Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Mums & Jesus

“Mum” is there a name that could mean more, and to so many?  There is hardly a higher compliment or ambition that could be sought, than to be call mum.

“Jesus” is there a name that could mean so many things, and to so many? This name that is misused, abused and honoured. It is called upon, blamed, praised, adored, cursed and feared. Yet there is no name higher than Jesus.

It’s not easy to become a mum, well, you have to give birth! To the unknowing eye the time of labour is not life giving. The sounds, smells and sights not to mention the pain are not the normal conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
I cannot grasp the depths of love between a mum and child at that point. When my wife held our children for the first time she uttered tenderly through the tears and exhaustion… “Hello there”. As I reflect on this moment I can think of no better summary for the mystery and love than a line from JJ Heller’s song ‘I get to be the one

“How does someone so small, hold my heart to tightly.
I Don’t even know you; I love you completely.”

Jesus looking lovingly at his disciples said words which echo in a mother’s love.
“This is my body broken for you”
The cross, and the events of the passion week are not the conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
The depths of love from God to man are incomprehensible to me, when I think of the new and eternal life God has birthed inside me, when I attempt to think of what it took so that the invite to have this new & eternal life could go out to all the world (inc me) I am left in speechless awe.  What love. I cannot comprehend, I can see a picture of this love as I see how my wife loves our children, it’s a strong love, a sacrificial love, a trusting love, an unconditional love.
God’s love for us is like that but stronger, purer, bigger, completely dependable and absolutely free yet cost the ultimate price.  And why? and how do I know? I can think of no better summary than the song my son was singing this morning.

“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

Happy Mothers Day!

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Diary of a Pregnant Dad (blurb)

It took a lot of toothpaste but we got there, we’re pregnant!  So with Debbie’s permission I’m hoping to keep a wee blog diary about being a husband/dad for a pregnant wife.   I’m a Jesus follower. And many people who I respect greatly, tell me that the journey of becoming a parent teaches you so much about God (the father), your own parents and love.  So here’s an attempt to document this learning and experience before I know what I will learn or what will happen.
All I know is, Debbie’s preggers, I’m to blame and God is good.

Due date: 1st September 2013.  you can come and cheer us on!

Give us our Daily Bread (part-2)

“Give us today our daily bread,” is a prayer that acknowledges our need.
To live the life God gives means we need needs, we need to need. As it means not being in control of what goes on/in our lives. Intentionally needing.

When we think of Eden or Heaven, we think of God giving, and women and men receiving gifts of life.  And we pray ‘Your kingdom come on earth (or if you like, ‘in our lives’)as it is in heaven,’ and then we live trying to supply all our own needs thus dulling, even killing our capacity of receiving.
We prefer to live without needs: 

  • So we buy (consumerism). Buy buy buy. This dulls our awareness of need. By buying what we need, we think we’re in control of our lives. ‘I bought this with my own money,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.
  • So we control. We control our health, diaries, other people. This dulls our awareness of need. By controlling our lives, future, health and organisations we replace any sense of need we have in our lives, with the satisfaction of being in control.  ‘I’ve got that sorted,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.

We will never have to pray for daily bread as long as our money and management skills hold out.  Yet this is a heavy price to pay, as to care (or pretend to care) for our own need is a refusal to receive life as a gift, and “will dull and finally destroy our capacity for living, feeling, loving, enjoying. And praying.”

Call me simple minded for thinking so much about daily bread, but to ask for bread is to acknowledge our place in creation. We are not in control. We are recipients from a life giving God, we receive from a provider. 
Needs are not limits that deaden or reduce our lives, needs introduce us to a life of receiving and giving, of free grace, to a life that cannot be bought or controlled but can only be received as a gift from God.

Do you want to live without needs?.. Then you want to live without God!
To live without the need of daily bread is to refuse God’s dusty, wholegrain, real life, everyday, basic, earthy and heavenly Grace which is ‘on tap’ through daily faith and trust in an everyday provider God. 

Our daily need for bread is a daily reminder that we are in need. We live in a Grace filled world, may we keep this prayer active on our lips and constant in how we view our lives… “Lord, give us…”

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11

Standing on Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Eugene Peterson, The word made flesh, pg. 184

for those heading to Uni or College

Mark 6:5f
“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

Life is a series of opportunities and well… Opportunities pass. Time keeps us in step with passing and coming opportunities but Time wont let us go back and re-live them, even if we’d hoped to ‘do better’. 
All those opportunities you had in school or last year at college/uni are gone, whether you were following/trusting Jesus in those conversations and places or ignoring Him.
Anyway.
Jesus isn’t overly interested in your past.

So this year at college/uni know the God who you are following.  Jesus is not tagging along side you in your life. No. You are following Him into your class, friendships, accommodation, CU leadership. You are following Him, so have faith. 
Whatever you do don’t have a ‘lack of faith’. 
I fear too often we repeat this upsetting passage found in Mark 6, when Jesus was in his hometown.
So above all else have faith. follow Him.
That means to trust in His faithfulness!
And He is faithful.

Standing on Grace

Reblog from Gregg Stewart

great post by gregg!
it’s not our mission it’s Christ’s, but wait a minute… …didn’t i die and now Christ live in me? it’s mine now! and not because i’m special but because the one I handed my life over to is special!

the year of the Lord’s favour, it’s now and will be until the return of our King.
I with Gregg call believers in Ireland to: Eat the Bible, Live like Christ, daily ask for filling of the Holy Spirit and intentionally and collectively seek God and His Kingdom come!
And Christ will be with you always!

greggstewart

I am just back home from being away in Romania for two weeks on a missions team. While I was out there my friend found a few verses that he felt were speaking to him very strongly. Since I have been back home I have also had these verses on my heart, so I want to explore them and see what God wants to teach us from them. The verses are from Luke 4:18-19.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

The context of these verses is that Jesus is in the synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath and he quotes the above verses which are found…

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Actively Discipling; Patiently Reliant (Jesus’ will Jesus’ way : part 1)

Hey, feel this is very important for us.  Would appreciate your thoughts.

Jesus could have said anything to His disciples when he was leaving earth, however He left His disciples (us) with a mission, goal, calling, dream.  He had poured into these men and women over the past years and now, was passing on the baton, but sending His Spirit to continue His dream.

Matthew records it like this:
Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”

Mark records:
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”

Luke records:
“It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.”

John records:
Feed my sheep (addressing Peter)… …Follow me”

One thing for sure is that it’s an active calling, not one that allows for laziness.  There is also a big emphasis that we’re to do this in the same power, the power of Jesus, that it’s His work.  John’s ‘follow me’, Matthew’s ‘I am with you always’, Luke’s ‘in the authority of his name’ and Mark’s ‘and the Lord worked with them’ are there as markers (like post-it notes on the door out of your house) saying that this will be the Spirit’s doing and they annihilate any notion that we’re to be active for the Kingdom in our own strength.

These 2 things cannot be ignored. The Gospel writers have insured we don’t. 
That we are to do Jesus’ will, Jesus’ way.  

Our world is full of people, organisations, governments, families, businesses who so often do the right thing, the wrong way.  We bring peace by dropping bombs, we show love to our families by being away from home for 6 months at a time providing for them, we give some of our organisations profits to charity so we can run a feel good advertising campaign, we be kind so that they’ll ‘owe us one’, we make our country stable by upsetting another, we give money to charity through a greed driven raffle.

What is terrifying is that we can bring this doingtherightthinginthewrongway’ness into the church community.
We can’t proclaim the good news without following Jesus’ example. 
John’s gospel make’s it clear to us that what we see Jesus doing, we do. 
That we do Jesus’ will Jesus’ way.

I washed your feet; wash one another’s feet (13:14)
I have loved you; you love one another (13:34, 15:12)
You’ve seen me work; you’ll do my work (14:12)
I’ve been with you; the Spirit will be with you (14:16-17)
I live; you also will live (14:19)
You are in me; I am in you (14:20)
I was hated; you will be hated (15:18-25)
I haven’t finished what I have to say; the Spirit will tell you (16:12-15)

Then in John 17 (the prayer) Jesus continues with this ‘me-them’ talk.
‘We are one; may they be one’,
‘You sent me; I send them’

Following Jesus and doing Jesus’ will are inseparable.  Jesus meant for us to continue His work of extending His kingdom by following His example of how to do it.  Peter did not start a whole new thing at Pentecost, he did not introduce people to a new God no, He was continuing the work of Jesus, he used Joel as his sermon text.  Jesus brought in the age of Grace, a new age, but still a continuing part of God’s plan that’s been going from before time.  

We may be making disciples of a new generation but this is a continuing work of Jesus and must be done the way Jesus reveled He wanted to extend His kingdom. 

We may think we’re reasonably accomplished at running businesses, our families, and sports clubs and we may think we’re pretty good at getting things done.  We may think that we can model our church’s expansion off a McDonald’s successful advertising campaign. But to do the Great Commission without considering the way of Jesus is not inappropriate. It’s wrong. 
We cannot live for Jesus without living like Jesus. 
We cannot do the will of Jesus without living the way of Jesus.

To be continued… 

I plan to continue this blog by writing a bit about the way Jesus could have but didn’t and the way He did do the will of God.

Standing on Grace

 

‘A Phone-call with Death’ (post Easter Poem)

Well easter has happened, Praise God, just wrote this we ‘phonecall’ while celebrating and meditating on the resurrection using  1 Cor 15 where it quote Hosea 13 where it says:

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; 
   I will redeem them from death. 
Where, O death, are your victory? 
   Where, O death, is your sting?”

Ring Ring…

“Oh,
Hello death

I notice you’ve lost your sting
oh you’ve been looking for it… ..2000 years
Right
Would that be the same time as… …?
Oh, you don’t mention His Name
Do you think maybe, he took, it?
…You don’t know?
You were loosing your power over life at the time.
Oh right… Unconscious!.. wow

Well, that’s good… you know, for me!
Like it means I’m not afraid of you anymore, just ashamed
Anyway look, I have to go here and get on with living a resurrected life
I’m sure you’ll interrupt my life someday
But it’ll just be a hiccup in eternity, far from victory.

Ok,
Toodles.”

Standing on Grace

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