Donkey Returns

I have returned. I hope I can stay.

Made an attempt to return over a year ago and like many an alcoholic at AA it didn’t stick. However, a major issue at that time was a lack of inspiration. You’d be surprised how stimulated and inspired you have to be to produce mediocre stuff. My admiration to proper writers, poets, artists has only increased.

So now fully stimulated (ish) and with a lovely new laptop, what can possibly go wrong. The world  has changed, is changing and will change. So lots to notice.

Don’t know how often I will post but will aim low and exceed all my expectations which I expect to keep low. See what I did there.

I will as always mostly point you toward other people’s stuff with occasional outbreaks directly from the donkey. Humbly offered to the reader.

From The Mystery of God: Theology for Knowing the Unknowable by Stephen D. Boyer & Christopher A. Hall  Baker Academic 2012  Page 121

God is not just tri-personal; he is expansively, creatively tri-personal. The triunity of God is something that unfolds and opens out, not something that curves in and closes down on itself. God’s intrinsic relational completeness, the unimaginable eternal intimacy between the Father and the Son in the Spirit, does not exclude other relations. The unquenchable divine joy that makes creation unnecessary also makes creation possible in the first place, for the love of Father, Son, and Spirit is in no way threatened or imperiled by flowing out beyond itself into a created world. ……. God is  love, and creation itself is the wholly free outpouring of that love, in generous, gratuitous, open-handed bounty, a bounty that is infinitely hospitable not because it needs us but simply because it is itself.

Trinity on Thursday

Today I start a series of short, medium and long reflections on the wonderful Triune nature of the God of all that is – seen and unseen. This nature of God is called the Trinity.

A simple definition:

The Trinity – the eternally existing of one divine Being, existing eternally in in three persons. Each person co-eternal.

 

if that is something that the trinity is, then we shlould clarify what the Trinity is most definitely not.

The Trinity is not one God existing as three Gods.

The Trinity is not one divine person existing as three divine persons.

 

Quotable Quotes

 

I thank the LORD, the almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has given me life and breath and every truth and insight that I have received. He has redeemed me from the pit through Christ my Saviour, and set me on the path of eternal life. To him I give all the glory.

From the preface of Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought by Vern Sheridan Poythress (Crossway 2013)

Method, Mission & Motivations

Confusion often abounds about the inner life of the Christian believer. This letter is shared by Samaritans Purse from a Dad, who is staking everything on Christ, to his dear daughter. The mission, method and motivations of the Christian are exposed here to the glory of God. The Christian plays the long game (so to speak) because Christ played the end game (so to speak).

All praise to the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.

Click here to link to Samaritans Purse

Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran, writes an encouraging and beautiful letter to his daughter on her eighth birthday.

Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote this letter to his daughter for her 8th birthday, which was on September 12. This is the third birthday of Rebekka’s that Pastor Saeed has missed while he languishes in an Iranian prison for his faith.

My Dearest Rebekka Grace,

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!

You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day. I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically.

Oh how I long to see you.

I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.

The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is control? LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control.

I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of “WHY has all of this happened?” and “WHY your prayers are not answered yet” is resolved with understanding WHO is in control…LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!

God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price. And He has a plan to be glorified through our lives.

I want you to read the book of Habakkuk. He had the same question as you. But see that the Lord answered him in Habakkuk 2:3, “the vision comes and doesn’t delay on time, wait for it.” Mommy and I always had big desires to serve Jesus and had great vision to be used for His Kingdom and for His Glory. So today we pay a cost because God, who created us, called us to that.

And so I want you to know that the answer to all of your prayers is that God is in control, and He knows better than us what He is doing in our lives and all around the world.

Therefore declare as Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-­‐Nego did in Daniel 3: 17-­‐18!

17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

And learn and declare as Habakkuk did that even if we do not get the result that we are looking for, God is still good and we WILL praise His Holy Name.

Habakkuk 3:17-­19

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Then my dear beloved daughter Rebekka Grace, I pray God will bring me back home soon. But if not, we will still sing together as Habakkuk did HALLELUJAH, either separated by prison walls or together at home.

So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison!

I am so proud of you my sweet courageous daughter. Glory to God forever, Amen.

Kisses and Blessings,

Daddy

200

Received this from WordPress the other day. In the interests of being a Humbledonkey, I must declare that well over 70% of the 200 posts are reposts. However, I never intended to write anything myself so I am surprised that its not 100% of 200 posts. In december I will have completed a year as a blogger (reposter) and I will review things then.

Thanks to the many for the ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ etc. I expect that to drop off soon as I am going to write and repost a series on biblical sexual ethics.

200 a

 

 

 

 

Jesus Is The Feast

My thoughts exactly. So much to say in this area of difference and sometimes tension but clearing the decks to see Jesus as the end point is vital and if we allow it can transform and elevate the conversation.

Worthily Magnify

1There’s a line of thinking from those who prefer traditional forms of worship/music that goes something like this:

Contemporary worship is like dessert. It’s sweet, appealing, and easy, but not long-lasting. It might bring people in, but it won’t keep them nourished. It might bring immediate satisfaction, but it isn’t healthy. Traditional worship and more classical forms of music are more like a feast. It’s like the difference between plasticware and fine china. Traditional hymns and classical instrumentation require a more refined, mature, and discerning pallet. We can’t have the sounds of the world in our church services. We must move people beyond the dessert and into the feast. Only then will our congregations experience the “real thing”.

On the flip side, there’s a line of thinking from those who prefer contemporary forms of worship/music that goes something like this:

Traditional worship is all religion, all ritual, and all routine. Classical…

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Disappointing Jesus

Disappointing: a verb or an adjective

The word ‘disappointing’ can either be a verb or an adjective. If you were to use the phrase ‘Disappointing Jesus’ in a sentence about you and Jesus – would it be a verb or an adjective. (It may simply not apply). Using it as a descriptor, an adjective in regard to the subject, would mean Jesus is one whom you are disappointed with – he is one who disappoints – Jesus is a disappointment. Using it as a verb, an action word would mean that the subject, the person, is disappointing Jesus –  you are (I am) disappointing Jesus – Jesus is the one whom I am disappointing.

Is jesus disappointing you or are you disappointing him?

Matthew 11:6  Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.

All around I find that ‘Jesus’ is disappointing people – wanting too much, asking too much, expecting too much, healing too little, bailing out too little, not showing up often enough, not having people’s back when they step out, allowing them to be mocked, scorned, rejected.

Either he is disappointing or we have the wrong end of several sticks.

Expectation of money stick.

Expectation of job stick.

Expectation of health stick.

Expectation of miracle stick.

Expectation of relationships stick.

Expectation of self actualisation stick.

Expectation of death avoidance stick.

I think we need to check our expectations in at the door and get our head in the game – which is actually a war.

blood-platelets

Hebrews 12:4 

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

It must be said, in this age of IS or ISIS nutters, please notice for the Christian it is always and only one’s own blood that one must be willing to shed; never the blood of another. When a christian does spill the blood of another they have no basis, no license, no warrant from their book (New Testament) or from their model (Jesus of Nazareth – crucified and risen from the dead).

18 things to say about Israel & Gaza

I am at a loss to know what to say, think, trust and pray about Israel & Gaza. The issues are complex and I certainly could write an excoriating piece on Israel but that’s being done hourly somewhere, everywhere. In times of crisis and complexity I tend to also use my zoom lense to zoom out while others are only zooming in.  Disproportionality is a word we hear each day. And that is a driver for this post. Because disproportionality of a particular kind I will say 18 things and then ask you for your thoughts about this video. Is it the real thing? Does it matter at all?

  1. all loss of human life is deeply tragic
  2. in the middle east there appears to be very few good guys
  3. the line between civilian and fighter seems blurred
  4. Israel & Hamas are both agressing – at war with each other
  5. Israel is winning militarily – in some kind of way
  6. Hamas is winning the media war – in every kind of way
  7. the streets now hate Israel unreservedly
  8. the streets now think about Hamas uncritically
  9. everyone is asking questions about Israel’s disproprotionate response to Hamas
  10. no one seems to be asking if the Israelis have a basic point at all
  11. does Hamas dig tunnels to transport weaponry? (or maybe it’s food)
  12. does Hamas fire rockets? into Israel? from residential areas? with schools and hospitals?
  13. that would render Hamas with some culpability for the death of innocents – wouldn’t it?
  14. it seems Israel’s sins are front and centre for all to see – they should be.
  15. it seems Hamas’ sins get a passing glance, a nod and maybe even a wink.
  16. what hope can there be when both sides are long gamers and the ‘other side’ doesn’t figure much in their version of the road ahead?
  17. this isn’t based on equal disdain; as one side has gone on record as preferring the complete annihilation of the other – not because they agress but because they exist.
  18.  I don’t know the answers to those Hamas’ questions. I just notice that not many people are asking them and when asked, they are not addressed seriously. That’s worrying. The residential area question in particular seems very important. And if there is anything to it – it should paint Hamas in a very poor light indeed. It would mean that Hamas are mercilessly in it for the long game. Their people – the ordinary Gazans – are mere fodder – collateral damage in their long game of ideology, identity and idiocy. May the God of all the world have mercy.

Mentoring matters

Heard a great story recently. A story about investment and returns. About sacrifice and sweet satisfaction.

Lovely woman (my wife) encounters a familiar face close to home. They pass each other on the street. The young woman clearly recognises my wife and lovely wife is scrambling through her diary of worlds – Work? No. Church? no. Children’s activites? no. Supermarket checkouts? no. They pass but the young woman has turned and is on her way back. She wants to connect/reconnect. “Hi! …….

Turns out lovely wife had mentored this young woman through a mentors in school programme a handful of years ago. She had been having a bit of a bad time and was entered into the mentoring programme for some support. She was not in dire circumstances, more at a crossroads in life and learning.

Most often a mentor never gets to find out what happened to their mentee (real word – I promise) but this chance meeting on the High St. squared that circle. She happily remembered the mentoring support and was just about to finish her Nursing studies and practise as a Registered Nurse in the near future. Well done her. Both of them. Mentoring matters.