Archive for March, 2004

Martha and Mary and Mike Yaconelli

Monday, March 29th, 2004

Having spent 3 weeks off sick with depression, I’ve had more time than I’d like to think about a few things that have been pushing forward from the edges of my mind.

One of those things is Martha and Mary. I’m definitely a Martha. I spend way more time DOING things than I spend ‘in God’s presence’.

I hate the traditional kind of quiet time – I find it frustrating and I can’t keep my mind on what I’m doing, and then when I don’t manage it I feel guilty that I haven’t. I love to get into the Bible when I’m planning things for assemblies and youth groups and I hate that I don’t have more time to do that properly because work is so busy that a lot of it ends up thrown together at the last minute.

And the more I think about it, and about the fact that God made me the way I am for a reason, the more I don’t understand. Should I stop doing stuff and just sit? Is it really so wrong to be a Martha? And is it possible to be a Martha and still be in God’s presence as much as someone who can sit and rest and think and pray and have that elusive quiet time thing going?

Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli is a book I’ve finally had time to read while I’ve been off and it makes me think so. It ends like this: “Life is complicated. Our schedules are hectic. Following Jesus is not always easy, nor is he easy to hear in the noisiness of our lives. Religion can be hard on our bones. My fervent prayer is that throughout this book you heard the crystal-clear voice of Jesus whispering, ‘I love you.’ May you hear him in your unfinishedness, your incompleteness, your incompetence – in other words, in your particular mess. He’s there, you know.”

Wonder why?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

I went to see The Passion and I thought it was really beautiful, but then I started to think that dying on a cross seems like a really funny thing for a God to do.

We (Christians) always say that it was necessary for the forgiveness of sins, but if this is the case then why? Why would God have to demonstratively show his love for us. Couldn’t he have done it any other way? Why did he have to suffer phisically for sin, when sin is usually an emotional or mental thing anyway. The more I think about it the more odd it seems to me. Maybe someone could help me understand the necessity of Jesus dying on a cross. Please don’t say just because it fufilled prophecy, because God could have created different prophecy to begin with. Cors

Did you join the mailing list?

Saturday, March 20th, 2004

At 1.31am on Saturday 20th March I got several mailing list requests sent through to me which I think were sent by some kind of junk mail thing, so I’m ignoring them.

If you submitted these addresses, and you are a real person, please email me and I’ll add them to the mailing list!

Andy@GuiltyExpression.org

The Bride’s Near Future

Friday, March 19th, 2004

I believe there’s coming a time that Christianity will go through a second reformation.

We will see once again, as Martin Luther was disgruntled, discouraged people leaving outdated traditions to find something of substance. People are starting to awaken spiritually, and see that this physical world is not all that there is. People are starting to leave the faith of their forefathers for something tangible, for something ‘real.’ Face it.

If you’re a church attendee, look about you. If you don’t attend church, look within. People my age (27 in March) are not present. The teens usually go because they’re forced to, or it gives them something to do. People aren’t going to church to know God per se, but rather to acquire knowledge or fulfill obligations. Where’s the passion? Will we be told by Jesus Himself that He never knew us? Will all our works burn up and be counted as worthless rubbish, because we didn’t pursue a personal relationship with the King Himself? What is the future state of the Body?

We may not be in persecution times here in America, but historians are documenting that people in other lands are being killed for knowing Jesus more than any other time in our history. Also, world religions and cultic activity are on the rise. Christianity has a mission field being raised up; groups of people to be reached for the Kingdom of God.

This leads me back to the opening point. People are looking for something to fill the thirst of their spirit, for something that will feed the spirit–that was created by God–to hunger for Him. However, people arent finding spirituality in the Body of Christ, where spiritual intimacy SHOULD be. They see traditions and legalities without any realness, without any passion, without any concern for people, and perhaps without knowing Christ Himself personally.

There is fortunately a stir amidst believers, individually. I believe that there’s a revival around the corner. In our future, there will be hotspots in the world, in which they’ll be “named” like cities. But there “cities” won’t be based on population, but rather based on the intensity of God’s people’s love for Jesus; people individually intimate with God. There is an emerging church, a second reformation. There is an arising, unsilent group of people seeking to know Christ and not programs, and to love God without reservation rather than merely observing traditions.

Traditions and programs are only as good as their usefulness, and people are leaving the institutional organizations: “church.” CHURCH is now again being defined as a verb, as it should have always been, rather than a noun.

Sacred buildings will be empty. There’s a group of people leaving Man’s ministries and joining the living Organism called the Bride of Christ. People want something real. People want something to live for. People want, as they were created to want, something of substance and purpose, to know WHY they exist.

Let’s prepare for the future status of the Church! Let’s awaken ourselves to be a worldwide time-breaking, unified people who individually are in pursuit for Jesus; who will run hard after Him with everything we’ve got.

When that time comes, as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24, when people (even church-goers) will HAVE to choose for or against Christ, I want to be firm in my choice for Christ! The grey, “ethical” areas are coming to be more black and white in the Kingdom of God, as He’s calling us to be a unified, holy, pure, mature Church, and I desire to be pleasing to my Beloved! I desire to be found as faithful and trustworthy. I desire for His will alone. I desire Jesus, and nothing else matters. Lord, bring on the end days where the true and faithful will declare Your name and Your glory, without guilt or shame!

Written by Steve Hudson. Contact me for more.

Heaven

Friday, March 12th, 2004

Paul in 2 Cor 12 v 2 talks about experiencing the third heaven. Jewish tradition talks about 3 or 7 heavens. Revelation talks about a ‘new’ heaven. Dante, back in the middle ages, had many levels of heaven and hell. Its good to see that through the ages man has struggled with trying to understand heaven. For me its a place that is ‘better’ than here?

Is it more than that?

Buddhism

Monday, March 1st, 2004

I had a thought recently:

If you assume for a second that Christianity is completely right, then Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Christian cults, etc. are distortions of that truth, but some other faiths can be seen more as being outright denials of it.

The one I know more about (although still almost nothing) is Buddhism, and I would say there the case for it being directly opposed to Christianity is quite strong:

Buddhism is about:

a) everyone is God (sort of).
b) you should remove yourself from the world because the world is suffering.

I think b), although I haven’t explained it at all well, is a straightforward denial of everything I think is true.

However, I find it (_especially_ b!) very attractive. If I had to choose a religion not on the basis of whether it was true but on the kinds of ideas I liked, I think I’d choose Buddhism.

What would you choose?

BTW if anyone with any knowledge whatsoever wants to contradict what I’m saying, go ahead – I’d love to learn but am too lazy to do the research.