Freedom and Roots

images-4For Freedom we are set free…
Two scriptures have such wonderful liberating statements, they pulsate through us all who love God.   The two yet are far-reaching in impacting the way my mind thinks and how I see this liberating relationship with the Radical Jesus.   Radical being that word that is originated from ‘foundational’, that is ‘having roots’ or ‘of roots’, Jesus was radical as he dealt with humanities on the foundational issue of life.

The first of the two scriptures:

Galatians 5:1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Freedom, I wonder what pictures of the mind, what experiences, what way of life it cultivates for us?   Freedom to stand firm, not to be enslaved to a life that is so different to the image and likeness of God that is put within us all.

The second is found in Romans 8: 20-22:
20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21  that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now

Creation waiting for its freedom, this freedom that is directly related to humanities freedom, regaining/restoring the image and likeness of God once again.  Grasp this,  creation is waiting for the freedom in us to manifest as it wants a piece of it…     As we take hold of the image and likeness of God and live life we will live free and creation will come into its own by entering into the “…freedom of the glory of the children of God…”

Freedom a gift of God, freedom a condition of living, not something you fall into our society can off via your circumstances but according to the life we live the life of Christ which is freedom.

Why?

To bring an order of the creator to bear on all mankind and creation, the kingdom of God, freedom is living according to Gods will.   It certainly is not getting all i want but it is bringing a life order of heaven to bear on creation which begins with my freedom.

In this liberty we are to export and pilgrim our citizenship to transfer society at large.   Affecting economy, the definition and shape of family life, politics, social life style, transformation of the poor… the list goes on and on…The Freedom we live is necessary to affect you and me, transform and conform us to the image of Christ that we might transfer the world around us, being the family of God, being the radical transformed, being Restorers of people and our world.   Taking hold of the exploits God ordained for each of us before time, transforming my life and street.   Taking our position in life not waiting to be rescue or removed…

John Stott wrote in his book Issues facing Christians Today “The church must therefore exhibit its multi-racial, multi-national and multi-cultural nature. . . . Therefore every homogeneous unit church must take active steps to broaden its fellowship in order to demonstrate visibly the unity and the variety of Christ’s Church”.

Demonstrating, being an example of the full life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, explaining God (John 1:18) to the world around us and participating.   We have been brought near to God to participate in the Divine purpose, Divine movement, we have been invited into participate with God in bringing freedom, life and the image of God and to restore  all of creation

So the question remains then how far should my involvement and participation go, should it be one life at a time, one street and community at a time, absolutely resounding Yes.   Should it be in teaching, medical, economics, even again Yes but what about politics?   The answer is freedom set free to bring freedom in all, creation groaning and people reaching…

Should a Christian be Involved in Politics?   Should God’s Freedom Army, God’s revolutionist, God’s Restorers be involved?   Next time we will open up this question more fully and practically.

Freedom you are set free to provoke creation to participate with those led by the Spirit, the sons of God….

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Ask yourself this…

UnknownIt’s quite amazing as you read through the scriptures how the bible is tied together and flows together considering so many people put pen to paper over so many years. When we see the authority of the Scripture as being something to hold to it’s still amazing of where we find certain passages situated.

It’s interesting as you read 1 Corinthians 13, as it turns our mind towards love where it is rested. I am told a diamond truly only comes into its own when it’s in its correct setting.      Perhaps 1 Corinthians 13 sits in its correct setting?      The passage is sandwiched between two chapters one having to do with spiritual gifts and the other to do with the speaking in tongues.     I know that most of us have either read or heard it read at weddings, but I’m suggesting that we regain its significance and took this very same passage and applied it to our influence, leadership, common conduct for the common good.  I would even suggest I am struggling to see its relevance at weddings really, it was around a table, at gathering of the church family this was to be effectively encountered This LOVE…

I really do think that this passage was not return for wedding ceremonies, although can be used and is good but it really was more written for the church family life and for those that were taking responsibility and leadership and mature in the body of Christ. So let’s consider…

“Love is patient”
Do I give others the same room that I want them to give me? When mistakes are made, advances are taken?

“Love this kind”
Do the people I hang out with actually like being around me? Is appointed thought ask yourself how much do people asked to be with me outside of my work, outside of responsibility?

“It does not envy”
when that great idea is suggested, when someone gets promoted what my inner attitude like? Do I find a jealous streak arising when a great ideas shared, constantly perceiving others threatening me. Some people find themselves unable to live in their current condition because those who suggests their mature, project the superiority perceive you as a threat.

“It does not boast”
Am I the kind of person that always wants to tell people of my previous achievements, that I almost had gone what I’ve done to every comment. If we are so obsessed with what I’ve done in the past then to be honest would really not advancing towards anything at all.

“It is not proud”
I got it, “you need to come to me to see how it’s done” I was once told. I’m the one that knows how to do it, I am the one in the church/organisations that has the answer, you need to worship like me, think like me, preach like me?

“It is not rude”
As soon as I hear an idea I don’t like to I cut them off mid-sentence. Am I the one that blanks people, do people get a calm cold response from me? Is my insecurity so great I’m sharp with people?

“It’s not self-seeking”
What I give my time to, how I invest myself always and really about?

“Is not easily angered”
People afraid to bring me information that is true about me because they know I will lose my cool. Is my life cultivated from being constantly angry?

“It keeps no record of wrongs”
“that’s the… time you’ve done that said that”, “how many times… I remember the last time, and the time before”. Why tell them and remind people of their failures of past constantly, I mind the epitome of forgiveness.

“ love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truths”
Can people be honest and open with any one of us? it’s lonely influencers/leaders who do not have people around them will open up their hearts and share correctly and accurately truth. For this kind of person becomes the dominant that sits on top. Why can’t a bit the truth is celebrated so that people will enjoy truth at all times.

“It always protects”
Am I the kind of person that people will feel my kindness, graciousness, forgiveness, do they know I will always have their best in mind. It always difficult to flow with people will demand loyalty but never extended in any way.

“Always trusts”
Do I come from a trusting position of distrust in. As my years of life and experiences around me produced a distrusting starting point. Can I be one the trusts, and trusts and only when you are constantly showed that I cannot trust I begin to change. Is my world made up of trust or caution?

“Always hopes”
I half empty or half full pot kind of person? Do I assume or how bad it is or how poor the people are. Can I find inside me a way of believing others.

“Always perseveres”
How long will I stay in with people, once it made a mistake am I out of the, my quick to give up on people? And I’m the one that stays in and is a faithful as a friend.

“Love never fails”
Can people feel and sense my love always it quite often displayed in those that stay around. Is the atmosphere that people draw from me that love winds through?

Therefore as an influencer or a leader, as a parent a mother or father, as a friend and brother or sister IVs the qualities of my influence. Ask yourself when I honestly like. I would even suggest that spiritual gifts or speaking in tongues love will always be. To flow in gifts at a time added to root, and its foundation love must be a love that is patient, kind….

Barrier of the Mind

The Barrier of a Closed Mind – Breaking through Sound Barriers…

imagesWe can deliberately and inadvertently close the possibility of hearing God.   This Sound Barrier (see preceding blog)  comes in a number of ways.  As already mentioned one barrier is the lie of believing our lost-ness which makes us unworthy.

Lost-ness is where we have not only a barrier created in our hearing it’s where another sense is changed our seeing becomes skewed, and it is where our insecurities arise and self-centeredness is created.   This Sound barrier creates a preoccupation with ourselves and our welfare, a feeling of loneliness, a need of acceptance, and the drive to prove ourselves, it provokes us to finding something that makes us secure.  This belief we are lost creates threat, aloneness, guilt, it creates a fear and anxiety of the soul, which drives us and forms our relating and responses, the lost-ness in us, forms its own world and history.

The sound barrier is there when we struggle with our worth, this lie has not awakened us to the mission of the Holy Spirit which is to lead us to KNOW what the Father has made of us in Christ.   We are not known as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). NASB    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Don’t get caught in the barrier of “somebodiness” find your self in Christ.

“Who, me?” when God speaks it is accompanied by disbelief and discredit.  Gideon’s story paints this picture well, a reaction of disbelief and self dis-credit.   Gideon an unimportant member of a minor family in the weakest clan Judge 6:1, I want a sign to prove I am hearing you, is it really you?    I wonder why we ask for signs, which is such a gift from God, but what is the basis of my asking?

This young unconvinced general doubt, not that God would speak but that God would speak to him, why would the God of the universe and beyond converse with a nobody?

Would God speak to little old me?  O yes remove the sound barrier as God has asked us to ask, align our will to Gods and ask Luke 11:9, the God that has numbered even the hairs on my head Luke 12:7, the Father of the detail of our lives cares enough to speak to you.

“That’s just thunder”, in John 12:29 a place where a conversation between earth and heaven went on, even the voice from heaven was spoken for those around that had a sound barrier.

Some times the closed mind is such we can not hear God because our expectations of how God might speak did not include the way God did speak.  In this passage clearly the way God would speak did not include an audible voice.    When God spoke they heard a noise…thunder.

To Elijah he spoke in the opposite expectation of the prophet 1 Kings 19:11-13 tells me.  Not in wind, fire, earthquake but a whisper a prophet who expected sensational ways would have had a sound barrier.

Our open minds are sensitive to ordinary and surprising ways of God speaking.  images-1

“I might not believe it” or “it might get weird”, “its not the way our protocol is”.   How many cults start with ”God told me…”, how many unbalanced people have engaged in action, crimes and said God told me?   How many times do normal people make poor decisions as they acted under God’s private, specific instruction?

We don’t want to ascribe to God our silly notions, do we; by claiming God told us that and it proved untrue.   No one brings any one to account for it.    April 2014/15 has been announced as being the importance of the four ‘blood moons”, along with this will be climax of the end of the end (Fall 2015), when international prophets through TV sit and affirm this, yet if your reading this, after the ‘Fall of 2015’ – it has not happened and the Christian world brings no one to account…?   How many times doe this need to happen before we say enough….

Caution is admirable, yet we are those who hear God voice, know Jesus speaking don’t switch your new birth right off, you are meant to hear God, designed to hear God.

We live in a world where we all have access to so much information, so many teachings, so much we find agreeable and information we disagree with.   Years ago it was about teaching what we must believe taught from pulpits now we must train, teach, help and empower people on how to hear God in the midst of so much sound.     Train to discern, we have to work with the sound barrier of so much noise to hear God, the Father.

The hearing of God will always be affirmed by other confirming ways.   Simple, we all know it but why don’t we do it?    Confirm it through the scriptures, affirm it through wise counsel our friends.

What a loss to our lives if we did not take heed of some “weird” direction from time to time, the experience, the meeting of God would not have been if I had allowed a fear of “weirdness” to keep me from responding to that word from God.   Do not fear, but do confirm.

Be nostalgic or Seize the NOW…

imagesAs we take stock of life and take a look towards the future and being wise looking back over the events of days gone, for this is true wisdom when we can draw from our past and now to mold the future.  As we do this I am sure we all have different thoughts of what the future holds.  Even as we consider the past we would have different thoughts about what got us to this point.

We all get asked in the light of world events what does this mean?   I have to say some times I don’t know helps us Lord in the changes that are rushing towards us all.   Several years ago I picked up a book called “The Tipping Point”, I am told it has become rather a buzz statement for many, with many taking it up to sum up their feelings of now.    The notion is that everything comes to a point of balance, one that is ready to tip and throw its weight towards a certain direction.   Many things can tip the balance, it could be  a reasoned thought, an emotional response, or a circumstance that tips the balance and takes you over an edge.    In other words the statement we often used to hear of  “its got to break” has now moved into a roller coaster a movement, beginning a direction that seemingly has its own momentum.    So many people I talk to feel as if they are either on the approach to or at the point of just starting over, on the edge of their own “tipping point.

Whatever way we consider, the past, the present and the future I have come to one conclusion, that echoes out loudest over all my thoughts, and I have shared this in several settings over the last 3 years.  It was so loud in my thinking that it drowned out every other thought in my mind; it is “what got me here will not get me there”.   An understanding formed in me, that what ever brought me to know what I now knew, whatever had positively assisted, empowered and served me/us, was not sufficient to carry me/us into tomorrow.  A now, new moment had arrived, in every new moment there is a new encounter, which is necessary to envision and equip the day.   Moses saw God in the burning bush, Abraham met God for his journey and new pilgrim life style, even Jesus encountered the Father in the Garden to face he cross, earlier he encountered the Father at his baptism in preparation for the wilderness and the 3 ½ years of function.

Wherever you are, I think the tipping point is becoming a life-style, not just a moment but also a way of life that we are always negotiating.  There is in fact a cost to be considered in every tipping point, be it into an event, a way of life, or a life choice, that will not even allow us to return to where it all began.

A place of no return so to speak, a rub-icon crossed?, this all sounds high and mighty, but we make these kinds of decisions daily.    Decisions effecting people and relationships, how we use our money, our job/vocational choices, we even see it in the small events of life as they may be.    Please realize that most lives are a sequence of small events and we cross rub-icons daily that have no pain attached but certainly are transformational in terms of our friendships and families – people, what we do – time, and the final resource in our lives, money and how we dispose of and work our money – finance.

Can I encourage you to think out of the box before you negotiate the “tipping point” and set your roller-coaster along life’s chosen pathway. Clear the house, your life first with start by determining I QUIT!   This I Quit will help the process of going over the edge taking that step forward I will give you just 4 “I Quit”

Quit making excuses

Quit complaining

Quit living in fear

Quit complaining 

Having chosen to negotiate my “tipping points”, having then welcomed them these “tipping points”, they have in turn set up various directions of life for me over the last 8 years.   It has caused much re-evaluation of resources, hearts, and direction as events and situations continue to present themselves.   I have had to remodel my view of life and more than that, remodel my view of God himself.    Which of course allows the remodeling of how we function.  Knowing this discovering View of God that will determine how well we all live.

Following all that I am excited over the phase we have now began to live though, a phase that clearly brings multiplication in a new way into my thinking.   Seeing Apostolic networks possibly becoming Apostolic families, heavily relational rather than organizational, realizing that we should not replace the single grace that so empowered many and much in last 30 years + with another grace, endorsing a Papal system again, but seeing the release of multiplication of apostolic graces across the countries and world in this phase.    Many networks or movements are giving way to family expressions with a relationship life flowing across them and through them, which is releasing the possibilities of continual multiplication.    It must then continue to fill the world we live in with organic family expression of Christ.

It’s a time not to be  the new phase and take hold of the circumstances that now face each of us.

Kissing honestly – a Kingdom of God reality.

An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship

Proverbs 24:26

imagesI am amazed and shocked how much influence a man can wield…   our TV has been dominated in recent years with talent shows and competitions for all types of people and animals.   Dog trainers, singers, puppeteer, acrobats, martial arts, dancers, individuals and groups alike, all trying their best, programs such as  “….got talent”, “X factor”, “The Voice”, “Idol”, the population that view seem to be oblivious to the program’s design, its aim to be exposing of the unfortunate through flattery, its staging what will be done to get viewing figures, the ridicules along with the talented in a world where we have no failures where we are not to allow any one to fail at anything. 

The voice of one man, one judge is sought on the UK and USA programs, the opinion of the daddy of talent programs Simon Cowell, a judge, it is what all take interest in receiving.   Yet he has acquired a reputation for his severe criticism of the pop-star hopefuls, talent displays. “My attitude has always been, ‘Don’t lie to people,’” Simon says. “Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune, and you can either say, ‘Good job,’ and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.”

The real question is, why do people even show up?

Even the untrained ear can discern that many of them can’t sing. Yet they believe with miraculous sincerity that they can make it big. What has happened here?

Someone lied. In an attempt to encourage, a parent or friend or significant other told the hopeful singer that he had the right stuff. In the name of love, someone told him that he should make a CD. Out of a desire to protect the self-image of a young person, someone lied.

Cowell acknowledges that part of his job is to close that gap: “For a lot of contestants, it’s a suspension of belief. Your family and friends say you’re pretty good—and we’re here to stop you.”

 

Before you made a fool of yourself, wouldn’t you want to be stopped? As hard as it may be to hear the truth, as difficult as it may be to accept it, wouldn’t it be more loving and kind if someone said, gently and firmly, “Don’t do this. It’s not good. I like you. I love you. But you’re not a pop star”?

Of course it would. But we’ve lost the ability to tell the truth when the truth is hard.

Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,”  it’s not an honest answer is like a slap on the face. A kiss is something to look forward to…but honesty?

How can these two be similar?

How is a kiss comparable to an honest answer?

A kiss honours relationship.

A kiss brings us close to another and builds relationship.

Risking this type of kiss, we honour one another and our relationships.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, took a big risk when he told Moses that he was taking on too much responsibility by acting as arbiter of all disputes for the people of Israel: “What you are doing is not good!” (Ex. 18:17 ).   Moses, who was not known for his patience when confronted with the truth, could easily have rejected this advice—and the advisor. However, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24 ).

How many times has your wife or husband come to you honestly “I’m upset…” your children turn and say “I don’t like that…”   Often we are not excited to be told the truth about ourselves, especially when it’s contrary to our perception

We could save ourselves much hassle by letting things go.    But some times we bravely take on the task of truth telling for my sake and for the sake of better relationships in our family. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

    Telling the truth is interior decoration for another’s character. The risk—and the relationship—is worth it.

More thoughts on these kisses next time