All posts by ken riddles

About ken riddles

Person - Parent - Painter - Preacher. More info under 'About' on seedsiinmotiontruthnart.wordpress.com

FARCE – QUESTION…?

FARCE – QUESTION…?

We interrupt this program to ask a question:

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to set your WordPress account up so that it automatically likes every post you receive notification about, from a given blogger?

So that someone who never reads your posts – has it rigged so that he automatically hits your LIKE button?

If so what a farce. 🥸

Thought World

THOUGHT WORLD

So the drama reaches its climax.

So the novel ends 

And so the spinning universe we can’t comprehend

                          …

Will one day change but not disappear

The world we live in terra firma – it’s clear

Will be folded up as a garment

                          …

In light of these things non-permanent

Should we not reach for the perpetual?

Should we not investigate the eternal?

                          …

Our world of internal strife

Our world of thoughts in the night

Our world of the mental

                          …

All kinds of actions consequential

Imagine the world – was but our thoughts

Watch as it’s fever rises to chaos

                           …

No thought brought into captivity

Imaginations only evil continually

What shall we do?

                           …

Who can stop the spiral?

As clash follows clash

All crippled and masticated it be

The endless thoughts of you and me

Nothing stable just another jumbled muse

Nobody listens – no one will be taught

                           …

Imagine complete chaos – no control

Only anarchy and confusion

No creed – no rule – no seminar or school

                           …

Every man for himself

Strike-out through the maze

Trample underfoot – apprehend and bind

Leave all decency for everything unkind

All thoughts will die with the spinning heads

                          …

Unless we hear the cry

Of the One who wept over Jerusalem 

And still does – over mankind

Scratch and itch

Scratch and itch

You scratch my back and

I’ll scratch your’s

Itchy itchy…

Fundamental empathy –

a scratch for a scratch

And a smile for a smile

Morphing into laughs

We stay a while

Watch TV and can’t agree

On which programme to watch

As we sit on your settee

It’s been a hard day’s night

We should be sleeping like a log

But I can’t get the

comfortable chair-bed

You have given it to your dog

United understanding

UNITED UNDERSTANDING 2021

I’ve noticed that certain words become characteristic of different groups of people. 

Organisations, sales teams, philosophers, artists, baseball fraternities, churches or mega church movements with different campuses. Media groups. Indeed there is accompanying word-talk in every area of life, involving groups of people.

Plumbers can sit and have an intelligent conversation about on-the-job experiences, and leave me feeling that I am listening to a foreign language. Not foreign to them, because they all know the acquired lingo.

New-age-type-people similarly have a certain language where the same words come into play in their communications.

Even in this dictionary definition we find some of those commonly used words:

a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism: the New Age movement.

Particular words/phrases and their popularity in the Christian church worldwide seem to come and go. 

Words such as breakthrough, prosperity, soaking, story, and so on.

If you listen to people sharing – one after the other – you will find these common expressions cropping up in their speeches.

Now where exactly am I going with this? Well I’m drawing attention to language to lead us into considering the awful blight of mis-communication.

When you mix with Christian church members for a period of time – you will pick up on the in-house lingo. And find yourself using the words you are hearing them use.

When I was a young Christian I went to serve God on a team that included an older American believer. 

When I arrived home and amongst members of my youth group again, I was addressing God as Gad, as my acquired American pronunciation prevailed for a short while.

Taking on board common terms of expression, helps us to feel that we fit in. Plus we adopt/adapt these words because we have a desire to communicate and be understood.

But this does not always end well.

It’s always been of interest to me, and at times a matter of incredulity on my part – to realise how difficult communication can be, between human beings, in the church or otherwise.

Slightly digressing but illustrating my point – I remember a lady making a comment after seeing one of my paintings in a post I did some years ago.

She commented that she was wary of the painting, because in her eyes it was ‘new age’.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but she remained unconvinced, even when I assured her of my soundness, when it came to Christian doctrine.

It looked new age to her, and in her eyes, new age it was going to be.

That’s the similar problem with words.

In this case regarding the painting – she couldn’t grasp the fundamental motivational aspect and style of my paintings – which is a search for, and expression of – good design. Basically that’s it!

When we are young we all speak a similar language, using words common to the ‘gang’.

I have experienced the difficulty of trying to express from the heart – truth with integrity, only to be misunderstood and/or misunderstood completely.

There is nothing new under the sun. The disciples walked with God every day but had the same difficulties. Wanting privileged seating rights, and debating who should be the greatest. What sort of communication was this?

It is part of the blemish of the fallen race: mis-communication, misunderstanding, dogmatic division, disunity, factions, false-accusations, biting and devouring one another, and so on. (Galatians 5/15, I Corinthians 1/10, 3/3)

An awful state of affairs. And yet!

Psalm 133

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!…

…For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

So how come the church seemingly cannot utilise this wonderful truth of unity to see the manifestation of God moving in power?

Because of mis-understanding and an ingrained inability to speak the same thing. To agree. To be of the same mind in The Lord, despite using similar lingo.

To be perfectly joined together. To agree to differ and still be able to have transparent fellowship.

Man in his nature wants to be right – even when he is wrong. Often digging our heels in – in a conversation is the beginning of disunity and division.

There doesn’t seem to be a mechanism to reach agreement by using language. By conversing – a lot of the time – disunity becomes worse.

That’s because the sinful nature contained in these bodies of ours is set on fire by the tongue, which has the characteristics of hell fire. (James 3/6)

The only solution is when believers 100% set themselves to be wrong – and corporately hear ‘the same thing’ from The Lord Himself, who is always right. (Phil. 2/5)

Allow His mind to be in them – in understanding, in speaking and in agreeing what is right.

I Corinthians 1/ Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

‘So’ speaking

SO’ SPEAKING 2021

Acts 14: v1 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.

The gentlemen who are doing the speaking here, are Paul the Apostle and Barnabas. They have gone into the Jewish synagogue and are provided a platform to speak.

If I randomly (post-Covid) entered a church I had never been in before, the chances of being allowed to get up to speak are pretty slim.

But this seemingly random voluntary taking of the ‘podium’ and speaking, was the tradition of the time.

I’m not sure how the credentials of Paul and Barnabas were determined by the ‘powers that be’ who ruled the synagogue, but they were permitted to speak.

Having started my Christian walk in a ‘brethren‘ assembly of believers, (long time ago), It could be observed, that there too, pretty much any believer was allowed to stand and share from the bible at the breaking of bread/communion service.

I would like you to notice that Paul and Barnabas ‘SO’ spoke – in such a way that many Jews and Greeks believed on The Lord Jesus Christ.

How does anyone – ‘SO’ – speak?

So what does ‘SO’ stand for?

Here is my take on it – Supernatural Oratory! ☺️

You see God is supernatural. He uses words to reach people. To reach their hearts and minds. Producing the response of faith.

So we read then – that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.

But – but…!

V2 but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

There will always be the believing and the unbelieving. And the unbelieving will always rise up in opposition to the believing – we see this pattern throughout scripture – are you – am I – one of the believing or the unbelieving? We can only be one or the other. There is no middle ground.

Some may think there is – but there isn’t. Agnostics are unbelievers.

Despite this opposition – the two apostles stayed there a long time and continued to ‘SO’ speak.

Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

In fact their ‘SO’ speaking – is confirmed to be supernatural oratory by the manifestation of God’s power in bearing witness to the fact that these men were chosen to do this/His speaking, in one of the most demonstrative ways possible, namely…

granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

But to the unbelieving this will not do, and isn’t enough – their unbelief will not be quenched. And again so it has been throughout scripture – God-rejectors, Christ-rejectors will not acknowledge the miracles. Even when a man is healed – stands, yea leaps-up, and walks having been unable to do so before.

We see it throughout the New Testament that the unbelieving Christ-rejectors would not believe Him, even though the miracles were as plane as the nose on your face.

Many will feel justified in not believing, by immediately turning to point the finger at the charlatans who have cheated the public with their shenanigans.

Where ‘healings’ have been arranged beforehand in imitation of the real thing – when the religious circus has come to town.

The problem with these false miracles is – it reinforces unbelief. And…

…poisoned their minds against the brethren.

False healings and miracles – poisons the mind even more.

It is not hard to be skeptical of the supernatural. It is easier than being open to God touching your life. Why? Because it comes ‘naturally’ – and the natural man does not receive the things of God’s Spirit.

Whereas all who are believing are exhorted to- 

20 …not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

We must not reject things out of hand. We must not automatically assume it is not of God – but discern good from evil properly.

It takes a bit of time with biblical meditation and spiritual discernment, to find what is correct and separate it from what is not.

We are not to be naive, however – neither unbelieving. Lest we are found to act like these Jews in the synagogue.

There are varying degrees of the manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit – the first thing anyone must do is latch onto the word of His grace…(see verse 3 above)

The word of His Grace was the message they ‘SO’ spoke and that was accompanied by miracles.

Miracles or no miracles…

[for with God all things are possible. Mark 10/27].

First step – run and embrace this – the word of His grace!!

Real as real can be

REAL AS REAL CAN BE

Acts 21/10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”

12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

Ok – so you may have ‘stumbled’ upon this Post.

Grab your seat and don’t move – you, who quickly pass on uninterestedly from any thing Biblical.

This passage is about Paul the apostle and his response to a prophet and his Christian companions.

Paul is warned that if he goes up to Jerusalemn – he is in for trouble. He will be ‘handcuffed’ and delivered to the Gentile authorities.

Imagine with me, what Paul could well have said:

Thank you God for warning me about this, through this prophetic utterance, I can now escape by some other route! How faithful you are in giving me a means of warning and therefore deliverance.

I can now testify of how God protects His children, just like you protected me through this warning prophesy. Just like you did Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus on a few occasions. Enabling him to go elsewhere out of danger’s reach.

However his response instead, was to accept the warning as true and to go to Jerusalem anyway, – prepared to suffer.

Why? Because he was convinced that God wanted him to go there.

Acts 20/22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

His was the destiny of a martyr.

From his first supernatural encounter with The Risen Christ on the Damascus road and immediately thereafter – he was informed that he would suffer for Christ.

Acts 9/16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

This causes us to realise a few things. First the encounter He had was so real, so powerful and so ‘out of this world’ that nothing could cause him to forget it or deny it. It was as real as real as could be. 

So powerful and real was the tangible Presence of God in this man’s life He needed no other intellectual persuasion as to the fact that Jesus Christ (whom he had before opposed in his head) was indeed the Son of The Living God.

He had just encountered Him on the Damascus road – blindingly! (Acts 9)

The existence of the afterlife, having invaded his world, was so real, he saw no alternative but to obey implicitly, everything He was instructed to do.

Which was exactly what he did, so that he could, in his latter years, make this statement: II Timothy 4/For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

You and I – have to take the word of a man who had this powerful assurance through this powerful experience – that Jesus and His claims MUST be taken seriously. It’s a matter of life and death.

You may not have had as powerful an experience as Paul – yet he pleads with you to obey his words. The words of the gospel he preached.

So here we are – those who may not have had this blinding experience, this tangible indisputable encounter with God – being asked to give our lives to Christ through prayer.

Before we leave this world and have the ‘Damascus road experience’ of heaven itself.

Provided that is – we accept Christ as Saviour according to the message that Paul preached.

Peace

PEACE

John 20/

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus having been crucified dead and buried – arose and stood in the midst of His followers.

It is not new to anyone at all familiar with The Christian Faith to realise that all Christians believe that Christ Rose from the dead.

And not only arose but appeared to various disciples at various times before eventually – many of them saw Him ascend upwards into the realm of the heaven of heavens. A spiritual dimension beyond the natural eye.

It is difficult for us to describe exactly, the bodily form of The Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ – when He appeared to His disciples. It is the dimension of the spirit manifested visibly. There is a mystery regarding it.

*NB: [Did He ascend to the Father just before this? He tells one woman not to touch Him, and yet Thomas to put his fingers into His scars. Food for thought and another post.]

It is not the purpose of this post to go into this phenomena.

But that He appeared before them is beyond doubt.

I want to think for a moment, of not only what He showed, (His resurrected self), but of what He said:

“Peace be with you.”

There are all kinds of things that disturb our peace. And let’s be honest we all like to live a peaceful life.

Except maybe for those who have never known peace in the first place. Or those so controlled by their lower nature that peace is something they neither know in experience or pursue.

Here is a mix of biblical exhortations concerning peace:

Seek peace and pursue it…

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:…

Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it…

And finally what Jesus said to His followers:

My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

There is one source of true peace: Jesus Christ Himself. A relationship with Him brings inner peace, because of sins forgiven and acceptance into His spiritual kingdom, through fellowship with Him.

For any Christian to pretend that they never lose their peace, or are never troubled would be a lie. Indeed Paul the apostle who knew the peace of God perpetually in his life, nevertheless did not see the need to pretend in order to make his case for God-given peace.

He says: (II Corinthians 7/5)

For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…

Inside were fears. Fear attempts to disturb/destroy our peace. He finishes off, however, with the great truth: NEVERTHELESS – GOD!

When there’s nothing else to cling to and, as the song says: ‘When our time has come…’ We have the promised and abiding peace that tells us that all will be well with our soul and spirit.

Peace returns – [as an old female saint I once knew would say] – when we: Let go and let God.

There will always be things that seek to disturb our peace, rob us of our peace, distract us from abiding in Christ – but the great truth is – we have been given His Peace in the first place, just like He delivered it to His disciples in His resurrection power, as He came into the room, having risen from the dead!

Thank God for the peace and assurance that we can meet Him without the fear of loss.

Even so come Lord Jesus!

…………………………………………………………………………..

* JOHN 20 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Studio corner…

My Studio Corner

LOOKING AGAIN

Brushes and paint lie dormant

Dormant man – fighting infirmities

They call it lockdown…

As it ventures to catch your brain

                  …

Shaking-off the shackles

Of indolent’s stealth

At least the eye can lift itself

To look again

                   …

At the industry hand and brain has formed

Former works – done for me

For me it oft seems a lesser reward

Determined by the fickle browse of 

Moods jury

                   …

Never a unanimous verdict

Only one short-lived before it is changed

I will give you them all

Only say the word

And my gallery is yours

                    …

But I must not let my hunger

For man’s empty praise

Cause me to sell this birthright

For a mess of pottage

Happiness?

HAPPINESS?

I was thinking of the word – Happiness.

Happiness – where do I stand in the ‘happiness’ stakes?

My dictionary gives us this for happy:

  • feeling or showing pleasure or contentment:

Happiness – hmmm.?

Paul the apostle tells us that (I Timothy 6) / Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

I do have a deep abiding peace in my spirit.

In fact – a peace I can’t explain – one that passes my ability to figure it out.

Philippians 4/

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

However I like the old sayng that made it’s journey around the church years ago:

I’m satisfied with a dissatisfied satisfaction.

In my own nature and personality I’m a discontented kind of a guy.

When we find a negative tendency in our personality – (and we are all so different) – we need to feed ourselves, as Christians, with God’s antidote: – the Word of God.

This both counteracts our negative tendencies and also brings change.

God is in the changing business. He, as a faithful Heavenly Father takes time to raise His family correctly.

Raising us in the nurture and admonition of His Word (see also Ephesians 6/4)

Reminding ourselves of all the wonderful promises He has given us, through the New Testament and Old Testament writers, is giving God the opportunity to work in us.

He uses His Word to accomplish the changing and maturing of the Christian’s heart.

I Thessalonians 2/13

…the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

This brings greater wholeness in our lives – and consequently greater contentment.

So role out your own definition of happiness, if you wish. But perhaps, godly contentment may not be what you have in mind?

Godliness brings contentment – whereas the pleasure of sin is only for a season.

Contentment starts deep within – growing from the assurance that Christ has made me acceptable, through no merits of my own.

I drift from the contentment He provides – and get restless, but when that happens it’s time to get back into the power-house of contentment, through prayer and Bible meditation.

Passivity and contentment are not the same thing. How easy it is to become passive, especially in this present lockdown situation.

But, nevertheless, I need to be reminding myself that my contentment is in Christ.

Complete by Grace bringing contentment:-

Colossians 2/

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 

Secretly

SECRETLY

John 19/

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

I feel very reluctant to come to a conclusion about this man Joseph.

Perhaps there are two schools of thought. 1) There should be no secret disciples or 2) It is perfectly acceptable to be so.

Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear… 

It would seem to me there is no ‘one rule covers all’ application to be made here.

We know that The Lord calls his disciples, to confess Him before men – or we will miss out on Jesus confessing us before the angels…

Luke 12:

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

But in Joseph’s case we have a man who is convinced of the fact that he must take care of the body of Jesus, and that He believes that Jesus was/is The Son of God – otherwise he would not be designated as a disciple.

But he was also having to deal with fear. Fear is an emotion, so apparent in our lives at times, that it can cause a faithful disciple like Peter to deny his Lord and Master.

The lesson learnt from it, in Peter’s case, meant such denial was never to be repeated.

Did Joseph go from being a secret disciple to a manifest one? Well if it became known what his good deed consisted of – then he certainly would have been suspected of being a follower of Christ.

What about you – are you a secret disciple? Perhaps a member of another religion – but secretly a believer on Christ as Lord? Perhaps you are in a workplace where you would receive ridicule and banter for being such a disciple? Perhaps you are secretly trying to live the Christian life – with limited knowledge as to what it is really all about? You just want to be a good person?

Jesus spoke of someone in this manner: Mark 12/ 34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Perhaps in your secret discipleship, you are doing the best you can?

Seems to me that you are not far from the fulness of what God has for you.

Next should follow advice as to how to proceed.

But I’m stopping short of this and offering to talk to you off-line.(ken.riddles@btinternet.com)

Some day you will need to confess Him before men. But meantime:

Jeremiah 29/12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, 

Foolish

FOOLISH 2021

Galatians 3:

v1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so [c]many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain

Paul the Apostle is addressing this Galatian group of believers.

But of course it is ordained of God that, when one of His Specially Chosen Early Apostolic leaders, writes to a particular ‘branch’ of God’s church – it is more than meant for, or sent to – just them.

It is sent to all believers throughout history who follow on, by inheritance, from the early formed church/churches.

The Word of God will never pass away. Anything that the Holy Spirit  has placed His indelible fingerprint upon – will remain as His Word forever.

Jesus said:

Matt. 24/

34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Paul, saddened, grieved and a little perplexed, is addressing a fundamental problem pervading the Galatian church.

This problem can, or has, pervaded the lives of believers ever since, and indeed at one time – knocked me off-course for a couple of years in my Christian life.

Paul is very straight with them, out of love and concern, trying to wake them up to spiritual reality. Wake them up to the completeness of Christ’s Salvation.

“O Foolish Galatians…” – exclamation mark!

“Who has bewitched you…”?

Without even going into the original meaning of the Greek etc. as we can do, when seeking to expound some aspect of God’s New Testament. Let me instead pass on what the dictionary means by the word ‘bewitched’:

to attract or interest someone a lot so that you have the power to influence them:

to put a magicspell on someone or something in order to control him, her, or it

Either definition will do – First – attracted and therefore distracted. Distracted from the real wonderful message, into their own ideas. (Manmade gospel)

Second – (bewitched)  – Coming under the control of something, someone, or a spirit not of God.

That was how Paul found these believers. They got away from the wonderful New Testament message of Salvation by Faith – through God’s Amazing Grace – and their whole focus was on themselves and their own performance.

He spends most of the rest of the epistle addressing and correcting this legalistic distraction, in order that the Galatians will become re-focused on Christ.

We must look to Christ in prayer for everything to do with the spiritual life.

The following is a spiritual seeing:

25 For David says concerning Him:

‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,

For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;

Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

This was the spoken spiritual reality of someone staying on course by faith – seeing the invisible God – (see also e.g. Heb. 11/27) so as to walk pleasing to Him, without wrongly, losing sight of Him completely and then trying to live like Him. It doesn’t work. The Galatians were trying it and failing.

Paul put them right.

Are your eyes on God in prayer? Will you respond (by the hearing of this encouragement) – in faith? (see verse 2).