Category Archives: loneliness

Loving response

LOVING RESPONSE

Folding her dress in lady-like fashion over her knee
She raised her hand to touch her lips to make sure no remaining trace of crumbs could be seen.
She lifted the tea cup and projected her little
finger in courtly gesture.
Sipping the tea more silently than silent
She glanced across the room – side eyed.
Unnoticed she noticed the tall gentleman standing with one hand in his suit coat pocket and his other arm leaning weightlessly against the hotel reception desk.
Did she know him, had she known him in the past?
The curiosity was getting too strong to be ignored.
She must find out what this sense of familiarity meant.
Was it her imagination taking over? Was the compass of her imagination wrongly directing her into the foggy memory realm of her past, so that she was all at sea?
Decorum must be sacrificed. So she stood to her feet and crossing the hotel foyer she walked straight up to the stranger.
“Sorry but have we met?” she stammered.
The gentleman looked lovingly into her eyes, and softly said: “Dorothy, Dorothy, it’s all right, it’s all right – you’re my wife, our room is ready.”

PRECONCEIVED

PRECONCEIVED

It is difficult not to fall into the trap of having pre-conceived ideas about everything under the sun.

In a world of confusion – where black is white, right is wrong, truth has been replaced with half-truths, and lies. When we are bombarded with information (to sort out) per second, per day, who can form any right conclusions?

Next we get ‘False News’.
Many believe the lie, and the lies.

CONFUSION – the Bible says: God is not the author of confusion. (I Cor. 14/33)

There is one who is – though.
He is called the ‘Father of lies’. (John 8/44)
Described as the ‘god of this world’. (II Cor. 4/4)
It’s his job to hide and to keep the world confused, with his hidden influence. (II Cor. 4/2)

To quote a Dob Dylan lyric: speaking of the mind – ‘don’t let an egg get laid in there by something you can’t see…’

And when there is confusion there is every evil work. (James 3/16)

And it will get worse and worse. (II Timothy 3/13)

The dictionary definition of the word ‘preconceived’ is as follows:
pre·con·ceive  (prē′kən-sēv′)
tr.v. pre·con·ceived, pre·con·ceiv·ing, pre·con·ceives
To form (an opinion, for example) before possessing full or adequate knowledge or experience.

Full or adequate knowledge or experience – missing.

When it comes to the major truths about life and death, we must come to a place where we will search until we find, if not full, then adequate knowledge about the options, before we can possibly come to the right conclusions.

It is my suggestion, that ‘…people are destroyed for lack of knowledge’ (Hosea 4/6)

Knowledge leads to experience. Sometimes we have experiences first, that lead us to knowledgeable conclusions, or conclusions based on a proper understanding of the experiences we have had.

Burn your finger in the fire, and through the experience you have gained knowledge.

It changes your life from then on, when you see a fire – you do not allow your hands anywhere near it, – because you have learned by experience not to do so.

Likewise if we are told beforehand the right way of things, and we refuse the knowledge, and do not allow a full or adequate perusal of the knowledge that is being given to us, then we shall have a pre-conceived notion about it, and never come to the experience of the knowledge that is being passed on to us.

Preconceived ideas we already have, can prevent us from proper investigation of the truth (or lie) found in the knowledge someone wants to share with us.

Of course the consequences of keeping to our pre-conceived notions, and not taking the time to investigate will vary.

If I decide not to try a strawberry sweet for the rest of my life, that is lack of experiential knowledge that I can get away with.

If I have a preconceived notion about the here and the hereafter and about what is the best and only route to take spiritually, the consequences are eternal.

…………………………………………………………………..
2 Timothy 3:7
…always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The Decision Maker

THE DECISION MAKER
She stood alone equidistant from the cabin and
the river that went out to sea.
Her long hair echoing the movement of the waving flag as it rose and fell beside her, like a ballerina’s response to the lapping water.
Her dress of curtain lace, way out of date in fashion-land, nevertheless had an unmistakable look of professional quality.
Her feet were shod with silver shoes that shone unexpectedly in the moonlight.
Across her forehead she displayed a band of gold, tied
in a knot just like the rope of the flag.
As she stood poised in decision making mode, she kissed her own hand tween finger and thumb, indicating through hunched shoulders that she was deep in thought about the decision she was about to make.
At last, after eternal moments. she hurried to the riverside. Taking a deep breath she cried out to sea.
Three times she bellowed the same thing. Then she waited.
Again her finger and thumb found their way to her lips. And again she hunched over, this time, in listening mode.
There was no reply to her trumpeted shout. So she turned, hair and dress turning with her in expressive wave, and walked slowly to the cabin resigning herself to – no result.

 

The True Shepherd

THE TRUE SHEPHERD

John 10 (NKJV)

Jesus the True Shepherd
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

I have highlighted in bold the parts of these bible verses that I wish to refer to in a comparatively short post.

(In this passage it is revealed that metaphorically and literally Jesus Christ is both the door and the good shepherd referred to.)

Most assuredly – emphatic assertion – amen – most certainly – just a few of the nuances in meaning of such an opening statement.

As a result we are left in no doubt that the Son of God is telling us the absolute truth. We can be most assured it is true and we need to hear it.

A sheepfold is to be entered into. As with any shepherd he has a place for the sheep to dwell in. A place of safety and health. (We could say it is in Himself)

Spiritually this means what? For the church of Jesus Christ, known as the body of Christ, the sheepfold is that place where all the sheep dwell together.

It is a spiritual reality, and not a sheep shed (material church building). This sheepfold is made up of a worldwide membership, which can be found in all parts of the earth.

Who are the members? Only God can answer that question with 100% accuracy. But true believers, (true ‘sheep’ and not wolves in sheep’s clothing) know each other, when they meet.

The door into the church is of course a metaphor for Christ Jesus Himself (referred to in later verses – not quoted above). Meeting Him guarantees an ushering – into the church, and subsequently heaven itself.

The church is also the kingdom of God. ‘The Kingdom of God’ is where the King is, it is the rule of the kingdom (The Bible), and it consists of the members of the kingdom (His subjects if you like).

Where two or three of the members meet together – He promises to be in the midst. So the kingdom of God is both in the believers (within) and also in the midst of their gathering.

Jesus in His teaching here is both the Shepherd and the Door into the fold (the church).

The sheep hear His voice – and He calls every one of them individually by name and sometimes corporately, when He speaks to them all in one place, or at once, as was often the case.

Wherever He goes the sheep will follow.

When someone else calls them or seeks to take them somewhere else – they will not follow, they do not respond to strangers, regardless of what religion or philosophy they espouse.

Especially when it is not based on the kingdom rule (The Bible).
The sheep will not follow the words of the stranger, that seeks to distract them from the truth.

And true to form many will not understand what all this is about.

Verse 6
but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

The last part I want to highlight is: v4 for they know His voice.
The sheep know His voice. Think about it. The followers of Christ know His voice. Those who are not His followers do not.

But His followers were once strangers to Christ, and He was a stranger to them. When suddenly they became convinced (converted) that this stranger had not come to steal kill or destroy them, like the thief mentioned in this passage.

Rather The Shepherd came to save them, to set them apart to Himself, comfort them, guide them, be with them always, and continue to speak so that recognition of His voice increases.

He came to set them free from a shepherd-less wandering existence.

Suddenly they recognised the only 100% reliable voice in the universe and subsequently they proved Him to be the Good Shepherd, worthy of their allegiance and worship. This usually doesn’t happen overnight, and a period of time of listening to and checking out His voice must take place.

In fact He has preserved this book of the kingdom with all He wishes to say locked up inside it – for those who will at least give Him a chance to state His case, and open it to their understanding.

1 Timothy 4:9-11 (NKJV)
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.

The compassion of Jesus Christ

THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

Matthew 9:36
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with COMPASSION  for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

The compassion and love of Jesus Christ is overwhelming.

However, we can be informed of this love and compassion, without ever meeting the person Himself.

We can read the story of the miracles and the deliverances He wrought in the lives of individuals, and it can just be a story out of history.

It is unprofitable to even begin to defend His existence as a historical figure. Entering into a debate regarding the silly challenge that He didn’t exist. There is no need to waste our time defending the fact, when it needs no defence.

But that His love and compassion is MORE THAN  a historical fact about Him, but rather is a present reality – needs addressed.

Because there is no other way of knowing personally, the authenticity of this love and compassion, other than actually meeting Him for yourself.

God sounds an incredulous tone at the antics of the human race. Over and over we read of how He couldn’t fathom the unbelief of those around Him. Their lack of spiritual understanding seemed to flabbergast the Son of God.

Matthew 16:11
How is it that ye DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

I have referred to this quite often in my writings.

The love of Christ is such that He understands the dilemma man has got himself into – and He offers an escape from it.

The dilemma of the nature we are born with and it’s complete inadequacy when it comes to spiritual matters.

His love and compassion is behind His offer of help.

In innumerable ways His voice (His words) can be heard offering this help – IF  we have ears to hear.

These innumerable ways offered through His words are what we refer to when we speak of Christian ‘doctrine’.

The wisdom of the just is found in the scriptures.

Luke 1:17 (Re: John the baptist)
He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the WISDOM OF THE JUST, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The compassion and sympathy and empathy of the Son of God is overwhelming, but we fail to realise – that it is so.

We fail because our attention span is short. It doesn’t last – we do not pursue His knowledge. We do not hunger for His revelation as we should. Many do not search the scriptures to see if ‘these things are so…’

(Example of those who did…) Acts 17:11
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and SEARCHED the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

We hear a few paragraphs in some Christian message that does not appeal to us straight away (for one reason or another), and so we throw the baby out with the bath water, rather than search, for ourselves, the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Ephesians 3:8 (Paul the Apostle speaking)
[ Purpose of the Mystery ] To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST,

We fail to experience this love and compassion because we do not meet the author of the book – the one we read about, who time after time – healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, cast out devils, and raised the dead.

It is just a story. A story from history – yes – but just a story, UNLESS  there is a way to meet Him now.

Flippant reasoning easily jumps to the conclusion: ‘Well if He wants us to know Him why doesn’t He make it easy, and simply show up at the drop of a hat, or at the whim of my last thought that He should do so..?’

We don’t even stop to consider THE WAY  He has ordained, in order that His creation can return to fellowship with Him.

So the means by which mankind is sidetracked from finding Him are innumerable and we are blind to the fact, that we choose those weak and beggarly excuses to steer clear of this wonderful third person of the Godhead.

Galatians 4:9
But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the WEAK AND BEGGARLY elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

There is one thing the Almighty could not, and cannot, do – and that is lie.

Hebrews 6:18
…that by two immutable things, in which it is IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Numbers 23:19
“GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God is not a man that He should lie. So, as a totally righteous being who cannot sin or lie, it is understandable that He – all knowing as He is – couldn’t fathom the sinful reasoning and incomprehension of his fallen creation, when it comes to spiritual matters. Simply because He has not experienced what it is to be sinful, with all it’s inflicted limitations.

He couldn’t fathom it, because He knew no sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who KNEW NO SIN to BE SIN FOR US, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Until He himself, experienced the nature that He couldn’t comprehend – firstly by becoming a man or taking a man’s body for His earthly habitation, but more importantly by BECOMING SIN ON THE CROSS  – taking upon Himself the nature of sinful man and it’s due punishment – that sinful man might be redeemed and be given a way to experience the DIVINE nature as the Holy Spirit enters his life.

Christ having become a man, is now touched by the feeling of our infirmities because He was tempted in all points like as we.

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of OUR INFIRMITIES; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

1 John 4:2
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is COME IN THE FLESH is of God:

The reason He can have COMPASSION on the lost is also to do with the fact that He tasted (on the cross) the nature that we have – in all its sin, contradictions and failings.

He is a faithful high priest, who knows our every struggle. He knows we want to do what is right, but when we would do what is right – behold we sin instead!

Romans 7:21
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

We struggle and strive to be good and to do what is right by everyone. We strive and struggle to be like Him but (unaided i.e. without meeting Him) we can’t. We fail miserably at trying to be good.

Confirming the truth that there is none good but God Himself.

Mark 10:18
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me GOOD? there is NONE GOOD BUT ONE, THAT IS, GOD.

This is our dilemma – but He understands and daily showers us with long-suffering and patience, giving us opportunity after opportunity to turn and hear what He says.

He has preserved Holy writ (the Bible) in order that man can have access to the story of His love and compassion, in which He clearly states – ‘Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…’ (Matthew 11/28).

Begin your journey today. A journey progressing to your own personal Pentecost (Acts 2).

Seek in order to find.

By faith – we enter into a personal relationship so that the love and compassion we read about – is appreciated not only because it is a true record of the Son of God – but now by His unmerited favour WE MEET THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK HIMSELF.

May you experience the day, when you can echo the words (below) in your own experience:

Romans 5:5
…the love of God IS SHED ABROAD in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

(Capitalisation emphasis mine)

Top of the world?

TOP OF THE WORLD?
(the Lotto winners mindset)

Top of the world
You hear me say
Life is a blast – I’m on my way
No stopping now
No weight on my shoes
Reaching for the heights
Penthouse apartments to choose
No holding back, doing my thing
Money rolling in for material bling
Rich man poor man for better or worse
I’m Getting it all together spilling the purse
Dancing the night away – gold rushing in
For Anything I’ll spend – just giving in
Fad or fancy, spending spree
Money thrown here there everywhere I see
I’ll have one of those and one of those and…
New suits, new shirts, new clothes
Brand new house to occupy me
All guests welcome, please stay for tea
Generation X or something like that
Couldn’t care what I spend, as a matter of fact
Its not running out – as the lotto has been won
No time for anything just having fun
Serious thoughts? Seriously what do you think?
Merry heart medicine to Eat and drink
Hold on a minute – don’t make me cry
Life is more than money you say?
How come? – when it brings all this – hey!
You try to dampen my enthusiastic cash
You try to stop me having a bash
Im too preoccupied to give it a second thought
That life is short and I’m not what I ought
I can’t figure it out, so spend I must do
With this lotto money, spend ’til it’s through
One day I will die and not take it with me
Well sure I know that, but meantime we
Can ignore sound advice
Spend it – on all kinds of vice
Sorry I’m in a hurry can’t stop now
I’ve a plane to catch, to my cash demands
I must bow
You’re trying to talk sense you exclaim…
Talk to me tomorrow – it all sounds so lame
Off to a tropical island where I have a date
I throw caution to the wind and leave it to fate
No analysis of the situation, its under control
I meet every need with my endless bank roll
The moral of the story – you’re going
to give me one?
You keep trying to stop me with incessant interruption…
So I will save you the trouble, there’s no need to persist
The story ends badly
I escape eternal bliss.

Luke 10:
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

The Painter’s Way – The Preacher’s Way

THE PAINTER’S WAY – THE PREACHER’S WAY

He churned them out at a fantastic rate.
Not taking time to put his mind into pre-meditative gear.

He was unaware of how emotionally supercharged he actually was – inside.

He had no concept of what the Preacher tried to tell him. It was just ‘so many words’.

Words heaped upon many other words, piled up, looking entrance to his brain but falling at the doorstep thereof and forgotten.

Painting for him was a religion – but that was ill-defining it in his mind, – as he had no interest in religion.

It was as though he couldn’t help himself – he had to paint.

Trying to listen to words about self-control was too difficult as he had to get back to the canvas.

He couldn’t process philosophy. He just had to paint. To paint, to engross himself in painting, to pursue it, to become transfixed before the accumulative marks he was making, was the struggling zone, the comfort zone, the escape, the pre-occupation of the day.

Hopefully at the end of which he would fall into bed, in short lived satisfaction, sometimes in the early hours of the next morning.

But because the Preacher was kind to him he had to put up with his interventions, and intervening remarks.

He was glad of his practical help.
Nevertheless, at times he felt like telling him to get lost.

It was all religious jargon, even when the preacher tried to couch his remarks in simpler, non-religious terms.

He was a typical undiscovered, misunderstood, underestimated genius.

No he wasn’t!

But he sometimes wondered if he was, and who could confirm it either way?

He knew that deep down inside him there was a reality that echoed up into his consciousness from time to time, but he chose to wrestle with it and then thrust it from his mind as he placed another canvas on the easel.

The preacher was right and he knew it, but it wasn’t cool, the preacher wasn’t cool. It wasn’t of this world and he couldn’t reach it. At least “…that would have to do for now.”

“Do for now” he thought. “Someday the preacher’s way…”

Peace

PEACE
(Press your way through)

If you could have nothing else – would being at peace in and with yourself be enough?

A deep abiding peace.

RIP – rest in peace – but not beneath the earth – for when that comes – there you are – no more.

Peace. What is that to you?

Here’s what it is to me –
Calm mind, feeling of satisfaction. Contentment. Sense of forgiveness. At rest with yourself and your maker. Taking God at His word – relying on His promise of the gift of Eternal Life through heart acceptance of His Only Begotten Son.

A peace that passes understanding. Given to you not as the world gives. Walking with God, not letting your heart be troubled.

Carrying a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.

Learning from the Master (The Lord Jesus Christ).

All of this is part of the abundant life that Jesus offers. Press your way through the crowd and touch Him, by faith.
………………………………………..
Matthew 9:20-22
20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

Pop Festival

Pop Festival

Pop Festival – I suppose that’s what we called it
One in particular was a turning point for me
Plumpton near Brighton, if correct my memory be

With beer in hand – running, startled, at sudden sound
The Festival had begun – this was a beckoning call
Running with a friend – ‘it’s about the music, that’s all’

But the atmosphere on me was dark and lost
I didn’t understand it’s foggy devilment
Only that the darkness was not heaven sent

Extremity of hopelessness – lost and undone
I tried to grasp why? Everything should have been fine
But a battle was ensuing for this soul of mine

I stood up and danced before all
Reaching for the sky for some answer – not found
Feet in the air, but soul on the ground

Inner conflict, doubt, confusion and all
Pain and hurt, depressed, with chagrin
‘Why am I here?’ ‘What has brought me to this bin?’

Many thoughts – none making sense
Laughed at, mocked and told to sit down
Fearful, confused, thinking myself a clown

Ashamed and something else,

I got over it – and carried on my way
Living to fight another day

But many months later
The lost was found
as Grace came after
That shadowy time –
and tears turned to laughter

It’s the way the Christ always works
Drawing near to the tears of despair
Sending to flight the power of the air

Dark and lost devilment
From the heart that cries out
– has to leave –
when faith replaces doubt

Its a strange language to others
when a man can say –
I met Jesus today.