Category Archives: Clarity

Advanced Regression

ADVANCED REGRESSION

Dancing – advancing leaps and bounds
“Comparatively speaking”
I hear no one say

Mankind has embryo’d – and stem celled –
and conjured with his DNA –
and experimented and concluded –
and thinks to have found a way

For with his knowledge increase
He hopes to take away all defeat
And per-fect himself –
when new ways are found

Stoned on his success
He ignores the dismay

Of a world gone further wrong
In a multitude of ways

He thinks –
To Increasingly solve corruption’s claim
But makes the same
mistakes
over and over again

What’s been done –
compared with what has not?

What’s been achieved
pales before the mess
civilisation has got

There’s need for the realisation
That man won’t reach self-perfection
But those puffed up with knowledge
Will rise in reaction
With a self-styled salvation

Rejecting they think
‘pie in the sky’
for ‘meat on the plate’

But God’s handiwork is found
profound – all around

The maker’s hand that made it all
plain to be seen without a doubt

No written guarantee –
for an extra charge
will assuage corruption
Rather:

”Mountains fall on us in our fears”

The day has come for a
A wake up call perhaps too late

As the supersonic – stem-celled world
totters on its wobbly legs of achievement
and the world is folded up like a garment.

Don’t take away from the good it can bring?
Indeed no – but there is always too far to go.

Stop and think it over:
Mental blindness –
Ostrich head in the sand
Achievements seduction

millions annihilated –

while we speak
and still
don’t understand.

The Prayer Life of Christ

The Prayer Life of Christ.

Jesus addressing Peter says:
But I have prayed that your faith will fail not. (Luke 22/31-33)

This is a very interesting revelation we are offered here – we are given special insight into the private prayer life of the Lord Jesus.

He knows what is going to happen in the life of Peter.
He knows beforehand that Peter will deny Him.
This is the foreknowledge of God operating here.
Knowing something will happen before it actually does.
God knows everything that will happen before it does.

We are conscious of a fact of life. Namely, that life consists of the past, the present, the future. But even as I speak we are not in the present anymore.
The present in one sense does not exist. Because time will not stand still.

‘As I…’ (…let’s stop there).

the ‘As I…’ has just passed away.

We are in a different present than the one we were in – a few seconds ago.

But God knows what will happen in a few hours time, everywhere in the world.

God is in eternity. Now is eternity – time without end? Or is eternity a dimension in which there is no time, no past present or future? The eternal now.

Well, the bible tells us – we only know ‘in part’. And there is a day coming for all believers in Christ when we shall no longer know ‘in part’, but know – even as God knows us. (I Corinthians 13/9)

We shall have the total eternal perspective on existence.

Jesus knew the future for Peter – and He tells him so. Tells Peter that he (Peter) will deny Him (Jesus).

Peter has no intention of believing this word. Based on his inner sense of love for Jesus, and his zealous desire to be faithful.

Matthew 26/33 : Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

Jesus knew that Peter would stumble, and deny Him. Knowing he would, Jesus took a certain course of action.

He knew Peter would sin in this way. He knew the ‘disaster’ would happen. He did not prevent Peter from denying Him.

Peter had freedom of choice which was not taken away from him. Nor is it taken from you or I.

There is a day of reckoning (commonly called) – when the goodness of God must put an end to all that is destructive, at which time, on which day, the rebellion of free will – set on – the rebellious violation of goodness and righteousness, must be stopped.

Jesus did not pre-arrange a situation for Peter in order to keep him from that hour of temptation.

Peter had to be there. He was one of the most zealous of the disciples, even though he was perhaps the one most exposed in scripture regarding his personal shortcomings and failings.

Now the disciples already knew the Lord’s prayer. Peter did not (as far as we know) pray that prayer on hearing the prophesy of Jesus. (about his denial and the cock crowing – Mark 14/30)

He didn’t believe The Lord’s prophetic word, because he didn’t want to believe it.

Nobody who is a genuine Christian wants to believe they will fail the Lord.

And it should be our hearts desire every day to walk with Him without failing Him.

But we are still encompassed with the infirmity of our own limited flesh. Referred to in scripture as ‘this body of death’. So unfortunately we shall fail The Lord, and need to return in humility once again. There will be many ‘once again’s’ in the Christian life.

But by the Grace (unmerited favour) of God we do not lose our place of salvation, while we return to our Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the Righteous. The one who is the propitiation for our sins. (appeasing God’s righteous indignation and supplying offered forgiveness)

Returning to our initial thought in this post. We are given insight into the prayer life of The Lord Jesus, as He communes with His Father continuously. Leaving us an example to do the same.

‘I have prayed the Father that your faith fail not’. prayed Jesus.

Wow! But surely Peter did fail? Yes he failed and denied the Lord, despite every intention initially, of not doing so.

But thanks to Jesus praying and agreeing with His Father – Peter was not cast off as a failure.

The good news is – he returned!

He went out and wept. And his mistake was an occasion for God to teach him a wonderful lesson, that he would learn more deeply for the rest of his days.

The lesson of how to walk with God in a Christ-dependant manner.

Not only dependant on Christ for salvation and eternal (future) life only.

But a lesson in learning how to walk with Jesus minute by minute, even in His earthly absence, after He (Jesus) had departed to be with the Father.

Walking in other words with The Holy Spirit, as his constant companion.

Peter’s bravado was based on his own ability. Our own ability will fail us when it comes to spiritual matters.

We must learn to live in the Holy Spirit and to walk in the Holy Spirit.
Faith gives us entrance into a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ.

The outcome of that faith is a spiritual experience whereby we literally encounter God, The Holy Spirit, and having begun in The Spirit – we shall not be perfected in the strength of our own natural ability. (Galatians 3/3)

To encounter Jesus in this way is the most wonderful experience possible, this side of heaven.

To have our guilt removed by the Highest authority in existence. To satisfy God Almighty’s sense of Justice and at the same time to receive His forgiveness and freedom from condemnation and guilt, is or can be, a Time Surpassing any other in your life and mine.

All made possible through the finished work of Christ on the cross, where justice had it’s day and forgiveness was released to those who would ask for it.

Bearing in mind that God is omniscient (all knowing) – we conclude from this episode in Peter’s life that man’s freedom of choice, and God’s freedom of choice, go unhindered.

Whether man decides (volition) or not to satisfy God’s loving commands, there is always a place for returning to God, when, like Peter, we make a mistake.

However there is a sobering scripture addressing a lack of returning to God:

Whoever is stubborn [stiff-necked] after being corrected many times will suddenly be hurt [broken] beyond cure [healing]. (EXB translation – Proverbs 29/1)

Always a place for returning to God.
Unless we choose to die without doing so.

Predisposed

sun dont smokejpeg

…or does it?

PREDISPOSED*

Now there* is an interesting word.
Let’s get the dictionary definition –

predisposed (ˌpriːdɪˈspəʊztd)
adj
inclined to or susceptible to beforehand…

That’s the nutshell of how I’m considering the word. Surely being predisposed can be either a good thing or a bad?

Being a racist means we are predisposed to snubbing or at worst hating someone from a different race than ours. Unacceptable.

If we rise each day and go jogging because we are predisposed to exercise – can’t be bad don’t you think?

If someone, through army training, are predisposed to keeping things tidy and in order – it surely can’t be bad?

Being predisposed to stealing, having acquired the habit unchecked through a spoilt childhood of always getting our own way in everything. As Goofy would sing: “well, the world owes me a livin’ . A predisposition – that needs changed.

We can often quickly detect if on visiting someones blog, we are not going to gel with what they have to say. And often on further examination – our opinion will not change, but I’m trying – through self-examination, to detect if I have any predispositions on things I ought not to.

So I guess I’m simply saying: ‘How about catching it on, if we – too readily – dismiss the beginning of someone’s post, without giving it due consideration, because we have a bias or predisposition to reject the subject’, or reject the first expressed opinion we encounter.

There are certain subjects, posts, we pretty much know right away – ‘not my cup of tea’.

But let’s go for the two(?) minute rule.

At least Survey the post just to make sure.
(Give it two minutes of our time.)

As a rule of thumb, does that seem fair?

Bought and found…

Bought and found…

“Now this will be right up your street…
This is the offer you can’t refuse…
You’ll like this…
You have found what you’re looking for…
The chance of a lifetime…
We are delighted to offer you…
Yes that’s your size – fits well…
Can I interest you in..?
Yes sir – please step this way…
Just in – this morning – you’re lucky day…”

A fright and a frown
A new dressing gown
Tried it on
Then I was gone

Over to another department

Lounged around
As a substitute
for
nothing
catching my eye

Still-time for a coffee..?
Out the door

Had
Bought
and
found
nothing…

Coffee tastes good
I knew that it would
Lie back on semi-soft chair

Sleepy – daydream – stare.
(Shopping worthwhile after all)

Stay where you are?

STAY WHERE YOU ARE?

I have been leading prayer meetings. And preaching on a Sunday. And writing blog posts.
Art will soon be ‘SPRING-ing’ up again.
When I sort out my work shed (studio)

Meantime…

I would like the inhabitants of the world to do exactly what I tell them.
But I am not a betting man.
So I won’t bet on it coming to pass.

I was thinking about the many thought processes people engage in. Whether it’s some mathematical equation – or learning of a medical kind, or maybe re-reading your scientific notes on the ‘origin of the species’.

Think of the intellectual horns that are often locked in many different fields, as view opposes view. Opinion versus opinion.

A ruler named Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” (speaking as he was to Paul the apostle).

To the average intellect – it is plain to be seen that this Ruler – was somewhat disturbed from his comfort zone, as Paul the apostle presented a message to his ears, and to those close by.

Festus was in a certain place intellectually – and cemented into his own way of going, his own way of living. Set in his ways, as we say – and feeling uncomfortable – he grasped for a response from his own reference data, filed away under the heading of *’my personal philosophy about life’.

Everybody has one of *those, so it is not hard to conclude that he was no exception.

A file containing the things we have established consciously and unconsciously that determines our lifestyle, goals, aspirations, outlook on a myriad of subjects, and – as we think in our hearts – so we are.

Enter Paul – disturber of our certitudes shaker of our mattress and bedclothes – turning-over our bed and throwing us onto the floor of his gospel.

React, react, react. Only way to handle this intruder – who has come to turn our world upside down. This would demand a change in us (were we to entertain it) – therefore ‘much learning does make him mad’, is the most comfortable response. Warding off his intrusion, and the intrusion of Christ.

‘I will stay where I am thank you very much’ – tucked up in the comfort of a bed of half-truths.

Then King (Herod-) Agrippa II, the other man in authority – responded: “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am…”

Acts 26.

Questions

QUESTIONS

What’s in a poem?
What’s in a few lines?
Is life full of new poems?
Full of new lines?

Now you have answered
that question

I call into question –
questioning
Questioning natures –
all shuffling –
clanking together like
freight train trucks
question one – question two
How many questions
before
we are through?

Questioning this and
questioning that
Questioning seems to be
all that we’ve got

You have just resolved
your query
about that bitter pill
next in line – a question – still

“Ask me another…” she said
That’s how we started when
questioning our mother

The questions are higher
and loftier now
They hang in the air –
no experts dismantle
their infinite ponder

I wonder
– as you do
what other questions
are due?

With a sigh and a chew
we ponder
the ‘way up yonder’

Looking for a roll that is called
There’s a Lamb’s book of Life
To contemplate
To gaze on
Seeking the answer to our state

The questions
you question
but see no way through

The answers – we miss
as we pass them by
staring us in the face
We swallow them whole

We prefer more
questions
than the answers
He sought to bestow

Unsettled minds –
cannot rest
on answers
– at their best

Conclude we must
For tomorrow we die
The gravestone’s answer:
here you lie

Yet still the questions
carry on

I would suggest to you
the questions will stop
at the buffer zone

The answer and the question
will both be gone

Through the glass darkly
we see…

The filing cabinet
of questions galore
spilling onto the floor

Questions in limited repose
giving birth to new, I suppose

Members of
the question family
crawling before they walk
trying to answer the anomaly

Questions are good
or not appropriate
and bad
When it comes to
matters of faith

Faith by His word
can be found
Answers triumph over
those who are
‘question-bound’

One more question
Before I go
Will you let answers
enable you to know?

Or again I say…
again I say…
Do questions –
not answers –
make your day?

The Salesman

THE SALESMAN

Subterfuge –
smooth talking guy
Gets under your skin
Doesn’t look you in the eye

Hand on your shoulder
sends a shiver down
Smell the undercover malice
See the off-camera frown

On into his stride spoiling you
with great swelling words
That don’t ring true

On and on he goes
Concluding for you

He asserts:
“sign the dotted line
for what you chose”

“Chose? Chose?
I didn’t choose a thing!”
“Oh but you’d sign all right
if it was free!’’ is his retort

Now the real person is manifest
His countenance has well and truly fallen

You say: ‘out the door please,
thanks for callin…’

Misunderstood?

MISUNDERSTOOD?

Communication all amok
Regardless of the time on the clock
Happens any time of the week
Through any means by which we speak
Social media as it’s known today
Many ways to have your say

But will you have a clue about my words?
If you don’t get it – just listen to the birds
Might as well, when all’s said and done
‘Cause not understanding isn’t much fun
You think I mean a certain thing
But it’s different hymn sheets from which we sing

I make my sentences plain
But you ask me to ‘come again?’
Misunderstanding at an epidemic high
“What antidote is to be found” we sigh
You hear it – as you want it to fit
You reshape my meaning ’til it’s counterfeit

With the eclectic mix of:
‘your guess as good as mine’
Many seek – but never find
Everything’s relative – and nothing’s concrete
Regardless of what is said –
or how much I repeat

The Like button is hit – but I must admit
I still don’t think you’re getting it
Then again how am I to know?
Because your visit is touch and go
A little disconcerting – when
you interpret it
to mean
something I don’t get

“How can they get that-out-of-that?”
They have made it – what it is not
Broadly known as New Age
Pan-everything-ism – out of it’s cage
It makes meaning – mean what it wants
‘I will arrest your words’ it taunts

At the end of the day there is no success
Found in many ‘likes’ – if it doesn’t
Process – information correctly as it should be
You pat me on the back but we don’t agree
I said ‘this’ – you thought ‘that’
Still – no point in entering into combat

I will still be your friend though we disagree
When you don’t see eye to eye with me
Word dilemmas – communication breakdown
You think to ‘credit – where credit’s due’
But It’s misplaced
because it’s not what I meant

I’m thinking –
we all need to repent.

Negative/Positive Truth

NEGATIVE/POSITIVE TRUTH
(Two ‘brands’)

There are many, what we call, negative attitudes carried by all kinds of different people, from all walks of life.

To counteract this there is a ‘brand’ of Christianity that tries to go the opposite direction.

It propagates a positive-speech only message.

Everything must be said in a non-corrective fashion. We mustn’t use any words that give the idea that we are excluding people from the camp.

Everyone should be embraced with the understanding that we all need the Grace of God.

Never point out sin, or give people the impression that you are not an understanding person. That you don’t have sympathy and empathy for them.

Don’t preach at people, accept them just as they are. Give them mental massages, rather than mental messages.

Don’t mention their faults, in case they feel rejected.

Preach lesson 56 in the book of 100 lessons, don’t start at lesson one, per chance it’s something that has a hint of fault finding in it.

Teach them straight away from the spiritual ‘University’ curriculum. Don’t start at the spiritual ‘Primary School’ text books, per chance they feel – you are saying they are ‘stupid’.

What’s that? ‘They have never visited a Christian – ‘school of thought’ – at all?’

Doesn’t matter, throw them in at the deep end of the pool, don’t start by demonstrating the swim strokes, lest they feel disqualified from the Olympic swimming team standards, feeling inadequate because they don’t measure up, through you – pointing out – what they are doing wrong.

This approach says – being positive must not allow the antithesis. Start with adhering to the premise that there are no negatives.

“People need loved not corrected”, is usually how it goes.

And so as this approach to Christian preaching and teaching takes place, (with no balance to it) ‘spiritually’ spoilt children are raised, who have no spiritual backbone and end up flighting from local church to local church. They move around looking for a fresh ‘massage’. (Romans 16/18)

An example of a response from those used to the positive affirmation only message might be: (e.g.)
“Someone told me that they preferred the coat I wore last week than the one I’m wearing now. So I’m out of here. I don’t need that kind of negative talk!’

A lot of this ‘positives only’ kind of teaching/preaching stems from the idea that we must accept people exactly as they are, after all if it wasn’t for the Grace of God, in accepting us, how could we possibly stand?

This is true.

But God has accepted born again believers with the purpose of raising us into maturity, in our walk with Jesus.

To do this He wants to change us. The key to growing in a right way, is knowing how to appropriate the message of God’s grace properly, through our experience of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in our lives.

However the very fact He wants to change us, incorporates the idea, that we are needing to be changed from something to something, in the first place. (II Corinthians 3/18)

It involves a purging process. We cannot be changed from sinful behaviour to that which is acceptable with The Lord God – if we don’t know what the negative behaviour is – that we are meant to be changed from, – in the first place.

We should not sit as ‘holier than thou…’ in our heart attitude to our fellow man. We all need to experience change together. (Isaiah 65/5).

But there is something missing in the ‘positive only’ message, that brings us out of balance into a lop-sided pseudo Biblical stance.

Immediately someone tries to point out what is wrong with others, they are labelled a ‘legalist’, accused of standing with the devil and so on, (and believe me I have had my fill of real legalism).

They get labelled ‘self-righteous’, throwers of stones that they should throw at themselves.

‘Judge not that you be not judged’ is conveniently pulled out of the ‘positive only’ storehouse – a scripture they use not to inform but rather (contradicting their own ethos) to accuse with.

And in reaction to the man who wants to point out that sin is a real problem, that needs sorted (he admits – starting with his own sin first) – low and behold those who are positive thinking (dare I say it – ‘junkies’) start to accuse the same man in language they claim to have previously found abhorrent.

Failing to realise that they are now suddenly in violation of their own positive-only stance, by pointing out (negatively) – the faults of those who point out faults!

The point is – life is both positive and negative. Let’s be real. That’s not only a good place to start – but the only place to start.

Sin is man’s problem and dilemma – to overlook the existence of sin and rebellion and selfishness, to overlook that the world is in, and has always been in – a mess – through rebellion against a Holy and Loving God, is the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ blindness scenario, (a future post on this to come).

NB: The negative (to be pointed out) is sin and the positive is goodness, (the goodness of God) – per chance this (in the context of this post) needs to be clarified.

Now let’s pause here and mention another ‘brand’ of Christianity: The hard-nosed, often hard hearted, religious Pharisaism of legalistic and hell imposing judgementalists, who consider they are specially chosen to condemn the world to hell on God’s behalf.

They condemn everyone and anyone who does not conform exactly to their particular Manifesto.

Condemning and dismissing all and sundry. Imposing the sentence of death and annihilation on anyone who dances on a dance floor, or takes a little wine for their stomach sake, or tries to look clean and well dressed, (such vanity they would claim).

They are they – who strain at gnats and swallow camels, (Matthew 23/24).

Who live in a demonic dictatorship mentality, where they sit as ‘judges of all the earth’. They are ‘soaking wet’ with – ‘cultish’ manipulation and control, with no desire to set anyone free from anything.

But rather they are religiously (hell) bent on getting others to join them and become ‘exclusive’ as the elite propagators of a death cult. (take your pick with regards to what such groups choose as their label, Christian or otherwise), (Matthew 23/15).

So what is missing in these two ‘brands’ of Christianity? (we could mention other religions that pretty much fit these descriptions also).

In the first ‘brand’ there is shallow acceptance, easy believe-ism, addressing their audience as though there is no problem whatsoever, and they are free to join the ‘love-feast’. You are accepted and there is no need to change.

The other ‘brand’ have outward-conformity rules that all must strictly adhere to, there is no promise of ‘Life and life more abundant’. (John 10/10)

Only adherence to their narrow-minded religious rule book, will bring acceptance. Step out of line once – and there you go – on your way to hell again.

(There is such a place as hell, make no mistake, but who is going there, is alone decided by the judge of all the earth, who will do what is right). (Genesis 18/25).

So the obvious word that comes to mind when addressing ‘what is missing’ in both these messages is the word balance.

The term ‘A word in season’ refers to a word that is right for the situation it addresses.

(Proverbs 15/23) -A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
The knowledge we communicate whether negative truth or positive truth, is dependant on the need of the hour.

I needed badly to hear that I was a mess (the negative truth). Before I could reach out for the delivering hand of Jesus Christ. He took me out of my ignorance and unbelief through sin, – into the truth and experience of His Glorious Gospel of Peace (the positive truth), (Romans 3/23) (John 3/16).

I am so thankful for His Saving Grace, that even when I was DEAD in trespasses and sins – He came to point it out and positively offered me his love and companionship, supplying His liberating changing ability to set me free from the dominion of my own selfishness. (Romans 6/14).

Having begun in a relationship with Him – I will not be made perfect by my own unaided willpower, but rather through a personal daily relationship with Him. (Galatians 3/3).

I am so thankful that I saw the need to be guilty first (the negative truth) before I could lose my guilt, as the highest authority in the universe forgave me (the positive truth), (Romans 3/19) (I John 1/9).

(Questions: ken.riddles@btinternet.com)