Friday, August 6, 2010
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our
Fri, August 6, 2010 | link
“Forgive us things owed to us,
as we also have forgiven what we owe others.”
How much can we say we do this? Many people say they have forgiven another but that’s not really good enough. For example, I had a company and my partners forced me out and took over. I said I forgave them, but for many months
if I came into contact with one of them, I was pleasant to them, but underneath I was anger, Oh, so angry!
do we actually forgive others?
Was that forgiveness? No!
Then I really gave it over to God. I was at
a conference when one of the guys came up to greet me and instead of anger I felt pleased to see him. I had been praying for
him for a while and wanted to know how it was going with him. It was different!
Was that forgiveness? Yes!
Now before I did this I would have the odd moment when I would get into an angry pity party
regarding what happened to me. Do you ever do that? If you do, you know that it hurts you. It hurt me! It
stressed me, made me unable to deal with my day and messed up my relationships with others around me by intruding
on my thoughts when it shouldn’t have.
Worse than that, I was screwing around with my relationship with God. He
doesn’t want us holding a grudge against ANYONE!
how about we take a look at who we don’t want to meet or talk to today. That’s the guy or girl
that our God wants us to forgive and pray for. Who said Christian love is a wimpy thing? Not me! God gives us tough guidelines
for our own good. Can we keep to them? Can we forgive others today?
Remember it’s those closest to us that hurt us the most. It’s also
those that we need to forgive the most. I want to be forgiven and hope you do as well. Can we do the same for others?
Now just as a side note, that doesn’t
mean continuing to take abuse! Forgiving is one thing, putting our self
into a situation where we will be abused again in a similar way is another. Get out of abusive relationships. Forgive and
get out! That’s the only way that really makes sense.
have a great day and if you are one of those fantastic people who have no-one to forgive, how about praying for those of us
that fail in this area so often.
Have a wonderful day!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Thu, August 5, 2010 | link
Behind the closed doors, in the privacy of the bedroom, with no-one to see,
some of the most
powerful influences of this world
that are deep are not flaunted in public. Lovers express their deepest love in ways that others never see. It all
happens behind that bedroom door. It’s private, it’s special, it’s not meant to be shared with the world,
but the influence of a happily married couple who love each other deeply does influence others positively doesn’t it.
If this is human communication at the deep level, and if we know and love God even more deeply,
should we not meet with him in private for a beautiful time that builds us up and sustains us for the whole day, each day?
Prayer is something so many find difficult, but when we really meditate and spend time talking to the love
of our lives, it is not difficult, it is fantastic! We need to spend time to look at the beauty of God, to think
of the wonderful things he has done and will do for us! We need to feel the power of his loving presence with us and ask Holy
Spirit to empower us.
We need to tell Him the things we see ourselves as failing to do correctly and thank Him for
the things He has helped us with.
We need to bring to Him the topics of great concern
to ourselves, those around us, and those happening in the world today. Ask God to help others, protect them. Bring
into mind those who need His love and help. Carefully consider each situation and discuss it with Him.
Intimately tell Him our fears and joys and ask Him to walk alongside us all day guiding us in everything
This is power prayer! This is true connecting! This is prayer that gives us
back what no other person can know or experience! Not the babbling publicly broadcast view of our connection with our God,
but the gentle strong powerful experience of his true power and presence. Not lots of words, but few, focused, well considered
and lovingly said.
That intimacy can then be with us all day long as we go out from behind that bedroom
That’s my experience of today.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Why should I give to others?
Wed, August 4, 2010 | link
Why should I give to others?
“Why should I give to others?” she asked, a frown wrinkling her brow. “Surely what I have
worked for is mine?”
“You have a child?” he asked.
“Yes, she is just three years old now!”
“If she was to become disabled,
would you reject her because she was incapable of meeting your needs?”
course not! That would be inhumane” she replied.
“Why should caring for
others who do not have the ability to care for themselves be different?” he asked. “We should love everyone
the way God loves us, shouldn’t we? “Perhaps we need to correct our human response don’t we?
He continued. “Surely, you wouldn’t reject your daughter because she was consuming your time
and money would you?
She is three years old, others are older but just not free to help themselves! You
have a child, that is a good, wonderful gift from God. What you have worked for is yours! However it is fantastic to help
her isn’t it?
How about helping others freely? What is more amazing when we do this
is that God returns value in life to us that is inconceivably good. Perhaps we need to help others out of own excess
Now how should we give? Jesus says we should
"Be careful not to do our 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If we do, we will have no reward
from your Father in heaven.”
If we tell everyone what we do, we have already received our reward! That
is good and may give us a nice feeling but really we cheat ourselves.
If we are quiet and don’t let others
know what we are doing, then God himself takes note of what we are doing. God sees everything and also
fully experiences the other persons gratefulness. God will make sure we get rewarded for our actions in a way that exceeds
those of the praises of our friends and associates.
So next time we get asked to help out and have some change
in our pocket, perhaps we need to bless someone who doesn’t even know who we are.
the Christian way!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Confused Christians, or are they?
Tue, August 3, 2010 | link
call themselves a Christian, truthful people don’t, but a whole lot of people just aren’t too sure. . .
I just read an article on Ray Bradbury by CNN. He gives the impression to everyone that he is a Christian and in the article seems
to suggest perhaps he is. It says
“Bradbury's favourite book in the Bible
is the Gospel of John, which is filled with references to love.”
good doesn’t it. He also says “"Jesus is a remarkable person," Bradbury says. "He was on his
way to becoming Christ, and he made it."
That doesn’t sound so good!
Then he says "I'm a Zen Buddhist if I would describe myself," he says.
"I don't think about what I do. I do it. That's Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down."
Thanks for being true and pointing this out Ray.
Now, I don’t think you even understand who Jesus Christ is. . .but you have a wonderful cosy self delusion about him!
Being 90yrs old, I guess you will be leaving Earth soon and perhaps the "Monsters" that you write about will be
waiting. I hope and pray that is not true and you meet the real son of God, Jesus instead of your false one!
Okay, so let’s be honest, its difficult to work through the mess of religions and false discussions
on Christ to figure out what a true Christian is. It was no easier when Jesus walked this Earth. People missed the
truth then as well. A big crowd got onto a false path called Gnosticism soon after Jesus died and rose.
So, how do you know who’s a true Christian
and if you are? Well for one thing we don’t reject parts of the bible just because we don’t like them.
For example it does say "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes
in him will not die but will have eternal life.” Ray Bradbury believes in a Jesus but doesn’t believe he is the Son of God. That’s one
Then we need to understand and agree that we do selfish, ignorant and nasty things that we
shouldn’t (sin). It says. . .
“You have been set free from sin. God has made
you his slaves. The benefit you gain leads to holy living. And the end result is eternal life. When you sin, the pay you get
is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.”
So this is the next thing! If we think we never sin, or that there is no eternal life, or that
Jesus is not the key to eternal (good) life, then we have the wrong Christianity! If we think there is no Hell (nasty place
where people go after life if they reject God’s free offer of life) then you have the wrong branch of Christianity
So Ray my friend, you need to drop the Zen stuff and find the real God because we would love
to party with you in heaven!
Good intentions, loving attitudes, doing everything for the
poor is not enough if we don’t have the resurrection power of God’s Holy Spirit in our life.
am really negative to many people who call themselves Christians because so many have such a soft relationship with God that
they almost cannot be distinguished from those who aren’t. We should stick out like a wedding cake at a
wedding. Good, sweet, fulfilling and generating happiness and love. We need to serve all, try and give others strength,
but fundamentally we should point to the great romance between God and his church, i.e. the people who are true Christians.
That’s my plan for today, what’s yours?
Monday, August 2, 2010
Baja Mission - Day 6
Mon, August 2, 2010 | link
authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me”
Quite the claim!
It would have to be backed up with solid proof
to be believed and seeing as this was at the end of Jesus time on Earth and after he had risen
from the dead, and they had walked the dusty roads of life with him, it was obvious he had impressed them sufficiently to
agree with this statement.
Today in Mexico we are finishing the house.
The previous team had little experience with taping the cracks in the sheet rock “drywall” and “mudding”
over it with the plaster. Mudding is the process of taking a plaster and applying it over irregular parts of the wall to smooth
So our morning is spent fixing up the dry wall and putting the last electrical fittings.
We add locks and handles to the door and a ladder to get up into the loft. Finally we complete the home. One large room, two
smaller bedrooms with a loft over the two smaller bedrooms.
At about 1pm we hand over the
keys taking photographs with the visibly emotional family. The team surrounds the home and placing our hands on the
walls we all pray individually for the family and their home. The swath of prayer must have been visible in the throne room
of god because it was so intense, personal, powerful and accompanied with tears of love!
sadness we say goodbye to the two contractors who had led the building effort. Already we miss them. “Next
Year” is the English/Mexican farewell!
We pick up all our equipment and head out to the site
where we know the Mexican children are waiting for us. As we arrive and setup our makeshift sound system,
they appear from the homes and hovels around us. Missionaries carry them on their shoulders. The children hang onto their
legs and hands and hug the missionaries so much it is hard to move let alone minister to them.
We play games, sing songs and then the story of David and Goliath is told. We now have a core crowd
that is responding to the activities.
Not all is good! One young boy, maybe
eight years old pulls out a screwdriver and threatens another trying to stab him. I step in and send him home. This removes
the disturbance and the group settles down singing praises to god in Spanish. Next is a testimony from
a young man, Jonathan! He is an American Jamaican teenager from Houston. He steps into the center of the group gathering the
children around him. He tells them his story and they grow quiet as he explains to them who god is and then he asks them if
they would like to have Jesus in their hearts today. Heads nod all around. He leads in the sinners prayer and the voices ring
out as one. It`s amazing to see these little faces in rapt attention. We ask who has accepted Jesus and hands go up.
We give out commitment cards for the children and write their names on them. 27 children claim to have given
their lives to Jesus. We know a pastor in the area and organize to let him know.
is face painting and almost every missionary has two to three children sitting with them as they paint faces.
Time comes to go and the tears start to flow. One expects the girls and women
to be upset but to the glory of God we see young men with faces wet with tears. Love for these young children fill everyone’s
heart which become strained at the thought of not being their to continue touching their lives. They have touched ours! All
agree they want to be able to more of this work!
The cost of hard ground sleeping, dir,
heat, freezing cold showers, minimal food and tiredness is considered insignificant to us in this moment. We are loving
as Jesus wants us to! Praise him!
The evening concludes with us responding to that great
call on our lives.
go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit, and teaching them
to obey everything I have commanded you`, said Jesus. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end
of the age.”
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Before Jesus was Jesus!
Sun, August 1, 2010 | link
... John 1:1-2 (NIRV)
After a lifetime with Jesus, teaching about Jesus, and listening to critics, John the guy who walked with Jesus summarizes
who Jesus was before he was born!
1 In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with
God in the beginning.
So John was old when he
wrote those words. Life experience and lots of criticism and misquoted words would have been on his mind as he sat down to
write this important document that he knew would out survive him.
Anyone who writes knows that first sentence
is the most important. So John really thought about those words. There was nothing “off the cuff” or spontaneous
about them. In fact we can prove that because they are written in chiasmus. Take a look at its structure. . .
1:In the beginning,
Word was already there.
Word was with God,
3: And the Word was God.
2:He was with God
1:In the beginning Notice the beginning and
end concepts fit together with the main concepts being placed centrally? That’s a Hebrew poetry form called Chiasmus.
It has to be written very deliberately.
Repetition is also used to make things memorable and to reinforce points. What is repeated? Almost everything!
But each time with subtle differences that show different aspects of God. If we read on we find out the “Word”
is Jesus. So it actually is saying … In the beginning, the Jesus was already there. The Jesus was with God,
and the Jesus was God. He was with God in the beginning.
However John was even smarter than this! He used the word LOGOS in the orginal Greek that he wrote, knowing that
both the Hebrews and the Greeks used this word in their language.
In Hebrew Logos=word means God’s creative
energy and guiding wisdom given to us to see.
In Greek Logos=word means the logical “what” that all life
is based on; the ideal of which all creation is a copy.
Our word “logic” comes from this word “logos”.
to really see John’s genius, think of any non-christian`force` or `being` that is supreme or considered supreme.
Maybe the “Force” as used by Darth Vader. Replace logos in the sentence and see what it says. . .
beginning, the force was already there. The force
was with God, and the force was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Or perhaps we could use “sentient being”
In the beginning, the Sentient
being was already there. The Sentient being was with God, and the Sentient being was God. He was with
God in the beginning.
Do you see that John was pulling all together, correcting
it and pointing out God was everything and that Jesus was God?
Not bad writing for an old man right?
Could you have come up with this clever way of describing Jesus and God? Do you perhaps think Holy Spirit helped John?
I do think God helps John and he can help us too. What we need to do is not get distracted by the
things others believe since we know that ultimately everything we do and see depends on Jesus. If they see something else,
lets not argue with them. They have the right to their beliefs. Let``s not argue about words (see 2 Tim 2:14) Instead, lets
just point to Jesus and what he does.
Jesus does things through us. How well do we show Jesus to those around us? Can we say we live
our life as Jesus would?
That’s my goal, what is yours?