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Showing posts from December, 2015

He Came Eating and Drinking: God's Banquet

He brought me to the banquet hall, and he looked on me with love.  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking. -Song 2:4, Matt. 11:19 & Luke 7:34
This is from the forward to Winn Griffin's "God's Epic Adventure"

One of the best definitions of the gospel I've ever encountered is this one: "Jesus ate good food with bad people."  Goethe, in a famous essay, suggested that Leonardo's "The Last Supper" was written to convey Christ's words "one of you shall betray me."  But why not "Take, eat: this is my body?"  Why not Christ instituting the eucharist rather than foretelling his betrayal?

A Jesus revolution is a dinner party, the art of play more than work, celebration more than cerebration. Anything artistic involves "play", whether, sports, music, or video games.  You "play" baseball, not "work" baseball.  You "play" piano or violin, not "work" the instrument.  You…

You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
-Psalm 16:2 (ESV)
This is a word of dedication.  What or who are we dedicated to?  We dedicate and re-dedicate our selves and our lives to the Lord.
Christ the Lord is alive and his presence is with us as Christians.  He dwells in and among us, and in our Christian homes.  But there is a dynamic where we must practice his presence, as Brother Lawrence, in his book writes about.
Each day, we can sacramentalize the day, by invocation and dedication.  We are already made holy and set apart by God in Christ.  The question is, will we seek to walk in that?
The presence of Christ is part of the normal Christian life.  Religions and religious activity is when you only go somewhere to seek God, appease God, or worship God.  In Christianity, Christ is in you and walks with you everywhere you go and wants to be present in your home.
To forget the Lord all week, except at church and in your devotional or prayer times or at you…

Come Let Me Love You, Love me Again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again
"I am a song. I live to be sung. I sing it with all my heart. And that is the essence of who John was and is." -Annie Denver
I recently watched the wedding video, of my nephew's recent wedding, and I saw so much joy and pageantry.  The smiles on the faces, the celebration, and the sheer beauty.  It was outdoors, in a beautiful vineyard setting.
We make a big deal of our weddings, because they are a big deal.  Two l…

Compelled

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.-Matthew 5:38-42 (NKJV)

Question: How do you do, when someone else takes over your control?  How do you do, when someone forces you to do something that was not your plan?  How do you react when someone else's action impinges upon you?

The way of the world is "tit for tat", resistance, or taking offense, when someone impinges on our control.  Generosity exists in the world, but it seems that Jesus calls his followers to a lifestyle of giving and lending freely.  He calls us to a love life that goes beyond the love of the world, where we sacrificially let oth…

Less Words

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.
-Proverbs 10:19
You can not think and talk at the same time.  We think and then speak.  If someone continues to talk, without thinking, their words are hollow and shallow; not thoughtful.
When you talk, before thinking, before weighing your words, without consideration; you are in danger of being in deception; a deceiver who deceives and propagates deception.  Over-talkers  who are under-thinkers are time wasting stinkers.

Talk without thought is just opinion or gossip.  Much of the time, we just gossip and give opinions.  Thoughtful talk is when we talk about divine principles or the Divine and our lives.

Here are a few examples of thoughtful topics that relate to divine principles:

God is love, and how that impacts my life, today.Jesus loves me this I know, or that I don't really know Jesus' love, today.What I am afraid of, today.What I hope for, today.My anger and my forgiveness, toda…

Simon, Simon

"Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you (all) like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”-Luke 22:31-4

(This is a re-post, edited and rewritten)

"Simon, Simon", the Lord called out to Peter, from across the table, in the upper room.  Luke records Jesus as peculiarly and particularly, saying his formal, given name two times, to get his attention, or to underscore the seriousness of what he was about to tell him.  Just previous to this, we see the disciples arguing about who is the greatest among them.

If I heard my full name, especially repeated twice,  that would get my attention.  This is very important.

Jesus and the disciples had been eating the meal and Jesus had shown them how the mea…

Being Church Differently Than Others

Accept anyone who is weak in (the) faith, but don’t argue about doubtful issues.  One person believes he may eat anything, but one who is weak eats only vegetables.  One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not criticize one who does, because God has accepted him. Who are you to criticize another’s household slave?  Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand. For the Lord is able (for God has the power) to make him stand.

One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.  Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord (but whoever does not observe the day, it is to the Lord that he does not observe it).  Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God.For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to hi…

The Body Has Spoken

Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore, when you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Supper. For at the meal, each one eats his own supper ahead of others. So one person is hungry while another gets drunk! Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said,“This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way, after supper He also t…

The kingdom of God is within you

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
-Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)
I am thinking about the fact that the kingdom of God is something that works within and inside out.  Based on the translation you read, Jesus either says that the kingdom is within, among, or in the midst of you all.  
Jesus constantly spoke about the kingdom of God.  The word kingdom (Gr. basileia) occurs about 163 times.  If you are curious,  the word church (Gr. ekklesia) occurs about 114 times.  Here is a short definition of basileia: BasileĆ­a especially refers to the rule of Christ in believers' hearts – which is a rule that "one day will be universal on the physical earth in the Millennium" (G. Archer). Jesus Christ rules and reigns in the hearts of believers, Christians.  That is the basis for Chri…

Show Us The Ancient Paths

This is what the LORD says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested, "We won't!"
-Jeremiah 6:16
When Jesus came, he called people to God and to himself.  While he participated in and often honored the practices of faith in Judaism, he also critiqued it.  Jesus stood in the tradition of Jeremiah, calling the people back to the ancient paths.  Jesus may have had Jeremiah's words in mind when he said, "All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves."(Matt. 11:29)
There is a core to the way of life that Jesus calls us to and it is himself.  He is the way and the life (Jn. 14:6).  He is not just the key to salvation and the great teacher of God's truths, but he himself is the way to live.  Christianity is living through Christ and Christ living through you.
The an…

Walking With God

A man's steps are established by the LORD, and He takes pleasure in his way.
Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the LORD holds his hand.
-Psalm 37:23-24

How have you been doing with walking in the plan of God for your life?  You saw it or heard it and believed it, then went for it.  But what if the plan did not work out?
We are getting it that God calls us to walk with him.  But, we ask, "How was God with me in the failure, disappointment, or when things did not work out, 'as planned?'".  I really believed I had God's plan, for me, and went for it.
How could I be so inspired to follow, but then fail?  Where was God?  God was and is right there.  
Notice how it says that God establishes our steps.  He gives us balance, firm footing, and stability.  And, God takes pleasure in the way we walk.
I am trying to walk in troubles, trials, disappointments, and loss.  God is right there with me, establishing my steps.  He is there wanting to do that…

Your Ways Are Seen By God

For a man’s ways are before the Lord’s eyes, and He considers all his paths.
-Proverbs 5:21

Whatever you are going through, wherever you are, God is watching.  God is considering you and how you are walking.  Our paths are the ways that we choose to go, and become our habits.
People who end up somewhere have taken a thousand steps to get there.  We choose paths that go places, good places or bad places, destiny paths or detour paths.  If we make a habit of entertaining sinful thoughts, doing a sinful action is easier.
And that is the context of Proverbs 5.  It is a warning against adultery.  Adultery starts in the mind and the heart.
Adultery is forbidden and completely destructive.   
The writer of proverbs mentions that all your ways, how you look, where you go, what you say, your interactions with people, and what you do in secret are in full view of God.  God is our omniscient father: Be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There's a Father u…