Wednesday, January 31, 2007

From the man...Ray Stedman

I think I would have liked this man.......

"A quote by a close friend of Ray Stedman's , Jack Modesett, Jr., quotes Ray himself as saying, "If we will admit our inadequacy, we can have God's adequacy....The greatest problem in the church is trying to do God's work with man's strength....The key to Christian sufficiency is realizing that everything comes from God and nothing comes from me." (from the biographical web site of Ray Stedman)

This quote from that site as posted in a Christianity Today article on the man.

"Ray is now experiencing "the best," and the best conclusion here is to quote Ray's own challenge to his congregation: "So don't lose hope. You are headed for hope, headed for life, headed for glory. All of this life is working toward that end; that's the first thing to hang on to. You don't need to be depressed or feel that everything is useless, that you can't do anything because you are getting older ...that is not true. Paul prays that these Christians may feel in their hearts the great hope to which God has called them. It is all waiting for them, the shining hope beyond death."

Ramblings of a Ragamuffin

So today, I have been looking at the work of Ray Stedman on the Gospel of John and if you haven't checked out his thoughts or writings do so. Maybe it is me because this desire to know everything about everything....I know, I know.....I am like a train, constantly chugging along looking for more knowledge....yikes...don't worry though because that is a sin.... :) I spend time waiting on the Lord to reveal what He would to me as well.
Any whoo... The ladies group I am a part of got into a discussion last night about the beginnings of the New Covenant. The Cross of Calvary changed everything. Everything else before Christ's death and ultimate Resurrection was under the Law. Christ was born under the Law. Any whoo....again, I digress..... I happened upon this book by Stedman and I know I have heard some teaching that refers to this man and his thoughts. ( Frank Friedman).

This quote just blows me away and the fact that my daughter's are facing a chemistry and biology exam emphasized the thoughts on the atom even more and this is like way too cool to pass by.

"This amazing Man, Jesus of Nazareth, in the mystery of His being, was not only a human being here on earth. He was, John tells us, the One who created the universe at the beginning. He understands it. He knows how it functions. He directs, guards, and guides the creation to this day. He keeps it going and holds it in existence."

"I have always been fascinated by the great linear accelerator that runs out toward the mountains behind Stanford University. I have often thought about the immense energies which power that great scientific instrument as I have driven up Highway 280 between Palo Alto and San Francisco. This linear accelerator is, loosely speaking, a great “atom-smasher.” Using enormous voltages of electrical energy, the accelerator moves particles along a long tunnel, increasing the speed of the particles until they approach the speed of light. These high-speed particles smash into a target--the nucleus of an atom--at the far end of the tunnel."

"The energies used to smash these atoms are measured in “mega-electron volts” and “giga-electron volts”--that is, in millions and billions of volts! Why does it take so much power to break apart an atom so that its component particles can he studied? Science has asked that question for decades, and the answer is still unknown. All that is known is that there is a force that scientists do not yet understand which holds all things together."

"The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians what that force is: “In him [Jesus] all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17) The book of Hebrews says, “The Son is . . . the exact representation of [God's] being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3) And John says, “Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” The world around you, the book you hold in your hands, and your very body itself are all held together by His word and His power."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

So Funny

So, I am on holidays from the full-time job this week and have been having so much fun checking out different blogging sites that are kind of vast and varied but also like-minded in some ways. Anywhooo.... Pastor Mike from on coffee always has a very interesting array of articles from others and himself to check out. So through him to the D'caffeinated Pickle I read this quote from Dale Friesen.

"Heaven have mercy on us all-Presbyterians and Pagans alike-for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head and sadly need mending."

Melville, (Moby Dick)

I just laughed and laughed. Very slow day here at the home. :)

Which lead me to ....Friesen....there is a lot of them thar' Friesens and Froesen's my small sheltered, (non-mennonite background) life. Interesting....almost as many as Klassens....great names without question....but where are the Jones and Smiths and Whites....??? One of them just happens to be my maiden name.....nary a one in sight.... :) ~sigh~

Good Friends

Okay so, if you haven't noticed by my posts....not even recent posts but all my posts...I really haven't taken the time to learn how to link and I still have the space thing (you know, those wide random spaces within my blogs that I have no idea where they come from :), to figure out. Well, RoG over at walking church sent me a very kind e-mail and took me through the process and look at this .......!!!!! I am linking! I could have sent him a quiet e-mail thanking him...but he took the time to teach me something about this blogging ....and even though I know it ain't rocket science.....(I am reaching the half-century mark this year).... this age of technology sometimes overwhelms me, he blessed the socks off of me by doing this. Check out his blog. RoG is always sharing some spiritual truth = Jesus with those who drop by. So thanks for your kindness, my friend and being respectful about telling your elders how to manage their blogs....:) You are one of the good guys. God bless. ((((((It truly is the little things that rock my world.)))))

A Good Place To Visit

Tyler Watson at "The Space Between My Ears" has an interesting post about... Why Church? Asks for some response from the readers.

I am working on mine. :) The way to get to to his main page of recent posts.

Check it out Church!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Or....It Can Look Like








Thank You Father, for Jesus Who is Grace.

Church - The Way It Can Look

Church - One of Many Definitions

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew "kahal" of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church of Scotland," etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament:
(1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
(2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).
(3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
(4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at Corinth" (1 Cor. 1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church of Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.
(5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of Christ.
The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children." It is called "visible" because its members are known and its assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of "wheat and chaff," of saints and sinners. "God has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges, ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible church." A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in Matt. 13. The children of all who thus profess the true religion are members of the visible church along with their parents. Children are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5; Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts 2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e., are "saints", a title which designates the members of the Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14).
The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the head thereof." This is a pure society, the church in which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called "invisible" because the greater part of those who constitute it are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden. It is unseen except by Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19). The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises appertaining to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.
(1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into "their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were "added" to the "church" already existing (Acts 2:47).

[ Unabridged
cath·o·lic /ˈkæθəlɪk, ˈkæθlɪk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kath-uh-lik, kath-lik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective

1. broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded; liberal.
2. universal in extent; involving all; of interest to all.
3. pertaining to the whole Christian body or church. ]

(2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.
(3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an "everlasting kindgdom."
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tagged by RoG

Okay so this is the thing...RoG from Walking Church tagged me and these are the instructions.
I love games...

1) grab the nearest book to you
2) go to page 123
3) go to the fourth sentence and post the next three sentences
4) name the title and author of the book
5) tag three others to do the same

Two books did not have page weird is that? The thing is I never would have even known this if this game of tag had not come about. So Soul Cravings and The Dust Off Their Feet ....the two top books in the pile beside my desk could not be included....yes, I can count to 123 but I didn't want to!

"It may be at times you are so full of love and so awestruck at His presence that you do not know how to speak. That is all right! Your Father is far more pleased with these words - words which He sees pouring out from a heart that is full of love - than He could ever be by elaborate-sounding words that are dry and lifeless."

Jeanne Guyon from Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. Third in the pile. I love to play games is the rules that confuzzle me.

I will tag:

Redeemed Riders

We might have to wait on the Lord for some of these responses. :)

Thanks RoG.....How many pounds of books have you read on Sparks, so far? Keep it coming!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Soul Cravings

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Soul Cravings by Erwin RaphaelMcManus is a book of entries, (journal like), about the cravings of the soul, about the search for God and the deep desire to meet Him. An interesting read, where truth is scattered throughout and touches the places that are deep within and at times become difficult to think about, let alone talk about. Ever since I read the "Barbarian Way" by this author, I have wanted to look at another title. This one is reaching me. I love the way the author brings this down to my level. I understand, emotionally and spiritually the experiences of which he speaks in simple english. He talks a lot about longing to belong, looking for love and coming to the place where one knows the God is that place, first and foremost, and then extensions of that fall into place. That is my unsophisticated take on this book. I enjoy his upfrontedness. It does not offend me. This life is about realness. I like that.

These are some excerpts from "Entry #9". One example of how McManus speaks to me through this book.

"I meet people who are running from God, angry with God, and yet at the same time desperately searching for him. If God is love, it is maddening when we are running from God and yet searching for love."

"Sometimes the thing we want the most, we fear the most."

"When it comes to love, often we are our own worst enemies. When we've been hurt in the past, when we feel that love has betrayed us, we can easily become the enemies of love. To see if it's real, we do everything we can to destroy it. We tell ourselves we're testing it, but actually we're resisting it."

"The truth of the matter is that we're uncomfortable with God. We're disoriented by the way he loves."

"We want God to love us for an endless number of good reasons."

"At the same time, we find ourselves nervous before him because he sees right through us and knows everything that isn't lovable. He tells us that he is our place of rest and acceptance and unconditional love, yet we cannot reconcile this love. We know who we are. We know all that is unlovely within us. We wonder how we have become worthy of such love, and that's what worries us - we know we're not. So we escape our own sense of unworthiness; we run from God because we are certain that the closer we come to him, the more guilt and shame we will feel."

"It's just too hard to believe that if yu come near to God, you will find yourself not drowning in condemnation, but swimming in compassion.

Jesus called to all who were weary and who found their souls exhausted to come to him and find rest. He is telling us that God will be for us our place called home.

We run from God because we long to be loved and we have convinced ourselves that the One who is most loving could not and would not embrace us.

We run from the One our souls crave."

"....We have no real experience of unconditional love, and it goes without saying that conditional love always leaves us wanting. But at least with conditional love we have some control over the situation."

So as I read through these fragments of McManus' words..... I found myself so wonderfully blessed to know the Truth that is Jesus. The Grace that is Jesus. The Forgiveness that is Jesus. The Love that is Jesus. The journey through the cravings of this soul, has been long and continues to be one of returning to the knowledge that has come over time. He is Everything. He makes ALL things new. He is Love that does not die.

As McManus states......"It is insanity to run from God and search for love."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just a Little More

"So it is with truth. Scripture cautions us, because we 'suppress the truth in unrighteousness.' We stifle the natural voice and direction of truth, and we twist it to fit our wills and our ways. But even the sinful way we hold truth doesn't make it less true. The truth remains the truth. We may take good things and pervert them, but that doesn't mean they are not good. It means that what we've done with them isn't good, like eating so much Healthy Choice ice cream that it's no longer a healthy choice."

"We often begin by holding the gold (the nuggets of truth hidden in fairy tales) and end up cluthching it so tightly it becomes a disfigured, misshapen image. This is the way we start to build castles in the air. We take good gifts, greedily cling to them, and even worship them, ignoring the Giver of these gifts. becomes idolatry that will deform our hearts and make them vulnerable."

"When we are accused of living in a world of denial or of fairy-tale thinking, it's pretty safe to say we went there for good reasons. We want the good stuff."

Taken from the book Keeping a Princess Heart, by Nicole Johnson.

I shall end this short look into this book....with a quote she uses from Oswald Chambers.

"Temptation is a suggested short cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim - not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good."

In Him,
Looking forward to living out the most wonderful and grandest happily ever after of all time, because He is Truth and Faithful and His Word is true. The vision of John is no fairy tale but our hope in Him.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why not?

Well, it is time for a kind of girly girl kind of a post from nightwatch. Only those brothers who are comfortable with fairy tales should proceed. :) Actually this post can be read by all...take what you will away from it.....theologically simple....a great read and food for thought....for all of us who desire a better world. Taken from a book by Nicole Johnson....Keeping a Princess Heart.

"It is right that we should desire to live in a world full of love.
Our hopes to have beautiful homes and lovely gardens are neither bad nor wrong.
Our longings for happy endings are good. All these hungers remind us that our hearts are homesick for a better world - a world that runs the way it is supposed to, a world not ruined by sin. For it is sin, or the way the world has gone wrong, that is the real wrong - not our desires, not our dreams, not our longings.

Paul Marshall writes this in Heaven Is Not My Home:
Sin is not the story; it is the blight on the story. Sin distorts everything, perverts everything, and corrupts everything. It is not sin that makes us bear children, but it is sin that makes us bear children, but it is sin that makes childbearing painful. It is not sin that attracts men and women, but it is sin that fills our relations with control and suspicions. It is not sin that makes music, but it is sin that fills our songs with vanity and lust. It is not sin that makes us construct cities and towers, but it is sin that makes those towers symbols of pride and power. It is not sin that calls human beings to live and love, to make music, and art, to work and create, to plant and to harvest, to play and dance. But it is sin that undercuts and perverts them all.

Sin does not create things. It has no originality, no creativity, no being in itself. Sin lives off that which is good. It is a parasite, feeding greedily on the goodness of what God has made.

The goodness of what God has made and the hints of the way/the world should have gone are evident everywhere. We see it so clearly when we are captivated by nature's raw beauty. We notice it when we are playing or throwing our heads back in laughter. We experience it when we are dancing or reading poetry. We taste it when we sit down to a great meal. And we feel it most keenly when we love. There is so much to taste and see and enjoy and feel in the lives God has given us.

But alas, as wonderful as it all is, it still falls short. Beauty is marred, the laughter ends, the dance is over, nature changes, and love wounds. Nothing lasts. Even the dusk is poignant in its own way. Everything around us has been touched by sin, and even the best things are affected.

So it is with truth......."

More to come....hope your curiosity has been tickled.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What Grace Looks Like

Check out a great article on grace called,
"Tuesdays with Harry - Sharing Time",
posted on

Life is too short to be unaccepting of those who cross our path in different ways on different days. Christ in us...would not even contemplate shunning anyone that was different. In fact, He would embrace them. He would love them. He will do this through us.

Might we be as gracious as the gathering in this article was.

John 15:5

From the Amplified Bible

"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing."

Thank you My Father for that!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Matthew 5:43-44 KJV

"You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love they neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

How did God ever think or know that we were going to handle this Look around just isn't happening! That is the point isn't it? In and of ourselves this can never happen. We just haven't got it in us ..... or do we? Jesus can do this perfectly through us as we allow. Who better to manifest this principle through us. I know I could never, ever, not ever.....on my own....yep, weak and determined, I am going to hold on to that bitterness and resentment forever....He has freed me from that and loosened me ..... He does it through me. It doesn't get any better than that!


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Matthew 5:38-42

Giving of others because of Him.

"You have heard that it was said, "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 'But I tell you. Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.'"

Matthew 5:38-42

Before we start justifying ourselves....or the New Covenant, or the fact that Christ had not yet finished what He came to earth to finish, once and for all, just look at what He calls us to do.
It goes against the grain of our very self....our very flesh. How could could we possibly do this and.....not say a word.


Sunday, January 07, 2007


"What is abandonment? It is forgetting your past; it is leaving the future in His hands; it is devoting the present fully and completely to your Lord. Abandonment is being satisfied with the present moment, no matter what the moment contains. You are satisfied because you know that whatever that moment has, it contains - in that instant - God's eternal plan for you."

"Abandonment is casting off all your cares. Abandonment is dropping all your
needs. This includes spiritual needs. Let me repeat that, for it is not easily
grasped. Abandonment is laying aside, forever, all of your spiritual needs."

Jeanne Guyon from Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ

Being the Church today....

picture by

Well, out for a morning of fellowship with walkingchurch this a.m. and I went back through some information on this word Koinonia that fascinated me then and even more now. What fellowship and community and coming alongside one another means and what that looks like. Walkingchurch is coming into its own and with Jesus as the central focus in any activity, it becomes a true blessing from God. I think He is teaching each one of us so many things that a walk around the park can be just that or so much more.

This information came from a couple of different sources and having now lost those....I am very bad at keeping track of information. If this is something you sent or recommended to me.......sorry. This word koinonia......has many different meanings...these are the ones that touch my heart today.

Koinonia is the anglicisation of a Greek word that means partnership or fellowship. The word is used frequently in the New Testament of the Bible to describe the relationship within the early Christian church. As a result the word is used frequently within Christian circles to describe the fellowship and community of Christians - or more frequently the idealised state of fellowship and community that should exist. Many Christian organisations use the word Koinonia in their titles, particularly if one of their objectives is the establishment of community.

The Spiritual Meaning of Koinonia The word has such a multitude of meanings that no single English word is adequate to express its depth and richness. It is a derivative of "koinos," the word for common. Koinonia, is a complex, rich, and thoroughly fascinating Greek approach to building community or teamwork. Those who have studied the word find there is always an implication of action included in its meaning. The definition of the word is quite rich in that there are many connotations because the word used in a variety of related contexts.

Fellowship : To create a bond between comrades is the meaning of koinonia when people are recognized, share their joy and pains together, and are united because of their common experiences, interests and goals. Fellowship creates a mutual bond which overrides each individual’s pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with fraternity, belonging, and companionship. This meaning of koinonia accounts for the ease by which sharing and generosity flow. When combined with the spiritual implications of koinonia, fellowship provides a joint participation in God’s graces and denotes that common possession of spiritual values. Thus early Greco-Roman Christians had a fellowship with God, sharing the common experience of joys, fears, tears, and divine glory. In this manner, those who shared believed their true wealth lay not in what they had, but in what they gave to others. Fellowship is never passive in the meaning of koinonia, it is always linked to action, not just being together, but also doing together. With fellowship comes a close and intimate relationship embracing ideas, communication, and frankness, as in a true, blessed interdependent friendship among multiple group members.

Community : The idea of community denotes a “common unity” of purpose and interests. By engaging in this united relationship a new level of consciousness and conscience emerges that spurs the group to higher order thinking and action, thus empowering and encouraging its members to exist in a mutually beneficial relationship. Thus community and family become closely intertwined, because aiming at a common unity strives to overcome brokenness, divisiveness, and, ultimately gaining wholeness with each of the members, with their environment, and with their God. By giving mutual support, friendship and family merge. Both fellowship and community imply an inner and outer unity. No where in the framework of community is their implied a hierarchy of command and control. While there is leadership, the leader’s task is to focus energy, and align interests, not impose control. Koinonia creates a brethren bond which builds trust and, especially when combined with the values of Wisdom, Virtue and Honor, overcomes two of humanity’s deepest fears and insecurities: being betrayed and being demeaned. Whether working collectively or individually, the innovators of ancient Greece worked for the greater good of the whole – to propel their community forward, to share their understanding with others so that all ships would rise on a rising tide. Thus loftier goals and dreams are more easily manifested in the mind and achieved in reality.