Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Oh for pity and Help

Oh for pity and help to thee I come
For grace underserved I seek to have
What privilege thou hast grant through your Son 
That sinful man may obtrude your House
And see him not slain by your Holy frame.
Oh For pity and Help to thee I come
I dare not stand but hug the ground
For I hear thou resisteth the proud at heart
But lifts the poor and those fallen down.
O for pity and help to thee I come
To release this miserable sorrow I bring 
This intolerable weight of guilt I feel
I hear thy precious Son does relieve.

For pity look not away from me
For grace in me exalt thy name
That all may see thy wondrous deed 
That You Jehovah is a helping King.


Rene and Poet 13

Poet: Oh Rene, I am sick. I am laden with a fever which sees me unable to eat nor sleep. I take it back - I should not call it a sickness for it is sweet to my soul. It arises from loving her and this past days being so close in proximity as intensified my eternal passions. I no longer can stay away, no longer can I hide my love but must make it known. For the sake of my own soul I must know her conclusion, I must know something of the knowledge which is contained inside her sweet soul. O, how she is better than a pearl, she is magic, a mythical creature, a sense of awe and affable. She is the light to overcome my darkness.

Poet laid still with a delicious smile on his face, starring at Rene with a sweet disposition.

Rene: Let us rise to engage in this battle, let us cripple this fear which has held you from your declaration. Its time to wake and risk - come my sweetheart. I am with you friend. 

Poet: In case I fall and faint, make sure you catch me. But we shall be alone - what if I'm unable Rene. What if..

Rene: You fear a fear you should not fear - your emotions are far to high to fail you now. Your love is strong enough to overcome this beast. The shame is not as bad as you think, no one will fault you - I will be glad at last that you stood for what you believed in. I am for you in this ambition; you will not fail.

With a deep sigh, Poet smiled and prepared his heart and words for the battle.


Buckle the ship! Buckle me in

Death is near. Be still my soul
Life is far no remembrance hold.

"Buckle the ship!" The captain howled.
Buckle me in! this is the only life I own.

Men on their knees in prayers plead
"Men on your feet! Your families grieve.
Embrace the fall of all sailors war,
Embrace the awe of the Powerful storm."


Confronting Paganism

Nehemiah served in a pagan government as a believer in God. He was humble and respectful to the king, but proper fear of his king did not stop him from acting to save his people. He prayed to God and made a request of the king, asking for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild it. He also asked for letters that he might present to various governors for safe conduct, and even a grant for building materials.
Not all the pagan governors were sanguine toward Nehemiah and his plans. Indeed, some were fiercely resistant to them. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite heard of his efforts, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.
When Nehemiah set about the task of rebuilding, his enemies laughed at him and despised him. Nehemiah, though, did not let his critics determine his agenda. Nehemiah’s temptation would have been to allow the pagans to alter the plans and engage in a joint venture of compromise in the mission. That would have eased the burden on his own people and won him the applause both of the Jews and the pagans. But Nehemiah cared nothing for the applause of men and was totally unwilling to compromise the mission he had undertaken for God.
Instead of worrying about accommodating the pagans, Nehemiah focused on the reforms needed among his own people. The paganism Nehemiah feared was not the paganism of the pagans; it was the paganism of his own people. It was not paganism outside the camp that threatened Israel so much as the paganism within the camp.

Legitimate privacy

When Oxford City Council announced last week that all taxis and cabs in the city must have CCTV cameras recording both sight and sound on all journeys, there was an outcry from organisations such as Big Brother Watch.  Peter Allen, the Drive programme presenter on BBC 5 Live, joked: “Of course, some people believe that’s already happening, with a big camera in the sky - those of a religious disposition.”  Meanwhile in the States a case currently before the Supreme Court could open the way to the police tracking the movements of mobile phone users without a warrant. The government lawyers’ argument is that the defendant, whose car was bugged with a GPS tracking device, does not have “a legitimate expectation of privacy”.  In this case the American Civil Liberties Union is sounding warning bells. 

As Spooks’ fans will be aware, software for tracking mobile phones already exists and is highly sophisticated.  As tabloid haters will be all too aware, the software for hacking into phones and computers is advanced and often, it seems, employed.  The Leveson Inquiry is beginning its quest to uncover the extent of the abuse. The tipping-point of the News of the World scandal came with the revelation that murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked. That seemed to be in a different category from ‘celebrities’ and politicians who themselves court the media for publicity.  The Dowlers and the McCanns, appearing before Lord Leveson, came across as ordinary folk whose private grief was gratuitously invaded and trampled on by journalists who had abandoned human decency and lost the gift of empathy in pursuit of ‘the story’. 

What is a legitimate expectation of privacy?  How private should our lives be?  In Scripture it is true that nothing is hidden from God, as the old prayer has it, “Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open and from whom no secrets are hid”.  In that sense, Peter Allen is right.  As Jesus warns: “Nothing is hidden except to be made manifest” (Mark 4.22).  But this is far from being a snooping God. If I may put it that way, He has better things to do with time. He is into redeeming it. His ultimate judgement is to raise our sights now.  He’s the Jesus who knew all people and what was in humankind (John 2:24-5).  

The fact of God’s omniscience does not give us the right to know everything about each other. That’s His prerogative. It’s not something we could handle. In fact our overriding duty to each other is that of love, and in the Christian community “love covers a multitude of sins” - which seems to mean that where love abounds, offences are frequently overlooked and quickly forgotten (ESV Study Bible).  Frequently, but not always.  Sadly the Church has too often employed cover-ups rather than being transparent and repentant - which fools no-one and undermines its prophetic integrity.  Often it’s secular media which have blown the Church’s cover. 

Privacy deserves protection.  Intrusion into private life and conversations can rarely be justified.  Yet a responsible free press is a blessing, without doubt.  Perhaps it should be guided by this motto: “Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

Michael Wenham is a writer, blogger and a retired vicar
Evangelical Alliance

Sunday, 20 November 2011

What do the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13 and 22:1-14 reveal about the Kingdom of God

The three words Kingdom of God or as Mathew calls it, the kingdom of heaven form the one and only concept which permeates all of Jesus’ ministry giving it unusual coherence and clarity[1]. In the synoptic gospels the expression is found more than a hundred times but only twice in the fourth gospel therefore scholars have widely agreed that the central theme in the ministry of Jesus is the Kingdom of God[2]. In this essay, the concept of the Kingdom of God will be briefly discussed looking at the different perspectives of how people have approached the subject historically; and then the parables found in Matthew 13 and 22:1-14 will be analysed to show what they reveal about the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God

Historically there have been debates on what Jesus exactly meant by the Kingdom and thus throughout history there has been many interpretations of what the kingdom of God is. What exactly the Kingdom of God is and how it will come as received a bewildering diversity of explanations.

Augustine the much celebrated church Father believed that the Church and the Kingdom were the same thing. Augustine taught that the catholic (universal) church was the Kingdom of Christ therefore as the church grows the kingdom grows and is extended in the world. Others such as those who are dispensationalist have focused almost entirely on the future coming of God’s Kingdom by denying the contemporary relevance of Jesus’ proclamations of the present kingdom during his earthly ministry. In response to this extreme view of an entirely future coming of the Kingdom, some have dispensed with any future dimension to the kingdom. This view advocates a present responsibility of ushering in God’s kingdom through the necessity of human effort in establishing justice in their current world[3].

Others, like Adolf von Harnack reduced the kingdom of God to a subjective realm understanding the Kingdom of Christ in terms of the human spirit and its relationship to God. The kingdom is articulated by the new birth and its an inward power which enters into the soul and claims it. Some have also viewed the Kingdom of God as an evolutionary process where God works through society mysteriously, quietly and slowly.

C.H. Dodd in his important book The Parables of the Kingdom (1935) gives the interpretation that the Kingdom of God was already a present reality during Jesus’ ministry. Dodd viewed the Kingdom of God as a timeless reality. Dodd’s views has led to a number of mediating positions according to which the Kingdom of God is conceived as both present and future. This view will be taken up later on in the essay. Some charismatic movements emphasise the now of the kingdom espousing what is called “kingdom now” theology. This view equates the kingdom with gifts of healing and speaking in tongues concluding that the kingdom is associated with spectacular manifestations in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Others have asserted that the Kingdom of God is a world where Man and God are cooperating with each other in other to establish God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. An appeal is made to the Lord’s prayer ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.

However, the present consensus is that the Kingdom of God is both present and future. This view emphasises the final consummation of God’s kingdom at the end of the age while also emphasising the present nature of it in this age. An appeal is made to the ministry of Jesus that the kingdom of God was manifested in his ministry and it is continued through his disciples and believers. The apostolic teaching seems to hold to this view of God’s kingdom. Paul emphatically declares that Christians have been transferred into the kingdom of Christ[4] and the writer to the Hebrews further declares that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken[5]; yet they have only tasted of the power of the age to come[6], and heirs of a future kingdom[7]. This prevailing view generally refers The kingdom of God to mean his saving reign not to his total providence over all things[8]. While not denying that the Kingdom of God may imply his total reign over all creation yet a distinction is made where God is reigning in the lives of his people and in the world as his will is done in heaven on earth. The parables of Jesus give a flavour of this present and future dynamic of the Kingdom of God.

What the parables reveal about the Kingdom of God

By means of parables Jesus frequently referred to the Kingdom of God and at times focused on it explicitly. Matthew declared explicitly in Mathew 13 that Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables and said nothing to them without a parable. Some have wrongly inferred from this that the true words of Jesus are the ones He spoke in parables and all his other statements are mere words put into the mouth of Jesus. This view neglects what Matthew writes in Mathew 13:1 clearly giving us a context that Jesus was speaking to an audience with whom he had already had an encounter with. In Matthew 12 Jesus is accused of being demon possessed and the source of his powers were attributed to Satan. The Pharisees and Scribes wanted Jesus to perform a sign to proof his legitimacy as the Messiah but Jesus had previously done a miraculous work and they fail to see its significance. It is not surprising then when Jesus’ disciples asked him why He spoke to the audience in parables Jesus astonishingly answers ‘because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand…for this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and turn and I would heal them’[9]. The parables may therefore be seen as a judgment on the crowd because they fail to see and recognise Jesus as the coming Messiah. Jesus made no attempt to interpret the parables to the crowd but made the sweeping statement ‘He who has ears, let him hear[10]’.

The parables of Jesus someone has written reflect with peculiar clarity the character of his good news, the eschatological nature of his preaching, the intensity of his summons to repentance, and his conflict with pharisiasm. The parables are frequently introduced with the formula, ‘The kingdom of God is like’.. Jesus uses images familiar with the daily life of the people in a simplistic style allowing his audience to understand with clarity the scenes described. It does not follow necessarily that his audience would have grasped the true meaning of the parables as suggested by Jesus’ own necessity to explain the parables to his own disciples.

In Matthew 13 Jesus tells seven parables; the parable of the sower, the wheat and tare, the mustard seed, the leavened bread, treasure hidden in a field, a pearl of great value and a net thrown into the sea. These parables of Jesus are used to describe what the kingdom of God is like.

The parable of the sower reveals that there is a word to be communicated, a word to be scattered and diffused to all and this word is the word of the kingdom[11]. The seed scattered represented the word of the Kingdom while in the parable of the wheat and tares the seeds represents the sons of the Kingdom and the sons of the evil one. A striking contrast between both parables on how the kingdom of God is planted is shown in the distinction of what the seeds represent. The parables of the wheat and tares introduces an extra sower namely the devil who is in direct opposition to Jesus who sows the good seed. The kingdom is geographically expanded to mean the whole world which inclines that in one sense, everybody is in the kingdom whether they like it or not; but whether you are a son of the kingdom or a son of the evil one is determined by how one receives the word of the kingdom[12]. A true son of the kingdom is one that bears fruit and thus they are the ones planted by Jesus and those who do not bear fruit or fail to receive the words of the Kingdom are the ones planted by the evil one. Thus in this age
Evil is present and only at the end of the world will evil be completely rooted out when Jesus sends his angels to gather out of his kingdom all causes of sins and all lawbreakers and throw them into the fiery furnace. The parable of the net thrown into the sea also draws on the eschatology element of separating the good from the bad. The same interpretation is giving of angels separating the evil from the righteous at the end of the world thus revealing that the kingdom of God at present is filled with sons of the kingdom and sons of the evil one and there will be a coming judgment at the end of the world where the Son of man will uproot evil out of his kingdom and only his planted seeds will remain.

The parables of the mustard seed and the leavened bread portray a different dimension of what the kingdom of God is like. Both parables highlight the smallness of how the kingdom of God begins and then gradually it spreads and grows. Jesus’ contemporary audience may perhaps have expected God’s kingdom to be ushered in through majestic means where God’s kingdom would be from the start like the cedars of Lebanon and be seen from great distance[13]. To many of them the kingdom of God meant a restored Israel free from Roman rule. But Jesus ridiculed this majestic expectation of the inauguration of the kingdom of God. Although the end result of God’s kingdom is of large visibility yet its beginning is subtle and small gradually influencing its environment. Both of these parables may even be interpreted to represent Jesus’ own coming into the world. He is the king of the kingdom and he came not in a palace known throughout the Roman Empire but he came as a Galilean peasant, growing up like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty. Yet in the years of his ministry his fame spread and after his death and resurrection he has become like a mighty tree and his influence has spread throughout all the world.

The remaining two parables of the treasure hidden in a field and a pearl of great value reveals that the kingdom of God is of immense value. All that one has is not too great a price to pay in order to possess the kingdom of God. When one finds it, it instills great joy upon the soul and one can rightly fulfill that command which our Lord Jesus said elsewhere ‘go sell everything you have and follow me’. Or as Paul so eagerly put it ‘I count everything as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord’[14].  This does not mean that one can buy the kingdom or barter for the kingdom or negotiate for the kingdom. The kingdom of God is received without pay like a poor child and not as a business man.[15] The parable simply reveals that the kingdom of God is a treasure which is the most valuable treasure one can have and one should be like Paul who counted everything as loss for the sake of possessing that treasure, namely, Christ.

In Matthew 22:1-14 we have The parable of the guests invited to the wedding feast. This parable reveals the present reality of the Kingdom of God and also of a future judgement. The King represents God and the Son is Jesus. God throws a wedding feast for His Son and invites a number of guests who refused to attend the wedding feast. Those who refused to come represent the Pharisees, the elders and chief priest because in Matthew chapter 21 Jesus spoke of another parable where he concluded that ‘the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and giving to people producing its fruits’. In similar vein we see in the parable of the guests invited to the wedding feast that an invitation was giving to enter into the Kingdom of God but was rejected and therefore the King invited others who were not originally invited and the kingdom of God was given to them. God’s kingdom is present and an invitation is offered to people through the message of the gospel and people are free to reject it but there will be consequences. Their rejection will culminate in the judgment of the king who at the end of time will throw them into the fire.

Jesus illustrated what the kingdom of God is like through parables and the parables which we have considered thus far have revealed a diverse understanding of what the kingdom is like. Jesus uses a variety of illustration to communicate to his audience what the kingdom is like and perhaps we may take from his example that there is no one illustration or perspective which can do justice to the right depiction of what the Kingdom is. Although Jesus interprets some of his parables yet there are some which are left uninterrupted and it is left to our imaginations to ponder on what our Lord meant. The kingdom of God is likened to a man who sowed seeds, to a king who throws a wedding feast for His Son, as a man who found a treasure, like a grain of mustard seed, like a leaven, like a net thrown into the sea and a pearl of great price.


[1] Joachim Jeremias, New testament theology
[2] Caragounis in his work, “Kingdom of God” in dictionary of Jesus and the gospels notes that the concept of the Kingdom of God is synonymous with the Johannine concept of eternal life
[3] Some liberal theologians hold this view
[4] Colossians 1:13
[5] Hebrews 12:28
[6] Hebrews 6:5
[7] James 2:5
[8] John Piper, The kingdom of God is righteousness peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit
[9] Matthew 13:10-15
[10]Matthew 13:9
[11] Matthew uses the term the gospel of the Kingdom two times in his gospel in 4:23 and 9:35. Matthew uses it as a summary phrase of what Jesus preached throughout the towns and cities of Palestine.
[12] The soil represents the hearts of men. Those that fell on good soil were the ones who understood the word and believed and consequently were the ones who bore fruit.
[13] Shane Claiborne, Jesus for president.
[14] Philippians 3:8
[15] John Piper. The Kingdom of Heaven is a treasure

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

If you are Rich remember Lazarus - Operation Christmas Child

Jesus tells a story of a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously everyday. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich’s man table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham side.

Lazarus desired to be fed but I presume that the rich man despised him; with all of his wealth Lazarus should have been invited to his feast and made a servant of his household. It would have been a little mercy on his part to show compassion on poor Lazarus, who day after day, inflicted with pain and sorrow, starved, till he finally collapsed a weak skeletal man. Riches was provided for the rich man from heaven so that he may have mercy on poor Lazarus but he overlooked him and squandered his wealth on wild parties and self indulgence. His riches knew no mercy and poor Lazarus became a victim of the rich man’s lavish greed. My friends, there are many Lazarus’ in this world, some far and some near who day after day are begging and desiring to be fed. What are you doing with your riches which heaven has provided for you? You may say I am not rich but poor. My friend you are among one of the richest in this world and a little consideration to give some crumbs will greatly help one Lazarus to be removed from the dust and sit in a shelter where the mosquitoes and flies will depart from licking their wounds. I am not saying for you to be a fool in squandering all your money but consider one, one poor child in the horn of Africa who is suckled upon his mother’s breast searching for milk; but it is dry. The child daily wanes away and malnutrition takes its place. The child dies and his taken to Abraham’s side. You could have helped, you can help.

Jesus continues his story, “The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame”.

The rich man now knows of what it means to desire mercy, of what poor Lazarus tasted while he was here on earth. The roles are changed and his soul must now regret that he did not consider poor lazarus’ sufferings and relived it at once when it was in his power to do so. A little fish and bread each morning would have supplied Lazarus with nourishment and vitamins to relieve him of his sorrows; an invitation to live inside his gates would have protected Lazarus from the dogs who infected his wounds. But neigh, indulged in greed and self gratification he loathed Lazarus and suffered him to die. Lazarus entered into paradise while the rich man into hell. A little kindness and consideration of the poor is enough to show that one has grasped dimly the meaning of the law. To love your neighbour fulfils the whole commandments. The best neighbour for the rich man was Lazarus and our best neighbours are those like Lazarus who could never pay us back but freely in mercy give them all that we can to display the Love which the Law and gospel commands us to demonstrate.

Our Lord Jesus when he appears for the second time in His glory, and all the angels with him… will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
Mat 25:35  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 
Mat 25:36  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 
Mat 25:37  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 
Mat 25:38  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 
Mat 25:39  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 
Mat 25:40  And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' 
Mat 25:41  "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
Mat 25:42  For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 
Mat 25:43  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 
Mat 25:44  Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 
Mat 25:45  Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 
Mat 25:46  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." 

My friends let us remember the poor Lazarus’ of this world and keep with the passion of the apostle Paul who when they asked him and his team to remember the poor, he answered, it was the very thing he was eager to do.  Remember the Lazarus’ of this world. Why not join me in donating for operation Christmas Child with Samaritan's purse


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Miscellanies 22 - Encourage yourself with the Love of God in the Morning

The Love of God is the sweetest of all Loves and the most comforting and assuring. My fellow creatures if you awake with the thought that no one loves you, that no one cares then consider this: Did God not send His Son to die for you in Love? Yes He did. He loves you, Him and His Son and the Holy Spirit. That's three persons who loves you and that unconditionally. The world did not love my saviour and He was at peace, the world rejected Paul and he was content - much less does this world hate you. Rejoice your heart in the magnitude of God's love for you - give no way to flickering doubt, shut your door to the whispering accusations of the devil, take your cup and fill it up in the fountain of his love. oh poor soul, my very dear friend, this morning as it has always been in His mind from all eternity, He loves you. He rejoices over you and tells of your name before His angels. It was for you his Son left his jewelled crown to pick up a thorny one instead. He had you in mind. Do away with your misery that no one loves you - God loves you and what is the Love of all mankind compared to God's. It is as a dust, like a grain of sand viewed from the outskirts of the universe. It is nothing. Man's love could not save your soul but his did. Man's love could not last for all eternity but his does.

and sinner, you, not yet to find God and know nothing of this sweetness and myrrh; I call you this morning to come. To take a look and survey his wondrous cross. To look upon the greatest display of love imaginable and to ponder, what is this and what does it mean, who is it for. It is for you sinner, for him who stands nailed to his cross once said, 'I came to rescue sinners, I give my life has a ransom for them'. It is his sacrifice to bring you into His Love and His Father's. He calls you right now in this hour to be a partaker of this relationship, of his sweet melody. Oh how can you refuse, is your heart not moved, who can fail to smell the aroma of a sweet perfume. Oh come and dip your hand in his blood. Bow your head, bend your knee and say Jesus I am a sinner, I believe you died for me and now I have your life to live, your love to know, your power to will. I give my life to you, i too will carry my cross and walk the path of saints till at last I see you face to face. Oh come and tarry no longer, precious is the day today and what a fountain of blessing will be your loss if you should resign and delay yet another day. 

Oh saints use each day to enjoy the sunshine of His love - remove every cloud, shield every rain with the umbrella of his love and know in your hearts of hearts that God your heavenly Father, His Son your Saviour and His Spirit since all eternity and for all eternity loves you.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Will not let this pass

For Long he loved her arduous spring 
Desiring their tales to finally meet
When at last strength’s arm he took
To declare his story to whom salted his dreams

Dear Woman* the sweetest smelling spring I know
The joy which for months captivated my soul.
I compare thee not to a summer’s day
But to heaven’s months which knows no end. 
You are by far the prettiest rose 
The first fruits plucked from summer’s return.

I sit you here not to charm your heart, but a truth to tell your innocent mind.
For long my heart loved you dear, but fear I now, it was all in vain.
Nay the journey is sweet to the end, though the end one fails to see.
Its clear like the brightest summer’s day that I am fond of your girlish ways.
I sleep and wake with you in mind, with splendid beam and a serene mind
Of nought thought strange till imaginations fail, discontent till the real displayed.
You this picture worth a million gold, I cannot purchase unless for free. 
For this my life to death I’ll give, like Herc I’ll jump into Hades to free
Whatever it is may hold your soul from me.
Here I must pause and stare your starred eyes, beauty unimaginable I have dreamed to have
For I could not let you pass this voyage with my love unseen 
Do what you may with it but please - be kind. 

With a tender smile he ended his speech 
To end the months he loved her scene 
What she prays may forlorn or extol his soul
At least was glad to have sang such songs.  

*Woman could be the name of any woman in fact it is better read with a name in place.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Soldier's Mansion

I've been to war and back; been scarred but they didnt take my life
it rained hard and the climate was pretty dark
had to attack the memories will never fade
couldn't save buried my homies in unmarked graves.
One night the stars twinkling, we shilling down, having laughs playing cards in a dark night
Freddy drawing ace took my money but he paying back
thinking bout a weeks time when will all see our wives.
              Then bang! triggers rang from multiple sites
despite the training we ran in different paths
 couldn't last as they hit us on quick base
 5 dead before the minute we in close range.  Flash lights from up above aint no getaway
     Prepare a prayer for my enemies its hard to pray when they shooting on your best friends.
Will I survive I'm hiding now, saw Tom I couldn't help as they took his life.
What's next, a dramatic act in play - thinking of blasting at least take a villain's place.
Stilled my steps, chilling in the spot I hid; till they pass and saw the body of my dead peers.
In tears wishing I died forever young, sorrows gone but mine will last till my last years.
Forgive me friends, never said I loved you all - see you again where soldiers go in Soldiers Mansion*.

*Soldier's Mansion represents a place where soldiers go when they die like paradise. (of course this is only for the purpose of this poem as I don't actually believe this).


Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Call to Actual Repentance

Some of you are not resisting temptations and therefore are not repenting. You have failed to acknowledge that you are engaged in a war. The Spirit desires those things which are contrary to the flesh and both are within you. But which will you choose? Many of you desire the Spirit but the flesh is weak and some have submitted to all kinds of repentance repeating the enchantment that its of no use. But let me ask you, my dear friend, have you yet resisted until you shed blood and tears, have you yet resisted to the point of starvation and putting your flesh to death? You haven’t my friend and that is because you have forgotten that you are in a war.

Suppose a thief comes to rob and kill your children (who are the goodness of your life), will you not resist until you could resist no more? and suppose you had in your advantage the strength to restrain them and tie them up, will you not use every ounce of your strength until you have gained victory? Will you merely subside and give in because its of a troublesome nature. A good man will fight until he has subdued the thief; and have we not better weapons of restraining sin in our lives? Have we not the Spirit of God, have we not the armour? Yes we have, but some of you have left it unused in the cupboards where the spiders make good use of it with their webs. Some of you fail to draw upon your sword and shield and you fight with mere natural means and consequently you have failed utterly.

Are you not ashamed of your sins, do you not despise them and do you not seek victory in this present life so that you may live in the bliss of righteousness which is your dutiful calling? I know that now, with those who have the Spirit of God in them that this their ache, to gain victory over their present sin, to be fully sanctified, to be wholly like their Lord in mind and Spirit. I know wholly that this is their desire because the Spirit which lives in them desires it and until they forsake their wilful sins, conviction will be like a needle in their nerves.

But some of you have no concern to struggle with your sins, some of you have no will to fight, some of you are secret lovers of your sins and use these meetings as a means to sooth your unconverted consciences. Some of you come with no aspiration for the glory of God in your hearts but your mouth are quick to declare it, some of you do not know God or his Son but you know of him by doctrine. Some of you are the devils kids, hypocrites and son of perdition. Some of you are not contrite nor moved by the holiness and judgement of God thinking that you will escape unscathed because you think that God is altogether like you. His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance, his grace to holiness.

 I say this not to be mean but to be real, for we do not live in Hollywood nor a dream but we live in the fallen world where men’s hearts are deceptive and unless the truth is preached those who scream peace when there is no peace will continue to rest with delightful ease whilst imminent danger awaits them. I do not want you to cross the bridge into eternity wholly entertaining a false hope, so I plea with you, with solemn tears, with many nights spend in anguish for your salvation that today you forsake your former hopes and cling to a new hope found in the gospel of Christ Jesus. I am calling you to repentance to trust in the Son of God and be born again. Ask the Lord today, ask him for pardon and that blood which was shed on Calvary will engulf you, purging you for the rest of your life until you reach heavens shores where you will be exactly like him.

 I ask of you my fellow saints to continue to resist sin, resist the devil and he will flee from you. And whilst resisting sin turn to Christ, put all your eyes upon him and your struggle with sin will gradually fade. Do this every day, every minute in your heart, and turn all of your activities as a means to glorify Him then you shall see that your affections for Christ will have truly permeate the whole of your existence and your countenance shall be as that greater than Moses, for he hid the glory of God under a veil but we are to show it, to demonstrate its power through Christ by His Spirit so that the whole world may see and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Forget your sins of yesterday, do away with them, but now make a resolution, affirm with your will that you are turning to Christ and away from your sins.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Miscellanies 21 - Eternal life is to know the Father and His Son

If eternal life is to know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ then we must begin the practice here. You must start now to rejoice in him, to find all your happiness in the knowledge of knowing him for this shall be your duty in eternity. If you have no delight now to know him, then I fear you may never enjoy him hereafter and heaven is no place for you. If you have no delight in a person would you marry them? If it does not excite you one bit to be around them, would you seek them out?  My friends you claim to know Christ but do you seek him, does your heart beat for him, are you thirsty without him, is your stomach hungry when you have not his bread to eat? The disciples turned the world upside down because they were about one thing, and that was to know Jesus Christ who is infinitely better than all the things this world can afford. Just as it is natural for a man to fix his eyes upon a beautiful woman likewise it is infinitely natural for the regenerate mind to fix their eyes upon Christ who is the author and perfecter of their faith. 

Oh come and seek his face, draw near to him if you have any inclinations, come if you have any love for him. Why withhold such splendid opportunities to be drenched in the waves of his love - I suppose it is because you do not want him. Be fools no longer and come through his gate, come willingly and boldly for he has called for you. His love is endless, his grace is matchless. Oh poor sinner, you are a child of God, a brother to your saviour; settle with your soul that it is the best of duty and delight to know him, no other thing is better than to know him. Settle it quickly with your soul, fight against your flesh and say the Lord is my portion, he is what I need and what I want. Come now and know him, he is alive and here. Call for his presence, bow your head in prayer, meditate on his precepts and the loveliness of his character. 

 Joh 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 
Joh 17:2  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 
Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.


Monday, 7 November 2011

I Hear the theme of love again

I hear the theme of love again
Which ascribes a spontaneous refrain;
‘Here I am come thee and find
And thou shall have a pleasurable time’.
But how dear love to you I find
When I here lost in darkness stand
In abject gloom of the trumpets blues.
Oh mercy me, thrust up my tune 
For I begrudge this present theme!
‘Here I am come thee and find
And thou shall have a pleasurable time’.


Friday, 4 November 2011

Auspicious consequences

Auspicious consequences emanate magically 

Whence adhered to Grace born unconditionally 

Through the deep steam of Love and Life

A race arouse in profundity afford.

In a day, this gift illuminated my Soul.

Wayward ways to the path unknown.

 The straight yard route of vigilant eye   

Will lead assuredly to the happiness foretold.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Joy of confession 14

Sinner: Oh Lord, forgive me for my sins. Those sins which I have kept close, hating, but unable to rid myself of it. It comes ever so subtly and makes my soul into a pool of idolatry. Oh I repent of these atrocities and never to do them again. Rid me of these horrid motivations, these alien passions gross to the Spirit’s way. Oh my soul, let me not forsake such a sweet path for vile streets, let me not enter into the harlots house, dinning with depraved souls who have given their being to cards. Be altogether different, be altogether lively and Holy, distinct from the world. Now my soul, you must rest and take a bath in the gospel of Christ; knowing that it was for me a sinner why he died. I must use his garment to wipe my sins and put on his righteousness. I have only this life to live wherein I can have impact on those souls who have yet to taste of his sweetness. Oh for your sunshine.

Sir: You have my Son, preached to your own soul.


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 ...