Saturday, June 30, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
I've been memorizing scripture as my monthly experiment this month. It's been full and timely... I've been committing 1 John chapter 1 to memory, and hoping to add chapters from there... it'd be cool to do a whole book. Anyway, I love it. AND it's neat the way God times things out or invades our time (depends on whose angle you look from I suppose)... anyway, I'm struck by this verse today, "This is the message God has given us to announce to you, God is light, there is no darnkness in Him AT ALL. So, we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in Spiritual darkness. But if we are living in the light of God's presence, as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from every sin."
The thing that struck me is that spiritual darkness leads to isolation. And spiritual LIGHT leads to community. If we live in the light of God the first fruits of it is that we will have fellowship with each other. Isn't that the story of the prodigal son... and the reverse in the garden of Eden.. the cost of darkness is that we lose each other. But the beauty of light - what a celebration, we find each other!
Let's live in the light.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Jun 18, 2007 02:39 PM - Tamara Cherry with the Toronto Star reports, "Toronto police are being credited for kick-starting a massive 10-month investigation that has led to the collapse of a global online trading network for pedophiles.
More than 700 suspects have been identified worldwide and 31 children as young as two months old featured in sexually explicit pictures and videos have been rescued from abusive situations since the project began, the London-based Child Exploitation and Online Centre (CEOC) said this morning."
YOUR KINGDOM COME! Let's have more of it...
Monday, June 18, 2007
Fanny Fern said, "to her the name of father was another name for love." I've got two Fathers. I'm grateful for them both - they are full of love. Jesus said, "The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matt. 6:7-13 in The Message)
Friday, June 15, 2007
Some great ideas for action on the human trafficking front from REED (resist exploitation, embrace dignity): check out the link at the bottom of this post (and the side panel of justice links).
How you can take action to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation:
1. Address the brokenness in your own life.
2. Oppose the total decriminalization of prostitution in Canada.
3. Stop viewing pornography.
4. Make lifestyle choices that do not support globalization.
5. Become more informed and tell your friends about this issue.
6. Initiate praying about this issue as a faith community.
7. Promote gender equality and human dignity in your daily life.
8. Directly ask the men in your life if they pay for sex.
9. Purchase fair trade
10. Live with an open hand
11. Learn about other cultures
12. Give women the same opportunities as men
13. Become informed and tell your friends about this injustice.
14. Write a letter to your Member of Parliament, sharing your concerns about human trafficking, and asking them to change Canadian laws to better protect and serve those who have been trafficked.
15. Support local anti-trafficking efforts and women’s organizations.
16. Advocate for just immigration policy
Thursday, June 14, 2007
God was speaking to me today about living open-handed. My son is really good at this - and a great example of believers when it comes to being generous and open handed with the 'things' he receives. I've never lacked for anything - God has constantly given me more than I need... and yet, I get worried about the future. I'm not sure why. Jesus spoke very clearly to me today from His word and it was Truth that pried open my hands and helped me to trust Him with everything (again). I'm thinking this needs to be a daily thing. I want to live with my hands open...
Matthew 6:25-34, "If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
a little lesson in Gratitude...
Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
Monday, June 11, 2007
It's always a great reminder of covenant to see a fresh group of cadets sign and make theirs like I did this morning. God's army certainly is being renewed in the US eastern territory (praise the Lord)- you might expect it as they've spent the previous year in prayer 24/7. The General reminded us today to keep praying to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers... he meant in the context of officership but I couldn't help myself from praying for lawyers, business people, social workers, home-makers and mill-workers and journalists, and graphic designers that would represent Christ without shame to their friends IN the world (did I mention starbucks baristers? and frontline shelter workers... and I could go on). That's how we will win the world. For that (and officers) I pray. Bring it on.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
So I heard Jim Cymbala speak yesterday... he shared three evidences of Holy Spirit at work in a people (denomination/group/church/person).
Here they are in a nutshell (he used an obscure story from 1 Sam. 11 - when the Spirit comes on Saul because of an injustice suffered by a tribe in Israel).
1. Righteous Anger (a stirring of the Lord to say NO to the status quo and anger against the enemy over injustice): a great quote, "I'd rather live 2 years with Holy Spirit fullness then 20 on a retirement plan." - nice).
2. Unity (they came together with ONE voice)... disunity is the enemy's presence in the camp... unity is a sign of the spirit: a great quote: "crack isn't stopping the church from advancing... gossip is."
3. Holy Spirit POWER: the greatest evidence of Holy Spirit among a people is when NORMAL people do EXTRAordinary thing.... when people start doing things they shouldn't be able to do... it's evidence of HIS POWER at work IN us.
Also, he spoke to the Army a prophetic word about not forgetting the rock from which we were made (our foundations)... the main one: HOLY SPIRIT POWER... ordinary people doing extra ordinary things... God - DO IT AGAIN.
All prayer is about desire... let's desire God - and His power for Greater things...
Friday, June 8, 2007
Paul suggests we 'train' to run the race of discipleship.
Jesus says we should count the cost and finish what we start.
Often, we need someone else to help us train. We need a 'boot camp' or a sergeant to push us farther than we would go ourselves. Some of us have the guts to ask for the help... do you?
thewarcollege.com check it out and apply today... trust me, this guy will do it!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Stephen already blogged this great scripture passage that our family has been claiming while we wait with expectation for our beginning in the land down under. But today we received great news and rejoice that the waiting is almost over... in the meantime I desire to finish this waiting in fullness. I remember going on a two hour hike fully pregnant... that night my labor started... 'always pain before the child is born' but then - the child. Zion (name means the dwelling place of God) was born on Pentecost Sunday (the day the church celebrates the Holy Spirit given), and he has brought more fullness to my life than I could have imagined. He's already been a key player in a Corps Plant in canada's poorest postal code... imagine what he can do now that he can talk! :-)
Here's to new beginnings and strong finishes.
Romans 8: 22-25All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Malachi 4:5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Yes, I'm still reading through Exclusion & Embrace by Miroslov Volf... a classic and important work. I'm reading it very slowly with a highlighter... a slow comb - trying to read and digest... very meaty stuff.
The section that has me knee deep in reflection right now is 'the politics of a pure heart'. Great title and amazing theology. Jesus comes to the poor and preaches repentance. Volf points out the abnormal practise of this. The poor are usually victims of oppression - so why do they need to repent? Shouldn't the 'oppressors' be repenting and the poor be pumped up? But Volf suggests the Kingdom of God does not operate according to culture... repentance is in line with the perfect standard outlined in the Beatitudes.. no one measures up... even the most oppressed victim... IF we preach a gospel without repentance to 'the poor' then we are merely following a worldly value system that replaces one oppressor with another (in their heart they want to oppress because they have been oppressed)... we want a different world - and that starts with a change of heart.
It made me reflect on my own natural tendency to downplay repentance... to really change the culture we must first change our hearts. Booth knew this. His work with the 'poor' included a strong call to repentance... tears, confession, forgiveness, restitution.... He wasn't just aiming for a nominal salvation but a full one... He wasn't a communist, hoping to shift the world system for equality... He was ushering in a new Kingdom altogether...
So, you want to change the world? Let's start with a pure heart...