Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fear and Gratitude.



Hallelujah!
I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got—
Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are his memorial—
This God of Grace, this God of Love.
He gave food to those who fear him,
He remembered to keep his ancient promise.
He proved to his people that he could do what he said:
Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift!
He manufactures truth and justice;
All his products are guaranteed to last—
Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
All that he makes and does is honest and true:
He paid the ransom for his people,
He ordered his Covenant kept forever.
He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.
The good life begins in the fear of God—
Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.
His Hallelujah lasts forever!

(Psalm 111, The Message)

Meditation:

  1. Do I give thanks in front of my congregation?
  2. How do I study creation?
  3. Where do I see God at work?
  4. What does the writer mean by “fear”?
  5. Is God both personal and holy to me, or just one or the other?
  6. Does God bless us because we fear him, or does our fear allow us to see His blessings?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Big Game Fishing.

(Duccio di Buoninsegna) 
John was in jail -
Jesus at the Lake:
“Hear the good news!
John’s job is complete.
God is close by you.
Give up your evilness;
Believe in goodness.”

Two bros in a boat –
Jesus at the Lake:
“Come with me!
We’ll fish together,
For men and women.”

Two more brothers,
In another boat –
Jesus at the Lake:
“Come with me!”
They left all for ALL.


(Mark 1:14-20 as told by Tiwago)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Are We Addicted To Drama?

(Marten van Heemskerck)




Naked Thoughts on Jonah 3:1-5&10:

After much drama, Jonah finally warned the City as God had directed. The people repented, so God changed His script, and did not destroy the City.


Epilogue: Jonah did not like the anticlimactic ending, so he tried to ad-lib...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Phil and Nate Get Called.



Naked thoughts on John 1:43-51:

One day, Jesus decides to go down to the lakeshore to hang out with friends that he will meet for the first time. As soon as he found Phil, he said: “Come with me.” And he did! After a while, they split up to cover more ground.

Phil goes straight to his brother Nate: “He’s here! The Messiah is here! His name is Jesus Son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

As soon as Nate heard “Nazareth”, his hopes fell. “Nothing good has ever come from that dump!” But his brother did not argue, he simply asked: “Come and see?”

Jesus spoke as Nate approached him: “Here is a man of Truth!” “What makes you think you know me?” responded Nate.

Jesus smiled and answered: “I saw you sleeping in the shade before your brother found you – weren’t you supposed to be mending nets?”

Why did this simple jibe affect Nate so much? What about it caused him to recognize that the man before him was the Son of God?

Jesus embraced him, and laughs: “I tell you that you were nodding off in the shade on a hot day, and suddenly you believe? Just wait, you haven’t seen anything yet! You will see Heaven torn asunder , and Jacob’s Ladder ascending and descending for me.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Here I Am!

(N.C. Wyeth)


Naked thoughts on 1 Samuel 3:1-10:
 
When he was a boy, Sammy would sleep just within The Tent, lying across the doorway protecting the Ark. One night he heard: “Samuel. Samuel.”

He jumped up and ran across the tent to where Eli the Priest slept behind a curtain: “Here I am.”

Eli said: “I did not call you. You must have been dreaming, Go back to sleep.”

Later, Sammy suddenly was awakened by a voice: “Samuel!” Again, he ran to the only other person in The Tent: “Here I am!”

I would have told the boy that I was tired and needed to sleep, but not Eli. Eli somehow discerned that the youth was being spoken to by God rather than just having a vivid dream. So he helped prepare his ward to listen the next time: “The next time you think you are being called, don’t jump up and blindly act. Say ‘I hear you, what do you want?’, and then just listen quietly.”

He did, and he heard.