Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Can sickness be better than health?

The deepest, most precious, and most abiding spiritual lessons, which God has been pleased to teach me were learned in consequence of enduring my various experiences of sickness. . . . I feel it would have been nothing short of a calamity to have missed the physical suffering through which I have passed. . . . I am positive that I have sometimes met with God’s refusal to heal when I have been most in fellowship with him.

Hudson Taylor

If it’s good enough for one of the greatest Christian Missionaries 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Loving our enemies?

The Spirit is the One who can transform us from people who love only the people we like and the people who are like us, into people who love the people we don’t like, the people who are different from us, and yes, even our enemies. - Scot McKnight (Open to the Spirit)
Maybe it’s because of my Pentecostal background but mention the Holy Spirit and the first thing that pops into mind or is often mentioned by others is miracles, healing, speaking in tongues. Basically the 9 “gifts of the Spirit” given as examples by the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. (Yes for me Pentecostal friends I said examples as comparing this with other similar list I don’t think Paul’s intention was to create a definitive finite list for the gifts of an infinite God)

Now I prefer to think firstly about the Holy Spirits work in my salvation journey which is beyond doubt the ultimate miracle!

But I also think of Jesus command for us to love our enemies! The first virtue of the Holy Spirit is Love and the Spirit grows divine Love in our lives. Even love for our enemies. That could be the second biggest miracle of the Holy Spirit? Just a thought.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Not so fond of transformation a prayer

Praying for transformation that I’m not sure I want. By John Levison 

Holy Spirit, 
I’m not so fond of transformation. 
I’m not so hungry for adaptation.

I’m not so keen on modification. 
“Leave things as they are.” 
That’s my earnest prayer. 

But how can I ask you for this? 
And how could you possibly answer this prayer?

What could I be thinking? 
How little could I know you? 

You’re torrential. 
We’re sopping, sodden, soaked. 
Caught in the downpour of your craving 
to transform us from inside out 
and also from outside in. 


Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Have we tamed the lion?

The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore—on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him “meek and mild,” and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.

Dorothy Sayers

Open to the Spirit......

Being open to the Spirit has nothing to do with struggling to meet a standard. Rather, to be open is an inside-out and upside-down approach. To be open means God’s grace is at work in us through the Spirit. Openness is not a game of strategy and intense planning, like chess. Rather, being open is a dance in which we listen to the beat of the Spirit and respond to the Spirit’s promptings. Every time we are open to the Spirit’s steps, the Spirit takes us to Jesus, the Living Word.

Scot McKnight

Open to the Spirit
Page 21

Friday, January 31, 2020

Invaded by the living God

We have been invaded by the living God himself, in the person of his Spirit, whose goal is to infect us thoroughly with God’s own likeness. Paul’s phrase for this infection is the fruit of the Spirit. The coming of the Spirit, with the renewing of our minds, gives us a heavenly appetite for this fruit. The growing of this fruit is the long way on the journey of Christian conversion, the “long obedience in the same direction,” and it is altogether the work of the Spirit in our lives.

Gordon D Fee
Paul, the Spirit and the people of God

Monday, January 20, 2020

Messiah’s Misfits

”You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. Without bringing either Apollos or me into it, you’re sitting on top of the world—at least God’s world—and we’re right there, sitting alongside you!

It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. 

Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:7-13‬ ‭MSG‬‬

So who is up for the life of an Apostle?

When it looks like God is indifferent...

If your hopes are being disappointed just now it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly; many things lie unsolved, and the biggest test of all is that God looks as if He were totally indifferent. Remain spiritually tenacious. 

 In the Bible you never find the note of the pessimist. In the midst of the most crushing conditions there is always an extraordinary hopefulness and profound joy, because God is at the heart. The effective working of Redemption in our experience makes us leap for joy in the midst of things in which other people see nothing but disastrous calamity.

Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A lousy job....

Being a priest is not a matter of winning victories for God. Countless stories, movies, television, and now video games have burned into our imaginations a certain heroic plot: the brave adventurer sent forth on a Mission Impossible, and eventually winning against all odds. Yet this is not, and never can be, the pattern of Christian ministry, for the simple reason that it is not the pattern of the gospel—which, as you know, is all about human defeat, the shattering of human hope, the excruciatingly painful disappointment of human desires . . . and after all that, in spite of all that, even through all that, God’s victory becomes perceptible. That is why being a priest is such a lousy job for an incurable optimist, because disappointment is so fundamentally built into the job.

Ellen F Davis

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Living libraries of God’s Word

By choosing Christ to flesh out the word, God made a lasting decision in favour of incarnation. Those of us who are his body in the world need not shy away from the fact that our own flesh and blood continue to be where the word of God is made known. We are living libraries of God’s word. Our stories are God’s stories. Sometimes they are comedies and sometimes they are tragedies; sometimes faith shines through them and other times they end in darkness, but every one of them bears witness to the truth of God’s word. Preachers cannot “stay out of” their sermons any more than singers can stay out of their songs. Our words are embodied, which means we bring all that we are to their expression.

Barbara Brown Taylor 
(The Preaching Life)