wonders of Advent 2022

17 Nov

Wonders of Advent 202


Advent comes in winter. Within the four weeks the Christian church community prepares to celebrate the Christ coming in the form of a baby, the baby Jesus.
Each year I publish two thoughts a week ( on Mondays and Fridays ) centred on an Advent theme.

2022’s theme is darkness and light; light and darkness, and how each calls up, and defines the other. Both come together to illuminate the coming of Jesus in the story of the world’s salvation.
We will begin this Advent walk Monday 28 of November and complete our journey the 23 of December.

Light is precious always, but especially this time of year. Days are shorter, nights longer. People battle the darkness by stringing up Christmas house lights. Stores decorate themselves with elaborate lightings. Artificial lights are designed to stretch our hearts and minds. We long for light.

But all these lights are only serving to point us to the one true light, that all hearts yearn for, the light of God, a Saviour. Our Jesus, our baby Jesus.
Only a beautiful baby can light dark hearts. This Advent 2022, darkness and light, light and darkness.

theo, our sixth grandchild


Let’s begin walking. and seeing a Christmas child…

idea, to come …

17 Sep

•Peter’s questions, to himself and Jesus

• how ‘sands’ is a metaphor

• and, how betrayers, in the OT & NT reflect family …

pictures at ….

13 Sep
florida kiddos at our new abode ( we left NYC 31 August 2022 )
12 September at Hero’s school – we read ‘The Bad Kangaroo’ from Arnold Lobel’s ‘Fables’
a birthday card for mr – 2 September- from a dear, dear friend – hand made
borne 16 August, our 6th grandchild, Theo
Taso, who helped us move ❤️
us
30 Jun

a pause from summer 2022 NYC

the picture above is from our NYC bedroom window …Today we sell our 28 year Bronx home as we prepare to move to Dunedin Florida. ( we will still be here -NYC-till early September)

the two flowers represent, for Priscilla and I, our time here

pictures,

27 Jun
my aunt, a week before she passed

happy birthday, 7 June …

7 Jun

Allen Iverson !!’

those who know me well, know I love Allen Iverson as a player-

whenever I travel by air, I wear this jersey. I travel hard, like Allen

Happy birthday 🥳

prayer, listening

2 Jun

6 “He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:6

Jesus returns to his home town. People question his origins; his family history; his life. They question, question without listening. Without seeing. And Jesus can do very, little. …

6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 ‘Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.’

Somehow miraculously-‘‘how’ -our belief, my faith, works, works with His power and as I feel, believe, listen and pray, healing miracles come.

But I daily forget this. I forget when I am tired; overwork; too happy; too despairing. In other words when I fill with myself and not Jesus.

Simply, I need to pray the, my Jesus prayer: – “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

His sinner; and my Lord listens.

I need to pray this Jesus prayer and fill me self with his name, over and over, and then wait. Listen. And wait.

Mark 6 continues with the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on water during the storm to calm the sea and his disciples fears. Entering their boat, they look at Jesus and are …

‘…completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.’

53 ‘when they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.’

Jesus does not leave them. They walk with Jesus and … wait. Wait, see and listen.

Hard hearts and eyes melt, reform, open.

Seeing Jesus, closing my eyes, ( perhaps as the disciples? ) I can open my heart and listen. Listen, pray.

holding,…

17 May

Hebrews 11: 7 & 8

7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

So, today, I would like to combine Hebrews 11 verses 7 and 8 ( Noah and Abraham as men of faith who ‘went where they did not where they were going’ ) with a reflection inspired by a Tim Keller story—

Tim, in the 1990’s, did night ( and day ) Bible studies around NYC. I went to one when he was going through ‘people of faith’ from Hebrews 11: 7 on Noah building an ark boat though it had never rained before. ( he was sailing ⛵️ into the unknown )

Tim always did Q & A after his speaking so toward the end I asked : Dr Keller how did you know coming to NYC to plant a church ( NYC was at that time a graveyard for church planters: a hard place ) you had 3 young boys – children- a tenured College teaching job & no NY building or City networks- how did decide this was God’s will for you and your family?

Tim: ( as best I can recall what he said & and I am OK in this arena )

Well, I did followed the usual steps:
Kathy and I visited the city together
we sought prayer counsel with friends and advisors

and we moved

Me: but how did you know these were the right steps? Supposed you and Redeemer had failed… would that still have been God’s will for you all?

Tim: yes —we had to trust Romans 8: 28 ‘all’ things work for good for those who love God and are following his steps… if we would have failed, even that would have been part of the Lord’s sovereign plan for us

today, this is a Tim Keller thought I hold to

light… ( a thought )

15 May

light…
a thought, first from
Psalm 97:11, ( with footnote) Light shines[a] on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.Psalm 97:11 [a] from a Hebrew manuscript and other ancient versions (see also Psalm 112:4); … in most Hebrew manuscripts ‘Light’ is sown and in, Psalm 97: 4 ‘ Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,who conduct their affairs with justice.’


The images here are all about light; light that dawns; light that sows, that plants, as a heart that enriches, that seeds. Light in these Psalms is something that holds and lifts.
It is a generous gift from the Lord. Light lives as one of his greatest gifts. Thus,
‘ I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.” – Isaiah 44:22

In His word, His Light, His life, all darkness and mists are swept away. Only His Light remains.

a moment, please

12 Apr

a moment, please 
for Samuel Allen 

for it only takes/
moment
when she denied that she, black.., married to …
… so I ever loved you, please..,


a moment, please, a pause –
a moment , when a love stops – aligning, when your love in 1972 is called ..,

so,
a moment pleases , please
so I can smile, nod, my head ..,
and say,
smile,
‘yes’