The Path To Certainty

girl walking near trees

Einar Storsul on Unsplash

Hypothesize, experiment

Try it out and see

You’ll never know until you do

I think that you’ll agree


The idea may be a simple one

Or something quite complex

But without that little experiment

You’ll continue to be perplexed


Should I do it?

Give it the old college try?

If you neglect the chance

You may later question “why?”


So Hypothesize, experiment

Try it out to see

Eliminate the doubt from you mind

Become question free




FOWC with Fandango — Experiment

Beyond Canned Answers

Praying, God, Christianity, Belief

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Beyond the Basic Answers

I have reviewed several answers on various students’ past exam questions on the influence of Christian beliefs on how they (Christians) live.  Here are some reflections on answering a questions on explaining the impact of faith.

A typical question of this type is: “Explain how does a belief in God/Resurrection/Salvation/Heaven/Hell influences the lives of Christians.”  The most basic responses include statements such as, “Christians’ believe that there is (pick one of the above) and they want to please God so they won’t go to Hell (or go to Heaven).”  Students have gone on to discuss briefly that by being “good people” and “avoiding sin” they can achieve this goal.

While this simplistic approach to the question isn’t “incorrect,” as this equally simplistic approach to the underlying question IS held by some Christians, it does miss out on some key concepts that are at the heart of Christianity.

So let’s remember that “some Christians believe that since there is (pick one of the above) that they need to keep God happy so they can . . . (as above).  This means that they will try to live a good life and follow the Bible.”   This in itself is a starting point, but needs to move on to deeper explanation that “many Christians believe that this is not enough.”

Being “Good People”

Here is where we need to explore the nature of sin and the relationship with God.  “Sin is anything that breaks relationship with God, or one’s neighbours (fellow human beings).”  Avoiding sin, therefore is important.  But the Bible states in Romans 3:23,”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  So being a “good person” isn’t as easy as it seems, nor is it “enough.”  Romans 6:23 states “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  It isn’t about being “good,” but being given grace “unmerited favour.”

But then what about the Explanation Question?

Here is where a balanced explanation comes in.  “Most” Christians’ lives (and action) are influenced not by “Being good so they can be saved,” but that “since they are saved, they should be good.”  One way of phrasing this is that “Christians are not saved by doing good things, but do good things because they are saved.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”

The Bible teaches that relationship with God was mended through Jesus’ sacrifice.  Since the relationship is mended, then Christians are to walk in that relationship (as Adam and Eve did before the Fall [see Genesis]).

Beyond Pascal’s Wager

Some students have tried to address the question by including reference to Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century Christian philosopher.

His “wager” put forward the idea that humans should believe and obey God as it is a rational act.  If God doesn’t exist, a person will have only lived their lives with the insignificant loss of some pleasures, or temporal gain. If God does exist, however, a person who follows a faithful life will receive an incredible gain for their efforts (heaven). The inverse is also true, if there is a God, whose ways are not followed, then the rejector of God’s path will face ultimate loss (hell).

This is a useful inclusion into the discussion, but cannot be a stand-alone response.  It is a valid “some Christians believe (or act)” example, but is wanting theologically as it can be seen as a more complex form of the “Be good so I can go to Heaven,” approach.

The reason “some other” Christians reject Pascal’s Wager is that it in a sense makes doing “right” a mercenary act, and reduces philanthropic altruism (doing good deeds) to an act of selfishness.  The two great commands of the Law – to love God, and to love your neighbour become just calculated strategies for one’s own advancement.


A Christian hymn says “My hope built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness.” As noted above, scripture says no one can work their way to heaven, nor connive to avoid hell.  Salvation is a gift of God.  James’ epistle suggests, that believers work because they are saved, not to be saved. They therefore live their lives as acts of thanksgiving and of love.


Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes

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Cinnamon Raisin

I woke up with a sweet tooth this morning, so decided to go with some pancakes.  I am a sucker for anything cinnamon-raisin, so it seemed the perfect combination for the situation.


  • Flour 1/2 cup (for lighter pancakes use self rising)
  • Porridge Oats 1/2 cup
  • Raisins 1/4 cup
  • Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Egg 1
  • Soy Milk (any milk will do) 250 ml (approx 1 cup)
  • Coconut Oil  1 Tbs (any vegetable oil will do, but I like the sweet hint in the pancake)
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Salt pinch


Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and mix well.  Add a beaten egg and the raisins.  Stir in the milk until it makes a fluid, but not watery batter.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, and make sure the pan is well coated.  Pour any excess oil into the batter and mix.   Take a tiny amount of the batter and drip it into the pan.  When it sizzles and starts to take the form of a tiny pancake, take a ladle full of the batter into the pan and allow it to spread into a pancake.  When bubbles form, and the indents caused by them remain, carefully flip the pancake to allow the other side to cook (about 1-2 minutes).  Repeat the ladling process until all the batter is used.

Serve with butter and your choice of toppings (on this occasion I used 1 Tbs of golden syrup).


Domestic Bliss


“Thomas Thatcher, look at the state of this house.  I didn’t marry you just so I could live in a derelict hovel.  I expected more from you.”

“Martha, I don’t know what you are talking about.  The walls are secure, and I take pride in the fact that the roof is a masterpiece of my trade.  And when you wanted a better floor, I bartered with Hugh Tyler to lay one for you – no more pressed earth for you.”

“Well what about that fence?” Martha snapped.  “Not a single person in my family has one as sorry as that.”

“It is the one thing your family is good at.   No one can question that you lot don’t all live up to your name.  I wish I knew that before I proposed, Martha Railing.


Crimson’s Creative Challenge #77


Adventures To Seek: A Tanka



Journeying onwards
New discoveries to make 
Along trails unknown
Amid hills and wide grasslands
Untold adventure to seek



Inspiration Call: Tanka  A Tanka is a Japanese poem and similar to a Haiku, however it has seven lines. Tankas are nature, seasons, love, and other emotions. Line one has a five syllable count, line two is seven syllables, line three is five syllables, line four is seven syllables, and line five seven syllables. In total it has thirty one syllables.

My World

Class, Classroom, Tables, Chairs, Empty

Image by Adam Vega from Pixabay


This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go


I sit before a screen

Instead of a class

No face-to-face contact

Except through glass


This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go


Tins and dried pasta

Are now my cuisine

Or I use different ingredients

Than the recipe magazine


This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go




Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge“My world”

Shared on dVerse



For Those Who Wait

top view photo of boat near airplane

Photo by Francisco Echevarria on

Where were they heading?

Did any survive?

Did those who did –

Give thanks for being alive?

Whatever their mission

Whatever their fate

Let peace and consolation

Be with their loved ones, who wait


War, tragic accidents, those presently in intensive care and isolated from those they hold dear – all things that cause anxiety and heart-ache for those who hope, pray, and wait for their return.  May God grant peace and comfort to all who wait, and in His mercy grant joyful reunions. Amen.



Photo Challenge #313





Lesson Learned

Mask, Coronavirus, Quarantine, Virus, Epidemic, Disease


I have followed the blog of an amazing young woman named Caralyn ever since I began blogging myself.   In her latest post she asked a simple but important question – “What has this quarantine taught you?

I have learned that in the end it is tolerance and compassion that makes us the true survivors. We are touched by people who we haven’t heard from in years who send messages to just check that we are okay. It is the 99 year old veteran that walks around his garden to raise money for the doctors and nurses. It is the pastors who delivers groceries or prescriptions to the weakest of their flocks. It is our own ability to love and understand our friends and colleagues when they try to make a health issue a political one (on either side). It is when we stay in to protect the vulnerable, and yet will pray for those who flout restrictions, or hoard supplies, or even deny there is an issue at all. It is about “loving our neighbours.”



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The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare was a writer of fame in his own day, and his legacy lives on in our English tongue.  He brought dozens of words and phrases into the language, and peradventure many may soundeth peculiar to thine ears, but they nonetheless are his legacy.  One of Lord Strange’s Men, he later built his own theatres in London.


A West-Midlands man
Now Thames-bank Global renowned
First among men Strange



A haibun written for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters