Monday, 31 December 2012

This new year

Begin the day with God, He is my rising Sun, He is the new day that conquers my yesterday, the tomorrow with new hope brings. Arise my dull heart and lift up His praise, open my feeble eyes, His glory to see, open my deaf ears, His voice to hear, awaken my affections, His love to feel. Mercy and grace He has for me today. Shall we not with creation say, "you are Lord who gives us all we need", I humbly bow at your majesty. Not by force you won my heart, but by love and through pain not your own, you bore mine so your lightness I can have, I live today brushing slothfulness away. This new year I am casting every weight aside, every sin to be tangled no more, righteousness shall be my constant theme to play, your joy proclaim welcoming all to adore thy fame. O the path whether golden or bloody I shall walk, whether tears or smiles I shall sing of you with my all, never to be lacking in zeal for your glory, looking beyond the clouds for my goal is yonder skies. This new year righteousness and peace shall kiss, and grace and truth shall walk  hands in hands, and every Christian I pray be of one accord, singing only Christ and all that He has done. No more lingering for water that does not quench, treasuring the pearl for which we have forsaken all, not love for Family will weaken my love for thee, thy gospel I pray shall influence all my ways. My part I employ like angels above, seeking thy face like Moses of old, if this year I die I shall be glad, that your errand I ran with joy delight.


I knew a sad boy (3)

I once knew a sad boy who in life's cheerful moments longed for the grave. When the youth in their strength employ in what makes their heart glad, He would sit underneath the oak tree, longing for the grave to become to him a peaceful rest. Nobody knew the reason for His extremely constant melancholy, save this, that once upon a time when this sad boy was only an infant, He saw the crushing of a butterfly, which in turn made him mourn for a day and forevermore.


Friday, 28 December 2012

A Prayer for my soul - Enter not into judgement with your servant

Dear God, my Father who art in Heaven, I beg you with all the tears I can cry for you to hear my prayer. O Yahweh, give ear to my supplications. Answer me, not according to my faithfulness nor righteousness but answer me according to Yours. And enter not into judgment with me your servant, the one whom you have called; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. The enemy has persecuted my soul, namely the devil, sin and my flesh. They have smitten my life down to the ground. They have made me to dwell in darkness as those that have been long dead. My soul was dead to thee and to my friends. There was no spiritual fervour in me, causing me to sit from a distance only to contemplate the worship that all the saints are enjoying in your house, namely the church. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditated on all thy works, storing up your words in my heart; I mused on the works of thy hands and rejoiced exceedingly in thy great salvation. I was filled with a fervent zeal to preach your gospel and to love all with the love that you showed me. Today Lord, I stretch forth my hands unto you: my soul is thirsty for you. Hear me quickly LORD, my spirit is speedily failing: hide not your face from me, lest I be among them that shipwreck their faith and go down to hades with abundance of sorrow. Cause me to feel your lovingkindness in the morning because in you do I trust. Cause me to know the way where I should walk because I lift up my soul unto you. Deliver me my God from mine enemies: It is to you I flee to hide and protect me. In my own strength I have failed so my God teach me to do thy will for you are my Father. Your Spirit is good; lead me into the life of uprightness. Awaken me O Lord for thy name's sake. Do it for your righteousness and glory and bring my soul out of this darkness. And of your mercy, cut off my enemies. Slay them with your mighty arm, and destroy them that afflict my soul because I am your child.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Her feelings for me

"Is Bristol ready for you?" Her soft serene eyes sparkled with a smile as she questioned.
With a cheerful pause lingering in the atmosphere, I replied,  "I'm not that exciting."

She understood not my meaning but yet emitted a summers smile.

I continued to express from my answer: "Bristol in all her winterish manners is I think indifferent to me."
With a calm yet wanting curiosity she said, "You don't sense much of an opinion either way from Bristol, no? Sometimes I feel like Bristol has an opinion, she thinks I shouldn't be there but sometimes she makes me feel warmly welcomed. You know, I think your pretty face is exciting but don't let your lack of excitement make you feel that Bristol isn't ready for you."

Her blushing soft flowery warmth showered me to continue the conversation. I responded.

"Not at all. Bristol never speaks to me. She is unlike London in her ever uncaring state about my fickle welfare. Whereas London pays attention and kisses me with the soft touches of comfort. I always feel London's presence although She is very much unfaithful in her ways, yet, she loves me with all of her soul. Bristol yet remains a stranger. Long into the nights I have called to her to come and have a conversation with me but to no avail. She remains quiet as the walls and far away as the stars above, although I dwell in the place where she calls her own. But to her I must return. Her feelings towards me is as cold as winter. No. It's worse. It is neither hot nor cold. It is lukewarm; indifferent like the sun to mankind's sorrows. If she was to me as harsh as the icy January days then I may begin to plan how I could flatter her in order for her to have hot feelings towards me like the heat possesses for June. But Bristol has nothing of that sort for me. She continues her existence, bestowing kisses, favours and hatred to all that live in her but me she acknowledges not."

With a great gravity of care in her feminine soul, she did try to persuade me that Bristol does have a lightning jolt of care for me. Her attractive, ear warming voice almost persuaded me to believe that Bristol retained an abundance of respectable affection for me but I replied with all of Romeo's confidence for Juliette that, "Silent respectable affections is not much use to anyone".


Getting Envious

I’m hearing tales of fibs
Every time I hear about you
The sisters be telling stories
That I consider a lavish rumour
But is it true?
That question I'll direct straight at ya.
Not that I don’t trust you
But because I’m getting envious.

The Lonely jogger

You see my friend, there is no one for me who will last the race with me. My role is to be of a good company for a while, to jog along with you for a certain distance and then to acquaint you with other joggers. At first your attachment to me will be much, then slowly it fades because your attachment to them becomes stronger. I will soon set you in their midst and soon you will be one of them. I will quietly slow my pace and watch you jog ahead with them. You will not notice my departure for I would have determined your heart to be as happy with them as possible. Then I must continue on my race alone until I find a lonely jogger and begin the task again. That’s how I found you and soon I must leave you and you must leave me. “I could be the one for you.” My good friend, there is already one for me but He is at the end of the race. I can picture the elation on his face when finally I shall join him. But once upon a time, I thought myself to be in the best of company, assured that She was for me. Such a feeling I have never felt except when I began this race. I will feel it again when I finish it. The bond between us was like electricity, it was that of a mighty wave pounding upon a rock. My heart knew no slowness. I thought she was for me, the one I will finish this race with but it was not to be. She was the highest  pleasure I had ever felt among all God’s creatures, but she found a better happiness amidst the company I introduced her too. I did smile and cry when she began to pace with the crowd and I slowed my step. I almost wished to stop but I remembered him, his joy, his love and gladness for me and quickly and slowly I continued my journey.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The great truth of Christmas

The great truth of Christmas is that God so loved the world that he sent His only Son, Jesus into the world. This Son sent by his Father dwelt among us, understanding our sorrows and pain, becoming like us in every way but without sin. This Child grew up to challenge the injustice of his nation, to heal the broken-hearted, to humble the proud, to restore the outcast, to raise the dead, to teach a bunch of no schoolers how to be world changers. He bowed down to no crooked authority, he suffered for what he believed, he brought in God's good government, he was in the business of social healing, he preached the gospel that whoever believes in him will not perish. He taught the people about grace and truth and above all he revealed the Father's love for humanity. This is not a myth. History tells us that this one man's teaching and display of radical love, death and resurrection subdued the Roman empire through his disciples by radically loving its citizens and enemies. Those who walked with Jesus could not deny his resurrection, his enemies could not deny His power and today, his power and life changing love is being felt far and wide. The Father gave us a costly gift in the first Christmas, namely His Son who would die a death for you. Would you have given such a precious gift for those you knew would scorn it? If this wasn't true I would not believe it. Join me and countless others who have reached out their hands through the gesture and willingness of faith to receive and accept this precious gift. You only need to trust and from hence on live your life for Him who so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. He is the Father of Christmas, He is the Father of lights.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Earth's only rose

I sat across a beautiful face
          One which my eyes looked not away.
 Such simplicity
 Natural owned
                   Earth's only rose.
A Princess of a distant land
                 Distinct, revealing peace through her slowly blinking eyes.
Drawing near. 
  A crowd of earth's finest flowers blocking my path.
'Why keep me away earth's flowers?'
'She is untouchable until the hour comes'. Replied a chorus of voices.
'When is that hour, what day will it come?'
'Those with patience sleep shall wake when the time is complete.
                                  Will you sleep with patience?'
'I have no other errand to run but for her'.
'Wait, until time reveals that hour which none but to fate known'
I waited a century Long.
She, still bright, Earth's only rose.
 I wither,  withered away -
Becoming a flower like them, hindering the path to her.
A young man once Like I, sat across her beautiful face
           One which his eyes looked not away.
Desiring her once like I
His end will in a century be one Like mine.

in order for the boy to have her who has so captivated him, he has to wait until the hour comes. but no one knows when that hour is. so the boy waits but of course time ages him and he becomes like all who have waited and sought to have her. of course this can also be metaphorical for those who perhaps are seeking eternal life but in order for them to have that which has won their soul they have to wait and of course time takes away their strength and they never know what time their master will return.

Her eyes catches mine

Her eyes catches mine. Sitting opposite we exchange glances. I wondered what her curiosity with my face may be. Perhaps She likes my features which are mere ordinary in my eyes and hers is like that of a sunflower in all of its colourful glory. Her feminine frame is petite; her manners seems to flow from nature in the way she smiled at me. But the circumstances disagrees with our acquaintance, denying us a momentary time of happiness. I’m sure a conversation with her would be magnificent, not so much in the manifestation of it but in all the pent up energy behind it. My heart is racing for her as the champion horse, neighing ever loudly till at last my galloping legs cross that finishing line. O to know this wonder! But my heart be steady - this is the beginning of all unfaithfulness. Now is the time to remember the wise words of Solomon, to forsake the glance of the adulteress; not that she is one or that I am married. But this opportunity I must relinquish. It is not worth a length of sorrows for a day of pleasure. Tomorrow I shall be glad that I did not fall for that which my flesh desired. And I shall look at my beloved with a faithful eye and tell her that I am pure towards her and no woman have I engaged with in the act that will soon belong alone to me and her.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Come Holy Spirit

I am convinced that only the Holy Spirit can make men be sensible of the awful condition of their sin in relation to the Holiness of God and the eternal damnation of their souls. I am also convinced that only the Holy Spirit can make men do anything to the glory of God, or have a continual will to please him because He is the treasure of their soul. Man is so far from God by nature that unless he is aided by the Holy Spirit, man can do nothing good, nothing which could arouse any merit as to make heaven watch in applause. When the Holy Spirit withdraws from a saint, as to hide himself for a season, How easy it is for that saint to find himself delighting with the things of the world, or at least having no will for the things of righteousness. I know something of it and it scares my soul. It drives me to my knees pleading to heaven that the Spirit should come out from His shadows and come again to my light. Without thee I cannot delight in Christ, without thee I shall continue to shipwreck my faith. This truth has driven me to prayer for my lost friends for I know that without the Spirit's effectual aid that many shall continue in their depraved state, having no tears towards God for their sins, having no real repentance about them. I fear also that many in the church are without the Holy Spirit's conviction. They have only morals and feel only what mere mortals feel in wrong doing. They have no fear of God, they have never delighted themselves in Christ and they have no everlasting fruit. The blessed Apostle said that 'No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit', and our Lord Jesus also said 'Unless one is born again they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven'. The whole world is in darkness, they have no sense in seeing their moral midnight. The bright afternoon is far from them unless the Holy Spirit brings them such a bright light to dispel their fruitless evenings. I cry in the deepness of my soul for such an effectual grace to be poured out on them especially on those who feel that they are not lost but are in fact more lost than those who realize it not. I have walked in the night and lately have slumbered in it only to realise my folly made known to me by the divine Spirit. Without his aid and effort I should be as blind to my misery as many who are now on the ship of the world. This is why I look upon those on this voyage with great mercy and pity, not with condemnation, for such eyes and heart will do them no good. I can only look upon them with love and prayer hoping that my intercession to the Father will prevail against their will, snatching them from the ship to hades to the upward ladder to paradise. But God, I must confess that I have not prayed as I ought. I have not wept for them as I ought and I have not had such a great deal of urgency for their salvation as that apostle who was moved with fear and love to do as much as he can to persuade men and women to seek the reconciliation which God offers to orphaned humanity. O my brothers and sisters, our friends without the Lord have only one hope, namely, the effectual calling of the God in their souls. And we must not be angered by their blindness for it is only natural for them to do the deeds of darkness because anything done without faith is sin. And since they possess no faith towards God, even the best of them, yet we must love and love until we bleed, until we feel the heavy stones of their persecution, saying with our crucified master, 'Forgive them Father they know not what they do'. For if they did know they would be wise and sensible, although some do know and are beyond the lines of repentance. They are those that the Spirit will never visit for He has determined never to kiss them with grace for they have blasphemed his name. Such are the ones who have committed that sin which leads to death of which Apostle John instructs us not to pray for. I too will have no desire to pray for them but I do not know them. Therefore I lift up my hands, praying for all in as much as they are brought to my memory. O Holy SPirit come and do your convicting work in the hearts of my friends, come and regenerate poor sinners for this makes the Heart of Christ, your beloved Glad.


The Moonlight Elf

There I was throwing off my feast clothes for poor ones. Hanging up the flute, held captive by the moonlight Elfs. They asked for a song, enticing me to forget her, to sing a dirge, to sing my reality. But nay. I must forget me before I ever forget her. This torture, I will endure for her to see again, never will shut this eyes until her light my darkness dispel. For Love, one can go length upon length beyond humanity's edge, soaring off its horizon to attain an immortal rank. "Come my torturer's do to me what you may. I know your princess loved by me is hideous to thee. But love grows in unfavourable gardens, mine never was made fertile, but her, for reasons only God knows, love grew from this desert heart of mine. Blame me not for kissing her lips, she kissed me too, kill me and you will break her heart. If thee want a happy queen, which one day she shall be, then spare me or else a broken heart with no love shall govern thee."

"Before your murder commence our ruin as you say, although her too we plot to kill, replacing her with one who hates your race as much as pride abhors humility, please discourse to us what you may in this last hour of your breath. For we, though viewed Barbarians by your race are lover's of stories in soul."



What is your infliction? What are your sorrows?

The glorious hope we have should make our burdens light and momentary, that although we feel them as heavy as the earth, yet, our soul is full of heaven's joy because of the hope that awaits us.
What is your infliction? What are your sorrows? Can you compare them to the bliss to come? Would you have it the other way around, namely, to have your rest here and your sorrows in hell for all eternity.
O endure! Endure until death takes you home. Tell your captives that you are singing; that their ills is all from God's discliplinary hands. O tell them that their evil is for your good; every sweat and tears will soon be wiped away. Tell them that your injuries will not cause you to sway and although you perish in Egpyt yet you will rise in Canaan's bliss.

Friday, 21 December 2012

A Gun is drawn

A gun is drawn for killing

Loaded up for slaughter

It is polished to consume

And to flash like lightening

Held by the hands of soldier men

Skilful to destroy

Their targets are fuel for the fire (peace)

The innocent blood will pour in the midst of the land (Casualties).

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The pleasure in seeing her family

And the pleasure in seeing her family created a joy in me to want to have such felicity of fellowship with those whom I knew where the blood in her veins. Such community, such beauty, such siblings and splendid smiles, at once would make me run sweet errands for them. And it did warm my heart to say goodbye, seeing it as grace from the gentle hands of God to bless my day as I made it back home in time to see them depart. It's been my pleasure to meet you all, although briefly and momentarily. I loved playing table football with the boys, and hearing your sister sing was truly music to my ears. I bid you all a happy holiday and a Christmas rich with the Spirit of love which first saw it fit, good and necessary to send his Son as to rescue us from our darkness into his marvellous light.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Doesn't science disprove Christianity?

There have been obvious conflicts between the scientific community and the religious community over certain points. Of course, the most notable dispute historically was the embarrassing episode of Galileo and the whole theory of whether the earth or the sun was the center of the solar system. We know that many bishops refused to even look at the evidence of a telescope because they had already baptized another scientific tradition that wasn’t biblical. This was a case, incidentally, in which the scientific community corrected theological interpretation and misinterpretation of Scripture because Scripture doesn’t teach that the earth is the center of the solar system, and it took the scientific community to correct us at that point.

To go further than that and to say that sometimes science corrects erroneous ideas is one thing, but actually to disprove Christianity . . . there are very few points of the Christian faith that are vulnerable to scientific attack. If a person says, “Well, we can scientifically prove that people can’t come back from the dead,” for example, and if science could prove that it’s impossible for the God of the universe to raise his Son from the dead, then obviously Christianity would be discredited and disproved. I don’t see how a scientist could even begin to approach that. All a scientist can do is to say that, under normal conditions and standard procedures, people who die stay dead. Of course, it doesn’t take a twentieth-century scientist to understand that; first-century people were well aware of the fact that when people died, they stayed dead. So unless the scientist could somehow disprove the existence of God or the resurrection of Christ, I don’t see how they could in any way actually falsify the claims of the Christian faith. Just because they’re not falsified doesn’t mean that they’re verified obviously. But I don’t see how we have anything to fear at that level.

The usual point of tension, however, has to do with the origin of the universe and the origin of life. If science proves that the world was not created, I think that would destroy the Christian faith. Christianity is committed to the concept of divine creation—that there is an eternal Creator before whom we are all responsible and by whom we were all created and that all that is made has been made through him and that the universe is not eternal. If the scientist could prove that the universe were in fact eternal, that would be the end of the Christian faith. But I don’t think we have the slightest need to worry about that.

By R C Sproul -

Saturday, 15 December 2012

A prayer for my soul - No Christmas for me

Dear God, I'm dying inside

There will be no Christmas for me

If soon I don't see the light.

Lost in my misery, estranged to the world of the living,

Fighting a range of passions, I really don't want to be feeling.

Misguided and Lost, I just want to get away

Trying to keep the faith, but sin keeps killing me.

Worried about my past, got me anxious about the future

Every time I sleep, I see the devil in my dreams

Dear Lord can you hear me? I've got friends who ain't like me

Feeling what I ain't feeling, nobody cares about my ills.

Doubting my own salvation, no line of grace I can see

Has heaven got a room, for orphans like me?

I want this passion gone, it seems I loved the wrong one.

Scared to come out, my pride is keeping me inside.

Take me away, to the place I once knew

Where you were all I dreamed, my soul was accustomed to no misery.

I wanna love life, but death seems a better friend

Man of sorrows, Please heal me with the stripes you bore.

Dear God, please help me

Or there will be no Christmas for me.


This prayer is for those who are feeling far away from God or feel a struggle within their soul. They are wanting to be free of the power of sin or feelings which they feel in their nature that does not prize Christ as their highest treasure.


Never could be dull in her sight

Never could be dull in her sight

At first appearance all in me did awaken

Flying ever fluidly to that happy state

Where fancy made alive by a pretty face

O my Lord forgive me for such bias

Such extreme with her when with no other’s felt

Imagining the touch almost as deep as the divine

Colouring my blank canvas with flowery smiles

O to stop my bias ways, to be this happy when all is present

Instead of one who cheers away my inwardness

Bringing out the community, detained in this heart of need


Friday, 14 December 2012

What is your love for God like?

Is your love like the morning mist
Like the early dew that disappears
Is your love like a faulty bow
Like smoke escaping through a window door
Is your love like the four seasons
Like the appearing of the summer rain
Or is your Love like the SUN
Which endures throughout the generations.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

How to Watch ‘The Hobbit’


At long last, Bilbo Baggins is back. Whether you’re fanatic enough to dress up for the midnight showing, or patiently awaiting a weekend outing, or even content to meander into a theatre after the crowds die down, here’s some advice for how to make the most of your experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Don’t worry, there’s no spoiler below. My hope in seeing an early screening of the film is to be at your service in preparing you for the viewing, not by letting any cat out of the bag — although if you’ve read the book, you know where this film is going.

It is fitting to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for an experience like this. That’s precisely what the story’s creator — he would prefer “sub-creator” — J. R. R. Tolkien would have you do, and it’s no necessary sign of unhealthy self-occupation to do so. Perhaps as much as any writer, Tolkien carefully crafted his tales for the profound spiritual effect they would have on the reader. He means for you to be deeply affected. He means for his story, set in a “secondary world” called Middle Earth, to give you a certain experience, a kind of deep joy and satisfaction, that draws from the “primary world” in which we live. So, don’t waste your ticket by showing up unprepared.

Adjust Your Expectations

Expectation management is important with a film like this — not because the film isn’t well done, it’s extraordinary — but because any film based on a well known and well loved book faces this challenge. And all the more after the 2001–2003 movie trilogy was such a smashing success.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit in the 1930s as a children’s book. It was the mid 1950s before he finished publishing The Lord of the Rings. By then, he was a more mature novelist and “sub-creator” and had seen how interested adults could be in his hobbit tale. So his sequel is darker. And it’s the sequel that made Tolkien the author of the century, not The Hobbit — good as The Hobbit is. It’s no accident that director Peter Jackson started with The Lord of the Rings. LOTR is the more compelling story.

So at least adjust your expectations on that count. (Jackson has compensated for this by making the Hobbit film to borrow some darkness and gravity from its already produced sequel.)

Also, it’s fair to recognize that Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) is now over a decade older — which seems pronounced in the opening scenes, but fades as the story begins to move. So also with Ian Holm (the older Bilbo) and Christopher Lee (Saruman). However, Hugo Weaving (Elrond) and Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) appear to have barely aged a day — could they actually be elves? But apart from those two, adjust your expectations on the actors. I should note that the two main new faces, Martin Freeman (the young Bilbo) and Richard Armistace (Thorin Oakenshield) do a fantastic job.
One final adjustment to mention: double frames per second (HFR: high frame rate). For decades, the movies have been 24 frames per second. In some 400 theaters, double that rate is being offered.

Another option is 3D. The screening I took in was not only HFR, but also 3D. Add to that the fact that it’s been a decade since I saw Lord of the Rings in a theater, not to mention other technological advances, and it took me awhile to “adjust” to this film. At first, it didn’t “feel” to me like the trilogy. The HFR and 3D (and I don’t typically see 3Ds) seemed to make the film almost too real. Dwarf costumes are difficult enough without doubling the frames per second. The improved realness proved a distraction and slowed my ability to willingly suspend my disbelief. If you feel this way early on, don’t get discouraged too quickly. As the story picked up, I lost awareness of the changes and was able to get into it better.

Enjoy the Serkis

I continue to be amazed how well Andy Serkis and movie-making technology are able to pull off the creature Gollum. Bilbo’s “riddles in the dark” scene with Gollum is spectacular. Tolkien would be very pleased, perhaps flattered, to see his complex character come to life so well. This is definitely something to look forward to. The real fanatics may want to re-read chapter 5 in The Hobbit to be ready for the fast-moving dialogue between Bilbo and Gollum that holds very true to Tolkien.

Cut the Writers Some Slack

Some Hobbit fans will be surprised to find two prominent characters in the movie who were not in the book — another wizard, named Radagast the Brown, and a lead villain called Azog, the pale orc. Apparently, these are drawn in from Tolkien’s Silmarillion — I wouldn’t know, haven’t read it — which means another set of Tolkien fans (the Super-Committed) will be thrilled. You try making a 300-page book into three movies. All things considered, Unexpected Journey stays impressively close to Tolkien’s storyline, but introduces some minor twists and turns to fit the medium and keep everyone on their toes. It’s a good blend of fidelity and freshness.

For the ultra-purists, if you just want straight Tolkien, then just read the book. The movie, by necessity, is not, and cannot be, just straight Tolkien. You get Peter Jackson and a lot of others. Which is a good thing. Remind yourself that film is a different medium than book. Try to appreciate both for what they are. Better to prepare yourself now for this than to needlessly bellyache about the movie not being as good as the book.

Listen for the Echoes of the Gospel

At the end of his important essay “On Fairy Stories,” Tolkien explains from where he intends his tales to draw their power — from the emotional reservoir of the Christian gospel. The “primary world” story of the Son of God himself, taking full humanity at Christmas, living flawlessly in our fallen world, sacrificing himself to rescue us on Good Friday from God's just wrath, and rising again victorious on Easter as the living Lord of the Universe — here is the Story for which God made the human heart and the Story from which all good stories derive their power.

For Tolkien, the enchantment of the Christian gospel is deeper than allegory (which he thought crass) or merely having a character who is the Jesus figure. Tolkien believed that God made humanity for the Great Joy purchased by and provided in the Good News of Jesus, and that the joy we experience from good fantasy tales stream their power from the real world, the Primary Reality, created by God and culminating in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son. In this way, Tolkien thought that all good stories meet with God’s gospel-shape imprint on his creatures.

Finding Jesus in The Hobbit doesn’t mean shoe-horning Gandalf or Bilbo or anyone else into some Christ mold, but following the story, truly tracking its twists, feeling its angst, and knowing that the “turn” — the Great Unexpected Rescue just in the nick of time, the place where our souls are most stirred and relieved and satisfied — is tapping into something deep in us, some way in which God spring-loaded us for the Great Story and the extent to which he went to rescue us.

by David Mathis - original post at

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Only if you come then you will see

I need a water from the well you drink
The spring you think gives you life to the best degree

Let's analyse, are you satisfied in this heavy heat?
Then why do you come day after day to fill again?
Come with me and I'll show you a better stream
Which will satisfy you eternally.
But do you believe?
Only if you come then you will see
The water of life that all the saints drink.
Tell me what you think

Does such a place even exist?

Follow my lead and you will see the one who gives.


Say it like you mean it

Say it like you mean it
Tell me baby do you love me and need me
Cuz lately you've been acting kind of strangish
Neglecting me and I'm feeling pretty wayish
Don't understand, is it our love that is fading
Or am I just dreaming acting insanely
Tell me the truth, I love you like the first fruits
The best stories are the ones that I tell of you.
I'm going mad, tell me baby that you ain't changed
The water's deep and you know I cannot swim.
Will you come to my rescue or let me drown
Because I see no other path that I could climb.
Although I'm inclined to your every word
Tell me the truth, So I can choose to live or die,
But say it like you mean it!

The devil comes

The Devil comes
And the Wicked flee
As they ran from his lavish screams
But we see
The righteous sit in total peace
Watching the devil
As they call on their Righteous King
So it begins
The devil couldn't understand their ways
The death he held couldn't take away nothing of their gain
Commence the reign
Of the Son who died
To live eternally
For the sake of the righteous to obtain
A glorious immortal state.


Will you believe

Perhaps I have a dream
A vision of woe like the prophets of old
Or I my false
A critical error in the words I told
But if its true
Will my words hold like glue
Or will you fold
Unfolding all the reasons you hold.
Remember me
I told you of war when there was peace
Remember me
I came with the knowledge you didn't seek
But I my true
Like Nathaniel under the tree
Will you believe or remain deceived
Or will you seek
Like the blessed meeks
It all remains
Nobody entered into His rest
They all rebelled
So He buried them there.
Will you believe the gospel of grace
Or remain in a deathless state.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Good works can be dangerous

A Father says to his child, 'Son if you are good through out the whole month of December, then I will get you what you really want for Christmas'. The child then leaves encouraged knowing that if he is good enough then His daddy his sure to give him his desires. This is often the heart that people tend to have towards God. If you were to ask people today the question that why should God let you into heaven? Most people will say because I am a good person. The reason follows that because they are a good person God ought to give them their Christmas present, namely heaven. Those who know nothing about the bible or about the God of the bible can be forgiven for such ignorance but those who profess to know the God of the bible are at times those who tend to treat God this way.

What I mean is this. Most Christians know better than to say that the reason God should let them into heaven is because of their good works. Most Christians will say it is because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, which is correct and should be applauded. But if you were to watch the way some of us Christians live our lives, it is clear that our mentality is still the one like the child who strives to be good in order to receive his Christmas present. Sure, many Christians may deny this in speech but practically it is clear.

I mean ask yourself this heart searching question? Why do you want to be holy? Why do you really want to do good works? Is it really to bring God glory, or for you to feel good deep down about yourself so that you may have confidence to approach God and thus ask him anything? It seems to me that it is in the moments when we feel that we have done a very good thing that we feel confidence before God. The reason for this is simple, namely, that we are relying our good works rather than the good works of Jesus Christ. Of course there is a place for good works and we should do good works, but good works can be really dangerous when you rely upon it for coming near to God.

It is not only our sins that can undo us but it is also our good works. A person who relies on their good works is really a person who is boasting before God, and that their good works demands his attention rather than his grace and mercy. One way we know we are relying on our good works is to measure how confidence we are when we feel ourselves to be so impure, how delightful we enter into God's presence and really rejoice that it is because of Jesus Christ that we are able to come into his presence. And also when we feel that we are holy, do we mourn the fact of our unworthiness and give praise to Jesus for making us worthy. For some of us this doesn't enter our minds, and that's because we are relying on our good works to some degree. To be free from this notion we ought to always know that it is Christ who is all sufficient for us in all of our conditions. So next time you feel unworthy to come before God because of your sins, it is then that you should come dancing because of the goodness of Jesus. And next time that you feel that you are good enough, repent of such thinking and give praise to God for Jesus who makes you worthy before him. By doing this you are always relying on Christ rather than your emotions or your good works. Remember, good work can be dangerous.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Miscellanies 62: Rising from the darkness

Last late evening, there was in me a deep melancholy theme, a sorrow that sat at the bottom of my stomach which made me dull to the colours of life. I sat still pondering the meaning of my ways and why certain things are the way they are. I questioned why these sudden outcome could not change, and what I could have done differently. Surely if I had a better zeal, a fearless character, an undisturbed love then perhaps I may have won the battle. But it is now lost of which the devil in his filthiness almost drove me hopeless. To combat his inflicting arrows I did say and tell my soul somewhere along the way, that God has everything in his hands and there is nothing that happens in this cosmos where it is not in some way his sovereign will. Everything that happens to me, happens for my good, every emotion felt, every deep pain I know serves a purpose which will glorify God and my fullness of joy. Thus this morning, my condition is much in an elevated state. It is peaceful and driven with passion to make something of this miserable life, to use my all to the glory of Christ. O none knows the sorrows of the darkness of sin save those who have felt it. O for mortification, O for feelings of righteousness. I wish and pray already that I was already glorified. That I was in some way free from sin, and in another way free of uncaused rising passions. I know that there is in this life a valley to walk, a mountain to climb and a race to run. Not knowing the longevity of my years, I feel mine is a race I must sprint, counting each day ever closer to the hour when I will kiss the end of my destiny. Now Father I pray, that today as I live this life that must be lived, I pray that I may cause someone to smile, someone to hear your goodnews, someone to become a lover of Christ, somewhere to witness your heavenly will.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Miscellanies 61 - Battle with my soul

I do, do battle with my soul. I fight my heart, doing as much as I can to wean it away from the pleasures of this world. Increasingly I find a terrible root, rooted in my soul, that the motivations of my deeds at times only have Christ as secondary; and for the sake of his glory and my Joy, I will not have it so. Christ must have precedent, He must reign supreme in my heart. He must be the King of my desire and the driver of my will. I will have no other take such a prominent place. I will has he has commanded, hate mothers and sisters, brothers, friends and fancy when my love for Christ is compared. It will be as if I had no true love for them for the Love of Christ will so reign supreme that constantly I will will one thing, namely, His will. But Christ, I am so feeble, my emotions are so fickle, bearing under the weight of passions which I desire to flee from, but Lo, I keep on turning. Help me dear Father, release me from this fetters and let me be as one who desires but one thing.


I knew a sad boy (2)

I once knew a boy, sadder than the stones in the graveyard, who when dying whispered his last remaining words of woe, and said, 'I never even knew who loved me much, silent they were in life's happy moments. I wish there was a soul of a girl who revealed her fancy to me, I much revealed mine to a few, but none looked to me with golden melted eyes'.


Communion with God

How much do you really desire communion with God? By communion is meant how much do you run with great eagerness to be found talking with God or knowing that you are constantly in his presence in everything you do.

By way of example, a boy after school would often run home to commune with his PlayStation, or a person who loves money will joyfully commune with businesses in order to gain more money. In our day many of us commune with technology. At first sunrise we check our emails, before our eyes shut we linger on the internet.

Many of us have friends whom we are eager and desperate to commune with that we constantly make it our business to engage with them because we have some pleasure in communing with them. Those who are in love know of the deep longing of communion and how sweet and satisfying that communion is when had. One lover cannot wait until he has returned into his beloved's arms and the other waits with longing for her beloved to be in sight as to run and greet them with a wet kiss.

My friends, When was the last time that joy overwhelmed your soul that you ran, leaving all in order to meet your Heavenly Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit? When was the last time your sleeping heart ached for the morning because you long to worship your beloved God? When was the last time you finished work, and desired to run into your room, closing all the windows and blinds in order to enjoy, delight and commune with God?

It seems to me that Communion with God is acted upon when our hearts are filled with care, but when they are empty of the fevers of life, how many are found to commune with God for pleasure and happiness?

This is one reason I think that the prayer rooms are often empty or poorly attended. Therefore it will not surprise me if a great portion of those who confess fellowship with God have left off constant communion with God. The three reasons why I think this is so is three fold.
 1. People who confess to be in fellowship with God are now out of love with God.
2. They have no real sense on the importance of constant communion in order for the growth of their faith.
3. They do not see that it is in communion with God can they have their true happiness. There are more reasons that can be submitted but these for now will suffice.

1. People who confess to be in fellowship with God are now out of love with God. A man who has no real love for his wife would desire no real communion with her except those which are necessary. They will discourse only mere trifles given brief answers to one another, but there will be nothing of that substance of joy and happiness in wanting to know his wife. He will not speak of her to his friends, He would have no joyful desire to go home but home he must go indeed. Likewise those in the church who have no real love for God or have fallen out of love with God are those who will do the bare necessities. They will come to church on Sundays to offer up their societal Christian duty and sing songs as if they were in love, but as soon as these errands are done, there is no more joyful desire to wake up in communion with God or to live their day in communion with him, whom they claim to love. These will speak to God about those things which are necessary e.g. praying before meals, and these things will have no substance in their communication because their end is to offer up a religion rather than the substance found in a happy relationship.

These who are out of love with God are those who have forgotten their first love. They have simply forgotten the freshness and fragrance of Christ atoning sacrifice, the depths of the Father’s love and the Spirit’s desire to distribute to them the comfort of his nature. They have lost sight of the amazing goodness of God as given to them in the gospel, they have forgotten his heart for them. They have not remembered the words of Christ, that the Father loves them and his disposition towards them his good. They have forgotten that greeting which always comes favourable to them in the words of grace and peace and even so, in a greater degree they have forgotten that God desires fellowship with them and that He wants to make their home with them.  "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. They have also forgotten the words, "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you". They have not remembered that Christ promised not to leave them as orphans. They have forgotten that Christ is constantly knocking upon the doors of their hearts saying each morning will you not let me in so that you may have your heart in mine and we can dine together.

O sluggish saint, I beg you to arise from your sleep and come running into communion with your God. He loves you, He desires you and will you not want to commune with him. Will you pass by the abundant feast he has prepared for you? Will you continue to neglect him, for if you do, then fear, that perhaps you truly do not have any love for him. O awaken your love, remind yourself why you first loved him. Have him again in your sights and return to your first love.  

2  They have no real sense on the importance of constant communion in order for the growth of their faith. Those that have no real sense in communion with God in order for the maturity of their faith will neglect communion with God for other religious duties. Their ways will be pragmatic, too much time in prayer will be seen as energy wasted, and although they deny this in speech yet their practise speaks loudly. They have not yet understood that communion with God is the real source of power and that which causes lasting fruit. Remain in me and I will remain in you says our Lord. We are to remain in communion with him, we are not to desert him for practical means.

It was our Lord who said, Joh 15:4, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

This text exhorts us to cleave to Christ with all of our heart and soul. An infant cannot satisfy his thirst unless his parents gives it to him, likewise no saint will bear fruit unless they continue to abide in Christ, unless they continue to commune with Christ. Communion is at the heart of procuring fruit in Christ’s Kingdom. Those who have left off this holy delight are those who soon have no real sense of the presence of Christ in their ministry. All of their works is decorated in human wisdom.

If you desire for your faith to yield that 100 fold which our Lord speaks of, then commune with him. Seek him with all of your heart. Consider him your daily treasure. Make him the satisfaction of all of your hunger and thirst. Be found constantly in his presence then those fruits of righteousness will grow abundantly and beautifully in you.

3. And thirdly there are those who have not yet understood that true happiness is found in communion with God. It is a Christian truth that mankind was made for God and to enjoy him forever. The picture we get of the duty of the saints in all eternity is worship. They will be delighting in God forever. To commune with God is to be truly satisfied with God regardless of our condition. When we bring our sorrowful petitions to him, is not the end of our petitions for him to comfort us and set peace in our hearts? Is not the end of our prayers ultimately to say your will be done O Lord. And is there not ultimately pleasure and happiness at the right hand of God? Those who have lingered much in communion can say, that it is in those moments when they have so experienced God as vivid and full in their hearts they did encounter their deepest joy of happiness and satisfaction. Nothing else can compare to it. But if one is not sensible of the deep happiness contained in this communion with God, then one will not so desire to run towards it. We were made to be happy and this desire is to have its end in God. He is the source of all pleasures; and if we are wise then we will indeed hate our relationships with other things and run to Him as fast as we can for our happiness.

Christ often communed with his disciples with words. He said in Joh 15:11, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full". These are strange words as one commentator writes, that one about to be crucified should speak of his joy! His joy was union with and presence of the Father. He had "anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows." He desired his disciples to have that joy, the constant consolation of the sense of the presence of Christ.

O come and speak to Christ, Come and speak also to his Father. They have spoken to you so that your joy may be full. O come into the conversation, come into the fellowship to which you were made for. O come into the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Come and be sensible as to have your heart indulged in pleasure; for as well as the end of the words he spoke was all to the praise of his glory yet it is also that his joy may be in you and that your joy may be full. I know that you want fullness of Joy, so come now and linger much in communion with your Heavenly Father.

To add these last few words as to promote no misunderstandings, that of course, to commune with God can be done in various places (in churches, with believers, and etc.) and can be done constantly in the soul. I believe that we can carry God in our souls, being ever so mindful of his presence at all times that no matter where we are, we can be sure that He is there with us. And an acknowledgement of this basic fact will indeed free you to lift up holy hands or quietly, amidst a crowd of people speaking to your beloved God in the joy of your soul.

And there is that quiet place. That place of intimacy. That bed of matrimony which only a husband and a wife share and there, they commune so deeply that none knows the pleasure of it except them who engaged in such holy acts. Likewise, there is that place, that heaven of paradise where one ought to visit often, making sure that it is only them and their Creator; and then with great humbling energy place themselves upon his loving arms and speak to him the desires of their soul. There he would listen and speak in return to you, comforting you and flushing you with the joy that is much contained in him.

Communion demands perseverance. Communion demands a willingness to stay beyond the discipline, until the sunshine is poured into the soul. O to commune with God is infinitely better than to commune with anyone else. And what shame that many of us have forsaking such a happy engagement. O now, will you not shut your eyes, will you not forsake the world’s pleasures of your heart and seek heavenly communion with your God? O pursue communion, have him in your heart. Love him with magnificence and you shall see your soul warmth and caressed with sovereign joy.



Saturday, 8 December 2012

I knew a sad boy

I knew a boy who in life's happy hours mourn, when flowers blossom and youth with energy grows, He cannot yet see all of that which beauty disclose, for deep in his soul a gloom inscribed. In mournful groans he enters his stage, a broken smile he scarsely drew, speaking nothing but woes and toils, grief and sorrow was his theme for all. But once he mused on a happier song, his eyes sparkled brighter than Sun, of a love no longer to be sung, ending his age under the clouds of grey.


The Joy of confession 21

Dear God, again I have wondered into the open, under the pouring rain of temptation. I did not take my umbrella nor did I ran quick to take refuge. I lingered. Like Lot's wife I looked back when I was purposed to stay on the path of holiness. O my sins are many, as numerous as the sands on the seashores, and should you count them and keep a record of them, I could not stand. The weight of your terror petrifies me but not enough, the joy of your holiness delights me, but not enough. O God, visit my soul with a mighty dread that it will for now and forever forsake sin; and please visit my soul with the heights of your goodness so that it will desire no other. I pray my Father that in me will be found no condemnation. That those attributes which belongs to the flesh will be gone from me. That no longer will I carry in me the treasure of wantonness, idolatry, pride, lust, selfishness, and lack of brotherly Love. I long and will and wish to walk tenderly, to walk with love, to move with brotherly kindness, to love my sisters as I ought, to not tarry to display love. Dear Father, at times my heart is as cold and numb as the leper, it is un-wanting of communion, it despises fellowship and lacks conviction. It desires the company of one person whom I cannot have therefore neglects the rest, it scans the earth for pleasure instead of righteousness, it has no love for family, it poisons the environment and sacrileges your sanctuary. Dear Father, my heavenly Love, I thank you that you have not tarried in showing me grace, for even as I write this, I feel the Love in which you purposed towards me in Christ Jesus. I feel your warmth and my heart is at ease with all of my misfortune. O God, I must confess that I have sinned so that grace may abound, although unwillingly yet it was willingly. I knew your mercies will be new the next morning so I indulged my night in Sin. O for mercy for my wayward ways. And I am glad that you have restored me and showed me favour when I deserved death. O what privileges we have in Christ, what Sweet privileges. You have purposed for me that I should receive grace to the praise of your glory and not to be damned to the praise of your glory. O my eternal Love, I do this morning Love you and I pray that your Spirit be not be grieved with me. My Christ, speak to the Spirit on my behalf, allow your intercessions to prevail with Him. O Spirit, come alive once again in me, Speak your words of comfort, ink your word of grace into my heart where you dwell. I love you much and many times I have grieved you. But this I Know, that you are for me and not against me. O this week let me desire the bed of communion. Let me not commune with sin, because to me she is a bitter stranger. But let me commune with my friends and family. For you O God are my friends and Family.


The people's pregnancy

"At 4 o'clock on Monday afternoon, every office, shop floor, canteen and playground was uplifted, or so the media told us. David Cameron emerged from Downing Street like a mole scenting the dawn, for his Tony Blair royal moment. He said he was 'absolutely delighted', over and again. I swear I saw the ghost of Alastair Campbell murmuring at his shoulder. 'The people's pregnancy'," quips Simon Jenkins.

Leaving aside the Duchess of Cornwall for a moment, 'the people's pregnancy' is an excellent description of advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and we anticipate the return of Christ the King. Our waiting and hoping are set in such a promising context. Mary sings about God's long-awaited, triumphant victory over the forces of sin, evil, and death. He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things.

Her Magnificat alludes to God's desire to make all things new. The scent of dawn indeed.

God's revolution inaugurated in Jesus enacts life-giving peace and justice. His kingdom transforms the present world. It concerns our hearts as well as the economy, budgets and politics. Mary sings her song in the context of a Roman empire, just as the people of God before her had sung the Lord's song in a strange land. And just as centuries later, the slaves sing their spirituals - their subversive emancipation songs about their hope for deliverance. Hope rooted in faith that He will overcome. It calms our fear and calls us on.

The birth account reminds us that God's overcoming reign starts in the way it intends to continue - subversively. Seeds, teenagers, shepherds and stable tell as much. Centuries later, writing from prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflects: "We have learned to see the great events of the history of the world from beneath – from the viewpoint of the useless, the suspect, the abused, the powerless, the oppressed, the despised. In a word, from the viewpoint of the suffering."

The apostle Paul also senses the new dawn: "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here," he says (Romans 13:11). He appeals to the Romans to understand the present time, or kairos – a Greek word that he also uses elsewhere in the letter to portray the "now time" in which God's righteousness is being revealed. It's a time pregnant with the fulfilment of the promise (3:26, 9:9). So, our transformation on the basis of God's word and our vocation to be a living sacrifice are set in a promising timeframe. Everything in life – including our suffering - is seen through the lens of new creation.

The anticipated future provides a model for our identity right now.

Rejecting status, reputation and privilege, Jesus' power was derived from intimacy with the Father and defined by His compassion. That radically shapes our worship of Him. At times the people of God are aware that they seem to be labouring to no purpose, that they are giving birth to wind. They are painfully aware that they have not given salvation to the earth, nor brought life into the world. The prophet Isaiah reminds us, however, that He who formed us in the womb to be His servants, destined us to restore, to bring back, and to be a light. That His salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (26:18, 49:1-6).

So, yes, I do feel a bit pregnant with this story of Immanuel - God with us, Christ in us - whose mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.

Marijke Hoek, Forum for Change co-ordinator - Evangelical Alliance  

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 ...