People have no fear of God in their eyes.

Picture_6775AA_ezrBeing a typical guy, I enjoy video games from time to time. And I remember seeing an infographic on youtube that showed that my age bracket (32-40) was the most active in playing video games. That probably comes from being in the same generation that Atari came out when I was young. Then the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), and the gaming consoles evolved more advanced, better graphics and eventually, so lifelike that the arcades we played with quarters couldn’t keep up and were phased out.
Then came out the first person shooters (mostly war games, that you shoot people online). I admit, they sometimes are a great stress reliever since you don’t actually kill anyone. I play it almost guiltless since I’m only on for at the most 1hr a day, if I have time at all. Get on there, let my manly man thing take over with the weak shooting abilities that I have and usually get slaughtered.
The fun part is, I get to play with guns as most men have that hunting instinct. I get to let out steam by shooting others in a virtual world and no one really gets hurt.
The part that hit me today, was that while playing, you can also chat with people within the game. Either giving a compliment by letting them know “nice shot” when they got you where you didn’t think you were visible. Asking how to do a technique if you’re a rookie and asking how the day was when you get to know some of them on the server.
But the negative thing, some parents let their children play these games. I found out that 3 of the individuals playing were 15 (two of them) and 1 was 12. And the 15 yr olds had no issue swearing up a storm when they were frustrated. And the game I play, is quite novice in the realm of graphics (it came out in 2004), there’s no swearing in the game, there’s absolutely no nudity, fighting (aside shooting and grenades) no stealing and the list goes on.
I actually find it a tame game. I would still however not let my young teenager play it, especially if he/she is the type of person that gets aggravated quickly if they lost often.
Today, there is absolutely no fear of God or respect for Him in anyway. Romans 3:18 describes this perfectly. “There is no fear of God in their eyes”. Young kids are playing games that were designed for adults that know the difference between a virtual world and a real world. And there are hundreds of games that should never have been created in the first place.
Grand Theft Auto series comes to mind. I have played the first one for about 30 minutes and I was bored. Wasn’t my type of game. But now the 5th installment of the game was released a few months ago, and there is everything from hotwiring cars, to prostitutes, nude women and actually sex and abusing women in the video game.
If you put someone that still hasn’t live outside his parents house, still hasn’t had a job and hasn’t had any morality compass taught in his life, how do you think he going to treat people.
We see it all the time with teenagers now in the mall. They want something, and the parents say no, they will humiliate their parents till they get it. And if they are home, I have heard as far as starting fist fights with their parents.
A 6’ tall young man, whose father is only 5’5”, and half the weight, there might be a struggle if the young man was not taught respect from the start.
I know for myself, my father is 5’6” and barely 140lbs. I’m at 6’4” and tipping the scales at over 200 since I was 23. If my parents didn’t put the fear of God in me, and teach me to respect adults, I can just imagine the struggles they would have had.
Today, the verse mentioned in Romans has never been more true. Children as well as adults have absolutely no regard of future consequences for their actions (talking on a general scale, some still have some moral compass by the grace of God).
If you take their parking space in the mall parking lot, they cuss you out, or worse, some have actually been sent to the hospital with stab wounds or gun shots. Black Friday, a huge shopping day in the USA has caused fatalities.
I’m not saying Christians are perfect. We aren’t. The difference is, God has now written his law on our hearts, so our conscience is hitting us much harder than it ever was before. I have to say, that I probably sin more now that I am saved, ONLY because now I know I do it. Before, if I took God’s name in vain, I never even noticed it. Now, when I hear someone else say it, it hits me hard, like a knife in the heart.
Dear friend, reading this. I know you’re not an ignorant person, you have some common sense and I’m sure you’ve noticed how people are now calling evil things good, and good things evil. God has already set the standard. We can’t change it, because we would change it every year based on our emotions/feelings.
I pray that you look to Christ on the cross, repent of your sin and believe in him.

Has social media ruined Christian fellowship

Social-Media-Manager-1024x683As of late, my wife and I were contacted by someone looking to do a private adoption with us. At this point, we were skeptical, however it was impossible to hide the hope we had in potentially finally becoming parents and feeling a self worth more than just husband and wife.
The family was specific in that they wanted a reformed Baptist family raising the child, to which we replied that fits our description. Then the social workers got involved and told the family that there are great Catholic families out there looking for children, the grandfather of the child mentioned “If we were Muslim, you would never have brought up a different religion, you would have had to oblige”. And at point, they mentioned the way they approached us was illegal. This was the first sign of intimidation towards the family.
So the family advised the social workers of what they wanted for the adoptive family, and they obliged. The mother of child was not 100% stable. And so the social workers preyed on this, and used it to their advantage and told her she would have the final decision on where the child would go.
However, at the end of it, they had her sign a document that was for public adoption, which means she signs over ever right to the province.
When the mother and her sister finally signed a document retracting the entire process, and another document passing all decisions to her sister, the social workers again mentioned the illegal process, and said the new documents were invalid.
Now another family potentially has the child that may have been for us. The family giving up their child is seeing a lawyer to see if any integrity was broken on behalf of the social workers.
All this took place over 3 – 4 weeks. And I can say, it is the most painful process, especially when we got the call saying the child was lost. I can only compare the events to watching your child get hit by a car, and there was absolutely nothing you could do.
My wife is numb with pain, I am trying to stay strong for her, but know my own strength is limited. We are trying hard to keep faith and hope.
But the other hard part is, that our own church family, none have contacted us. We always tell everyone when we preach the gospel that the love of Christ overbears all. I have to admit, though I know God loves me and is pulling us through this, I don’t always feel it. And during this emotional time (for both my wife and I) our church family didn’t call us during the first part of our trial.
Everyone however is using Facebook to tell us how much they love us and care for us. Has Facebook and social media replaced what Christ preached? As well as what Paul and all the preachers of old taught us? We were taught to love and support each other. But now, seems that social media has taken over. Text messages are quicker so we can move on with our day. Too many things to tend to, I’ll just send an encouraging thought.
The problem is, we can’t cry through a Facebook message when the hurt is too heavy. You can’t hug your phone and arms grow out of the other person’s phone to translate the hug to you. There are some human interactions that will never be replaced by social media. I have to admit, I am very emotional with some things, and other things, not so much. I am always compassionate. And I am also very strong in supporting my wife. However the last series of events, my wife needed support from women. And not for them to talk, but just for them to listen.
And I needed support from men, a shoulder that I could rest my head on, when my wife is not resting her head on my shoulder. Though I’m not much for hugs, I could have used a few.
John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the bible. However, at times like this, it’s also one of the strongest ones to show that humans have emotions. We sometimes say things in our hurting emotional state that hurt others. We will do things irrationally. And then that verse comes to mind. “Jesus wept”, or in other translations, “Jesus cried”.
Jesus, being fully God and fully man, was not immune to emotions when Lazarus died. And I think the emotion lasted longer than it takes to read the verse. It takes ½ a second to read it. But he could have very well cried with the people for a few hours.
It’s ok to have emotions, it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be hurt. But what we also need, are other people to encourage us in our hurt. The hard part is, when our Christian family is more concerned with verses of encouragement than they are with hugs and tears.

And for the record, we are not angry with our church family. Our emotions have taken over, and seems every one is a target when you feel low.

Has the internet and social media helped, or digressed the gospel of Christ?

Internet-IPv6As of late, I have been thinking much about this topic. The internet has been around since the 1960’s (military use in the USA) then gone public with highly educated “techies” in the mid to late 80’s. And went public with mostly text websites in the 90’s.
The internet went graphics as we know it a little later. Computers were expensive to purchase, it wasn’t high speed. The internet connected via dial up (couldn’t talk and connect at the same time, annoying when you had to call tech support). Then finally it came to high speed that you could talk and be online at the same time.
Then the younger generation jumped all over it. Fantastic web sites, made by professionals, information coming from all around the developed world. Emails were helping people communicate much faster than snail mail. Just hit send, and within seconds, the recipient would get their message. A few more minutes if you attached a photo, or a file.
Then came social media and chat came around. Myspace and ICQ, MSN Messenger, then the all too well known, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and tons more.
While all these are great tools to connect with people, that’s about where they stop. We have now reduced our lives to videos that are less than 10 minutes. Any longer and we see it as a waste of time. Reading? We don’t read anymore, we skim. We have so much information coming at us from every angle that we can’t wait to get to the next article.
Which brings me to my topic. Has the internet helped us with the gospel of Christ? I see it as a yes and a no. The big thing about reading the bible, is we must familiarize ourselves with the historic content of the literature we are reading. While the book was written 2000 yrs ago, the applications are timeless.
How often do we read something, and don’t apply the correct context to it. When Christ talks about women, in the bible. He gives them as much honor as he gives men. In that culture, women were unfortunately viewed as property. And still are in a number of cultures.
But people read right over that. We’re too busy looking for the next thing. Which is why I believe the internet and social media do a bit of harm when it comes to spreading the gospel.
We put the link to an article about persecution from somewhere else around the world, and before even reading it, we judge it. Many “Christian” people around the world now have access to the internet and spread hate towards homosexuality, abortion, races, communist countries, and you can pretty much insert whatever you want here and they all claim the bible supports them.
Another issue, is that more and more employers are looking at your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and such to see what kind of context you post. If you hate a certain people group, you may not get the job, and if you have the job, you may lose it.
Anyone can now post anything they want. There seems to be a quote from Albert Einstein, whether he coined it or not, it stands true more and more we look at our younger generations. “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.
When people like the Westboro Baptist Church (if you want to see everything a Christian does NOT stand for, see their site) now have the internet to post anything they want. And then people around the world find their site with a few bible verses, and the title “Christian” and they tell me “You Christians are all so judging”. Well, once again, we have to look at the context and the motive of the heart.
Others are using Facebook to push their views against or for something. But since we can’t convey emotions with text, if you had a bad day and are angry, you will read it with an angry tone. Even if the writer had nothing but compassion in their heart while they wrote it.
I can see the internet and social media as helping reach people all around the world with the gospel. But one must be very cautious that cultures around the world don’t have the same views you have. And they may not read the text with the same tone you wrote with. I will never apologize for sharing the gospel and truth about how much sin offends God. I will however choose my avenues carefully.
I was a big proponent of posting things about God all the time, and articles putting down homosexuality, abortion, politics and much more on Facebook. I have discovered only one thing, it enraged people in the wrong way since they often times thought I put those things on my wall with a judging heart.
I now very rarely post anything controversial on my wall, not in fear of man, but in fear of being taken out of context. Still the best way to share the gospel, is sharing it on the street, having a coffee, inviting someone to your house to explain it. That way, if they have questions, you can answer them without everyone else feeding off from someone’s bad comment online.

Is my sin really that bad?

Ephesians 2: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body, and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
I often get the question, “is sin really that bad? I mean, everyone does it, whether is looking in lust, or homosexuality, or cheating, sex before marriage and the list goes on”.
I agree everyone sins. I sin all the time, am I proud of it? Absolutely not,however, I have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of my sins. First of all, let’s look and see what sin is exactly. Let’s start in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve were by that tree that God commanded not to eat. The serpent told Eve to eat it, and she said they weren’t even allowed to touch it. That was a misrepresentation of God’s command. He said not to eat from it, never said they couldn’t touch it.
But what happened after, is the kicker. The serpent told them that if they ate from it, they would be like gods, knowing the difference between right and wrong. That’s what Eve, and Adam wanted. If the serpent would have told them they will die, live in a ditch from a life of alcoholism, catch an STD, and a whole list of other sins that didn’t quite exist yet, they would no doubt have refused. But the temptation was set, they could be just like their creator.
They had 1 rule, just 1. Not 10 like are mentioned in Exodus (10 commandments, a little more on that later), not the 623 laws the Pharisees had burdened on the Jewish nation, just 1 and they couldn’t keep it.
Then God, had to kill an animal for them to be covered of their shame. But mostly, because God is a just God. He CANNOT let sin slide, not even one. So someone HAD to die in their place.
You see, even the 10 commandments, they weren’t commandments for us to follow. God knew from the beginning that we couldn’t follow them. Let’s look at them briefly for a moment.
2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3“You shall have no other gods before me.
4“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
13“You shall not murder.
14“You shall not commit adultery.
15“You shall not steal.
16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
All these commandments are a reflection of God’s character. Notice something interesting. The 1st five commandments are all man’s behavior towards God, and the second half, are all man’s behavior towards man. Every one of them is respectful and love towards one another. Breaking any of these shows a lack of respect and love towards either God, or your fellow man/woman.
Now the interesting thing is, we could never have followed these commandments even a single minute of a day. One of them is broken continually. Our society is so broken and sinful that we now just endure and tolerate everything. Even many sins today, we embrace!!! Look at adultery, cheating on your spouse. The old excuse is “well, he/she wasn’t treating me right”. We have a mentality of indulgence and self fulfillment. We deserve this, we want that.
Here’s the issue with the sin mentality, it offends God. It offends him beyond what ANY of us can ever imagine. The reason it offends him, is that he created EVERYTHING. And He commands love and respect. It’s His rules.
When we offend Him, since He is holy, righteous and just, He can’t overlook sin as if it never happened. He must judge it. But since He’s also eternal, the only compatible punishment is hell for eternity. It doesn’t sound right. However, we have never seen God, we can only go by His word. Sin cannot be in the presence of God, so therefore it must be the lake of fire.
It’s not the size of the heinousness of the sin that matters (beyond evil or wicked sin) or the little white lie that matters. It’s the size of the God you have offended that matters. God cannot and will not tolerate it, no matter what it is.
This is why He had to send His only Son to die on the cross 2000 yrs ago. He didn’t have a choice cause He knew we couldn’t follow the rules. And remember with Adam and Eve, they needed someone to die in their place, Christ died in our place 2 millennia ago. He didn’t have a choice. My friend, the only chance you have at shedding your guilty conscience, of whatever it is that burdens you, is trusting in Christ. You must repent of your sins and trust in Christ for their forgiveness. Otherwise, it will be the lake of fire for all eternity.

Nobody knows my secret life, so who am I hurting

are-you-living-a-double-lifeJeremiah 17: 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it?10“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Today’s technology has made things much more accessible, our lives are suppose to be simpler, more productive and made the world smaller. Years ago, if you wanted to talk to someone across Canada (my own country) you had to wait till Tuesday night for Toonie Tuesday (unlimited long distance for $2 per call. We’re going back to the late 80’s on this one. Otherwise calls were something like $.50 per minute. And that was from a home phone.

Now airplanes and jets have made travel around the world much easier and faster. Centuries ago, it was a 3 – 4 week trip to cross the Atlantic Ocean, if you made it across at all. Now, my wife and I have gone to Mexico and Cuba (from Moncton New Brunswick) and it was a 5 hr trip to Mexico, and a 4 hr trip to Cuba.

Cars travel at high speeds so you can get to other destinations much faster. Calling someone now, use Skype or Facebook to talk to people around the world for cheap. No long distance charges since it’s included in your internet package.

There’s also something else that has been made much more accessible. Sin. Years ago, if a man wanted to cheat on his wife, he had to go to a bar, club or whatever and physically meet a woman, talk to her, get her number and try to hide it from his wife. All while explaining where he went the night before if that was hidden as well.
If someone wanted to see pornography, they had to get in their car, go to the room of shame (my friends and I called it that, mostly cause we were jealous we were too young to get in) physically take the video to the counter (either in shame or proudly). Take the tape home and watch it. Then there was the fear of someone home finding it before you brought it back.

For child porn, it was the same thing. If an adult had the mindset towards children, you pretty much had to know someone in that industry/circle since you definitely couldn’t go public with that. And you had to have your own photo developing room since you couldn’t take that film to the nearest photo lab. They would have reported you with the first picture.

Now with the internet, we can all be someone different at the keyboard. We can search how to make bombs to kill people, shop for guns to kill. Search all the free porn till our sinful hearts are content. Download all the movies we want illegally. Bully people on Facebook, twitter, and others. We can meet other groups in child pornography all around the world and by the time we get caught, we have already damaged countless children.

And here’s the scary part, we can do all this in the privacy of our own home and no one has to know about it. We simply go in the delete history feature in almost every browser and remove any evidence we were every looking. If someone wants to cheat on their spouse now, there are thousands of dating sites on the internet that you can search for someone that visually appeals to you. You can get a prepaid cell phone under a fake name so that you can keep in contact with your lovers and your spouse doesn’t know the difference.

The internet, cell phones, TV’s, cars, everything has made getting access to sin so much easier with much anonymity. If we’re even a bit careful, we can do so many things now without anyone ever finding out.

The problem with the above is that we are deceiving ourselves more than ever in the past. People were much more moral in private since they didn’t have all these venues. Their heart has always been sinful, but at least it was much more difficult to act out on their fantasies. Imagine writing a love letter to a mistress, and keeping the corresponding one back from your spouse if she checks the mail box first. With email, there are hundreds of email addresses out there, just create one only you know about, and a password and you’re set.

Now the depravity of man’s heart is being exposed more and more since he can stay hidden from the public eye.
The problem is, it’s not just the sinner that knows his activities. God also knows the sinner’s activities. God searches the heart and soul of every man, so nothing is hidden from Him.

Dear friend, if you are one that is struggling with anything listed above, or anything else for that matter and no one else knows about it. You’ve kept it secret from your family and friends, but you know you’re guilty. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at Raymond.leger@gmail.com
I would be more than happy to correspond and have an accountability partner for my own struggles. God will judge you for all that’s public and all that’s hidden unless you repent of your sins and turn to Christ.

Is it discrimination or respect….

Gender-neutral-bathroom-signGenesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Recently in Houston Texas, the law has passed down that no one could be discriminated against anymore based on their gender, orientation, race, religious views, age…there are apparently 14 categories in this law. I have clients that are gay, black, male, female and most don’t share my Christian views. I’m sure if I dug deep enough in some of my client’s personal lives, I would probably find some that have even more unique lives than we’re accustomed to.

I know my wife has a few male clients that dress like women in their spare time. She can’t discriminate, they are paying clients. As long as they don’t push their views and try to “recruit”, they have just as much right to shop in her store. And she admits, she’s was a bit uncomfortable at first, but now, she sees them so often, she developed a new policy for them. Buy the clothes, don’t try them on, and return the ones that don’t fit. The reason for this is, she sells women’s clothes. The other women in the fitting room would no doubt feel very exposed should a man come out of the dressing room in the same dress. So, to make everyone feel more relaxed, the men purchase their outfits, bring them home and try them in the comfort of their own home.

While I don’t agree with a man in a dress, there is happy medium. Everyone gets along and gets what they want.

I know some people don’t agree with my view point, but that’s the great thing about a free country. Now let’s look back at Houston. This discrimination law says that you can’t refuse business with someone just because they are different than you. This is something that should go without saying. We are all human, no matter the lifestyle. I as a Christian could refuse a homosexual couple from purchasing from my store just as easy as an Islamic business owner could refuse service to me as a Christian. But this law went one step too far in my opinion.

They now want to allow men in the women’s bathroom and vice versa because they felt that some people really identify as the opposite sex, so it will be a crime to refuse them the bathroom they think they should use. I see this not as discrimination, but as a lack of respect for the opposite sex. Being a man, I will never (at least not intentionally, some bathroom identifiers are not exactly obvious) go in a woman’s bathroom.

For a few reasons.

1. She won’t feel comfortable, seeing a 6’4”. 275lbs man walking in there.

2. I won’t feel comfortable seeing women in a waiting line for the stall

3. Mothers will probably not go with their daughters since they can’t trust what’s behind that door.

4. Predators have easy access now.

5. I won’t like a woman standing behind me while I’m using a urinal.

There are many, many other reasons why I think this is taking this issue too far. People are tired of being discriminated, and I agree. I have some struggles with his myself with some people. So in summary, I see this is simply a complete lack of respect for others when you push the discrimination card to get your way. I wonder how long till a crime happens and the mayor retracts and says “I was forced to make that decision”.