Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dispatchs from my throne room...

Just the other day, I was seated on my throne*, ruling over the parts of the world God has entrusted to me and I began to think how over the years I've listened to Christians, albeit, in a humorously speculative mindset, discuss how they would rule over “five or ten cities” in the future – in The World Tomorrow, as we used to call it.

The concept of “ruling over” anything in this world comes from Luke 19:17**, as well as the many other passages explaining that all authority on earth has been given to Jesus Christ, and that he, through us, currently reaches out into the world.

So, anyway it dawned on me that my Christian friends always framed those humorous scenes in the future rather than in the now - and that they were directing their “cities” from the top down. That is, in the same fashion of the world as we see around us currently where a Big Honcho or King or Prime Minister or President issues his or her decrees and minions jump to implement their wishes...

Then the words of Jesus finally sunk in: “...Not so with you!***”

Now I've come to believe that Jesus has given us “cities” to rule over right now! Wherever we find ourselves working and living. And we are to rule these cities by becoming servants to everyone.

Imagine the impact we Christians could have on the world if we just got this much. Imagine the opportunities that exist in our own communities to rule! There are hospitals and prisons full of lonely people waiting to be visited and comforted. Where folks need to be liberated from illness both physical and spiritual. There are sick to care for. There are down-trodden who need justice and need advocates. There are hungry people to feed, homeless people to shelter. And lost people who need to find their Good Shepherd.

If we-the-church would just get on with this much and redirect most of our energy there, the impact we'd have on the world would be staggering and way beyond our current rather feeble efforts.

This is how Christ will eventually take over the world! (Matt. 5:5)

Or so I believe.


* My throne is the seat of a John Deere lawn mower belonging to an animal rescue center where I volunteer.

** Luke 19: 15-17
"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'

" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

*** Matthew 20:25-27
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
[NIV at IBS] [International Bible Society] [NIV at Zondervan] [Zondervan]

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Set on Edge

I may have to re-surrect the "set on edge" theme for a blog - but twist it.... sigh... Apparently the D in TED stands for "design" ... (Technology, Education, Design... yes?). Well, I find it sooo hard to listen to introductions in TED lectures and elsewhere where the speaker gushes on and on about how "nature" designed these amazing things!

Here's the Wikipedia intro to the word "Design" (emphasis mine)...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Design, usually considered in the context of applied arts, engineering, architecture, and other creative endeavors, is used both as a noun and a verb. As a verb, "to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component. As a noun, "a design" is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan (e.g. object produced, result of the process). More recently, processes (in general) have also been treated as products of design, giving new meaning to the term "process design".

Designing normally requires a designer to consider the aesthetic, functional, and many other aspects of an object or a process, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.

To speak of Nature designing is at least anthropomorphic and at worst self-deceptive. The language used throughout these presentations is full of intentionality, philosophic and aesthetic judgments that render one outcome better than another, ... on and on it goes... unavoidably using language requiring a designer, conscious decisions and AT LEAST a value system to evaluate the outcomes.

Speakers so often ascribe all this to a process supposedly driven by chance, with no consciousness, no self-awareness, no mind, no personality. This just doesn't make sense to me. It violates normal use of language and logic. And it seems rather apparent to me - that if every thing in our own experience is formed by choices and through thoughts and efforts (and this is what is being CELEBRATED and deemed worthy in the TED lectures) then why should the Universe Itself be any different? Surely the one simply reflects the other... ?

If the FIRST CAUSE is accidental then I do not understand how anything following on from that can be imbued with meaning. But if the FIRST CAUSE is purposeful and meaningful then Everything following on from that can also be meaningful (but doesn't have to be).

Call me stupid, but I can't wrap my mind around this un-God prejudice. Just as I can't look at Terri's blogs or Paul's Machinima or France's Doll's and cry out "Wow! Look what the internet designed all by itself!"


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

4 Questions & 3 Observations

Ravi Zacharias has a wonderful ability to clarify issues:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mission News

This is the kind of stuff that goes on in the name of God all over the world, every day and gets little notice. Certainly not in the mainstream media, as a rule. Too bad, because it would help provide a larger, more accurate picture of what faith and even religion are about:


Mission Aviation Fellowship resumes flights in volatile Kenya

by Maria Mackay
Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2008, 10:15 (GMT)

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has resumed flights in Kenya after temporarily suspending them last Thursday over security fears for staff.

MAF planes are being used to evacuate people from areas of violence and instability as well as help with relief efforts by bringing vital supplies to those in need.

With the exception of one day of suspended flights, the ministry has flown throughout the crisis for the Red Cross, Intensive Care Air Ambulance, Gospel Fire International and Diguna among others.

Political heavyweights the European Union and the UN, as well as the US, intensified pressure on Kenya’s politicians who are still squabbling over the outcome of the December 27 presidential elections.

"All political parties in Kenya should recognise that it cannot be business as usual in Kenya until there is political compromise which leads to a lasting solution that reflects the will of the Kenyan people," the EU said in a statement.

MAF pilots have flown staff members of the Catholic Relief Services ministry to the trouble hotspot of Eldoret, where 30 people were locked in a nearby church and burned alive.
Catholic Relief Services is co-ordinating relief efforts for a number of aid agencies there and the MAF flights have been used to bring urgent supplies, including blankets and mosquito nets to thousands of refugees there, some of whom have lost their homes and their livelihoods.

MAF came to the aid of Empowering Lives International, which needed to transport staff back to Nairobi where they were flying back out to the USA, as well as move out other team members in danger.

Don Rogers from Empowering Lives International said, “Threats came to our director that our whole compound may be burned because we were caring for people regardless of their tribal affiliation.”

Safely back in Nairobi, Mr Rogers wrote, “Only an organisation like MAF would have been willing to go out of their way for us. MAF picked us up – prayed before the flight – and in every other way blessed our family and ministry, as well as a dozen others who were able to get on to the same plane with us.”

Last week, MAF pilots Roland Sedlmeier and Jane Wambui flew to the volatile area of Tinderet for the Diguna charity to evacuate some of their team members.

The Diguna team reported, “Many team members, as well as most of the home children, are not from the local tribe. As such, they are now seen as intruders, and could potentially become targets of attacks.”

More than 600 people are feared to have been killed and 250,000 displaced during the post-election violence.

MAF staff in Nairobi remain safe, the ministry said.

“The situation is constantly changing and we are closely monitoring events,” said MAF, a Christian organisation whose 130 planes provide a lifeline for people in developing countries where flying is a luxury most cannot afford.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Shack - a second thought...

(Jesus speaking to the main character, Mack:)

"Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not a Christian."

The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't"
"Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Budhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved."

"Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?"

"Not at all," smiled Jesus ... "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you."

What are we waiting for?

Genesis 3:15 (speaking to the serpent)
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."

Matthew 22:44 (speaking to the Lord)
" 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '

Romans 16:20 (speaking to the church)
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

As the hands and feet of Christ in this world, it seems pretty clear that it is under our feet that Satan is being crushed. That is, it is through all the means the church has at her disposal; worship, prayer, fasting, meditation and expressing our faith through love (Gal.5:6), that Satan's domain is destroyed.

Why do we continually "Seek God's Will" for the church to the point often, of not taking action? Are we waiting for a telegram (or should I say email) when scripture makes it clear that we have our general commission and there are tens of thousands, even millions of ways for it to be carried out - as many ways as there are churches and individual Christians. If we will actively live an authentic faith, it's going to happen.

I'm also reminded by scripture that our task is not so much to build the church as it is to BE the church:

Matthew 16:18 (The Message) (Jesus Christ speaking to his disciples)
... I will put together my church, a church so so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.