead. the circumstances of her sudden death are all too familiar to other celebrities who have died over the years.

While there is probably a price to be paid for world fame, resorting to some form of drug addiction has become a fatal plague for movie stars, singers and other global icons.

Whitney, a lady unusually gifted with singing talent, struggled with cocaine addiction through the latter part of her life. So many people right now are mostly saddened by this: her career might be remembered only in light of her personal struggles.

But is it fair to magnify the personal struggles of celebrities as though they should not have any struggles at all?

I say no.

The death of celebrities is never welcomed news; people would wish celebrities could live on earth forever. But the death of Whitney Houston is a timely reminder that life on earth IS just a temporary journey.

I wish to point out that each and every human being will and have to face some form of personal struggle. It is part of the human life contract.

It is my belief that God, as Creator and owner of the earth and man, has empowered man at his birth to be an overcomer. God has confidence in each person alive that he or she can face and master whatever opposition is faced.

In order to help you put life into perspective let me share something interesting I just double checked as I weighed in on Whitney Houston’s death.

The last recorded messages from Jesus Christ to people on earth, in Revelation, shows that for each of the seven churches He addressed, He specifically ended with a challenge for His audience to overcome.

I think that is important because Jesus knows life on earth will not—cannot—last forever. But He also knows what will become of each person after death.

Since no corrupt thing can enter heaven, each person is responsible to use his or her days to get his or her soul cleaned up from the many pollutants, viruses or addictions on earth. These addictions and problems were around before you were born and they would be here after your death.

What makes life worthwhile from the human stand point is the ability to overcome one’s personal addictions, proclivities and areas of weaknesses.

A final point I wish to raise also comes from the Bible, this time Peter who asked his audience to “prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled”.

The advice to be self controlled is given multiple times by the Christian writers in the New Testament. I believe it is for a good reason. Nothing is achieved in any life without the person first making up his or her mind to do something about it.

I want to say to all persons reading my words that it is up to you to master and then conqueror your addictions, weaknesses or adversaries. It is the reason you wake up each morning. The thing is, like Whitney Houston and other celebrities, a morning comes when we will not even know it is our last morning on earth.

As you think of Whitney Houston being dead, and as you ponder on your own life, remember that you are a legend in your own way—the whole world need not know you by name or picture. you have what it takes to overcome your difficulties. But you have to take control of your mind first and foremost.

Martin Luther King, Jr lived and died before my time but his life’s message is meant for me in my generation.

I somehow found myself viewing some speeches made by Mr King and his words began to speak even to my own destiny on the earth.

I am particularly intrigued by his last public speaking engagement. That was recorded a mere twenty four hours before his brutal martyrdom. Listening to him, I can sense God was foreshadowing events to come by the statements in the speech.

I, too, am compelled to be true to what I put on paper. In this case on my blog. Obstacles will always exist between a man and his dream, his calling, his destiny, his reason for being. No obstacle shall stand in my way as I face “the difficult days ahead” and fulfil my purpose.

It is really interesting that even though a bullet may have ripped his face apart, Martin Luther King’s words and indeed his voice still echo across the generations today. It lets me know that even this blog is being immortalized. Verily, words do have sustained power, even after physical actions are done and gone.

I am realizing more and more that there is a specific Promised Land for each man born of a woman. I use “man” in a general term. There is a very worthwhile reason you and I are alive. The days given to us under the sun are timed for us to get to our Promised Land.

This promised land is not just defined by a good house, vehicle, family or job, it is defined by what makes us be the best human being we can be to ourselves and those around us—ultimately leading to a tight relationship with God and His Son and so making the planet a better place to live.

Another lesson I learn from Martin Luther King, Jr is that I am to fear no man. And this is something that Jesus even spoke about. Why be afraid of those who can only harm or kill the body? Ha ha ha ha! After man has taken action and harmed or killed, there is nothing else he can do.

I do not know or understand how, but God is able to switch a person’s existence from a physical body to a consciousness and existence of a spiritual one found in the soul. Maybe it is pretty much like a back-up power source.

Think about it.

Haven’t you ever been at a public venue and the electricity goes? There is a brief moment of shockingly sad darkness. Then there is light once more as the generators do their job of providing an alternative source of power.

So, too, I believe when man kills you, there is that painful halt to physical consciousness. But then there is a new awakening of the person’s consciousness from the alternative power source—that of the soul.

Martin Luther King said that he had been able to see on the other side of things “on the mountain top”. Any body who is going to live for any worthwhile reason must get God’s perspective from the mountain top and see what is really important. See the bigger picture.

The only courage any man or woman, boy or girl can possess is to face his or her own life’s lonely and tragic moments on his or her own two feet. Standing among your supporters or in a crowd is easy. It is he who is able to stand in the lonely hour, the midnight hour is the one who is really courageous.

Even though you would have been distracted and sent on detours from your own promised land, from fulfilling your destiny, it is not too late. Once your heart and lungs are working, it is not too late. Your Creator is ever willing to forgive, accept, and renew your strength. All of heaven’s powers are with you because meeting your destiny is more important than any person or thing on this earth.

After all, good or bad, you have to part with your human body and with everybody and everything on the earth.

These are some lessons I learned from Martin Luther King and I rank them worthy of new year’s resolutions. Indeed.

POST NOTE: As unbelievable as this may sound, I had no idea when I posted this article that the very day was Martin Luther King’s birthday! I guess that is just as providentially orchestrated pretty much like the contents of Martin Luther King’s final speech just hours before he was killed. It actually reminded me of Jesus predicting His own death hours before it occured.

Here is another interesting piece of information:

This is my 77th blog post and it has 777 words.

Most of us in the western world have a very easy time expressing our religious views and practices. However, the oil-rich African nation of Nigeria is becoming the battle ground for one of the world’s critical modern day contest for religious supremacy.

Christianity, which is quite common in the Caribbean is under violent attacks from Muslims. over five hundred Christians have been killed during the past year in Nigeria. The country is geographically split between the Muslims, who occupy the north, and the Christians who are more populous in southern Nigeria.

On Christmas Day alone, scores of Christians were killed when a car bomb was detonated near a church during services.

The group of Islamists carrying out these deadly acts of violence against their Christian countrymen call themselves a name meaning “Western Education Is Evil”. Their aim is clear: to make all of Nigeria one nation of Islam. in other words, no other faith or religious sect must be allowed to flourish in Nigeria.

The Christians in Nigeria have commented that they will take actions to protect themselves. It means that Nigeria is most likely about to face off with a religious war that can shatter its international image and world tourism prospects. Of course, the economic fall out given its status as an oil producing giant, is not going to comfort or stabilize investors wallets and confidence in Nigeria.

The government has been ridiculed and criticized for being unable to take corrective action to stem the killings of Christians by the Islamist group the government calls Boko Haram. Its beloved president, Goodluck Jonathan, is facing the defining challenge of his presidency. His critics are insisting that he is incompetent and incapable of dealing with the Muslim group carrying out the attacks.

The western world has to be wary of the jihad focus of the Islamic world. While Christians as well would endeavour to see all the world united under the umbrella of Christ, they would not be blowing other religious sects to eternity in order to realize their earthly goal.

This is a time when Christians from other nations must meet in prayer and offer united spiritual support to their siblings in Nigeria. After all, when one sees his neighbour’s house on fire one must wet his own house down.

The Indestructible Book

The antique book is commented to be the gospel of John

Pictured above is a most unusual book that is documented as being over one thousand years old, yet without any form of decay or wear and tear. The book is an early edition of the gospel of St John, the last of the gospels in our New Testament of the Holy Bible. according to some expert scholars who have studied its contents.

How has this one copy of the gospel been able to survive after all these years and still be in a top-notch condition? That seems to be nothing short of a miracle. Below you will find an excerpt from the Economist, where this story was published earlier in this year.

“The real story is the object itself. The gospel was commissioned to honour St Cuthbert, a monk, hermit and then reluctant bishop of the Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, whose life and miracles were set down by the Venerable Bede, an early medieval chronicler. Bede lived and worked on the mainland at Wearmouth-Jarrow, the monastery where the book is believed to have been made by a man trained in the tradition of Egyptian Coptic bookbinding and decoration. Shortly after Bede’s hero, Cuthbert, died in 687, the book was placed in his coffin.When the Vikings began raiding the north-east of England, the monks of Lindisfarne fled their island home with Cuthbert’s bones and wandered, like the Israelites in the desert, until they found sanctuary in Durham. In 1104 another chronicler, Simeon of Durham, records how Cuthbert’s coffin was opened in preparation for formal reinterment in a new church, the precursor of Durham cathedral. Cuthbert seemed not so much dead as sleeping, wrote Simeon. His limbs were flexible and his body “gave off a very pleasant odour”. By his head lay the book. Durham became a place of pilgrimage, and Cuthbert’s relics competed with those of the later Thomas à Becket in Canterbury.”

So there you have it: the story of the indestructible book of the gospel. Doesn’t it sound like a plot from an Indiana Jones movie? But this plot is as real as events get. It serves as a reminder that the gospels give an eye-witness account to a very real supernatural life in the form of the man Jesus Christ, who alone is eternal life.

via Early books: Holy writ | The Economist.

It is the stuff that movies are made of. A scientist secludes himself in a mysterious lab and comes up with the formula that makes a non living thing come alive. But for the scientists and researchers at the Scripps Research Institute (SRI) that possibility is no longer a figment of the imagination.

For some time now the world has been aware of the scientific process of cloning; producing an animal or part thereof has been the moot for much sociopolitical and ethical debates. Now, the pioneering gurus at SRI are claiming that they are making almost daily progress in crossing the Rubicon between the inanimate and the animate. Using their test tubes, the scientists have been able to produce living organisms that are capable of exponential reproduction and therefore sustain its species.

Although the lab professors have to provide very meticulously controlled environment for the molecular life processes to survive, Dr Gerald Joyce is more than confident that as long as they continue working it is really just a matter of time before the world has its own actively living, self reproductive life form that has man as its creator. That invokes certain feelings of condemnation, particularly among many persons who do believe that humans are trying to become like God Himself by attempting to create life.

And that might be a solid ground for a critical decision; after all, man had to leave Eden because he wanted to “become like God” and so ate of the forbidden fruit. Is it a fair statement to say that man even today has not given up the gambling quest to become as knowledgeable as God?

There are some educators who believe that the folks at SRI have already created life already; however, Dr Joyce is of the modest view that because the only form of life that we know is what we see on Earth then more work has to be put into the ongoing synthesizing of the inanimate so that whenever the official pronouncement is given, there will be no fashionable grounds for doubt or disbelief.

I suspect that the moment that the final breakthrough comes will not be made public right away. Obviously, the realization that man has created a living being that is able to exist on its own in a normal earthly environment is going to have never seen implications for the way that all seven billion people live on this earth. Like so many other breakthroughs that possess almost infinite socio-economic and political ramifications all the nations of the world would want to have the ability to create new life in their own corner. If these procedures and PR are not handled properly, the stage may be setting for a new age war of deadly proportions.

As it is now, many of us less scientifically endowed and knowledgeable persons are interacting with genetically modified edible goods and we don’t even know it. When we attempt to ascertain the organic nature of a lot of things that we import and use in our kitchens, it is often very difficult to  come to a definite conclusion. It is not just the pursuit of life within a lab that is the moot here. The larger, and probably more consequential, issue is the boundary that our scientists will draw the line at and say beyond this accomplishment we will not pursue any more discoveries.

Finally, in every instance where a life-changing discovery, invention or breakthrough is made, for whatever noble purpose, there is always another human being lurking in the shadows of the good guys to usurp and manipulate the item by putting it to a negative use. These are considerations that we must take seriously now and insist that those who lead and make decisions look into with all immediate transparency and accountability.

Should Believers Fear Hell – and God? A Response to Oliver Thomas on Blogcritics.

Earlier today I read two articles  as they were making their provocative way through the viral atmosphere. Both of them were written by people I believe are Americans. Both articles were characterized by a hopelessness caused by an inability of their writers to  comprehend the things of God. I am writing in response to one of those articles  that carried the same name as indicated in my chosen title for this article.

I believe that in some way the  author, one Oliver Thomas, wrote with the specific intention of being the
devil’s advocate and in more ways than one open the religious version of  Pandora’s Box. However, I believe the article in itself is a potential cause  for the “speculations” and hopeless futility that he intended so
scathingly to address.

In the article, published in the  USA Today online edition of August 8, 2011, Mr Thomas asked the important  question of what happens after death. But as one reads the article it becomes  clear that he is not so much concerned with providing an answer to the question  as he is with attempting to prove that Christians and believers in Jesus Christ  have been surely misled due to the misinterpretation of Jesus’ words as they  referred to hell.

The author makes us to know that a  God who will punish an act of evil for all eternity is not as terrible (and
somehow I infer he means obtuse) as the people who will actually believe in  such a God. He used his parenting code to suggest he will only punish his  daughter with an action that fits the disobedience. He refuses to believe that  a place of eternal punishment exists, claiming that the “Christian Old  Testament” only talks of the dead existing in a “dreamlike  place.” One of the things about reading information is that one can select  bits and pieces to drive one’s point home. And generally Christians quote  scriptures to get their message across.

However, Oliver Thomas basically  condemns the believers in the Bible for their vulnerable gullibility because  they believe something just because the Bible teaches it. But then he goes and  quotes from the very same Bible he is claiming is erroneously misinterpreted  and indicates that Solomon in Ecclesiastes proclaimed that “Whatever your  hand finds to do, do it with all your might for there is no activity or
planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” This he says, clearly  trying to convince the really undecided and scared readers that no real action  comes after the human heart stops.

Well, Mr Thomas, Solomon whom you  quoted was speaking as the wisest man on the earth who ever lived. But how is  it, Mr Thomas that you did not mention that Jesus had this to say in Matthew  chapter 12 and verse 42: “…one greater than Solomon is here.”

The author of the article is trying  desperately but to no avail to reason and understand the truths of the
universe. The created being will never know as much as the creator. Do you  think man will ever make a product that is equal to man’s capabilities or that  surpasses man’s individual greatness?

Jesus Christ came to earth because  there was a problem of significant eternal ramifications that warranted His  intervention. Don’t you see the British Prime Minister who is on holiday  leaving his happy time to return to deal with the escalating riots in London?  Aren’t you hearing persons in your beloved America asking that the President  recalls Congress from vacation time to deal with the economic woes? So, if
human beings can see the need to leave their comfort zone to face a serious  challenge that no one else can fix, then don’t you think Heaven will do the  same?  Mr Thomas, if the consequences of  sin only led to a dream world of shadowy appearances why would the creator of  life Himself leave the infinite happiness of heaven to suffer the agony and  shame during the crucifixion?

Or, how is it you didn’t think it  convenient in your echoing of Satan’s manifesto to include the parable Jesus
told of the rich man (who signifies the typical “American dream”) and  the torment he endured from the moment he died? Go and read St Luke chapter 16  from verse 19 to verse 31.

This once wealthy fellow who was  probably the beneficiary of the wall street of his day will not agree with you  that misinterpretations from King James has been trying to create an unfounded  fanaticism and religious fear. That rich man is still in that very place being  tormented today. I hope that as you read, Mr Thomas, that you will realize it  takes something extraordinarily true, serious and real to gain the attention of  a wealthy person and make them beg for a vagrant or thug to put his once itchy  finger in his mouth to ease his pain.

Please note as well that the end of  this story saw Jesus making the point through Abraham that the living people on  the earth have to choose on their own to listen to the preachers of the day.  You are choosing not to listen. In the Caribbean we have been told time and  again by our parents that “he who does not hear will feel.”

Are you hearing, Mr Thomas?

Now the article really makes one  wonder about Americans and their acceptance of the Christian message. Hmm. All  I would say is that the Bible has indicated that Christianity is not on the  earth to win a popularity contest. In the months and years following the death,  burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, literally millions of His followers  and believers chose to die a horrible death rather than deny Jesus and live a
few more years on this earth.

Mr Thomas, I am certain you know  that no sane person dies for a lie. And certainly even you, Mr Thomas, must  agree with me that the millions of persons who allowed themselves to be killed  in the most gruesome of ways cannot be all crazy.

Your article runs the risk of  allowing some unconcerned soul to think it is all right to face their death day
without answering the Jesus question. I really hope that your readers see  beyond your verbally brawny logics. If not, you risk finding yourself having to  explain to your Creator why you chose to propagate the ideals of Satan. When  your state department released home videos of Saddam Hussein after they had
killed him, they muted the audio because they saw the wisdom in not giving an  outlet to his ideals and so corrupt the listening audience.

In the same way your article, in an  attempt to create viral publicity has chosen to be an outlet of Satan’s message  to keep humanity from taking the reality of Jesus Christ as a personal  responsibility with present and eternal benefits or losses.

I look forward to reading your  follow up article that is motivated by humility and inner inspiration and not
just intellectual myopic panic.

“Most of us men like women, you know; it’s just that we find them a constant
disappointment….sometimes God bless you with one which is a keeper”

I came across the above statement on face book earlier today and thought right away that it will make for an interesting dialogue. In every generation, in every society, among every people group the heart-break often experienced in relationships is all too common. You cannot run out of love songs that speak to the disappointment from opening and giving your heart to someone.

The above statement is obviously from the view-point of a man. let me be clear in stating that I am not a misogynist so the object of this post is not to be seen as a women-bashing opportunity. I am pretty certain that women may be saying the same thing as well.

However, the statement implies that after constant disappointments a “blessing” comes in the form of a keeper. In our Caribbean vernacular and culture having a keeper means that there is now a third person in the relationship: a love triangle, an extra-marital affair or just a one night stand.

But why do people in relationships often get disappointed. I will propose it is because one or both parties at some point no longer is willing to  continue the adaptation process to continue the connection with the other person.  There are persons, having lived with each other for decades are still learning new things about their partners. Additionally, to grow and remain in love one must each day one wakes “choose” to love and accept the significant other.

In today’s dating arena it is often expected that it is okay to find the easy way out and separate and move on. If we follow the trending patterns of those who have  the good life we might arrive at the erroneous conclusion that having a partner for an intimate relationship is rather like having tires for your vehicle, clothes in your closet, or shoes lined up under the bed somewhere. In other words, we are prepared to have a different partner for the different seasons or situations in life.

One of the very sad things about experiencing disappointments in relationships is that if one is not careful one will not venture into the cold waters of love again. And that community of unwilling lovers seems to be silently growing. And having your heart-broken is not restricted to class, age, sex or ethnicity. Not too long ago, a young man informed me that he spent a night crying because he had so easily and openly given his heart to his girlfriend–even posting love notes on face book and msn messenger–only to be told by the young lady that she does not want him. And both of them are in their teen years.

People in the “Heart Break Hotel” also are victims or perpetrators of violence. Not too long ago while  at a church function I had to intervene in a situation where a young man in his twenties literally pushed, kicked and box his alleged girl friend. His explanation was that he was tired of the girl “making the public laugh at him.” It seemed that the young lady was telling him she wants some space but he happened to be in the vicinity and saw her waiting for another man. And she had reportedly told him she was in another location just moments before via the telephone.

Can couples really successfully safe guard themselves against disappointments in relationships? What are your own experiences? Have you been the cause of someone’s disappointment? Or were you on the receiving end of the disappointment? This is indeed a moot that is deserving of an open and honest dialogue. Let us use the blogosphere to share and learn from each other.

Sex is indeed a sweet, honorable, decent and pure act that climaxes the expression of mutual love. However, with the constant public overkill of the sex topic it seems that the word “sex” has become a four letter word; on the contrary it is a common acronym For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge that has become a dirty word but refers to the act of sex.

I am presenting to you some of my reasons why sex has always been and will continue to be a very positive and healthy activity. I hope you not only read but also think deeply on the rest content of this blog post.

Sex is one of (but not) the most enjoyable act you will ever take part in
• Sex offers you the chance to show that you are ready to start your family
• Sex allows you to share with someone special what you hide from everybody else
• Sex is the best human way to bond and be committed to another person
• Sex is God’s gift to you to ensure you are HAPPY with someone else while you live
• Sex is the ultimate act that shows your innocent childhood days are forever gone
• Sex is the final act that shows your days of adult responsibilities have come

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

• That when you take off your clothes to have sex, you are also taking off your innocent    childhood and your simple happy future as a teenager or young adult
• That the blood spilled by a virgin during sex is the blood of a covenant established by     God, binding the persons having sex together forever
• That covenants are God’s trademark when dealing with humans
Virgins find it hard/impossible to love anyone else the way they love the man whom     they gave their virginity to
• That when you take a girl’s virginity you are robbing her future husband
• That many women “butt” their boyfriends/husbands because they cannot forget about     the man who took their virginity away
• That God expects you to stay forever with the FIRST person you have sex with
• That having your first sex in marriage is the best way to make your marriage work
• That a man is less committed to a woman because he didn’t take her virginity
• That whoever you have sex with remains a part of you forever, even if you break up
• That men and women alike say if they could live over their lives they would wait until       an older age (and for another person) to have their first sex
• That the person you choose at 15 is not the person you will choose at 25
• That SEX IS NOT JUST A PHYSICAL ACT
• That if you play with the Sex Covenant, God WILL curse your life
• That if you honour the Sex Covenant, God WILL bless your life

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