Tuesday, 28 February 2017

PostModern Rhapsody


I like the moon & I like what it does as a lesser light. More than a natural wonder in a divinely created order (http://creation.com/the-moon-the-light-that-rules-the-night) it is often the inspiration for romance, worship & lunacy in the world at large. The moon is nothing without the sun & the earth would not function as it does without the moon. Scissors, paper, rock meets earth, tide & fire.


Something tells me it is to be admired from a distance (like the sun) & nothing is to be gained in an ultimate sense by explorations into the starry, starry space & looking for life in all the wrong places. But don’t let me stand in the way of progress. Computers (the ones that were going to save all that paper) Plastics (a lot of that stuff that ends up in the oceans & food chain & the leftovers to make mini mountains), chemicals (that can cause cancer & wipe out eco systems) & training adults how to go to the toilet as they go  against the grain of gravity & watch out for that space junk there is a lot of that too….If we were always looking on the bright side of life how come we end up floating around in the darkness & if the earth really is so beautiful from up there just wait till you come back down to the up close & personal.


Mathematics celebrates inequality & bigotry as does science & the element chart, language & so do wages & professions in the > than < less than debate. Bigoted numbers & letters that hold values, measures & relationships in distinctive categories of odd & even, prime & the not so prime time positive & negative world. Fly me to Disneyland & wish upon a star & follow your feelings of fantasy in your castles in the air. Be blown like the wind here & there & like a ghost you shall be. Let A be B & 7 be 10, let us throw off the wisdom of the ancients & follow our dreams & fantasies we shall become.



1Cor 1:19 For it is written: 
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 








Time is on God's side

.....................

Monday, 27 February 2017

We all have barns


I am a bit of a picker, I keep an eye out for old stuff that may have potential for an art project, bits of wood, old bikes, pallets & stuff. One day, one day. In the meantime I am fixing up our house & do maintenance & repairs on our yard & cars as well as work mostly.

I don’t like to chuck stuff away. One of my old friends had a father in law who was a missionary in Papua New Guinea for most of his life. When he retired back in Australia to be with family he would see bent nails around a building site & then set out to straighten them.

Its what God does with a bent & broken humanity. Things that we deem not worth the concern or time are treasured by God. The progressive society bent on moving forwards rushes on casting off its past to fill its void as its world continually crumbles as it embraces chaos & meaning in meaningless.Without truth that is what we are even if we perceive it to be otherwise as we are fooled by the mirage or illusion/delusion


We really do reap what we sow in the landscape of our lives.Gal 6:7.








...............

Saturday, 25 February 2017

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds


Pharmacies, doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, jails, police stations, funeral services & cemeteries are all indications that sin & the fall affect us all. But to delve into it on a more personal level we can use the law of God. Do you think you have what it takes to be pure with all your heart, mind, and body & soul? To do so would be to achieve the impossible. God gives us His law to show us in mirror like fashion who we really are.

As much as we could opt for an “o well nobody’s perfect” the thing is God is & we need His expertise, wisdom, and insight to obtain restoration. God stoops down to us in our helplessness & shows us the way through His Word. Salvation is not a DIY project.

Lords Day 2 - 4. Q&A 3-11.


The mirror, mirror of the word & spirit shows us up to our own spiritual ugliness, curse & death & it is no fairy tale. Jesus does not come to charm & flatter us but to give us our diagnoses as he points to the cure. Our God is a God who freely pardons, His mercies are immeasurable & eternal & in Him we begin to taste his goodness.





Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed are those who take refuge in him.






.........................

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The worlds of more, more...more





This is a piano tuna & it is tuned to swim in the sea. In today’s world of tinned flavours we may easily lose the connect between the things that we eat or refuse to eat for various reasons & the habitat/eco systems of life giving sustainability.

These fish are capable of ballistic speed & power as they school &mature in the vast oceans(some are farmed). With the acceleration of human ingenuity & greed it’s not that hard to tip the balance in the favour of destructive ignorant behaviour & outcomes.

Consumerism, Banking systems, Politics, Religions & non religions, Science, families & friends, all have the potential for harm & death.


That’s why God came in the likeness of humanity intent on restoration. Rev 21:5-8. Try as we might we cannot save ourselves from ourselves, something greater than humanity is required. Life is bigger than us & God bigger still.


[Sustain my spirit O God, leave me not to my own devices, keep me in tune with your will & your Word]


more love to thee: fernando ortega




..........................

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Beauty for ashes




I know Roman Catholicism believes in a place called Limbo or purgatory in a semi afterlife. I am not convinced that Scripture teaches of such a place but I know I have my own little purgatory & place of limbo in this life.

You see, I don’t always take hold of the forgiveness that is mine in Christ. I tend to mope around in my failings as if I don’t deserve it (and that would be true). I sort of take hold of forgiveness without letting go of my sin before a holy God. (To with or without, that is the question) That is my limbo & it really is a miserable place. It is not a place of freedom, the freedom that has been won in Christ.

At times it hangs over my head like a cloud & I live in a shadow of struggle, then the wind blows the cloud away like chaff & the fullness of the blinding sun is revealed. God’s promise is mine, I don’t deserve it but it is mine nonetheless. It is here that God tells me it is all about me, about me & Him.

Lord’s day 7
 21. Q. What is true faith?

A. True faith is not only a sure knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his Word, but also a firm confidence which the Holy Spirit works in my heart by the gospel, that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.









...................






Q & A since 1563




Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 1
Following on from Question 1
2. Q. How many things are necessary for you to know, that you in this comfort may live and die happily?
A. Three; the first, how great my sins and misery are; the second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; the third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.


I know the Catechism is not the Bible as such but a summary of its teachings. To live & die happily seems a bit unusual. But more importantly the catechism points out that the great comfort of Salvation in Christ is composed of three things.

As much as God is great, so is sin, it is no light matter & that goes for our misery, no matter how much the world would like to shrug stuff off or make light of a difficult, sad & miserable situation as it presses on with life & death without God.

The shedding of Christ blood was a price that was paid & only He could satisfy the requirements. There is no other name by which we can be saved from our dire predicament of an inherited original sin.

If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation & are called to live a life that conforms to godliness. There is no I am my own boss, Christ is Lord and after all, His yoke is not like the oppressive task masters & probably not like a google or apple utopian playground either for that matter.


The Catechism parallels or mirrors the Bible & we are to mirror our God. Yes we fall down & fail but grace enables us to get back up again. But from the outset things are made clear concerning our relations ship as God’s love pulls us out of the mud & mire.

[The Heidelberg catechism is composed of 52 Lord's days (Sundays).It is a summary of Scripture that enables various teachings to be covered sufficiently so that we may abound in the knowledge & wisdom of God, lest we become stagnent & misguided.]





...................

Monday, 20 February 2017

Skulduggery




After 9-11 when the news became more engaged with the Middle East & production line suicide bombers I recall many coming to the conclusion that those Arabs were crazy. Yet somehow they managed to hold off the might of major military opponents equipped & funded to the hilt & at times equally crazy.

In a way the west now is becoming more extreme, for all its supposed layers of civility, modern tribal warfare & political destabilisation plays out. And was it any different with the Kings and Queens of Europe or Egypt centuries gone but not forgotten.

In the madness & in the mayhem of Nebuchadnezzarism the quiet voice of God reigns supreme. Be still & know that I am God. Mark 4:39. Psalm 46:1-11. (Did John Lennon borrow from the Psalms? Stand by me…Imagine that)


This is the good news amongst all the anxious & angry news. God’s news has been heralded, written, printed, published & sent abroad that we may hear it with joy & hope in a world evidently damaged, wounded & slain by sin.







.......................









Saturday, 18 February 2017

God of the prophets










God is the pursuer of justice, pure & poetic. Obadiah 1:1-4.







......................

Not by chance, not random






As God is the guardian of our life, we may safely rely on his providence; nay, we do him injustice, if we do not entrust to him our life, which he is pleased to take under his charge. Christ takes a general view of the providence of God as extending to all creatures, and thus argues from the greater to the less, that we are upheld by his special protection. There is hardly any thing of less value than sparrows, (for two were then sold for a farthing, or, as Luke states it, five for two farthings,) and yet God has his eye upon them to protect them, so that nothing happens to them by chance. Would He who is careful about the sparrows disregard the life of men? John Calvin on Matt 10:29.






..................

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Whoosh





In as much as we may tend to think of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John as four individual authors (and they are). They all speak the same language of faith in the risen Christ, Jesus the son of God, The Alpha & Omega. As the wind moves the trees so the Holy Spirit moves His subjects.John 3:1-21.






...................

Sensing more & coming to our senses







Art often falls short in conveying depth of meaning. Yes you could stand in front of an image & subjectify your thoughts all day & still walk away no closer to the truth.

Escher for all his skill, insight & renown hardly gets us closer to the angel vs demon dynamic that alludes to infinity. The demons look like bats & the angels look like ballerina’s & round & round we go on the two dimensional plane.

In one way it is very clever visually & mathematically & I get the light contrasting starkly against the dark which I take to be a type of spiritual symbolism. But even Satan & his workers masquerade as angels of light & only Scripture can truly convey the data in a form for our hearts & minds to contemplate.2 Cor 11:1-15.

Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)

The inerrant Scripture (the Bible) is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behaviour must be measured. It is denied that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation. http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas





................

Monday, 13 February 2017

A much bigger picture






The Bible reveals another dimension to life & influence. Here & there multi spirits & demons are actively engaged in a battle. Ghost busters gets it horribly wrong when it introduces the idea that humans in & of themselves can outwit or exercise power over such beings. Only the authority of Jesus can truly confront & overpower dark forces inspired by evil. Matt 4:1-11.Matt 28:16-20.Planes, dimensions & positioning systems don’t give us all the data, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.






..............


Doctrinal & Biblical





Calvinism is not a sit back & relax God has got it covered faith in the sense that Christians can just do as they please. While it is true that Calvinists should rest in the finished work of Christ, beginning to end, the Holy Spirit, after illuminating the dark heart then begins to shape & conform the transformed human into a restored & changed person. Reforming, reforming & reforming in the ups & down of living for Jesus in all that they do. It is no longer they that liveth, but Christ that liveth in them.

Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Heidelberg Catechism
Lord’s Day 32

86. Q. Since, then, we are delivered from our misery by grace alone, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we yet do good works?
A. Because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit after his own image, that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for his benefits, and that he may be praised by us; then, also, that each of us may be assured in himself of his faith by the fruits thereof, and that by our godly walk our neighbors also may be won for Christ.




............................





Friday, 10 February 2017

The heat is on


Some more images from February. Usually I enjoy walking through the bush near where my son trains with his soccer team, but this time I was continually attacked by mosquito's. The image of the goldfish & lorikeets eating watermelon are from today, we also put out an ice brick for them to be near...it was hot as & some offical temperatures were broken in selected suburbs & towns,but as far as I am aware people were not dropping dead in the streets as has been reported in newspapers from the 1800's here in Australia. 

https://goo.gl/photos/4UEJb9Nmzm2CLygg6


A goldfish having a drink...



................

...................

The elephant unchained








Time & again we are told that animals evolved from lesser evolved things in the hierarchy of deep time & blind chance. Genetic discrimination off-loading junk as a more supreme being more ably suited sets its foot or fin or whatever onto the face of the earth.

More often than not we are given dubious debatable relics from the not so distant past with a great lack of transition fossils to support the case. More recently we have been told that elephants losing their tusks are evidence of evolution when in fact it is not.

It is not science that makes evolution tick, but tricky stories that confound & confuse.





.......................

Interpretive errors



God has given us truth that we may not be led astray by lies & deceitful assumptions. One of the big themes or isms of the modern world is that truth is relative & it’s OK. But truth is not relative & will always be truth.


CMI explain this in more detail here. http://creation.com/cultural-relativism.CMI challenge the modern anti-Christian parable that seeks to under mine truth in the name of relative experience.





Often in history you will see the blind leading the blind.Matt 15:1-20. Be aware & exercise the spiritual freedom found in Christ alone, in Him is true strength.



..................



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The good & fine things in life (& death)




It has been a hot summer & mostly dry, many that I have spoken to agree including oldies that have been around for a while. There is also more heat on the way according to the forecasts which have been pretty accurate of late. When it gets this hot, every now & then hell gets a mention. Not surprising in one way & we do have a natural tendency to exaggerate, simplify or get pedantic about things in a scissors, paper, rock dynamic.

The dynamic of hell however goes further than a momentary sense of hellishness. Hell is unquenchable, eternal & the reserved home of the devil & all who believe His lie & reject salvation in Christ alone. Every fragment of God’s goodness & mercy will be gone for ever.


So as much as we simplify, exaggerate & get pedantic, we should also get our bearings & the true measure of things lest we go round & round in circles. Only in God can we truly keep things real. Luke 16:19-31.





Prov 3:5-6. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 



.................

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

We are all connected


God & His creation go hand in hand despite attempts to wedge Him from what He has made. When people stand or sit in awe of nature they are witnessing part of the power & majesty of God. But sadly they cannot make the connection as nature gets all the glory & honour. Rom 1:18-32.Such is the human condition, trapped in a multi culture of deceptions over multiple generations with sin at its core.


Like the prodigal son who took the money & ran we are, daughters of Eve & the sons of Adam, 196 or so shades of nation & only one true light. John 8:48-59. Just as the Jews could not recognise God in the flesh, many cannot recognise God’s work in the heavens & the earth as they trust in the assumptions of men & women.

We are all connected, but we must take it further...connected to what & why. The Bible makes it plain, the Bible tells us so.








......................






Friday, 3 February 2017

Illustration



This passing summer has been hot & dry for us with more draining weather forecast for the coming week. So today we have been staying inside & keeping cool. I have been drawing a bass & also my sons fishing lure.

The lure had been left on the window sill above our kitchen sink, at some stage it ended up in the drain grill in the sink. Just before going to bed one night my wife asked me to move what ever was in the sink.

I had no idea it was a lure in the dim light & as I grabbed it, it grabbed me & gave me a bit of a fright as I tried to shake it off not knowing what it was. My wife thought it was very funny...I didnt.













...................


The great & the small





7 Baths



Naaman was a Syrian commander & highly regarded. He was in a high place & had friends in high places…but, he had leprosy. Thanks to a raid (& the sovereignty of God in all things) Naaman’s wife had an Israelite slave girl who shared her knowledge of a prophet who heals.

What started out as one man seeking to be healed of leprosy soon sparks an international incident when the Israelite King perceives Naaman’s letter of introduction to be a ploy for a war.

Enter the unconcerned Elisha… not a problem, have him swing by my place. Enter Naaman, although humbled by leprosy, still has much pride.

Elisha doesn’t even greet him but sends a message for Naaman telling him to bath in the not so glorious river Jordan 7 times.

Naaman is offended greatly, he knows of far better rivers so he struts off in defiance. Eventually though, after listening to the advice of his servants, Naaman applies less pride & more humility, washes & is cleansed. 2 Kings 5:1-14.




There is a lesson in that for us today, it’s not just an old story, its relevance & significance comes to bear in the person of Jesus & his messengers(men & women, boys & girls). May you ponder the wisdom of God & be drawn to his process of healing that comes through the message & power of the cross.


As much as there may be a hint or parallel of an  Aesop tale (the lion & the mouse) in this historical account mentioned in 2 Kings  Scripture takes us far beyond an intended lesson regarding morals to the place where restoration begins & ends for both great & small alike, Jesus, the lion & the lamb. 


Psalm 40:4-5. Blessed are those who make the LORD their trust, who do not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.




..................

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Worlds collide



The Pharisees had become nothing more than ethics experts & classic humanists. They were trying to build a type of heaven on earth without God, seeking to undo the fall in their own way. They had by passed God & ended up going to war against Him just as secular ethics does. It is not really evolution at all…it’s the same information showing itself in different forms & measures.

The Pharisees managed crowds in an effort to maintain power & hinder the good news that was unstoppable & unchangeable. It is the modern world of Rationalism, Empiricism & Atheism that seeks signs today like the Pharisees & Sadducees of old. Matt 12:38-45.Matt 16:1-4.

The modern world is just as much on the run & in it the Saviour is. Seeking the lost & saving souls. Drunkards, druggies, prostitutes, theifs & swindlers, murderers & adultereres & the seemingly squeeky clean or not that bad pretty decent people & law abiding citizens.


One way or another we all need Him for our salvation & restoration.






Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.








......................