Urgent message

Why did Jesus say to preach the one message about him? Because, I think, by the time I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say, one person may not hear the lifesaving message of being saved from an eternity in hell. If someone tells the message that one is supposed to, then just in time before they move on more will hear, potentially get saved from hell, and receive eternal life. There are no missing souls. – Pete’s Quotes

A difference between progressive and orthodox teaching

Is it true–that one can still worship God in hell? It based on a verse in the Bible where one reads into the verse without the context. The verse being that “if I made my abode in the depths, you would still be there”. Which means, they claim, God’s presence can still be felt in hell and so God can be worshipped.

A pastor has said he would still worship God if he went to hell. I thought I wouldn’t. No one in hell has testified to this as no one has come back to tell us and it is not true in the Bible which is the Christian’s book. Even a casual reading of the Bible shows otherwise. Continue reading

The spiritual life is an answer to being ‘left behind’

What’s on my mind devotionally this week is a verse of scripture that is in the gospel. Jesus said: “Better to enter into life maimed than to have you whole body thrown into hell.”

The spiritual life Jesus offers is also an antidote to feeling left behind in life. Continue reading

What’s on my mind devotionally

What a disaster before me! I might have thought of a gospel verse because of hearing about all the slew of events taking place in the world and how the world is crumbling but is this a reaction to media input or reality. Not only are there stories on major disasters, but people caught up in the middle of them. Continue reading

Creation chorus: begin again

The creation

 

Six days unveiled the fresh green earth, the deep blue sea;

A display to behold of cosmic beauty.

Land and ocean rising in symphony.

 

At the end of each day, God’s greatness turned a page

And the earth resounded in God’s good grace.

 

God’s own, Adam and Eve, agreed; and

With a heart full of God’s undying love,

They celebrated the wonders they see.

 

 

A temptation and fall

 

In a garden of paradise, came a temptation.

From a certain one who

Fell to earth just in time for Creation.

 

Thrown out of heaven for wanting

To make the world in his image

And not God’s own, The Devil, once an angel,

Found a way to get into creation, and worm

His way into the heart of the man and woman of God

 

So seduced they were,

The temptation ended in a fall that poured out to everyone else,

May God grant the grace to everlasting life.

 

Take away the path to pain and

Prepare the way to life, again.

 

 

Justice

 

Jealousy ran deep and

Cain killed Abel

 

Blood ran from Abel’s body.

 

An innocent man’s blood cried out

As God said, Run, Cain, run,

You tiller of soil

The fertile ground has turned to red, cold blood.

You destroyed.

 

I seek an answer,

His blood calls out for justice,

A punishment so grave,

For this terrible thing you’ve done.

 

But may you confess and find in your heart the way out,

 

May you settle you in a town and

Become alive again

 

My son, my son,

Begin again

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

Genesis chapter one: God and creation

MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?

Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading

A vow of poverty to write

Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all… Continue reading

Labour’s love

God did his work

And I am proud of the work he made.

It was awesome that he rested after six long days

I for one will sing in praise

To the awesome God who is not behind cloud

Shown he has the world at hand the marks of his love

Who toiled at building this place we call home,

He gave it his all.

And bent down, humble, and said,

This is yours,

This is mine.

The friend

An oppressor they called him;

Two thousand years of oppression!

And women are down?

Blame it on the Apostle Paul (some would say)

Women got to be submissive in Paul’s day

So, what does this say

About the Lord?

A misreading others say, as

Jesus was good to women–

And they loved him back.

By the mere, more than mere, fact they responded to him,

Was their love for a man who revealed his pure heart

To their souls

Jesus included women,

He did not reject them,

Scold or deny them

He showed them respect.

Maybe a women felt she got no respect

But Jesus friended them as they were.

Guided them where he could;

With gentle loving wisdom,

Which was understood

And despite the wrongs that were done to them,

Jesus gave them the grace to rise above.

If they feared a ruler,

They get a true servant instead.

Who is respected back

For the love that he gives.

Alive

I have been reflecting on the Gospel of John. The read has been enjoyable and compelling. This week, I have been reading the chapter on Lazarus and I learnt why Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. I now share my findings from the gospel itself.

Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, who lived in the village of Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem, in the first century. Jesus at the time was staying on the far side of the Jordan and was told that Lazarus was unwell.

Two days later, Jesus said to his disciples that Lazarus was physically dead. Jesus explained to his disciples, who were with him, that he meant that Lazarus was resting–meaning his disembodied spirit was resting in Hades, the waiting place for judgment of the dead (as David Pawson explains in “The Road to Hell”). Lazarus was not in heaven or hell. He was resting, in a waiting place for the spirits of the dead.

Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters and was going to wake Lazarus up, so his spirit would come back to his body. Lazarus would come back to life. Jesus went to Bethany and met up with Mary and Martha. Lazarus had been in a tomb four days and Jesus prayed and Lazarus came out of the tomb, alive.

Why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Love. Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters. They would have been grateful they got their brother back and Jesus delivered on this for them.

I discovered that Jesus’ love in raising Lazarus has a much wider application as well.

Continue reading

Grappling with faith

Image Journal, as well as proving helpful descriptions about the submission process (see previous post), also provided helpful descriptions of one’s relationship to faith in their submission guidelines.

All the work we publish reflects what we see as a sustained engagement with one of the western faiths—Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. That engagement can include unease, grappling, or ambivalence as well as orthodoxy…

Let me say first that they are an arts journal in which faith is involved in that. What they’re saying is an engagement with faith that is uneasy, or grappling, ambivalent, or orthodox. I find their distinctions helpful and true. One can be uneasy about faith, grapple with faith, be ambivalent, or be orthodox. And one can approach art from those perspectives. These distinctions opens one up to the question of where one stands. Which way? Is one uneasy about faith? Grapples with faith? Is ambivalent? or is orthodox? I think Image Journal don’t try to convert people to one way or another, but I think they are a journal and forum for discussion, thought and illumination about the arts and faith, although I’m not directly quoting their about page.

What happened to the second person in the godhead when Jesus (the Son of God) came to earth?

I have put on a song called “Endless” that was released in 1994 and is sung by a Christian musician named Eric Champion. The song is about God’s endless love. It got me thinking about the godhead.

As I listened, I may not know a lot about God’s love, but I got to thinking about the godhead, that I believe God is three persons in one, and are bound together by love. But I have a question.

Continue reading

Facing mortality?

If one struggles with identity and individuality, one may take on a persona, a performance, an image of somebody. Having shown the world an identity, one faces their mortality and starts to asks if what they believed was true. Does facing mortality make a difference to how one saw one’s self? How one believed in one’s self? Would an element of self-doubt or belief creep in, when one realizes that facing mortality can change everything one believed?

Thank God for Jesus’ disciples

The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? "It is the same with you [Jesus' disciples]: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, 'We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty'."(Luke 17:7-10, Good News Bible). Thank God for Jesus' disciples who brought us the true gospel. They did what they told to. They done their duty. Without their efforts there would not be the true gospel. So, with the gospel record, we can back and see what it truly is, because they delivered it to us. 

These two verses make better sense with an explanation

I find it interesting that a verse on giving is juxtaposed with a verse on not judging others. I don’t know why this would be, but a Bible scholar may have more insight into why this is the way it is, as the two verses seem contradictory. Why these seemingly two unrelated verses together? There must be an explanation, so I put both verses together in context, to arrive at a meaning, which may or may not be the original meaning, but sounds nice all the same. And it makes sense to me, despite the two verses being out of joint on the surface of things.

Here are the two verses, from the gospel of Luke, chapter six, v. 37-38.

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

Does it all make sense to you, in context? My guess is that it may mean this: Instead of judging others, give to others. Do quality giving, not quantity judgment. Give to those you’ve judged in some way.

Good proverbs for living

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29
Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
31
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32
For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34
He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35
The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame

(Proverbs 3:27-35, New International Version)