Thursday, 31 March 2016

God is faithful from the first to the last


One part of my Easter experience is all but over, my chocolate eggs are gone & the fragments of coloured foil are in the bin or remnants scrunched up in my pockets to be discovered at a later date… But Easter is not finished & Christ is still at work. I realise I don’t deserve God’s love & at times find myself in agreement with Satan & my own poverty stricken estimations on this very matter as I contemplate my miserable position.Yes I have lots of good points & Satan is willing to exploit those too.

Faith however allows me to see past my misery & pride, like the striking golden sun that chases away the shadows of night so the sacrifice given in love & power chases away my fears & failings. Matt 1:21.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”


I know not why God’s wondrous grace
  To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
  Redeemed me for His own.

{Chorus: to be sung after each stanza}
But “I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not how this saving faith
  To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His word
  Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
  Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
  Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
  May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
  Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come,
  At night or noon-day fair,
Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him,

  Or “meet Him in the air.”



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Friday, 25 March 2016

Holy Holy Holy


The Holy Bible is vertical as much as horizontal, a good book for the ups & downs in life & death. Things seen & unseen.Often under attack yet accomplishing the purpose for how & when & why it came into being.

https://youtu.be/oymwG1NZoXk



As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and 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 and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isa 55:10-11.




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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Absolutely


Shops & carparks were operating at maximum levels yesterday, it’s the Easter Holy days & holidays. Move over wildebeest, cars, caravans & trailers are making their way across the landscape. If people aren’t going camping then they are more than likely munching on seafood, a crocodiles favourite past time, tradition, tradition, tradition in the circle of life & death.



The welcome autumn weather has kicked in, the long hot summer is easing away. Hot cross buns & chocolate are on the menu in the land of relative affluence where the relatively rich with nest eggs in hand seem to be getting richer & the poor, poorer in another circle of life, death and taxes. Not much different to the religious folk amongst the Romans & visiting nationalities some couple of thousand years ago really. The more things change the more they stay the same they say…The reality on the deeper level remains the same. plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The Bible reveals the answer to the spiritual root cause & effects that plague our very being. It wasn’t always like that.







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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

History Train


Gardens can be the most peaceful of places, the quiet activity of sublime nature. It is where Jesus chose to intimately & intensly connect with God in prayer rather than tune in with nature. Longer into the night the disciples doze off & Judas follows through with Jesus betrayal…worlds collide. Mark 14:32-52.What appears to be a train wreck of jusice & injustice is on time and on schedule.



The fore knowledge of Jesus reveals itself time & again throughout His teaching. God’s providence is not a doctrine for the sugar coated & brightly coloured things in life. It is interwoven between the hardships, trials & temptations of this world also. Jesus the forsaken never forsakes, the great shepherd leads us to what is truly life, not just in some things but all things. Heb 13:20-21.Rom 8.18-39.




tracking through the night


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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Redeeming love & justice across time and space


Luke 11:37-54.The meek & mild Jesus was not shy in dishing out woes & warnings. In many respects this elevated & intensified the looming showdown across time between God & man. On the one hand I rejoice that such a Saviour is willing to stand up & defend what is God’s yet at the same time I know with sin being sin that I am no better really than the Pharisees.If we stumble at just one point we are just as guilty as those that stumble at many points. Law breaking is law breaking. In this respect we all share the common ancestor of sinful nature via Noah via Adam via Eve via the Serpent.(Rom 3:9-20.)

From little things big things grow as yeast & mustard seeds do their thing. Yet Jesus makes the charge that the generation before him at the meal are accountable for what they failed to do regarding teaching & practicing the law. Luke 11:51-52.The New Testament church is also called to heed the danger. Rom 11:11-24. It’s a warning I can learn from as I trust God for my fully met salvation…true worship matters to God.





Isa 22:22-25. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat of honour for the house of his father. All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots—all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.  “In that day,” declares the LORD Almighty, “the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.” The LORD has spoken.





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Monday, 21 March 2016

Death no longer is the stronger





Easter is not a distorted celebration of fertility even if some of the symbols historically are linked to such things ( rabbit, hare, chickens, eggs). The created order supplied everything that was needed for life, nature & nurture. The intimacy that humanity had with God was what was lost but now found again in Christ.

It may seem odd that Scripture describes humanity as dead people walking (dead in sin) as we live & breathe, but that is what we are spiritually speaking & confirmed in our flesh. Time can’t heal all our wounds.


Although death is considered the norm it isn’t necessarily so just because it has been that way for such a long time…Easter is a celebration of new life & being born again, not of fertility or the error of Nicodemus (John 3:1-21.) but restoration…Joy to the world the Lord is come. Easter celebrates Christmas & Christmas celebrates Easter. Its a fulfilment of a promise with more to come.



  1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
    Let earth receive her King;
    Let every heart prepare Him room,
    And heav’n and nature sing,
    And heav’n and nature sing,
    And heav’n, and heav’n, and nature sing.
  2. Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
    Let men their songs employ;
    While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
    Repeat the sounding joy,
    Repeat the sounding joy,
    Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
  3. No more let sins and sorrows grow,
    Nor thorns infest the ground;
    He comes to make His blessings flow
    Far as the curse is found,
    Far as the curse is found,
    Far as, far as, the curse is found.
  4. He rules the world with truth and grace,
    And makes the nations prove
    The glories of His righteousness,
    And wonders of His love,
    And wonders of His love,
    And wonders, wonders, of His love.
  5. Isaac Watts





"Death no longer is the stronger" 
Praise the Saviour now & ever
Venantius Fortunatus 530-609







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Landscape & portrait



The dispersion & redistribution after the great flood & then further again from the plains of Shinar inform us of a great scattering of humanity & creatures. In the first place, it is not science, religion or sociology behind it, nor evolution, but God.

It’s hard to fathom amongst all the theorising & ever changing stories of the modern world looking back with assumptions by experts in their field. Many seek to undermine the truthfulness of Scripture under the guise of intellect & academia. We also experience the guise of political power which can stand for good as much as bad & is open to manipulation on any given day despite its military might & power.


But this doesn’t stop God being God & truth being truth as generations unfold & unfold across the globe. His salvation is just as relevant & needful today. The human heart has not changed…nor has God. Only He can save us from ourselves & sin. It’s why Jesus came, living it just as much teaching it.John 14:1-14.










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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Triumphant







Public spectacle@ Golgotha

Col 2:6-15.




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Sola Saviour



Generally speaking, humanity paints itself in a pretty positive light & giving credit where credit is due that would be right. Despite the fall (Gen 3) humanity graciously receives a measure of goodness. But when things start to crumble or when things don’t go our way we often lose our gloss to reveal what is underneath in our hearts…it’s not a pretty picture. We could go round & round in circles trying to pin down our predicament & how we should fix the spiro-graphic problems…and we do. In humanity we trust, faith in the flesh with a quest for some inner or political peace.


That God should come into our scribbled lives is a gracious act of loving mercy. That He should atone for our fallen nature supplying peace with God is immeasurable. He wipes the slate clean, the canvas is new, whiter than the snow. This is more than a bit of positive light and it can only be accomplished by the Spirit of God, it’s why we give God the glory for the great things He has done.



Alas! and did my Saviour bleed

And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
 For such a worm as I?


(Isaac Watts)






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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Atheistic Youtopia

In the 80’s my parents & youngest brother had the opportunity to travel to China. Upon their return they brought back some blue & green hats (with red stars) which we kids thought was fun to wear. We had no idea what they stood for or were a part of in any real depth…

If religion is the opiate of the people & capitalism the great oppressor then communism must sound pretty good on first impressions. However any form of government or economics is not immune to greed or corruption. The criminal heart adapts, sin will always be sin unless the sinless overcomes.

Yesterday in our work break we gave our report card on the Australian government & culture & it wasn’t good news. Corporations have great sway, governments are in need of income & are very good at cost blowouts, rewarding themselves with entitlement & creating lots of risk as the cost of living escalates.

Things influence things in ways that we cannot appreciate in our limitedness & the atheistic anaesthetic is not such a great fix when everything is considered…

















Tuesday, 15 March 2016

In the kitchen with Jesus



We all have a cup & we all fill it (our thoughts, words & actions). For many what matters most is what our cup looks like on the outside, for others it’s the inside, in some cases it’s the dirtier the better(yuk). As Jesus ministered in the various regions of Israel regarding faith & the kingdom of God He would challenge the religious leaders who were keeping a very close eye on him. Some things they had done well but this was at the expense of some very important things. Matt 23:13-39. “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former (v23).”

It’s something Christians need to be continually doing as we fill & clean our cup.We are not immune from the dark side of life.Col 3:1-17.It is a battle.







Monday, 14 March 2016

The long & the short of it

Society has its ways of elevating individuals on the basis of performance while exposing real life villains as scum. At times the lines get blurred & wires are crossed as justice & injustice do their thing in the Ecclesiastes walk of life. When the rich rob & scam the poor (as they do) it’s not that hard to see the greed & disadvantage for what it is. We yearn, argue & cry for justice as the oppressors freely strut about shamelessly.

Enter Zacchaeus, below average in height & chief tax collector perched in a sycamore tree looking to get a glimpse of Jesus as he passes through Jericho. Jesus calls the taxman down & says that he will be coming to Zacchaeus house. The crowd become annoyed & mutters...the injustice of it all, Zacchaeus the sinner & Jesus the prophet are an unholy mix. Luke 19:1-10.

Often it’s easy to spot when others go astray, yet we are not as gracious as Jesus, those whom we write off, Jesus may repair or regenerate. In Zacchaeus case a personal reformation takes place & what was lost becomes found.


If we don’t know Jesus as our personal Saviour then we are just as lost as anybody else on the scale of good to bad. Only in Jesus can we be found to be totally acceptable in God’s sight no matter what trend society may be following at the moment. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.








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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Covenant of Amazing Grace






The Paschal lamb finds its significance in the Passover feast when ancient Israel was rescued from Egypt by God’s mighty hand. I can’t also help but think of the fall when considering the thorns that inflict pain on the brow of the Saviour. In all of this & much, much more, the man of sorrows goes willingly to the cross. This act has God’s signature all over it, the God who redeems & saves, not only His children but also the creation. God has spoken to His people…Hallelujah, not a cold & lonely hallelujah, but one of victory & triumph & everlasting joy. The tomb is cold & lonely but he is not there. He is risen like the sun with all its glory as the shades of night flee away.Eph 2:11-22.





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Friday, 11 March 2016

A sower went out to sow






In Ag (agriculture) school with Jesus. John 12:24.




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Strippers




A large number of people mourned & wailed as they followed Jesus as the procession made its way to Golgotha where the crucifixion was to take place. Jesus says worse things are yet to happen…For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:31. Humans & governments are capable of locust like moments, forming an aggressive alliance that is set on a path of desolation & destruction. What can be considered a culinary meal & pretty non-threatening can generate into something very scary & horrific, just like that & quite unexpectedly. 









The survivor type shows are closer to reality than we may think. Many have voted Christianity off the show in favour of a temporal allegiance filled with vain hope.











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Thursday, 10 March 2016

What comes first & what comes last



The big red Santa man with his helpers & reindeer are like a forgotten dream at present. Two & a half months or so down the track & the Easter bunny with all its variants are busily delivering chook shaped eggs covered with thinly wrapped colourful foil. It’s the yearly chocolate gorge & the happy commercialisation of secular Easter with a hint of religion.

In some ways the bunny & the eggs have religious significance bearing symbolic reference to various biblical concepts but like a dream they fail to connect with reality like the Christ child & Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Instead of the more about chocolate it should be all the more about Jesus, who alone can truly satisfy. Easier said than done as we walk the aisles devoted to the alluring products…Yes we are weak but He is mighty & how hard is it really to open the holy book or spend time conversing with God. In God’s house we can be filled with the richest of fare. Isaiah 55:1-13. 


(From the net)




Oh Lamb of God, deliver us from evil in its various shapes & guises. harmless, mildly harmless, extremely harmless etc. Help us to see only in you is there true & everlasting joy.






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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Pedantic art communicates

There is such a thing as too much colour, or not the right colour when it comes to art work, particularly in botanical or scientific illustration. Not to mention form, scale, detail etc. Details matter just as much in our daily living as well, otherwise we become a distorted image without definition. Diversity with limits is a good & beautiful thing.








( I was sharing some artistic insight with my daughter regarding light, shade & form last night as we watched some youtube watercolour clips. I took one of her "flatter" images & proceeded to create some depth by changing the composition & introducing some light & shade amongst the colours using the shape fill,outline & effects buttons in powerpoint.)








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Monday, 7 March 2016

A composite

It’s International Women’s Day…


So I suppose I am celebrating annoying sisters & over bearing mothers as much as all the sugar & spice & all things nice. I am celebrating bare footedness & high heels, period pain, cravings, pregnant tummies & giving birth. Women’s prisons, women’s refuge centres & women’s bones that lay quietly in the grave or sit crushed to powder & placed in an urn. 

Dress shops, cosmetics, homemade dinners & deserts, hanging out the washing & driving cars not knowing why the oil light is on & why there is a funny noise coming from the engine bay. Celebrating a voice that says tidy your room & lift your game, feed the rabbits, do your homework & take out the bin (please). Sacrificial love for family, some flowers on the table & softly sung lullabies. Cleanly washed & folded linen. Bra’s on the clothes line (for the unliberated but totally free ones), walking sticks, arthritic shaky hands & bent frail backs. Chosen career paths & the not so chosen but just as important.


Not all women are called to singleness, many become one flesh with a man through the gift & calling of marriage, women that may also become mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers & great, great, grandmothers & widows. I am a man & I get to contribute to the forming of my daughters wonderfully through intelligent biology, nurture & education (some of my lessons have been dismal failures).But even in this I can rejoice greatly…God has done great things…In nature & in Christ with something greater yet to come. 






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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Atheistic memory

In his book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins wrote: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”, then proceeds to argue that they were not. ( http://creation.com/dawkins-and-design).Bertrand Russell makes this observation regarding the gospels…”So far as I can remember, there is not on word in the Gospels(M,M,L&John.) in praise of intelligence.”

John begins his introduction with…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.”

Intelligence is all around us, in the miniscule & magnificent. It all points to a creator, a creator who came & pitched His tent among us & shared in our broken humanity with mercy, compassion & judgement. Yes it really matters what side of the fence you are on says Jesus. So far as I recall even the wise men of the east recognised the guiding star of wonder. Matt 2:2.


It’s important that we don’t forget God’s word that is a light for our soul. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”. Psalm 119:11. The psalmist did the intelligent thing & hid God’s word in his heart. Instruction & intelligence often go hand in hand, as wisdom would know.







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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Bachelor of Visual Observation in the University of Life


Horoscopes & Ouija Boards are a form of revelation, Scripture says a deadly form of revelation. While many approach these things as a form of light entertainment for others its serious stuff & they just can’t get enough. This kind of worship has been around for a long time & it is not so harmless style shapes understanding of the world around us, things seen & unseen. The world has its false prophets & prophetess & the church is no stranger to corrupting influence no matter the Century. The Christian church has so very often been hard pressed while ever blest.

“If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 13:1-3.

This deviation & divination was considered so serious that careful investigation was warranted & a death penalty invoked if found to be true. A whole town, people & their livestock were aborted, an incredibly strong message that seems to fit a scenario of espionage. We tend to think of ourselves as individuals but also towns, my hometown etc. Jesus too, when instructing his disciples. Matthew 10:1-42.


There is no denying this is serious solemn stuff which seems far removed from our modern culture. The closest I can think of anything are stories relayed from wartime Vietnam, Holland & present West Papua where townships & villages were/are wiped out.Then maybe the UN which seemed to stand back & do nothing in Africa some years back.Then maybe genocide in the name of a more evolved enlightened humanity a bit further back.

We can appreciate the injustice there & we should also consider injustice against God the author of life & His long suffering in the context of the passage to appreciate the given narrative. As we know God values human life much more than modern civilisation which is very arbitrary & extremely keen on light entertainment.








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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Not all wardrobes are equal


Secular belief proclaims that religion has no place in public life. It assumes it is neutral, borrows biblical ethics, is entrenched in Naturalism & sets itself up as Lord (the mingledness of Rome & crowds lives on) Hail Caesar!

Christians have been coming out of the closet (or wardrobe) for thousands of years in the name of eternal liberty. Set free from paganistic belief & ideals Christians are set free from the darkness that hinders true freedom that can only be found in Christ the risen Saviour. Col 3:7.


The talking snake (Satanic Spirit) preaches of undiscerned pleasure, delight & fulfilment & wants the world to freely lay down its life for such things. Thankfully not all roads lead to Rome, there is one that leads to the New Jerusalem & only Jesus knows the way through this present silicon wilderness of mirage.








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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Through the eyes of Habakkuk


There is a lot that happens in a city, this weekend much of the focus will be on the Mardi Gras arts festival. It does have its own forms of hate, hurt & incoherence though. We have been told homosexuality is genetic but the so called finding appears to be fraudulent.Some things are not what they seem to be.http://creation.com/creationism-and-the-problem-of-homosexual-behaviour


In a way it’s an opportunity for the gay community to vent their frustration at their political & religious opponents. In as much as the LGTB crowd would interpret their celebration as one of victory, to me it looks more like a crowd that have fallen captive to the deceitfulness of sin. For this I receive the name homophobe. God calls me to rejoice in situations like this, for the name is given out of ignorance & arrogance.


What I can also rejoice in is that God is still calling people out of the darkness into His marvellous light. There are many personal stories of people trapped in sexual sin being rescued…gay & straight that have & are being reconciled to God through the message of the cross. 


Col 1:22-23. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.









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