House Divine

CCC 154

House divine you tower imposing and grand

A tribute to God and of the devotion of man

Your workmanship full of inspiration

And your vaults echo with praise and exaltation

How many prayers have your stones reflected

Upwards to God to be enacted – effected?

You are so much more that a landmark or museum

You are the expression of holy motivation


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https://crispinakemp.com/2021/10/20/crimsons-creative-challenge-154/

Making A Mark

Bible, Church, Wedding, Christian

Being transformed and established

Now leave your mark

With whatever tool you are blessed with

Be it David’s sling or Noah’s ark

You have been prepared to do great things

In the power and name of the Lord

Let us His praises sing

It matters not if your gifts are not like another’s

That is why we have so many sisters and brothers


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More

Waterfalls, Rainbow, Man, Open Arms
Pixabay

Is this all that life holds in store?

No indeed, there’s so much more

A baptism of fire in which to bathe

Beyond John’s dipping – our souls to save*

To be so filled – we rise in potential

Being showered in gifts that for the church are essential**

Some to be prophets, teachers, and guides

And so many more than these besides***

These are available to the brave

That are prepared to be witnesses – others to save

For those who answer the Spirit’s call

You shall be amazed by it all

With head annointed, and soul restored****

A life abundant and so much more


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Inspired by Pastor Vince’s sermon for today

*Acts 19

**Acts 2

***Ephesians 4:11

****Psalm 23

Godly Change

Landscape, Change, Weather, Nature

It’s time to change

Be transformed – reborn

A new creation as fresh of morn

Wear not the garments of the dead

When invited to where the royals are wed*

Be clothed and changed – complete instead

By the transforming power of the wine and bread

For like on that Passover feast

In which they ate bread without any yeast

You too without corruption can be filled

By the lamb roasted – in sacrifice killed

And when trials and troubles come your way

They are to perfect you – so don’t be dismayed

For Job and Peter with trials too did contend

They found greater purpose in the end

And if you think it beyond you – to change your way

Remember the Redeemer for you does pray**


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Poem based on the powerful sermon by Pastor Vince this morning.

*Matthew 22

**Luke 22:32

Praise

Hallelujah, Dictionary, Page, Light
Pixabay

Praise: the expression gratitude and respect

When upon God we reflect

We salute His greatness extreme

And shower on Him our unbridled esteem

Let “Hallelujah” be our refrain

And let our admiration on Him remain


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Through Misty Eyes

Through misty eyes I feel the pain

Of ministry heartfelt that others disdain

Fervent faith, and labours keen

Works, in the eyes of others unseen

While these feelings – I well understand

As one who has served God’s commands

My misty eyes are for another

One who was my Christian brother

His reputation in the faith now soiled

By his later actions when to the world he recoiled

I speak of Van Gogh of painting fame

Whose journey from minister to the insane

His ministry by the establishment rebuffed

He downhearted had had enough

And so his life of art , excess, and pain

Is how most now remember his name

Although he was like all men flawed

I know his work was seen by God


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Shared on dVerse

What Are You Searching For?

The Woman of Canaan by Michael Angelo Immenraet, Public Domain

I am going to preface this with a reflection on the media coverage of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Several commentators rightfully bemoaned the Talban’s record on women’s rights.  But what got my attention was one comment on social media that said Christianity is no better in that regard.

Since my planned message was going to focus on 4 Biblical women and their examples, I felt moved to address this topic first before proceeding to the main message.

Is Christianity anti–female?  Some argue that Eve being made “from Adam” as a helper shows subservience.  Let’s examine that.  The English says God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and God took one of Adam’s ribs and fashioned a “help meet for him.”

A better reading is that rather than rib, it should be seen a “flesh of his side.”   Note not flesh of his heel that he rule over her, not skin of his head that she reign over him; but flesh of his side that they might be equals, standing side by side.  She was a companion, not a slave.

Some Christian traditions move beyond this and say that priesthood is male.   John Paul II once said that when the priesthood was established on the night Jesus was betrayed, only Jesus and the apostles were present.  But is we read John’s account it is not only the mission of evangelism that is established in that meeting, but communion.  Does this suggest that only men can partake of the bread and wine?  Few if any would say so.

In fact, the first person to ever proclaim the full gospel of the resurrected Christ was not one of the Twelve, but Mary Magdalene.

Let’s look at the Second Temple period for a moment.  After the close of Malachi, a number of rabbinic writings and prayers became common.  One of these is known as the three blessings.  Jewish as part of morning prayers thank God for the new day, and that they are not Gentiles, slaves, or women.  This reinforces the often-cited misconception of Eve’s daughter’s lesser status.   But as we have seen this is not a Biblical principle.

Jesus’ ministry also shows and acceptance of women.  In His parables he uses women as key actors (See the Lost coin: Luke 15:8 – 10, the Parable of the Yeast:  Matthew 13:33, and the Ten Virgins of Matthew 25:1-13).

We can also note that Jesus’ teaching in the Temple were by their context in the outer courts where women and men could both hear his message (note the Widow’s Mite).  His public teaching as well was in homes where Mary and Martha were both called to listen, and on hillsides where men, women, and children could hear Him.

But if we look at Jesus’ ministry, we see that He treated woman in unexpected ways for His time –

It is now that I will note not His parables but His actual interactions, and what the women in these accounts can tell us about our main theme of “What are you searching for?”

I: Woman at Welldidn’t know what she was looking for or needed.    

John 4 tells us of Jesus’ interaction with a Samaritan woman. Their dialogue is one of mutual give and take, and she questions his request for water from her.  She is a Samaritan and a woman (remember the 3 blessings prayer).  He then reveals knowledge of her life, and she tries to deflect only to come to see what she is in need of.  Her life had been irregular if not outwardly sinful.  She had been seeking the wrong things, much as the majority of humanity does. See Romans 1: 35 where people look for the wrong things and worship the created or our own desires (like the woman and her multiple husbands did).

Jesus’ response in another passage reminds us (Matthew 6:33) to “Seek first the kingdom of God. . . and all other things will be given to us). 

Many of us need to learn that lesson and turn our focus to Him and His righteousness.

II: Woman with issue of blood Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48 is another human type.  This woman was afraid to ask.   She had suffered a bleed for 12 years, and the doctors couldn’t help her.  She knew (unlike the Samaritan woman) what she needed but couldn’t bring herself to ask.  She secretly touched Jesus’ garment and her act of faith after being confronted compassionately by Him led to her healing.

Jesus’ teachings on this can be summed up in – Matthew 7: 7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” 

Are we prepared to ask?

III: Mary – who we have already noted as the first preacher of the Gospel, was looking in the wrong places.  She had witnessed the crucifixion and the burial, and when the first day of the week arrived went to finish the burial process.  She had not understood Jesus’ words that the temple would be restored in three days.  

We too get caught up in traditions, religiosity, or our own plans.  In Matthew 28, Mary goes to the tomb to seek a dead Jesus only to be told by the angelic figure, “He is not here He is risen (verse 28).  

Don’t get waylaid by those things that blur our focus on the risen Lord!

IV: Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28)

This woman’s child has unclean spirits assailing her.  Though a Gentile and a woman she approaches Jesus.  She is initially rebuffed being told that Jesus has come the feed the children of Israel.

But shecontinued to seek what was beyond her reach or hope.

Are we any different? Remember “All have sinned and fallen short;”None righteous no not one,”

She therefore stands her ground.  She notes that the dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the children’s table.

Jesus recognises her faith and commends it.  We too should not get caught up in our unworthiness, but trust in His mercy.

“While we were yet sinners” He came to seek us (Romans 5:8)!

Do we know what we are looking for? Are we afraid to ask? Do we sometimes look in the wrong places?  Are we trying to perfect ourselves? Or do we accept our own limitations and despite them seek the kingdom and His righteousness? 

I challenge you to know where your focus should lie.  I encourage you to ask, praying without ceasing for what you need.  I remind you to look to God, not to religion or yourself. 

We should be like the Syrophoenician woman.  He is here for us.


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Potter’s Wheel

Clay, Pottery, Hands, Potter, Potter'S Wheel, Dirty

People of God on a wheel made

Moulded and formed of the Maker’s clay

Crafted to perfection by the Master’s hand

Impurities and flaws purged away

Thus a kingdom shall be formed

Mere mud transformed and by grace adorned

Completed to fulfill the perfect plan

Crafted by One greater than any mortal man


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Thank you Pastor Vince for a great message.

In Times Of Confusion

Crowd, Demonstration, Flag, Man, March

Dear Lord, today has been a day

In which the world is beset by confusion

Focusing on the news bad

And agendas of others – life’s intrusions

But You are the One who is in charge

No matter what tales to which the media gives warning

Of wars and rumours of wars

Conspiracies and global warming

You are the God we will focus on

For You alone are Master of all

Each and every morning


Padre

I have heard two sermons this week which make this point. Don’t get caught up in the worries of the world, for all things work together for good to those that seek God’s kingdom.

The Ultimate Complaint Department

Complaint, Statement, Clipboard, Letter
Pixabay

In the current climate of perceived self-privilege, “Karen-ism,” and taking personal affront to anything that we don’t like hearing or seeing, it’s easy to resort to complaining.  “I want to talk to your supervisor,” seems to be the general topic of hundreds of YouTube videos.  But be careful at complaining too readily. 

Sometime shorty before the siege and capture of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, the prophet Habakkuk had his go at the complaining game.  He calls on God to do something about the evil, injustice, and idolatry in Israel.   When he finished his litany of grievances, God replies.  God says that He knows of the corruption of the leaders, and of the problems that Habakkuk has laid out.  He continues to say that He will indeed act.  In fact, God will allow the Babylonians to come and conquer the land.

This response catches Habakkuk on the back foot.  “They are worse than we are!” is essential Habakkuk’s reply to this news.  God nonetheless tell the prophet that this is what will come to pass, but to remember that it is God’s hands, not in men.  He tells Habakkuk that the righteous will live by faith, and in His appointed time Babylon will be brought down and punished for their evil.

Sometimes the cure for ills is not in our comfort, or in our “rights and privileges.”   Personally, I think that the pandemic has proven that.  The greater good, such as masks or self-isolations, outweighed individualism.  This is not a polemic for blind acquiescence to governmental authority, but instead a call for us to keep perspective.  Like Habakkuk we can rest assured in the end God’s will shall be done.

For those who may still pondering governmental links (if so, sorry I brought them up), remember that the “woes” that Habakkuk cited: unfair economic practices, human exploitation, corrupt rule, and the worship of power, will all be remembered by God, and the perpetrators will be held accountable. 

Next time then, before you head to the Complaint Department, or demand a manager, remember to weigh the situation in perspective, and the possibility that you might not like the answer.


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