This is a picture of Cape Breton in the fall.
This is the hospital where I was born.
Sydney, a great view from the water.
The breathtaking beauty of the famed Cabot Trail
What does it mean to be prosperous? I suppose If I asked numerous people what their definition was, I would get some different answers.
However, I think most would say that it is defined by the things we own and the status that we have in life. So then as Christians what
would our answer be? Maybe if we ask people what their definition of success is that would be a more appropriate question for believers.
The prosperity gospel as we refer to it today has lured many people into what has become the era of the mega-church. Why are so many
people swarming to these types of churches? What is the big drawing card? Is it to hear the truth of the scriptures? Or the core values
of Christ and the teachings of the apostles in the New Testament. Should this, you can have everything in life that you want philosophy,
be taught in our churches?
So here is the dilemma, we live in a very wealthy culture shouldn't we expect to get a piece of the pie. I ask you this, what in your
mind determines a person's worth. Is it his status in life, is a person more blessed by God if he or she is wealthy. If we look at the
old testament when mankind was under the old covenant we see Israel either being blessed or cursed materially by God depending on their
obedience to Him. However we are no longer under the law, we are under the new covenant of grace. God sees our worth by the acceptance of
Jesus Christ as the one and only savior of the human race.
To think that a part of being a child of God means that we are now entitled to the world's goods is both wrong and naive. We do not belong to
this world anymore we are now purchased by the precious blood of our savior. Our focus now needs to be on our relationship with Him and not
on what the world can offer us. In reality, it can not offer us anything of lasting value. So back to the church preaching and teaching the
power of the mind and how we get in life what we think about. If that were the truth I'd be the greatest male singer on the planet right now.
As a younger man, it was all I thought about and dreamed about. It never happened although I did have the privilege of God using the talent
He gave me to praise Him and encourage other believers. Personally, I think this sanction of the church has fallen into Satans trap of believing
this new-age philosophy. I know the mind is a gift from God. When it is directed towards the work of God and guided by the Holy Spirit we can
indeed move mountains. But those mountains I believe are spiritual ones. Our lives need to be governed by God's word not by our next purchase
or business move. I always use our greatest example of a man to drive home a point. Who did Jesus say was the greatest man born of woman,
it wasn't Abraham, Moses, David, or Solomon. It was John the baptist. People today would probably shrug him off as being somewhat insane or
as a vag-a-bon. I mean John lived in the wilderness and ate locusts and wild honey. So what made him Jesus' choice of the greatest man, was
his commitment to God and dedication to the preaching of the truth. Let me ask you this who would you say was the greatest man to ever grace
our planet. To me, that is a no-brainer it was Jesus. Yet He never owned anything other than the clothes that He wore. I guess the point that
I'm getting at here is if you think being wealthy is going to get you any closer to God you really are kidding yourself. If you are listening
to preachers telling you that you should be wealthy and if you're not then your relationship with God musn't be right. Or if you are hearing
in your church that sickness and lack of financial gain are because you have sin in your life, then I suggest you run out of that building
and never look back. However, let me say though that I do not think being wealthy is in any way a terrible thing. Many Christians are very
prosperous and use their money in great ways to further the Gospel. However, if God does bless you financially I believe you an enormous
responsibility to use that money wisely and to be ready and willing to give to others. Most of us will never have that heavy burden in our
lives but whether we have a little or a lot we need to be ready to allow God to use whatever we have for His glory and the furthering of His
kingdom. To be at peace with God and your fellow human beings I think is the greater desire to have. This I truly believe will give us a
sense of contentment that can only come from the spirit of God. So, in conclusion, Seek God first and His kingdom and His righteousness and
as the scripture tells us all of these things will be added unto you, these things in my mind being of a spiritual nature, not material.
So to have the mind of Christ is to be filled with the spirit and I believe to live in the spirit. That is in my mind true successful living
for the believer.
Ecclesiastes 2 The Futility of Pleasure
1. I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good!” But it proved to be futile. 2. I said of laughter, “It is folly,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3. I sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4. I expanded my pursuits. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5. I made gardens and parks for myself, where I planted all kinds of fruit trees. 6. I built reservoirs to water my groves of flourishing trees. 7. I acquired menservants and maidservants, and servants were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me, 8. and I accumulated for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered to myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men—many concubines. 9. So I became great and surpassed all in Jerusalem who had preceded me; and my wisdom remained with me. 10. Anything my eyes desired, I did not deny myself. I refused my heart no pleasure. For my heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. 11. Yet when I considered all the works that my hands had accomplished and what I had toiled to achieve, I found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind; there was nothing to be gained under the sun. The Wise and the Foolish 12. Then I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what more can the king’s successor do than what has already been accomplished? 13. And I saw that wisdom exceeds folly, just as light exceeds darkness: 14. The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also came to realize that one fate overcomes them both. 15. So I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will also befall me. What then have I gained by being wise?” And I said to myself that this too is futile. 16. For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise, just as with the fool, seeing that both will be forgotten in the days to come. Alas, the wise man will die just like the fool! 17. So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind. The Futility of Work 18. I hated all for which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who comes after me. 19. And who knows whether that man will be wise or foolish? Yet he will take over all the labor at which I have worked skillfully under the sun. This too is futile. 20. So my heart began to despair over all the labor that I had done under the sun. 21. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great evil. 22. For what does a man get for all the toil and striving with which he labors under the sun? 23. Indeed, all his days are filled with grief, and his task is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile. 24. Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God. 25. For apart from Him, a who can eat and who can find enjoyment? 26. To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
June/5/2021, I believeI was going to continue writing about the prosperity gospel but I really feel God leading me to do this first. Many people wonder why we believe what we do as Christians. So I feel I need to do this blog on what I believe and why. Hopefully, it will encourage people to seek the truth.
As I begin to write, even now the words and the complexity of the subject that I have felt
the need to express in these pages is immeasurable. Well beyond what a simple man like me
can put into words. But I do believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit perhaps it can
be inspiring. If not to others, then maybe to me.
I think we have all had our share of doubts as to why God would want to use a sinner like
me to reach the minds of the few, let alone the masses. But it is with all humility and
trust in Jesus that I write. In hopes that He can use these words to help someone else figure
out what it truly means to think like our Lord.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I certainly have not reached any kind of pinnacle in my spiritual
walk with the Lord. These are merely a few thoughts on the subject. A subject that has been a
part of my journey as a follower of Jesus Christ.
My life and journey with Christ have been one of many ups and downs.
I would like to share some of these personal experiences as a modern-day believer, and with
that, some of the many struggles and obstacles that we face particularly in North America
where we are bombarded daily by the world views of a media-driven by plenty. So much so that
our minds are consumed with the things which we can possess from cars to homes to beauty to
sex only escalated by the day-to-day drama of the ones that society considers worth idolizing.
You know the ones I'm talking about, they seem to have it all, from sports, to music, to acting,
the gods of our popular culture, the ones our children idolize and wish they could become or
at least dream about becoming. Even many of our churches have taken on these philosophies of
narcissism, you can have it all, God wants to give you everything and anything that you so desire.
Preachers teaching congregations about the power of the mind and the laws of attraction.
If you just believe blessings, and I am talking about material and monetary blessings here,
will rain down on you from above. So my question is what does that do to the truths in the
New Testament like we find in Matthew 6:19-20 that talk about not storing up treasures here
on earth where moth and rust destroy.
Many parts of scripture talk about wealth and poverty both in the Old and the New Testaments.
If you do an extensive study on these two subjects you will find that wealth is looked upon
very negatively, especially in the New Testament.
So, then, how do we deal with these conflicting philosophies as a Bible believing child of God?
As in all instances, I believe the answers are found in the scriptures. So my goal in writing
these few words is to come to a conclusion based upon scripture as well as personal experience.
1 Corinthians 2:16 says: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Why Do I Feel A Need To Express My Views On Such A Subject? On the other hand, what would I know about the power of attraction as so many refer to it today? I assure you I'm not approaching this with blind eyes. I have read most of the books by the modern-day positive attitude gurus and, there are plenty of them, both Christian and non-Christian. Because of the profession that I spent a good number of my adult years working in, many of these books were required reading. Probably the most well-known of these is “Think and Grow Rich” by famed author, Napolean Hill. Don’t get me wrong I think there are some good qualities found in each of these authors and I really believe their intentions are noble, but I also believe they have led many a person down a road that is not very Christ-like but rather stresses some of the very things that scripture warns us about. It is sad to see many churches taking on this philosophy as part of their spiritual doctrine. How Does The Bible Deal With Material Things? My first suggestion to anyone wishing and praying for wealth so that they can be happy is to read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. Solomon was not only the wisest man to ever live, he was very likely the richest as well. There are countless examples of individuals reaching the pinnacle of what the world considers success, only to be disillusioned by it. Yet so many of us think it to be all that truly counts in this world. So, why would we, as Christians, even want to test the waters in this? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that all people who reach or acquire this kind of status are bad. Contrary to that, I have met many people whom the world would consider wealthy who are wonderful, giving, and loving to others. But here is where the problem begins to infect us. Our human nature is such that we become obsessed with what others have. So begins our downward spiral of wanting and covetousness. So if we begin to set all our goals and dreams upon the world with its materials and pleasures, what happens to our desire for God and the furthering of His kingdom?
The Controversial Topic: The Prosperity Gospel.
If you want it, ask God for it and He will give it to you because you are, after all, a child of God. He is our father and He has given us the power to create our own lives just as we want it to be. I agree that the mind is a very powerful part of our bodies and I also believe we need to think positively rather than the alternative. So, what exactly should we set our minds on? I would have to say that our wealth and comfort are not what God wants most for any of us. I believe that we need to set our hearts on the things above, as taught to us by our Lord, not on the temporal materials of this world. Much of scripture warns us of the dangers of wealth and what it can do to our relationship with God. Jesus told us that we cannot serve both God and money. Look, I don’t think being wealthy is a sin. I do think when we become obsessed to the point we no longer consider God first in how we are using it, then it becomes a problem.