Knowledge is nothing of its self. For even the demons believe.

Christianity Today has published an interesting article called “Do We Have Discipleship Wrong?”   Derwin L. Grey writes.

 

…if all my learning does not produce more love for Jesus, myself, and people, then I’ve wasted my time. (1 Corinthians 13)

If all that learning doesn’t cultivate more love in my heart, then I wouldn’t be a disciple—I’d be a gatherer of biblical facts. Gatherers of biblical facts don’t transform the world; disciples do. I want to be a disciple. And I want the church I’ve been called to shepherd to be a community of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Jesus said, “You will know my disciples by the way they love one another.” (John 13:35)

Its an interesting and thought provoking article. I love his conclusion,

“When our minds are in awe of Jesus and our hearts are overflowing with the love of Jesus, we become the hands of Jesus by serving people because we love them.”


A mixed week and its not over yet.

During the weekend, I had a media student contact me about whether she could interview me and hear my story of being a male victim of domestic abuse by a female. For the most part, I always agree to these interviews, and this one was no different. I have had a number of newspaper and television reporters interview me as part of a greater story, and sadly, few of those stories are ever allowed to go to print or to air. I was talking to a worker at our local community centre yesterday – during our morning BBQ and I shared some of my story with her – telling her how hurtful and frustrating the brochures on abuse which say that “Women, Children and others can be victims of abuse.”

I asked her what that sentence meant, and who were the others. I was astounded. Actually it was more than that. I was totally gob smacked, when she said, “The others can include the family pets, or other animals.” In her capacity as a community worker and her social ideology – she had no  functioning capacity or reasoning to see how something was wrong in not including men in that equation. I started trembling inside. Deep painful emotions from my past started their upward spiral where every part of me went into flight mode. And I quietly and quickly organised someone to ensure the packing and cleaning up of the breakfast was facilitated and went home.

This afternoon, the student interviewed me over the phone, and shared my story (or some of it anyways ) with her. I also sent her the address for the blog I wrote called Men Can Be Abused Also, through hell and back where I have written my story, though I rarely blog there now. I shared with her in passing the encounter I had had yesterday, and she too was gobsmacked by that comment. To tell the truth, I am still shaken by it, and have made the decision to pull back for a while, from what I have been doing there.

However, on another note. I have been busy helping a mate set up his aquaponics system as well as setting my own up. I will post some photos soon. I’m hoping ours may be up and running by Christmas, though, the reality is that it will most likely be by February. A work colleague of my wife – offered me some fire wood, from a tree he had cut down, and so this morning I spent a couple of hours loading my ute with some timber, which may be ready for next year, though, its most likely need to be stored for the following winter.

Proverbs 18:10 says that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous man runs into it, and is safe. What a relief and reality this verse has been for me the last few days. Actually, its been much longer than that. When the Lord keeps us safe – it doesn’t mean he keeps us free from the debilitating effects of painful experiences and the emotions they produce. What it does mean is that we can come to him as we are. We can tell him our fears, our hurts, about our pain. And when the pain of life becomes so great that we can’t even voice that pain – we can still come to him with our groanings which God totally hears and understands. I am on a journey of discovery of what it means to truly rest in God. What it means to truly rest in God. I think I know a little more about this resting – but, I have a long way to go in truly understanding and practicing this resting in God.

This I know, despite my shortcomings – there is a peace beyond all comprehension that we can experience in the midst of turmoil and strife when we put our total trust in Jesus.


Signs of the Times

Craig Benno:

M8 I can C how this can take off. Wats ur thoughts?

Originally posted on Εις Δοξαν:

I was flipping through the eight edition of Turabian’s style guide and something caught my eye. I flipped back and I had seen it. There, listed in the index, was the section number for how to cite a text message. A text message! I couldn’t imagine what sort of paper wherein a text message would qualify as a reference, but Turabian has it listed under the section concerning interviews and personal communications, so I guess it’s not too unusual. So, should you ever need to cite a text message and do so to conform to Turban style, they’ve got it covered. Signs of the times in the technological age.

Αυτω η δοξα

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IOS – Information Overload Syndrome.

I just had to share this video. 

 


Joyfully Praying for You…

How do you pray? Do you pray out of a sense of grudging duty? Do you pray out of a sense of need. Do you pray out of a sense of seriousness and sternness. Or do you perhaps pray, as the Apostle Paul told the Philippians he prays out of a attitude of joy?

How can we not joyfully pray, when we know, we are talking to the God who listens? How can we not joyfully pray, when we are talking to the lover of our souls. How can we not joyfully pray, when we know….

There have been times in my life, when I have not joyfully prayed. There have been times in my life when I have prayed out of a deep, bottomless, dark pressure chamber of joylessness and hopelessness. My prayers had not one micro ounce of joy – and instead were filled with desperation, a desperation stemming out of of tremendous heartache and pain.

There was a time when I was in this dark, bottomless pressure chamber of joylessness. I stood in the doorway of my room and beat my chest. I asked the Lord to restore my joy. I asked him to fill me with the joy of the Lord once again. I have only realized this morning, that yesterday was the 7th year celebration or commemoration of the day I collapsed on the farm – an event which was to begin the journey of darkness and the isolating sense of abandonment.

And this is the rub. Joylessness comes about when we feel God has abandoned us. When we feel he has forsaken us. Grief, pain and heart ache can be so personally intense – that no matter who is around us – we can feel utterly devastated and abandoned.  And Jesus knew this feeling of abandonment – during his own trial and tribulation on the cross – in the midst of his pain, heartache and grief – he cried out, “Why, Why, have you abandoned me?”

On the 16th of October 2007, I was in my bedroom reading one of the passages in Peter, which said, for now you go through various trials and tribulations for the refining of and proving the genuineness of your faith. At that time, it felt like the tangible presence of God filled my room and I was crying on my bed – having a deep sense that something was about to happen. The next day at work, as I lay on the ground, high fever and paralyzed on the right side – that passage of Scripture echoed in my mind.

What a stark difference of experience I had the other night on the 16th of October 2014. I was kneeling at the couch. Praying to my Lord and savior. And one of our dogs came up and gave me a sniff and a cuddle. It looked like he was praying as he came beside me, and put his paws on the couch. I told him to sit, and get down. Which he did – only for him to come and lay across the back of my legs as I continued trying to pray. And I lost it. I started to laugh. Laughter came out of the deep recesses of my inner being. Every fiber of my body started to laugh. And I ended up sitting on the floor, laughing, while holding my dog for a few short minutes.

In reflecting on my experiences I know without a doubt, that Jesus took onto himself the abandonment, grief, heartache and pain that I had suffered, and that his cries were the intercessory cries for myself and not just for myself, for all of humanity. And I can’t help but reflect – in the same way, that God was looking down on my dog and I the other night and was laughing with us.


One major difference between God and myself.

I receive a regular email from a minister who ministers in the city, where many of the residents suffer from mental illness.  In the email he shared how someone came up to him and shared the following joke.

“Hey” rev, he was asked. “Whats the difference between God and me?” “God never imagines he is me!” he continued with the answer.

At first I laughed about this joke. Thinking of the times I had placed myself above God through my own actions, thoughts and words. While it wasn’t deliberate, in a subconscious way I had elevated myself above God and imagined I was God. Then I started to reflect more on the answer. And I came to the conclusion that God has indeed imagined himself to be me. And he has imagined himself to be you. And our families. And our neighbors. And he imagined himself to be everyone in the world.

He imagined the fullness of the destructiveness of our sinfulness. And he did this way before the creation of the world. And imagination that knew, the world needed Christ. An imagination so intense – one that was saturated in perfect love. One that was so left or right field – no one in their right mind (human that is) would have dared to imagine this for themselves. He planned from the beginning his son to be the answer. He planned Jesus to be God made flesh. The same flesh and blood that you, I and all of humanity share in.

God didn’t have to imagine what it was like to be you and me. He knew what it was like to be you and me. He experienced what it was like to be you and me. And so he knows what it is like to be you and me. And humanity did the unimaginable- they took God’s word made flesh, whipped him, tortured him and executed him on a cross. And towards the end of his life; he took a deep breathe and said, “Father, forgive them for what they have done, they have no idea what they are doing!”

The good news is, that God knew exactly what he was doing. He already knew what humanity was going to do to Jesus. And so he planned for his son to take the full brunt of our sin, onto himself. But, he didn’t finish there. His plans were to raise Jesus from the dead three days later. Because, death could not hold him.

Death could not hold him because he was and is the author of life. And in him, we have the promise of life. Abundant life. A life that we could never imagine. And we can receive this life – because God, dared to imagine, what it would be like, to be one of us.


Did the Bear Grylls thing tonight.

We have had a real cold snap. which took place after a few weeks of warm to hot weather.  Actually it was more of a hurricane that whacked Sydney last night. So I had to cut some wood and light the fire tonight. I couldn’t find the matches and so I raided my camping kit for my flint, knife and cotton wool. Cotton wool makes the best tinder to catch the spark. Some people use a bit of Vaseline on theirs to make it burn longer- but, I have never bothered with it.


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