Influences on my Life

'What is truth?' Pilate asked and turned away ... from the Truth. John 18:38, 14:6

It is not that one cannot but will not believe


The more we hold on to the world, the more it  slips away, it's too temporary, everything ends. Hold onto eternal Truth and live. John 14:6.

Who and What are the Important Influences on my Life?


Babies are born with a brain that is extraordinarily pliable and perceptible to stimulation from outside and has an incredible potential to lock the effects of these stimuli into their brains forming permanent patterns. This is what gives the human brain the potential to learn and grow in knowledge at a phenomenal rate.

Many of these first impressions on the almost void brain will be permanent and very difficult to change later. It is called the N-grams of the brain. And to explain and demonstrate something about this exceptional brain potential one can merely look at all the different accents in the world so specific to each mother tongue language and even more so specific to the area where people grew up and why it is so difficult to learn a new language and speak that language in a way that sounds like the original mother-tongue speakers. Consider, for example, the accents of Chinese or Korean people when they speak English but have learned the new language only later in life. It is very difficult to change these patterns that were formed in the early years. Even so are cultural habits that people grew up with, fixed in their brains and a reason for the yearning back to those ‘familiar’ things from the past, from childhood days, that had become part of who we are.


In a certain sense, we can also call this ‘brainwash’. ‘Brainwashed’ to speak in a certain way, ‘brainwashed’ into a specific culture. And indeed, the way we raise our children will have a major influence on them for the rest of their lives. Even so will the environment that they grow up in; the climate, the culture, the school, teachers, television, everything will form patterns in their brains and will affect his and her thinking and behaviour to a varying degree in the years to come. Thus, parents have a choice of what they will write into their childrens' brains and very importantly also with religion, how he or she will think about it and react to it.


Some 'enlightened' people might say that they do not want to ‘brainwash’ their children with specific ideas or with a specific religion which certainly holds some ground. But the fact is that if you do not guide your child, you ‘brainwash’ him anyway in being insensitive to religion or worse, not teaching him to explore and experience the truth of true religion. If you have not made the facts about true religion out in your own mind and heart it is very likely that your children will grow up with the same indecisive state of mind and heart. If you do nothing actively to teach your child about religion your attitude, thoughts, and acts will however be imprinted on him or her whether you’re an agnostic, an atheist, a staunch religious protestant or catholic with no true living relationship with God or a Hindu,  a Muslim or a Buddhist, or any other religious view. Our lives will always have a profound impact on the lives of our children, their thoughts and their destiny.


Statistics show that the younger people are when they hear the Gospel, the more likely they will react to it which is not surprising in the light of the above. Research has shown that 60-80% of responses to the Gospel are made by young people. (children are blessed through the decisions of their parents. 'This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live' Deuteronomy 30:19  ‘Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who finds great delight in His commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.’ Psalm 112:1-2 )


It is stated that if a person has never heard about Jesus Christ as a child it becomes extremely more difficult with every year that passes to concede to such a radical change and to surrender to God and come to know Him. Statistics show that only 10% of people coming to Christ are above 60 years of age. But despite these facts we are assured in Matthew 19:26 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible' and therefore older people do in fact come to Christ against all the set patterns in their brains.


Parents are directly involved and to a large degree responsible for their children's upbringing, their behaviour, have a major influence on their children's thoughts about life but also on their religious views which will not only impact their lives but also their eternal destination. Parents need to make out the truth about religion for themselves if they love their children. Children need to be guided by loving parents.


It is not surprising that Jesus said in Matthew 18: 3-4 ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children (1), you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself (2) like this child, is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven’. Two principle reasons why it is so difficult for people to come to God: (1) Fixed patterns (N-grams formed in the brain of a child) and (2) Pride keep people away from God. 'In his pride, the wicked does not seek Him, in all his thoughts there is no room for God. He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble” “He will not call me to account” Psalm 10: 4, 6, 13


Everybody is born with an emptiness in his heart that only God can fill. Just as we have a natural yearning for a life partner. But if that life partner does not come and we get older, this yearning becomes less and less as we get set in our ways without him or her, apart from periods of loneliness and longing that would flair up. So would we become less and less conscious about the emptiness that only God can fill as our brain patterns get more and more fixed the longer we live without Him. And the peace that God intended will always elude us.  'Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.' Saint Augustine  354-530 AD.


But God is above the laws of gravity, above the laws of brain patterns and N-grams that He Himself created and through, and only through His Spirit, would He defy these stumbling blocks and change lives. Birth is never an easy process and so not spiritual birth either.  He said in John 3:3 ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again’ 3:6 ‘Flesh gives birth to flesh (natural birth), but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit ( so man’s spirit can live, and the reality of life outside the physical world will open up to him) And this birth through the Spirit, that radically changes lives, only takes place in human lives because Christ is alive and people are drawn to Him by Him. One has to become like a child, not in the sense of not thinking (as there is nothing simple about Christianity), but a change of attitude and of humbling yourself in total dependence and surrender to God. Matthew 16:25 ‘For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it’


The older we are the more difficult it is to come to Christ. But it is also where we often see the most radical and dramatic changes in lives It often needs a lot of pain in someone's life to draw Him to Christ. Pain as in serious or terminal sickness, divorce, death of a loved one, sudden unemployment, natural disasters and others. Sadly so many people die without the opportunity to turn to God, without having had the proverbial ‘second chance’, and continue without Him as they are so used to their set ways without Him until their death. But reading the above is a second chance from God. Fixed habits,  pride or simply a lack of knowledge can be overcome by the Living Christ through His Spirit if we seek Him with all of our hearts.


Christ is alive and changes lives against all odds, all backgrounds, all natural laws and every impossible circumstance. More than a superficial change, but a change deep in the heart,  a change to a new life.


Romans 6:4 '... just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life'


Christianity is not about committing oneself to a set of religious doctrine or the following of rules. It is about finding God Himself and experiencing a moment to moment living love relationship with an incredibly loving God.


‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart’ Jeremiah 29:13


‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened’ Matthew 7:7-8


John 3:16 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life'


God’s Promise:

But if you seek the LORD your God,

   you will find Him if you look for Him

     with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29