SIENNA'S DREAM

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HARMONY & RAGE

THE REAL STORY

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Moonlight pic3.jpg

Moonlight in Lalibela

Again, we were broke, living in a foreign country but singing at outdoor cafes and passing the hat always brought in some extra cash and somehow, it was always enough. Late one night while walking home, we encountered a man who asked me to sing a song that would bring him joy. My song touched his heart and over many months, we became the dearest of friends. He never let on just who he really was, only that he was an author and poet known in the Muslim world. One day, in his absence, one of his associates let slip that he was at the Arab Summit. Upon returning, he told us the whole story of his life from his rise to the position of Prime Minister of Sudan to his exile and to our surprise, his ardent defense of us and our sharing of Christ’s love with him before all the Muslim heads of state. A few months later, God spoke to him in a dream and his own life was changed forever.

Artistry of the Almighty

One of the most interesting ‘artistic’ lessons we can learn from scripture is its basis for classical Hebrew poetry, for it is quite different from our contemporary forms. Whereas we tend to express ourselves in meaningful rhyme - words that sound the same or similar, the writers of scripture, moved by the Spirit of God wrote poetry that was based upon the association of stark contrasts and/or similitudes in meaning.
As an example, this is the poetry we can see in Genesis and the Gospels:
•The first Adam was rebellious to His Loving Father; the Last Adam (Christ) was obedient -- both died as a result.
•For love, the first Adam died with his bride; for love, the Last Adam died for His bride.
•Burdened with sin, the first Adam was shown the door out of paradise; burdened with sin, the Last Adam became the door into Paradise.
•The first ark (Noah’s) was covered with ‘atonement’ (the literal meaning of the word for pitch); the ‘last ark’ (the cross) was covered with the atoning blood of the Lamb. Both mean(t) salvation for every kind of creature -- Jew and Gentile.
On and on the poetry of God continues. And surprise, it includes you and me. “For we are His workmanship (literally ‘poema’ or poetry) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10

The Name - Knowing the Divine

Something so holy it cannot be pronounced. YHWH. Hebrew people have for many centuries have simply referred to it as “the Name”.  In the days of Moses, a name was significant precisely because of its meaning. Thus, to know a person’s name and the meaning of the name was to truly know the person. Since the days of Eden, man has terribly misunderstood the character, the nature of our Lord.


When Jesus came, we have in the record of John these words, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” The holy nature of Almighty God was plainly portrayed in the life of Christ but with it ‘staring them in the face’, they still did not recognize it.

 

Fellowship in Faith

Would you like a real friend? Someone with whom you’re at ease, someone who honestly cares about you and whom you care about? Would you like a purpose and pathway in life that actually inspires? One that stirs you up and causes you to pinch yourself to see if it’s real? One that scares, delights and lifts? Would you like a confidence based upon knowing something unshakable? And an attitude resulting from it that is gentle and kind yet strong and peaceful? If so, you can consider each page of this little book as a doorway presenting opportunities to know and explore the character of our Servant-King Jesus Christ. Having said that, no doorway herein is intended to lead you to religion. What I pray you’ll discover as you open and pass through is greater appreciation and attachment to Him – our Shepherd, Brother, Friend, Savior, Lord, Creator, Holy God - for these lessons have all been penned if not skillfully, at least in brokenness and in hope.

Life and Lessons from the Gospel of John

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” - John 20:30, 31


John claimed that he was the disciple Jesus loved. Was that because he was the first to follow, along with Andrew? Was it because he and his brother James were firebrands? Was it because he had an ‘in’ with the religious elite? Was it because he first followed John the Baptist?


Maybe because he really was the ‘best’ disciple and deserved to rule in the kingdom of God? Maybe he had greater wisdom than the rest?


Nope.


He just knew Jesus loved him. And his gospel proclaims the amazing love of Christ for all. He was the one who penned, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”


Nowhere in scripture is this love for John and for each of us explained. It is not definable nor is it explainable. And John knew that there is only one way to begin to receive and experience it. He came to understand that believing is the key and that is the principle reason he wrote his gospel.

Tapestry

A collection of exciting lessons in scriptural prophecy that are relevant for today. Perspective is a critical determinant in whether you see God’s Word as edifying or irrelevant, foundational or fictitious. As many of you know, identifying with ‘Christianity’ no longer gives a ‘Christian’ perspective – that’s sad but not new. The same is true concerning ‘church’.


The perspective that unlocks God’s Word comes from the indwelling of His Holy Spirit and that indwelling is only obtained by sincerely believing in Christ and what He accomplished on Calvary. Unlocking God’s Word does not simply reveal more truth but actually opens and nurtures a personal, relational, intimate knowledge of Him. Apart from that, believers simply go through routines and when faced with crises of faith, fall away.

Fire Eyes - a Commentary on the Revelation of Jesus Christ

The subject of prophecy has been the endeavor of liars, lunatics and the true lovers of God since it first began to be spoken and recorded. For the liars, it has been a tool for deception and self interest. For the lunatics, it is ultimately a tool of pathetic discredit and nonsense. For those who sincerely love and seek to understand God’s Word, it serves to guide, instruct and encourage. The principles to understanding prophecy are not complicated, nor are they restricted, as some assert, to scholarly mediators, mysteries or magi. God has always been willing to give the necessary wisdom for ‘hearing’ the message He conveys in His Word to those who seek Him with all their hearts.

I confess – I’m a man so desperately in need of God’s grace, it just amazes me that He would shed His love upon me. There was a time that I thought I was ‘not so bad’ and yet it was during that very time my Redeemer grabbed my heart and saved my soul. Graciously, He chose me, and I embraced the truth about Him. But there was still much to learn of my own despicably wicked heart. Later, when Abba Father took two of my own little boys home to heaven, I learned how shallow and shaky my faith and hope were but also how faithful, compassionate, merciful and gracious He is. These devotionals are offered in hope that those believers in Christ who have encountered the trials of grief or simply hunger for a more intimate relationship with God may be encouraged along the path of this pilgrimage.

As I shared in Volume One, I am a man so desperately in need of God’s grace, it just amazes me that He would shed His love upon me. But as we endeavor to know Him better, we discover that He is so often the Master of the unexpected. He seems to specialize in the ‘nobodies,’ and is found in the ‘nowheres’. As He commands the wind and waves, as He heals the sick and raises the dead, as He ties into the ‘spiritual elite’ and cares for the lowly sinners, as He dies and then rises to eternal life – He is continually surprising us. These devotions are offered in the hope that those believers in Christ who have encountered the trials of grief or simply hunger for a more intimate relationship with God may be encouraged along the path of their pilgrimage.

Fundamentally, a disciple follows the Master and in doing so ‘abides’ in Him, that is, partakes of His Spirit, His Life. It is a lifelong pursuit. It includes hilltops and valleys, stumblings, repentances and restorations. However, most importantly, the disciple, even if there has been a period of absence, when all is said and done, does not stop following.Of course, in following, there may be elation and/or hardship; there may be tremendous grief and/or supreme hope and joy; there may be uncertainty and waywardness and/or absolute confidence and resolute determination; there may be fear and/or faith – in other words, the struggle between human frailty and spiritual strength will also never stop – not until your following becomes a transformation, an uniting, and you are truly, finally, completely born again into eternity.Thus, despite the struggle, you will find a glorious freedom in following.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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