Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jul | 31 | The Real Slam Papi


Title:- The Real Slam Papi

John 7:46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

In 1987, Mark Kelly Smith, born on the east side of Chicago began a new strand of performance poetry at the Green Mill Tavern. His unflinching realism and innate sense of rhythm made him a compelling performer of ‘Slam Poetry.’ Narrating ‘The Spoken Word Revolution ’ he tells of the arrival of Slam poetry on Chicago’s near West side, as ‘reeking with convention’ and ‘daring to be entertaining and inclusive, allowing audiences the option of booing, stomping, snapping or hissing the poets off stage.’ He says “It was anarchy, it was outrage and it was Holy Holy Holy!”

In Galilee, after a hidden 30 years, The Promise reveals Himself. The Head Crusher steps quietly, confidently and mightily through this planet’s possessed and drooping ropes, into the centre of the ring and with His Words, He lays His mighty grip on the shoulders of the adversary and every other cobelligerent, who for years had blinded hurting eyes and corked bleeding, pleading ears, then slams the enemy on his back. They are all treated with the same disrespect.

“White washed walls.” SLAM!
“Brood of Vipers.” SLAM!
“The Sabbath day! So what! The Sabbath was made for man.” SLAM!
“Stretch forth your hand friend.” SLAM!”
“Even the rocks would cry out.” SLAM!
I said “Even the rocks would cry out.” SLAM, SLAM SssLAM!!

Look again now at the angry Jesus! For there He goes, striding into the temple, table-tossing, yes, turning and throwing the money changers out on their ear and on their ass, “My Words, my Words they shall remain” He cries, “Though everything else shall pass, shall pass!” SLAM! Whipping their backs and booting them up the heinie, throwing them out of the temple SHOUTING “My Fathers house shall be a house of prayer for all nations and not a den of thieves!” SLAM! A crowded house leads to the roof being pealed off and a quadriplegic being lowered down and He says in front of them all “I forgive you your sins!” SLAM! And just so they know He can, He says, “Take up your bed and walk!” SLAM! Then the caught, shamed and bare-breasted woman is brought before Him, the mouthy mob all weighed down with killing stones baying for her blood is dispersed, slapped across the chest with words that exploded like a percussion bomb in their hearts, You who are without sin, throw the first stone!” SLAM! And then turning to the woman, He says Woman where are your accusers? Yeah! Where are your accusers? Go and sin no more.” Do you see that? Slam! Slam! Sssssssssslam!
My God! Jesus! Think on what He did! Think on what He does today! Grace and forgiveness you see, when truly embraced, when truly applied, stirs up the foul messes of our lives and moves us into His restorative order and I tell you, I tell you when this truly happens “It’s anarchy! It’s outrageous and it’s Holy Holy Holy!”

Listen:- “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Pray:- Slam down lies today O Lord. Slam me down today. Wrestle me dear Jesus, fight with me, grapple with me and at the break of this my day and dead leg me forever! Make me limp and lean on You Lord Jesus, yes, come and tell it like it really is. So raise Yourself up in my life O God and Rock of Ages, come so rock my world today, that I may never be the same again! Mighty Saviour make today my slam time. Amen.

Jul | 31 | Down The Transexual Toilet

Dream Word – CONSIDER

Genesis 1:27, 28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, --- NKJV

Down The Transexual Toilet

The rising problem of sexual identity issues, especially amongst young boys, is on an ever steepening rising curve. The advance in medical technology and expertise has made physical re-alignement surgery increasingly common. Indeed, sex-change surgery has become such a speciality of the Thai health industry, that it has become a relatively inexpensive procedure; patients are travelling there from all over the world to get the operation. As I write today in 2008, the challenge for the country of Thailand is that up to 20% of boys in their secondary schools, some as young as twelve years of age, are so camping in it up in school and talking about their plans to get transgender surgery as soon as they are legally allowed, that the school authorities have built a third set of toilets; they now have male, female and transsexual toilets.

A Thai campaigner for transgender rights, male to female, commenting on the rising weirdness, remarked that “Maybe the numbers of gays, of people with sexual identity issues, might be the same as in other countries but because Thai society and culture tend to be very sweet, very soft, and the men can be really feminine, if we tend to be gay, many of us tend to be transgender." Interesting.

On the whole, I believe that it is our fallen society, which through its manipulation of mass media, both generates these unnatural tendencies and then continually propagates the growth of these unnatural inclinations by political means, legal means, and further cultural manipulation, which all go to foster an atmosphere of acceptance. Meanwhile, with this literal emasculation of society, diseases such as AIDS and the marketed dis-ease of male pattern stupidity, together with the subsequent destruction of family life, all take us ever closer to the precipice of moral madness, the decimation of society and ultimate population destruction. Yes, it is a serious as that.

The church now has to face the financial cost of political correctness and growing legal challenges, if it does not, then it to shall go the way of Camp old Cain and mince its way into utter feminisation. Make no mistake about it, the coming complete Anglican split, is not so much about the authority of Scripture as we are led to believe by embarrassed conservatives that have not had the bottle to get out of this religious Sodom, but rather, it is about sexual infiltration in the church and cultural manipulation by homosexuals with an agenda.

Even so, grace and truth must sleep together, for they are marriage partners. Therefore, just how does a church graciously minister to those folks from a country where 20% of the population and rising, have had their todgers tacked back, and through hormones and surgery, have grown a couple of breasts? Indeed, how will the church in the U.K. and the U.S.A. minister to “lady boys” and “fem men” in our own countries! It’s an ever-increasing problem that’s for sure, for there is no coming back from the hormone and scalpel train wreck, which is transgender surgery. We need to really think this through as we reach out to our fellow sinners with God’s love.

We now live in an age where women are men and boys are frightened. If you are a Christian tonight, then you have to help shape and formulate in the wisest of ways, legal plans and practical protection for your congregational futures and finances. More than that, somehow we all need to learn how to preach the Gospel to people who have travelled the transexual road and try and imagine the shape and direction of a journey of sanctification and spiritual recovery which they will have to undertake. My goodness, we need the anarchy of God’s grace to come and sort out this most agonizing of messes. I’m sure you agree with that!

Listen: - You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. ( Leviticus 18:22-23 NKJV.)

Pray:- Lord, we need wisdom. Lord, we need grace. Lord, we need protection. Lord, we need men to men and women to be women and strong models for both. Have mercy upon us O God and assist us to walk with great grace and great truth in these most complicated of matters. In Jesus name, we ask it, amen.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Jul | 30 | Refluxology

Key Word:-CHOOSE

Title:- Refluxology

Luke 15:28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him....."

It's a nasty condition and the effect on the esophagus can be profound. Acid bubbling up out of the stomach into the esophagus can burn lesions into the tissues. For a preacher one of the more disconcerting aspects of acid reflux is its tendency to reach up to the vocal cords and eat them away. At night time many people take their teeth out and put them in water; for those people with acid reflux, eat the wrong food at the wrong time and it’s like putting your vocal chords in acid over night. After a while it becomes painful to speak and your power of projection is virtually gone and many times, even your ability to maintain a healthy sounding discourse is also ruined. Acid reflux is nasty.

It is obvious to me that there is a parallel here; I may even suggest a connection, between physical acid reflux and spiritual acid reflux. Just the other day I took note of how regularly I became aware of my thoughts regurgitating painful scenarios of past conflicts. The emotions associated with each revisit were acidic. Not just one type of bad thought either, but a whole panoply of bad stuff. You know, anger, disgust, astonishment! Spiritual acid reflux is like trying to pick up a single hook from a bowl full of the same, but you can never get just one without pulling up a whole bunch of others! This regurgitated mass of kicking and screaming emotions, has a dreadfully debilitating effect on us. We become aware of a lump in our throats, a difficulty in swallowing what others have to say, a lack of enjoyment of certain foods of fellowship, an avoidance of issues and worst of all, a loss of power in that voice which is ours. The projection of our personhood and the totality of our wholeness are indeed diminished when you suffer from spiritual acid reflux disease.

There are several ways of dealing with physical acid reflux. Eat the right things at the right time, raise your bed head up 4-6 inches and of course take medication to immediatley neutralize the acid, until finally you find a medication to tone the acid down, and slowly gain some healing! You deal with Spiritual acid reflux in exactly the same way friends. What I am about to say next is good theology and excellent refluxology. So listen up! !

While the process of the healing of past hurts takes place, you may have to avoid scenarios which aggravate the issue. For sure, you may well have to deal objectivley and rightously with issues of great concern (2 Tim 4:14) but it must be at the right time. So be sure then, objectively tackle things at the right time and with that of course, learn to never stick your hand in a bowl full of hooks! Address issues objectively and do so while taking large measures of vocal forgiveness and including positive substitutionary thoughts in your mind and heart. With this you can then neutralize the acid of bitterness whenever the bile rises.

Now, all of this works well friends, but it’s very tiring when you continually have to do it! So we need to find a way of stopping the bitter and angry, deadly and depressive regurgitation today! So, just how do we turn the acid off? How do we stop the bile rising? Well, may I suggest that the best of medicine is the embracing our own sin and then the thorough embracing of our Saviour, followed by the embracing and loving of others, very much indeed. In other words, once you own your own sin, confess it and repent of it you must then thoroughly embrace the Saviour. Yes, like a legless drowning man would squeeze any buoyant object to himself, so we must thoroughly and desperately embrace the Saviour! I wonder if that when you begin embracing Jesus as your Saviour in this thankful, desperate and life-giving manner, then, and only then, are you one who realises that He has forgiven you much; very much indeed! This gripping embracing is so necessary, for you see, it’s only once you are aware of just how much you have been forgiven, that you can then begin to forgive and to love others as you should. Once you get that sense of being so very deeply forgiven yourself, only then can you truly forgive those who have trespassed against you. Does this mean you avoid the issue with the sins of other people against you? By no means! They must be objectively tackled both for yourself and the whole body. However, it is only in the forgiving of others, then and only then, that the bitter bile can be neutralised.

The truth is that some of you have got terrible spiritual acid reflux disease, because you have yet to realise just how much you have been forgiven. Do you dare to begin to enter and own the darkness which is yours today? Maybe you need to, for I am convinced that it’s only by doing this, that you are enabled personally, from your heart to truly love the Saviour and then objectively begin to confront the persons and issues of the trespasses against you, that you might begin to love them rightly.

Listen:- Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:44-47

Pray:- Lord, lift up my head. I have been forgiven much and no doubt, much more than I know or care to truly acknowledge. Father, help me to embrace my sin and my Saviour in such a way that I would love others well. In Jesus name I ask this, amen!

Jul | 30 | Forever Young

Dream Word – RESPECT

Numbers 11:16-17 So the Lord said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. NKJV

Forever Young

We have been living in a throw-away society for some decades now. Indeed, speedy advances in technology, already makes those items we purchase off the shelves today, virtually redundant on the morrow. So much so, that most design processes and manufacturing materials, now come pre-packaged with a very limited lifestyle and a lot of built in redundancy. Thus we consistently make way for the new.

I am afraid the same approach is being adopted in the church toward older people and is an increasingly problematic age discrimination type of attitude which is especially adopted by the generationally-focused, emerging churches. It would appear by their rhetoric and action that in consistently making way for the ever new and rising stars, they are throwing away the older folk and I have experienced at first-hand how that throw away age is getting younger by the year!

Should Christ wait a little while before coming to get us, then it will be very interesting to see how the rising demographic of politically powerful, lobbying, old-aged, baby-boomers, will shape the cultural landscape once again. The church will need to respond to this enormous aging crowd in practical loving and caring ways. Only older Christian people can do this. Only they can care enough to do so.

Today in 1965, president Lyndon Johnston signed Medicare into American law providing health care for each American over the age of 65. The cost of this care will continue to rise at an astronomical rate, fuelled interestingly enough, by our ability to cure disease and keep the aged alive and kicking that much longer. Never the less, this throw- away culture of ours, this youth-focused, age-redundant society will most subtly require that old people exit the scene more quicker than before to make way for the newer models. I have three comments on this challenge tonight.

Firstly, may I encourage us older folk to try and stay young in our spirit. Exercise yourself in continual creativity. As much as you can, keep looking to the future. Bring all your experience, the good and the bad, to bear upon your creations of the present that will flower in the future. Even if that future is not yours to rejoice in. Create. Stay young in this.

Secondly, exercise your power. Whilst it is healthy to always apprentice and at some point step aside for the younger, DO NOT be pushed aside. Be young in your spirit, be as strong as you can, continue to create and don’t let the younger bucks antler you out of the way. Bear your arms, show ’em your scars and keep on fighting the good fight. There is MORE THAN enough work for younger folk to be apprenticed into, to be released into, to be resourced into without you stepping aside just yet. Don’t be bullied. Don’t be shoved around.

Thirdly, the church needs to make plans now, about how to evangelize, care for, honour and respect an increasingly elderly population. How we honour and respect our elderly, says much about not only our depth and breadth and spread of mercy, but much more about our vision. We must remember that their life of service is not a limited one and though the outworking of this fallen world in their bodies, will, despite new knees and replacement hips, bring a slowing down of their frame, it is not God who has built redundancy into their being!

Tell me tonight, what kind of vision have you written into your personal law and into your church law regarding both the harnessing and release of powerful older folk into their own personal destinies? Even the emergent churches will one day lose their teeth and one day remove the hip from worship. Think about that.

Listen: - Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone. (Numbers 11:17-18 NKJV)

Pray:- Lord, grant to our older folk, youthfulness of heart to go with their years of wisdom, strength of body to continue the fight and courage to lead Your people, "further up and farther in". In light of forced redundancy and a throw-away society, give us older folk some gumption to keep going Lord, in Jesus name I pray, amen.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jul | 29 | Listening For The Lisp

Key Word:-CLEAN

Title:- Listening For The Lisp

Proverbs 20:10 Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD

I walked into the printing shop to pick up my photocopying and the guy who I usually deal with came over and said “Thigh!” His speech seemed to be a little slurred. I soon found out that as a founder member of the ‘Church of Body Modification’ he had by himself, with some ice, a little gauze and a scalpel the previous night,  performed a central bifurcation of his own tongue. He assured me that in a few days after the swelling had gone down, I would hardly notice the slight lisp he now had. He opened his mouth and showed me his new ‘lizard tongue.’ It matched the four spikes he had protruding from the flesh of his right arm really well. He assured me that this would also help him on his journey into spirituality, which turned out to be a veritable smorgasbord of everything that was not Christian. He seemed happy, excited and quite at peace about things. This coming weekend he and a few of his friends were going to have some Pizza and then hang themselves for a few hours on flesh hooks. I couldn’t really compete with that. Pizza, friends and a movie would be enough for me. So I thanked him for the photocopying and went on my way. His values were of a different weight to mine, his apparatus of judgement was marked by a very different scale and that was dangerous, for the weighing of flesh always needs to be upon the Master's measured scales. Remember that.

Concerning different weights and measures, I believe God speaks on two levels about this, but on both levels concerning the mususe of it, He calls it ‘abomination’. This is a strong word; it means ‘disgusting’, or even ‘a thing of horror’. If I could utilize the British way of understatement to so mark the seriousness of what is being said by this verse I might say “The LORD finds all kinds of double dealing, most distasteful!”

What is double dealing? Essentially it’s saying one thing and doing another. It’s intentionally having a ‘forked tongue’ so as to deceive the other person. Double dealing is just that, it is deception and God finds deception, most distasteful.

On the first split of the tongue all teaching that spouts a true spirituality that is contrary to God’s revealed will, is an abomination! It is from the serpent himself, it is death and not life. It’s Grandma Goldilocks with sharp teeth and bad breath and it will eat you up in the end. There is no subtlety here, it is what it is and brazenly so. Such spiritual teachings which are so contrary to the Scriptures are but sulphur-coated sayings that purport sound spirituality, real growth, true freedom, and even life but in the end, they deceive and deliver perversion, diminishment, bondage and death. Watch for such contrary teachings for in our day, they abound!

On the second split of the tongue such double dealing is often hid. You have to listen for the lisp. It’s present everywhere and God help us, if we listen closely we shall find that it is sometimes present in us, and in even in our churches. We say one thing, we do another. We praise God. We curse men. We smile with our face and hate with our hearts. We shake hands in the open and shake fists in the darkness. May God forgive us! For the Father finds our church wide double-dealings most, yes, most distasteful. Careful now.

Listen:- Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Pray:- Oh God, who of us has not spoken with a forked tongue, through snakeskin and lizard lips? From this day Lord, we seek the pure water from our regenerate hearts to break out and freely flow from our mouth and so to disinfect, our often most distasteful mealy mouths. Amen.

Jul | 29 | How Not To Become A Cold Turkey Christian

Dream Word – CARE

2 Corinthians 12:1-8 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. NKJV

How Not To Become A Cold Turkey Christian

It was Dallard Willard I believe, who called the formation of Christ in His disciple as ‘The Daring Goal of The Christian Life.’ I believe that. For this side of heaven, the seemingly un-closable gap between our real and stated position with Jesus in the high and well sanctified, most holy and happy heavenlies, and our experience of that same position while we walk down here on earth, makes for a very tough journey and is the cause of so much mocking laughter both from within the church and without, especially in the cold light of pain, sin and loss. Yes, it is only the solid formation of Jesus in the centre of our selves, in the middle of the way of our earthly sojourn, which shall remove such laughing from the rear of our ears forever. Indeed, the formation of Christ in us is the only way to close the gap of our position in Christ with the facts of our experience here under this setting sun.

Formation and maturing takes time, that and a great deal of spiritual chiselling. The time and pain from moving from a seemingly observed apparition, to that of an experienced acquisition of ‘Christ in us the hope of glory’, is the journey we are on. Yes, like it or not, we are on a journey of both time and pain, in terms of our spiritual formation. All of us of course, especially in the dark and lonely valleys of such a spiritual journey, long for a short-cut, long for a fast track, a by-pass if you will, of such formational difficulty. Unfortunately, there is none. Let me say it again: “there is none”.

Whilst of course spiritual formation cannot take place this side of heaven without the combination of time and chiselling pain, that and a whole lot more besides I might add, there is however, a blessing which is so full of grace and preciousness, which is so dear to us, that when we get it, we often mistake it for the longed-for holy grail of ‘fast track’ spiritual formation! The blessing I refer to is of course, the special visitations of the ‘manifest presence’ of God. Yes, as the Holy spirit continues His unrelenting task of forming Christ in us for the glory of God the Father, we are sometimes privileged to have the special visitations of the felt and manifest presence of ‘Christ in us, the hope of glory.’ Some of the physical manifestations of that manifest presence in us, are often so powerful and so precious, that they become in our lives, landmarks of directional change, even forming the very feathers of flight for our pointed arrows of now purposeful direction. This is wonderful, this is a precious blessing, but I say again and my friends do not be misled here, it is not spiritual formation.

If there ever was a downside to the special visitations of the manifest presence of Jesus in our lives, it is that for so many of us, we can become spiritual sugar junkies, hopelessly hooked on the energetic excitement caused by the release of spiritual charged endorphins that such visitations often bring with them. There is danger here of course, for there are multitude of spiritual drugs which can produce such a similar high. DO NOT mishear me now, but dare I suggest that the devil is often a dealer in such diverting drug use. I tell you, that if the highs of His presence, continues to be experienced without the depth of His continued and daring formation, then you have been deceived and my friend, you have become a junkie instead of a disciple and the cold turkey of your recovery, shall either make you or shall break you.

Often times, the rigours of our journey demand nothing short of the manifest presence of God in our lives, in all His various ministrations! However, these times are not the tools, neither are they the goal of our spiritual formation but rather, they are the sometimes booster rocket blessings of fresh inertia, appearing in our being and ultimately manifesting themselves in our changed and refocused direction.

Remember then tonight, that such precious and often times, vital visitations, may change our trajectory and may somewhat soothe our way, but they shall never, and I mean NEVER, ‘fast track’ our journey of spiritual formation. In light of this, don’t become a cold turkey kind of Christian forced to always be seeking spiritual highs! The devil’s a great drug dealer in this kind of rubbish. Press on daily in all the providences of God, knowing that it is Christ who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. Have faith in this great fact.

Listen: - Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NKJV)

Pray:- On this our journey dear Jesus, feed us with sufficient grace! And now and then O Lord, take us to heaven that we might feast with You on words inexpressible. In Your great name we ask it, amen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jul | 28 | Always Sweetness


Title:- Always Sweetness

Psalm 104:14,15 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine that makes glad the heart of man,

Well it finally happened. At a communion service, a church from the now conservative Southern Baptist Convention, offered two cups to the congregation- one alcoholic, the other one just juice. This emerging church plant of the 21st Century believed itself to be more Biblical in offering an alcoholic alternative at communion time? In Engand, my part of the world, this is not even an issue, but in Kentucky, which has been called the ‘Buckle on the Bible Belt’ this no doubt, was quite a step. Good grief, the press recently reported that in one Anglican church in Holland, the woman priest even gave communion to a dog!

Believe me when I tell you my family has been more than burned regarding the deep problems that arise from drunkenness. However, culturally and more important, Biblically, I find no basis for alcoholic prohibition on any front, unless you are a Nazarene of course.

Rather, I do find many warnings and commands against drunkenness, for drunkenness friends is a trigger cocked and loaded, on a cold metal weapon pressed deep inside the open mouth of our very self.

Now, the more I consider the reason for drunkenness, and consistent drunkenness at that, the more I am drawn to the pain of desperate people that need to anaesthetize themselves against the hurt they carry and for a while, no matter what, must forget, must relieve the pain. Brad Paisley and Alison Crouch sum it up so well in their song ‘Whiskey Lullaby’:-

The rumors flew but nobody know how much she blamed herself
For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath
She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind
Until the night
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
We found her with her face down in the pillow
Clinging to his picture for dear life
We laid her next to him beneath the willow
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby

Anesthetic drunkenness is a big problem, especially amongst women and especially amongst women at home by themselves. The problem is big enough for me to say to some who even read these words today, “Dear friend if you are caught in this numbing cycle, Jesus your healer can heal your pain, can remove the darkest stain, can restore from little to more, much, much more.” You see, much like the majority of things, sex, money and alcohol aren’t the problem. What you do with them is!

So, if you are today caught in a drunken trap, then you need to begin to find a deeper desire to replace the destructive one that you have in your heart and hands right now and that deeper desire my friend, would be Jesus. Alcoholism is a very serious issue not dealt with by magic mantras, but by you and the power of God Almighty. As a beginning and an end to the finding of this greater desire, may I suggest that you get on your knees today, my brother, my sister, and uncork His grace and hold Him to your lips and drink deeply of His help. Every time the bottle calls, turn to your Father and say the following words…….

Listen :-:- Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth —
For your love is better than wine. Song of Solomon 1:2

Pray :- Lord, forgive me when I have taken a bottle rather than the blessing of Your sweetness to my lips. Forgive me when I have sought another numbing solution to the product of my bad choices and the hurts of this fallen world and then pushed those hurts even further, even so deep into my soul, only to leave them rotting like compacted faeces at the centre of my being. I stink Lord and I hurt. Jesus, today I ask you to kiss me with the kisses of Your mouth and breath healing to my spirit. Give me better desires today O Lord and an enema of love for the relief of my hurting and bloated self protection. Jesus I take Your name to my lips today, please let me find you to be, always sweetness to my soul. Amen.

Jul | 28 | 'Wibbles', Rubber Valves & Novelty Christians

Dream Word – CONSIDER

Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. NKJV.

'Wibbles,' Rubber Valves & Novelty Christians

Well, I see the inflatable church was in the news again today. The original church designed by a British company, was some 47 x 47 x 25 feet, and included a blow-up organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and ‘stained glass’ windows. Blow up Vicar is extra.

There are quite a few of these inflatable churches now scattered throughout the world, and are used by various denominations. They are primarily novelty items used for quirky weddings or bizarre funerals, or worse still, they are used evangelistically to take church to the beach, or wherever else the scantily clad, but spiritually minded may be lying in the sun, all covered in Factor 8, all begging God to send church to them because they can’t be bothered to get dressed and pay a visit. I’m sorry, but part of me says, “Let the lazies burn!” Remember, the Lord said, “Those who seek me with all of their heart shall find me.” He did not add that, And for those of you struggling at the beach, my own bouncy house is just left of the bouncy castle. Oooh and do remember to take your shoes off please. Just hate that sand!” We have taken our most presumptuous desire to make God more accessible to new depths.

Anyways, this innovative product was exhibited at the ‘Ideal Churches’ exhibition in Sandowne Park (how fitting). The sales blurb said that it was ‘well received,’ especially after it was dedicated by an Anglican Vicar from Tamworth. Those 'Pelican’s', God bless ‘em! If they’re not arguing about what gender they can have sex with, they're blessing bouncy castles! The world and his wife has gone mad and the established Church of England has got its underpants on its head, pencils stuck up its nose, and is stood in the religious market place offering two for one on any deal, whilst dribbling the word, “Wibble!”

This is not innovation, this is devastation. This is a real church catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions. Don’t you know that blow up churches produce blow up Christians? In other words, when the church is brought to you lest you should be too inconvenienced to go to it, it reinforces a whimsical and novel kind of Christianity, and shows its clown-faced ministers of accessibility to be painted with a brown-nosed, mealy- mouthed, pleading pitifulness. These plastic air-filled monstrosities are emblematic of what we are doing on a much grander scale in our overly seeker-sensitive gatherings. My friends, we are, at best, producing novelty Christians. We are collecting husks of people, empty shells, and then wondering why they crumble in the way.

The answer to the phenomenon of the blow-up Christian, the inflatable church-goer, is not to pander to their flesh, but to proclaim the message of fleeing the wrath to come, whilst praying passionately for the redemption of their eternal souls.

In the coming days, all blow up Christians will most surely get blown away so please examine yourselves tonight and should you find any rubber valves on your own body, you need to be very worried indeed.

Listen: - Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Romans 3:19-20 NKJV

Pray:- Lord call Your people and then make them solid and lasting. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jul | 27 | His Way of Walking

Key Word:- PEACE

Title:- His Way of Walking

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day

So this is interesting. God is heard before He is seen, when He walks in the garden of His making. So we need to ask the question, what sound does God make when He walks in our garden? What are the audible indicators of His approach? Adam and Eve new the sound of every creature that walked the woods of their abode and God’s arrival was distinct among His creation. How can we learn to mark the sound of His appearing in the garden of our hearts, hear Him walking in the grounds of our spirit, smell Him in Freesia’d fragrance of the wet rains of our troubled souls? Indeed, what does His knock at the door of our soul sound like? We should know. Shouldn’t we?

This is more important than we realize. You see I am a man of words. I love them. I expect to hear God speak in words. I even believe in the primacy and power of the proclaimed Word! Yet God speaks in other ways as well and I miss them. He speaks in quiet looks, in careful colours, old friends, muses in movies, in knowing sounds, and in oh so many other ways. Oh, me thinks we all might miss so much, so very much indeed concerning the voice of the Lord.

Be sure friends this particular arrival in our text for tonight was not a voice, but a sound. The voice came later in searching pleas for the shamed and hidden Adam and Eve. Before the voice though there came simply the sound of His arrival and it was that time of day, amidst all the other sounds that this one sound was known and expected. I say again, do you know the sound of your Saviour walking in your garden?

I suspect it was the best of walking, you know, barefoot walking, His spirit, soul and flesh touching the naked earth. It was a knowing touch, a communicating contact of holy footprints, it was evidence of His being there; it was choice walking, it was weighty walking that only true uprightness brings and yet light walking, you know, enough to tread the storm tossed waves of water and not sink, for this walking is Divine my friend, this walking is distinct! This walk I wonder, was not to the accompanying rumble of thunder and lightning crack, no trumpet proclamation here of approaching judgment and doom, but maybe a walking accompanied with such a gentle singing, that it trembled open the revealing leaves before it. Maybe it was the sound of tinkling water, a flute or singing harp that paints in our hearts a water's brook, caressing smooth pebbles backed by the sound of a distant deepness and the faint murmur of a giant powerful gushing waterfall. Ah yes, He leads me beside still waters. Ah yes, deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls……

Maybe this kind of walking is a walking that carries something with it. For God is no unpleasant guest, He always arrives with something good. The best of bread, the sweetest of wine and the choicest of dainties on which we might dine. Maybe the swish of His picnic basket is also heard amongst the trees? Yes, He prepares a table for us even in the middle of our enemies.

Surely then, the approaching sound of God in the good garden of the regenerate soul, is the sound of such a walking? The sound that brings with it the singing favour of fresh food and rest, comfort, comfort and of joy, the best. The best, the best, the very best indeed.Tell me, have you heard Him walking in the gardens of your spirit just lately?

Listen:- The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah3:17 
Pray: I did not expect you to arrive this way, but Lord I look and wait today, for the sound of goodness  arriving in my poor garden. Amen.

Jul | 27 | Order No 227

Dream Word – COURAGE

Hebrews 10:37,38 "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." NKJV

Order No 227

On this day in 1943, the monster Joseph Stalin, issued Order No. 227, the "Not one step backward" order, declaring that, “Panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters! Commanders who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the Fatherland.”

If you’re fortunate you can catch courage. You can be inspired to ‘stick it out’ even in the most dreadful of circumstances, drawing your strength from the steadfastness of other brave souls around you. It’s tough, but courage can be taken up into yourself by osmosis. Slowly, steadily, surely.

Cowardice on the other hand, spreads like wildfire. It’s easier to catch than the common cold, ten times as nasty and who can measure the depth of self-loathing destruction, that for years to come, still festers in such a rotten and a running heart.

Our text for tonight sends, not a dictators communiqué, but never the less, a clear message to troops whose chief motivation is the pleasing of their Captain. He says, "those of you who cower, shrink, withdraw, keep back yourself, be half-hearted, half-committed, live a 'one foot in, one foot out' kind of Christianity, well, I shall take no delight in you." Tell me now my brethren is there any worse thing a soldier of Christ could hear? Wouldn’t being shot on the spot be far better?

Some of you need to ‘get a grip tonight.’ Some of you need to become whole-hearted tonight. Some of you, tonight, wish you could just be taken out and shot, yes, some of you wish you could just be put out of your yellow-bellied misery. ENOUGH OF THIS! Death is not the answer, no, an overwhelming sense of His displeasure toward You, is a far greater judgement and may I say a far greater solution. For everything within our new man wants to please Him. Yes, the great vacuum-like void of His displeasure will draw what little courage we have to the very surface of our lives. If you are a double- minded Christian, then such words should surely shock you back to the courage of counting the cost? Surely! However, in this Laodicean age of blind paupers, all yellowed with deceitful riches and the cares of this world, all saddled with niceness and a good pension plan, if this is you and these words do not move you from yellow to red, then I suspect you are not a Christian at all, but rather a feigner of faith, a faker, a fruitless tree, a false prophet, even a blind leader of the blind and all your riches shall lead to ditches all full of cissies with certificates of every kind; all blind leaders of the blind. These words from the Captain of our Salvation never worry the illegitimate, but the child of God however, seeing themselves lost in Laodicea, is shamed by them, moved by them, changed by them.

I am thankful to be able to tell you that there is always a comeback for cowards. By our confession, our repentance, yes by His grace and strength, we can once again feel His pleasure, we can once again stand and not draw back.

Meanwhile on the morrow, let us be wise and let us engage in osmosis, making a decision to surround ourselves with people of strength and courage.

“I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder.” Heard from Mr. Valiant for truth on his crossing the river to the City of the Great King.

Listen: - No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4-5 NKJV.

Pray:- Lord, grant strength to us Your people, yes Lord, give us good courage, that we might please You and feel Your pleasure. Lord let us never take but one step back, amen.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jul | 26 | Sensible Selfishness

Key Word:- PEACE

Title:- Sensible Selfishness

Song of Songs 1:5,6 I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard I have not kept.

Even the pre-flight presentations are now mostly presented on video. The fun of the small pantomime at the front of the air craft is almost gone, so let us share some memories of those happy times! For me it was always the shock of making sure that, should the oxygen masks fall, even if you are sat next to a small child, even the darling of your life, you must put your mask on first. Even if you are sat next to your wife, your very heart and soul, you must put your mask on first. In fire, flood, crumpling metal and tightest of lungs, you must take care of yourself first, so you can then take better care of others.

Evangelical Christianity does a lot of travelling on guilt trips. The pressure from the pulpit to be involved in this or that ministry can be immense. The pastor's local heroes are of course those dedicated souls who run themselves ragged and still smile for Jesus. Until one day, they wake up, look in the mirror and see panda eyes and cheeks draped like heavy curtains weighing down their now meager smiles. The pastor often does not fair much better; you know? Bitter, fatter, balder. You know it's the truth! In this respect, in the end we are responsible for our own vineyards, yet the church and especially the ‘go-getting’ Pastor, in all his busyness, must beware not to destroy the vineyards of its members. Think about that.

Spanish poet Antonio Machado says in his poem 'The Wind One Brilliant Day':-

The wind, one brilliant day, called
To my soul with an odour of jasmine.

‘In return for the odour of my jasmine,
I’d like all the odour of your roses.’

‘I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead

‘Well then, I’ll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.’

The wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself;
‘What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?’

Listen:- Jesus said to him, “'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

Pray:- Lord, walk with me in my garden in the cool of my day, hold me in my desolation and let us together, begin again to make something beautiful, amen.

Jul | 26 | Snakes & Ladders

Dream Word – PERSEVERE

1 Timothy 4:7 But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. NKJV

Snakes & Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is a child’s game and I am sure that many of you have played it and also remember that there is no better feeling than landing on that square with a ladder and a fast track to victory.

Today in the Christian church, through one outpouring or another, there have been a multitude of fast track Jacob's ladders placed on the squares of many a Christian life that has led to deliverance, victories and conquering of many kinds. Tell you what, I wanna get me some of that!

The problem is that although some of these many manifestations are clearly seen in the Scriptures and I say some, I have never seen them responsible for movement towards the chief end of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, that being the sanctified life which has Christ formed in us. Never!

The passionate and persistent pursuance of a Godly aggression, a fierce determination to become the Athletae Dei, 'the Athletes Of God', is rarely found on lazy and obese Christians. Indeed, I wonder if often times our outward obesity might picture our lack of spiritual athleticism towards the disciplines of the spiritual life. Solitude and silence, prayer and fasting, worship and study, fellowship and confession, humility and acts of mercy, community, etc etc etc.

As Dallas Willard has said, “We must stop using the fact that we cannot earn grace (whether for justification or for sanctification) as an excuse for not energetically seeking to receive grace. Having been found by God, we then become seekers of ever fuller life in him. Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort. The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed "into his likeness" by more information, or by infusions, inspirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency.” I like that. It’s very Scriptural.

The present Charismatic Evangelical games of 'Snakes and Ladders' are on the other hand, rather open themselves to the judgements of being, non- Scriptural and I watch with baited breath, to see if those ladders which so many folks have seemingly fast tracked upon, actually morph themselves into some very slippery snakes, that in the end, will leave these laughing and twitching folk, far farther back than when they first begun.

We shall see, Time will tell.

Listen: - Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (Philippians 2:12-13NKJV.)

Pray:- So work in me O God, both to will and to do Your good pleasure. Train me O Holy Spirit in the Gymnasium of life, that Christ would be so thoroughly formed in me, that it would be to the eternal praise and honour to You, great Lord and Father. Amen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jul | 25 | Those Awful Agnostics


Title:- Those Awful Agnostics

Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. ………. although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools----

The vicar stood at the exit of the church shaking the hand of each parishioner as they left the service. Spotting an elderly newcomer he reaches out his hand and taking her's, thanks her for coming and asks if she enjoyed the sermon? She looks him in the eye and forgetting the word ‘acoustics’, she replies, “Well my dear. I’m sure it was very good, but what with all the bad agnostics you have in these old buildings, it made it very difficult to understand precisely what you were saying.”

Bertrand Russell says that “An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time.” On the surface this description might present agnosticism as a peaceful 'live and let live' kind of philosophical position, you know, liberal but without the teeth. Just like the little old lady. No sir, beware! Agnosticism is like an hungry alligator. It's got teeth alright and it'll eat you up if given half the chance.

Many so called 'free thinkers' may now join a multitude of libertine organisations ready to hire and utilize all the bags of disdainful rocks that other such 'free thinkers' have gathered throughout the years (and believe me friends, in our stupidity and naivety we have left a lot of ammunition lying around for them!). For example, the 'Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic'. (Tag line:- 'We don't know and we don't care') may have started out as a joke and an exercise in irony, but their published papers against Christianity and the knowable existence of a supreme being, show such barbed intensity against people who acknowledge 'revelation' and the 'knowing that they have in their knower' about God, that it's obviously way past time for us to wake up, suit up and stand up!

Beware though friend, for if we stand up, we then need to follow up! We have to practice what we preach, we have to exhibit that which we proclaim, we need to come up with unshakeable proof that God is indeed among us. The world has both nothing but disdain for the practitioners of religion and a particular disgust for those that do not practice what they preach. Maybe we should have the same approach? I think the time has come for us to come up with 'the Christian goods,' for I wonder if the world is truly groaning in longing to see the authentic and supernatural evidence of Christ in the redeemed people of God? Please God let it be so, for our Gnosticism is not the whispering of secrets in high walled cloisters, but shouts from the rooftop concerning the revelation of God in the face of Christ Jesus! The true Gnostics of God need to have a raging resurgence in our day.

So let me ask you today, “Do you know God? Can your enemies maybe say that you at least appear to know God? Do you have an answer to give for the hope that is within you? Is your relationship so vital with Jesus, so vibrant in connectivity, so visionary in insight, so voluminous in possession that you are called, a 'city on a hill', 'salt', 'light', 'mercy' and even, 'love come down'?”

You will agree with me I am sure that “The true Gnostics of God need to have a raging resurgence and those of us who claim to have possession of God, need to come up with the evidence of such a possession.” If you agree, then just what are you going to do about it my friend?

Listen:- And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:5

Pray:- Lord, in good fruit and wonderful works, show me the signs of my possession by You, amen.

Jul | 25 | Praying For Pagan Neighbours

Dream Word – GOODNESS

Romans 15:1-4 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me." NKJV

Praying For Pagan Neighbours

As I write tonight’s 'Whisper', I am living in a beautiful terraced house. Bounded by the road at the front, on the left and right and rear, we are surrounded by our neighbours. It is surprisingly quiet considering the fact that we live on the same old anthill! I breakfasted out in the garden this morning and the quiet of the day was broken by a very intrusive builder, his radio blaring and his small dog, yapping like David Coleman, after yet another Scottish soccer defeat against England. You could see the curtains twitching, feel the annoyance rising and almost hear the tut, tut, tutting coming from behind the slam-shut windows. It reminded me that there is something intensely practical about being a good neighbour, and in the heat of the rising annoyance, I reminded myself that rarely would a man die for a neighbour, but on many an occasion you might like to kill them!

St. Alban is the first British Christian martyr ever recorded and frankly, it was being a good neighbour that led to his death. The story goes that sometime in the Third Century when England was under the iron studs of Rome, Christians were then being persecuted by the empire and a priest who was maybe called ‘Amphibolus’ fleeing persecution, passed through the Roman town of Verulamium, where a pagan citizen of Rome, a former Roman soldier called Alban, took him into his own home and hid him from his pursuing persecutors. A good non-Christian neighbour, who could not abide the injustice of such vicious persecution of Christians. Moved by the piety and reality of Amphibolus, Alban himself, in the story, then becomes both Amphilobus's convert and disciple.

Later of course, as in all good stories, the wicked Roman Governor becomes aware of the presence of the fugitive priest and so sends the local guard to arrest him. Alban here turns hero, in that he exchanges his ‘free man’ cloak with the priestly cloak of Amphibolous, thus allowing the priest to escape out of the city whilst Alban offers himself to the authorities, thus taking his place. Of course, in good Medieval money-making fashion, the story is further embellished with miraculous happenings and further sacrifice, as Alban’s first executioner refuses to perform the act of decapitating Alban and instead becomes a Christian, whilst the second executioner who finally removed Alban's head, literally has his eyes drop out after the act is performed! I tell you, in mad, Medieval England, even I’d pay money to hear that story and see the bony relics!

There are of course two miracles here. The first is the miracle of the good pagan neighbour. Some of you wish right now, here in the present, you had some good pagan neighbours, I just know you do! I am also sure that in the future, there may also be a need for Christians to still have some good pagan neighbours, who might just be willing to protect them from the terror of persecution. Yes, it is coming, be sure of that. Alban my friends, was a pagan miracle of the God he did not yet know! Think about that.

The second miracle is that Alban was rewarded in two ways. Firstly, by benefitting from the heat of the fire which he had brought to the hearth and heart of his house, in other words, he heard the Gospel! And secondly, that through the thankful prayers of Amphibolous, his insightful instruction, and shining example, Alban himself is finally convicted and converted to become a ‘count the cost’ Christian!

It’s time me thinks, to pray for both our present and our future neighbours, for they too need to become 'count the cost' Christians. Oh and by the way, are you?

Listen: - By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16 NKJV

Pray:- Lord, do good to us through our neighbours and do good to them through us. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jul | 24 | The Master of My Own Ship?

Key Word:-BECOME

Title:- The Master of My Own Ship?

Exodus 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire.

Robert Graves was born today in 1895. His classic memoirs of his time with the Royal Welch Fusiliers during the First World War, have worried my mind since I read them when I was in school, and that was many years ago!

Graves is not one of my favourite poets, yet from his book, ‘Fairies and Fusiliers’ (1918), the poem entitled ‘Smoke-Rings’ presents a penetrating and perturbing picture of God.


MOST venerable and learned sir,
Tall and true Philosopher,
These rings of smoke you blow all day
With such deep thought, what sense have they?


Small friend, with prayer and meditation
I make an image of Creation.
And if your mind is working nimble
Straightway you’ll recognize a symbol
Of the endless and eternal ring
Of God, who girdles everything
God, who in His own form and plan
Moulds the fugitive life of man.
These vaporous toys you watch me make,
That shoot ahead, pause, turn and break—
Some glide far out like sailing ships,
Some weak ones fail me at my lips.
He who ringed His awe in smoke,
When He led forth His captive folk,
In like manner, East, West, North, and South,
Blows us ring-wise from His mouth.

I imagine some comfortable and placid person may find comfort in such pictures of God blowing us like smoke rings for His own pleasure! However, it is only a comparative few that seem to possess such an ‘interesting’ attribute, such a desirable situation maybe. The vast majority of us appear to be intent on scrambling ever higher up the heap with all the vigor and dash that we can muster, to see what we can do, what we can make of ourselves on this perturbing and beautiful rock, bathed in blue, hanging like a forgotten Christmas bauble in the vastness of cold and empty space. Most of us are not content to muse and rest as smoke rings from the mouth of God.

As for me, well I am not a ‘sit down and wait for it to happen’ kind of guy. The double witness of my bowels and grey hair will testify to that! Oh no, I like to make things happen. So friends, a large part of my character doesn’t particularly appreciate this poetic picture. Are we not after all, the master of our own ship? Are we not all masters of our own fate?

Listen:- So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. Romans 9:16-18

Pray:- Great King, You who ringed Your awe in smoke, forgive me when I forget myself. You are the potter and I am the clay. You are both Master and Commander of this my little and creaking ship. You are the Creator and I am the creature. Yet Lord, I am a creature borne of and bearing Your image. Father, help me to rule wisely and humbly my own heart and Your great creation; the day and the darkness, the light and the shadow of my life, before you dear Jesus, majestic Lord over all. You are the Lord; yes, You are the Lord and for your pleasure was I created. Help me to live to feel Your pleasure upon my upturned and waiting face, as You blow me from your lips into the center of Your will for me. Amen.

Jul | 24 | Something Salvific?

Dream Word – OBEY

1 Timothy 2:4-5 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. NKJV

Something Salvific?

In 2008 at the Lambeth Conference, the ten year gathering of Anglican Bishops, both male and undecided, one liberal theologian there, whilst chatting to a reporter remarked that ‘He regarded Jesus as uniquely the son of God. But he said "have other religions encountered God working on earth? Yes. Has God done something salvific (opening the way to ultimate "salvation") with them? Yes.’ Unfortunately, this kind of statement, especially when made in a multi-faith environment, does little to clarify the total uniqueness and absolute necessity of the declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples.

Of course it must be acknowledged, that in other faiths where revealed truth has been received through the declarations of the tri-fold declarations of conscience, creation and the Word of God, then it is absolutely right and proper that this should be honoured and acknowledged. Even so, I like the way one Roman Catholic Theologian approached what has been called ‘Inter-Faith Dialogue when he says, 'The distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions, must be firmly held. If faith is the acceptance in grace of revealed truth, which “makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently,” then belief, in the other religions, is that sum of experience and thought that constitutes the human treasury of wisdom and religious aspiration, which man in his search for truth has conceived and acted upon in his relationship to God and the Absolute.’ In other words, other religions, though they might contain some revealed truth, are not built on revealed truth, but rather, on the aspirations of a human search for truth.

Remember tonight, that when the Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is 'the Way, the Truth and the Life' and that 'no man comes to the Father but by Him', that this is an absolute metaphysical assertion. In other words, Jesus IS the only way to God.

Through my lips, so very often, the declaration of this metaphysical assertion sounds nothing short of arrogance. However, it is also true that whenever a truth is checked for fleas, the doctrinal vet will always gets his fingers nipped. Indeed, I have yet to come across a humble nit nurse. Even so, despite the failings of our sinful selves, this ONE WAY truth is so asserted toward us in the Scriptures that it is NOT open to debate, but merely open to declaration. Indeed, this all-engulfing, cornerstone and capstone nugget of ultimate revelation DEMANDS A DECLARATION, for there is a pursuance in its declaration and the power of Almighty God behind it.

For the Christian, even in all his fallen arrogance, dialogue must simply become the means of further declaration.

Listen: - --- who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 
1 Timothy 2:4-7 NKJV

Pray:- Oh power of God to Salvation, O freedom declaration of Your inheritance of the nations, come dance upon our lips in commanding declaration, in Jesus name we pray, amen.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jul | 23 | When The Martians Invaded New Jersey


Title:- When The Martians Invaded New Jersey

Luke 19:41-43 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

On All Hallows Eve in 1938, Orson Wells broadcast H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds” in the form of a news bulletin. Many people listening to their radios actually believed that the Martians had landed and that most of the East Coast had been destroyed. More than a million people took to the streets in panic and flooded the phone lines of every support organisation from fire to government with frantic calls for advice and help. Astonishing eh?

Just why did so many people believe that the Martians were invading? The radio production and performance of the drama was obviously very contemporary and realistic, however, that wasn’t the problem. After all, if you know it’s a play, then you can enjoy the drama and be a little scared at the same time. Right? I mean, just the right amount of adrenaline is an invigorating experience! No, the root of the problem was simple. Many, many people had missed the opening credits and had tuned into the play partway into proceedings. That’s it! They had simply missed the opening credits.

Jesus approaches Jerusalem. Jesus drew near. Jesus weeps as He sees Titus arriving with his Roman legions in AD 70, just 40 years after His crucifixion. He weeps as He sees over one million Jews slaughtered, sees this great city desolate and ruined, the temple gone. Jesus approaches Jerusalem. Jesus draws near. Jesus weeps.

The Jews had forgotten, the Jews had misinterpreted, the Jews had changed, the Jews had rejected the opening credits of the Word of God clearly seen in THE New Testament Himself. The New Covenant, walking on two legs before them. Yes, even though the Divine drama for a full three years would unfold in all its glory before them and would so fill the air waves of Israel so that everyone would know of Jesus, even then, they would still not understand! Why? Because they had rejected the opening credits of the arrival of the Son of God. Yes, even though such a broadcast of words of power would cleanse the leper, re-instate the prodigal, love the leaping lame, free the captive, give sight to the blind and shake old wine so vigorously that uncorked ears would make men's mouths pop with praise to God Most High, would blot the sun would dark the sky would make the lover weep and sigh......even so, the missed or rejected credits concerning the suffering Saviour would make the drama fall and fail upon their stony hearts and waxy ears. They did not understand the story. Jesus weeps and says,If you had known in this your day the things that make your peace.” Yes, I wonder if with the same passion and desperate love Jesus draws near to many of you today and weeps before your gates these same haunting words. “If you had known in this your day the things that make your peace…..”

I counsel you today then, to ask God to tell you His story, His story about you! And to ask Him to direct you to His opening credits about you and Him and His plan and purpose for you and maybe more importantly, His delight in you, so that you might know and embrace the Saviour as He draws near to your Jerusalem. In the quietness of your centre, maybe the weeping you hear is Jesus? Don’t panic and run away, the Martians have not touched down. But God has. Think about that.

Listen:- Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:8-10

Pray:- Tell me Your story, O Son of God. O Tell me Your story, O Son of man. Amen and amen.