As a regular writer of this page, I too would like to acknowledge and commend our government, including the various ministries and members of the parliament who were directly involved in this festival, chairperson and members of the organizing committee, other subsidiary committees and their members, the police department and officers, the different groups of people who constructed the houses and everything in all the festival centers, the experts of the lighting system and flares, Solomon Islands participants, and the public of Honiara and the country.
Overall, what we have witnessed over the last two weeks which concluded over this past weekend is a splendid demonstration of Solomon Islanders, united and working together towards the success of a common goal.
We have done it in the past, we have done it now, and we will do it in the future! Yes, over the last two weeks, we have demonstrated the true cultural support, respect, and harmony ingrained in Solomon Islands culture and Christianity.
Our participating groups from other Pacific countries also need our commendation for their friendly and astounding involvement in displaying some of their traditional activities.
We do not deny the fact that there are problems here and there, but comparing these problems with the overall success achieved I believe the success outweighs the problems.
We prayed for the success of this festival and our good Lord has definitely answered our prayers, thus we give the credit, the glory, honor and praise back to Him.
It is amazing to see that our world is flooded with information of all forms and styles. The dawn of modern technology has increased the mode and quality of conveying information that is just overwhelming.
Unknown to us, every moment of the day we are overrun with information from all directions. Radio technicians will testify that our atmosphere is jam-packed with sound waves, TV signals etc., moving in all directions and even bombarding our bodies, of which we are totally unaware. Just as well that our ears are only tuned to receive certain sound waves that our body can take, and not everything.
It is common knowledge that it is through our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, feel) that we receive every information into our brains which is the control centre of our lives.
Someone has fittingly described these five senses as the “avenues of the soul,” or the gateway into the heart.
It is interesting that the information received into the brain forms the basis of an important process that takes place in our lives every twenty-four hours which many of us are unaware of. Let’s briefly see what happens.
As the information continues to flow into the brain, THOUGHTS are being formed. It follows then that good information develop good thoughts; bad information – bad thoughts.
Now when a set of thought is continue to be cherished and loved, it moves on to form what we know as PURPOSES or desires.
Thus good thoughts form good purposes and bad thoughts form bad purposes. It is at this stage in the process that bad plans are made to carry out the bad purposes or visa versa.
As we continue to cherish our purposes they move on to form what we know as ACTION. Notice that at this point in our process, the information initially received in the brain has now
been converted into an action in our lives.
Interesting, isn’t it! As we continue to repeat those action time after time, and day after day we form what we call HABITS, and habits are not formed over night! Thus good actions means good habits; bad actions – bad habits.
When we reach this stage where habits are formed it is hard to bring about a change except through Divine intervention from heaven.
This is a very challenging stage in the process with both young and old. Of course as you would have rightly guess, by now that habits decide our CHARACTER.
And lastly, our character fixes our eternal DESTINY. It is interesting and worthy of our note that the simple information that we allow to enter through the five sense will eventual fix our eternal destiny. E.G.White, a 19th century Bible scholar and author has this solemn thought to give. “The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it fixes them forever beyond all changes.” 5TT.466. It is therefore vital that we jealously guard the avenues of the soul and only allow good and noble information to reach our brains.
Undoubtedly, during the last two weeks, we have been bombarded with great sights and sounds of the Pacific Arts Festival.
Certainly the five avenues of the soul have been very busy receiving in messages, good or bad to the control centre.
And while our cultures are very important because they show us our ”identity,“ we must remember that our cultures are all tainted with sin and there is no single culture on planet earth that is perfect.
Thus we must be cautious as to how we relate to our culture because it can be a blessing or a curse to us depending on our attitude toward it.
The experience of the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai highlights this very point. (Exodus 32:1-25).
While under the Egyptian bondage for about 400 years, the Israelites had adopted the cultures and customs of the Egyptians, so much so that they had identified themselves with the Egyptians.
Thus the call of God for Israel to come out of Egypt was to have them separated from the heathen Egyptian culture and adopt the heavenly culture (See Solomon Star. July 3, 2012. p.21) Thus, throughout their journeying in the wilderness, God was introducing, little by little, His heavenly culture through precepts and example for Israel to adopt.
The height of this training was to take place at Mount Sinai where Moses the servant of God was called up to the Mount to receive two tables of stone wherein was engraved, with God’s own figure, the 10 principles, which are the basis of the heavenly culture.
When Moses was delayed coming down from the mount, the Israelites were impatient and reverted back to the Egyptian culture.
They persuaded Aaron, Moses’ brother, to make a golden calf on a platform, around which they would dance and worship. In fact a grand festival of dance, sacrifice and worship of mere material things was organized.
The problem here was that Israel diverted their loyalty and worship from the Living God to plain, lifeless materials.
As Moses and Joshua descended the mount, Joshua heard the shouts of singing and dancing and said: “There is a noise of war in the camp.” verse 17.
To Joshua, the noise and shouts that came out from the festival was a real confusion that he thought there was a big battle going on in the camp.
It is interesting to see a pattern here from the time of Israel and repeated down through the centuries to our time.
When we perform or sing with the focus on self or what we can do with our ability to uplift self, the outcome of our performance is just a confusion of noise and sound.
Israel received the reward they deserved for focusing their alliagence to self and material benefits and 3000 people died.
Thus, God is serious about our actions!
I believe, there is a lesson for us to learn here. While from our point of view we have claimed success in this festival and patted ourselves for our planning and organizing to produce such a positive result, let us not forget to follow advice from the Scripture: “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth. . . .” Deut 8:18 (NIV).
To apply this verse in our situation we can say that it is God who gives us the vigor, the strength, the force, the capacity, the power, the wealth, the means or the substances to organize such a festival, thus ultimate credit and the glory be given to Him.
There is another voice that we should not overlook as we talk about the sights and sounds of the festival. This is the voice of the Godhead from heaven.
When Adam and Eve sinned at the beginning, this voice was heard in a loving soft tone at the cool of the day in the Garden searching for his defiant children. “Where art thou?” Gen 3:9. This was a voice of love for His disobedient children.
Hundred of years later the same voice was heard in a cave where the Elijah, the discouraged prophet of God was hiding.
This voice came again in the stillness of the day. “What doest thou here? This was a voice of challenge, especially when we find ourselves in places where we should not be.
Again many years later in the quite banks of River Jordan where Jesus the Savior of the world was baptized, we hear the voice again with certainty and assurance: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17.
Finally in Revelation 22:17 we find the same voice inviting men and women from all tribe, race, culture and nation from the four corners of this planet to be ready for the Grand Cosmic Arts Festival, the Second Coming of Christ. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Amidst the rush, the turmoil, the noises and sounds on this planet earth, whose voice are you tuning into every day?
What to do:
Find a quiet place where there is no disturbance
Read the assigned Chapter/s during family worship
Earnestly pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in your reading
Discover what message for the day is God bringing to you in the chapter. Write the message down in point form in a note book.
Pray for spiritual power at the end of the reading
By Titus Rore