Thursday, 11 September 2014
Monday, 11 August 2014
Friday, 8 August 2014
I often wonder about the nature of 'punishment' in the bible and of the extent to which God actively wills and directly inflicts 'punishment' on people and groups & the extent to which he has built consequences into the fabric of our existence....
If you tell a child not to put its hand in the fire because to do so is dangerous & painful - but the child foes it anyway - is the 'getting burnt' (which is an inevitable consequence) also 'punishment enough'?
We can try and answer that question on a number of levels, but, for me the most important level is ' what would a good parent do?' I am fairly certain that, having seen the child clearly disobey , to their own detriment, and in pain you would gather them to yourself, probably indicate that you warned them this would happen but primarily you would comfort them in their pain..... And probably use this as a very practical example of why not to 'play with fire'
A built in consequence is also a warning and a painful reminder of a truth ignored.
In Psalm 78 we read:
So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. (Psalm 78:33 NIVUK)
Is there a consequence built into the fabric of existence that those who repeatedly ignore God, who repeatedly ignore the 'love motivated' pleas of a good Father, will ultimately lose any sense of a His presence, lose a sense of their own purpose, lose the security of knowing Him - and tend towards feelings of futility and fear?
Is this inevitable consequence both the warning and the 'punishment' ? If so, know this, it need not ever be the punchline to anyone's life - there is always a living Father ready to wrap you in His arms and take you back to Himself.
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Friday, 6 June 2014
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Saturday, 24 May 2014
The Psalmist wrote down what his heart was inspired to write...although it's doubtful he could possibly have known the full implications of the words.
It is easy for us to assume that just because we grasp the truth of what a God has said in our immediate context or circumstance that we have somehow apprehended the fullness of that truth, the bigger picture flowing from the purposes of God's heart - but we rarely do, that is the domain of prophetic gifting.
As an aside, this is why three things are crucial in the church in this respect:
> Seek prophetic gifting and ministry within and among Gods people
> Learn to test the spirits
> Learn to recognise / perceive prophetic gifting in others
> Do not despise prophecy
Anyway, back to the Psalmist....
'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.' (Psalm 33:12 )
How could he have grasped that there would be such a head spinning radical 'new covenant' relationship down the line?
That this relationship,based on the sacrifice of God Himself, would redefine what it is to be a 'nation under God'?
That the whole concept of the 'holy nation' that God has chosen - and the qualification for entry and residence would be so dramatically changed?
How could he grasp what it would mean to be part of His inheritance?
But to us, the church, the fullness of these truths have been revealed by His Spirit.
How tragic then, that those of us who live in the fullness of a truth that the original writer could not in his wildest dreams have imagined, can often take it so much for granted, can be so blasé about such game changing, eternity altering, life affirming, mind renewing, Spirit empowered truth.
In the words of the Matt Redman song 'Mercy' 'may we never lose the wonder' but, Lord, if we do, or are in danger of doing so, please restore to us this wonder.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Sunday, 11 May 2014
that a time could ever be,
when I let the Savior's pity
plead in vain, and proudly answered:
All of self, and none of thee!
Yet he found me: I beheld him
bleeding on the accursed tree,
heard him pray: Forgive them, Father;
and my wistful heart said faintly:
Some of self and some of thee!
Day by day his tender mercy,
healing, helping, full and free:
sweet and strong, and ah! so patient,
brought me lower, while I whispered:
Less of self and more of thee!
Higher than the highest heaven,
deeper than the deepest sea;
Lord, thy love at last hath conquered;
grant me now my supplication:
Friday, 2 May 2014
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. (Psalm 146:7, 8 NIVUK)
As I read this Paslm this morning by spirit was touched with a knowledge that this is what we are about....as co-workers with Jesus.
This Psalm so articulates our calling as a church at West Auckland Vineyard.... It could be the model for our ministry through The Well ...
It's exciting to know that The Lord is moving us into different premises not primarily to grow a bigger church ( although that will happen) but to extend the scope and effectiveness of kingdom work.
The heart of the church has grown and continues with a passion to see the hungry fed, the oppressed and the imprisoned freed, and those bowed under many weights and pressures lifted up...
It is so good to be engaged in real Kingdom ministry rather than the religious busy-ness that a number of us have move from, (have been set free from)
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Friday, 7 March 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Friday, 28 February 2014
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Ravi Zacharias on Postmodern Architecture at Ohio State
From an address by Ravi Zacharias:
I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.
He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”
I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”
He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”
I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”
He said, “That is correct.”
I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”
All of a sudden there was silence.
You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.
Friday, 3 January 2014
Pastor Brian Brookins
Conversion is the way that the church grows; but it is also a way that we continue to grow in our walk with Christ.
Romans 9: 21-22
7 Truths that we see worked out in this scripture:
1. Someone has to be first. Sometimes that will be me. I won't enter into heaven and say "well, everybody else was doing that, that way".
2. Repentance is the LIFESTYLE of the Christian. There are aspects of my life that need to change. I just don't know what they are yet
3. The gospel plus the Holy Spirt brings change.
4. You probably need to change your thinking about good works. God has called me to a life of good works.
5. Good works are avenues to experience and know God. (Ephesians 2: 10)
6. Good works are fueled by prayer.
7. Good works are a way that we let the light of God shine in our lives.