Pretty Feet

Take a moment and look at your feet.  We don’t often consider them.  For most of us they are the last thing we dress in the day and that is almost a formality as we slide on our shoes.

An afterthought, perhaps, but scripture tells us in 1 Cor 12: 21-22: ‘The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.’  In context, the passage is speaking to us about us all being in the body of Christ, but it does give us an insight to feet as well.

Yet, this overlooking of feet can be seen when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50 as well:

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.  A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”  Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”  Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.  Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”  Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Simon the Leper had overlooked the usual conventions of hospitality and not tended to Jesus’ feet.  The humble ignored.

But Jesus went on to give a greater example when He washed feet in John 13: 3-17: 

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”  Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.  Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Humility (and feet) are again emphasised.  The humble celebrated in example.

But feet have an important purpose.   Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples (Mark 16:15).”  Going requires travel, and feet come into their own in this department.

The Gospel was spead by those willing to share their experience.  Be it on Pentecost in Acts 2; Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-40; Peter and the Roman in Acts 10:1-11:18; or Paul and the Macedonian call of Acts 16:6-10.  As “we go,”we empower others’ feet too.

We are ambassadors in word and example, Titus 2:11-14.  Each have our testimony, and it is our mission to share it.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Look again and see how pretty those feet of yours are.


From today’s sermon notes

Clothed in Compassion

“Clothe yourselves with hearts of compassion,”

Transformed in Jesus and thus attired

Not bitter or selfish, vain-hearted, or petty

The old self now retired

Standing fresh and renewed, a blessing to be

For others in you, Christ to see


Colossians 3:12


Risen to service

No longer dry bones

Following the example

That Jesus has shown

Reflecting not

On ‘what’s in it for me?’

But putting others first

Whatever the need might be


Thank you Pastor Vince for your message from Ezekiel 37

Our Scars Tell A Story


Wounds tell a tale

And scars tell a story

Like Jesus on the cross

Opening the gates of glory

With His wounds we’re healed

By His stripes we’re made whole

They are emblems of promise

Like to Thomas revealed

When we suffer and are hurting

It is not that we’ve failed

It is our perseverance

That will be beheld

Job, he was righteous

And suffered all the same

But he was a living example

And remember,

God restored him again


Thank you Pastor Vince for a great message and reminder

Reflections of Glory

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest


One of the most moving memorials I have ever witnessed is the Children’s Memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.  I have written about it in the past, but I refer to it now as an example of a spiritual point that I would like to examine today.  In that memorial space in Israel, a mere five candles are reflected by a series of mirrors to produce an infinite number of points of light.  Those relatively tiny light sources produce a solemn but glorious spectacle.

Glory is often manifested in light, and light in turn is a wonderful metaphor for glory.  One of the definitions of glory in fact is “splendour, brightness, or majesty.”  God is by definition glorious, as He is the ultimate expression of splendour, and majesty.”

The glory of God is referenced throughout scripture.  Isaiah 40:5 tells us that the revelation of that glory will be seen by all: “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  And that glory shouldn’t be missed or overlooked, for as Psalm 19:1 says: “How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!  How plainly it shows what he has done!”  We are told in Acts 7:2 that Abraham beheld God’s glory, and in the Exodus account God’s glory took the form of pillars of fire and of cloud.  But this was no mere allegory to link God and nature.  God’s glory was ultimately manifested in his Son.  We see this in John 1:14 – “ The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.”

But here is the thing – just like those reflected beams of light at Yad Vashem, God’s glory can shine through us.  We are reflections of His glory.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 that “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl/bushel. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  And this attestation of God’s people should not be a surprise.  Paul wrote in Romans 2:10, “But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles.”  God-servers, those who do good (a godly good) will shine with his glory.

Are we being the glorious examples of the One who shines within in us today?  Let’s get rid of those bushels.




Video of Children’s Memorial


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It has been an inspirational couple of weeks with powerful messages being presented to challenge and encourage us.

The first of these was presented by Brother Larry in which he drew upon 1 Corinthians 16:15.  The passage in the KJV reads, “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints).”  The translation was purposely chosen to bring the emphasis upon the word “addicted,” rather than “dedicated.”  It is the overwhelming degree that is captured by the word “addiction” that makes the passage so powerful.

While Isaac Airfreight did a sketch decades go about being a “Bible Junkie,” it pales to the message of our brother, Larry.  His was not a comedy which used satire to make an emphasis, but rather an “in your face” challenge to let God’s call to service be over-riding in our lives.   He noted that addicts “live” for their “fix” and we should do no less in our relation to God and His people.

This is a kind of transformation.  Pastor Vince picked up on this theme when he noted that we by our presence (one transformed by our conforming to the image of Christ, and His presence within us) should change the atmosphere of our surroundings.  He drew upon Habakkuk 2 to note that though the world seems dominated by evil, God has an appointed time in which righteousness will prevail.  We should not bemoan the woes of an evil world, but trust in God’s ultimate victory, and be “watchmen” for the day when it will come, holding firm (being transformed – addicted even) to righteousness ourselves.

In Joel 2 we see this advanced, that despite calamity – if we “rend your [our] heart, and not your [our] garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (v.13);” then “it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered (vs 32).”  It isn’t a sad countenance and a sense of defeat, but a trust that changes ourselves and the surrounding atmosphere.

Matthew 5 says we are “a light in the world.”  Not that “our” light shines, but God’s light shines through us.  We as we “go into all the world” should be like a city on the hill, a watchmen upon the walls.  We are through our conforming to Christ within us atmosphere changers.  We addicts to holiness are instruments of change.

In Acts 2 we see a handful of Jesus’ follows lighting up the world, when they are filled by God’s Spirit.  They spoke tongues of many lands, and later healed the sick and gave hope to a dying world.   If so few can “turn the world upside down,” should not we – their spiritual descendants be as addicted, as conformed, and become a new breath of fresh air in our world.   Let’s change the atmosphere.



Your Light Before Men: Nine Quotes to Remember


I have known several godly people in my life.  Their gentle natures and God focused lives are even now an example to me.   Brother Dominic, a Benedictine monk and my wife Dianne shared this virtue of being lights to the world even in their overwhelming humility.

Here are several inspirational quotes on this theme, and I hope we can learn to live them.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house (Matthew 5: 14-15).”

Letting our light shine, or more exactly letting God’s light shine through us is not a matter of purposeful religiosity.  The Scribes and Pharisees had that.  It is more living in relationship with God, and the Spirit will shine through you.  It isn’t pretense, it is surrender.

‘If God is the centre of your life, no words are necessary. Your mere presence will touch hearts’ Vincent de Paul.  De Paul captured the idea of Matthew 5 well.  Our very actions speak to others.  “Godly is and Godly does.”

And our actions are not meant to be for the purpose of the thanks or praise of men.  Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23).”  Remember it’s about our relationship with God.

But again, this isn’t about religious showiness.  It was phrased well my Martin Luther,  “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”   Just as it said in Colossians, not for man, not for ritual, but truly for God.

Our walking the walk, will nevertheless impact others.  In fact, our lives may well be the only introduction to God some people ever receive.  Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me,” D.L. Moody said.   We are read, and scrutinised.  Billy graham worded it this way,  We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding.”

This principle is biblical.  Paul reminded the Corinthians that,  “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. . . . (2 Corn 5:20).”

So, More depends on my walk than talk” –  D.L. Moody.

But again, this is not artificial, it is about relationship and dedication to the Lord.

As Shannon Adler put it, “Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.”  Drawing others to God, now that’s letting your light shine indeed!


Complicated Contradictions


“Sorry I’m late,” Susan said.

“Love is never having to say you are sorry.  Well that’s what they say,” Joe said.

“But what does that really mean?” Susan asked.

“I guess it is about unconditional love.  If someone does something, even a terrible thing, those who love them will love them despite it.   It’s like they are forgiven before they ask, so it’s not necessary,” Joe explained.

“But just because someone is willing the bear hurt silently, and let it pass, doesn’t mean that the other person, if they are truly loving them back, doesn’t want to mend their feelings.”

“It’s like in the Bible,” Joe said. “The Prodigal Son.  He rips off his dad, then wastes everything, then he goes back to say he was unworthy to be a son.  But before he even gets a chance to give his prepared speech, his dad has come and hugged him and put clean robes and an a ring on him.  His dad loved him so much that he didn’t need to hear the apology.”

“Okay,” Susan retorted, “But he still went there with the expressed purpose to say he had failed.  So maybe you’re right, ‘Love means you don’t need to say sorry,’ but that’s not the same to say a person who loves should never feel sorry, or acknowledge regret.  Otherwise they will never grow.  Or worse still they might cause the hurt all over again.”

“You know,” Joe said.  “I think you are right, its about attitude not words.  I’m sorry I disagreed with you.”


Tale Weaver – #241 – Sorry

Push Back, Push In

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Sister Amba gave a great message this week on our responses to the challenges and confrontations with the world.  She illustrated her theme with references to Matthew 4, and Jesus’ time in the wilderness.

She noted that Jesus had just had a tremendous spiritual experience at His baptism, and then was led by the Spirit into the desert.  Here Amba reflected on her own experiences of spiritual highs (such as retreats and conferences) and how she faced “attacks” which sought to take her down from upon the mountain.

Jesus too, faced the same thing in Matthew 4.  Satan confronted him after He had been hungry, and the “mountain” experience of the baptism was forty days old.  Satan attacked on several fronts, including provision, protection, and honour.  In each case Jesus responded with Scripture!

Jesus was not only the Word made flesh, but he also abided in the revealed word.  What an example.  Amba then drew a parallel to Eve in the Garden.  She had not received the direct revelation from God to not eat from the tree, but only the word as given to her by Adam.  She had been told, but not personally witnessed.  Was this the cause of her fall?  Jesus however had the word on His lips.  He was ready “in season and out” to make a reply.   We need to be Jesus-like.  When the world pushes, we need not push back, but rather we need to push in on the Word at our core.

This inner reliance on the “power within” will aid us in fulfilling God’s plan for us.  Our example and witness will be enhanced.  Striking or pushing back against the world will never accomplish that (no matter how personally satisfying the temptation might seem to be).

First Thessalonians 5: 14 – 15 reminds us,

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”

We need to remember that the prophets, and saints of the scriptures were harassed, and attacked.  But God was with them.  He is with us too.   His strength is in control, and we are in His hand.  Our striking out, is not necessary.  Isaiah 43  reminds us,

” . . . you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you (v 4)  . . . . Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand.  When I act, who can reverse it? (v 13)”

We are loved by Him, no one can take us from Him.  Better still let Him act.  We need not push back, we are in His hand.  We need to push into his grip!