Take Wing

Pixabay

To seek freedom and take wing

Claiming the avian promise to make our hearts sing

No longer bound by gravity’s might

Let us overcome the odds and take flight


Padre

Liberty

Statue Of Liberty, Landmark, Island, New York, America

Pixabay

We talk often of our rights

Our sacred liberty

But here are some important lessons

About liberal democracy

 

You have the right to raise your fist

There are few the act would oppose

But the right raise that self-same fist

Ends at the tip of my nose

 

Your speech you say – is an inalienable right

That is true —

As long as you  —

No violence do insight

 

So beware of politicians’ claims

That they your rights preserve

Judge them by their actions

And the agenda that they serve

 

These are but my opinions

But I offer them as one free

And you in your freedom

Can concur or disagree

 

Padre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imprisoned No More

Pixabay

It was the most famous escape in the history of the world.  He was enclosed in a windowless compartment, a heavy sealed stone door in place.  Armed guards patrolled the only entrance.  And yet, escape He did.  What makes it even a greater feat of escapology is the fact that he had been declared dead by the authorities that conducted His state sanctioned execution.  No, no fiction this week readers, but a fact, “stranger than fiction.”  The event the greatest of all time.  Jesus is risen, and the stone was moved away!

Encased, enclosed, imprisoned

By our acts of sin

Jesus burst these chains of death

Only a burial shroud left within

We like He are free now

Satan’s trap of lies broken

The gates of Hell themselves

For Jesus has left them open

 

Padre

Sunday Photo (Non)Fiction – Apr 12 2020

 

 

 

Shall Be Saved – Freedom!

Chain, Broken, Link, Freedom, Unleashed

Pixabay

Back on the 21 of November 18, Dianne reflected on the passage – Rom 10:9-10
Declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

She noted the limitations she had because of illness, and that the routine of the bed-bound was redundant and tedious, but she had faith that she would be saved not only from sin, and find eternal life, but in so doing she would also be saved from the limitations.  She would have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

One of the legacies she has left me is a book on near death experiences and how those who had experienced them were transformed by them.  We need not have such, evidences as “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Hebrews 11:1-3).” But such stories do give not “new evidence” but rather a picture of the joys that await us.  A life where there is no suffering, tedium, or pain.

Padre

Set Free by Truth

Pastor Vince brought a powerful message on Sunday drawn from John 8.  He focused on the liberating power of truth, and how we might achieve freedom through it.

He began with verse 12,  in which Jesus proclaims Himself to be light.  Light reveals, and darkness obscures, but more importantly light brings life.  Coupled we can clearly see that light and truth (the only thing remaining when light reveals falsehood) gives us freedom from the darkness and its accompanying sin.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (v 12).”

Jesus’ words receive an immediate response,

“The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid (v 13).”

When confronted with truth, they strike out with their own legalism.  Are we not like that?  If we don’t like what we hear, we either ignore it or we attack it.  They did the same.

Jesus responds by noting that they are limited by their own tunnel vision, and that since they are in the darkness they fail to see what should be manifestly obvious,

“14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

Their lack of understanding then again manifested by their response,

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

Jesus made this claim of divine Son-ship publicly.  Yet He was not accosted.

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.”

Pastor Vince made a terrific point that while we may fear or worry about the onslaughts of the world, that the world has no power over those called to God’s purpose.  Our “hour” only comes in keeping with God’s greater plan, just as it was in His Son’s case.  Timidity is not necessary.  That is one of the Truths that can free us!

23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”  25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. . . . “ 

Some begin to see,

“31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”

To them this was the first indications of freedom,

“32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

But others remained in darkness!

What does transpire in the scripture is telling.  When their lack of understanding, and metaphorical “darkness” is shown, they deflect the conversation from its course.  They focus on their own assumptions, and on their own “special place.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

Their assertion of “son-ship” was in the flesh.  And their attitude was a form of slavery, a slavery they were denying!  Jesus also notes, that their actions not only show they are not children of God, but they are not even good children of Abraham!

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

We need to seek the light.  We need to dwell in truth.  We need to step away from the fleshly views shared by the people Jesus was teaching.

Pastor Vince made another key point in regards to growing beyond the views of the flesh.  The forcefully asserted link to Abraham used by the Jewish leaders offers us an opportunity to learn to open up to the bigger picture.  Abram and Sarai were the original names of the Abraham and Sarah.  Abram means “Exalted Father” and  Sarai “My Princess.”  What potentially self obsessive names!  Abraham and Sarah needed a change in their world views.  God therefore signaled this when her renamed them.  Abraham means “Father of Many,”   They needed to see beyond themselves, and look to the multitudes.  Service rather than exaltation.

What greater truth about relationship, to God or man, is there.  Serving self is a darkness.  And Jesus the Light of the World, was the epitome of service and sacrifice.  Truths such as these will set us free.  And we will be free in deed.

Set free not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, and in all our being.  Come into the light of truth today!

Padre

 

Pastor Vince’s message was accompanied by a great demonstration of moving from binding to freedom.  There is so much more content shared in a single lesson, but I have tried to give at least some of this great messages key points some comment.