What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Do you think of yourself as a Christian? In relationship with Christ? Are you a church leader? Do you represent a church denomination? All of you/me/us need a magic mirror to see who we really are. Here's a message that we all need to take on board, individually and especially as a body of believers.
Listen to this poem (words alongside if you need them).
Seriously, how long have we heard, these are the last days Its the same old song, I mean is it just me or do these last days seem to be lasting kinda long. I know I’m not perfect. Ive had so many I couldn't count my falls #niagara Rather than responding to his call I’d rather schedule Him #viagara
Whatever is wrong He can heal but I want the cattle on a thousand hills with the ability to take the wheel grasp will like Jacob to esaus heel, his love is based on how I feel, He loves me He loves me not, like pullin petals of flowers, yes Hes coming back but no man knows the day or the hour…?
Together: Where have you been. I've been at the altar, waiting For you...
Ezekiel: To repent... What happened you've...
Janette: Lost weight yes, I wanted to look good for you so I haven't been eating my Daily...
Ezekiel: Bread of heaven is who I am but its scary, I give u loaves of my word but you get by with the crumbs of commentaries. You needed...
Janette: I needed a make over... No one was attracted to me so I dressed up the gospel , stayed silent seeing sin saturate sanctuaries shadowing sight smoky eyes because you know…you are love,
Ezekiel: No, I am your "cover...girl"...I "make up" for your lacks and deficiencies, I'm your very “foundation”, see I blend with you perfectly, no need for concealer for I’m the revealer of all, don't you recall when I tore your veil?
Janette: So you’re saying you don’t like my lashes and you don’t like my nails) then
Ezekiel: You don't understand, you don’t understand, I took lashes for your lashes and nails for your nails but If I'm not gaining your heart, then I'm just losing time...cuz More than I want you to be outwardly beautiful, I need you to be mine,
Janette: Ok But we're here now so let's just go on with this ceremony
Ezekiel: Knowing… there will be no one in attendence? you never extended invitations. Too excited about the reception, and the gifts that you would get that you forgot my (presence).
Janette: (Presents) and dollar dances quarters nickels and
Ezekiel: the world could keep their dimes, pieces of silver don't impress me...don't forget what happened to Judas...
Janette: you just failed to see that I've changed, i admit I grew distant I lost sight of you the absolute value missing the sin so now with ignorance at times i cosin unable to stay away from tangents, I thought I had the “right” angle.
Ezekiel: look I know ur heart has been broken but if you can Keep your eyes “fixed” on me I can re-pair us. And we will be one no longer be Fractions. Being dominated by denominations
Janette: Yet i choose to stay Divided like palestinian nations
Ezekiel: yes, ur fouls have been flagrant, your fouls have been flagrant but I am positive I'm the one for you! But we equal nothing if u continue to be the negative one in this Equation
Together: Can you sense... my frustration
Janette: You are Holy, so I impose what’s legalistic, making appeals for what you already acquitted, obessesed with overruling your objections purposely plucking purpose
Ezekiel: professing prosperity, practicing pride, prosecuting people persistently, and when u became the Judge, you took away the Saint’s defense and see you've silenced the miraculous testimonies of my witness, so no one’s ever convicted, yet so many of children are turned away from life because you condemn them with your death penalty sentence
Janette: not all of them, which reminds me.. about their entrance, In the lambs book of life some names u may have skipped, with attendance I stamp their wrists so that they can get in. The VIP section, we don't address their sin, neither do we offend, bouncers don't trip on those who abundantly give, all of their praying grandmothers had a plus one on the list.
Ezekiel: well Tell them, they wont see me, by visiting you routinely
Be the example,
That you need relationship with me You are more than stained glassed windows, pulpits, pew and singers ‘cause If you want to see my church, just Look in the mirror
Janette: but you wanted me to be fine, perfect, righteous, and eloquent. But this land seemed desolate and needed development, I exceeded your budget so I withdrew from Tyras “bank” and continued to remodel staying culturally relevant, my girl Katrina called said hurricanes and hard times came and you didn’t make yourself evident
Ezekiel:but I told you I would never leave thee nor forsake thee
Janette: I hear you but I had immediate needs, .
Ezekiel: but promised that you would…
Ezekiel: wait for me
Janette: Wait for you?
By the way what happened to your ring?
Janette: my ring?
Ezekiel: you don't remember the ring when I called you out of darkness into marvelous things. You wear it IN you not ON you, it was my spirit, my sign to, and remind you AND your ex who you really belong to.
Janette: My ring, I pawned for money to get back to who I thought was my first love: he spoke to me with words so sweet.. he “waves” and I feel the “shore”ness of my wrong decision shifting my view, He wanted me to “sea” breeze so I could forget where the “Son” sets next, I was convinced I didn’t need to repent of my sin, He told me he could wash me with the “Tide” that was coming in. the weather was pleasant on the Atlantic surface but as I got to His core the temperature drastically changed yes, I contacted an STD, he “burned” me at 9,800 degrees. He was my earth, he wasmy world I'm sorry to tell you but there's more
Ezekiel:Did u think I wouldn't notice... the symptoms and the signs, and your unexplainable cravings for sin of all kinds, even had trouble sleeping
Janette: Weeping may endure for a night but joy didn’t come in the morning sickness. So in my shame and my mourning you witnessed me take the pill for the morning after coincidently located right next to my box of alabaster, I was to shameful to bring forth Al a bast…
Ezekiel: Stirred lies of wicked men's tongues started deceivin you, then automatically planted the seeds of deceit in you, And when u were pregnant with falsehood it became impossible to “conceive” the truth
Janette: (The truth) made me free but I ran back to what was comfortable being enslaved a mind depraved, I'm sure you don’t want me now. Im not worth the price u paid....
Ezekiel: They flogged me with whips,that left my flesh stripped, I was Beat with their instruments, rhythmically, which caused my skin, I bleed symphonies, I can still remember the hooks, Like a chorus, and those weren't just 66 letters they were musical scores, which contained the every note to keep us on one accord, for, you, to always have the right keys to my hearts doors
Janette: I just wanted a sample repeat sin like loopin 8 bars, on my own tempo I embarked, Instead of following your instrumentation i drown out your heartbeat of tympani, and strings of harmonies, ignore the woodwinds of your spirit, if your trumpet sounds I wont hear it or even the brass ring, cuz ive layed tracks and tracks of acapella but so i can hear myself sing, majoring in minor, has left me scratched like broken records, causing my life to, causing my life to, causing my life to --- stutter, im an false instructor pretending as if im watching the conductor, I'm too unlawful to be your wife and probably never recover....
Ezekiel: My WILL, was put to the test, when I had to choose to escape glory to escape in glory, or bear torment upon my flesh, YOU, were the reason I embraced that rugged cross, like my child, whom was long lost ,MARRY, my own mother could even recognize disfigured the face of her son. ME, is what I gave you on calvary when It was done.
I told you I loved you, how much, well I showed you ,You called it crucifixion, I call it "proposal" WILL YOU MARRY Me... You don't need a third party u have direct access to me, and we won't ever have to worry about remembering our anniversary, because I've yet to find a calendar with a date for eternity.
Janette: I, need, your
Ezekiel: GRACE and MERCY is what I lavish upon, there's a recession of my presence, I see the demand so I supply the missing peace that your heart demands , And then
Janette: some cry over spilled milk I weep over spilled...
Ezekiel: Blood that could not be measured in pints to count
Together: (my love)
Janette: was contingent on what was instant
Together: I know I had to come
Janette: to repentance
Ezekiel: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do
Janette:Father forgive me for I know not what Ive done
Janette: Ill get myself together I’ll clean myself up
Ezekiel: Please, allow me, im the only one who can make you clean
Together: Without Spot Wrinkle Without Blemish
Ezekiel:Your bridesmaids goodness and mercy will follow u, it is already finished It was you who I chose even though I called many. I am coming back for you
Together: Will you be ready OR NOT???
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else [Galatians 6:4]
“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all”
Image credits: http://tinyurl.com/nejwbr2 http://tinyurl.com/q8tnovj http://tinyurl.com/o9gdrjk http://tinyurl.com/q2jynbe http://tinyurl.com/o8c9blb http://tinyurl.com/o958f7s http://tinyurl.com/ptmsetd
Christianity, taken seriously, compels us to engage the world, not retreat from it. So what can we learn from the "new atheists" of today?
Read the full essay here: http://tinyurl.com/m4nnvj6
"To say that we are desiring creatures is to say that we are erotic creatures. It is sad that the notion of the erotic has been co-opted by pornography.
Many of us have ... an opposition between agape (the love that gives) and eros (the love that desires). But Augustine's understanding is that agape is rightly ordered eros toward God."
(Jamie Smith, in interview with David Neff)
I'm fed up with the busyness of life: but not with the type of busyness where I am committed, invested, and intensely engaged.
Instead, I'm fed up with busyness where a thousand and one things are demanding my attention, where I am ever contactable, where expectations are that I respond immediately.
Hey! It's my life, won't you get out it of for a moment!
The problem is that life is relationship. But to develop relationship I need time.
Even more critical, my relationship with God's spirit is more important than any human relationship, because that is the one where all relationships begin.
In the same way a human relationship develops over time, so as we deepen our relationship with the Spirit, that takes time. I want to deepen my relationship with God's spirit. Because I want God in my life.
It is incredible arrogance that I expect God to respond to my requests when I don't spend time building my relationship with him. Now granted, in his grace his Spirit does sometimes break through despite myself. However, the normative process is that as I deepen my relationship the Spirit becomes more and more an inherent part of my life, part of me. And then he is in me, and I in him, and he brings his gifts, his power, his love. But the relationship comes first.
Come and sit awhile ... Mark 6:31 And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." This verse almost sounds like the disciples had mobile phones, ipads, email, and twitter and they needed to escape.
I was reminded of this again in reading Gal 5: Paul points out that our identity is not found in the formulae of our life's routines. Instead he says our identity is "but only faith working through love." Faith is rooted in relationship. As we depart from the formula of religion and invest instead in the relationship with the Spirit, there we find his presence.
So it remains my conviction that we give our time disproportionately to the formulae of religion, work, and societies rituals ... our time is expended on fulfilling expectations and obligations. We do all this at the expense of spending time with God the Father, Spirit, Son.
And for our faith, our community life in churches across the world: What might this mean if we were to spend together with God in the right proportion to the time we spend together about God?
Julie Meyer has a wonderful take on this, about "Come sit awhile": ow.ly/lGYrW
CS Lewis' said "we are far too easily pleased". This has been on my mind a lot in recent weeks. Why do we settle so easily for simple shallow sweet things? This is the issue at the heart of the cartoon in the blog's previous post!
God promises a joy beyond comprehension. "Ah", you say, "but I can't comprehend it, so I'll settle for what I can get in simple distractions." Do you have to comprehend it to know it? I can't comprehend the universe, but it is stunningly beautiful if I only take the time to look. Fool you are that you would settle for less!
As Lewis says, "“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” That means I need to invest in my joy, not wait for it on a cookie plate. The Bible says "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion!"
So let me not be easily satisfied by the world's entertainment. Let me instead hunger for the depths of Joy, and run the race with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is the fullness of Joy I desire, and not the toys of childhood.