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

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

Intent

The previous ‘poem’ I wrote, “The Friend”, was written out of more a matter of intent than designing something artistic. There is a debate that says one should always write or create something excellently or this does not matter as much as what one is saying. Well, “The Friend” is inclined to be in the latter camp. I had intent with my idea and the art was second on my mind. I don’t think this poem is really that artistic as there are uneven spots; sometimes it rhymes and then it sounds cheesy in a way. But I trust the intent gets through and that’s felt in the poem’s effect. I was wanting to show that Jesus respects women after hearing the song “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Jesus never came with a iron fist, but was gentle. I was reminded that Christianity can be regarded as an oppressive religion but this isn’t so when you read how Jesus related to women in the gospel.

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.

The case

Departmental assistance not required and unwanted

In the belly of the artist living off the love of the Lord

Found in him.

Assign a case manager to this poor soul so he will prosper they said

And earn his way in.

For he will belong when his stripes have been attained.

But he had remembered the Lord in his youth,

The case manager did not know Departmental assistance not required.

We do life a certain way, you’ll belong that way they said.

Where indeed you will, dear man…

But in the belly of an artist living off the Lord

Was found the deeper recesses of water

That had nourished his soul

If they hadn’t come

He might still be at peace

In the deeper recesses of his soul.

In the artist living off the Lord

The Lord was still here,

Abundant life had already fashioned

Departmental assistance was not required.

The artist’s spirit could not be broken.

Deeper waters already brooding.

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.

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Myths and facts

I have come across some odd sayings in my day. But more than odd, they were controversial sayings, but delivered palatably, with even with a hint that it should be accepted. Except when I heard it, I may have had the advantage of my knowledge over others in the crowd.

The controversies were told at church, but if one knows their Bible quite literally, as I do, you would think twice about the saying. You would recognize it as controversial and that it did not quite fit the evidence of the Bible. Maybe they were aiming for mass and consumer acceptance, but I sat there dismayed. Waiting for someone to correct. So here it is. The fallacies that appeared from time to time on my journeys. How do I reply…

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Brands

I was in the middle of watching a advertisement about sagging skin and the product they claimed would get rid of this ‘physical problem’ under the eyes. It seemed it would alleviate the emotional pain that came with having physical unattractiveness as well. That was never said, but isn’t feeling unattractive emotional? Then put the cream on again and again and make sure you get a good night’s sleep for good measure! That does not solve the emotional side of it.

I was hearing the reviews customers gave about the product and how it solved their problem. I always find reviews in advertisements a little if not a lot ingenuine. How can one prove the review is sincere in a format intended to promote a product? I guess some people feel this way about churches.

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Am I Poor, am I Rich?

I see the rugged hill

Where my saviour was

Once crucified

Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus said

On the Mount of Olives.

Now we live in poverty.

And now we are spiritually poor.

Our redeemer, rescuer has gone,

And he would be Messiah.

We are now poor

For Jesus has gone.

But we are rich

Yes we are rich

For having walked with him and talked

With Jesus.

Yes we are rich.

And although I do not understand this crucifixion

Of an innocent man, I will understand this crucifixion.

And I saw the man next to Jesus at the Skull call

Jesus, asking forgiveness. Today you will be with me in

Paradise, Jesus replied. The other man insulted him.

And yes, a rich young man amidst the riches…

Of a slum? Amidst the riches of disease? Amidst the

Riches of not knowing God?

He rose again on the third day! Yes

And is coming back to take me to Paradise.

Jesus’ agony. Am I poor, am I rich? Do I know this God?

Do I know that he cares for me?

–Written in 1992

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.

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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.