Tuesday, February 22, 2011
........“No one can play on two teams;
................you’ll either give your best to one
........................and under-perform for the other,
........................or short-change one
................and give your heart and soul for the other.
........You can’t dedicate yourself to both God and financial success.
........“So I’m telling you, don’t go worrying about your life, about where your next meal is coming from or what you will find to drink. Don’t stress about what you look like or whether you’ve got the right clothes to wear. Life is more than food, isn’t it? And the body is not just a clothes rack, is it? Look at the birds flying around. They don’t do any farming. They don’t stock up the pantry with extra supplies. And yet your Father in heaven feeds them. You are worth more than they are, aren’t you? So what good does worrying do you? It won’t make you live any longer - not even an hour - will it?
........“And why do you worry about what to wear? Think about the wild flowers. They grow without ever shopping or sewing a stitch. But you can take it from me that they are clothed more perfectly than even a princess at a royal wedding. If God takes such care over dressing the wildflowers, which bloom today and are mown down and composted tomorrow, how much more care will God take to make sure that you have the clothes you need? Yet you find it hard to trust!
........“So don’t get all anxious and go asking, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘Where will we find a drink?’ or ‘What on earth will we wear?’. It is the people who don’t put their trust in God who put all their energy into these things. You can rest assured that your Father in heaven knows perfectly well that you need these things. So you can make your first priority the new culture of God and doing the right thing, God’s way, and all these other things will be taken care of for you.
........“So don’t stress out about tomorrow. Just deal the troubles of today, and leave tomorrow’s worries until they come.”
©2008 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
The sermon on the mount, so called
tells me that I should be content,
satisfied with all the blessings
that God has freely strewn
upon my privileged path.
So I am. And I am grateful.
My worries for tomorrow
are slight; I seldom dwell upon them.
I have clothes in my wardrobe,
food in my larder,
and money in my term deposits;
not huge, but enough.
I try to live generously;
sometimes I succeed.
But still I am angry,
for I know that there are some lilies
in God’s fields who are not arrayed
like Solomon in all his glory,
and that, unlike the birds of the air,
the barns of some are profoundly
and painfully empty
whilst others install locks
and pay for extra security measures
lest a few grains of their abundance
should somehow be lost, or shared.
And there are people for whom
the stores of fear never fail
who still set sail on wooden boats,
whilst grey steel ships
decked in colourful flags
as sent out to patrol anxious coasts
fearful for tomorrow.
© 2011 Ken Rookes
Thought I'd do a new one!
Shelter from the elements,
clothing that is warm enough,
food that satisfies,
a healthy body
and people to share love with.
This, I think, is contentment;
though you would hardly know it existed
given the obscene salaries of CEOs,
the hugeness of mortgages,
the bleatings of mining companies
and the rampant desire of the wealthy
to minimise and avoid taxes. Never enough!
Contentment :is the place of divine security
from which the kingdom’s servant
laughs at other imagined needs,
land looks beyond to the real demands
of justice, peace and love.
God has supplied all that is needed;
who could desire anything else.
But there remains work to be done
for the sake of faithfulness,
much to be achieved
in the name of discipleship and love.
The kingdom has brought its own priorities;
it weeps and yearns and aches,
and will never cease
until each human life,
valued with the same loving wonder
that flows from the creator’s heart,has been set free.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Maybe the event that stood out to me most strongly was what happened when the Moslim protesters stopped for prayers. They were then surrounded by Egyptian Christians who circled them and faced the crowd to stop any possible violence against them from other protesters.
“If I had to face only the Sermon on the Mount and my own interpretation of it, I should not hesitate to say, ‘Oh yes, I am a Christian.... But negatively I can tell you that much of what passes as Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount.”
Monday, February 7, 2011
The Joy of Metaphors
1 Corinthians 3:1 - 9
Knowing a good metaphor
when he saw one, the apostle
managed to cram two of them
into a fairly small space. He fed his
infant children, (is that a third?)
on milk rather than solid meat,
because that is as far as they had reached
in their journeyings of faith. (There,
I’ve introduced one of my own;
making a total of four.)
Even now, presumably some years
after the apostle’s Corinthian sojourn,
the children are still not ready
for the meat of discipleship.
You will be ready
when you learn to live in harmony,
he tells them. He then takes up
the gardening image, ever-popular
and much-employed by his own master.
Planting and watering
and growing to maturity;
his readers are purposed to bear the fruits
of which he is wont to write:
love, joy, peace, faith and hope,
but mostly love.
Unable to restrain himself, the apostle
grabs hold of few more metaphors;
and enthusiastically throws them into the mix
to drive the point home, (sorry!)
or else for the sheer joy of it.
© 2011 Ken Rookes