Friday, November 24, 2006
'who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory'.
I don't want to go down the full discussion of this topic about predestination, but I am sure that God has a plan to draw us all back to himself. It just seems to me very remote sometimes how.
It is as if the great plan is marked out in such a comlex way we need Jesus to come and reveal it all to us individually. I think I am jealous of the disciples to whom he came to after his resurrection! Perhaps we are all able to have a place in that plan and be a part of it but some of us just fail to get it?
I do feel strongly that some how that in acting and being part of it we become a very full and whole person somehow finding parts of ourselves that are otherwise not fulfilled.
good ol wiki:
Predestination is the Divine foreordaining or foreknowledge of all that will happen; with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of John Calvin. well these two may have been great thinkers and theologians but Christ they were not so I think I will put the issue of predestination aside until Christ guides me!
oh gosh it is such a big debate though!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The joy of a mother when her child smiles, laughs, eats, or gives a hearty hug is heart warming. I suppose this is a simple example of what it is like when we do the same to God.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The LORD Is Always Near
1 You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me.
2 You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts.
3 You notice everything I do and everywhere I go
4 Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say,
5 and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.
6 I can't understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me
14 and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.
15 Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
16 but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.
17 Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine.
23 Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking.
24 Don't let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; […] 10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.'
Even if one argues that God has not said to them directly 'Do Not Be Afraid, For I Am With YOU' one cannot argue that if there is One God the power of such is awesome. And if that one God says 'Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me' surely each of us who is considering the Way would feel humbled that actually these words are directed to us so that we, me, you might take a step back and think awesome and turn our hearts and souls toward that awesomeness.
Not sure if that makes sense but it reminds me of Hardy's book Far From The Madding Crowd as The shepherd stands in the field and recognises how small and finite he is.
For anyone who enjoys Thomas Hardy here is the bit I am thinking of copied from my fav online place for books 'online-literature.com'
'The thin grasses, more or less coating the hill, were touched by the wind in breezes of differing powers, and almost of differing natures -- one rubbing the blades heavily, another raking them piercingly, another brushing them like a soft broom. The instinctive act of humankind was to stand and listen, and learn how the trees on the right and the trees on the left wailed or chaunted to each other in the regular antiphonies of a cathedral choir; how hedges and other shapes to leeward then caught the note, lowering it to the tenderest sob; and how the hurrying gust then plunged into the south, to be heard no more.
The sky was clear -- remarkably clear -- and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse. The North Star was directly in the wind's eye, and since evening the Bear had swung round it outwardly to the east, till he was now at a right angle with the meridian. A difference of colour in the stars -- oftener read of than seen in England -- was really perceptible here. The sovereign brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and Betelgueux shone with a fiery red.
To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement. The sensation may be caused by the panoramic glide of the stars past earthly objects, which is perceptible in a few minutes of stillness, or by the better outlook upon space that a hill affords, or by the wind, or by the solitude; but whatever be its origin, the impression of riding along is vivid and abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, having first expanded with a sense of difference from the mass of civilised mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre it is hard to get back to earth, and to believe that the consciousness of such majestic speeding is derived from a tiny human frame.'
Ch2 Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Paul wrote many letters to new Christians in reply to their various questions about their new life in the Christian faith.
His own life reflects how God uses who we are and our history to become who God wants us to be for his glory.
Paul’s experience growing up in Tarsus, an important and diverse city with many peoples coming there to trade and live, would have made him a great candidate to take the gospel to many nations. His being a faithful and devoted Pharisee made him the perfect teacher for new converts. His being a persecutor of Christians made him a most humble yet realistic human to take on a position of much authority.
Here is a prayer taken from the passage Ephesians 1:1-6
This is Paul writing to you […] May his blessing and peace be yours,sent to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. Long ago even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own,through what Christ has done for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family […] and he did this because he wanted to! Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favour that he has poured out upon us.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Consider your life and experience. What is your history? What are the influences that have made you who you are today?
It is important to give ourselves time to think about ourselves.
The more we understand the influences that have made us who we are the more we understand why we think and act in the way we do.
It is a very important lesson that will remain with us on our journey through life. Being able to evaluate ourselves is a very important and helpful tool.
I wonder if this is a tool that will help to discern talking to ourselves and talking to God! I began to read a book 'conversations with God' which I gave up on as I found it boringly like talking with the authors own mind, but he felt that it was God answering him. I wonder how often I do this?
As I seek to draw near to God to seek his guidance and presence I hope there is a hugh difference in my presence and guidance and Gods.