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The Pacific Pacific Islander

   In common lore, there is a view that the Pacific Islander is a peaceful person.  This is perhaps seeing The Mutiny on the Bounty where graceful maidens encourage the sailors to stay vice working for the evil Englishman Captain Bligh.  Or one has only to look at some early sociological research which portrayed the Pacific Islanders as pacifists.  Or a travel brochure that will show white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water.  The Maori performances have them singing and dancing and doing the Haka, but not doing battle.
    Unfortunately, life is not so simple.  In the Auckland New Zealand War Memorial Museum, one floor is dedicated to the New Zealand military, one floor is for the natural history, and the ground floor is dedicated to the Pacific Islanders.  I was amazed to see how many spears, patus (stone club-knife combination used for fighting), and shields were displayed.  The Maori warriors were renowned for their military prowess and defeated the British several times. 
    Where man is, there you will find sin.  The Lord of the Flies is a powerful reminder that man, not the environment, is the cause of sin.

Keeping Sunday Holy

    I just had an opportunity to visit Belgium for a few days for work.  What I found very interesting was even in a post-Christian era, the shops were all closed for Sunday.  Right opposite the hotel was a very large shopping mall, and the gates were locked.  I walked for over a mile before I found one shop open, and there were very few people shopping.
    God says in Exodus 20: 8. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
    It is the longest commandment, and perhaps the least obeyed commandment.

Let us rest from our work for one day.  Let us go to God's house and celebrate His salvation for us. 

Eagle, Elephant, Donkey, and Lamb

Which animal best represents you?
The American Bald Eagle, soaring majestically over the mountains?
Are you a Republican, following the grand principles of Lincoln and freeing the slaves?
Are you a Democrat, following the visions of John F Kennedy?
Are you a Christian, following the Lamb of God? 
I am not saying that you can't be a Christian and an American, or an American and a Republican or a Democrat.
I am saying is that the Lamb of God needs to be foremost.  The Lamb of God trumps all other animals.

Suicides and Christianity - Part III

      I wrote earlier that "Suicide is not a Christian option."  What I meant is that Christians should not commit suicide.  Unlike the Nazis who saw the world closing in on them and had no hope for the future, unlike Brutus, Cassius, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra who committed suicide when they lost a battle, Christians should not commit suicide as they have hope.
     But this does not mean that Christians do not commit suicides.  This does not mean that if a Christian commits a suicide that that person is going to hell.  I have known a fine Christian woman, who in despair, committed suicide.  On her iPod were verses from the Bible and songs.  We have known ministers' children who committed suicide.  Even ministers have dark despair and depression.
     Type in "John Bunyan," (author of The Pilgrim's Progress) and "depression" and there are almost one million entries according to Google.  So depression is real, even among Christians.  But we should not commit suicide as that is taking a life.
      Father, send thy Holy Spirit upon us as our Comforter in times of trouble.  We pray this in Christ's name.