Monthly Archives: January 2020

Matter of Life and Death

Matter of Life and Death

It’s a matter of life and death

We are bereft of life and know death

If we do not move from our present position

Death reigns in us – if life we forsake

When all calamity encompasses us round about

We are left struggling in despair and doubt

Faith will arise only when the gift is given

Not faith in our surmise

But faith when we are forgiven

The gift is in the fog of our own reason

Seeking to find us amidst our armed resistance

We totter on the brink of further despair

We do not know where we err

We go about in stedfast iron-curtain mode

Can’t find the door through reasons-wall

But the gift is offered: faith in the One to come

Faith in the Messiah – faith in the Only Begotten Son

No Hero/Anti-hero

NO HERO/ANTI-HERO

All couched in dark language

You swing from paragraph to paragraph with ease

You look to see if you’re understood

Surveying the looks on the faces of friends around

To see if your words are falling to the ground

 

Slowly they get on board without you trying

to capture members for your institute

They seem to warm to your manifesto

But you are not the Count of Monte Cristo

Nor that Elusive Pimpernel

 

You are less than you project

But they need a plan to follow 

And yours is so matter-of-fact

 

You can’t get out of it now

You have talked too much

You have been hoisted on the shoulders

of their mind – made into a Che Guevara

 

You only liked listening to your own voice

But would never be a hero/anti-hero by choice

At the last minute you try to shy away

But the lots have been cast

And you are thrust to the throne

 

“Be our leader oh wise-words-one”

 

“I’m only a song and dance man”

You reply

Quickly trying to find an escape

Or jet aeroplane to the sky

 

The pen is mightier than the sword

They applaud and cheer and pedestal-ise

 

Your words are immortalised

The songs go on and save your hide

As legendary status is realised

 

At last left alone with your prize

You stutter to a close

And escape the lime

Shut away here – outa sight

Playing with paint and iron works

 

Even this

is to materialise –

The money you need to survive

Miffed

MIFFED

Poetry and the poetic rhyme

Displaced by the post-modern rant

Once called the [Garde]-Avant

Now – the poets think to have advanced

By much talk and shouting-out

All wanting heard – as they spout

Mentalities galore shout-out

And explore – all topics under the sun

Whoever shouts the loudest thinks they have won

But boil it all down and examine forthwith

And the undercurrent theme is – ‘I am miffed’

Invisible

INVISIBLE

Colossians 1:15

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Colossians 1:16

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

1 Timothy 1:17

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 11:27

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

One of the most obvious things to say concerning spiritual matters and the reality of The Living God is to mention the fact that He is INVISIBLE!

It seems so puerile to me for anyone to hold the argument that if we cannot see God – he doesn’t exist.

Bit like saying, there is no air to breath, because we cannot see anything.

When Moses had some enduring to do – we are told the strength and ability to do so came from one he could not see with his natural eyes, but with the inner eyes of his spirit. (Hebrews 11/27 above).

Seeing the one who is invisible.

Exactly the privilege of every true Christian.

A relationship with Christ is a relationship in spirit and truth. A relationship with one whose bodily form resides at the right hand of God The Father in heaven. But whose Spirit is here to lead us.

Heaven is the unseen realm described thus: ‘invisible’.

And experienced thus – in the invisible realm, where the invisible God resides. Not apparent to the natural eye. He is not known to the natural eye unless He chooses to manifest Himself, and even then out of necessity remaining partly hidden, as the natural man (you and I) would die as a result of seeing Him in His fullness.

God said to Moses:

20 And he said, You cannot see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

1 Timothy 6:16

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

He opens the inner eye of the inner man that each person who comes to Christ becomes aware of, having been born again of The Spirit of God through the Word of God.

That’s why the things of God are reserved for the inner man, in the unseen realm of the human spirit – that’s where the truth of God must abide, and the eyes of our understanding enlightened. In the ‘outa sight’ realm, the inner place, where the following scripture is to be experienced:-

1 Corinthians 2:7

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Hidden in the inner man, where it cannot be appreciated by the sight of the eyes or the reason of man alone, apart from the inspiration of God.

Jesus came to show us His and God The Father’s divine nature. He carried the image of God in an earthly vessel. (Col. 1/15 above).

He, before He took on Himself the body of a man, created not only visible things, that all can see, but also invisible things that the natural eye cannot see (Col. 1/16 above)

I Timothy 1/17(above) – confirms that God is indeed invisible. Everything that leads us to Christ happens in our mind and spirit. That’s where God begins to reveal Himself enlightening us with His Word(s).

Are you, am I, hungry for the spiritual reality provided by the one who is eternal, immortal, and invisible? 

The Rat Race

THE RAT RACE

The air churns in the bellows of the wind

Papers fly – leaves join in

From dawn to dusk the arrows fly

The arrows of thought in you and I

Your neighbour is all tuckered-out

You lend him a helping hand

He eases into the chair all forlorn

And vacant exhaustion crinkles his brow

You take a moment to survey

The files in your head of the day

All persons together on the battlefront

Not a shot was fired in this war

This is just the everyday – heads are sore

Too much – too quickly – is demanded

Work yourself to the bone

The bone in your head vibrates like a drone

Like mounted-up shelves

In the department store

There are endless amounts to explore

But you think you’ve got it sussed

If we just do it this way…

All will be well

You sleep per chance to dream

And again enter the new dawn

at the speed of a thunderbolt beam

 

Bus Journey (?)

Bus Journey (?)

Earth and sky

Sea and land

Potato crisps –

One in each hand

Cold day weather

Didn’t catch a cold

Couldn’t catch the bus either

Gave up waiting – started to walk

No one around to hear my talk

I mumbled and grumbled

At having to walk – having almost stumbled

Got to the destination approaching dark

Down the main street through the park

Knocked at the door

They lived on the third floor

Lights came on and a window opened:

“No point in coming in here…” 

“We’ve got the bug…”

They shouted – making it clear

“There is no point in visiting us…”

So

It’s off down the street

to retrieve

the lost bus

True disciples

TRUE DISCIPLES

John 8/31:-
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Christ Jesus is The Word – we must invite Him into our innermost person if we are to abide in Him, – His words abide in us, – and His life giving Holy Spirit is to occupy our innermost being.

So abide in the Word. Best to – read it consistently and often – for that ‘abiding in’ to take place.

Abide in the Word – better stay focussed on this word in order to live it. Allowing it to determine our thoughts, words, and deeds, that too is abiding in it.

Meditate on (not just read) – by so doing the word becomes inwardly digested and gives spiritual strength.

Disciple means learner. Keep reading/meditating, and by so doing, become enabled to- keep learning.

Not just a learner-disciple, but INDEED a true disciple – the real thing. A disciple indeed!

Learning the truth in the word we are abiding in – and the result of all of this – we get to know the truth and that truth sets us free.

A true learner who finds truth and true freedom in Christ the Word.

Imagination

Imagination

Somebody must have said at some time – somewhere – ‘that imagination is a wonderful thing’.

Brian Wilson writes – ‘It’s your imagination running wild…’

Where will it run to..?

Someone said: on a cold winter’s day: ‘My nose is running…’. Someone replied ‘well, run after it…’

Mankind is either lying down, walking or running in his psyche. Where is he ‘headed’? What is he headed for? Or what is he sleeping through?

Have you, too many things to be getting on with, to spare the time to think about, never mind answer, these questions? Bills to be paid, job to be kept, stuff to be hoarded or tended to, work to be done, family to raise and so on…

Imagination.

Imaginative new decor in the room you have just DIY’d. The story you made up on the spur of the moment, communicated to your child. It did the trick and they fell asleep during your bedside monologue, ad-libbing in your imagination.

Imagination.

Imagining life as it could be. Imagining what it would be like to live in France. Or castaway on an island in the Pacific. Imagining a different career.

Imagination, the stuff dreams are made of.

Surrealism – imagination as depicted by Dali.

The artist painting from imagination whilst forgetting about the rules of depiction. (As an artist – my favourite approach)

‘What an imaginative name to pick for your dog!’

Then there are those suffering from a delusional disorder, another kind of imagination.

‘Imagine…’ sang Mr. Lennon – inventing his own reality, producing  lyrics which partially at least, set aside true reality.

Out of the imagination comes good things and bad.

Consciousness goes on forever – liberated or bound.

Best to anchor imagination on solid ground.

The King James version of the bible uses the word imagine/imagination quite a lot.

It is usually not in a positive context. Positive like the way we would commend someone for a great poem, song, piece of art…etc.

The fact is the imagination – the reasoning power of man has been flawed in a strange way – in fact the fact – that man is able to sin naturally is in itself, a strange, but true, phenomenon.

Take any atrocity you care to think of and it is the result of this fallen nature/thought life/imagination of man.

There was a time when the imagination of man reached an all-time low. And God tells us:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Hard to comprehend this? Well if things can get worse – then it ain’t really hard. Things getting worse have to reach a place – an all time low place – if nothing checks the downward spiral.

Down down down. As I stop to think of some paintings I admire, or better still – take a long look at God’s handiwork in nature – I find it easy to consider the designer of it all.

But this imagination gone wrong into increasing moral chaos, must be arrested by God and His thoughts (The Bible), if man’s imagination can rise again.

If we allow ourselves to be ‘arrested’ by Jesus Christ, He will offer us His mind to replace ours. This is the truth – I’m not imagining it.

 

Questions answered

QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The answers to all the questions a person might have, regarding Christianity, can be found in The Bible.

A lot of questions are answered directly, but if not, then indirectly.

Because of one particular truth, we can have insight into another.

Life is full of questions, especially about the hereafter. The answers are either crystal clear in the Bible, or shrouded in mystery.

Some questions are difficult to answer, others simple.

A lot of us get stumped regarding such hereafter questions, and indeed questions on how to behave and what to believe in – in this life – never mind the one to come.

Then also, people’s spiritual experiences differ from person to person. Differ, either in kind, or in intensity.

Many are either confused or open to everything and anything under the ‘spiritual’ label, going astray in their desperate quest for the right and real thing. The real McCoy as we say.

Some gullible, fall prey to evil disguised as good, attaching themselves to some ‘ulterior motive-type’ cult.

We need to exercise great caution about what we ‘sign up to’ spiritually.

Yet we can close ourselves – out of hand – to anything ‘spiritual’, without due consideration and proper search/research.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons that non-Christian folks do not entertain the gospel message, is because of the failure of it’s adherents.

All sincere Christians who are found confessing Christ as their Saviour, wish that it were true, that they lived as perfectly as others expect them too, because of the profession and confession they are often heard verbalising to others, in the hope that they too might become followers.

Christians with their imperfections and shortcomings, are a hindrance to others believing in Christ. The reasoning of the unbelievers can go something like this:

“You call yourself a Christian, but you are clearly a hypocrite, that doesn’t practice what you preach and yet lay on others…”

In response to this reasoning, we can say that there is sincere failure, and hypocritical failure.

But the whole good news premise of the gospel is that: yes we will fail daily, but we find forgiveness and acceptance through genuine confession of sin.

It is often true that the most difficult person to forgive is oneself.

In a particular incident the very thing that Christ’s audience accused Him of and rejected Him for – was the very thing He did for the wholeness of mankind. (Matthew 9):

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.

So God being willing to forgive was shunned. God in Christ standing before them was unrecognised and rejected.

So the true Christian, very much aware of his own sins, has come to Christ and asked for forgiveness. Christ Jesus is faithful and willing to forgive, regardless of how many times we drop the ball, whether in a major or minor way.

But because we profess to Follow Jesus Christ, – others simply want to reject us because something is missing in our ‘performance’, in their eyes.

We don’t conform exactly to their expectations. We may have idiosyncrasies, not necessarily to do with morality, we may worship in a manner not appealing to them. We may have made a real mistake and are post-forgiveness, but they will never forget it, and hold it against us. They may hear of something in our pre-Christian believing life, and they hold this against us still.

Others pick on minor faults that we still have, to justify themselves in their rejection of Christ and His message.

Christians availing themselves of God’s unmerited favour and finding forgiveness when they fail – and yes sometimes though failing miserably – need to know in whom they have believed. And realise that:

Romans 8:31

[ God’s Everlasting Love ] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If God the supreme judge of the universe is willing to forgive us, we can with Paul humbly say:

1 Corinthians 4:2-4 King James Version (KJV)

2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

There is a time when we must stand in the confidence of sins forgiven and in God’s promises, regardless of what others might think of us or hold against us.

This privilege have those who truly and sincerely give their lives over to the God-man Christ Jesus, who will ever – be lovingly correcting us, but has totally accepted us – when we accept Him as Lord of our lives.

Proverbs 24/16

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,

But the wicked stumble in time of disaster and collapse.

 

 

Heaviness

HEAVINESS

We all experience different emotions in an average day. Christians experience also varying degrees of spiritual discernment.

For example, we can sense that God is grieved by our, or other peoples actions.

It’s true also that Christians or non-Christians can be repulsed by various acts of evil, that they find out, have taken place.

We can feel sorry and aggrieved that certain things have happened to friends or loved ones.

Being aggrieved by the actions of others and affronted by their awful behaviour, is both an intellectual and emotional experience.

Intellectually we become aware of the awful facts and process them with the accompanying emotions.

It is true also that we become accustomed to awful news and can become indifferent to it. Usually out of a sense that there is seemingly nothing we can do about the situation – and our sense of human powerlessness can have a numbing effect.

When bad stuff is up close and personal – of course this creates an even more difficult scenario to deal with.

And we have to handle the personal hurt we feel.

Again this is different for the true Christian because there is a spiritual sensing involved that adds to the intellectual and emotional negative experience we may be having.

Paul the apostle tells us of his personal heartfelt – intellectual/emotional/spiritual experience when he says:

Romans 9:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel’s Rejection of Christ

9 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

This was not just being sorrowful over someones situation, condition or experience, but he was also sharing God’s burden. Entering in to sharing God’s heart.

Jesus reveals His burden to us, as the Son of God,  when He gives us insight into His heart of love and concern for His people. On this occasion regarding the Jews blindness to the Messiah:

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 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. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

He was also speaking prophetically as one who knew the future and their future.

So this was not just the heart of the human Jesus breaking, but the heart of The Son of God also.

That which is coming upon the earth – is increasing the spiritual heaviness, and the spiritual dearth, and Christians are conscious of this, sometimes more than others.

As a response to these negative and spiritually heavy times, we can only set ourselves to endure. Set ourselves to remain faithful to seek our solace in Christ through prayer and worship and fellowship, searching out true believers, and real genuine friends.

Regardless of how many times we are disappointed by the behaviour of others, Christian and non-Christian alike, we must set ourselves to seek first the kingdom of God. Take strength from the many great biblical examples of true men and women of God – the cloud of witnesses who have endured and gone before us into the eternal presence of God.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Newly set apart?

Newly set apart?

A New Year begins

An old year dies

Many reflect – many surmise

Surmise what is ahead

Try to have an idea

Try to visualise a panacea

Back in the old routine

Life is or isn’t what it might seem

There is much more to glean

As we put one foot forward

One foot goes back

Our happiness intact

We hope for the best

Alone – or with the rest

Take the long view or the short

Make a fresh effort – a fresh start

And get spiritually set apart?