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Showing posts from October, 2014

Our God Our Help In Ages Past a song by Issac Watts & William Croft

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
Return, ye sons of men:
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our hel…

Words From Bonhoeffer on Fellowship from Life Together

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them all.-1 Timothy 1:15

I heard someone paraphrase a quote from Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that was a nugget of gold, for me:
"We can only enter into authentic fellowship with other believers, when we see ourselves as the greatest sinner in the room."
Here's more from Life Together:

“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone... Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.”

“God did not make this person as I would hav…

Rooted and Grounded in Love

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)
Are you rooted and grounded in love? In his love. In Jesus love. In God's love through Jesus. Is Jesus living in your heart? Not just the idea of Jesus, but the person of Jesus Christ. Is he permanently living in you, so that you can live the life, his life?

If you are not rooted and grounded in love, then the Christian life will not work, because salvation only works inside out.  Christ in you, in your heart, …

Sing A New Song

Sing a new song of praise to him.

He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord!

Sing a new song to the Lord.

I will sing a new song to you, O God! -Psalm 33:3a, 40:3, 96:1a, 98:1a, 144:9a (NLT)
I've had this song on my mind: Sing to the Lord with all of your heart,
Sing to Him a new song. Sing to Him a new song.
Sing to the Lord with all of your heart.
Sing to Him a new song.
Sing to Him a new song. Lift your voice, let your praises ring.
Let every tongue glorify our King.
Let's become the generation Who will passionately praise Him,
Trusting in the greatness of our God. Sing to the Lord with all of your heart,
Sing to Him a new song,
Sing to Him a new song. Have you sung a new song?  We tend to sing old songs, the songs we know and are familiar with.  But, then there is a new song.  Think about new and newness.  God renews us.  God gives us fresh new bread.

God refreshes us and we sing new songs.  When we are renewed or refresh…

Boundaries

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
-Gal. 6:2-5 (NLT)
I did too much this weekend and I am starting this week tired.  The same thing happened last week.  This got me thinking about boundaries.  This passage in Galatians six, is the first one I turn to for wisdom on boundaries.
What are boundaries?  They are limits, personal limits.  God designed humans with boundaries.  Getting tired, needing rest as well as needing food and water to live, are examples.
A mentor in my life once observed and commented that I had a sort of 'superman' thing going on, where I forgot my humanity, and would get stressed out, tired, depressed, or grouchy; just…

Sky Links, 10-16-14

Cultivating the fruit of the Spirit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
-Gal. 5:22-3 (NLT)

We need, I need, to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.  I have been thinking about Jesus words about moving in the opposite spirit, all the way to being the slave of all.  So Graham's word's go right along with these thoughts I have been having.  Are you read to, "take another thought?":
"It's not our responsibility to ever move in judgment. When someone behaves unrighteously towards us our question is, “Lord, how much goodness and kindness does this person need in order for them to receive a touch from you?” And when the Lord tells you, then that is what you give them. It's called moving in the opposite spirit."- Cultivating  The Fruit Of The Spirit With Graham Cooke:



Graham: "We have grown up, learni…

While Jesus Slept

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
-Mark 4:35-41

Have you ever thought about this story?  I mean, how Jesus slept while a fierce storm ravaged the disciple's boat he was in with them, but he peacefully slept, until they woke him.
It is …

The Power in Blessing God - Psalm 134

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
You who serve at night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord.

May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.
-Psalm 134 (NLT)

Psalm 134 is the last of the songs of ascent or pilgrim songs of Psalms 120 to 134.  I have called them songs of the steps.  This last one is a priestly benediction.

"Oh praise the Lord", the song begins.  If you know God, it is natural to praise God.  To be in God's presence is to praise, worship, and fear him in holy awe.  Yet, being in the world, and living in the already and the not yet of God's kingdom, we need the priestly call to worship.

It is important to note that worship is to be God centered.  Worship and songs of praise are for one person.  We sing to Jesus, we sing to Father, and we sometimes sing to the Holy Spirit.

Worship and songs of praise are not for us to feel be…

The Tragedy of Hubris

Joab, Abishai, and Asahel--the three sons of Zeruiah--were among David's forces that day. Asahel could run like a gazelle.
-2 Samuel 2:18 (NLT)
Joab means, "the LORD is father", or "Jehovah-fathered".  The man in this verse was David's sister's son & captain of his host, noted here.
Abishai means, "my father is Jesse", or "father of a gift (i.e. Probably generous), noted here.
Asahel means, "God has made", or "thanksgiving... thanking God for what he has made",noted here, and here.
Zeruiah means, "Balsam of Yah" Balsam is a spice, perfume,cosmetic and medicine.  It is also an ingredient in the incense burned in the Tabernacle.  Scholars are not in full agreement, some taking the position that Zeruiah means "Cleft", as in a crack that occurs from pressure.
Hubris: excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance. Asahel is noted as being fast on his feet.  We find out that Asahel's speed was a s…

The Great Reversal

The nations of the world will help the LORD's people to return, and those who come to live in their land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.
-Isaiah 14:2 (NLT)

God wants the nations or peoples to help his people get back or return to their place of inheritance or their land of promise.  And God wants his people to take spheres of authority or influence.  God also wants his people to be over those who they were under, and who previously were even their enemies.

My understanding is that this text was not fulfilled in ancient Israel, before Christ.  The people did return, but not with the perks or blessings mentioned here.  So, this remains as an unfulfilled prophecy.

I understand that interpretations of Old Testament prophecies are debated today.  There is a spectrum of opinion.  I believe that prophetic texts can apply to Christians, because Christians are God's people, now being in God's Son.

I bel…

The Upside Down Life

After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
------------------------------ So Jesus called them together and said,“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different.
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 
For even the Son of …