Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
From a guy who makes me incredibly happy....just by being a humble brother in the Lord. He makes me smile and chuckle and laugh out loud. Really, a lot of times something like this can make me realize the power of the Body of Christ. Simple and yet so touching. The internet community that I have the pleasure of being connected into has provided something most valuable in my life. A great source of information, heart cries, and just good support in a fun and Truth filled way. I may not have the time to always be involved in all the antics and joy but I read about it and it makes my day a lot ..... We are all far from perfect in our flesh but we recognize our perfection in Christ and He is our Life. God bless you Leonard and thanks for having me on your "hit list". I accept the honour knowing it came from someone who is living the Life out loud of my Jesus!
Check out this guy....he is the bomb! http://a-branch.blogspot.com/2009/01/head-gear.html
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Read Bo's Cafe by John Lynch, Bill Thrall, and Bruce McNicol. Actually just finished the last few chapters this morning. Started it yesterday. Good sign. It captivated me. Don't comment on the fictional aspect of this book. I live in fiction. The real world is too intent on fixing everyone in 5 easy steps. I love the idea that comes through that freedom is not immediate and is a journey. I know that Freedom is Christ but this is more about appropriating that. Check out a website: http://www.boscafe.com/site/ It is all about living an authentic Christian life and coming alongside others who are broken and hurting just like the rest of us....whether we let it show or not. Forget performance driven acceptance.....unconditional love is a key in this book.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I kind of thought it was profound.
Dying to self is...
-When you are not forgiven or you're neglected or purposely set aside and you hurt with the insult or oversight, but your heart is happy and you're content to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ- that's dying to self.
-When your good is evil spoken of; when your wishes are crossed, your advice is disregarded, your opinions are ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger arise in your heart or even defend yourself but take it all in patient loyal silence- that's dying to self.
-When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with foolishness, extravagance, spiritual insensitivity, and endure it as Jesus endured it- that's dying to self.
-When you see another brother prosper and see his needs being met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor even question God while your needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances- that's dying to self.
-When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up in your heart--that's dying to self.
-When you never care to refer to yourself or record your own good works or seek commendation; when you can truly love to be unknown- that's dying to self.
Truly loving to be unknown...faithfully serving so that others may prosper and draw closer to Jesus. Accepting any and all tasks, regardless of where that leaves you.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I have not been sharing too much as of late (as a brother blogger has suggested to me as recently as today :) It gets tiresome - blogging and facebooking and twittering and all of it, you know. Is anybody out there listening? I am reading though, and sometimes a gem comes through as I read and I think "leave it to the Quakers to speak through Paul Anderson Walsh to me this morning". I remind myself this blog and all communication from me stems from Abba, my Father and through Him and in Him and through me (as insignificant as I feel and as significant as I am to Him...), I remember I am totally enjoying rest in Him at times as I also am sharing Words of Life from Him at other times.
Sharing this from Paul from his posting on Facebook.
"Our Life is Love, and Peace and Tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations against one another; but praying for one another, and helping one another with a tender hand." (edited by me). ("Yes, if only, Father", I respond).
I checked out the Quakers, I am not sure they would like this term but I did. I came up with this quote. I like it. I don't love it but I like it. I think I could be a Quaker. Silence is nothing short of Heavenly at times. :)
"The Life that intends to be wholly obedient, wholly submissive, wholly listening, is astonishing in its completeness. Its joys are ravishing, it peace profound, its humility the deepest, its power world-shaking, its love enveloping, its simplicity that of a trusting child."
Thomas R. Kelly
I am here! Alive, fully in Him and at times just listening :)
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I came across this quote in my reading over the weekend. Thought long and hard on this. Not sure that this is the case. As I looked up the definition of sustain....I decided that truly it is not. Parts of sustaining can be attributed to those we love, but for me, there is only one source of sustenance. It has always been this way. Even when I thought I was being sustained by other things and other people...I was mislead. I heard some teaching on love and the acts of laziness being not laziness but self-centeredness. I truly believe this. I think we all are so self-absorbed and self-focused that we forget from where our sustenance comes from and we fail to showcase Him in our daily life. Had I understood this at a much younger age.....I would definitely not believed it! (This aside comes from a quote given by Mike on Facebook today.)
"I am not young enough to know everything." Oscar Wilde.....Anyway.....I am thankful that there is the One True One who sustains me in every single aspect of my life, no matter what is going on.
I also agree that sometimes we can love ourselves and our intimate community so much that we forget to love others or we forget to just let God love others through us. (That is my way of putting things, anyway.) It is difficult and lonely to live without community or fellowship or whathaveyou....but it is much harder to live without True Sustenance. Having one does not preclude having the other.
Just thinking out loud today. :)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Take my life I lay it down
At the cross where I am found
All I have I give to You oh God
Take my hands and make them clean
Keep my heart in purity
That I may walk in all You have for me
Oh here I stand
Arms open wide
Oh I am Yours
And You are mine
Take my moments and my days
Let each breath that I take
Be ever only for You oh God
My whole life is Yours
I give it all
Surrendered to Your Name
And forever I will pray
Have Your way
Have Your way
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
A Sparkling Gem from Sparks, himself.
"What we want to say is, that God Himself will do His work. It cannot be done through our trying to do it. To ask Him to help us to do His work is a great mistake. If it is the Lord's work, then it is HE who is doing it.. He never gives His own work into our hands. The Lord does not give His work to you or to me. We are but His employees, like the workman who uses his tools. A tool never thinks out what it should do. It simply yields to the hand of its master. He has the plan. He has the skill and the strength, and the tool is only expressing what is in the mind of the workman. The responsibility lies with HIM. The tool is only allowed to do what the master wants to do through his instrument. Imagine an instrument getting up in the morning determined to do this or that, hoping the master would help it. This is not the right attitude. Let us think of the tool which takes this attitude and says: "Now Master, you know what you will do. You have the plan. You know how you will work, and at what time You will do it. I am here at Your disposal. I am willing to serve You in any way You please. I am altogether consecrated to You and Your purpose. I look to You concerning the work which lies before us. You must be the wisdom, the strength and the power of endurance behind me. If I should become blunt You can sharpen me again. Everything depends upon You, but I am One with You."
(I have always liked the watering can illustration, myself, given to me by one of my very first real and Truth-based mentors, but this works just as well.)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Yea, I spent a life-time trying to "do" the right thing. "Live" the right way. "Say" the right thing. It started when I was a kid and tried to earn the love and acceptance of parents and family and friends. It didn't work then and it didn't work later on at school either. It didn't work in my marriage and it doesn't work raising kids.
Then came in MY trying to do everything right for God. I tried to do what I was supposed to do for years as a Christian. The thing is ... everyone had a different perspective on what that thing was. Denominations swore they had the answers and I pretty much tried them all. None of them were very consistent or even knew what they believed most of the time. It was just always about rules and ways to act and be and becoming holy somehow by doing this and that. It was tough looking around at the plastic people around me and thinking they had it together when my life was crumbling around me and I was trying and trying and trying. Imperfections made me crazy...in others and in myself. I walked away for a loooong time. I am just so glad that He loved me so much that He never walked away....you know what I mean...from me.
It has been in the last 5 years that I have come into an understanding first and foremost of the Love of God that I finally began to understand. There were lots of instrumental people that God put in my path to direct and help me understand how much I was loved by God .... never having felt this truly by anyone ....it took a while to internalize. This understanding, real understanding of unconditional love was key for me. When I was introduced to the Exchanged Life or the Grace Walk or whatever label you want to put on it....it was like freedom ...it was like heavy stones lifted from my heart and shoulders. Could it be? I could rest for a while and just let Jesus minister to me and through me. It has been an awesome journey and I have never been more passionate about living this Life. I think it was easier to fall into the performance trap and doing because it is organized and orderly and makes sense in a warped kind of peculiar way....rather than falling into love with Jesus and having a real relationship with Him because being real and vulnerable and open was never a part of who I was....I still have a long road ahead but appropriating my identity in Christ and really getting it, you know... and realizing that I was loved NO MATTER WHAT and so was everyone around me, and He could love through me to others ....even those that I never thought I could love....it has been the biggest thrill and adventure of my life....but it is hard getting past the thoughts of old and the way things have always been. I just love finally coming to the place where I know that I am a new creation and just loving to Read Romans 8 regularly to be reminded .... nothing....can keep me from His Love. How could it? His Life is in me. My mind needs to be renewed constantly to keep the evil out....but I think I have come to a comfortable place of recognizing that and not letting it overcome me. I focus on the Truth and that is Jesus to me. Jesus will never allow anyone to make me feel less than who I am....anymore....and Jesus would never let me "try" to win over all of those sad souls....He has everything in His Hands and I don't need to do anything but know the One True Thing and there are no unrealistic expectations ....He knows me and still He loves me!
How cool is that? Sometimes the Love piece is what I find needs to happen first and foremost in the hurting people around me who are trying so hard to "do" the Lord's work. Living loved allows Him to love through you to others. Top of my list anyway was to recognize the Love that is freely given. Grace .... is He to me!
Saturday, May 02, 2009
"I say to you. Blessed is he who exposes himself to an existence never brought under mastery, who does not transcend, but rather abandons himself to my ever-transcending grace. Blessed are not the enlightened whose every question has been answered and who are delighted with their own sublime insight, the mature and ripe ones whose one remaining action is to fall from the tree. Blessed, rather, are the chased, the harassed who must daily stand before my enigmas and cannot solve them. Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who lack a spirit of cleverness. Woe to the rich, and woe to the doubly rich in spirit! Although nothing is impossible with God, it is difficult for the Spirit to move their fat hearts. The poor are willing and easy to direct. Like little puppies they do not take their eyes from their master's hand to see if perhaps he may throw them a little morsel from his plate. So carefully do the poor follow my promptings that they listen to the wind (which blows where it pleases), even when it changes. From the sky they can read the weather and interpret the signs of the times. My grace in unpretentious, but the poor are satisfied with little gifts."
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Just a series of remarkable quotes found in Brennan Manning's book "the furious longing of God". I have been slowly steeping in this book for a bit now and love to reflect on the simplicity and profundity of his thoughts and words.
"Oneness with ultimate reality is not an abstract idea; it is a spiritual experience of knowing that the timeless God is at the door inviting you to full union. It is an attentiveness to the present, a readiness, at every moment, to receive reality, to enjoy deeply even the simplest things. In the words of poet Paul Murray: "This moment, the grace of this one raptureless moment..."~Thomas Brodie~
"The entire process (of self-development) can be very exciting and entertaining. But the problem is there's no end to it. The fantasy is that if one heads in the right direction and just works hard enough to learn new things and grows enough and gets actualized, one will be there. None of us is quite certain exactly where there is, but it obviously has something to do with resting." ~Gerald May~ :)
"God loves me as much as He loves Jesus." ~Brennan Manning~ How is that possible? John 17:22,23
"The Gospel can be summed up by saying that it is the tremendous, tender, compassionate, gentle, extraordinary, explosive, revolutionary revelation of Christ's love." ~Catherine de Hueck Doherty~ (in "The Gospel Without Compromise") sourced from Brennan Manning's book "the furious longing of God".
"...the outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, neither the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The Love of Christ embraces all without exception. Again, the Love of God is folly!" ~Brennan Manning~
On the invitation to union with Jesus - "It is not reserved for those who are well-known mystics or for those who do wonderful things for the poor... (It is for) those poor enough to welcome Jesus. It is for people living ordinary lives and who feel lonely. It is for all those who are old, hospitalized or out of work, who open their hearts in trust to Jesus and cry out for his healing love." ~Jean Vanier~
"If you took the love of all the best mothers and fathers who have lived in the course of human history, all their goodness, kindness, patience, fidelity, wisdom, tenderness, strength, and love and united all those qualities in a single person, that person's love would only be a faint shadow of the furious love and mercy in the heart of God the Father addressed to you and me at this moment." ~Brennan Manning~
"Rather than being appalled by the discontinuity between the poetic and interesting and the prosaic and mundane, it serves well to fasten on the utter delight of a loving God who is deeply touched that in the brouhaha of your busy life, you would devote even five minutes to spiritual reading." ~Brennan Manning~
"When one of England's finest writers, G. K. Chesterton, spoke of "the furious love of God," he was referencing the enormous vitality and strength of the God of Jesus seeking union with us." ~ Brennan Manning~ (and not fury as extreme anger, if anyone should confuse this) :)
"The Love of God is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods - of elation or depression. The furious Love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender." ~Brennan Manning~
"The furious longing of God, as Dan Berrigan writes, is "not to be reduced to a thing, a grand ideal; it is not to be reduced to a plaything, a caged thing, a songbird, for the amusement of children." It cannot be tamed, boxed, captivated, housebroken, or templebroken. It is simply and startlingly Jesus, the effulgence(a brilliant radiance) of the Father's love." ~Brennan Manning~
"..no need to mince words. I believe that Christianity happens when men and women experience the reckless, raging confidence that comes from knowing the God of Jesus Christ." ~Brennan Manning~
"I am my Beloved's, and His desire is for me" Song of Solomon 7:10
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Wait until I can preview his song "Identity"....from this CD. It is awesome. Unavailable on You Tube ....check it here
From Wikipedia - John Waller
John Waller (born December 12, 1970) is an American Contemporary Christian musician, a singer-songwriter. He was the lead singer for the late-1990s band According to John. After the band quit in 2001, he became a worship leader at South Link CPP (Free Methodist Church) in Colorado.
He is now signed to the Christian label Beach Street Records and has released his debut album The Blessing in March 2007.
Waller was named one of 10 "Faces to Watch" by Billboard in 2007.
He recently finished touring with Grammy Award-winning band Casting Crowns and Leeland on the spring leg of The Altar and the Door tour, which ended on May 31, 2008.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
CARROTS, EGGS & COFFEE
A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans . She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water..
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Kind of coinciding with one of on coffee's recently posted videos, I had on order for myself Brennan Manning's new book "the furious longing of God". (How could I resist a Manning book at all and especially with a title like that?) It was a moment of weakness and then I saw Mike's post and figured ... it was all good :) I had to justify it being a birthday present because....I am trying to finish the mountain of books that I have piled high next to my desk ....which I think relates to another post about "stuff stuff stuff", in light of eternity. But I envision a very large library in my mansion....despite the fact I will have all my questions answered...I love to read. Any way...after that aside...listen to the back write-up on the jacket of the book. Oh I do love Brennan. I would love to share an evening of discussion with him on this earthly plain....but alas, I fear it shall never happen....I hear him and his understanding of the love of God through his words, and his references to Scripture.
"Imagine a stormy day at sea, your ship yielding to a relentless wind, pummeled by crashing waves, subject to the awesome force of nature. A force that is both fierce and majestic. A power that is nothing short of furious.
Such is God's intense, consuming love for His children. It's a love that knows no limits and no boundaries. A love that will go to any lengths, and take any risks, to pursue us.
Renowned author and ragamuffin Brennan Manning presents a love story for the brokenhearted. For those who are burdened by heavy religion. For those who feel they never measure up. It is a provocative and poignant look at the radical, no-holds-barred love our our Heavenly Father. It is a message that will forever change how you view God."
I cannot wait to dig in!
P.S. I see Matthew has found this book as well, as I looked for a suitable picture for the book for this post...his blog posting googled on up....cool! Anyway, I guess it was just meant to be. I don't really care what negative things people are saying about Manning....I love his writing and I love him. Love of the Father, no better topic than that for me......well, let me qualify that .....in my mind today anyway.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
There is a love that I know
A strength for the weak and the broken heart
My Shepherd and King I find You within me
For You are here
You carried the cross for the world
Gathered the lost and the fatherless
My Shepherd and King
I find You within me
For You are here
My Lord forever
You are here
In this place, You are here
By Your mercy, I draw near
In my heart, take Your place
You are here
Your word is the light of the earth
Your glory resounds in the universe
My Shepherd and King
I find You within me
For You are here
My Lord forever You are here
You are here
You are here
You are here
The same power that conquered the grave
Lives in me, Lives in me
Your love that rescued the earth
Lives in me, lives in me
You are here
You are here
You are here
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Then God said, ''Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground (Genesis 1:26).
Reign in life--not in heaven--in life, now, at this present time. That means to control events, to govern the effects of life around us, through fulfilling the program of the Father and moving in the direction God determines. Redeemed man is never to be a helpless victim of circumstances. It was not meant for the world to make havoc of the church but for the church to make havoc of the world.
If you read the events of our Lord's last week in Jerusalem, you will see exactly what I mean. There He is, moving toward the goal that the Father has ordained, that He should die upon a cross. He sets His face like a flint to go up to Jerusalem and is constantly aiming at that moment He knows to be the Father's program for Him. But notice how He goes toward it in full control of every circumstance. He sends out the disciples to do the work that leads to His arrest. He dismisses Judas to go out into the night. When the soldiers come to take Him, He rebukes them, and they fall to the ground in fear. He could easily have turned and fled, but He waits quietly for them to take Him. The only untroubled person in all that troubled account is the person of the Lord Jesus as He walks in solitary majesty through all those tumultuous events. He was reigning in life. And that is what the Christian is called to do. The circumstances of our lives are sent by the Father--they are the program God has picked out for us--but our attitude in them is to master every event, not being taken by surprise.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Narrow daylight entered my room
Shining hours were brief
Winter is over
Summer is near
Are we stronger than we believe?
I walked through halls of reputation
Among the infamous too
As the camera clings to the common thread
Beyond all vanity
Into a gaze to shoot you through
Is the kindness we count upon
Hidden in everyone?
I stepped out in a sunlit groove
Although deep down I wished it would rain
Washing away all the sadness and tears
That will never fall so heavily again
Is the kindness we count upon
Hidden in everyone
I stood there in the salt spray air
Felt the wind sweeping over my face
Ran up through the rocks to the old
It's a place where I can find some peace
Narrow daylight entered my room
Shining hours were brief
Winter is over
Summer is near
Are we stronger than we believe?
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Thanks Jesus for living through Frank this a.m. to minister to me. How awesome!
How cool that the message that I heard this a.m. was on how we stand against the campaign of demons and lies. The battle that rages in our minds. How do we? With all the things that Jesus is.....Truth, Love, Significance, and that...is how we deal with warfare....by the renewing of our mind in faith. We choose to believe what God says....despite what we see around us ....or how we feel.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
From the devotion based on Ray Stedman's teaching.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes (Ephesians 6:11).
Our experience confirms the suggestion of this passage—that life is basically a struggle. Life never conforms to the rosy idealism of our dreams or to the romanticism of our songs. The explanation of this struggle lies deeper than we ordinarily think. The common view of our struggle has been that we are engaged in conflict against flesh and blood, against other men and women. But Paul says the battle is not against flesh and blood; it lies deeper than that. The basic problem is that this is a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan and that people themselves are the battlefield. The battle is visible not only in the wars, revolutions, and crime waves that fill our newspapers, but it is also seen in the inner tensions and fears of individual lives, in the neurotic problems and mental illnesses that afflict us today, in family fights and church struggles. It is even visible in nature, where all of life competes in a ruthless, deadly struggle to survive.
The whole race has fallen under the control of satanic forces, which Paul calls, "the world rulers of this present darkness" (6:12 RSV)—a most significant phrase. The picture of the Bible from beginning to end is that all human beings without Christ, without exception, regardless of how clever or educated or cultured they may be, are the helpless victims of satanic control. Under the control of satanic forces human beings are uncomfortable and unhappy but also completely unable to escape by any wisdom or power of their own.
But the good news is that some have been set free through the coming of that "stronger one," Jesus Himself, who came, as John tells us, "to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3:8b). Through Him deliverance is obtained. Through the amazing mystery of the cross and the resurrection, Jesus has broken the power and bondage of Satan over human lives. Those who individually receive and acknowledge this are set free to live in the freedom and liberty of the children of God.
They are not set free to live unto themselves. They are set free in order to battle. That is the call that comes to all Christians. We are not set free in order to enjoy ourselves. We are set free to do battle, to engage in the fight, to overcome in our own lives, and to become the channels by which others are set free. How do you do this? Paul's answer is in one phrase: "Put on the whole armor of God." Full provision has been made that you might win in this battle. This is the amazing thing we must learn. God has made full provision for us to fight these forces that hold the world in their grip.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
We have had much rain. Family and friend's basements or basement apartments are flooding and just really making things difficult for everyone. I live on the eighth floor and I still have trouble with rain and windows. Rain can be an interesting and inconvenient thing, eh? Rain can be a truly awesome and beautiful thing as well as noted in the video above.
Some people look for rain from God by way of I guess His Holy Spirit for refreshment as do parched, barren and dry arid lands look for rain for relief. It does not always come.
So circumstances dictate to us the need for rain. Or is the rain an answer to anything spiritual at all? Some have said we need not ask for an anointing or a drenching of the Holy Spirit because everything is already there waiting to be called upon, if you are a child of the King.
There have been some sadnesses of late. Deaths of friends, sicknesses, difficult circumstances....do we look for the rain....or do we know that the Creator of the rain and all other things is in control. The basements will dry out....the barren lands may see some moistening. Will our lives, minds and hearts be renewed by the knowledge that God is in Control and in Jesus, is our Life and all rainstorms have a purpose, unknown by us at times....but a Heavenly purpose nonetheless. Cry out to Him, cry for the rain to fall on crusted lands and dry-bone hearts, by all means....but if you know Him ...know that He hears and understands the sorrow, the pain but that He is the only answer to every care - despite how we feel. He is Peace, Love, Joy, Comfort and all of those things that we desperately search for outside ourselves.
What do you think of the rain?
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
Quote brought to light to me From Mike at on coffee
len sweet posts this great quote via twitter
"People are worth more than the worst act of their life."Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3).
Remember that all these blessings are available to us in the realm that Paul calls the heavenlies. He is not referring to heaven here; he does not mean going to heaven when you die. We get such distorted concepts of heaven! Heaven, as most people envision it, is not an attractive place to me—damp, rainy clouds; unstrung harps out of tune; and white robes. A good travel brochure could make west Texas look preferable to heaven. And yet most people think that this is what Paul is talking about when he speaks of the heavenlies.
No, "in the heavenly realms" is a reference to the invisible realities of our life now. These realities certainly reach on into eternity, but they are something to be experienced now in your inner life—your thought life, where you feel conflict and pressure, struggle and disaster—that is part of the heavenlies. It is where we are exposed to the attack of the principalities and powers , those dark spirits in high places who get to us and depress us and frighten us and make us anxious or hostile. The heavenlies is not only the realm of conflict but also where God can release us and deliver us, where the Spirit of God reaches us at the seat of our intellect, emotions, and our will. It is the realm of those deep, surging urges that rise within us and create either a restlessness or a sense of peace, depending on the source from which they come. So don't read this as though it were something out in space somewhere. These blessings are yours in your inner experience now if you are in Jesus Christ.
Obviously, all of this comes to us in one great package "in Christ." If you are not a Christian, you cannot possibly claim these benefits, because they are not yours—there is no way you can appropriate them unless you are in Christ. But if you are "in Christ," there is nothing to keep you from having all of them, every moment of every day. That is why it is so important that we discover what they are.
These are much more than mere theological ideas. They are facts, foundational truths that undergird us in every moment of our life. And unless you understand those facts, you can't utilize or benefit from them. In that way they are like natural laws. The laws of nature operate regardless of how we feel—they are impersonal in that respect.
In my experience of doing electrical work, I've discovered that electricity follows a pattern of its own and takes no notice of how I feel at the moment. That can be a shocking experience! It doesn't hesitate to retaliate for any violation of its laws that I commit. It is up to me to discover how it works and then to respect it if I want to utilize it. The same thing is true of these great facts. They will not do you a particle of good if you don't discover what they are and believe them enough to operate on the basis of them.
Father, thank You for these vast truths. I pray that my understanding may be made equal to them. I can't grasp them properly apart from the work of Your Spirit, and I pray that You will open my eyes and help me to see that these things are true indeed.
from a devotion based on Ray Steadman's writings.
Monday, February 23, 2009
"I never read the Bible as a child, and I expected that it would be full of fire and brimstone. This notion has only been reinforced by hearing one angry, hateful person after another claim to represent all Christians, as they wagged and pounded the Bible. Reading the Bible disabused me of any sense that a hateful person could represent this faith. The book is beautiful and exquisitely written - but it is characterized by one quality that colors every page: love."
- actor Ben Affleck on naming the biblical book of Matthew as one of the books that made a difference in his life, as quoted in O: The Oprah Magazine, August 2008
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"I have great worth apart from my performance because Christ gave His life for me, and therefore, imparted great value to me. I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted and complete in Christ.... and you dear Christian....are deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted and complete in Christ."
"Man was never created to live by principles but by Life..."
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
One of my favourite story tellers of all times from his last recorded concert....
Harry Chapin - December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981
If you don't like the song....like he said... :)
Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Chapin
"I can see myself it's a golden sunrise
Young boy open up your eyes
It's supposed to be your day.
Now off you go horizon bound
And you won't stop until you've found
Your own kind of way.
And the wind will whip your tousled hair,
The sun, the rain, the sweet despair,
Great tales of love and strife.
And somewhere on your path to glory
You will write your story of a life.
And all the towns that you walk through
And all the people that you talk to
Sing you their songs.
And there are times you change your stride,
There are times you can't decide
Still you go on.
And then the young girls dance their gypsy tunes
And share the secrets of the moon
So soon you find a wife.
And though she sees your dreams go poorly
Still she joins your story of a life.
So you settle down and the children come
And you find a place that you come from.
Your wandering is done.
And all your dreams of open spaces
You find in your children's faces
One by one.
And all the trips you know you missed
And all the lips you never kissed
Cut through you like a knife.
And now you see stretched out before thee
Just another story of a life.
So what do you do now?
When she looks at you now?
You know those same old jokes all the jesters tell
You tell them to her now.
And all the same old songs all the minstrels sang
You sing 'em to her now.
But it don't matter anyhow
'Cause she knows by now.
So every chance you take don't mean a thing.
What variations can you bring
To this shopworn melody.
And every year goes by like a tollin' bell.
It's battered merchandise you sell.
Not well, she can see.
And though she's heard it all a thousand times
Couched in your attempted rhymes
She'll march to your drum and fife.
But the question echoes up before me
Where's the magic story of a life?
Now sometimes words can serve me well
Sometimes words can go to hell
For all that they do.
And for every dream that took me high
There's been a dream that's passed me by.
I know it's so true
And I can see it clear out to the end
And I'll whisper to her now again
Because she shared my life.
For more than all the ghosts of glory
She makes up the story,
She's the only story
Of my life."
Monday, February 09, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
"It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah."
Saturday, January 31, 2009
12. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
13. from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
14. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I am throwing up a few points that seem to go along with my thinking of late but yet the word follower is jumping out and unnerving me. I prefer the word believer. I get the whole "I have decided to follow Jesus" idea but the emphasis seems wrong to me. This is not a new struggle for me. I love meeting together with fellow believers in many different settings and sometimes wonder if we are too easily willing to conform to a box be it one thing or another. Lately, an on-line community for me can "feel" like the following definition of church....also a group of three who met at my place last Sunday night can also feel like it as well. Is the definition all that important? Everyone is trying to move us to a certain type of thinking. I am just wanting, desiring, fervently attempting to be in relationship first with Jesus/Father/Spirit and then be in relationship with others in many different ways always changing and evolving according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is a much pondered and sometimes tough way to "do church", so I choose not to.....just to "be". Where He is, I am there. Big or little in numbers and sometimes that is just me and an internet community....I am learning to be obedient to His prompting. This has been a long and wearying process for me. I will gather with His Church in many different ways. I think that is ok with Him. It is my heart He sees. He knows it better than I know it myself. I also know that there has to be action of some kind (missional if you will) to demonstrate, to share the Gospel and I don't think that is by handing out tracts....or by just paying lip service...not for me anyway. Living His Life and committing time, money and whatever resources I have personally as He leads and not just talking about it. He wants us to give to others what He has given to us. Ultimately it is His. This life is not about what I can get....I have already received more than I ever deserved when He graced me with Himself. Now He wants to grace others through me. It is all part of what I think He has called me to. I am still working out the details with Him. This is all subject to change because He does tend to let me know when I am way off base. I have been listening and observing and seeing the inconsistencies and wondrousness of gatherings of believers of all shapes and sizes. So read the excerpts of the blog below....it is a starting point for thinking about living Life abundantly. It is not the final word on anything. I know of only One Who can give that.
"Let’s start with a basic New Testament definition of church. The Greek word for “church” is “ekklesia” which simply refers to those who were "called out" for an assembly or meeting. It was a *non-religious(*my emphasis) word. It just referred to a group of people. In this case, the group of people who were followers of Jesus.
It really is and must be that simple!
Robert Fitts provides some additional information at DAWN ministries:
Jesus used a common word when he said, "I will build my church." It was not a religious word. It simply meant a called out group, or crowd, or fellowship, or assembly. So we can use the word church when it communicates what we are saying, but we can also use the word fellowship, or gathering, or brethren, or saints, or disciples. It simply means a group of people.
Church is simply a collective group of followers.
Consider this definition of church:
A loose-knit network of Jesus followers who gather together to encourage each other in their spiritual life and who go out, moved by the Holy Spirit, sharing and demonstrating the Gospel.
Loose-knit. Not formal membership, just a love-commitment to God and each other.
Jesus followers. The basic requirement for membership in the church.
Who gather together. Gathering to build one another up and to worship.
Who go out. The purpose of believers… to GO with the message.
Moved by the Holy Spirit. The one and only LEADER of the church.
Sharing and demonstrating the gospel. The reason that the church GOES."
My reworked definition would be "An ever evolving group of believers who gather together to encourage each other in their spiritual life and who go out and Live and share the Life given to them to the unbelieving and desperately hurting world(whether they know this or not), (in so many and diversified and wonderfully inventive ways, lead by the Holy Spirit." It is a starting point for me. I know it will change....I know what He means. I am open for His changes.
Dinner and gathering at my place on Sunday evening....Come as you are....bring a contribution (that would be a food contribution...no offering bucket) or not. He has allowed me the opportunity to bless you with the simplest of things .... a meal together in His Name. Let us join and share together in His goodness and Life. I can wait no longer. He has moved me off my duff.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
The Message Romans 5: 15-17
Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There's no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
From Shaun King's Blog: Shaun in the City: On Courage and Corn Pops
Banning Women from Ministry is Sin: Why Mark Driscoll is Wrong, Eugene Cho is Right, and Rob Bell is Somewhere in the Middle