Thursday, 31 October 2013

The sound of banging on doors


Time & again the church, wether BC or AD has had trial & tribulation, from within & without. Such is our ability to wander & stray in weakness & dark influences to deceive. It is little wonder Jesus alerts us to the bad hold money can have as it promises power that alone belongs to God.
 
 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24

 
October 31 is Reformation Day. It goes back to a place in time when one man in particular struggled against corruption within the church of the day...Martin Luther. At a time when much focus is devoted to Halloween with its visual spectacle & celebration of the sweet tooth, in the background  & the not so mainstream, Nazareth for example(as God often works) we get a picture of a man facing another kind of hallowedness…hallowed be Thy Name.


Here are two posts that reveal insight into the genesis of the Reformation.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Jehovah Jireh


 
Genesis 22: 1-19
 
In God’s Holy Word we are given many a picture of faith & deeds working together for our encouragement as we seek to walk a spiritual line. Things must have been impossibly difficult for Abraham on this journey to Moriah with Isaac. What was God doing, why was he doing it…yet in all of this inward torment & pain (from what I could tell Abraham was a thinker Gen 12:10-13 & 18:23) the man of faith, Abraham, trusts God & his providence above all else.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Hebrews 11:17-19

Heidelberg  Catechism. Lord’s Day 9

26. Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of nothing made heaven and earth with all that is in them, who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ his Son my God and my Father; in whom I so trust as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; and further, that whatever evil he sends upon me in this vale of tears, he will turn to my good; for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

No accident



In getting to know God & His ways requires the Holy Spirits work. It is an external spiritual act of regeneration, it is miraculous & divine. Almighty God welcomes His children into an ancestral family of faith that has lived upon the earth throughout the ages.

 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18
 

The book that is living, as is God, as is Christ as is the Spirit, speak as one. In guiding, leading, teaching, instructing, warning & encouraging, the Spirit, like a potter gives our calling function, form & shape.
 
 
 
 
 
 
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. Philippians 2: 13
 

Friday, 25 October 2013

God the personal trainer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales, rather, train yourself  to be godly, for physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.  1  Timothy 4: 7-10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Never underestimate the providential wisdom of God's workouts,
they have an eternal purpose as "we live by faith & not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

Friday, 18 October 2013

A beacon of hope





The oceans are full of trash & treasure from human endeavour, especially after a powerful tsunami has come ashore to stake a claim. Having amassed much & upon its return, it fills the seas with its bounty for the currents & tides to disperse.

Cities & towns have channelled waste products into rivers & oceans. Fisherman dump unwanted catch & oyster farmers have thrown their rotten stakes overboard once their usefulness for cultivation has been lost…If the sea could speak it would tell us many secrets.

We have our own secrets also hidden beneath the surface of our daily lives. Scripture signals that in Christ we may find renewal. Those things that shame us & disappoint God can be washed away because of the sacrificial life led by the Lamb of God.

Not just some, but all my sin is taken away, a life’s worth, the filth is gone. In Christ I am washed clean & the punishment for my sin has been erased, deleted, covered over. If I were an ocean I would appear before God like bright crystal, shining clean because of what Christ has done for His church.
 
 
 

 

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7 :19

 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Samuel Trevor Francis  1834-1925

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Well, what do ya know ?


Spirit’s do not fit into an all of the above & are equally sufficient to get us through life like some kind of multiple choice solution. Religions are not preferred paths that all lead to the one God as nice as that may seem or sound to some. Test the Spirits says John. Not everybody speaks from the viewpoint of God (1 John 4:1-5).


Usually before you sit or experience a test or exam learning takes place & knowledge is built. In the process of the examination/exam/ some questions serve the purpose of disguise & can mislead the unprepared or the unknowing.

 
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Says the Apostle Peter, “To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

 There is no particular IQ needed to walk with God, You cannot be over or under qualified to walk with Him. It is about our hearts & hands, our heads & feet & goes way beyond our anatomy as we become part of a spiritual body, the body of Christ. He said…“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14: 6 & there is no ducking out of that.
 
  


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Archive

In 2001 I was involved with a project designed to enhance a new place of Christian worship. For many years it was an old second hand hall that had eventually reached its used by date as council codes & requirements became more & more & the church community growing in number. The large paintings were done on Calico with timber frames & served to better the acoustics of the concrete walls. I had lots of helpers that would come along & paint sections. At the time there was much excitement & plans regarding the new building with the busy-ness of people living by faith working together as a church. The music group coming along to practise too.


Lots of people have marvelled at the paintings, hopefully they see more than an object or something beautiful. Hopefully the paintings echo the truth of the Word that is taught & lived as the Gospel lights the way, that we may see Jesus more & more in our own lives & the lives of others.




 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Two wings & One God.


There are a many ways you can summarise the Bible or parts of it. One I hear a bit these days describes people of faith as clinging to the beliefs of ignorant goat herders. Is that like summarising science as the cane toad experiment of Northern Queensland that is going viral & has become an eco-disaster or the devastating & bitter effects of nuclear energy turned toxic fallout. Sadly many people think they are not religious, but even Atheists begin with a belief system or a set of presuppositions.

The battle rages…
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
Revelation 12:13-17

God on the other hand see’s the church as a radiant bride, for all her failings & persecution; she is loved, dearly loved. The one true church in both the Old & New Testament to this day & onwards living by faith, is showered with divine love, everlasting love.

“the evil one tries to engulf the Church in a stream of lies, delusions, religious “-isms”, philosophical falsehoods, political utopias, quasi-scientific dogmas, but the true church is not fooled.”
W. Hendriksen: More than Conquerors. p142.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
1 Corinthians 13. 8 -10.

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything, yet it tells us all we need to know regarding salvation & peace with God. Otherwise we could be looking & searching in all the wrong places for what matters the most. Our souls could become as lifeless & empty as the planets that neighbour earth with it's contrasting wealth of life.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

intoxicated with...





The law in the Bible can get pretty tricky. It’s emphasis can change depending on it’s relationship to something else. It’s great to have sound Christian ministers & Theology that enables explanations regarding things that we wouldn’t otherwise have been taught, have known or have considered when it comes to understanding Scripture as it declares truth, salvation & everlasting hope.

Many things in life have a scissors, paper, rock relationship where one thing takes precedence over another. The law, being set free from sin & doing good all have a place in our relationship to God & our neighbour & clarity is needed so we don’t jumble them up like medicine in a cabinet or chemicals in the cupboard.

A daily devotion I receive by email helps us understand the labels as we should.
http://thisistoday.com/     October 12







I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3 :16-19
 


     

Friday, 11 October 2013

long range sight & biblical insight


I love to watch birds. They can appear at any moment, from the small & delicate to the large & strong. The Sea Eagle (White Breasted) often makes it’s way along the river system near our home but I have observed them much further inland cruising within a greater scope of area. Wedge tailed eagles also inhabit the Hunter Valley & can be seen feeding or hanging out in trees or gliding by. Eagles have exceptional eye sight, 8 times that of the human eye.

Riches is not the first thing that springs to mind when I spot an eagle, it’s usually freedom & quiet, they don’t appear to be noisy birds on the whole & being up there seems a whole lot quieter. With their strength & wingspan they can lift quickly into the sky & be over the next ridge or set of trees before you know it. Gone, out of reach, just like that...over & out.

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:5
Some things are not worth pursuing, some are...

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12: 15

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Funnily enough as I was completing this post an Eastern Rosella has landed on our chimney just outside the window. displaying it's coat of many colours...
 
 
 
 
They usually fly in pairs & I find it hard to capture them on camera in their habitat. They also have a long deep blue tail & a lime green underneath, a lovely chirp or song also.
 
 
 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Grease Monkey & The Daily Grind


My Grandmother told me once that “things usually take longer than you think” When it comes to plans coming together, especially regarding working on engines, gearboxes & things mechanical I would say she was spot on.

For two solid days I laboured under the van trying to line up the gearbox. It turns out a component that fits into the auto box was about 7mm out which put a spanner in the works. Not sure which spanner as there were about 8 to choose from along with about 8 sockets along with blocks of wood & traces of grease & oil. During this time of, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again has worn me down physically & mentally.

Out of the blue my wife suggested I put up a question on a site managed by some keen transit officianado’s. I got a swift & accurate response that enabled me to get closer to the goal of completion…The advice was given freely & with genuine concern….how sweet it is.

The Blessing of good advice from a spouse or neighbour.

P.S…Anyone looking into investing money in shares may want to consider the Solvol Soap Company, a fair bit of their product has been on the move lately…as for the van, Monday is looking good for it’s debut test drive.

In the big things & little things God’s timing is trustworthy.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Triptych


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16, 17 & 18.

 

 

It’s a strong & confronting message that deserves considerable meditation, much more consideration than a flashing moment on a TV screen or a quick glance at a bumper sticker. God presents this message continually before nations throughout the ages.

 

 

As the rain & the snow come down from heaven, & do not return to it without watering the earth & making it bud & flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower & bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire & achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 10-11.






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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Finding my religion/alternate rock, absolute rock


Today is a good as day as any to fire up the blog, to press those keys & send it on through from my private place to the public domain, a transfer of sorts.

Things are dry here at present, very dry. This is particularly difficult for the farmers which price wise flows on to the consumer. Praying for rain is something we do when things become dry, we pray for the land, its people & its creatures.

It’s not that God doesn’t know or doesn’t care when things get difficult. So often we can discover how far we have wandered or how much we take for granted through hardship. As much as we may think it is all about us life & things are big & bigger but not the biggest, that realm & all others belong to God.

In this life with its blessings & curses & influences of good & evil there is only one place of absolute certainty for this life & the next. Scripture calls for us to seek it with all our heart & it is in the blessed company of God walking with Him, not the golden calf’s of this world. The psalmist through faith doesn’t call Him & rock & shield for nothing.

 

I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18: 1& 2

 In Scriptural terms horn can refer to a symbol or picture of strength.