Thursday, 28 February 2013

From A Park Bench - 1 Corinthians 7 v 22

I Corinthians 7 v 22
And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.

A few years back I traveled on a coach across Europe for a holiday in Prague. It was only a few years after the fall of communism and the formation of the Czech Republic. After years of oppression freedom had come to the people of old Czechoslovakia. As the coach traveled through the newly formed country the roadside was littered with young teenage girls offering themselves to rich western visitors. It struck me that these teenagers had traded one type of slavery for another type of slavery. Freedom is only freedom if it brings freedom from oppression.

In New Testament times people sold themselves into short term slavery to pay off debts. This common practice of giving up freedom and willingly entering into slavery is a picture of what many Christians do to themselves when they start to try to get from God what they already have by grace.  God has already blessed very Christian with every spiritual blessing and we are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father adopted by God in his righteousness through the predestined ransom of Christ.

Christ’s death was enough to keep me eternally free. Too often we are then told by well meaning people that through our effort we need to stay right with God. I went to a men’s conference where the speaker said, “The grace of God is all we need and it is by his grace that we are saved. Now God wants us to grow up and be men of integrity, so lets leave behind grace and make ourselves walk pure before God.”  I understood exactly where he was coming from but in the end he was preaching salvation by works. The essence of the lie is that by my holiness and good living I make and keep myself acceptable to God. The truth is that by Christ’s finished work at the cross, I am holy and righteous and I do not have to add anything of my works to keep it. My sinful nature died at the cross and I am a new holy creation In Christ.

Grace is the motivation of my life, freedom is the state of my heart, joy is the wellspring bubbling up inside and all that I do is in union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit inside of me.  The more I drown in the ocean of God’s grace the more I enjoy God and the less I want to enjoy the world. To live in the realm of the Spirit changes my motivation, and my focus. It has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with my performance and nothing to do with my right living, it has everything to do with Christ living in me and working through me.

I have been made free in Christ by and through his grace to go back into self-righteousness and my performance is to go back into oppression and slavery. The only slavery that sets me free is my slavery to Christ and to his life permeating every cell of my body.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bygone Times - Milk Tray Chocolate Bar

One of the strangest confectionery delights to grace the counters of the local newsagents in the 1970’s was the Milk Tray chocolate bar.

A whole box of Milk Tray Chocolates molded together into one bar, with 9 different centers to choose from:
Coconut Ice
Turkish Delight
Crème Strawberry 
Almond Swirl
Orange Creme
Coffee Creme
Lime Barrel

It was always difficult to keep your favorite to last, but I loved the – Lime Barrel and Fudge
I must admit my least favorite was Turkish Delight, so I always ate this first, to get it out of the way.

There was only one down side to this incredible invention, sometimes if you were very unlucky the chocolate bar broke and split causing the crèmes to spread and infect the other choc’s.  It was heartbreaking to open a bar and discover that the ‘best’ one (Lime Barrel) had been obliterated.

Our Sunday School teacher gave me a bar every Sunday when I  attended church, together with the magazines ‘World of Wonder’ and ‘Look and Learn’ . To be honest I loved the magazines but the Milk Tray Bar was the real treat.

My two sisters’s used to fight over which chocolate they wanted and that still left 7 for me.

It was a timeless classic that still brings a smile to my face.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tuesday’s Track -Amazing Love by Rachel Robinson.

Tuesday’s track is Amazing Love sung by Rachel Robinson.

I have heard this song on UCB over the last month.

The words are just brilliant and really speak of all that Christ won for us at the cross.

It is so good sometimes to let a melody float in your head and when the words are full of truth they speak faith into our hearts.

We are forgiven, eternally.
We are accepted, eternally
We are alive, forever
God’s spirit lives inside us
All by grace
The Amazing love of God
That Christ died as me.

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted you were condemned
I'm alive and well your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted you were condemned
And I'm alive and well your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

Amazing love how can it be
That you my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
It's my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken (yes)
I'm accepted Lord you were condemned
Now I'm alive and well your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

OHH amazing love how can it be
That you my king would die for me (yeah)
Amazing love I know it's true
It's my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you
Oh God I honor you

You are my king
Jesus you are my king
You are my king
Jesus you are my king

Amazing Love how can it be
That you my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
It's my joy to honor you

Amazing Love how can it be
That you my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
It's my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you
In all I do I honor you

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken

Monday, 25 February 2013

Grace Notes - Luke 2 v 52

Luke 2:52, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man."

The wonderful truth of the New Covenant is that Christ now lives inside every believer. God is not distant, aloof, detached or away. God is not is some place, somewhere and needs us to search and seek him. When we believe, he comes and dwells within us, in all his fullness and glory.

The difficulty I have is that I don’t realize and recognize the amazing God I have living inside of me. Years of bad thinking, incorrect theology, worldly wisdom and lies had dulled me to the amazing new creation within me.

I need to grow in the truth of that which is already evident in my new spirit. My mind needs to be awakened and transformed to the grace of God.

Jesus had to grow and learn in his physical body. He had to immerse himself into all the treasures of wisdom of God's ever increasing grace.

Andrew Wommack explains that Jesus became like us : -

How could it be that Jesus, who was God, and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, increased in wisdom?

God is a Spirit. Jesus, as God, had existed as a Spirit forever.

When He came to the earth as Jesus, he was Lord at birth, but that was in His Spirit. His Spirit didn't have to grow or increase in wisdom but His physical body did.

The Lord could have done things differently, but He didn't. Jesus came into this world in His physical body exactly as we did. He had to grow and learn.

He became just like us so that we could become just like Him.

This is the great exchange. He became like us so that He could bear all our iniquities and become a mercy high priest for us.

Christianity does not produce a changed life but an exchanged life. Christ does not reform us, but He transforms us through His union with us. In the same way that the Eternal Christ could come and inhabit the body of an infant and still retain all His deity, He now inhabits our bodies through the new birth in all His glory and power. Like Jesus, grow in your wisdom and understanding of who you now are in Christ.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

ConneXions - Power belongs to God

Power belongs to God

Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty?  - Job 11:7

Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. – Romans 1:20

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. – Psalm 33:6

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. – Hebrews 1:3.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!  Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful. You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves. You crushed the great sea monster. You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. – Psalm 89:8-10

Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. – Psalm 24:8

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. – Romans 1:16

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 1:18-20

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. – Daniel 7:14

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Jesus was.....

Jesus was crushed so that God would never crush you.

Jesus was pierced so that God will never ever pierce you with sorrows or with sickness or with poverty.

Jesus was punished so it is a guarantee that God will never ever punish you!

Jesus was made a guilt offering by God so you will never feel guilty.

Jesus was cursed so that God could remove the curse from you

Jesus was condemned so that God would remove all condemnation from you

Jesus was made powerless so that God could empower you to have victory over sin.

Jesus was separated from God so that you could have an eternal living vibrant union in Him.

Jesus was stripped naked so that God could clothe you in his robes of righteousness

Jesus was crucified so that you could receive all the riches of God through his lavish grace.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Overflowing Love by Bill Thomas

As the river bursts it’s banks and overflows to all around;
As the avalanche of snow fills the valley to it’s depths;
As the rains teem from the sky in monsoon climes;
So flows the love of God from on high.

Uncontainable, overpowering, overwhelming,
Such is this love of God.
The depths and vastness of mighty seas,
The height and majesty of splendid mountain ranges,
The unlimited vastness of universes and boundless space,
All pale into insignificance before this unconditional love,
This so amazing love, this unerring love,
This love so rich, so pulsating with vehement fervour
That even God Himself cannot hold it in;
It must fly, cavort, rejoice, and finally find it’s place
In the heart of man, of undeserving man.

And the rivers of our lives finally burst into overflowing,
The valleys of our souls are filled to it’s depths,
And we find we are in monsoon climes,
drenched in a love so all-consuming that we cannot hold it in;
And we too must overflow, we too must fly, cavort, rejoice,
And finally surrender to the inevitability
Of loving the unlovable.

By Bill Thomas

Thursday, 21 February 2013

From A Park Bench - Romans 6:14

Romans 6 v14
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Rules and regulations dominate our lives. Right from a very early age we are taught to obey, follow instruction, do the right thing. This is so embedded into us that when we are offered a self-righteous religion it seems very inviting.  It works in a very subtle method that we often miss, if I keep my part of the bargain, God will be pleased with me and therefore bless me. This self-righteous attitude of doing my bit to please God is right from the pit of hell, birth by the tongue of the deceiver in the garden of Eden, and self-righteousness is the essence of sin,

There is only one way to God and that is through Christ and his death on the cross. Christ became my sin and took all the punishment I deserved and in exchange gave me all the riches of heaven by grace. I now have complete freedom through his subsitutuional sacrifice.  The law with its rules and regulations has been made obsolete and I have Christ living and dwelling inside.

The Bible is God’s love letter to me, his words of grace. To see it has an instruction manual on how to live my life is to go back to living by self-righteousness.  The Bible is not a set of rules and instructions on how to behave and live, it is an overflowing stream of love from a father gentle guiding me and encouraging me to express the freedom I have received through grace.

When I was born again my old sinful nature was buried and I have a new sinless nature. I was made holy and righteous in Christ and the grace that saved me is the same grace that works in me and takes me from one degree of glory to another.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ten Truths from Andrew Wommack

  1. God the Father forsook Jesus so you and I would never be forsaken. All that you and I would have suffered, through billions of years in eternity—the grief, the pain and, worst of all, the complete separation from the presence of God—Jesus experienced. And He experienced all of this for us.
  2. Grace is what God has already done for us, independent of any worth or value on our part. If it’s tied to some goodness of ours, then it’s not true grace. God, by grace, has already provided everything we will ever need.
  3. Any blessing you could ever need or desire from the Lord is not something to strive for but something you already have. God made the provision before you had the need. It is just a simple matter of receiving what He has already done.
  4. That’s what the blessing of God is; it’s His divine spoken favor. And that blessing, if mixed with faith, will produce abundance in spirit, soul, and body.
  5. The good news is, you are already blessed. The bad news is, most don’t know the power of that blessing. They would rather have a miracle.
  6. If we will believe we are blessed and act accordingly, we can avoid many of the problems that make us candidates for miracles.
  7. In heaven, you won’t answer for your sin; Jesus already has. You will answer for your acceptance or rejection of Jesus.
  8. There is a difference between fighting to get healed and fighting because we have been healed. That difference is the difference between success and failure.
  9. If God hasn’t already moved by His grace, then your faith can’t make Him.
  10. Salvation is everything Jesus purchased for us through the atonement. Sozo, the Greek word from which “salvation” was translated means more than forgiveness of sin; it also means healing, deliverance, and prosperity. It’s a word that summarizes everything that Jesus provided for us through His death, burial, and resurrection.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Remembering Richard Briers

Growing up in the 1970’s there were certain TV sitcom’s that our family watched with religious fervor.  Some Mothers Do Have Them, Are You Being Served and The Good Life.

The Good Life was for my parent’s top of the list, the hilarious antics of Tom and Barbara Good as they gave up the middle class life for self-sufficiency in their back garden.  Pigs, chickens, homemade appliances all things cobbled out of odds and ends added to the great family oriented humour.

Therefore it is with great sadness that I read of the death of actor Richard Briers, who was Tom Good in the sitcom.

Although he was an accomplished stage actor, it is for his Tom Good role that he will be forever treasured in my memories.  The lone man battling against the elements of nature, the system of the world and life. He was the 1970’s equivalent to Richard Hannay,  Shane, and all those other greats that have found themselves battling the system for the oppressed.

I can see him now sitting on his homemade lawn mower / vehicle driving around the middle class suburb. Classic moments.

A few weeks ago i watched an episode of Midsomer Murders where he appeared as the murderous vicar, reaping vengeance on the village inhabitants with an ancient Indian sword.  He had an instantly recognizable and familiar face and was always a pleasure and joy to watch.

Thank you Richard for many great memories and many magical moments,  you were truly a TV great.  

Monday, 18 February 2013

Forgotten Heroes - John Wesley Mitchell, 8th Battalion, A.I.F.

John Wesley Mitchell, was born on 16 March 1891 at Tarranyurk, near Dimboola, Victoria, fourth child of Australian-born parents Joseph Mitchell, farmer, and his wife Eliza, née Milkins.

While working as an engineering cadet at Warracknabeal, Jack served in the Militia and was commissioned (1912) in the Victorian Rangers (later 73rd Infantry Regiment). On 24 August 1914 he was appointed to the Australian Imperial Force. Five ft 9½ ins (177 cm) tall, with dark hair and blue eyes, he was allotted to 'E' Company, 8th Battalion, which embarked for Egypt in October. He was quietly spoken and popular, and able to handle 'all the jobs of a subaltern'.

Landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, Mitchell was wounded that day and admitted to hospital. He rejoined the battalion on 26 May and on the following day became its adjutant. By October he held the rank of temporary captain and was employed as a company commander. He returned to Egypt in January 1916, reached the Western Front in March and was promoted major in June. Absent from his unit in July-October when stricken with influenza, he was away again from January to March 1917 attending the Senior Officers' Course in England. On 14 April 1917 he was promoted lieutenant colonel and placed in command of the battalion.

Mitchell showed great courage in carrying out reconnaissance. In the operations at Lagnicourt and Bullecourt, France, in April and May 1917 (in which he won the Distinguished Service Order) his personal example influenced his men to push ahead and secure tactical positions. On 28 October, although gassed, he remained on duty. During the capture of Rosières Station and the village of Lihons on 9 and 11 August 1918, his battalion suffered heavy casualties; Mitchell twice went forward under fire to reorganize the line; he won a Bar to his D.S.O. For his leadership of the 8th Battalion, he was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and mentioned in dispatches five times. In October and November he had temporary command of the 2nd Brigade. His A.I.F. appointment terminated in Australia on 5 April 1920.

Employed by the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey as an inspector of land settlement and later as a member of the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Inquiry Board, Mitchell provided practical assistance to former servicemen who settled in the Wimmera and the Mallee. On 2 May 1927 at St John's Anglican Church, Horsham, he married Margaret Blanche West, a 31-year-old nurse; they were to remain childless. He continued to serve in the Militia, commanding the 21st Battalion (1921-22), the 1st Armoured Car Regiment (1934-38) and the 20th Light Horse Regiment (1939).

Sunday, 17 February 2013

ConneXions - Ambassadors of Christ

Ambassadors of Christ

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”  - 2 Corinthians 5:20.

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.  And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” – Acts 9: 15-16.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. – Ephesians 6: 18-20.

My chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world. – Isaiah 43: 20-21.

Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!” - Haggai 1:13.

An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble, but a reliable messenger brings healing. - Proverbs 13:17.

The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” – John 4: 28-29.

Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did! – John 4:39.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Eternity Within Me - Dave Thorpe

Eternities within me and I will never die,
For I’m living in Christ Jesus, so death I will deny,

For He has gone before me and prepared the way for me,
Made ready for my coming into eternity.

So eternity’s within me, and shall forever be,
So with a heart of gratitude, to Christ I bow my knee.

For I am in Christ Jesus, and this is where I dwell,
I find delight in all Christ’s done, and of this truth I tell.

This truth is written in Gods word, and sealed by Christ’s own blood,
Upon these truths I meditate, and with them, my mind flood.

Eternity’s within me, as through deaths valley I do go,
But death is not my destiny, Christ’s life is all I know.

Christ is my life, and in Christ’s life I hide,
And throughout my earthly walk, I in that life abide.

So eternity’s within me, and I will never die,
For I’m living in Christ Jesus, so death I will defy.

by Dave Thorpe 

Friday, 15 February 2013


In eternity
Father, Son, Spirit,
Delighting in perfect union,
 A joyous, exuberant affectionate dance,
Love flowing out and reflecting back,
Dwelling with each other in glorious goodness
Loving father, perfect son, glorious spirit, overwhelming grace,
Interwoven love sharing in harmony, a radiant illuminating light,
Amazing Trinity poured into creation, celebrating and delighting in us.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

From A Park Bench - John 17:22-23

John 17:22-23

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

The mystery of the Trinity is the mystery of the glorious God that now dwells inside the believer. Here just before he is betrayed and arrested Jesus prays for himself and his disciples.

God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one, inexplicably united in a wondrous union of love, delight and joy.  Forged before time in eternity in a lavish dance of intimate joy and as Christ and God are eternally interwoven, so we become interwoven into the trinity when we come into Christ though faith in his finished work and righteousness.

Immanuel ‘God with us’, Jesus Christ is the Lord our God living inside of me.

Jesus Christ is not hidden away in the universe somewhere, patiently counting the minutes until he can become a real factor in the universe. Jesus Christ is the one in and by and through all things exists and is held together, including you and me.

We are perfectly one in Christ, he is present in every believer. Jesus is wonderfully and humbly sharing himself and his life with his Father in us

We have been baptized in the glory, the fullness, the excellence, the beauty of the trinity.
Jesus is sharing his rich life with us, every moment; every second we breathe we are interwoven into God.

There are no mundane days, there are no worthless moments. When we met and talk to people Christ works through us. He works through us when we make the family sandwiches, when we clean the house, when we wash the laundry, when we fix the office photocopier, when we give our work mate a lift home, in everything we do, God in Christ works through us to bring Christ into a fallen and fragile world.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Centrality of Love by Bill Thomas

A unity of love,
A rhapsody of raw emotion,
The Father’s love, the Son’s devotion,
The Spirit’s fond equivocation,
Ever wrapped in love’s vocation,
This God of love.

Love’s symphony resounds
And, through this love was born Creation,
In every star, each constellation,
Plays it’s part in adulation;
Through every earthly convocation,
This godly love is found.

 The Father bids us enter in
And, as we join this Holy Nation
The Son becomes our consolation,
The Spirit is our affirmation,
And Heaven our sweet destination,
And so our lives begin.
Bill Thomas
January 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What is God like - Andrew Wilson

This is an excellent sermon to feast on and enjoy.

Andrew Wilson, an Elder at Kings Church, Eastboure delivers a passionate picture of all that God is in the Trinity.

Andrew portrays a God who is eternally loving, overflowing with joy, generosity and abundance, as the Father, Son and Spirit dance with each other, dwell within each other, and delight in each other.

The glory of God consists in his love – flowing out from the Father to the Son and the Spirit, and reflected back in their love for him and each other.

As Andrew explains how we view God is how we relate to God and determines our trust in God.

Just click on the link below and enjoy

Monday, 11 February 2013

Grace Notes - John 8:19

John 8:19
"Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."

Father, Son and Holy Spirit together in perfect, loving, glorious harmony, this is the Trinity. The father loves the son, in fact he is absolutely delighted with Him, exuberant with him, overjoyed with Him.

The Son adores the father, loves the father with everything in Him in the strength and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

The Fullness of Christ is now dwelling in every believer. Every believer is united in Christ in their Spirit. Every believer is righteous, holy, sanctified and a child of God, simply by being united by grace into Christ.

As the father adores the son, the father adores you, Jesus and the believer as so interwoven and entwined that all God sees is the righteousness of his son when he looks at us. Every moment, every second God through his grace is exuberant with us.

This to our normal minds is madness and a mystery, that Christ lives and dwells in the very fabric of our frail bodies.

Andrew Wommack talks about the mystery of the Trinity, a wonderful truth that is revealed in scripture:-

The scriptures teach Jesus' oneness with the Father. This oneness is more than singleness of purpose and actually denotes "a single one to the exclusion of others" as in the statement, "There is one God" (1 Tim. 2:5).

This truth is so well established in scripture that some people make no distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit but believe they are simply one God expressing Himself in three different ways. However, Jesus makes a distinction between Himself and His Father here and uses Himself and His Father as two different witnesses to fulfill the requirement of Deuteronomy 17:6. Jesus would have been deceiving these Jews if there was no distinction between His Father and Himself; and yet, they are one. This is a great mystery and yet a very well established fact in scripture.

One of the great statements of the Old Testament from Deuteronomy 6:4 says, "The Lord our God is one Lord." We do not have three Gods, but one God, clearly identifiable as three persons. This is a great mystery, which has not been adequately explained. Scriptures reveal the truth of the Trinity, but make no attempt to explain it. We simply accept this revelation as it is, until we know all things, even as we are known (1 Cor. 13:12).

Jesus said that the witness of His Father was the greatest testimony of who He was. Everyone can hear His testimony of Jesus through the scriptures.

Moses and all the Old Testament prophets spoke of the coming of Jesus, and Peter said the written word of God was a more sure word of prophecy than the audible voice of God.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

ConneXions - The Lord our God is one Lord.

The Lord our God is one lord.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” – Genesis 1:26

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” - Mark 1:9-11

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-4.

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. – 1 John 5:6-9

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.  - 1 Timothy 3:16

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom". – Hebrews 1:8

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known – 1 Corinthians 13:12

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Glorious Trinity

Last week I purchased the book  'The Shack Revisited' by  C. Baxter Kruger, unfortunately for me my wife promptly got her hands on it and has been reading it.

Every now and then with great excitement she throws me morsels of truth that  amazingly portray the gloriuos work and scope of the Trinity.

My wife read me the passage below and it blew me away, it is just the most wonderful picture of our amazing God.

Thank you C. Baxter Kruger for your insight and the expression of the lavishness of God’s overwhelming and overflowing grace.

From all eternity, God is not alone and solitary, but lives as Father, Son and Spirit in a rich and glorious and abounding fellowship of utter oneness. There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or insecurity. The trinitarian life is a great dance of unchained communion and intimacy, fired by passionate, self-giving and other-centered love, and mutual delight. This life is good. It is right, unique, full of music and joy, blessedness and peace. Such love, giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship and oneness, is the womb of the universe and of humanity within it.

The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the trinitarian life with others. This is the one, eternal and abiding reason for the creation of the world and of human life. There is no other God, no other will of God, no second plan, no hidden agenda for human beings. Before the creation of the world, the Father, Son and Spirit set their love upon us and planned to bring us to share and know and experience the trinitarian life itself. Unto this end the cosmos was called into being, and the human race was fashioned, and Adam and Eve were given a place in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son himself, in and through whom the dream of our adoption would be accomplished.

Before creation, it was decided that the Son would cross every chasm between the Triune God and humanity and establish a real and abiding relationship with us—union. Jesus was predestined to be the mediator, the one in and through whom the very life of the Triune God would enter human existence, and human existence would be lifted up to share in the trinitarian life.

When Adam and Eve rebelled, ushering in chaos and misery into God’s creation, the Father, Son and Spirit never abandoned their dream, but wonderfully incorporated darkness and sin into the tapestry of the coming incarnation. As the Father’s Son became human, and as he submitted himself to bear our anger, and bizarre blindness, and as he gave himself to suffer a murderous death at our hands, he established a real and abiding relationship with fallen humanity at our very worst—and he brought his Father and the Holy Spirit with him. It was in Jesus himself, and in his death at our bitter hands, that the trinitarian life of God pitched its tent in our hell on earth, thereby uniting all that the Father, Son and Spirit share with all that we are in our brokenness, shame and sin—adoption.

In the life and death of Jesus the Holy Spirit made his way into human pain and blindness. Inside our broken inner worlds the Spirit works to reveal Jesus in us so that we can meet Jesus himself in our own sin and shame, and begin to see what Jesus sees, and know his Father with him. The Holy Spirit takes of Jesus and discloses it to us, so that we can know and experience Jesus’ own relationship with his Father, and we can be free to live in the Father’s embrace with Jesus.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Crimson Wrath

A quarry of wrath
Scarred in stone
Entangled justice
Demands a price
Infinite worth
Satisfies the holy curse
Heavens adored
Crimson wrath

Thursday, 7 February 2013

From A Park Bench - Acts 5 v 42

Acts 5 v 42

And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”

The message the apostles preached is the same message that we preach today, Christ is the promised King, He is the promised saviour of all mankind poured out upon the cross.

Apparently the literal translation of the Hebrew word for ‘messiah’ is anointed which refers to something or someone being consecrated by having holy oil put on them.

Christ is holy oil poured out into us. By his death and our union with him we have been made righteous and holy. Sanctification is not a process it is free gift, freely given when I am made a new creation in Christ. By his sinless death , ‘as me’, I receive his holiness and he became my sin.

My old sinful nature was crucified with Christ, died and was buried. In the new birth I have a spotless spirit and soul, all that remains from the old man is the thought patterns and influences that have affected my mind. As I rest In Christ and let my new life reign my old thinking is transformed into the truth of all I am now In Christ.

This is the amazing good news of the Gospel that Christ died for me, Christ died as me and now Christ lives in me.

The world with its deceit lies and propaganda tries to distract me away into negative thinking, worry and strife.  Often I believe what I am told by the News Channel over the promises God has given me. It is sometimes hard when I am bombarded with worldly wisdom and unbelief.

But, God is faithful and true and he is my father who sings over me with joy.

Let his spirit fill us, his truth control us and his power permeate every part of our beings, with a torrent of undeserved grace and love.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Forgotten Hero’s – Tom Turrall VC

Tom Turrall was 30 years old, and a private in the 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC

On the 2nd July 1916 the 58th Brigade attacked the strongly fortified village of La Boisselle and secured a position on the southern face. As the German machine guns were very active it was decided to continue the attack in the night. The troops formed up opposite the village and the order to advance was given at
3am with the 10th Bn, Worcestershire Regiment, and crossing open ground and into the German defensive positions.

When it grew lighter a small group, including Turrall under the command of Lieutenant Jennings, was suddenly fired upon from a hidden German position where
Jennings was severely wounded and had one of his legs shattered by bullets. Turrall took charge of the situation and dragged his officer into the safety of a nearby shell hole and began to dress Jennings' wounds, using part of an entrenching tool as a splint and one of his own puttees for a bandage. While he worked several bombs were thrown at him as the enemy had seen movement in the shell hole. The bombers were concealed behind a hedge and Turrall managed to kill at least one of them with rifle fire before the enemy withdrew.

However, Turrall could see that there was a mass of Germans attempting to re-take the village in a strong counter-attack. His officer had fainted and there was no point in shooting and so he feigned death, being prodded with bayonets but survived. The enemy counter-attack against the British defences failed. Turrall had to remain until dark in his shell hole and then hoisting up his wounded officer he dragged him back towards the British lines.
Jennings was a very tall man and his arms were around Turrall's neck and his feet dragged along behind him. The two men were challenged by British sentries but Turrall's English voice was recognised and the two men were allowed back into their lines.

Jennings was able to give a full report on Turrall's bravery but unfortunately his wounds were to prove mortal and he died a few hours later at Denancourt field dressing station.

London Gazette, 9 September 1916, La Boisselle, France, 3 July 1916, Private Thomas George Turrall, 10th Bn, Worcestershire Regiment.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty ( La
Boisselle, France ). During a bombing attack by a small party against the enemy the officer in charge was badly wounded, and the party having penetrated the position to a great depth was compelled eventually to retire. Private Turrall remained with the wounded officer for three hours, under continuous and vary heavy fire from machine guns and bombs, and, notwithstanding that both himself and the officer were at one time completely cut off from our troops, he held to his ground with determination, and finally carried the officer into our lines after our counter-attacks had made this possible.

Thomas Turrall was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at
Buckingham Palace on the 31st December 1916.

Following his discharge from the Army, Thomas Turrall attended many regimental functions and was often the guest of honour. He also attended many of the VC and GC Reunions and became a well known and respected figure in Worcestershire and the
Midlands. On the 19th February 1964 two days before Turrall died he received a visit from two Lieutenant Colonels from the Regiment who found him in 'very good cheer'. Turrall died in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham at the age of 78 and was given a full military funeral at the Robin Hood Cemetery, Solihull, Warwickshire.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

In Your Hand by Bill Thomas

Such sweet security,
Blessings beyond number,
Promise of Eternity,
Promoting peaceful slumber;
Worries far removed,
Troubles put in place,
Trusting in the Father
To help complete the race.
Securing your protection,
Resting in your peace,
No fear of rejection,
Knowing faith’s release,
In the palm of your hand
I stand.

Bill Thomas

Monday, 4 February 2013

ConneXions - No Man Ever Spoke Like This Man

No man ever spoke like this man

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law. – Matthew 7: 28-29.

Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command! – Luke 4:36.

He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” - Matthew 13: 54-56.

Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. - John 14:24.

So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. - John 7: 16-17.

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him. - Matthew 17:5.

His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. - Revelation 1:15-16.

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. – Isaiah 50:4.

After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice. – John 10:4-5.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bend In The Wind

Bend in the wind
Love through my veins
Electricity sets me on fire
Eternity in my heart

Father, Son and Spirit
Dancing on the inside
Overflow welling up
Love through my veins.

Open to his glory
Alive to all his worth
Forever held in his grasp
Entwined with the divine.

Love through my veins
Fire burning in mercy
Transformed by his grace
Bend in the wind.

Written during a time of worship at Kings Church, Eastbourne this morning.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Lord's Perfect Creation by Gregory Hahn

You inspire my spirit, 
you soften my soul, 
When my hearts feeling empty, 
you fill me up whole, 

You say to lean on you, 
and that you'll help me through, 
any situation.

You provided the answers, 
to my questions of pain, 
and healed all my ailments, 
removed every stain, 

The light in your eyes, 
how they outshine the skies, 
such a beautiful sensation.

I cherish your laughter, 
I learn from your love, 
your friendship is priceless, 
and as pure as a dove, 

You're the angel I need.
one I'll never mislead, 
the Lord's Perfect Creation.

By Gregory Hahn

Friday, 1 February 2013

Friday's Five - James 1 v 2-4

James 1 v 2-4.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The moment we put our faith in the finished work of Christ, we are united with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection and glorification. Christ becomes our life and our spirits are made new creations. We have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living inside us and we are perfect In Christ.

 There is nothing of the old creation that lives inside our new creation spirit.  Our spirit has received full perfection, full holiness and the full nature of God; God has given himself to us. We have the fullness of God living and working inside of us.

We can walk in intimacy with the Holy Spirit daily. He is God inside of us! He will strengthen you, lead you, empower you, and help you live in the spirit realm. God wants to soak you in his presence.

Seeing ourselves totally united in Christ totally transforms the way we view trials and problems that come our way, because we now have all the power of heaven living inside.

This passage of scripture from James is a great encouragement as we face the inevitable trials and tribulations of life:-

Count it all Joy – This seems madness to count trials as joy. But we have the creator God of the universe living and working within us. Living from our united spirit changes our perspective on life. God’s promises are all true and we know that through Christ we have the glory of the risen Christ permeating through our veins.

Trials of various kinds – Trials and tribulations are normal in this life, every day difficulties arise to distract us away from the truth of who we are in Christ.

Faith produces steadfastness – Faith is simply our positive response to everything God has provided by his grace. All the riches of God are available to us in an overflowing, waterfall of abundance.  As we rest on all he has provided by grace, our hearts are established and cemented in the truth of the finished work of Christ. Out of a heart of overwhelming grace we cannot but have greater steadfastness in the power and love of God.

Steadfastness has its full effect – Steadfastness in the grace of God has the amazing effect of cementing us deeper and deeper into the truth and full realization of our new creation life. We cannot add to all God has given and provided for us, but we can increasingly realize all the infinite, endless bounty of the riches of His grace.

Perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – We are perfect and complete in him and in him we lack nothing. God has provided it all, but we just don’t recognize, realize and receive it. Transforming our mind to bring us into the full reality of our new born united spirit is a glorious awakening and an amazing adventure.

God’s amazing, powerful, complete and overwhelming grace is abundantly sufficient for every circumstance that we face. His power through our union with him is the electricity that lights up our bodies.

Becoming increasingly aware of all God has provided, of our union with him and the full power of his life in us is our life’s adventure.  Trials of various kinds just throw us on to the grace of God and the power of the spirit within us. Trials are mostly stressful, unpleasant, hurtful and distracting but they are an opportunity for us to experience in greater depth the love and power of God. To be cemented in the grace of God and for us to become increasingly aware of the glorious life that lives and works inside of us.


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