Shalom to all who enter.

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Emmanuel

Agnus Dei

Son of God

Triumphant over death

Eternally alive

Returning for a Bride

 Fear not,

I am the first and the last,

and the Living One.

I died,

and behold I am alive forevermore,

and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Rev 1:17-18 ESV

 Because I live,

you also will live.

 John 14:19 ESV

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Watchmen waiting for the morning

Lift up your voice in praise

The Sun of Righteousness has dawned

The stone’s been rolled away.

Watchmen call out in joy:

“Our God reigns! Our God reigns!”

Sin’s curse is broken, the Law fulfilled,

The stone’s been rolled away.

Watchmen declare the new world order

Life triumphant, death defeated

Sun of Righteousness, God’s revealed Glory floods the earth

The stone’s been rolled away.

Watchmen proclaim on mountain tops

“The war is over! Peace with God declared! Free pardon given to all!

New names, new clothes, new parentage,

The stone’s been rolled away.

Come one! Come all!

Drink of the Fount that ne’er runs dry

The Living Bread of heaven’s been broken,

Come eat, be satisfied!

Rise up out of corrupt flesh and death

Rise into the heart of Christ

Live in love’s unending morning

The stone’s been rolled away.

But God,

being rich in mercy,

because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ

–by grace you have been saved–

and raised us up with him

and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that

in the coming ages

he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace

in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:4-7 ESV


Coals flowering red

pip dawn’s yet sleeping light

nets breaking with fish at a stranger’s command

pungent smoke

barbecued fish

broken bread

hungry men being fed by the Risen Lord.

Love gave Him eyes to see

their empty boats

heavy discouraged hearts

tired, weary bodies.

Love which knelt to wash their feet

now prepared a meal for them.

Love saw a need and reached out to fill it.

Pungent smoke

eyes meeting

memories stir of broken promises.

Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?

Do you get what I am saying?

Simon, can you hear, really hear what I am saying?

I am not testing your love, do you get it that I love you? I trust you? Put your failures behind you.

Love me, love what I love: My lambikin and sheep.

If you love me, you will see with My eyes: their brokenness, their hunger, their pain

And your heart will melt with compassion

I know you love me Peter.

Are you willing to be bread that is broken in My hands?

Do you remember that moment when the multitudes were in the desert, hungry for food, yet driven by a deeper hunger for the Living Bread?

Do you remember how my heart was moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd? –

Sheep – Not knowing which road to take for green pastures, vulnerable to the preying wolves, wounded with no one to tend their wounds…

Mute, helpless, tossed in stormy seas, caught willy-nilly in the dragnet of schemes of men, helpless to resist the chain-tug of the evil slave master of sin…

Simon. Do you hear me? Do you really hear me? Does your heart leap in response? Do you rise to action?

Do you see my people? Really see them? Do you see how satan holds them captive to do his will, pulling them in like fish caught in a net?

I am placing in your hands the keys of the kingdom. I am calling you to go out in My name to be fishers of men.

Go, go in My Name to draw them out of the nets and the snares, the pits and the holes. Go to tell them of peace between God and man. Go, tell them that the price of their sins has been paid.

Sin has paid its wages of death, and I received it on their behalf, now I give to them freely the gift of eternal life. The veil is torn, the net is broken and the captives are free.

Love them as I love you.

See their need. Are you willing to lay down your life, step off the throne, give up your rights that they might find life?

Are you overcome by the knowledge of your weakness and your lack of love? Don’t despair. As you are I love you.

It shall be required of you according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

Remember I have promised you the Comforter and Teacher, He will supply your needs, and fill your areas of lack.

Remember you are my lambikin, tender, beloved of me. Now go with that heart to feed My lambikin, My sheep.

(This is an imagined monologue that I have put together from John 21: 1-17, Mark 6:34-44, Hab 1:13-15, 2 Tim 2:26, John 14-17 and many more verses…)

 

The Sovereign LORD has filled me with His Spirit.

He has chosen me and sent me

To bring good news to the poor,

To heal the broken-hearted,

To announce release to captives

And freedom to those in prison.

He has sent me to proclaim

That the time has come

When the LORD will save His people …

He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,

To give to those who mourn in Zion

Joy and gladness instead of grief,

A song of praise instead of sorrow.

They will be like trees

That the LORD Himself has planted.

They will all do what is right,

And God will be praised for what He has done.

Isa 61:1-3 GNB


They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Swinging censers, white red robes

Glowing mitres

Chants and genuflections

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

The Amplified and Extended 10 commandments

Shrieking mikes, pounding basses

PhDs, M.Divs, and Revs

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Be very frightened of the Lord’s rejection

His whip is out for your correction

Examine your soul

Weep and mourn

Pay your tithes

Don’t question the shepherd of the flock

Churchanity has taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Families struggle to make ends meet

The worn and weary find no listening ear

Jesus’ loved sheep stand out in the street

Waiting for His bride to rise and draw near

Churchanity has taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Have you seen Him, cried the woman by the tomb

Have you seen Him, cried His beloved to the watchmen on the wall

The watchmen beat and buffeted her,

But Jesus her Beloved Lord calls by name and says ‘Here am I’

Come, My Beloved, lean on my arm

Death’s hold has been broken

In My true Glory I stand.

Captivity’s been led away captive

Now at the Father’s right hand I am.

Let us go out early to the vineyards

and see whether the vines have budded,

whether the grape blossoms have opened

and the pomegranates are in bloom.

The mandrakes give forth fragrance,

and beside our doors are all choice fruits,

new as well as old,

which I have laid up for you,

O my beloved.

Churchanity is the counterfeit – the wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak. Its poison is subtle for it is full of worship, rules and regulations that seem to be godly.

And yet, because it is disconnected from Christ the Living Head of the church, it fails to show forth His character, His glory, His beauty and it does not bear the fruit of union with Him.

BUT, glory to God!!!!!! Jesus is not in the grave. He has risen from the dead, and is very much alive and Lord of the True Church: the Living Ekklesia, made up of all who have truly in their hearts professed Jesus as Lord over the ages.

Hidden from sight, and under the veil of churchanity, Jesus is at work joining one Living Stone to the other, across the ages, perfecting each Living Stone tenderly with His love.

Hallelujah! One day the veil of Churchanity will be lifted off, and the Bride will be revealed.

Are you one of those who has been hurt by churchanity? A Living Stone rejected by the ‘builders’?

May I encourage you to turn and look at Jesus on the cross, rejected by the religious leaders of His day, executed for political expediency, yet willing to forgive those who were His rejecters, accusers and torturers? Dying to purchase our forgiveness and restoration.

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and mistook the Risen Lord for the caretaker. Through her sobs she told Him, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.’

Jesus called her name. What amazed joy must have flooded her heart to know He was there after all. No buried. Not dead. But risen from the grave.

Let’s not lose heart at churchanity. Jesus is calling your name. Calling you to abide in His heart, in His love.

As we look to Jesus and pursue our relationship with our Living Head, abiding in Him, and growing with the growth that comes from Him, He will connect us with other Living Stones. And He will allow us to begin to see the shape of the Ekklesia He is building. A throbbing, pulsating network of hearts tuned to the heart of the Redeemer God.

Christ loved the church

and gave himself up for her,

that he might sanctify her,

having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

so that he might present the church to himself in splendor,

without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,

that she might be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:25-27 ESV

Would you join with me in praying:

Abba Father in Heaven, I choose to forgive those in churchanity who have hurt me. I confess that I have allowed bitterness to rule my heart, I repent of it, and ask your forgiveness. Thank you that Your Holy Spirit dwells in me to take over rulership from bitterness. Let Your kingdom in me increase day by day.

Help me each day to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, hold fast to Him, and grow in the grace and the knowledge of Him. Let Your beauty of holiness be revealed in me. I pray Lord, that you will strip away all subtle forms of churchanity from me, and help me to be all that YOU want me to be, and do all that YOU want me to do. Use me to be Your ambassador of healing and reconciliation.

Lord send Your Holy Spirit to move in power in churchanity, that it may be transformed into true CHRISTianity, where Christ is exalted and lifted up as the Living Lord of the church. In Your Name Jesus, Amen

One Living Stone at a time lets reclaim churchanity to CHRISTianity. And let it begin with me.

 Jesus also said:

The kingdom of heaven

is like what happens

when a woman mixes a little yeast

into three big batches of flour.

Finally, all the dough rises.

Mat 13:33 CEV


Today I was texting an encouraging message to my friend. My phone has a mind of its own, and loves to guess what word I am thinking of, and it helpfully suggests words based on keystrokes. And since it’s a machine it pulls out the first word that it thinks the keystrokes made.

 I wanted to tell her that God would bring us through as pure gold through each trial. But my phone took the keystrokes and interpreted them as ‘brought as pure hold through each trial’.

As I didn’t stop to read it back,  I sent it – typos and all. My loving friend mentally edited nonsense words and made sense out of it all. Later, when I re-read the message, I laughed about it, till it struck me that that was actually a pretty profound thought.

 We come through each trial as pure hold: HELD by Hands.

 So often when we think about our faith being tested, we think that we have to have the right attitudes in the trials, think the right things, say the right things, pray the right prayers. Its all up to us. And if we get it right, God will help us come through.

 While all along, we come through because we are HELD by His hands. The fires test and prove GOD’s ability to hold us and carry us through; His ability to work in us so that we come forth as gold.

 HELD

From the moment the zygote formed

HELD

At the first shocked cry

HELD

Till the final breath and beyond

Waters swell, swirl and tug

Fires roar and rage

The prowling lion circles

My heart and my strength may fail me

But I am HELD

Carved in the palm of His hand

He has willed that I should not perish

So I am HELD

Though my grip may loosen

Though I can’t see the way before me

I am HELD

By the One for whom darkness is light

Who guides my faltering steps

Who shelters me when my wick is smouldering.

 The fires lick away at His hands

Clenched over the precious treasure guarded within

The fires die out helpless

Unable to get the treasure within.

The waters pull at His hands

Seeking to pluck out the clinging wretch

But His grip never loosens

And the Wretch lands on the lofty rock perch.

His hands give strength to my fingers

As they lock with mine o’er the sword

The prowling lion lies conquered

At tiny command of the Lord.

 Fear burns up

Leaving golden faith

Faith in the Hands of the One who carries me.

 

The eternal God is your dwelling place,

and underneath are the everlasting arms.

And he thrust out the enemy before you

and said, Destroy.

Deu 33:27 ESV

 

Behold,

I have engraved you

on the palms of My Hands …

Isa 49:16 ESV

 

When you pass through the waters,

 I will be with you;

and through the rivers,

 they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the LORD your God …

Isa 43:2-3 ESV

 

My soul clings to You;

Your right hand upholds me.

Psa 63:8 ESV

 

In all their affliction He was afflicted,

and the angel of His presence saved them;

in His love and in His pity he redeemed them;

He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Isa 63:9 ESV

 

Listen to me, …

who have been borne by Me from before your birth,

carried from the womb;

even to your old age I am He,

and to gray hairs I will carry you.

I have made,

and I will bear;

I will carry and will save.

Isa 46:3-4 ESV

 


when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad:

for he was desirous to see him of a long season,

because he had heard many things of him;

and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.” Luke 23:8

Ah, Jesus, so I get to meet you finally.

Great troublemakers you lot are.

Pity that, about your cousin John the Baptist –

Very holy and all that, but very foolish.

He wouldn’t listen to reason.

Now, they tell me that you are a bit different from him.

That you actually do miracles.

Is that true that you turned water into wine?

And all that about people getting healed –

Is that for real, or just psychological ravings of people on an emotional high?

Well, well, well, this is very interesting.

So what do you have planned for us today?

Moses turned his staff into a snake

And the water in the jar into blood.

Are you going to do something like that?

I am hoping for something more mind boggling.

Oh yes, don’t do the water into blood thing –

It makes a mess.

Come on, don’t stand there doing nothing!

It’s boring, and I abominate bores.

Why do I feel his eyes look into my heart?

Why do I want to get up and give him my throne?

Okay, maybe you’re out of tricks today.

Tell me, then, what do you have to say?

Do you think you are the announced Messiah?

What are your plans? Come answer, sirrah!

Insolence! I won’t stand for it.

What do you mean what’s the verdict, Caiaphas?

Guilty! Should I say that?

Hmmm, I don’t know what the people would say.

I don’t know whether my popularity ratings would stand it.

Besides, what if he is who he says he is…

Why do I feel his eyes look into my heart?

Why do I feel like I want to fall at his feet and ask forgiveness?

Forgiveness? I am the King! Above the law!

Guards! A purple robe please!

Let’s teach this upstart a lesson.

Execute him? Ah Caiaphas, let Pilate deal with that.

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The three wise men saw the star in the east proclaiming the birth of someone who they knew was going to be a significant king. They packed their bags, packed precious, prophetic gifts and travelled miles across difficult terrain, to personally worship the king who was born. What did they get out of that encounter? They met a young child. They didn’t receive pearls of wisdom or any earthly favours. And yet it is recorded for us, that, “they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when … they saw the young child … and fell down, and worshipped him: …” Mat 2:10-11  

Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. When Jesus took notice of him, Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully, made a 180 turnaround in his life, and did all he could to set things right.

Herod, had a mental image of Jesus, and what that Jesus would do. Herod only wanted to be entertained, and was disappointed that Jesus would not play ball.

Jesus warned His disciples to beware the leaven of Herod.

  • The superficial seeker.
  • The professed theist but functional atheist.
  • Looking for experiences.
  • Collecting anecdotes.
  • Full of one’s own worth.
  • Trusting one’s rank and status.
  • Wanting to be in control.
  • Resisting the voice of the Holy Spirit.
  • Seeking endorsement and approval for hedonistic lifestyles.

 How we would love to have a tame god who jumps through hoops for us. And how we reject the True Living God, because He keeps exploding the tame gods we create. How we love to put the lid on the voice of the Holy Spirit and push for our will to be done. We want a safe God who will endorse our lifestyles instead of bringing our lives into alignment with His.

 Lord, help us to love You and worship You for who You are, not what we imagine you to be. Amen

 


The stone’s been rolled over the tomb

Spices weighed out

Crushed with oil to make ointments

Silently bottled and stoppered

Hearts lightened as hands found work

The disciples wait, numb, heavy hearted

Fearing the knock on the door

Wanting to pick up the pieces

but they didn’t fit together at all

Memories lashed tearing strips of their souls

And thorns of shame accused them

Autumn had withered their fig leaves

leaving them unable to meet each other’s gaze.

Sabbath.

A day of rest

Rest?

The word mocked them

He’d said,

‘Come

burdened

heavy-laden,

I’ll give you rest’

But He was laid in a tomb

There was no hand to lighten their pain

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As I tried to think about what the disciples and the women followers of Jesus did on that night when Jesus was laid in the tomb, and the long Sabbath day they had to wait through, I became overwhelmed by heaviness and the pain of all who stood at dead-ends.

Jobs lost, relationships ended, loved ones laid in the grave… the blank wall and formless future meets their gaze. Bewildered, wondering why it was happening to them. How could there be a full stop, a shut door, when this is not how they had seen the road ahead?

Thankfully we stand on the other side of the Resurrection. Jesus is no longer in the tomb. But He is risen and sitting at the right hand of God the Father, with all power, all authority to fulfil every promise that God has ever made. He is the Word made Flesh.

So consider this promise that God made in Isaiah:

For Jehovah shall comfort Zion;

He will comfort all her waste places;

and He will make her wilderness like Eden,

and her desert like the garden of Jehovah.

Joy and gladness shall be found in it,

thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

Isa 51:3 MKJV

 Why are you cast down O my soul?

Why do you crouch in fear?

Why are you crushed by worry?

       ><><><><

Hope thou in God.

When you cannot feel the ground beneath your feet,

And the waters swirl and tug at you,

He holds your head above the waters so you are not overwhelmed.

       ><><><><

Why do you lie in the dust O my soul?

You are not abandoned!

You are not cut off!

       ><><><><

Listen to the whisper of the Lover of your soul,

‘Arise my love, arise

The winter is past.’

       ><><><><

Autumn fig leaves have turned to mulch.

In dark unseen places,

His unquenchable incorruptible life is stirring.

       ><><><><

Hope thou in God

For He is the light of your countenance

And the sunshine of His love

Causes you to live again



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