Tag Archives: love

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Opportunity in a Confused World

I wrote this poem a few months ago, and it came alive on its’ own (somewhat literally). I love when that happens. Being back in the world of secular University, I was hearing again old jargon I had almost forgotten about; Sentiments such as “There is not really such thing as truth,” or “Everyone has their own truth that is right for them.”

It seems a crazy thing has happened since I wrote this poem- and I might be wrong, but it seems that fashionable way of thinking is on its way out. There are not many people singing kumbaya on my Facebook feed these days anyway.

 Alright, I’ll let you read the poem- maybe read it twice, and then I’ll say some more.

 Free Thoughts Rise Up

“Thoughts are sand,” she said
And it was true;
Water them- they’ll clump
Together and glue.

“Beliefs are sand,” she said,
But culture dumps
Presuppositions,
Making builders chumps.

“Truth is sand,” she said,
“Pure volition
Follows what is felt
And casts a vision.”

“Call us all to shore.
Let the pot melt
Our portrait of man
In shades yet undealt.”

“In the great contest
All truth should stand,”
She said, bias unfelt
Pen poised in hand,
Ready to judge
Without scrutiny,
She approached the sand

And I sensed danger.
I sensed danger
For the sand life forms smiled,
Starting with a thought
And an idyllic plot.

But I sensed danger
Since crooked does exist,
Since evil comes wrapped up with bows,
Portraying what we want to know.

So I sensed danger
When she left the happy scene,
Each structure with a ribbon
Between its teeth.
All winners,
But the life forms
Lived to compete.

I saw them snarl,
Taking up their swords,
The tide turned like a flood,
And they all bathed in blood. Continue reading

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Evil Suspicions

Context

1Timonthy 6:1-10 gives us incredible insight into the sinful motivations and hang-ups of false teachers and I welcome you to read it before continuing. We see first that they teach different or “new” doctrines, and do not agree with the words of Jesus. Jesus’ teaching leads to godliness, while their teaching and nature is conceited and puffed up, producing things opposing to godliness. Verses 4-5 says about the false teacher:

“He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

The false teacher has chosen a controversial and likely “special” revelation which he thinks he has had, and narrows in on it. Likely, he obsesses with one, or a few select topics, which do not point people to Jesus Christ for salvation. He chooses scriptural phrases which suit his message, and twists them, or gives them a whole new meaning, and if he is corrected he fights back. The products of his pride and error are envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction.

The false teacher is motivated by money, plain and simple. He is “imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” He is looking to Jesus for financial wealth, because money is his first love. He (or she in more recent times) will point their hearers to Jesus for the same thing.

The Christian, on the other hand knows that “there is great gain in godliness with contentment,” and should bear fruit consistent with sound doctrine and right motivations, primarily love for God. 1 Timothy goes on in fact, to tell us how the “man of God” must “Flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness (verse 11).” A Christian should not bear fruit similar to that of the arrogant false teacher. Continue reading

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More Than a Parenting Method

Within weeks of my daughter’s birth (almost three years ago *sob*) I felt totally disillusioned by baby-parenting books. They had given me tried-and-true methods for happy-mom/happy-baby success, but none of it really pulled through and broke those endless hours of screaming. Needless to say, I was not too enthusiastic about parenting books anymore.

Raising toddlers is a whole other ball game. I love my daughter to absolute pieces, but nobody told me that a two year old girl and a sixteen year old aren’t all that different… Does that came out insulting? Let me explain. The other day I asked my almost-three year old daughter to clean her room and her response: “That’s mommy’s job.”

Yikes!

But for the most part we have fun. Best of all, we have love. For every bad moment there are many more good ones. I get to hear “I love you mommy,” every single day, and “Just stay one more minute” every night. When I’m really lucky I get a “Mommy you’re so sweet and nice,” or “Mommy you’re my best friend.” Continue reading

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O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: A Hymn For The Weary and Discouraged

One of the reasons I love this hymn, written in 1882 by George Matthison, is for its rich poetic content. If you like, here is the story surrounding the hymn. The lyrics deserve to be read slowly, and you will find Chris Rice’s version of the song below.

“O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.”

A verse that comes to my mind is Psalm 119:25 “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word.” The composer is a weary soul, a flickering torch, in pain, in rain, laying down in the dust, feeling as though this life’s glory is dead. But he knows what he needs. And he knows that what he needs will not be found within himself. He knows there is another source. Continue reading

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One Body, Many Members

You never know how much you need a part of your body until it stops functioning as it should. I bruised my ribs a month ago. I thought for sure they were cracked or broken since they hurt so much, but it turns out they were “only” bruised or strained.

Somehow the ribs are involved every time you bend down and stand up, lie down and get back up, lift, carry, twist, or when you happen to need to breathe. All these things became unusually obvious to me because they became painful.

I noticed a term recently while reading my bible I hadn’t given much thought to before. In fact I wasn’t really sure what it meant.

Ephesians 4:25 says “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

“Members one of another.” The term puzzled me. I discovered that the same term is found in Romans 12:4-5: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

It occurred to me that I wasn’t thinking of the term “members” properly. I was thinking about membership in the way that we think of members of a club or gym. But that isn’t the kind of membership God has in mind. God is talking about members as body parts. Specifically, many individual parts, joined as one, and making up “one body in Christ.”

There is another important section in Ephesians 4 about this. Ephesians 4:15-16 says “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The picture here is fascinating. God has equipped the body, which 1 Corinthians 12, makes clear is His church, with different people, or parts, who have different gifts “for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:6)” of the entire body. This body is joined and held together by “every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly” in order to grow up into the likeness of Christ and “build itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16).”

Colossians 2:16-19 makes it clear that you shouldn’t allow anyone to “pass judgment” or “disqualify” you who is “insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head… ” That is, not holding fast to Christ “from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God “(that’s the rest of verse 19).
God has described the church as His body, and the head being Christ. He speaks of its people as beings joints and ligaments (as seen above), as well as feet, hands, eyes, and ears (1 Corinthians 12:14-21).

1Corinthians 12:19-21 says “If all were a single member where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.'”

Wouldn’t that be the height of lunacy- to look at one of your body parts and say, “What’s the point of this one? I don’t need it!” Or “As long as I’ve got my eye sight I’m good. Who needs hands?” You would either be an insane human, or in this case, a really arrogant eye ball. Continue reading

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“A Meaningful Life”

There is an innate desire in human beings for our lives to be meaningful, a God given desire that has all too often gone astray from Him.

One of my best memories from childhood is laying on the grass in our backyard and staring at a baseball. I would hold it above my face, rolling it in my fingertips, and feeling the stitches. Baseball was to me a marvelous sport, one that I loved everything about. I loved the dust that would fly and hover in the air when I slid to home base, I loved the crack of the bat followed by instantaneous sprinting, I loved the comfort and smell of my well broken-in Wilson leather glove, and the ball rolling off my fingertips and striking people out. I just loved it.
And I loved to be good at it. I loved for my talent to be recognized and to be “the” pitcher and feel as if winning a tournament was an honor to be solely bestowed on my shoulders.

The child like delight of playing faded over the years and in grade 11 I found myself on a rep team that had already primed the “it” pitcher. It wasn’t me. I didn’t look forward to the game anymore; I was stuck in the outfield. That was my last year of baseball, one in which I felt unrecognized, unappreciated, and unimportant. My team won tournaments, and had success, but I couldn’t enjoy it. I skipped the end of the year celebration, because well- it wasn’t about me. When it was all said and done my coach phoned and asked why I hadn’t been there. I can’t remember what I said, but I’m sure I had a lame excuse. He told me that the girls had voted for the Most Valuable Player on the team, and they had chosen me. I wasn’t there to accept that award. I was shocked that they had chosen me, proud, but also ashamed. Ashamed because I’d been too proud to imagine I had any value unless I was the star pitcher. I’d let a good year pass by miserably and I had missed the celebration.

As a kid you do the things you do because you love to do it. When you grow up, reality strikes and in a big way life becomes about making money. It’s a natural progression I suppose. In Christian communities, for women, it’s not so much about the money, but about the home making and children raising. Whatever you find yourself doing you wonder, is it enough? Enough for me? Enough for God? Enough in the eyes of others? Important enough? Impressive enough? Worthy? Valuable? Memorable? Continue reading

Created for Good Works

 

Probing Questions

Imagine for one moment that everyone who knows you was going to judge whether or not you are a Christian. But instead of basing this on your profession of faith, church attendance, or theology, they are going to base their analysis on your deeds.

Not on how kind you are, and not by the sins you refrain from either. They are going to judge you based on outward actions of faith, motivated by love and mercy.

How would you do?

Continue reading

Jesus has compassion on lost people, do we?

I am so happy today to have listened to preaching about the compassionate heart of Jesus Christ for lost people.  My Pastor spoke about what has been for a long time now my favourite text in scripture.  I find in them some of the most beautiful, joyful, sorrowful, and heart wrenching words I have ever heard.

Matthew 9:36-38 “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.  The he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’”

When Jesus saw the crowds, it is not as if he just looked out and observed that there were crowds of people.  He is the Son of God, and he knows all flesh, even our thoughts.  When he saw them, it is to say that he perceived their spiritual state- that they were dead, that they were blind, and that they were lost!  He saw that they were walking around aimlessly; ready to follow whoever would make a claim to know something about God, something about truth.  He knew all about the religious leaders who claimed to know the way to God, but were truly nothing more than hypocrites,  and extortionist who saw ‘godliness’ as a means of financial and personal gain.  He saw how they “tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger (Matthew 23:4)” and how they “shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces (Matthew 23:13).  Oh how deeply the Lord was grieved at seeing their terrible state! Continue reading