Archive | November, 2014

rembrandt, hands

25 Nov

Rembrandt: The Late Works

 

 

In the last room of the National Gallery’s ‘Rembrandt, The Last Works’ is his painting of Joseph, Potihar and Potiphar’s wife.

Joseph listens as she speak to her husband her story of ‘sport’ and betrayal. Their conversation is at the center of the painting. Off to the left Joseph in a corner prays. His left hand is raised, open, to heaven. Light comes to the curtain. It can only be His light.

 

Why did Rembrandt paint Joseph, Simeon and Lucretia with open hands?

All are in pray; asking for blessing; no longer waiting.

They are painting, painting with, in,  prayers.

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Pastors, two essential principles to teach yourself and your people

21 Nov

Pastors, two essential things to give to your congregation about Generosity, we are all tax collectors

Why did Jesus teach about money? Because He was making disciples. He knew that how we spend money, time and our talents indicates where are hearts are settling, what we worship. In Matthew 6 Jesus says, “24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.” This is the first essential Jesus wants your congregation to hear, how we use and think about our money and monies indicates our heart’s worship. And without Jesus we are all tax collectors.

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector in Luke 19 is a case study that illustrates both the positive and negative uses of money-how £££ used Zacchaeus before he encountered Jesus and how he used £££ after they met. Nine short verses in Luke 19 tells both sides of the story,

Zacchaeus before Jesus

Zacchaeus was rich, but for all his riches he was looked down upon by the people. His riches came from cheating; defrauding (8). He was a thief. He thought he was holding on to his funds but they actually were holding on to him isolating from others. His job choice made him small. Proverbs 11:24 states, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger. The world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” Zacchaeus worshipped money and this worship is what really makes him smaller, and not just in stature. Then Jesus enters; “they all grumbled.”(7) But change is coming.

Zacchaeus after Jesus

From a lonely man whose house no one wanted to enter into or eat with, Zacchaeus is welcomed into relationship. Jesus is willing to enter his home, “…I must stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus is so moved that he worships. How? Verse 8 gives us the answer; Zacchaeus standing in the public, gives away what he formerly held dear. He gives half his wealth to the poor. This leads us to the second essential Jesus wants your congregation to hear. Ephesians 4: 20-4, 28:

“But you have learned nothing like that from Christ, if you have really heard his voice and understood the truth that he has taught you. No, what you learned was to fling off the dirty clothes of the old way of living, which were rotted through and through with lust’s illusions, and, with yourselves mentally and spiritually re-made, to put on the clean fresh clothes of the new life which was made by God’s design for righteousness and the holiness which is no illusion.

 If you used to be a thief you must not only give up stealing, but you must learn to make an honest living, so that you may be able to give to those in need.”

Like Zacchaeus, we are all tax collectors. That’s why “the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke: 19:10) Our monies are either using us, or we are using it. And if we are using our monies as a disciple of Jesus we have to be like a changed and transformed Zacchaeus, giving to those in need.

Only someone who has been in great need can understand the needs of another; only someone who has been small and unloved can understand the love of a large and holy God. We are all tax collectors till we worship Him.

 

London, my town

18 Nov

Recently Priscilla and I sent out a ‘London Update’ prayerfully sharing that we are staying in London for the near future. We have had many reaponses. I am sharing one below that especially moved us,

“Absolutely thrilled to hear the news! It’s the talk of Redeemer, you know 😉

 

I can’t imagine what a difficult decision this must have been. But to hear that in your prayers, counsel & Spirit’s guidance, that He is calling you to stay—I, too, feel it is the right decision and whole-heartedly support you in God’s channeling His work through you both in England. Ji Son, Joy & I were saying that you two are so unique to the city of London—you bring a refreshing approach to faith to a country whose general approach to other humans is quite private. But you have an infectious joy & truth that makes people long for what you have. Not to mention you’re from the hood of NYC, which makes you all the more somewhat of a celebrity 😉

 

Well, all this to say, I’ll be back to see you and the H’s soon. Please give them my love. I miss their sassy humour.”

 

Much much love & huzzah!!!

xo,

e

 

He hears; He listens; He loves

a picture is

15 Nov

worth

not a vowel or a consonant or

a
or
me

no

14 Nov

no no

please no promises
no dancers
no pastures

no no
I still love

22 women have taught me, what?

14 Nov

Mum, that ‘mothers will forget their children.’ Isaiah 49:15-16. It is not a question in the original Hebrew, but a Statement.

 

walkers, past speakers, those who sang, sing this, as sirens toward me, your voices still speak, softly

Marla

Mona Leo

Song of Songs 8:5-6 ‘Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealous is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he[would be utterly despised’

Elaine

Colossians 4:5 b ‘make the most of every opportunity.’

Kathy H

I failed you, thus, for me at that time

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.

 

Barbara, a reflection on enduring love, even in unfaithfulness. Hosea 11:8 ‘How can I give you up, Ephraim? … My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.’

 

Priscilla, healing from Psalm 126, ‘When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy…’

 

Pepper, my dog, unconditional love, Proverbs 19: 22a ‘What a man desires is unfailing love…’

 

Home grown daughters,

Sarah,

B-Beth

Dear

Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Eccl. 4:9-12, NLT)

 

Susan, my sister 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 

 

Others, my adopted, ‘hand picked’ daughters

April

Alex

Lauren

Heather

Ben

Charlotte

Lydia

Michael

Sarah

http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0402.htm

and

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to son ship. (daughter ship!!) And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

 

A short Charlie comment: blank checks means you are and I am and Priscilla is ‘all in’ with you as this is this Spirit’s leading’ and Jesus’ teaching-you are our brothers and sisters; our children.

 

From London 2014

 

 

 

temple thoughts 5, on the eighth day

5 Nov

you were named Jesus,
circumcised

before their purification
Mary and
Joseph

they followed all the Law of Moses
had done all that was required by the Law of the Lord

the Spirit moved Simeon, sent Anna

to you

cradled in their arms,

you blessed them, others

in  temple courts
this, your first time in the temple

a home