November 19, 2010
October 19, 2010
Today I find myself once again wrestling with the tension between the prayerful and practical parts of my life. I am sure others do this also, and maybe it reflects the ongoing tension that exists in this world of ours, in the 'church', in the outworking of The Life that is continuing to grow and find expression through our lives.
The picture I have in front of me is of a woman with her head stuck in heaven and her feet firmly attached to the earth, and this ongoing desire to comfortably marry the two so that existence can be a little less tense! It feels as if there has to be some place in the middle where the two can meet and co-exist in a manageable manner.
Even as I write that, I suspect that it will never be possible and that there is a picture here of something that needs to exist to give expression to the place we stand in, a place that will only alter when Jesus Himself comes to rule and reign.
I love to sit in His presence, to spend hours in contemplation and prayer, to be in this world and, for a little time, not really of it at all. Then out of that time there is a love set in my heart that overflows and has to find its outlet; that feels the pain, sees the brokenness, and needs to somehow engage it.
Somehow this does bring about a meeting place - where I can experience great joy as I see that His love is enough as it touches a life for a moment, as a circumstance changes, as hope is released where it previously did not exist, This meeting, however, is momentary and not sufficient to sustain for any length of time.
Back into the hidden place I run, heart empty and open to be filled and owned again, soul in pain, spirit crying out for more of what compelled me outward in the first place.
This tension is like a wheel that constantly turns. Yes, there is a kind of rhythm in its turning, and yes it holds me to something greater than myself as I turn, and yet there are moments when I want it all to stop.
Are we engaged without knowing it in some kind of intercession by this very life we live, and in these very battles we fight within and without? I hear the calls to prayer - they bellow at me over the Internet - and yet most of the time it seems that this daily working out of life itself, in the context I find it, is the prayer, and it is all I can manage. There is nothing left over for formal prayer meetings or lots of words.
This silent struggle is ongoing, 24 hours a day, every day, and brings with it moments of hope and moments of despair, moments of joy and moments of pain - a constant movement through a range of thoughts, emotions, feelings. It provokes an ongoing conversation with the only One who can answer my questions.
The sustaining force behind it all is the hub on which the wheel turns. The One who is The Answer. The One who loves more than I ever can. The One who paid such a huge price to make the impossible possible. Truly in the midst of all this Jesus remains always the same. The Lord's presence constant and assuring. It is His peace that breaks through the tension and takes hold of my heart again to hold is secure and move me forward into the next hour, and the one after that. He alone defuses the tension and makes sense of it all.
October 09, 2010
In the absence of earthly fathers, or in the midst of their dysfunction, I believe we’ve tried to present a God/Father figure who fills the gap.
This gap seems huge to us, but is actually too small for HIM, so then we reduce HIM to a size we can manage.
What seems helpful is actually doing people a disfavour as we all need a very big God, just as we long for a very big functional father.
E.g. “My dad’s bigger than your dad!” This is a kid in the playground's response to someone who leans on him, but shows a basic human picture of 'dad' and how he backs us up.
We long for the perfect father that no man can ever be, and yet we already have the perfect, able, powerful, heavenly Father (who Jesus came to introduce us to) who is more than someone who cuddles and reassures us – he can fight our battles, heal our wounds, gave and continues to give us true life. I wonder if we have been seduced by something in our comfort loving world that begins to dictate how a father should be, and is not at all what God had in mind for us?
We can be proud of HIM, depend on HIM, talk to HIM about anything at all, knowing that HE listens and loves and acts.
Our earthly fathers will only ever be a shadow and pale reflection of someone greater, but God allowed them to be those through whom He gave us life and we are always grateful to Him and them.
The thought I just had is that just maybe, it has been a ploy of the enemy to make us focus on the absence of fathers, believing that therefore we have no figure to relate to, when in fact that is not truth, as Jesus told us that if we have seen and know him then we have seen and known the Father.
I do think Celia Lashlie is on to something as she begins to draw the nation’s attention to the mothers. There has been such an emphasis on absent, dysfunctional, violent fathers, yet while everyone has focused on that and getting their kids out of harm’s way, the mothers have been lost in the middle and the importance of their role in the family overlooked. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation” has a basis! Many of the strong deliverers of God’s people were also women, Mary was important, and it is interesting that in Revelation it is the woman waiting to give birth that the enemy is really after – I think we need to give attention to this image especially in this time. We may not have had great dads but maybe we had a wonderful mother, so God in all His wisdom found a way to balance out our lives. True family is not just about fathers, but about fathers and mothers working together to raise a family that represents something heavenly. God is big enough to represent fathers, mothers and children, and to be related to by each in their own way - He knows how this works, He made them!
A lot of years ago now, in the middle of the move of God we had in The River and elsewhere, I was lying on the floor in a big hall alone as everyone else had gone to lunch, but there was so much of His presence I didn’t want to move just to eat.
In that place, quiet with my eyes closed, I saw this huge cloud filled with fire coming towards me. As it came it constantly changed shape, and I could see that He was giving me a glimpse of the wonder of who He actually is. It billowed and swirled and sometimes had huge arms that reached out, and then changed again to something that encompassed everything I had ever known and then some! This is my picture of my heavenly Father – full of power, glory, fire, light, constant movement, and yet with arms that reach out to me in love – He will never fit the gap of an earthly father, but is able to become my all-in-all, my source, and I can find rest in His arms.
I hope your Dad is as big as my Dad!
The picture below is of something called a 'star nursery'!
September 14, 2010
I am weeping today over the pain of carrying a dream, on and on and on, every so often coming near to it's fulfillment and then seeing it snatched away, often by the hands of someone with wonderful intentions but very little knowledge of the depths that have been added to it over years of holding it before the Lord in my heart.
Each time I give it back to Him, knowing it must remain in His heart and hands, He gives it back, always having added a little more of His substance which enriches it and makes it even more precious ...... and of course even more painful the next time it is trampled!
The cross at the top of the page hangs on my wall. It is encrusted with both everyday objects and others that are more precious. You can look at it for a long time, constantly finding new treasures.
I guess that is what God is doing; adding, changing, enriching, and the only way to the final outcome is the cross. That place of beauty and death that we embrace because Jesus embraced it first and showed us the way through.
Recently I was reading an article by T. Austin-Sparks about Jesus speaking to the disciples before beginning his final journey to the cross. His wonderful words are a constant source of comfort and also of inspiration ... "I will build my Church" ... it remains with Him to do what He paid such a great price to accomplish - heaven help any man or woman who would think they can touch this and put their stamp on it, or profit from it.
As I read I was struck again by Jesus' statement, knowing that He was standing looking at what was before Him, and then even further out at what stood on the other side of the cross. It is probably the most powerful prophetic statement of all time!
Who and what did He look at with such powerful longing and desire, that it made the terrible path to and through the cross possible. Can we believe truly that it was you and I He made that journey for? Once again I am rendered speechless by such love, and also by the knowledge that each of us rises again from death to stand in the life He has purchased for us. As He looks at us and says "Mine" that same power that raised Jesus, and you and I, is released to pour out into all those precious people and dreams we hold before Him in our hearts.
Let's keep carrying the dreams, letting Him add to them the silver and gold that result from being refined again, and again, and again... so that ultimately everything shines with the light and glory that only He can impart, and He can wrap His loving arms around ..."My Church" .
August 24, 2010
Here's my point. We live in a society that is totally geared towards success and achievement, and there are definitely expected rewards for both. In fact, if I am not paid what I think is a right reward for the effort I give, then I pack up and move on to somewhere I am appreciated more! (Or, as we've witnessed lately on TV, we call in the unions to come and shout at the problem with us.)
So, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we do not need to reward ourselves for what God has done for us. God can bless us anywhere, anytime He wants to. When Gideon took the gold it really symbolises that he took some of the glory that belongs to God alone.
As we are able to make the Lord alone our reward, as He is, and always intended He should be, then we begin, hourly, daily, to give to Him thanks for what He has given us in that hour and day. Strength to accomplish the tasks of the day, favour to move ahead in the areas He calls us to walk, provision, peace, comfort, compassion, love .... He is constantly pouring out of His greatness and goodness, are we grateful?
July 25, 2010
Today I realise that I am beginning a new part of the journey which always brings us deeper into our life in Christ. There is the first visible step of a very new path, something not seen or anticipated, but nevertheless incredibly important in what the future holds.
Yesterday I came to the realisation that we are often so focused on the road directly ahead of us, or checking out things way behind, that we miss what is coming up on either side - in this way we miss the opportunity of being turned into a new path that might not be quite as obvious!
The obvious is what we know is ahead, the things we desire, and the destination we are driving towards. Behind us are also things we know very well - achievements or errors it is all known ground.
Catching what is coming up on us, out of our control, means taking our eyes of the road ahead for a minute and not looking behind. It is a loosening of our control for an instant in time and yet a very necessary part of safely reaching our destination.
In terms of relationship also, it is our ability to see the wider issues, and the things slightly out of our normal focus, that help to build good relationships and take them deeper than the surface relating that so often suffices.
This feels like a season to be very aware of the peripheral things that take a little more effort to see, and are more likely to be glimpsed when we are not so focussed on driving forward at a great pace!
What a ramble this sounds, but I cannot over-emphasise the importance I feel of allowing ourselves time and space to get a look at the wider possibilities, maybe at things that had never caught our attention before, or had been hovering at the back of our awareness and need to be given opportunity to come to the forefront of our thinking.
There are things that will always be foundational and are good and true, and yet in this season we need to understand them in a deeper and different way. Let's not be afraid of the unknown but be willing to hold everything loosely so that we might eventually hold so much more.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied: 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'
July 07, 2010
Over time I've had lots of thoughts, some shared on this page, of the massive importance of two verses in scripture. They keep coming back time and again, always taking me a little deeper into their impact on our lives. The first is from Matthew 5 v 9::
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Much of life seems to have been lessons on this verse, especially about what it means to be a peace 'maker' rather than 'keeper'. To simply 'keep the peace' often means that we constantly enable things to remain exactly the same, preventing the change that God is trying to work out around us. Much peace keeping is born in fear and insecurity.
Romans 8:19 contains this amazing statement about the sons of God (the peacemakers we've been talking about):
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
Can you imagine something so amazing and important that creation is holding it's breath, eagerly awaiting and expecting the sons of God to be revealed? This has to be something of incredible heavenly importance!
In a day when we see 'peace keeping' troops being sent into the troubled areas of our planet, the name alone indicates something vital is missing from the equation, and common sense tells us that in many instances it is a fairly futile effort.
Romans 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Here in Romans we have an indication of the special attribute these sons (and daughters) have - something beyond the best intentions and good ideas of men, the 'wow' factor that brings change in ways that are beyond human endeavour.
It takes something more than our human wisdom and ability to accomplish peace 'making' - we need heavenly help, and the supernaturally natural leading and enabling of God's Spirit.
Galatians 3 v 26 is another verse that talks about the sons of God, and it indicates that all those who are believers in Jesus Christ are already sons of God, so we have to ask 'if this is so, why are we not seeing more action in this regard?'.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
Perhaps, as in so many areas, we have carried on trying to keep things peaceful, and even our efforts to make peace have not been by the leading of God's Spirit?
Last week I had a personal lesson in this regard. For the last few months I have found myself constantly thinking of someone whose friendship I valued but had become disconnected from. I kept thinking it would be good to make contact again, but kept putting it off.
Then, a situation arose where I knew it was most important to make that connection as the person needed encouragement, love and support. I made the call (at what I found was just the right time) and a meeting was arranged.
Through the entire meeting I found myself caught in a feeling of peaceful serenity such as I have never experienced before. I kept wondering what it was, and came away pondering this for days afterward. As I have pondered and prayed, I have come to the conclusion that what I felt was what the Holy Spirit pours out over true reconciliation when He has led us into it - it is like being held in a bubble of the most pure peace, totally undisturbed in any way, totally free from fear, anxiety, and filled instead with the love of God.
It costs us something to make peace. It has to be approached with prayer and a willingness to surrender to God's process. But I now understand why creation waits for this particular manifestation - if the whole earth were bathed in this serene peace it would be a totally different world.
May 25, 2010
Last week I reached a place where I felt the stretching in my life was almost more than I could manage, and was feeling very ragged indeed by the weekend. I have been seeking the Lord for ‘a word’ about which direction to take for the future, needing to know which path to walk and what would please Him, even if it wasn’t exactly how I would think it ought to be!!
Saturday night I had one of those dreams that you remember the details of clearly, but more importantly, the whole essence of the dream remains with you as if the Lord has found a way to impart something directly into your spirit in a unique way.
In the dream I made my way to a library because I was looking for ‘words’. I picked up a book with a bright flashy cover, but it turned out to be romantic nonsense and I put it back down again. Next I picked one up and the title was “Pau” – it was an old book, dusty blue, and well used, and I knew it was the one to take even though I could not translate the title!
I went through to another room and met a ‘friend’ – he was an olive skinned man and we sat to talk together. He looked me directly in the eyes and said “This is VERY STRONG, like nothing you have ever known before” – I could feel this immense faithfulness, trust, confidence, strength, love, all flowing right into me. I knew that what he had said was totally trustworthy and would be unchanging. We left the library and went our separate ways, very happy and confident in the strength of this friendship which I knew would last forever.
As I woke the scripture “in quietness and confidence will be your strength” was in my mind, and my spirit was filled with the strength and confidence that had been imparted in the dream. I am very sure that it was Jesus I was talking to in the library and he gave me the words my heart was seeking.
Yesterday I found what the word ‘pau’ means, and realised that there are many who feel like that right now and need to have this same impartation from the Lord.
pau [te] hau
be exhausted, out of breath, run out of steam, worn out, tired, used up. Ka tau mai ki ngā kura reo, e pau ana te hau, ka hoki atu e hikohiko katoa ana te ngākau (HM 4/2008 wh3).I arrived at the language learning gathering worn out and when I returned home I was enthusiastic. See also kua pau [te] hau.
(stative) be consumed, exhausted, used up, finished, spent. He aituā, engari kua poropititia e ētahi o ngā hīnātore, ka pau i te ahi i taua wā (HP wh6).It was a disaster but it had been prophesied by some of the wise men that it would be destroyed by fire at that time.
I find it interesting that in the current journey it was a Maori word the Lord used to describe the way I was feeling and the place that many have come to – this in itself indicates to me that He is moving in a way that is indigenous and beginning to merge the separate identities into ‘one new man’. It is most encouraging.
May 12, 2010
This is quite a timely question for me.
For a number of years, when I have inquired of the Lord in certain areas, He has repeatedly led me to Isaiah 23:6 and at first I had no idea what He was trying to say to me!
Over the years I have kept digging around that verse. I have read it in context, understand it in that context, and even understand that in fact what was prophecied concerning Tyre did completely come to pass.
Having said that, He kept taking me there and I kept asking why, what are you trying to say to me?
It seemed to me as if He was speaking in riddles and I just could not get what it was about. There is a very encouraging reference in Isaiah 60:9 about the ships of Tarshish and their part in honoring the Lord, but it still was not the answer.
This week we've gone back there again! :) I felt to begin to look at it in the light of what is happening currently in the world today, and what I see happening around me personally - not that I hadn't done that in the past, but somehow this seemed to be the right time to go there.
In terms of the Middle East it's interesting that Tyre and Sidon (it's mother city) would be situated in Lebanon.
Right now the world systems of power, wealth and trading empires, are being seriously challenged. As are many of the areas that we would have stood in or with previously and not questioned a thing about them, including some of the church systems.
I feel the Lord is putting out the Isaiah 23:6 call to many in the Body of Christ today.
"Pass over to Tarshish (to seek safety as exiles)! Wail you inhabitants of the (Tyre) coast!" (Amp. bible)
Tarshish represents a safe place away from the devastation that is about to take place in Tyre which is to be completely laid waste because of its pride and the accumulated wealth of its traders and merchants. The passage in Isaiah says God will destroy the strongholds and fortresses of the areas of Tyre and Sidon.
It is evident that this gives a new freedom to expand without restraint and oppression (tribute or customs or duties) for the people of Tarshish.
In other words, what looked great would become terrible, and what was not attractive was going to be blessed and made good!
Prophetically I see the Lord saying to us:
Cross over! What looks good now is going to be demolished because it is man made and bringing wealth and glory to man. It's strength will be taken away as God destroys the strongholds and fortresses man has built, even though they have been admired since antiquity. Long-standing, if is not established by and in God, is no defence.
It is better to cross over and live amongst the oppressed (but faithful) in order to move away from what is currently standing under God's judgment.
It follows on into Isaiah 24 with the exciting statements in Isaiah 24:14 ..... 16
But these (who have escaped and remain) lift up their voices, they shout for the majesty of the Lord,they cry aloud from the Sea.
From the uttermost parts of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the Righteous One (and to the people of Israel).
For those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand..... the times are rapidly changing.
May 11, 2010
Today I am wondering when we might learn to trust God enough? That means enough to REALLY let Him be God!
There are so many events that come our way in which we feel a need to leap in and be or bring the answer. In some ways it is like us getting into the water with the drowning person and flapping about just like them ... instead of helping it just adds a bit more splash and noise.
When we truly trust Him to be ALL that He says He is, and able to do much much more than we could ever ask or imagine, maybe then we will also be able to step back and give Him a little more space around us and others to do that. :) We might also stop trying to work out our own salvation in so many instances.
This doesn't mean we stop talking to Him about what we see, how we feel, the pain in our hearts for others, and all the others things that arise, but we communicate in loving relationship with Him a whole lot more than we rush in and do stuff. We wait until we truly have His instruction and leading to do what He wants at any given time, rather than leaning on our own understanding!
Lately I have been left standing open-mouthed at His solutions to prayers I have prayed! Some things, where there appeared to be no way or answer, have suddenly turned around and the solution has stood right there in front of me - I didn't do anything but ask and the One who knows all the answers has really surprised me with His graciousness and speedy response.
What I see is that He truly loves us all, and His heart and intention are truly to work in the way that best for us all, pulling together impossible threads to weave the bigger picture that He always knew was there.
My prayer in this time is that He will enlarge our hearts and understanding with something of Himself that takes us out of ourselves, out of trying to be the answer, have the answer, know the answer. I pray He will lead us out into the unknown wonderful place of His great miracles and solutions ... not even as we think they should be but as He has always known they will be.
Bring it on! :)
May 06, 2010
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8,9).
God's thoughts about things are very different from ours. We would often allow what God would never allow. He has an altogether different point of view about things. We judge in one way about things, and God judges in another. It is necessary for us to come to God's standpoint. Oh, we would say, there is no harm in such-and-such a thing. Oh, there is no wrong in that; look at so-and-so and so-and-so, and we take our standard, perhaps, from other people. We have known people to do that; point to some outstanding figure in the work of God, in whose life was a certain thing - that one has been taken as the model, to be copied, and so the thing has been taken on. Oh, there is no harm in it; look at so-and-so. And I have known lives and ministries to be ruined on that very excuse.
The question is: What does the Lord say about it? God says, Walk before Me! Not before any human model; not before any human standard; 'There is no harm in it; so-and-so does it; it is quite a common practice'. No, no! "Walk before Me", says the Lord. We have got to get this in the spirit, the inward man. It is deeper than our best moral standards. Otherwise there is no point in it being in the Bible at all, if our moral standards can rise to God's satisfaction - why must we be so handled and reconstituted? It is deeper than our intellect, than our reason. You cannot, by reason or intellect, arrive at God's standard at all. Not at all! Oh, do not think that by any method of reasoning, you are ever going to reach God's standard. You never will. Here, it is only by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Christ has got to be revealed in our hearts by the Spirit. There is no point in Jesus saying: "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth", if we could get there by our own intelligence. Not at all. It must come by the revelation of Christ in our hearts, in the inward parts. This is something spiritual. "God is Spirit; they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" - spirit and truth go together. Only what is spiritual, what is of God, is truth - only that!
From: Truth in The Inward Parts - T.Austin-Sparks.
April 23, 2010
Recently I had a few hours driving between cities to ponder questions that arise fairly regularly!
The beginning for me was once again "How and where do I fit?" On a previous little excursion into this area I began to consider whether in fact the church as we know it is the 'quarry' where the stones are shaped more than it is the house that God is building.
This process led to the understanding that I am constantly being shaped by God's hand and the circumstances He leads me through. That same hand will place me where His shape best fits, and only the master builder will ever know what that looks like.
As He places the stones in the wall of His House, not one of them is in a position to comment on the wall itself - whether it is straight, what it looks like, how big or small it is! They may have a sense of the shape of the most adjacent stones, but beyond that no knowledge of the final result.
All that we need to do is to make sure that we are truly aligned with the foundation stone.
So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretence, envy and hurtful talk.
Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.
You've had a taste of God.
Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honour.
Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.
Scriptures provide precedent: Look! I'm setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honour. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it.
To you who trust him, he's a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it's . . . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you-- from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
(The Message) 1 Peter 2
It is wonderful to be released to know the truth
Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
March 28, 2010
Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?
Song of Songs 8:5
What an amazing statement. A picture of someone who has just spent time in a place of arid expanses of nothing but sand, and yet here she comes, not alone, but supported by the one who loves her!
Do we look at these dry and difficult places in our lives as the glorious opportunity given us to find a greater companionship and depth of relationship with the One who gives us life?
God leads us into the desert to invest more of His life into us, to build greater depths of love and compassion, and fill us with as much of Him as we can contain.
Those He has used greatly in history all did 'desert time' - Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, just to name a few! He took them away from all distractions just to have quality time with those He loved, and build and make them ready for the work they were to do for Him.
If every member of His Body in this earth was willing to go there with Him, welcoming the invitation instead of resisting it, they would be emerging from that place on His arm, filled to overflowing with all the good things He has to give them.
Can we imagine what it would be like if we were all filled with this immeasurable treasure - the Bride would be glowing and radiant as all of her Lover's treasures spilled out of her into this world!
Oh what a glorious thought and picture that is!
March 08, 2010
All of Matthew 25 is talking about people who wisely used what they had been given and lived in a constant state of readiness for whatever God might do, and those who did not bother to do this.
The wise people used the gifts they had been given, constantly desiring to see them increased, while the foolish hid away the little they had and did nothing with it.
All this leading up to Jesus talking about the glorious moment when He would again set foot upon this earth and sort out the wise from the foolish.
"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne.Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation.
And here's why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?'
Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.' (Matthew 25 in The Message)
In this passage the separation appears to have been made on the grounds of how we treat each other (love your neighbour as yourself) and in so doing we show love to the One who created each one, so the commandment that Jesus left us with is fulfilled
This is not hard to do! Each hour of each day there are choices placed before each of us, and the choice we make will ultimately determine our eternal future.
Who do you see hungry today ... and what are they hungry for?
Who do you see thirsty today ,,, and what are they thirsting for?
Who do you see without a home ... and what sort of room do they need?
Who do you see shivering ... what sort of clothing do they need?
Who do you see sick ... do you have even a minute to stop and visit?
Who do you known who is imprisoned ...what can you take when you visit?
Do we want to know Jesus better? When we do just one of these things it is doing it to Him, surely as we do these things we will find Him there with us, and little by little we will learn of His heart, His mind, His incredible love.
We have choices to make ... will we be seated on His right or His left?
February 21, 2010
"The best that I can hope is that this has just opened a window, and that as you look through it you are seeing one thing - how superior is Jesus Christ to all else!" - T. Austin-Sparks
Excerpts from the writings of T. Austin-Sparks
To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God... (2 Corinthians 2:16,17).
The Lord has not called upon us to form churches. That is not our business. Would to God men had recognised the fact! A very different situation would obtain today from what exists, if that had been recognised. It is the Lord Who expands His Church, Who governs its growth. What we have to do is to live in the place of His appointment in the power of His resurrection. If, in the midst of others, the Lord can get but two of His children, in whom His Life is full and free, to live on the basis of that Life, and not to seek to gather others to themselves or to get them to congregate together on the basis of their acceptance of certain truths or teaching, but simply to witness to what Christ means and is to them, then He has an open way...
The Church is not increased by your going and taking a building and trying to get people to come to it, and to your meetings, and then forming them, by a church roll, into a local church. That is not the way. Growth is by Life, and this, to begin with, may be by the entering into Life of but one soul, and then after a long waiting time of another; or it may be more rapid. But the point is that it is increase because of Life. That is the growth of the Church. For the growth of His Church, the Lord must have Life channels, Life centres. I believe that, given a Life centre, sooner or later one of two things will happen, that it will be abundantly manifest that Christ is fully and finally rejected there, or else there will be an adding, a growth. There is tremendous power in Life, and the Life of the Lord either kills or quickens. It depends on the attitude taken toward it. He is a savour of Life unto Life, or of death unto death. Things can never remain neutral. What the Lord needs is Life centres.
From:The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot be Shaken
February 04, 2010
I saw them again today ... these wonderful women. Once again I came away inspired and encouraged by seeing the strength of others. Over long months of visits to various cancer treatment wards etc. they have continued to impact and impress me.
What do I see that is so powerful?
I see wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and ALL of them are displaying the same quiet courage and grace. Each one in her own way, some in treatment, others supporting, but steady as rocks and pressing on with painful and difficult journeys with a quiet fortitude.
I sit in waiting rooms and wards, watching them share a smile, a joke, a touch ... watching them giving care and comfort in the quietest way. I see great displays of selflessness, love in the hard places, strength that others lean on in their journeys.
There is always a little wonder about what their story might be.
The Pacific Island woman and all her grown children (some such big boys that they take up two seats each), sitting quietly beside the man of the household, just being with him, never leaving his side, doing the journey together.
The beautiful woman in a long pink scarf that trails like a wedding train down her back, covering her hairless head with soft beauty. She smiles and walks alongside her husband and son, carrying the evidence of the baby soon to come with quiet dignity ... how graciously she deals with what life has dealt her.
The bright little single woman who has come alone. Trendy little hat on her head, softly spoken, and a twinkle in her eye that she shares with those around her, making them smile too.
The nurses, who stare death in the face every day, and yet give away warmth, humour, love and care out of a seemingly bottomless capacity to make life easier for those they have chosen to help.
It has been some weeks now since I felt I wanted to talk about the remarkable people I have been blessed to observe, sometimes talk silently to God about, always encouraged to feel proud to be one of their number. They will never know how they have touched my life by simply being themselves and living their lives ... makes you wonder doesn't it ... what do people see in us, those we don’t even know are watching, and what silent impact do we have:?