Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hope

#254

“Hope” is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without words-
And never stops-at all-

And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard-
And sore must be the storm-
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm-

I’ve heard it in the chillest land-
And on the strangest Sea-
Yet, it never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb-of me.

Emily Dickinson c.1861

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What About Suffering?

We as Christians often do checks to see if we are “in God’s will” …you know, let me check if I’m doing what God wants me to do. So we go down that mental check list:
1. Am I praying?
2. Am I reading, studying and meditating on God’s word?
3. Am I tithing; giving of time, talent, money etc…to build God’s Kingdom?
4. Am I fellowshipping with other Christians to help build them up?
5. Am I a “light to the world?” Can the world see Jesus in me?


But how often do we ask; "Am I suffering with hope?”

R. Douglas Geivett said in a lecture from 2007 these words:

“The context in which we are best able to provoke curiosity on the part of others is the context in which we ourselves suffer, and if we can suffer and do it with hope, then we are doing something that most of the world can not fathom.”


Can we as Christians, when truly faced with the loss of everything to follow in God’s will: Can we or will we take up our crosses and suffer with the hope of the glory to come?

William Dembski, in his book The End of Christianity (2009), states this:

This is the pain that gnaws at the hearts of all who work for redemption. Redemption in this world is never complete. That’s why ultimately we must look not to redemption in the world but to a final redemption of the world in which the pain of redemption is once and for all healed and the tears of redemption are once and for all wiped away. The good news of Christianity is that this great redemption is ours in Christ. Our great Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, has accomplished this redemption by bringing good out of the Cross. As Christians, we thank God for the Cross. Yet, if we can thank God for the Cross, the ultimate instrument of torture and death, for what can we not thank God? The living God, who brings good out of the Cross and is able to bring good out of all life’s circumstances—regardless of how we, from our fallen vantage, regard them as good or evil—is always worthy of our thanks and praise. That is why Paul can write: “Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”(p.186)



“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it” Matthew 13:45-46


“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond servant [slave], and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Blossoms in the Desert"





























The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and steams in the Arabah. (Isaiah 35:1-6)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!


Hallelujah, He is Risen!

Christ is Risen indeed!

Lift up your hearts!

We lift them up to the Lord!

















Not only do we only know God through Jesus Christ, but we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ; we only know life and death through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot know the meaning of our life or our death, of God or of ourselves. Thus without Scripture, whose only object is Christ, we know nothing and can see nothing but obscurity and confusion in the nature of God and in nature itself. (Pascal’s Pensees, 417/548)


“For in him we live and move and find our being…” (Apostle Paul, Mars Hill sermon, Acts 17:28)


“…Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, Revelation 1:17-18)