Peacemakers

It is a good thing to live at peace with all others as far as it is in our power…

TLP

We have already seen that as Jesus went forth proclaiming the Kingdom, that healing, and restoration of wholeness went in His wake, for the restoration of wholeness, including the restoration of relationships torn by the hostility of this world is something within the very character of God. A peacemaker is someone who places a high priority on restoring relationships, even with those considered to be enemies; this is also what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

On the other hand, many, maybe even most people of this world are not peacemakers. Look around you, this world is not a peaceful place, for people vie with each other for riches, for position and advantage. Such people are not making peace and restoring relationships, except for personal gain; this is not the behavior of a disciple, and thus the blessing of a restored relationship with God is not present in…

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Framing the Gospel All Wrong?

While I have not had the opportunity to read this book, all the reviews I have seen so far speak very favorably of it. I mean, think about what do we Americans know about kingdoms and pledging our allegiance (like the knights in Europe pledging their all to their Sovereign and King). Here is another review that provides a good overview.

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Picture3I have a problem with many Gospel tracts. No doubt, they’re written by well-meaning, kind Christians. But, they’re often badly written, leave out the resurrection completely and invite the reader to pray a pre-scripted prayer (as if obedient recitation will actually do anything). But, perhaps the best reason why I don’t like most Gospel tracts is because they often frame the Gospel all wrong.

Jesus’ Good News doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There is a context, a backstory, a history and a timeline that produced this Good News. Yet, most Gospel presentations are incredibly self-absorbed . . .

  • It’s all about you and your sin
  • It’s all about God desperately wanting you to join His club
  • It’s about Jesus wanting you to believe in Him, as if He’s a jilted lover, crying in the street like a pitiful damsel, hoping against hope you’ll throw open your door to your heart so He can seek…

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Two Truths To Strengthen Your Faith

From a recent post by Paul Tripp.  Always solid and practical in his teachings and writings!

Do you believe that God exists? I’m guessing that if you subscribe to my email list and opted-in to receive biblical teaching every week, you believe. If you believe in the existence of God, that means you have faith, right? Yes … but it’s not that simple. According to the Bible’s definition, if you have faith, it also should mean that you have drawn near to God, that you seek to please him, and that you value what he values (Hebrews 11:6) Is that the reality of…

Source: Two Truths To Strengthen Your Faith

Seeing the Bible Through the Eyes of the Artist: a book review

I am a strong believer that God uses the unique talents and gifts He has given to all His children to touch different people in different ways….such as the arts. I am a wordnguy and music and nature lover, but God has given my wife amazing abilities with her watercolors and other art pieces to minister and touch people deeply. 5his review is well-written, and greatly entices me to give this book a look! 🙂

thoughts, prayers & songs:

C.S. Lewis famously said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”By that, he meant that the contours of the Christian story shaped his perception of the broader world. It gave him eyes to see. And with imagination, he helped many of us to see the Christian story (and everything else) through evocative works like the Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy. What is true of Christianity is true of the Arts and the artist, no less the Christian artist, could also say “That through art and because of it, she sees everything else.”

9781498217330If the biblical story is the lens through which we as Christian see, the Arts have the ability to sharpen our focus.  In Imagining the Story (Cascade Books, 2017), Karen Case-Green and Gill C…

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Love This Strong

I am rather picky about Christian poetry, but this is GOOD!

The Fringes of His Ways

I didn’t know love could be this strong

Until You descended and came as a man

Who never did wrong.

When all the wrong I ever did contributed

To all the wrong poured out on You

To make things right…

When all the hidden sins I did

Contributed

I loved the sins that killed You,

But You still showed me love.

I hated everything about You,

But You came to me anyways.

I never saw love like that before,

Pleasure didn’t show me that.

I asked for more and more–

It left me empty, lying on the floor.

I never saw love like this before,

Pleasures didn’t do that for me.

I asked for more and more–

It built me up, abandoned,

And left me lower.

And when I was crying out in desperation

You washed my sins, every single one.

You set me up, high above my station.

I…

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Refined understanding of Scripture

This gentleman can write!!

adaringfaith

God’s word is refined in me till it is proven flawless.

And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. Psalm 12:6NIV

In the Bible clay pots can symbolise people while silver and gold can symbolise that which God works into our hearts as we live by faith. In this Psalm we are clay crucibles in the furnace and God’s word within is challenged. When things go wrong, we question our understanding of what God has said. If we persevere with him, his word will prove true, yet the process refines and deepens our understanding. For example, take the verse-

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28NIV

When tragedy strikes, I am challenged to question my understanding of what God means by ‘good’. I wrestle with God concerning…

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The Need for More Passive Christians

This blog post is more about a winsome Christian mindset and attitude than something like witnessing or etiquette on social media.

Soli Deo Gloria

There exists nothing more confrontational than the gospel message.  The message is so contrary to our natural state that it is hard to understand, hard to accept, and hard to be transformed by it. The societal sense of self-preservation, self-motivation, and self-sanctification are born out of a self-sufficiency. Yet, it is that self-sufficiency that is in direct conflict with a gospel that says only Christ is sufficient. Most of us have often been told that we are good people able to conquer whatever we want, and with this mindset so entrenched into modern thinking, anything contrary to it is portrayed as both unloving and untrue.
Not only does that worldview act as a barrier to conversion from unbeliever to believer, but it also influences the life of believers. Many people are not only convinced that they are good, but also persuaded that there is something that they can do to…

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July 23 – Fear

A missionary writing about fear from a very real-life experience. Fear is real, but God is more real!!

THE RIVER WALK

fear trw

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. (Psalm 18:30-33)

Read: 2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19, Romans 8:9-25, Psalm 18:16-36, Proverbs 19:26

Relate: Last summer it seems like I had barely landed after returning from two weeks in America when the coup struck. This summer I once again have spent some time in America but it was by necessity rather than choice as I needed…

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Actually They Don’t Just Hate the Church, They Hate Jesus

Developments in this article from Australia are not surprising, but sad and sobering. But remember, Jesus warned us about this over 2000 years ago, and He told us to not fear because he has overcome the world!

Stephen McAlpine

At least we’re cutting to the chase now in our culture.

At least we’re cutting through all the cant about how the problem we have is that people hate the church but deep down really love Jesus.

At least we’re not going to spend acres of time and millions of dollars devising strategies around the idea that if we can just get minimise the idea of church, and maximise the idea about Jesus then those who hate church will start to see what we’re really about and join us.

At least all the hand wringers who are post-church Christians (is that a thing?) can stop calling on us to put Jesus front and centre, or at least the image of Jesus that is churchless, scripture-less and therefore weightless, and get church off the agenda.

For as reported in The Australian newspaper today the Queensland Education Department has moved to ban…

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22 Suggested Readings on The Relationship Between Science and Theology/Religion