July 21, 2017

New Testament Vs. Qu'ranic Treatment of Women

If God and Allah are the same person, why the sudden change in the treatment of women? It would seem that God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, should arbitrarily change marriage and divorce laws.

Jesus ratified the ancient covenant of marriage when he said in Matthew 19:5-6 (KJV), "And said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?' Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

This prompted the Pharisees to ask why Moses allowed divorce to happen. Jesus replied in Matthew 19:8 (KJV), "He saith unto them, 'Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.'"

Islam, on the other hand, affirms polygamy. Sura 4:3 sets out how many wives a man may have. "If you fear you cannot act fairly towards the
orphans—then marry the women you like—two, or three, or four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then one, or what you already have. That makes it more likely that you avoid bias.

And speaking of divorce, the Qu'ran also allows it for the sake of dissatisfaction. Sura 66:5 says, 'Perhaps, if he divorces you, his Lord will give him in exchange wives better than you: submissive, believing, obedient, penitent, devout, fasting—previously married, or virgins."

The New Testament doesn't have any instruction regarding dividing worldly inheritance. Even so, Jesus and the apostles focused on the eternal inheritance in heaven. Luke 12:13-14 (KJV) states, "And one of the company said unto him, 'Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.' And he said unto him, 'Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?'"

But look what the Qu'ran says about dividing the earthly inheritance. Sura 4:11 states, "Allah instructs you regarding your children: The male receives the equivalent of the share of two females. If they are daughters, more than two, they get two-thirds of what he leaves. If there is only one, she gets one-half. As for the parents, each gets one-sixth of what he leaves, if he had children. If he had no children, and his parents inherit from him, his mother gets one-third. If he has siblings, his mother gets one-sixth. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. Your parents and your children—you do not know which are closer to you in welfare. This is Allah's Law. Allah is Knowing and Judicious."

And look at what sura 4:34 says about the treatment of women. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as Allah has given some of them an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth. The good women are obedient, guarding what Allah would have them guard. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them. But if they obey you, seek no way against them. Allah is Sublime, Great."

But Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25 (KJV), "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

I could write so much more on this topic but this post is getting too long. Instead, I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People need to understand that the God of the Bible and Allah are diametrically opposite to each other.

Canadian Beauties ... by Jocelyn Faire

This month I'm sharing some of my favourite Canadian Beauties ... 
Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts. Steve Miller

Canola field in bloom

Early spring crocuses


 
Lady Slippers in Manitoba

Manitoba flax field

When I lived in Australia I paid over a hundred dollars for a flower tour that featured wild orchids. I never felt more Canadian than when I lived away. Since my return to Canada, I have grown in appreciation for our native flowers. 

Wild orchids near Canmore Ab


Black bear in meadow near Waterton Ab



Another canola field with Rocky Mountain backdrop


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anaïs Nin

Wishing each of you a wonderful summer and many chances to get out and enjoy the beauty of our country in your own area. 

All photos by Jocelyn, who enjoys flowers wherever she goes! The writing is taking a back seat at the moment.

July 20, 2017

Oh Canada, Home and Treasured Land by Joylene M. Bailey

I wrote the following for my own blog in celebration of Canada's 150th.  And it is perfect for the topic this month:



We camped.

That’s what we did every summer when I was growing up.
My birthday is at the end of July and I don’t remember many birthdays at home. Our temporary home was a used tent trailer.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my parents were giving my brothers and me a priceless treasure. We traveled from coast to coast. And as I look back on it now, I understand where my love of this great country – Canada – comes from. It comes from those summers of traveling with my family.

Every year, Dad would plot our trips. He usually started a month in advance. I remember him at the kitchen table with maps in front of him, and that camping reference book – I think it was from CAA.  It listed campgrounds, how many sites they had, how much they charged, whether or not they had flush toilets and showers, etc.

Back in those days we couldn’t go online to check it out or to register. We didn’t call ahead.  We just showed up, expecting a good spot. And we usually got it. I remember only one time when we arrived to a completely full campground, and we set up in a gravel pit instead. I also remember many times that Dad would leave our cash payment (anywhere from $6 - $12 over the years) in an unlocked wooden box when we left. I doubt if you could do that nowadays.
(Mom tells me that our first year of camping we bought a National Park sticker for $7 and the total camping fee we had all summer was $20.)


Mom didn’t relish getting ready for camping. When we got older, my brothers and I had to pack our own clothing, and entertainment for car travel, but she had her same lists from year to year … everybody’s clothing, toiletries, kitchen gadgets, linens, bedding, pots and pans, games, first aid, food. And she spent about a week shopping, gathering, and packing. But she did enjoy the camping once all of that was taken care of.

I am so grateful they took the time for this because as I look back now, I understand. I understand it was a great undertaking, but also a great privilege to experience my country. I understand now that not everybody had this chance. When you’re a kid you just assume everybody does what you do. But I’ve learned that not everyone grew up with the amazing opportunity I had to absorb my own vast country. Thanks, Mom & Dad.

Barkerville, BC

Drumheller, AB

What wonderful memories we made:

Panning for gold in Barkerville, BC
Riding a dinosaur in Drumheller, AB
Visiting the RCMP training grounds in Regina, SK
Touring the International Peace Gardens in Boissevain, MB
Feeling the spray of Niagara Falls, ON
Roaming the halls of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, ON
International Peace Gardens
Exploring in Old Quebec City and the Plains of Abraham, QE
Watching the Reversing Falls Rapids in Saint John, NB
Climbing up Citadel Hill in Halifax, NS
Marching at the Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, NS
Pretending at Green Gables, PEI

These were fun tourist attractions full of history and fascination. But more than that, I learned to appreciate the geography of this wonder-inspiring country.

Columbia Ice Fields, AB/BC


I’ve clambered over the smooth stoned Pacific coast and listened to waves lapping the shore. I’ve wandered the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island and breathed in the healing salty air. I’ve played in cool lakes that were so clear I could see the bottom through four feet of water. I’ve run screaming through long grassy fields scaring up grasshoppers, squinted across sun-skimmed ice fields, and splashed in hot springs surrounded by mountains whose crowns disappeared into clouds.

All before I grew up and left home.
What a gift!

Rushing River Provincial Park, ON



And what a treasure, this country.

Oh Canada! I am so blessed to call it my home and native land.  


                          ***************************




Joylene remembers childhood summers from her home in Edmonton where she lives with her Cowboy, Babe, and a cat named Calvin. Find more of her writing on her blog, Scraps of Joy.

July 18, 2017

God Bless Canada - Gloria Guest


I am both a third and fourth generation Canadian on my paternal and maternal parent’s sides respectively. The backstories of my ancestor’s arrivals and lives in this country are varied and fascinating. My paternal great grandparents emigrated from Russia (German ancestry) and my paternal and maternal great grand-parents and grandfather emigrated from England. My German ancestors were displaced from Germany into Russia during the time of Catherine the Great and after many years of hardship there and having their land taken from them, immigrated to Canada. They led difficult lives, clearing bush to farm in the Tawatinaw Alberta area; my father only receiving a grade seven education when he was removed from school to help on the farm.

My maternal grandfather came over to Canada on a boat from England as a very young boy to join family.  His parents had both died and his older siblings had no desire to keep him. An artistic man, he spent most of his adult years slightly lost and sad.  I’ve inherited his wallet from the depression years containing an unemployment ticket and often wonder about this shadow of a man I have barely heard a word about; his hopes, his dreams and his feelings as he stood in the unemployment lines with a family of six children to care for, wishing I could reach back to him to comfort him and let him know that his life did matter.

Our oldest son is the fourth generation farming the family land on his father’s side in Saskatchewan. Our younger son serves in the Canadian Armed Forces. My husband and I farmed for 17 years before leaving and now own our own business. Even in writing this, I can sense the tracings of generations running back to what helped form each of us today. I’m proud to see the same endurance and tenacity shining from our sons eyes; true Canadians, strong and free, standing on guard for their country.

My husband and I met at Bible College where our faith journey’s intersected. He had received a heritage of faith from both sides of his family, whereas mine came mainly down from my mother’s side. She had attended Christian High school in Three Hills Alberta. Her mother was a strong, enduring Christian lady and to this day I credit my grandmothers’ prayers for the most likely reason that I am still here today. I received Christ as a young girl at a Bible Camp but returned home to an extremely dysfunctional home. Most of my adult years have been a wandering of my own; internally. Unlike my artistic grandfathers for sure, but I can’t help but see the similarities of searching and longing for something that often seemed elusive.

 Still, like my ancestors, I endure and feel blessed for how far I have come in this journey called life. I strived to raise my own children in faith and was blessed to be the one to lead them both to Christ at a young age. Now they are on their own paths.  They have their own discoveries to make, their own wanderings, which as a mother I can’t help but pray will not be as difficult as my own. However, in looking back at my own and those of my ancestors, it provides me with a sense of God’s abiding presence in each one’s life and a knowledge that He will always be pursuing my children too and ready to bestow his Grace. Life was not easy for my ancestors, nor myself, yet they and now I, move forward.

I have been richly blessed in the past few years with three beautiful, joy-inspiring grand-daughters. I look at them and wonder, what will life be like for them? As Canadians? Will our flag still fly as high and proud as it has in the past?

I am a prolific news follower. I cannot go a day without reading up on what is going on in our world and if I do, I feel out of touch and ill informed. While I recognize that I must be careful where I receive that news from and to not only hear the negative, it is just too hard to ignore the fact that as a country we don’t seem to be going in a good direction; morally, spiritually or in many other ways. I often have a profound sadness and concern when thinking of what life may be like for future generations. I feel certain that it’s not the life most of our ancestors were looking for, nor what our brave soldiers fought for.

But before I am a Canadian, I am a Christian. And that is where my hope for the future comes from. That is where my prayers for our nation and my dear, sweet grand-daughters comes from. God, the maker of heaven and earth and the one who made this great nation, is Sovereign over all. May He keep our land, Glorious and Free.

God Bless Canada.

July 17, 2017

Privilege by Rohadi


“To the privileged, equality looks like oppression.” - Unknown


I don't know who originally penned that quote, nor who said it, but I have been reflecting on the words, particularly in our current world.

I also don't know if this is accurate, but it seems the rhetoric in Western developed nations has become exceedingly polarized.

We're fighting to decide who's in and who's out. It's tiresome to listen to conversations that quickly descend into entrenched ideologies.

Jesus has something to say about the outsiders, although those who claim him often mix in criteria of their own.

Knowing I can't change anybody's mind, what I can do is reflect on my own.

I am a product of privilege.

Coming to this country as a tot opened the door to opportunity. That privilege, however, has also come at the expense of someone else, as often privilege does.

Canada150 is a story that celebrates a strong nation. It's being challenged by those who fight to retain what comfort and privilege they have in fear those who are different may gain a little more. We struggle to keep our identity by unknowingly, or knowingly, burying someone else's.

I think about these things.

In order to establish a way to reject the outsider, one needs to ignore stories of those who've come before there was even a Canada. Here's an old professor of mine talking about some of those stories, and the people behind them.






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Visit Rohadi at his blog. Check out his adult colouring book, Soul Coats.