Monday, 31 January 2011

The look of death

I swear I saw the look of death
Behold my eyes on that vivid night
The sight was such a fright it sparked 
A terror unimaginable my soul did have
It drowned my soul and made a hole
Snappy detached her answers hold.
I soon declared to fold my love
To go and cry and reason why
But here I see her bitter heart
Crispy and tough and a mass of stone
The night I witness that deathly look
I threw my hope of love to drown!


What I feel when I sing to God in the congregation

When I stand in the congregation to sing, I am immediately taken over by a strong colourful affection for the sweetness of His face. Oh I feel in my heart an upward journey towards his throne of grace and all the while He showers me with tender kisses. And when I behold His adorable face I dare not open my earthly eyes for I am so far gone into His presence. My heart is fully set upon His glory. I am moved a million times more than the sea in my happiness and it is a shame that the praise is but for 20 or so minutes. I would gladly sing all day and night eagerly moved with all manner of affections accordingly as He would have me feel. My soul is often alone but bathed with tremendous peace and joy that even in my worst despair I feel in my inmost being His satisfaction. But I am never truly alone for He is with me and will always be with me until that glorious reunion when I shall meet Him bodily and then we can with unimaginable laughter stroll the park of the new earth with a host of saintly company.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Do you fear that you will fail again tomorrow?

I fear my soul that I will fail, if I should promise once again
I fear the hurt it will bring, despair will swallow up my mood.
What should I do? I wish to run, to live and dance
To sing and laugh for my God. 
But here I am once again, fearing tomorrow’s breath again.
So I’m still as a useless tool but this is far from my design. 
If I be as I am, the devil wins and the kingdom pass.

A voice I heard with wise words say
“Take no thought for Tomorrow’s pain
Tomorrow’s day will take its pain
Remain your heart in today’s gain”.

If you are crippled by failure and fear that tomorrow you will fail again, do not worry so much about tomorrow’s failure today but rather rest in the forgiveness of Jesus today and let that dictate how you live your life tomorrow. This will free you from the fears of tomorrow’s failure.


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Beware of self-righteous performance

Some have imagined themselves to be dedicated to the Lord by their good deeds, by paying close attention to their manner of life, to their external duties and having a powerful zeal for the works of charity but all the while this were all to advance their cause and acceptance before God. Many rest upon their duties for their security before God and when these things are found to be lacking they fear that God must not love them anymore so they are reduced to fear and despair. This shows that their works are founded upon the pillars of self righteousness and not under the blanket of His divine grace. Those who are disposed to such avenues find time and time again to be entirely useless in keeping on the narrow path for a mountain appears before them which is insurmountable to climb. Even saints whose eternal abode are secured are apt by their fleshly wants to return to the works of the law wherein their performance dictates the nature of their acceptance before God. Thus a little neglect of divine things is enough to see them imagine that their position before God  has changed and that God now beholds them with a frowning hate and so they seek to counter it by works in order to be right again.

If you are one of these souls, like myself who is apt to perform secret duties in self-righteousness rather than having a better principle of performing them to the glory of God, I eagerly advise you to pause and stop. Consider your doings and entirely reflect upon your ways. Do you suppose that by the works of the law any man will be justified before God? Certainly not; for all have sinned and  fall short of the glory of God and all will continue to fall short of the glory of God. By works shall no man be accepted before God and if this is so, should you not settle this in your heart and forsake any notion of self-righteous performance? Absolutely; for this hill will only injure your soul and give you a false sense of security which it has proved so far and ought you not to seek a better foundation for your works? Ought you not to seek a better end for your doings?

Yes. You ought to seek a better end for your works and that to the glory of God. But before such end is acquired, you must first survey the cross of Christ. What do you see on your look? Do you see another man, a criminal or do you see the Son of God? It is indeed the Son of God. This is the cross on which the prince of Glory died. Although He was equal with God this man emptied himself and became nothing, humbling himself to be crucified on a Roman tree. See, from his head, his hands and feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down, he hangs there all for you so that you may be accepted while He was rejected. See those nails that pierce his hands, see those blood that dribbles down, see those eyes that looks to the sky, it is for your sin he died. He has finished your work for you and sets you a free man to play with him in His paradise. His cross has broken the curse of the law; you are now under grace, a free man to work for him not for debt as you owed before but for pleasure and joy in which He provides. Is this not a better work to be employed in? certainly; for your duty is born out of love for Him who died for you.

Therefore,  forsake any thoughts that promotes pride in self and seek not to do your works in order to be accepted or loved but pour contempt on it all and survey the cross on which the prince of Glory died. Then will all your good frames be founded on a desire for the glory of God rather than self-righteousness.


You only need to wash your feet

It was just the hour before the Passover and Jesus knew that his hour had come. The hour where he was to be crucified, to be hanged on a tree, to be mocked and tortured had come. Jesus knowing this set aside his disciples and knowing who He was, which is the Son of God, the eternal Word made flesh, wrapped a tower around his waist, poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet. He said to Simon Peter, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not everyone of you”. Jesus explained the meaning of this duty that his disciples should do as He has done for them and that no servant is greater than his master, nor a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Then Jesus says something interesting which shows that active obedience is required of his disciples. Jesus said ‘Now that you know these things, you will be blessed when you do them’.

This blog is not an exposition so the focus is not in exegesis but rather to draw out a Christian principle of why as Christians we only need to wash our feet. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in the sixth chapter of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians saying ‘…and that is what some of you were. But you where washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God’, vs11.

If you call yourself a Christian today, you have been washed, you have been sanctified, you have been justified and these are immutable, unchanging and unalterable. You will remain washed until the day of redemption and thus you have no need to fear hell or to be laden with guilt to such an extreme that you dear to disbelieve this promise. This brings us to the saying of Christ when he tells his disciples, ‘those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean’. Have you not had a baptismal bath in Christ my fellow believer? If affirmative then your whole body is clean and you have only need to wash your feet. By this we mean for you to continually wash off the sins that remains in you, the sin which dirties your feet but can by no method destroy your heavenly assurance. But we implore you for the sake of your pilgrim joy to continually wash your feet from the stains it has acquired from this world so that like a soldier you are fully employed to your masters bidding rather than entangling yourself in civilian duties.

Is your feet stained with pride, lust, anger, impurity, self-indulgence, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, fits of rage, selfish ambition, rebellion, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. Is your feet stained with these and more and have you not found it an hindering to your heavenly progress. Has these not at times suffocate your happiness and have you not to your own detriment been reluctant to wash your feet. Suffer yourself no more but come to the fount where Christ as He did with the disciples will also do with you. But how you may say ? Hear the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 13:14, ‘rather put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires’. And this putting on of Christ is to be done daily and in doing so you will continually have clean feet and the stains will be no more.

You may say but how do I put on Christ so that I may have clean feet? The answer to this question is best given in the way of application. If you are bored, lonely, tempted and have an urge to sin, do not sit on your bed and fantasize, or seek relieve from alcohol or drugs which brings you into further darkness but in these moments put on Christ and you will not make provision for the flesh to gratify your sinful desires. To put on Christ in your moment of trial means to turn to Him, to gaze upon his wonderful face in prayer, in His words (the bible), in meditation of his works, in praise and worship and in fellowship with those who bear his image. And you will see temptation flee from you as the night flees at the entrance of the sun. Next time you are tempted, wash your feet by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ who is forever blessed. Amen


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Rene and Poet - part 5

Above the earth, the sun beams shines on the green pastures where Rene and Poet lay with affectious fondness for one another. Poet has just awoken and while asleep Rene analysed his frowning expressions and then asked him what brought him such sorrows.

Rene: You must tell me your dream, my loving Poet, your expressions brought a great sense of sadness to my soul, what worries you?

Poet: Ah Rene, the sun shines like the radiance of her beauty and this grass displays the bounty of her laughter. I dreamt of her again but I had to forbid my willing tears to flow. She is the soothing source where all my sorrows pour and the source of which my grief endures.

Rene: What brought about such misery?

Poet: I found myself with another youth walking to a house near the street. It was adorable and the air was the most comfortable to breathe. We entered after being greeted by a man of lovely features, smart and eloquent in his speech and wonders were hidden in the staring of his blue eyes. I could not look away until a greater beauty flooded my eyes. It was her, dressed in a colourful dress with hearty designs of bright and dark colours. She wore a brown purple scarf  with black stockings to display a tower of modesty.  On top of her God given carefully made figure, she wore a black open Jacket and I stared with eyes of love that such a beauty I have never uncovered nor will be found among the daughters of Eve.

I noticed that she was dressed for Him and immediately for my sake of not possessing her, tears translucently dropped from my eyes. It was a witness to my sorry affections and she noticed my disposition and with a gentle stroke she drew near and beseeched what the matter was with my gentle face.

Then I awoke, sweet Rene, it was a horror, but it is but a dream, an awakening dream that tells me that I must make my move soon before she falls under the spell of another of Adam’s offspring.

Rene: Oh Poet, your light hearted heart cannot bear such dreams, rise with me and we shall venture to my mansion and eat a feast.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Thank you God for my pain

Last night, I was inflicted with a pain unbearable that it brought me to my knees in the prayer room grasping for breath and laying face down struggling to stand. I could not pray for my head was throbbing with severe headache as if needles were jabbing me from the inside of my head. It was uncontrollable and with the little strength I had, I picked myself up and hurried as fast as I could to my house on my half injured leg. I immediately opened the cupboard door and took two ibuprofens which helped calmed my storm a little but the pain shot through my head almost through the night as I could not sleep but dwell in darkness hoping and praying that the pain would go away. I would have wished the pain to be anywhere else but my head and at times I wished for my soul to depart from my body if this pain could cease. I was a terrible soul and the devil saw it an opportunity to afflict me with spiritual guilt but I countered it with the imputed righteousness of Christ.In my pain I felt I had received the sentence of death, that I despaired of life itself if this pain was to remain but God delivered me and used it to His glory

But in my pain, I thanked God for He meant it for my good, (Galatians 4:13-14). During this trial the Holy Spirit made me reflect on those who are suffering and especially those who are heading to hell. My pain is but momentary but the pain of hell is for eternity and what I suffered last night does not compare to the sufferings of hell and I prayed that no one should enter it if this is the pain that would be afflicted to their souls. Through this trial the Lord awakened in me a renewed passion for lost souls and those who are suffering. He kindled in me a praying compassionate Spirit and zeal to focus my attention on those who are suffering and those yet without Christ. The torments of hell will be horrible and at times I despaired and reasoned within my soul, that why O Lord will you inflict them with such darkness but I was rest assured that the Lord only does good and whatever He inflicts would be just and reasonable to what they deserve.

Thank you God for such pain as last night for you used it for my good and have made me more earnest in my duty. Oh that I may not loiter on my heavenly journey and to not entangle myself with petty trifles. Focus my mind O Lord and let me live each day, each hour and each second to your glory in the hope that millions will be relieved of suffering especially eternal suffering.


Monday, 24 January 2011

The Joy of Confession 7

Sinner: Dear Sir, it is too much for me; it is to much for me. I feel I have no more strength left to bear. I am weak with emotions and the fear of failure grips my heart and I feel a miserable soul. I reflect upon my life and I have no moment of being proud, none at all. My existence is meaningless for I have exceedingly falling short. I wish to die, to relieve myself of this pain, to go to sheol where there will be no traces of my conscience. Oh Sir, help me if you can for if I should leave here without oil to my head, I do not know whether anyone will see me alive again. I hate the world but I am trapped, I have shut myself in and driven away all help. The darkness I feared but I thought I could love it so I dwelt alone. Help me sir.

Sir: I tell you the truth my son, it is good that you are beginning to fear the darkness here before you depart to the place that you want to go. For you see, the darkness here compares not to the darkness hereafter. The darkness you taste now is but an appetite, a mere starters of the full course terror that awaits those who dwell in sheol, who are found to be in hell. The misery there is infinitely worse than the worst torture here. I thank God that he has opened your soul to unimaginable pain and that he has brought you here to find relief for your soul. Many men have suffered twice as you before they departed and when they entered into the abyss their injury was infinitely multiplied and for all eternity will have to endure the awful darkness. But it is not to be so with you for I shall give you a message, a valuable message that is able to lift you from your darkness.

Sinner: Tell me this message Sir, please Sir tell me.

Sir: I shall tell you my son, you only need open hears and a receptive heart and you shall witness the darkness flee from your eyes. Take heed and listen. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that Life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Sinner: How can I have this light sir which my darkness cannot overcome?

Sir: This true light who created the world and everything in it came into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

Sinner: How do I recognize him sir? Have I missed my opportunity, oh I pray that I may find him. Where is he sir, which part of the world did he come to?

Sir: He came to that which was his own, yet his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become the children of God. He is the light of men and whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.

He comes to you now, through this invitation, he is asking of you to receive him now. He is present and if you truly believe in his name, his name is Jesus Christ, and if with all of your heart you are willing to follow him, he will come right now to you and dispel your darkness. Are you willing to receive the light of your life?

Sinner: I am sir.

(He prayed for the sinner for an hour and so and explained more to him about this light of life. The sinner went home rejoicing and he found a new peace inside of him that never again he felt alone although times were hard, yet the light always overcame his darkness).


Sunday, 23 January 2011

What is it that you love to do oh man of God

What is it that you love to do oh man of God?

"I love to pray and praise in the secret of my room. I delight myself in the presence of God and saviour, I belong entirely to my Saviour and I have no better joys than when I am found in His company. I sit by his feet and digest his words, in all conditions of my soul I have been found there. In my sadness I saw his tears aligned with mine and he touched the brow of my eyes and showed me His glory. When I am a rebellious spirit He reminds me of His tender love and shows me His nails; my soul weeps and draws near to his smile, he steadily rebukes me in gentle grace and sets my feet on the level path. When I am drawn to find satisfaction in other things, He breaks the bread and pours the wine and he gives me to eat and drink and lo I am found to be full. Oh My sweet God is all for me, I love to do His errand, to do his duty and to engage in those things which pleases Him. I love him, my soul Loves him and more of Him I want, I am full and yet thirsty, thirsty for more of Him. Is there any other lover like him in the whole universe; there is not, His love is to extravagant. I could tell you many stories of His love but I shall tell you one. He laid down his life for me, he died on the Roman cross for me, he carried his cross so that I could take up mine, He was crucified and he bled and died so that I could live. But He lives for He rose again from the dead so that I may be like Him and dwell in perfection where our love and life will be eternally bliss and delightful and should forever be like a full grown flower in the summer season".


Thursday, 20 January 2011

The goal of Christian service may not be what you think it is

People serve others for many different reasons; some serve out of guilt and others serve out of duty. Some serve out of love and others out of hate in other to get revenge. There are many different motivations why people choose to serve others but the motivation for there service is ruled by the end goal that the server wishes to accomplish. By this I mean for example, a man may set up a charity shop to help in the fight of defeating breast cancer, his motivation for starting the charity was because his wife recently died of breast cancer and thus his overall goal his to stop breast cancer therefore he sets up a charity shop and the death of his wife being the motivation. Another example would be that of a man who hates the fact that people don’t have access to clean water. His overall goal is to create this access and his motivation is that he wants people to have access to drinking water. These are all good motivations and good goals but the goal of Christian service goes beyond the prevention of a disease or solving the problems but rather it is to make people see our service and then to glorify and give praise to God. The goal of Christian service is to ultimately bring those whom you are serving to praise our heavenly Father.

This may sound shocking to some* but when you truly look at it, this is the best possible goal to have in serving others because God is the ultimate reality of our joy and happiness. When we work towards this goal in our serving, we love those whom we are serving infinitely more because we are not just catering for their physical needs but also their spiritual needs as well. This is not to say that you bombard people with evangelistic material in your serving but rather you display such love, care and affection so that when people see your good works they may give glory and praise to your Father who is in heaven.  For example, why did Jesus become a servant? Romans 15:8-9 answers this question and it says that ‘For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy’. Also the verse before (vs. 7) says that Christians should accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God. Jesus said on the sermon on the mount, ‘let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’, Mathew 5:16. And 1 Peter 4:11 says that ‘If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen’.

The goal of Christian service is ultimately to make people glorify God, and in this goal is rooted in us a passionate love for our neighbours, an undying love that even though persecution comes our way yet we will serve them because we want them to know God and to glorify Him. Consider the works of missions, when Christianity was spreading rapidly in the first century, no one wanted the Apostle Paul to come to their village but he went and served as a faithful servant because he wanted people to praise God. Having this goal will also motivate the Christian to serve in difficult places in places where the secular man may feel a remote and dangerous place or it could cost their lives so why bother. The Christian will bother because his ultimate goal is to make people see the goodness and love of God so that they may praise this God and not perish forever.

Of course not everyone will submit and praise God, but do we serve them less? Absolutely not. For we love everyone unconditionally and serve them with all of our strength and might in the hope that they will come to faith and accept the free gift of salvation. This is the greatest of goals because it satisfies the physical need as well as the spiritual need. So, when Christians are serving for justice for the oppressed, providing clean water for the poor, feeding the homeless and visiting the widows our end goal should always be that people may see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven. This should be our ultimate goal and we should never be satisfied at nothing less. Jesus came into the world to glorify His Father and in that process of glorification he sacrificed all that he had in love and we became the beneficiaries of such love and sacrifice. In the same way let us serve others so that they may glorify God and in that serving we would display the highest love we could ever give to our neighbours and the greatest gift, our life.

Today, serving at the wild goose café which is a café that serves to feed the homeless, the manager of the café prayed a prayer before we opened the doors. He prayed that the good works that we do here in the café will hopefully bring people to Jesus for that is the ultimate purpose of our existence as a cafe, (the words are paraphrased). When we serve with this goal we love our neighbours infinitely more than we ever could if we only end with the goal of physical satisfaction.


*Some may say but why not just serve people just for the sake of love without the end goal of them praising God?  An answer to this objection for the Christian is that genuinely love is for them to know God and to praise God for that is why were created; to glorify God. Therefore true love is serving people to this end and to save them from the judgement and wrath of God by pointing them to the mercy and love of God which is found in Jesus Christ. If the Christian does not serve to this end then the Christian is not loving his neighbour because he knows that when the poor man, or the oppressed or the man without access to clean water dies, each will face God and His eternal Judgement and Jesus is their only hope.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I must avoid your face

I must indeed avoid your grace
And set a pace between our taste.
It looks as if I ignore your look
The if is true I must not speak directly to you.
To be again one on one
Will melt my heart and kill my mind
For such affections I wish to flee
Such emotions I seek to leave.
Forgive me for the neglect I show
The new term flows I hope it goes.
This passionate love I must unclench 
This season must grow a stone of flesh.
To do this trial hurts me much
But one-sided love would kill my life 
I must indeed avoid your grace
To catch my breath and live again.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

You are my favourite one

My Heart has been hard for too long
To tough to succumb to your love
                       I played the part of the hypocrite 
All the while I was fading inside

It was sin which hurt my soul
My failures have made me numb
                         I could not lift my eyes to thee
For fear I should fail again

Your rain poured but I shielded my soul
I ran but couldn’t go too far
                       I feel ashamed to eat your bread
So I plea for the crumbs which falls thereof

I, now a miserable soul
Afraid to fall once again
                               I remain a distant from your shore
Satisfied, here I couldn’t disappoint you once more

Then I heard my name
                          ‘You are my favourite one
                              What are you feeling, 
Why so far away’.

I replied 
                              ‘Jesus Here I am
                    I am after your heart after you 
           But how do you feel of me, of my failures?’

He replied 
                          ‘You are my favourite one’.


There is a song by Misty Edwards called favourite one. click here

Monday, 17 January 2011

Who gave Christians their Identity and to what purpose?

Perhaps the question ‘who gave Christians their identity’ is to easy a question and everyone in the congregation would say ‘God gave us our identity’, and then you may ask, ‘but to what purpose?’ The congregation at this stage may pause a while to think and doubtless there would be different answers from the church. But which is correct? The bible illuminates with great gravity the answers to both of the questions asked above.

There are numerous passages in the bible that identifies what exactly our identity is but here we are to focus on two passages which speaks volumes of who we are in Christ, of who gave us this identity and what the ultimate purpose of our identity is. Some Christians may be struggling through a severe identity crisis. They may perhaps be trying to figure out their role in society, their role in the world, what is their status and their ultimate purpose. If you get your Identity right and truly know who you are in Christ Jesus, this will transform the way you live your life and your relationships.  The first passage which illuminates what our identity is in Christ is in Ephesians 1:3-14:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

We see in this passage that Christians are given their Identity by God the Father. He was the one who chose you before the foundation of the world before you was born, He chose you specifically and gave you an identity. The Identity He gave you is rooted and founded in His love for you and He establishes your identity in Jesus Christ His Son. Without the death of Jesus on the cross you would have no God given identity* but because Jesus died on the cross you are bestowed with the amazing Identity of  being chosen, of a son, redeemed, forgiven, blessed and God’s possession. Because you are a son, you inherit everything, because you are forgiven you can come into God’s presence at any time and because you are redeemed you belong to God. God the Father gave you your identity which is rooted in Jesus Christ and the chief purpose He gave you such an undeserving and amazing identity is so that you may be to the praise of His glory. You have your identity so now you are to live in it to praise God and glorify His name.

The second passage is found in 1 Peter 2:9-10:  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Peter explicitly declares the identity of a Christian and also affirms the solemn truth that Christians are a chosen people and God’s special possession.  Peter declares who the Christian is, the Christian is chosen, pitied (received mercy), God’s possession, Holy and a royal priesthood. We receive our identity from God and it was Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. You are in the light of God and you can enjoy a sweet relationship with him because of your identity. God gave us our identity before the foundation of the world and when He calls us effectually (He calls his own sheep by name.. and his sheep will follow him because they know his voice, John 10:3-5) we respond and live in light of our new identity. Once again the reason why God gave us our identity is so that we may declare his praises. We are to declare the name of God, to worship Him and present him to our society, to our neighbours, to our enemies and to the world. When we live in the light of our identity, the world will indeed praise God and marvel at the grace in which He gave us.

Therefore, as a Christian, how are you to view yourself in a culture where self-concept and self-identity is daily discussed and dictated by the famous. It is easy to get lost in the frequent transformation but the Christian has a solid identity which is eternally fixed and we are to live our lives in this God given identity. Ultimately our identity is given to us firstly to relate to God and for his glory. Therefore we are chosen, forgiven, redeemed, sons and daughters,  blessed, a royal priesthood, pitied, Holy and God’s possession. God has done this for us, this is who you are now and nothing less. We are to make the excellencies of God to be known and to display who He is through our new found identity.


* It is to be said that all humans have a general Identity that is that we are all made in the image of God and therefore we are all important. Our lives have value and meaning but this image has been marred and twisted that we fail to reflect this image perfectly. God is doing a new work and if you are a Christian, this image has been restored and to a greater degree because we have been made like the 2nd Adam who is Jesus Christ.

Why was Man created?

Perhaps you have looked at the wonders of creation, the excellencies of the universe, the vast array of different materials filled with all kinds of beauty; or perhaps your reflection is bent towards the ugliness of creation, the corruption that fills the universe which manifest itself in chaos and destruction and you are forced to ask yourself the question, ‘why was Man created and what is Man’s purpose?’ Is there a universal purpose for the existence of man and if there is how are we to know it? Can Darwinian evolution give us a satisfactory answer, or do we look to the different philosophies of man and adhere to its conclusions? Each man may look under which ever rock he feels persuaded to search but I will search for the answer in a book called the bible in which the Creator Himself as given us the reason for why He created Man.

The Bible in its opening verse declares that ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth’, Gen 1:1. The subsequent verses details how God created all that we see and then finally of how He created Man (male and female) in His own image. But did God create Man because He was lonely? Was God bored and tired, was He unhappy because He had no one to love but himself? Was God like a child who had no one to play with in His park and then decided that He would fill it with man in order to defeat His loneliness and boredom? This perhaps may be true for a singular god with one person in his being but it is not so with the God of the Bible. The God of the bible is a Trinitarian God* (Father, Son and Spirit) not singular but Trinitarian. Jesus explains this concept when He says to His Father in John 17:5&24, ‘And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began…because you have loved me before the creation of the world’. Jesus in his words tells us perfectly what God was doing before the creation of the world and that was that the Father was loving the Son. This tells us that God was not a bored deity who created man to cure his loneliness but rather God was loving His Son with delightful pleasure and that God was eternally satisfied and had no deficiency that He should create man out of necessity. So, if Man was not created because God was lonely or that God needed man, then  why did God create man?

The bible sheds direct light on this question and the answer it gives showers man with tremendous privilege and purpose. Psalm 115:3 says ‘Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever He pleases’. Psalm 86:9, ‘All the nations you have made will come and worship before you O Lord; they will bring glory to your name’. Isaiah 60:21 ‘Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the works of my hand, that I might be glorified’. In Isaiah 43:7 God speaks of His sons and daughters from the ends of the earth as those ‘whom I created for my glory’. It is shown that the reason God created Man was to the praise of His glory. He created man not because he was bored or lonely but that man may reflect His glory in the world. In order for man to be able to reflect God’s glory, it is written that God created man in His own image. Out of all of God’s creation it is only said of man to be made in the image of their creator. Because this is so, it means that man is like God and represents God in a unique way which other created beings could never reflect. Man was made to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever and that is why it is also written that we are to ‘do all things to God’s glory’.

But we look at the world and it may look to us a sad picture and that is because Man has fallen short of its purpose which is to reflect the glory of God, that is why Paul writes in Romans 3:23 that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. We have all failed to reflect the glory of God and the universe looks to us a bleak purpose, a meaningless existence and a loveless place. This is because Man has departed from its Image and we have become marred like a marred clay. But there is hope, there is hope to return to our true image and to our true likeliness and to once again reflect the image of God throughout the earth.  This hope is in the good news of Jesus Christ, that God so loved the world that Jesus Christ His Son came into the world in which he created to come and die for us on the cross, so that those who believe and trust him will be made afresh, made new in the attitudes of their minds and  will be created again to be like God in true righteousness and Holiness, Ephesians 4:24. This is why it is also written of those who believe that ‘we, who were the first to put our hope in Jesus Christ, might be to the praise of God’s glory’, Eph 1:12.

God does what ever He pleases and before creation began the Trinitarian God was eternally satisfied and needed nothing, not even man; but in Love, in perfect joy God created man in His own image so that man may reflect His glory and live to worship God and enjoy God forever. This is why David said in Psalm 16:11 ‘In your presence there is fullness of joy, in your right hand are pleasures forever more’. Jesus declares in John 10:10 that, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly’. Live according to your purpose and you will witness how your life will be filled with joy and praise because that is what you were created for. God is a forgiven creator and He loves his image bearers and no matter what you may have done or failed to do, God welcomes you back with open arms because of the death of Jesus who died for you and was raised from the dead so that you may be accepted.

*For a more in depth explanation on the trinity click here


Saturday, 15 January 2011

She seems to me a lovely scene

She seems to me a lovely scene
A play with bright sparkling themes.

She centres the stage; all eyes are fixed
Captivating the audience with her light speech.

Her golden eyes have done it for me
Her diamond smile sees me still

She stares my face, she stares again
Perhaps a chance lay my way

I dare to dream that our love be real
I’ll drink the sea for hers to be

She seems to me a lovely scene
A play with bright sparkling themes.


Psalm 8 - An exposition

One commentator on this Psalm commented that ‘this psalm is an unsurpassed example of what a hymn should be, celebrating as it does the glory and grace of God, rehearsing who He is and what He has done, and relating us and our world to Him; all with a masterly economy of words, and in spirit of mingled joy and awe’. This psalm magnifies the glory of God in creation and how God is able to use the weak things of this world to shame the strong. Are you a timid soul? Rejoice for God is able to use you to His glory and praise. Let your feet dance that this mighty God does not overlook the weak and the poor but he delights to crown them with glory and honour.

Vs 1 LORD, our Lord. Here is an immediate recognition that Yahweh is our Lord, that He is our God. He is the God of Israel, the champion of mercy and the Lord of glory. He is incomparable and unrivalled, He is undisputed and worthy to be praised. Our God is great and sweet thus the psalmist declares how majestic is your name in all the earth. Pause here a while and consider the majesticness of God. He is the all wise God, three in One, uncreated, self sustaining, all powerful, His love never fails. He moves in mysterious ways to perform His wonders, His purposes are unfolding every hour, and yet we may ponder on His majesty for all eternity and not come to a fitting end. His excellencies are awesome, no words can describe or reach the depths of how excellent it is and thus an exclamation and praise is sufficient to express the wonder of His name. The excellencies of Jehovah is not only majestic in Israel but it is majestic in all the earth. You have set your glory in the heavens. The earth alone cannot contain the majestic nature of God namely His glory and thus it is spread across the whole universe, it fills every corner and cringe and yet it is not enough. Heavenly creatures are in advantage to daily witness in sight the wonders of God’s glory for they see it in its radiance of splendour. When Ezekiel was privilege to have a vision of God He described God’s glory like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds of a rainy day.  And we who are called here below, have the gospel preached to us, we have the Son of God, the sum of all God’s glory and we may behold Him with the eyes of our mind and rejoice in His sweet glory. The children of God have a greater advantage than the heavenly creatures for this Glory we may know intimately and the by this Glory are being transformed from one degree of glory to the next. Oh I declare My God and Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, how delightfully majestic is your glory!

Our God is a glorious God who reigns with power and majesty and He subdues all of his enemies without effort. He only needs to move His fingers and all of His foes would soon scatter and dispersed to the end of the earth never to rise again. He only needs to send forth His lightning and bend His bow, He perhaps may rain thunder and brimstones to silence His enemies but we see that Our God is an infinitely wise God and He has prepared another way to silence the rebels. Vs. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Did the children of Israel not cry out ‘Hosanna!’ when they witness the arrival of their Christ? With joy they declared their Hosannas and did it not silence the enemies of Christ and thus God’s enemies. We answer in the affirmative. The Pharisees were brought low by the testimony and praise of children and infants.  The so called wise men of this world cannot dispute with the inexpressible joy of the saints and the weekly gatherings that sees many poor and weak souls brought to their knees to declare the praises of God. No reason could break such a chord  and wise men are left silenced and flabbergasted. The Marty’s of old died with sweet joy declaring the faithfulness of Christ and thus sang their way with praises to heaven silencing any satisfaction of their adversaries but glorifying God.  

Vs 3. When I consider your heavens. Oh here is a reflective man, a considering man, and what better things  to ponder upon than the heavens of God, than the works of the creators hand. It is a marvellous task to endure in such activity and many who have considered the heavens above have been left with an in-print of awe upon their souls for the magnitude of the universe is beyond comprehension. One can only look and marvel at such a creator and minds who are wise would immediately bend their knees and praise such a creator for a wonderful creation. An artist work displays his glory and excellency likewise the heavens display the glory of God. But what we see now does not compare to what we shall behold in the new heavens and the new earth for this creation is marred with sin, it has been corrupted and yet it declares with a sounding speech the glory of God. The works of his hands, the moons and stars, yea those burning lights in the sky are millions of years away from us but yet we see the sparkle of their awesomeness. The sun lights our way and yet it is but a shadow an unworthy shadow of the true glory and radiance of God. God is a kind and gracious creator, his works is filled with beauty and love. He takes the uttermost care in His designs that physicians and scientist are driven to their most intellectual heights and yet cannot comprehend the vast measure of discovery that yet alludes them. Will you not consider the works of the Lord and marvel at them? Will you not join the psalmist upon a humble consideration and say when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, vs. 4 what is man that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them. Notice that the heavens and the earth belongs to God, it does not originate from an evolutionary process but from the fingers of God, it bares the fingerprints of Yahweh and thus only Him is worthy to receive glory and praise. Heathens in the past and present have been foolish to worship created things rather than the creator , they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to like reptiles, birds, mortal humans and animals; this is despicable and an abomination; their condemnation is just. We must not be found in the same shoes, but we must rightly give glory to God and worship Him alone. Indeed creation is vast and large and the humbled soul will declare with great humility to His God that what is man that you are mindful of them, human beings that you should care for them. Job under different circumstances asked the same question, Job asked ‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? Will you ever look away from me or let me alone for an instant? (Job 7:17-21). Indeed what is man? We know that man was made in the image of God, in His perfect image He created them. Man is to be after God’s own heart reflecting his glory and displaying it for all creation to marvel. Man was the crown of all God’s creation for it was after the creation of man that God rested. Man was placed in the garden, the paradise of milk and honey, the paradise of steadfast love and life. Man had the presence of God at hand and could see with fleshly eyes the wonderful nature of God. But oh, look at how man has fallen, they trampled the law and defamed His holy name. God should have longed abandoned man to their vices but neigh our God loves His creation and yet He still loves man with an unquenchable love that leads the Psalmist to reflect that what is man that you are mindful of them, human beings that you should care for them. The care of God surpasses that of a Mother or a nurse especially towards His elected ones. For He knows when they sit and when they rise; He perceives their thoughts from afar. He discerns their going out and lying down; He is familiar with all of their ways. Before a word is on their tongue, God knows it completely; oh such care is to wonderful for me, such love is to much for my soul to bare; what a wonderful creator, what a majestic God. 

The psalmist continues his discourse on how God bestowed his care and love for man. Vs. 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. It is right for the psalmist to say that man is a little lower than the angels because angels are also created beings. Although we are apt to think them as supreme beings and far superior to us; let us be wise and say that man is only a little lower than the angels and in the age to come this position will be changed for when the sons of God are revealed in glory and honour, they will sit in positions far higher than angels and in fact will also judge them. Vs.6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet. The writer to the Hebrews gave a wonderful exposition of this passage and his commentary is inspired and here is what he wrote. ‘In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death so that He might taste death for everyone.  In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their faith perfect through what he suffered’, (Heb 2:8-10). The crowning and glory of man will take place at the return of Jesus when man will be able to fully exercise these rights, although the sons of God possess these divine rights at present yet they have to wait to fully exercise them. Therefore believers do not be covetous or want your neighbour’s good; but be patient and give freely for all things are yours because of Christ and when you enter into glory you shall reign over all things for all eternity. This life is but a fading flower, our years are only seventy and the stars could live for millions of years but God is concerned for our welfare and He delights to care for us for He knows our frame. Man is to rule vs7-8 over all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the bird in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. This was the same command that God gave to our first parents and we see this authority being exercised at present but under a fallen world; but when the Messiah comes in His glory and with his holy angels, Men shall rule over all in complete righteousness. 

The Psalm finishes as it starts, vs. 9. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Our prayers should also finish as it starts, hallowed be thy name in all the earth, in all men’s souls hallowed be thy name, to yours be the glory and power for ever and ever, amen. 


My Morning prayer

Blessed be your name Oh God, blessed be your glorious name
Hallowed be thy name, Let your kingdom come
Oh my Lord, my soveringn King, you are my delight, my pleasure and daily food
I thank you that you have chased sleep from my eyes
and you have awaken me to seek your face
I thank you for such mercy and grace, your Love is too wonderful for me
I am filled with your joy and I can see the glow of your daily mercies
Grant me the joy of your presence, set your countenance upon me.
I am glad that you are my God, the blessed Trinity, Oh I adore you
Prepare my day for me Oh Lord, grant me strength to see it through
Let me be a blessing to others today and let my words minister to those in need of your gospel.
I am exceedingly thankful of your steadfast love, your ways are to sweet for me.
Oh that I may not forget you in my daily task but that I may do it all to your glory.
Fill me with the power of the Spirit, let your kingdom come today, let your kingdom come!
Hallowed be thy name, Hallwed be thy wonderful everlasting name.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Hallowed be thy name

I wrote this as my facebook status today: 'When you go to pray to your heavenly Father, don't merely close your eyes and bring your petitions but open your eyes and look to see your Father's wonderful face and then you shall say with the deepest affection, 'hallowed be thy name'.

Reflecting upon what I wrote and thinking about how sometimes we are so consumed with our petitions, troubles, aches and sorrows in prayer that we often neglect to look up and really survey who it is that we are praying to. Imagine that you find yourself injured and your wounds are terrible; your calls are for the doctor and while the doctor is not in your presence you continue to call. But when the doctor finally arrives, you have no more need to call for the doctor but to enjoy his presence that he is able to treat your injuries and make you well. How much more is the presence of God when we visit Him in prayer. what troubles or injury may aghast your soul that you should continue to scream while you are with Him. Should you not open your eyes and see the beauty of His face, the satisfaction of His glory and cause you to say with Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, 'your will be done'. Christ also trembled for a while but He knew His Father and the comfort of His presence and thus His soul was resolved to carry his cross. The suffering yet remained but solid peace was found in his soul for He did not continue to scream as if God was not with him but in His suffering He endured it because he knew the heart of His Father. And does not God work together for your good? Has he not included you in His eternal purpose to the praise of His glory. Is not the the first petition of the Lord's prayer 'hallowed be thy name'? And where are we to hallow God, we are to hallow him in our hearts. Hallowing God bears the fruit of joy and comfort in God for we are beholding His majestic glory and our hearts are ravished by his wonders. In first hallowing the name of God, we find ourselves to be satisfied and secure so that when we do begin our request although the troubles and aches remain, our hearts are satisfied in God and our request although very affectionate are said with certainty that God who is our Father, a tender Father will hear us and answer us according to what is pleasing in His sight for us. So when you begin to pray, first hallow the name of God, respect it and love it, be deeply moved by who God is and praise Him and worship him and then begin your request and you will see that your soul will be satisfied and angels will come and minister to you.


Bankers, bonuses and Camels

The Bible is not often quoted in Parliament. A Theos publication from 2007 showed that even Anglican bishops refer to Scripture only rarely in their contributions to House of Lords’ debates.
If that remains so, no-one seems to have told Labour MP John Mann. For it was he who, last Tuesday, halfway through a Treasury Select Committee grilling of Bob Diamond, chief executive of Barclays, dared to quote Jesus Christ himself. (Click here and scroll to 68 minutes in.)
“Can I ask you a philosophical question?” he began ominously. “Why is it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?” Diamond was stumped. This he had not expected. He paused, grinned, and looked around, before asking: “Do you have another question?”

Bob Diamond earns a lot of money (about £75m in the past five years). It is estimated that he is on track for an £8m bonus for 2010. He employs many people who earn similar figures. His bank, like many others, was bailed out by the taxpayer in 2008-09, the long-term effect of which is likely to be financial insecurity, joblessness, debt, and hardship for millions. Yet when the Conservative MP David Ruffley asked him whether he was grateful to the British public, gratitude was not exactly forthcoming. Mr Diamond may yet replace Sir Fred Goodwin as the public face of financial self-satisfaction and greed about which the British public rage remains white hot.

Much of the interrogation on Tuesday was technical and beyond the wit of most ordinary mortals. The fundamental argument for paying telephone-number bonuses – bonuses mind, not salaries – is that the City currently provides 20% of total national tax revenues. Government – we – cannot do without it, which means we cannot risk losing our best talent abroad, which is precisely what would happen if we capped or super-taxed bonuses.

Most of us cannot adjudicate confidently on the legitimacy of this argument (although there is surely a temptation to respond: “If this is the mess that the so-called crème de la crème of the banking world has got us into, I think we can risk losing that talent, don’t you?”). But the strength or otherwise of such arguments is not really the point. If questions of remuneration, profitability and staff retention were only ever technical issues, there would be no point in MPs (most of whom have minimal technical knowledge in this field) grilling bank execs, still less in recording and broadcasting it.

Underneath the technicalities of the issue, lies a moral landscape across which we all walk. We all of us have some idea of what is fair, what is just, “what is good”. And for most of us it looks very different to what we have seen in banking circles over recent years.

That is why Mr Mann’s question – from Jesus’ mouth – was so powerful. It cut through the fripperies of financial technicalities and exposed the raw, moral wound that lies beneath, and still hurts many people who could not hope to earn £8 million in a lifetime. Perhaps it is no surprise that that Daily Mail sketch writer Quentin Letts, who attended the session, remarked to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Mann’s question was one of the few moments of his 2½ hour ordeal during which Mr Diamond looked genuinely disconcerted.

It is quite possible, in our largely biblically illiterate age, that Bob Diamond did not get the reference in Mr Mann’s question. Even if he had, he was wise not to answer it. Because the answer surely is that great wealth acts like a powerful magnet brought close to our moral compasses; it sends us into an ethical tailspin in which we become blind to who and what really is “good”, and lose sight and hope of eternal life.
Nick Spencer - Theos, the public theology think tank

The Barber shop and the grace of God

I have often affirmed that there is nothing more soothing to the injured soul than for one to remind oneself of the gospel, of the Love of God that saves sinners perfectly. This week I felt in my soul a misery that is not uncommon for me, my soul is usually injured because of my sins and like a puritan I have a piercing conscience and my disposition is naturally to that of withdrawal and sadness. But time and again this is never my final state for the Lord comes with effectual grace and revives my soul to that vibrant joy and peace it is accustomed with. And I am never moved to such heights unless God moves in me for I cannot pretend of my joy when there is none for that sad countenance would avail me. Unless God moves in my soul I am left in my pity and God has moved in a thousand ways to restore my joy and this week He restored my soul through an encounter with the barber.

On my way back to bristol from london, I went at random to cut my hair. I was hoping to see the regular barber there but I learnt that he has left his post and gone to another sea. I waited for the new barber to finish his first duty and then it was my turn. He began to cut my hair and I made it my aim to begin a conversation so I asked him about the pictures on the wall and he took the time to tell me about them. Time moved on and he changed it to BET which is a channel mainly for black entertainment and on the channel there was a show like the xfactor but instead of being secular it was gospel based. I was touched by the grace the judges showed to the contestant and how they rightly critiqued and praised their work. I asked him if he was a Christian and I thought he would answer in the affirmative but He told me that he had one foot in and one foot out. I asked him why he felt like that and he rightly acknowledged his own attachments to the things of this world. Also he mentioned about not knowing God's will for his life and that he is waiting for his specific calling. To be truthful I pondered where I could take this and to my own astonishment I was left in a rubble not having a clear direction of how to encourage him.

God was so gracious to me that Romans 12 came to my mind and once again to my astonishment I forgot almost entirely what the passage said so I paraphrased it in such a way that I only touched upon the skin of the passage and then affirmed him of the Love of God and the grace of Christ. In doing so I was affirming myself and at the end I offered to pray for Him and he willingly accepted. In doing so my disposition was changed and I felt his was also changed for he thanked me with happiness and then he asked to exchange mobile numbers. God, through this encounter revived my soul through my testimony to another of his love for them and through praying for them; I sincerely believe that in the same way God will revive your souls if you are found with guilt upon your heart. Remember that the cross of Christ is the only effectual remedy that declares the guilty free and His ressurection speaks of His sacrifice being accepted and his righteousness being wholly ours. May the Love of God be with you all.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Found in a strange land

I am found in a strange land 
Where the ground does not love the rain

The Heights and depths are all the same
The morning light fears its stage

I am found in a strange land
Where mice are clean and dogs are free

The earth refuse to do its task 
And bees are large and walk on grounds

I am found in a strange land
Where all do speak in English act

The trees are planted on little clouds
And fishes enjoy the open air

I am found in a strange land
Where music is played by the deaf and blind

The storms bring peace 
And the wind is seen

‘A strange remarkable land I’m in
There is more to discover in this God created green’.


When Unclothed Is Unfitting: Thoughts on Selling with Sex

Jonathan Edwards once said that godly people can, as it were, smell the depravity of an act before they can explain why it evil. There is a spiritual sense that something is amiss. It does not fit in a world permeated with God.

Ephesians 5:3 says that some things "are not fitting" among saints." "Fitting-ness" is not always easy to justify with arguments. You discern it before you can defend it. That's good, because we have to make hundreds of choices every day with no time for extended reflection.

But from time to time we need to pause and give rational, biblical expression why something is not fitting. Some years ago I came to that point when, week after week, a local newspaper put scantily clad women on the second page of Section A in order to sell underclothes. I wrote a letter to the paper with nine reasons why they should stop using this kind of advertising.

Perhaps my reflections will help you deal with the hundreds of abuses of God's good gift of sexuality in our culture. Here is what I wrote.

As a 14-year subscriber and reader of the [name of paper omitted], I am writing to express the persuasion that your sexually explicit ads that often turn up in Section A are increasingly offensive and socially irresponsible. I mean that the effectiveness of catching people's attention by picturing a woman in her underclothes does not justify the ads. The detrimental effects of such mercenary misuse of the female body are not insignificant. The harm I have in mind is described in the following nine persuasions.

1.     This woman could not go out in public dressed like that without being shamed or being mentally aberrant. Yet you thrust her out, even in front of those of us who feel shame for her.

2.     This portrayal of a woman sitting in her underclothes at a table with a cup of tea disposes men to think of women not as persons but mainly in terms of their bodies. It stimulates young boys to dwell on unclothed women's bodies and thus lames their ability to deal with women as dignified persons. I have four sons.

3.     The ad stimulates sexual desire which in thousands of men has no legitimate or wholesome outlet through marriage. In other words, it feeds a corporate, community lust that bears no good fruit outside marriage, but in fact many ills.

4.     The ad makes sensibilities callous so that fewer and fewer offenses against good taste feel unacceptable, which spells the collapse of precious and delicate aspects of personhood and relationships.

5.     The ad makes thousands of women subconsciously measure their attractiveness and worth by the standard of rarefied, unrealistic models, leading to an unhealthy and discouraging preoccupation with outward looks.

6.     The ad feeds the prurient fantasies of ordinary men, lodging a sexual image in their minds for the day which can rob them of the ability to think about things greater and nobler than skin.

7.     The ad condones the proclivity of males to mentally unclothe women by reminding them what they would see if they did, and by suggesting that there are women who want to be publicly unclothed in this way. This reminder and this suggestion support habits and stereotypes that weaken personal virtue and jeopardize decorous relationships.

8.     The ad encourages young girls to put excessive focus on their bodies and how they will be looked at, adding to the epidemic of depression and eating disorders.

9.     The ad contributes to dissatisfaction in men whose wives can't produce that body and thus adds to the instability of marriages and homes.

I realize that the bottom line is big bucks for page two, and lots of attention for [name of department store omitted]. But please know that at least one assessment of your standards of fitness for print is that it is part of a tragic loss of modesty and decency that may, for now, feel like mature liberation, but in generations to come will reap a whirlwind of misery for all of us.

From John Piper, A Godward Life, published by Multnomah Books. 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Her light English eyes

Your light English eyes
Round figure and vivacious smile
Candour qualities and respectable charm
Warms my heart whenever far or nigh.

I see you whenever it's time to worship
I see your face; and your thoughts I tried to put away
I am torn and when I'm on my knees I see your countenance
The eloquence of His grace takes me far away.

I am far too busy to fall in love
If I ask her to marry me, she may still my love for Christ
Yet I long to be hers; hand by hand on the pilgrim way.

Fresh courage I take today, to declare in letter my love to thee;
You need not be afraid in refusing my proposal
For bless God he will free me from this passion if need.

I am convince this is the will of God
That I should altar my state
Your denial will prove to me
You were not the pilgrim marked out for my way.

 Love for a woman could and will not dislodge my Love for Christ
But many times I have wished of you to be my One.
I would not marry but for Him and in Him, for ten thousands worlds.
Christ is my Life and my all and my God.

Her light English eyes
Round figure and vivacious smile
Candour qualities and respectable charm
Warms my heart whenever far or nigh.


Humble me

My question is what would you have me do my Lord? How would you have me spent my time? should I humble myself and endure in joyful meditation at your word?

Humble this heart of mine, I have seen the pride within. Please oh Lord sanctify me, for I wish to please you, I do not want to dwell in vain religion, but I want to seek you Lord above my brethrens in secret, in that place where only you  and the Father may see and the Spirit within, so I’ll seek your face and your righteousness. I am surrendering all to you, all to you. Fill me Lord fill me for I do not want to be filled by anything else but you; if you do not fill me Lord will not my poor soul be tempted to look elsewhere; so here I am waiting at the cross.  I will give you my all and I pray that you may humble my soul and draw me to your breast where I can drink of that living water and be satisfied by your goodness. 

‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the Word of life- the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and  was manifested to us’. I want to see it Lord, to see you in all of your glory. Humble me oh Lord my God, humble my soul. 


Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Joy of Confession 6

Sinner: Dear sir, I am a deep sinner, unfit for society and an alien to righteousness. I know nothing of faithfulness and today I declare my repentance of my habits and tomorrow I am found playing with it again. It seems that for many years I have been playing the fool thinking that God can be mocked but I have only been deceiving myself. I am a slave, a wretched slave to sin and have deeply played the hypocrite. I play the Pharisee and now I cannot bear to live any longer. My speech are smooth but my heart lies with wickedness and deceit; I thought I had mastered sin but sin mastered me and now the vice as corrupted my whole faculties that I am found to be mad. My thoughts accuse me day and night and I am worse than those in hell. Oh Sir, should I end my life for I have played the fool with my Maker but I have only played the fool with my own heart. I see no light and freedom is far, I am in the dungeon of despair and my heart feels to break. See the tears that flows from my veins, oh I am a wicked soul, most to be pitied for I have entertained a false sense of piety and now the Lord has seen fit to bring me to ruin. The scriptures speak well when it warns that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and that kingdom of which I have spoken of I shall never enter. My rest is that gall and bitterness of hell, that place which was designed for the devil. I cannot sleep Sir unless you have comforting words for me Sir.

Sir: My dear boy, the anguish that bids your soul is terrible but it is a blessing from God- you should be glad that God did not let you part from the shores of this world without the opportunity of repentance. Today is the day of salvation, not tomorrow but today. I am pleased that you have seen the reality of your state and are now willing to desperately repent of your sins.

Sinner: I am Sir, if this pain could flee from my soul, I will do all I have to do. What am I to do to gain eternal life?

Sir: It is simple my boy. You remember the gospel stories of old; the story of the God-man who died for sins and bid all to come to him and all who comes to him, he will not cast out. He will never leave them nor forsake them. If you are to come to him today, acknowledging your sins and trusting wholly upon him and not on your works but on His works alone then my boy, today salvation is yours. And power will be given to you to overcome your sinful nature, for some it is instantaneous and for others, time dictates the level of their sanctification. Remember that your righteousness is to be found in him and not in yourself. Get rid of whatever principles you held in your heart before and cling only to this one,  Jesus died for me and has called me to be holy. Play no more the parts of the hypocrites and if you are found playing the role, repent immediately for his blood has covered all of your sins.

Sinner: Oh sir, thank you for such words, My soul is now at rest for now I know that my righteousness is found in Him and yea I will depart from the way of the hypocrite and trust in Christ alone.


Returning to the wild goose

The wild goose is the Celtic symbol for the Holy Sprit and it is the name that is given to a café which aims to serve the homeless at least two meals a day. Good fortune or to say, the kindness of God has allowed the ministry to purchase a new venue as the old venue was very short in space. There was hardly enough room for a full functioning kitchen staff and less space for many to sit and eat their food.

The new location is on Stapleton road in Easton and what a fine venue it is. Seeing it for the first time I was very impressed especially with how spacious it is and how the place was very bright for the previous location was not so bright. I was glad to return and I was keen to help in whatever way I could.

I was to serve tea and coffee for the whole night with a sweet old lady who was marvellous but she had a shaking hand so I did most of the lifting and pouring out of hot water. I am amazed at her willingness to serve despite being so old she serves gladly every fortnight with tremendous joy. Another girl came also for the first time to help and it was a delight to have her there. She served the pudding and adapted very well.

Although the venue changed, the faces of the homeless remained the same. I saw the same expressions and the same choices were made. I was glad to see one guy that I spoke to before and he had a calm expression about him. I spoke to one guy who told me of his struggle with drinking and how he wished he had remained at his rehabilitation a little longer. At the end of the evening we prayed for him and I’ll keep him in my prayers.

It was a joy to return to the Wild Goose and to be able to serve- it’s not much but I hope I can give more time in the future. Jesus is the healer of the sick, the bringer of good news to the poor, the one who sets the addict free and above all he saves sinners. My prayer is that Many who are homeless will come to find shelter in the outspread pierced hands of Christ and his church may continue to provide homes for those in need. The truth is that we are all homeless until we are found to make our stay in the house of God for we were made for no other house but for the house of God where there is many rooms and abundance for all who dwell there.


Dedicated to excellence

I ought to be dedicated to excellence, that everything I do is done to the best of my ability. We ought to give all to God and do all as if ...