I Am…

Part of the sense of the meaning of the Name “I AM” is of active, present reality. In other words we know who God is by what he does. I think when I was growing up as a believer all the emphasis seemed to be on knowing God’s character, but the link between His character and the acts which revealed that character was not always stressed. I was to learn His character through the bible, which I have no argument with, but it was not always obvious in the way the bible was preached that the bible is the book in which we read of God revealing Himself by His deeds, that God is “I AM,” active, present reality.

Accordingly, there was little room for the activity of God’s Spirit in my life post salvation  other than to help me know the characer of God in the bible and to help me become, in turn godly. I am glad for that emphasis. It blessed me a lot. However it was lopsided. I grew up with little expectation of the intervention of God, little expectation that He still shows who He is by what He does in present day faithfulness to confirm in our experience the unchanging words and works of Jesus Christ.

Be on the look out for “I AM” confirming  the biblical revelation of Who He is as present active reality through what He does in your life and circumstances and in the wider world.

God bless

Kenny

The ancient path to victory today…

Henri Nouwen’s writings have helped me more than any other since I took unwell. I am grateful for his insight into the Passion of Jesus Christ: the word Passion means “undergoing” and is related to the word “passive.”

Have you ever noticed that Jesus’ glory burst forth at the point where he was betrayed and bound? From that point in the story onwards there is a change. Prior to this Jesus was the one who did things: he healed, he delivered, he taught, he took the bread and likewise the cup, he handed over the sop to Judas, he took a basin, girded himself with a towel and knelt and washed his disciples feet. But now he is the one who has things done to him, all of them unjust. He is the one who is betrayed, wrongly accused, flogged and crucified. He could have called legions of angels but he did not and would not, for his delight was to do the Father’s will. Jesus knew this was the beginning of the Father answering his prayer to glorify him that he might glorify the Father. At the precise moment that his Passion, his undergoing, his passivity begins, His glory is revealed in a mighty way. He announces that He is “I AM” and the glory of God is made manifest causing all around him to fall back, fall down.

This day you may be undergoing things you would prefer were different. Can you believe as you walk trustingly and obediently to the God who is working out His will in your life, even using the wickdness of man and the hatred of the evil one to do so, the glory of God can break through in you in a way visible to all?

Did you pray a prayer for the glory of God to be revealed in your life? Well Jesus prayed that prayer too. But remember how the asnwer unfolded for him…

Perhaps you and I will need help from heaven this very day to receive this truth and live in its victory.

God Bless

Kenny

Monday Morning Blues?

My pastoral advice for some of you this Monday morning? “Get out of your head today.”

No, not an ivitation to get drunk! Rather an invitation to get out of living in the world of your own thoughts. It is so easy to get trapped there, especially if there are unresloved conflicts in our lives or we are struggling with anxiety or whatever. Our thoughts can become our world.

Has it been a while since you noticed the grass is green or the sky is blue? Has it been a while since you registered a breeze on your face or looked into the jewellery of the night sky and marvelled? Has it been a while since you gave any true attention to what others are saying to you? Has it been some time since you opened the bible and allowed its truths to stretch your thoughts into the mind of Christ and bring you the scent of a Kingdom other than the small but jam-packed and intense world inside your head?

I do pray that you may indeed get out your head today. It may be you will even find time and space to get together with a Christian friend or two and get out of your heads together!.

God Bless

Kenny

A headstand in the morning and before bed is good for you!

I was never very athletic (Understatement!). I did like sports like tennis, squash and golf etc, in days of better health, but gym stuff was never my cup of tea at any age or  stage of life. Cartwheels, Kenny style, were less than graceful and smooth. Handstands were out. Headstands however, were ok. I could get into that pose, and stay there comfortably for a long time, actually.

Well, I guess I am inviting you to make a  headstand through this blog, if you need to! I came across a line out a poem in my readings from “Celtic Daily Prayer” today in the readings and comments  set for 18th.September in the St. Aidan Collection of readings. The line was in a mediation, poem by Laurel Bridges:

“pour down blessing
on the detail of our days.”

For me this was an encouragement to stand on my head faith wise and to bring me back into line with Jesus. I think I can have a tendency to think that it is up to God to take care of the really big things in my life, but details are either incidental or are to be taken care of by myself. Actually Jesus encourages us to do life differently. He says to us, “You take care of the big things by your decisions and leave the details to me, to your heavenly Father who loves to give good gifts to His children.” Is that not what He told us to do? “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things, the details of every day life will be given to you.”

I was thinking today for someone in whose life I see this happening. I have observed that they have taken responsibility for the big direction of their lives, namely to honour Christ. As they have set themselves to do that I occasionally see that they seem to give scant regard to details that I think should be attended to in what they are about in their day to day living, leisure etc., though they are by no means disorganised or lacking in thoughtfulness or organisational ability But here’s the thing: details that I would have spent a lot of time attending too seem to fall into place for them with unfailing regularity! In the process of that happening, they are much more free from angst than I would be if I were to be approaching the same issues or circumstances.

It is so possible to get absorbed in details that we get distracted by the one thing needful at any moment. Jesus made that clear too.

Perhaps like me, you need to be challenged to stand on your head. If you are a natural worrier, or an anxious person, or a person who needs to think through every detail of an issue etc,  why not put fresh faith in the God who wants to pour out blessing on the detail of life? Try and go for a day or two without thinking about the details. It is enough for you to think about the one thing needful at any moment. That does not mean being thoughtless or stupid about the way we go about things. It means that my faith believes that God is with me not only in the big things but in the details. “The good person’s steps are ordered by the Lord.” As I think of the person I mentioned above, I see that verse being fulfilled. May you see it fulfilled for you.

God Bless

Kenny