Monthly Archives: July 2021

The thousand years day

The thousand years day

The concept of eternity is difficult to grasp. In fact we can’t grasp it. We could say that if we can grasp it – then it is no longer eternity.

Just like we cannot fully grasp the Almightiness of God, or know in full – but rather – in part. [see I Cor. 3/9-12].

If we know all there is to know about Him – He is no longer God, but has been reduced to a human level and bottled in man’s finite intellect.

There is one simple statement in Scripture that confirms the existence of eternity and time:

I Cor. 2/

…we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 

So before time began what was there? Well, apart from a hidden mystery – it can only mean eternity – from which God set in motion what we know as time. Time had to begin.

But to help a little bit at least with the concept of eternity – we can consider that with God one day = thousand years.

Psalm 90/3-5

For a thousand years in Your sight

Are like yesterday when it is past,

And like a watch in the night.

II Peter 3/

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 

So God waiting and not performing or doing for a day – is a short wait – it’s only a thousand years.

But we say – “What?!”

That’s sooooo long.

It took God a thousand years to do that – no it only took a day!

The wind is alone

The wind is alone

The one-hinged gate swings in the wind

No one around – the wind is alone

No-one there to see this – no human influence

So the wind grows bolder by the minute

                          …

Now it decides to play with the gate further

The gate resists – as best a ‘one-hinged’ can

Slowly as the wind beats it up

The screw-nails start to submit

                           …

It’s getting worse now

They have reached their last three threads

And suddenly like a disgruntled bully

The wind departs

                           …

[moral of the story: hold-on –

three threads might be enough]

Hyper-art

HYPER-ART

When I was younger, I painted my pictures in a state of emotional turmoil.

Intensity was the name of the game, affirmed in certain quarters as necessary for good art.

The heat of passion was mistakenly understood as some kind of inspiration, without which, it was supposed, no good art could be made.

(I use the word ‘passion’ – not in the ‘serious- dedication-sense’ but in the emotional turmoil sense)

Art practice was sometimes being referred to variously in terms of energy or fervour etc.

The age-old debate about ‘real’ art, ‘true’ art, etc. discussed in the multifarious schools of art-thought, is never ending.

That it’s ‘a matter of opinion’ saves the day. And allows for no definitive answer to the question.

What is art? Craft versus art. Art versus craft.

The mental and emotional fervour I experienced, meant I couldn’t stop painting until the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t leave the brush down.

Now, when starting a painting, such a state of being is no longer there, nor sought, or allowed to be there – by my choice of will.

And especially from a spiritual standpoint I never wish it to return.

One of the fruits of The Holy Spirit is self-control. (Galatians 5/22-24)

Emotional turmoil cannot be allowed to lead our lives as Christians.

We can experience and be led by what ‘blazes in the soul’ or what ‘burns in the spirit’ (W. Nee). The latter being preferable.

There is a difference – and the Grace of God at work in us determines and teaches us the difference by experience.

We can lapse into the soul-dominated life or stay in the Spirit-led life.

Though I/you face the trials of ever-present straying emotions, that beset us easily, (Hebrews 12:1) – bringing temptation of whatever kind –

There is need to:

1 Timothy 4:15-16

16 Take heed to yourself…

and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Taking heed to what is going on within us and seeking God’s enablement to stay in relationship connection with Him. That is the priority goal for all Christians.

In my culture we often use the saying: “Catch yourself on!” Which means – stop what you are doing and realise that you are not in a good state  of being, or pursuing the right path, or acting in an acceptable manner.

Much – cries out – to distract us from this paramount endeavour of maintaining our right relationship with and in God, including emotional ‘hyperactivity’ that can hinder our Peace with Him.

There is always a way back from this.

God desires –

II Thess. 1/

7 …to give you who are troubled REST WITH US…

Letting slip…

LETTING SLIP…

Hebrews 2/2 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any TIME we should let them SLIP.

It is possible indeed probable that most Christians will wane in their dedication to Jesus Christ as Lord.

They will slip-up, make a mistake, ‘drop the ball’ as we say – in failing to do what The Lord requires of them.

THE KEY TO NOT LETTING THINGS SLIP is in this verse.

Q.) Notice what it says in v2 lest at any what?

A.) TIME….

You see we can let things slip for INCREMENTS OF TIME. The smaller the increments the better.

Slip for a second, minute, hour, day, week, month or years. SLACK ABIDES – and WE BACKSLIDE, we wane, we sin, and need to return to the ever loving Father coming through our Advocate The Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord, friend, and brother.

My exhortation is to aim at the seconds. Deal with the slipping per second, for a ‘life and life more abundantly’ experience.

DON’T LET THINGS SLIP FOR ANY SUBSTANTIAL LENGTH OF TIME.

Having a hard time? Call up the troops if need be: An elder in a church, a good Christian friend, but most importantly of all ‘take the knee’ and call on Jesus for His forgiveness and restoration.

Many bible characters let ‘slack abide’ for long enough to lose sight of God, They slipped from their steadfast love of God and in so doing, forgot the exhortations of God’s Word, or as the verse describes it: …let them slip

David – adultery

Samson – cast his pearls before swine.

Moses mis-represented God with an outburst of the sinful nature

Peter denied The Lord

Judas betrayed The Christ.

Saul disobeyed The Lord to his downfall

Jonah disobeyed and ran away

Elijah ran away from Jezebel

Solomon lost his way

If they had adopted the time test – things could’ve been different

They let things slip. The antidote is giving the more earnest heed (moment by moment) to God and His Word. Keeping short accounts – Lord help us!!

A Plan

A PLAN

She said this and he said that

Then before they knew it –

She said that and he said this

                     …

Something had gone amiss

He couldn’t understand her

(If you get my gist)

                    …

Something had gone amiss

She couldn’t understand him

The relationship – was anything but bliss

                    …

So they fought and fought

And he caught – the next bus out of town

He didn’t leave as he ought

                    …

But then it was hard to be nice

And say the right things

When she had slapped him twice

                    …

In all of this – the agro wouldn’t go away

So – that was why – they had to say

Good-bye – they just couldn’t stay

                    …

Two months passed by and they met

They found the peace they couldn’t get

Both embraced – he a blonde/she a brunette

                    …

And it was in that embrace

As though they saw each other

for the first time

That they saw the possibility that

their lives could rhyme

                     …

So they met up again for a meal

Slowly as they talked and listened 

Communication – meant growing appeal

                     …

So the day came –

marriage vows were made

They embraced permanently

the appeal having stayed

                     …

The cement of marriage they discovered

Was keeping short accounts –

putting stitches back in place

Too many break-ups in marriages – it’s a disgrace

Let’s get our act together as the human race

                      …

And if you want any advice –

take it from each other

In equal portions if you can

The woman is right and so is the man

There you have it – a marriage plan

Time Moves

TIME MOVES

Time –

No stopping to look at itself –

Whizzes past –

Past the things on the shelf

Down the driveway and far away

Living to move another day

                      …

And with the watches raised to the eyes

We mutter our impatient conclusions

As though to eliminate our confusion

‘Dear me – look at the time!!’

But we can’t – though we might want

To look at it – and grab it by the lapels

Illusive time smiles while on it’s way

To another day

                      …

Down the road in the bus

It follows us everywhere –

Through elation and despair

                      …

We try to swat-it like a fly

It jumps another hybrid jump

And we follow it to the pump

It’s time for petrol

Now – to pay

Taking ten minutes of our day

                      …

A snow flake falls in winter time

The silent orchestra – sonata sublime

Slicing buttery time into a few seconds

Disappearing into another form

That will soon dry up – taking time

To evaporate

                      …

Off to work you must go –

In on time? Only you know

Often as not perhaps – your excuse to make:

‘There was a hold-up in the traffic

Well you know how much time that takes’

                       …

Times and seasons set within His power

                      …

It’s time to move on –

A shattered relationship at this hour

At the end of a stable period

The shattering appeared – so weird

As you hold the broken pieces

Taking time to find the missing chord

Where is that missing piece – and peace?

                        …

The tragedy of man’s inability to co-exist

Full-on loving – ending in a twist

Time heals wounds – or so they say

But you don’t know what else to pray?

                        …

Time can drift at your designated pace

Boredom sets-in and you scold yourself

– It’s a disgrace –

How much time you have wasted this week

But you are not unique

For many have likewise fallen prey

To times slippery feel – year – month – week – day

                       …

And as the wrinkles start to appear

Saying ‘remember time is still here’

We look in the mirror – but decide to stop

The wrinkles are here below and at the top

                       …

Be more productively involved

In using your time before it ‘evolves’

Into nothingness and unfruitfulness

                       …

It came after eternity that has always been

Subjecting us to it’s constant sway

We try to use it well – but who can really say?

                       …

Of time – there is still much to be addressed

But it won’t hang about until we have suppressed

Our tendency to want to order it right

Before you know it – the day is night

                      …

Anyway – time to take a break

Time does not follow-suit

It’s in every description you care to moot

We can’t escape it – it’s here to stay

                       …

Until the Judgement Day

The Next Move

THE NEXT MOVE

And as I pause and look

Hesitant in some way

Wondering what move to make

Where to step-out now

In a lost and dying world

                …

Conscious of how unconscious

The multitudes are

Not taking any talk on board

At least – talk of the true message

The only true and wholesome words

How strange that they are ignored

                 …

Who can fathom the mystery of

iniquity already at work?

But work it will – on and on

On it’s winding journey

Snake-like as it intertwines it’s

Insidious coils around the

scaffolding of the minds

And man is held bound

Until devilish demise

                …

Up from the ground He arose

To pave a way to return

I contemplate the next move

                …

Upward

Who is with you?

Who is with you?

You are important

Despite the echoing distress

Caused by all the rest

                 ***

Who whimsically abhorred you

And tried to make you feel small

Nice to say it didn’t effect you at all

                  ***

But truth is – it lay upon you in layers

Layers and layers of thoughtless flippancy

When your self-image was in it’s infancy

                  ***

Growing up with those layers of pain

Some remembered – some buried deep

Causing over-reaction exhaustion and sleep

                  ***

You didn’t understand it yourself

When you were the person you didn’t want to be

Then you learnt how to make the devil flee

                  ***

Weakest saint upon your knees

You exchanged your life for another

Now you are His ‘mother and His brother’

(Luke 8/21)

What is it saying..?

Here’s an extra mile challenge – meditate on this and let me know…

WHAT IS IT SAYING…?

This short post is to glean from others in the hope that in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

We all understand that there are many translations of The Bible.

Which is partly why students of The Word, delve into original Hebrew or Greek etc.

Not having done so on this occasion, I thought I would reproduce the translations of one verse of scripture, that I was about to use.

Whether someone offers their view on this, will depend on who reads it, and if anyone is so inclined to want the answer themselves.

So here they are – what do you think? PROVERBS 18/24. KJV:

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

ASV

He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

AMP

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken in pieces and come to ruin, But there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother.

AMPC

The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

BRG

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

CSB

One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.

CEB

There are persons for companionship, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.

CJB

Some “friends” pretend to be friends, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.

CEV

Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.

DARBY

A man of [many] friends will come to ruin but there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

DRA

A man amiable in society, shall be more friendly than a brother.

Only a few of many more.

Which translation is the most accurate – and do they appear to contradict each other?

More importantly – What is God telling us?

Feel free to let me know.

Right judgements

RIGHT JUDGEMENTS

When you are in your feel good factor

Is it too good to be true?

Are you like some kind of actor?

                           …

This moment you wish to retain

Though bad feelings will come

This factor you hope to maintain

                           …

All judgements are different in the feel-good

It’s a sunny day with overhead clouds

But it’s all rosey in the garden of this mood

                           …

Feelings come – feelings go

Judgements are made – many and diverse

The right decision you won’t always know

                           …

Seek the wisdom that comes from above

Not based on feeling factors

But right principle and love

Which perspective?

Which Perspective? 2021

I was thinking the other day about people’s responses to visual images or written communications of whatever kind.

In one way I was stating the obvious to myself.

Namely, that there are all kinds of reasons people stay with an image or perhaps read and re-read a written piece of work, or watch a video drama. 

It almost seems superfluous to mention examples.

I was thinking too of how certain pop songs go zooming up the charts and others never make it.

How certain fashions catch-on and others don’t.

The ones that catch-on usually are championed by the younger generation, and their enthusiasm as they reach for their wallets and credit or debit cards, make the producers of the product very rich.

When it comes to how ‘good’ a piece of literature is – there is no doubt that if the majority like it – it is deemed to be ‘good’, a great novel, a brilliant story, a well-crafted piece of work and so on… based on generated sales or box office takings.

Slowly but surely or suddenly, the artist or writer who ends up riding on a wave of popularity are deemed to be [to quote an old Northern Irish saying]: ‘The greatest thing since sliced bread’.

Then popularity can wane, and slowly but surely they are no longer getting the bookings, no longer getting as many reprints, or some new fashion takes over the leading position.

This is all the result of how the majority stay or move-on in their tastes and preferences.

The point is – it is all down to numbers.

Like the piece of graffiti I saw once scrawled on a wall: ‘Majority rules ok’.

So the more consumers there are of the product the more it is deemed to be the best.

‘Best selling author’, ‘Most hits on the internet’, ‘Most grand slams’ all ways of saying that they have the most fans, and are the best.

Now allow a paradigm shift in your thinking.

The kingdom of God and how God thinks and assesses things, as He looks into time, is the antithesis of how man views things.

And for Christians who seek to walk in ‘God’s perspective’, it is difficult to think out-of-the-earthly box and into the heavenly one.

Here is an example of this divine perspective as found in The word of God:

31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

So we conclude from this that – small and insignificant – is the most precious because contrary to how things look the great residing potential is unstoppable no matter what.

So that which is least, perhaps least in size, least in numbers, least esteemed to be ‘that well-crafted piece of literature’, or piece of art, (example? – Van Gogh), eventually becomes the greatest.

Yes the majority still decides this – but it took a while Vincent, didn’t it?

However looking from – God’s perspective, Paul the Apostle considered himself ‘the least’ of all the apostles. But was aware that only God’s opinion really counted.

He writes:

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

What God thinks – He expresses in His Word. We must seek His ways, and realise that ultimately only His opinion of us, really matters.

It’s often the case that we go against what the majority think, when we cling to God’s perspective.

The widow who gave her all – gave very little in the eyes of the majority – but from God’s perspective she gave the most. (Mk. 12/42)

To maintain our adherence to God’s perspective, can be a hard lesson, to not only learn, but to cling to.

We must therefore remind ourselves on an ongoing basis of the ‘whole counsel of God’. Growing in our knowledge of what that is, so we are enabled to maintain His perspective.

Paul says:

27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 

Constantly reminding ourselves to please the majority of One – The One who is the judge of all the earth.

(Genesis 18/25)

Death

DEATH

Every human being declines with age. It’s just a fact of life.

Death is a fact of life.

And of course to bring the subject up, sometimes causes us to be on the receiving end of the verbal dismissal of our fellow human beings.

Dismissal that can take the form of either a humorous quip or a serious rebuke.

“Don’t be morbid!” “Don’t bring the tone of the conversation down”. “Mr. Negative” and so on…

But it is a subject that cannot be ignored indefinitely. And must be thought about.

Whether it is brought up by an undertaker or old ‘Mr. Sobersides’ – it must eventually be examined to say the least.

We can ‘enjoy’ all the jokes about it. We can smile at the adjectives/puns we have invented to describe it, such as – ‘pushing up daisies’, or ‘popping your clogs’. [Why Dutch shoes only are chosen to be abandoned on death I do not know?].

To be ‘dead as a doornail’, is another reference to death. ‘Kicking the bucket’ yet another.

Why the action of ‘kicking a bucket’ just prior to

‘Popping our clogs’ is meant to happen – again, I do not know.

Why ‘doornails’ are needed after ‘kicking buckets’

and ‘popping clogs’ – I do not know either.

All this ‘helps’ cushion the blow of the idea of inevitable death – that we shall all experience.

But basically most (?) folks handle the thought of death either with humour, or some other means of ‘changing the subject’.

A great wave of death has swept our planet in the past few years.

With death comes – sorrow, hurt, pain, and the grieving process.

The Christian gospel addresses death – head on.

The bad news amongst the good news is this:

Revelation 21:7-9

.But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

We learn that there is death and then there is a second death, described in this verse of scripture.

Want to change the subject yet? How about a humorous quip to lessen the blow?

Some hold on to some ‘great idea’ that they are convinced is a great atheistic insight into the matter.

Some might even surmise, that science will change this second death fact?

Q. What’s it called again? A.The second death.

Well – any good news in the good news, instead of ‘old sobersides’  giving us the morbid outlook?

Yes there is:

Revelation 20:6

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years

Q.: And what do we need – to qualify, in order to escape the second death?

Revelation 2:11

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

A: ’Hear and overcome’ – overcome with God’s enablement, every high thought that exalts itself against Jesus Christ as Lord (II Corinthians 10/5). 

And cling wholeheartedly to Jesus and He will enable us to overcome all adversity and (the second) death itself.

The scripture tells us that death has lost it’s sting:

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (I Corinthians 15/55)

The sting has, and can only be, removed by Christ Himself.

The power (sting) of death has been defeated at the cross, because sin that brings death and the second death, has been rendered powerless because Christ removed the penalty – punishment and – power of sin.

This is wonderful good news! The only thing that renders it ineffectual in a human’s life, is that individual’s, rejection of it. And of course this is rejection of Christ.

We can depart this life into death (the second death) – or into life (The Life of Christ).

His human life was given on the cross of calvary.

His Divine Life is given in a different sense, in the sense that The Life of The Holy Spirit comes to all who sincerely call upon His (Jesus’) name in prayer. Such shall be saved from sin, death and Gehenna.

Serious stuff. There is time for humour – Proverbs 17:22

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones

The joy of The Lord and the assurance of Christ’s salvation has given me the greatest joy of my life.

Do I ever grieve then? Oh yes – I still live in a body of death* (there’s that* word again) (Romans 7/24).

But deep down inside – The Peace of God rules and gives me the biblical assurance that because of God’s unmerited favour I shall escape the sting (power) of death and the eventual dwelling place of the second death.

It would be joyous to know that someone paid heed to these words and searched for Christ with all of their heart.