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Showing posts from October, 2014

Unity of prayer! (Historical Document from: Cyprian)

Above all, the Teacher of peace and Master of unity did not want prayer to be made singly and privately, so that whoever prayed would pray for himself alone. We do not say My Father, who art in heaven or Give me this day my daily bread; nor does each one ask that only his own debt should be forgiven him; nor does he request for himself alone that he may not be led into temptation but delivered from evil. Our prayer is public and common, and when we pray, we pray not for one person but for the whole people, since we, the whole people, are one.
The God of peace and the Master of concord, who taught unity, willed that one should pray for all, just as he himself, being one, carried us all. The three children observed this law when they were shut into the fiery furnace, praying with one voice and with one heart: thus our faith in divine Scripture teaches us, and, as it teaches us how such people prayed, gives us an example that we should follow in our own prayers, so that we may become like…

Where are you Jesus?

A rather long time ago—as a text in one class in Bible college we had to read:  Hide and Seek.  Hide and Seek, is a best selling book by Dr. James Dobson in which he helps parents “raise self-confident, healthy children. By applying the strategies outlined here, youngsters need not hide in shame but can gain the courage to seek the best from their world (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/329775.Hide_or_Seek:   accessed 30 Oct, 2014)."   The title is obviously a takeoff the old game 'hide and go seek.' We all played it as children—or as grandparents!   But, sometimes don’t you think Jesus likes a good game of hide and seek?  Sometimes you go looking for Jesus, and He seems to be hiding! We have all done this at one time or another—looked for Jesus.  We are hurt, lonely, confused, sick, in trouble, struggling—or whatever—and we set out on a search—where is Jesus?  Where is His presence?  Where is His love?  Where is His mercy?  Compassion?  Power?  Touch?  Where on earth is …

Jesus on the cross

For six gruesome hours, Jesus has tried to get his breath—pushing up on his legs—gasping for air.  But, as the sixth hour came—darkness descends on the land.  It is an ominous darkness—natural but also spiritual.  The gospel writers are all in agreement; this darkness hung over the whole land  from the sixth hour through until the ninth hour.  It is at the ninth hour that the prayer of dereliction left the mouth of Jesus:  “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  Jesus is dying.  Jesus is physically suffering more than one could imagine.  Jesus is bleeding—his life is being poured out.  But there is more.  Jesus mystically, supernaturally, and miraculously is suffering spiritually.  He, in obedience to Father’s will—is dying vicariously, bearing the sins of mankind as the great sin-bearer.  So, the natural darkness, the physical pain—is nothing compared to the spiritual separation that Jesus knows is happening.  His purpose and destiny are finding reality in the middle of this dar…

Guilty as Charged!

We’ve all witnessed the court room scene on a T.V. show.  The gavel is slammed down and the judge declares: “Guilty as charged.”  Guilt is an interesting and very misunderstood verdict. There are two terms that are used synomously but are actually very different in nature. Think first of the term shame.  It’s not a popular word anymore and we are part of a society that often has no shame.  However, that aside, the word toxic shame is a judgment call upon one’s worth.  These are toxic shame statements:  I’m no good.  I am the problem. I am evil.  I am worthless. I am something wrong. I am a mistake. I should not exist.

The other term is guilt or guilty.  This is a far trickier term.  We have fallen captive to a subtle but powerful error by defining guilty in terms of a feeling.  In our spiritual walks we traditionally have called this, ‘the conviction of the Holy Spirit.’  Our tradition uses this terms to define the following activity.  When you sin or grieve the Holy Spirit, He makes y…

Unity?

““I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father--that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are-- I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:20-23, NLTLord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on meLord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on usHeal us LORD of our judgmentalism.Heal us LORD of our egotism.Heal us LORD—we are a bunch of control freaks.Heal us LORD—we are more interested in getting our own feet washed, instead of washing another’s person’s feet.Heal us LORD—we are confused; arrogant and we build our own kingdoms.Heal us LORD—we are not very…

What is my definition of sin?

What is my definition of sin?

I’m thinking today of  an exam I took in grade ten French class.  First let me tell you about the night before.  I had been struggling with French all term.  The night before the exam I buckled down and focused my attention for twenty minutes of studying.  It seemed like a nice round number—twenty!   Into the exam, I went and when I flipped the page over—the guess work began.  Here’s the problem—you can’t guess on a French exam.  It is either right or wrong—there is really no guess work involved.  My opinion didn’t matter.  I flunked!  Oh really?  Yes, hard to believe.
Interesting that when it comes to many issues—society does what I did in my French exam—we guess.  There is no absolute right or wrong—we guess.  We take opinion polls. We ask: ‘well, does this issue affect society?’ If it affects only me—then who cares—it’s my decision, my opinion.  While all that may be true about what brand of vehicle we choose to drive—it is not true about truth, morals, …

The rich man in Mark 10: 17-27

The rich man in Mark 10: 17-27 Questions:
What does following Jesus mean to me? What is Jesus asking ME to lay down at His feet? What is blocking ME from following Him more closely?
“Lord those are not easy questions… nor easy to hear the answer that you have for me. They also probably are not short easy cut answers either. Teach me LORD what those answers are!”
Jesus tells us:  It’s hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom.. not because he is rich… but because he loves being rich.  His focus is on rich.  His attention is on rich.  His identity is on being rich. Is it hard for us to enter the kingdom?  Well just take the ‘rich’ out and put in: family health body image sports cars RRSP relaxation music T.V. sex holiday children spouse work boat house clean-freak shopping anything…  This is a difficult yet powerful spiritual exercise, do you or I have the faith or guts to try it?
The key to the solution—- Who then can be saved?
Humanly speaking, it is impossible.  But not with God… everything is possible with God! So,…