Category Archives: writing

Poetic Interlude I

POETIC INTERLUDE I

Thought Journey

As you journey on the highway of your mind

And change from lane to lane

you hit the bad roads and jiggle around

Seems there’s no

pothole-free-smoothness to drive

And for a vacation you drift back through time

Leaving bad memories for good

Prose left for the rhyme

Jaunting cars of rickety thought

Intermingle with soundness of cerebral ‘finds’

Then you take-off again on flights of fancy

Like the baseball bases you visit –

running round again with intermittent fun

Where are you going in all this stuff?

You hear the stopping horn and

start to clock-out

With some menial chore to attend to – previously left out

All thoughts abandoned except

the task at hand

Now banish irrelevances for something

more profound

But you just can’t reach it – that lost chord

of a thought

You’re not the man you want to be

And all of this is fraught

with anxiety

You decide to get out of here

Go have a night on the town

But you’re past that now – as you act your age

Living in the present –

Best to make the right decisions count

Everything is held up to the light

You don’t have to struggle or even fight

In this battle of life – time takes you away

To the last round-up of frailty and repose

But solace is here where God is to be found

So lie back after a stretch and a yawn

Tomorrow you can sing another song

Give yourself a certificate of

passed-with-credit

And make your way next time to a distinction

Your life is your own – it is in your power

But when you give it over as daily you should

Don’t lie to God – ask Him to judge

As random thoughts will find themselves together

as-kith-and-kin

Some sense will be made out of

strung-together verse

You stop at the great imponderables for solace

And know you’ll find acceptance

in The Beloved.

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Calling

CALLING

I mentioned in a previous post that the church are the called out ones pertaining to The Lord.

Called.

What do you make of that word?

In Christian and ‘religious’ circles – we often hear that someone has a ‘calling’. Or has received a ‘calling’.

We used to talk of ‘callings’ in life – doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, and other noble professions.

We might ask if that is still the case?

When does a ‘calling’ become just a job?

Called’ – Paul the apostle was ‘called’.

Romans 1/1 – Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

All true Christians are ‘called’.

There is much to say about this ‘calling’. I will only touch on it, in this relatively short post.

Hebrews 3/1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

In this verse – ‘calling’ – has an adjective preceding it. – the adjective is Heavenly. Christians are given a heavenly calling.

A calling that comes to us on earth, but is of a completely different nature and experience, and is spiritual – not earthly, sensual and devilish. (James 3/15)

There is the earthly and the heavenly and they are ‘worlds’ apart.

Notice the heavenly calling spoken of, by the Hebrew writer is something, – as one bible version puts it – to ‘partake’ of.

This calling, of course, refers to our future – coming home – totally translated state – into the heaven of heavens to ever be with Christ. (NB: But not just our future).

We are called to go there – to ever be with The Lord.

So there is a place called heaven (I like to refer to it as the heaven of heavens – so we don’t get puerile accusations that we mean the clouds in the sky or outer space or something…)

But true Christians have already been translated into the kingdom of God, even though our bodies are still upon the earth.

Colossians 1/13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

So the heavenly calling of which true Christians partake of or share in – is firstly and foremostly a spiritual – phenomena, experience and place.

According to scripture we have already been raised up, and are seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2/6 …and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

This is the connection every true believer in Christ experiences, whose spirit has been born unto God through Christ Jesus.

You see Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father. And the new birth – (which is experiencing the result of asking Christ into our innermost beings) brings us into daily contact with the one who is already in the heaven of heavens.

That means we are there also – even though still living in this earthly body.

So the heavenly calling is to be experienced every day. Too often we become ‘earth bound’ in our thinking, and weak in our experience of the heavenly realm that we are called to enjoy in Christ.

Those who do not know (spiritually) The Lord – have only this present earthly, bodily, fallen state of being, to live in.

So can you hear the call?

It comes through the Word of God. How is God going to get your attention as the author of your faith – if you refuse to read the book He has authored? (Hebrews 12/2)

When you ‘expose’ yourself to the Book – you expose yourself to hearing the call.

Romans 10/16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (The Bible)

To hear the call – is to hear the Word.

God has ordained preaching and preachers – it is God’s idea. But there are also false teachers and preachers and prophets.

So turn to the book – to hear the preaching.

And to hear the call to the heavenly relationship God has for all those who will put their trust in Christ.

As you read the book – you will get to know whether God can be trusted in the first place.

Many have a very limited view of God. Based on a few things picked up second-hand over the years. They probably couldn’t even tell you why they believe what they do.

So again – ‘calling’ from God – is into fellowship with Himself. It is of a spiritual nature beginning now in experience and finalising when we pass from this life into His eternal present/presence forever.

That word ‘church’…?

That word ‘church’…?

You probably know that the word church (Gk. ecclesia) apart from other nuances we might speak of – chiefly refers to those who are the ‘called out ones’.

The word sanctified – is to do with being ‘set apart’.

Called out and set apart.

Hmm?

Now of course men love to enter into all kinds of ‘disputes’ over original Hebrew and Greek words, and are often found to …strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Apparently those who do so are blind guides,

Matthew (Amp.) 23/24 You [spiritually] blind guides, who strain out a gnat [consuming yourselves with miniscule matters] and swallow a camel [ignoring and violating God’s precepts]!

Man loves to step into the debating chamber and skew these and other words to make them into all kinds of things.

One commentator, (Not a ‘skewed’ one as far as I know) writes the following. From which I glean he isn’t too happy with the word Ecclesia, or at least, maybe how he perceives what man can skew it to mean (?)- 

He writes – 

In the earlier Greek It was pronounced “ku-ri-a-kos” or “ku-ri-a-kon.” As you can see, this word doesn’t even resemble the Greek word “ecclesia” whose place it has usurped. In the earlier Greek It was pronounced “ku-ri-a-kos” or “ku-ri-a-kon.” 

The meaning of “Ku-ri-a-kos” is understood by its root: “Ku- ri-os,” which means “lord.” Thus, “kuriakos” (i.e., “church”) means “pertaining to the lord.”

As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this comment. But neither is there anything wrong with the message, – that the disciples of Christ form a body of folk who are ‘called out’ of the world system of spiritual darkness.

So let’s take both words on board (ecclesia and kuriakos) – what have we now?

Called out ones pertaining to the Lord.

That’s ok with me!

The use of the word KISS – seems appropriate here?

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

Let’s try. The church is the people. Not a building, not bricks and mortar.

The church are ‘called out – ‘ones’. Just like Christians are Christ – ‘ones’.

‘Ones’ are human. Followers of Christ are human beings, apart from the faithful angelic host who remained in allegiance to The Lord Jesus Christ.

The church – made up of individual Christians – refers to every individual on the face of the earth who is/are the true (the real thing) followers of Jesus Christ.

“Hello out there!  You are part of my forever family, if you are a Christ-one. If you are set-apart, and you are amongst those who are the ‘called out ones’.”

Just think of it – you may not see my face this side of heaven – but you might get an invite to my mansion in the heaven of heavens, when we both arrive there! (John 14/2)

In case there is someone reading this who thinks to themselves – “What presumptuous self-righteousness! – to consider himself sure of heaven”

To think of oneself as so righteous and above everyone else that God is somehow obliged to allow such a presumptuous human being – entrance into His eternal abode – bah!

At this point the thought crosses the mind of yours truly –

“I wonder – if what is obvious to me is perhaps completely unknown to some readers”?

Namely my guarantee of entrance into the eternal heaven of heavens, is based on the fact that (metaphorically speaking) I have signed the contract – but God Himself is the one who has drawn it up!

There is nothing in me  – no good work, no impressive noble thoughts, no wonderful behaviour, in fact in my flesh there is no good thing, that God could be remotely impressed by.

And yet I am going to heaven when I die!

Just one thing gives me entrance to His heavenly kingdom. Just one thing gives me ‘membership’ to the world church of Called out ones pertaining to the Lord. Only one thing enables me to enter the place of being set apart, and only one thing has made me a Christ-one.

In a phrase – The cross of Jesus Christ.

But at this point I better end by allowing God to do the talking:

Psalm 107/2

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…

(I just did)! Redeemed and heading for heaven.

Romans 5/9

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Justified – and I’m justified – in saying – heaven awaits me because I am told I shall be saved from wrath through Him. He (and His sacrifice on the cross) is the only thing I’m relying on.

Acts 2/38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

(I did repent, I was baptised, my sins were remitted and I did receive the gift of the Holy Spirit)

No wrath to come, God with me now and for eternity, Justified, called out, set apart – and I have nothing whatsoever to boast about. Not even any good works that I do!

When it comes to heaven I simply receive the free gift. 

My mind is blown – at this agreement I have entered into with The Living God!

Ephesians 2/8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

Shaken or Stirred

SHAKEN OR STIRRED

II Thessalonians 2/1-3

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,…

Soon shaken in mind – This scriptural ‘turn of phrase’, I have highlighted by underlining it, as you can see.

Because, regardless of the subject it refers to – the experience of being shaken in mind is one we have all had.

There are many examples of this – ranging from spilling a glass of milk – to hearing that a friend has been suddenly taken ill.

Momentarily shaken, (spilling milk) or being shook up for a prolonged period of time (struggling over a friends predicament).

We all know that James Bond preferred ‘shaken’ and not stirred.

But there is a good – being ‘stirred-up’ – and a bad.

The bad – being ‘stirred up’ – is when anger, bitterness and resentment takes over and we seek revenge.

The good – being ‘stirred up’ in mind, – is when we sense fresh resolve welling up within our beings to once again set ourselves to do what is right and good.

Christian or non-Christian can experience this kind of ‘being stirred up’.

Athletes failing to win their race, can feel stirred-up to win the next one. A child failing an exam, with good encouragement from a parent, can feel stirred again to pass the re-sit.

Rescuers trying to reach those trapped, can suddenly feel stirred again by a noise coming from the depths of a pile of rubble, and so redouble their efforts at rescue.

Someone whose father or relative was destroyed by some overcoming weakness or addiction, follow in their footsteps, or get stirred up to resolve that such a thing will never happen to them. 

They stir themselves to not be similarly duped.

So when we are shaken, is it followed by being stirred up?

It certainly is a preferable state of mind.

But notice in this passage of scripture that the shaking referred to can come as the result of different things.

The first source is a ‘spirit’.

Many have come under the deception of spirits – unseen – that propagate lies. Often of the most subtle kind.

Part of the deception they are under is to find it incredulous that spirits even exist.

Many sit with an incredulous mentality that is dismissive of anything spiritual.

Such folks are the easiest to deceive, and spirits know this.

After all if I want to do damage to you, and you know nothing about the source of it – then I have an even greater victory, and can expect no resistance.

Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘word’. There are many voices in the world crying and vying for your attention – many speak to shake us up, to harm us, to get unfair advantage over us, to scare us into submission and so on.

Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘letter’. We can mistakenly assume the source of certain messages and mis-appropriate their source to the wrong person(s).

But many times there is no mistaking the source of the venom.

Emails, social media and all the means of 21st Century communication, take the place of plain old pen and paper, in letter writing.

But they are letters just the same, and can shake us with their content.

Being shaken is similar to being under stress. Many people seem to have no inner resources to call upon as an antidote to stress.

Thankfully Christians can appropriate Christ’s inner strength by faith.

But often as a result of mental shaking – a nervous breakdown can ensue, and many Christians similarly prone to such an experience, testify that it was only their faith in Christ that brought them through.

Shaken by spirits, shaken by words heard, or letters read.

This is where a post such as this is limited, in that, I have highlighted the experience of being shaken, but as yet, have only hinted at solutions.

There is much to say on how to stand, having done all to stand, in these days, when things are beginning to be shaken all around us.

Other blogs may need to be written.

But we know as human beings that avoiding the ‘all shook up’ condition is not always easy.

We spill the milk – and stir ourselves with the words: ‘No use crying over spilt milk’, – sorted – we soon forget it, and move on.

Many in the past, and in the present day, have been shaken to the very core of their beings, and no common quip is going to solve their problems.

In the scripture quoted above the Christians are told not to allow themselves to be shaken from the truth. The truth – as it was communicated at that time – was that Christ as yet had not returned.

Concerning The Second Coming of Christ, we are not to be shaken from what the scripture reveals to us.

There is to be a ‘falling away’ first, and a deceiving, plausible spirit with words and doctrinal ‘letters’ will appear and will deceive many.

Don’t be shaken from believing it to be so, but don’t be shaken either by that same malevolent spirit, who has come to steal, kill and destroy, as he works through men.

In light of the anti-Christ spirit already at work – Look up – all you who believe that Jesus is the Christ – for your redemption draws near!

Starting off again

STARTING OFF AGAIN

I look out across the vista before my eyes, on the outskirts of the city of my birth.

It could be anywhere – any city to look down upon – rather like The Christ of God looked out on the kingdoms of the world in a way we don’t fully understand – once again confirming that God is not God unless there is much we do not understand.

But He was shown the kingdoms of the world by another spirit – who looked for the God-man’s worship.

The only ever perfect man was not for conforming to this world.

He, before becoming a man had created it all, – and now He would not allow the limitations of a human body to overrule the knowledge He possessed – present even before the world was created.

Now His message remains between the pages of scripture. His knowledge (plain to be seen but also hidden) is there for the enquiring mind to find.

But not without His help, – will you or I find

Seek and you will find.

The spirit of the doubt planting ‘If’ – had spoken.

So esteemed was that which was already written – it was sufficient and perfect for the Son of God’s use.

He answered: 

(Jesus said to him) “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

Full story – Matthew 4/1-11 (in the book we have named the Bible).