Spider's Webtrail

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Deity of Christ

Last Thursday and Friday, the 25th and 26th of February 2016, I attended the Stay Sharp conference which was on the subject of the Doctrine of God, particularly the Trinity.
This conference is held each year by the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Allegheny District in Canonsburg, PA.
EFCA Allegheny District Conference Website 
Each years conference subject is based upon 1 of the 10 Statements of Faith of the EFCA. This year was from Statement 1:


1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

A wonderful time of teaching and fellowship was had indeed.
My local church fellowship is with Ironworks Pike Community Church, in Georgetown, KY, USA.
Arianna have been attending there for over a year now, and are very involved in this church.

This morning we visited our last church, Bluegrass Bible Fellowship, in Richmond, KY, USA, which is a brethren assembly.
With the Trinity of God still heavily on my mind this morning, during the Breaking of Bread meeting I read out these following verses:

Isaiah 44:6 NKJV
(6)  "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

Revelation 1:8-18 NKJV
(8)  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
(9)  I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(10)  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
(11)  saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
(12)  Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
(13)  and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
(14)  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
(15)  His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
(16)  He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
(17)  And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
(18)  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Those who are familiar with the brethren style of the Breaking of Bread meeting will know and understand that it is not a teaching meeting, and the verses are used to remind ourselves of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to worship Him.
I did point out how Isaiah absolutely declares that there is only 1 God, who declares that He is the "First and the Last".
Revelation also uses the same phrase, and even expands it to use "Alpha and Omega", the first and last of the Greek alphabet. This Lord in Revelation applies the phrase to Himself, and we see that He is Jesus, as He now lives, but "was dead".
Praise be to God for the Deity of Christ, the Almighty!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Linux Mint

Although I enjoy using all flavours of Linux, my distro of choice is Linux Mint.
Their home page is: http://www.linuxmint.com/
Currently I am running Linux Mint 13 LTS (long term support) Xfce 64-bit on my Alienware M15x laptop.
Looking forward to Linux Mint 17 LTS which should be out in May or June (for the Xfce version).
Have been running Linux Mint since version 6 from 2009.
Check out my Blogspot post from that time: i-linux-therefore-i-am

Also running Manjaro Xfce 32-bit on my Asus EeePC 1000 netbook. Manjaro is an excellent rolling release distro based on Arch. http://www.manjaro.org/

On Facebook I run the following group: Linux Mint Facebook Group
We currently have 11,143 members. Yes, you read that right!
It has been a runaway train of people asking to join the group, and we have a good core of members who post and discuss.
A huge thank you to all members, and the 3 admins who assist me running the group.

Although not mine, I am a member of Google+ Linux Mint Community and highly recommend that group too.

For about 5 years I have been part of Blue Grass Linux User Group which has really taught and encouraged me to learn more about Linux.
I highly encourage every Linux user to search out and find their local LUG, and if they have one, to join it!

Quite often you shall see me chatting in the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel of #linuxmint-chat on the irc.spotchat.org server.
If you are able to login with a client such as XChat, please do so, but SpotChat also provides this java chat link: SpotChat Connect

Over the past year I have enjoyed listening to, and even being a part of MintCast.
Their website is at: http://www.mintcast.org/ and have a Google+ Community at MintCast Google+ Community

Rob, Scott, and various guests, discuss Linux and tech in general, and record normally on Monday evenings at 8:00pm Eastern USA, or Sunday afternoons at 3:00pm (guessing here).
The live-stream while recording may be listened to here: MintCast Live Stream
They too have a chat channel on SpotChat, which is #mintcast

Reminder to Windows XP users; Microsoft's support of your system ends on Tuesday 8th April 2014. That's only 33 days away!

If you are not a current user of Linux and are interested in finding out more, please contact me, or reach out to the community in the various ways linked above.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Testimony of Peter Paterson and my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.

Writing this on Saturday 02/22/2014, as I listen to some Keith Green early albums.Earlier I was chatting to a new friend on IRC by the nickname of Jedi. We discovered that each other was a believer and he gave me his testimony webpage of http://www.angelfire.com/theforce/jediael/testimony.htm
I informed Jedi that my own testimony was not written down as such, but that I had recently promised a friend that I would write it, give it to her for a project, and also publish it on my own blog of http://mintspider.blogspot.com
For the record, I am currently in fellowship with Bluegrass Bible Fellowship in Lexington, KY, USA, and our website is http://www.biblefellowship.org

On the 30th of April 1967, I was born in Elgin, Scotland to George (Dod) and Alexandra (Susie/Sandra) Paterson. I was their first, to be followed by William, George, and Catriona.
Growing up in “Bible loving Scotland” I would often debate with myself the concept of God and if “he” existed or not. Most of the time, I just lived my life with friends, comic books (Marvel & DC especially), and a love of TV/Movie SciFi.
During my later teen years I started drinking with my friends at the pubs. Drinking age in Scotland is 18, but let’s just say that I was 18 when I was 15. Being a tall boy, now 6‘2“, did help greatly in that regard.

There was a couple of times that I wanted to speak with someone about this God they believed in, but really did not know who to talk to. Yes, I did go to Sunday School and Boys Brigade when younger, but apart from remembering songs like “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and “We Have An Anchor” (still love that one) I really had no Bible knowledge and certainly not what the Gospel was.
One Christmas I attended a service at a Church of Scotland building and went to speak to the Minister afterwards, but I found him out back smoking, so I walked on. Note: Not saying that Christians should not smoke, but in this case I was a turned off seeker.
Another time I was in Cyprus with the Air Training Corps and while there attended a service. This was my chance to talk to someone, so I thought, but I was turned off also by this Minister, as all he seemed to do was talk about his articles of clothing and their meaning. He may have had a message, but I certainly did not hear it.

After leaving Elgin High School at age 18, I started working at City Kits, which was an offshoot of Elgin City Sawmills, but based in Forres. 6 months later this company closed down, and I looked to going to college to further my education.
Moray College of Further Education is located in Elgin, and I joined the course of SHND in Computer Data Processing, a 2 year course.
During my time there, I met a good friend who I discovered was a Christian Believer, and who lived close to me. We would often walk to college together, talk about life and spiritual matters. Found out he attended Riverside Gospel Hall, and I asked him if I could visit to hear and discuss more. Of course he said “Yes!”.
That Sunday I visited Riverside and heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time ever. I do not recall the message taught, just that it affected me, and looking back I know that I was being challenged and convicted by the Holy Spirit as to my life for my God.
The next Sunday I went back. I heard my college friend teach on “Bible vs Evolution” (don’t ask me what was exactly taught then, as I do not remember) then a man I knew from Elgin High School got up to teach. His name is Alan Taylor and he taught on Romans 6:23
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
After the service I sat down with Alan on the platform steps and we talked. At that moment I knew that I was a sinner that was not living for his creator God, and I prayed to God asking for His forgiveness, thanking Him for the saving sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
At that moment I truly was saved!!! I knew that I now had now received eternal salvation, and it was all because God became a man, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross at Calvary to die for my sins, and also for the sins of the whole world.
This was at about 8:00pm on Sunday, 31st January 1988, when I was 20 years old.

A few months later, I was baptised by immersion. In fact it was the first baptism I had witnessed. I had been 'sprinkled' at 10 years old, but at that time I did not know what salvation was, nor had I made my own choice.

During the 26 years since that time, I have attempted to live my life for my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, but I will also be the first to admit that I have not lived a perfect life for Him.
That is the point! We are broken creatures who need our Creator to make us whole again in Him.
Paul, in Romans 7, writes this:
"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."
Yes, it is long and cryptic, but I truly understand what Paul meant. Daily I struggle against the inner sin nature in me, and attempt to give myself over to the indwelling Holy Spirit.

These days, I am now 47 years old from my first birth, and 26 years old from my "second birth".
My life has had ups and downs. I have made important decisions and I have also made great mistakes.
I am human, but living for my God.

My current workplace is God's Pantry Food Bank - http://www.godspantryfoodbank.org - where I have worked for 15 years, starting in the warehouse, and now responsible for ordering, purchasing, and reporting.
I thank my Lord God Almighty for this job and for guiding me in developing the skills to help so many people.

Apart from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, my second best decision was in marrying Arianna.
We met in a Christian Chat room in September 1997 while I was living in Aberdeen, Scotland, and she here in Lexington, KY, USA.
Arianna visited me in October 1998 for 3 weeks, and on the 17th of October 1998 we were engaged near Queens View, Loch Tummel, Pitlochry, Scotland, while it started to snow!
I boarded a plane on May 17th 1999, and flew to USA to live here.
Arianna and I were married in Paris ........ Kentucky, on the 26th of June 1999, and have been happily married ever since.
We view our marriage as unto the Lord, and He is the top point of our triangle. As we grow closer to him individually, we also grow closer to each other.
We fellowship together at home and with Bluegrass Bible Fellowship, as well as with multitudes of believers all around the world.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I truly believe in "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Life: John 14:6 NKJV
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Liberty: Galatians 5:1 NKJV
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

Happiness: Psalms 84:12 YLT
"Jehovah of Hosts! O the happiness of a man trusting in Thee."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Living life with the Lord Jesus Christ

On Wednesday 30th January 2013 I was told something about myself:
"Never experiences righteous anger a day in his life."
Well, unsure how true that actually is.
There are many things in life that annoy me, but will admit that it takes a *lot* to get to the point of actual anger.
Whether that's my own makeup, how the Lord created me, or by living life acknowledging the indwelling Spirit of God in my life and the peace He gives, I still give thanks to my Lord God Almighty for who I am, and for His salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Laughing here.... have actually made others upset when I don't apparently get upset over something... even driving in traffic. I take a deep breathe, and move on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Biblical & Political Non-Political Conviction

In America, it seems I am quite the odd-ball, a Christian who does not actively take part in the politics of the world.
You see, when I was in fellowship with brethren assemblies in Scotland, the common understanding was that a believer is a Citizen of Heaven (*1), and an Ambassador for Christ (*2). Based upon this Biblical thinking, which I agree with, we are to not get involved with politics, but rather to pray for the Lord's will to be done.

This morning as I was driving to Prestonsburg, KY, I listened to a series of cassettes containing ministry from the Aberdeen New Year Conference 2004. This set was given to me a few years back by Alan Taylor, my Father-in-the-Faith, a man who taught me well in the Scriptures, how to study and reason with them, and continues to be a wonderful source of support & information in my Christian walk.
The two tapes I listened to were by Jack Hay, an excellent teacher of the Word of God, who is from Perth, Scotland.
In his teaching from Romans 13, he read this portion of Scripture and expounded it:

Romans 13:1-7
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Jack Hay also referenced this verse in his message:

Daniel 4:17
...In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.
(KJV = basest of men)
(Strongs = “lowliest (of station)”)

The cassettes are in the car, and I am currently sitting in a hotel room using my Asus EeePC 1000 Netbook, named Ervyn. Therefore I am at this time unable to review Jack Hay's teaching on this subject, and give you the words he used.
Suffice to give my own thoughts on the matter:

Since becoming a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as reading and understanding these Scriptures, my own conscience has questioned being involved in the world's affairs.
This is not the absolute of why I do not get involved, but I always wonder that if I did go into a voting booth and voted for a candidate, and another believer voted at the same election for another candidate, is one of us voting against the will of God?

So, do I do nothing about local, state or national politics? No... actually I am quite active in praying that all those that have rule over me, for they are responsible unto God even if they do not know it.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

These are my own thoughts and convictions. Not meaning to attack anyone, certainly not the many believers I know and love that get involved in the world's systems with a clear conscience.


*1) Philippians 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

*2) 2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
[Note that ambassadors do not have voting rights in the country they find themselves in.]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Social Networking

Finally, a story (somewhat) that has actually spurned me to create a new blog update after almost a year of non-use. The story is that of Social Networking.

As you can see from the right hand side of my blog under "Where in the Internet is Spider?" I have been pretty involved online. That comes with the territory of now having been on the Internet for over 13 years, since February 1997. In that time I have spent a lot of time in IRC, newsgroups, forums, Second Life, and more recently in what is commonly called "Social Networking" areas. These have included Bebo & Myspace, along with Twitter & Facebook.
Bebo was fun for a while. I had quite a few friends on there from The Polyphonic Spree forum, and even met up with one of my Australian cousins in there.
Did try Myspace for a while, but never really got into that scene. It was good for checking out some bands and new music, but I did not spend much time in there.
Second Life has been a part of my life for over 3 years where I enjoy being a blue elf that lives in a land named Farhaven, part of the Elf Circle group of lands. A lot of the friends I have met there are now "real life" friends in Twitter and Facebook.

A couple of years ago I took interest in Twitter. It seemed a very interesting method of communication, giving short updates of 140 characters, and being able to follow other Tweeters with their Tweets. I set up my account, played around with search and started following some people. Currently I am following 138 people, and 102 are following me. Some "people" are actually information groups that are technology based (Linux etc) and even road condition updates for the local area. I do have some really good friends on Twitter, and some people that I have never met but seem to live very interesting lives.
The only celebs that I follow are @bobbyllew (Robert Llewellyn - Kryten from Red Dwarf) and @wilw (Wil Wheaton - from ST:TNG and Sheldon's nemisis in The Big Bang Theory). Both guys are pretty much down to earth and very interesting to follow.
A few months ago I went from a Sony Walkman cellphone with only a number pad to type into, to an iPhone. This event really increased my interest and participation in Twitter. On the iPhone I use an app called Twitterific to check my tweet traffic.

This brings me to Facebook, an online area that I had been avoiding like the plague. As an IT guy I had heard of and fully understood the horror stories behind the privacy issues in Facebook, or rather the lack of. Basically I knew that everything you posted or shared was no longer yours but was then owned by Facebook. This was something that I really wanted no part of.
So, how did I go from this ideal to now having over 400 "friends"? Well, just over a year ago on a Wednesday evening, Arianna and I were with our church fellowship and someone mentioned that a couple we knew were pregnant. This was great news to us as this couple had been part of the fellowship for quite a few years before moving away. Then on the following Sunday we were told that they were now parents. We were overjoyed, but at the same time started asking around why nobody had told us anything for the past 9 months!!! Everyone gave us the same answer: "Oh, it was on Facebook".
This was the event that made me rethink getting involved in the Facebook explosion. We both realised that we were losing out on the good side of social networking and keeping in touch with many good friends. I joined first, followed by Arianna.
Neither of us play any of the games whatsoever, and have been extremely careful what applications we run. In fact, apart from the default set of applications, the only one I have authorised is Qstatus. This is an app from my iPhone that allows me to post updates to both Twitter and Facebook at the same time.
We are both very careful in what we post, not giving any personal details away, such as phone numbers or addresses. You have to be. It truly is a dangerous world online.
At the same time, Facebook is a very handy social tool. It enables you to easily keep in touch with family and friends all over the world. I now talk and keep up with family that I have not even met, and have conversations with many wonderful friends.

Going back to @bobbyllew and @wilw, both of these guys will not have anything to do with Facebook mostly because of the privacy issues.
In fact @wilw tweeted these today:

> "There is a person (or bot) impersonating me on Facebook. This is NOT me, and is likely a scammer: http://bit.ly/cHMS32"

> "FTR: I don't use Facebook at all, because I find the company's cavalier attitude toward privacy outrageous and reprehensible."

> "I wrote some more about that Facebook thing on my blog: http://bit.ly/b2Pqk0"

I totally respect his viewpoint and why he will not use Facebook, but sometimes we need to ask "What alternatives do we have?". Facebook may be considered dangerous, but it is also a very fine tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. Twitter can do this too, but I have yet to find an easy way to follow conversation threads in that medium.

Social Networking is here to stay, but like the squad captain in Hill Street Blues used to say "Let's be careful out there."