The heart of a father

“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands;” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1‬


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As the System challenges me…

We have challenged the system and now the system (in us) is challenging us…

Read 1 Peter 4

Following Christ
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolved — because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin — 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living — and they slander you. 5 They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.

End-Time Ethics
7 Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplinedt for prayer. 8 Above all, maintainan intense lov for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins, 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Christian Suffering
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

Meddler – A busybody, do-gooder, meddler or marplotis someone who meddles in the affairs of others.

I started to think out loud about the way God is judging the body of Christ at the moment, mainly by revealing the weakness of the system we have created. The verse from 1 Peter  4:17 came to my mind and when I started to read the whole chapter, I was taken by surprise!

Of course we know the verse and we know what is happening at the moment all around the world as in a large way the excesses and extravagances are coming in the open. To me not surprisingly since the system is demanding its victims, through lack and failure. I have been writing about it many times before and it could be interesting to read my post No kings in Israel.

Now, the easiest way to continue is (as I have done it before) to focus on that system, this religious giant that “functions” under the flag of christianity, but since we left the building, I choose to search for the “system” within our own little culture! Our lives, our homes, our relationship were we are directly responsible. Where we no longer can point the finger, have someone else to blame! I owe it to you all who think that it is my favourite subject! On the other hand, I am absolute certain that the main reason of favourite is my concern for the upbringing of a new generation within the same parameters, the same strongholds that made me struggle, wonder and even being called rebellious.

We have challenged the system and now the system (in us) is challenging us… or better said: I have challenged the system and now the system (in me) is challenging me…

Through my writings on Climates and Culture, there is a continuous need to ask Holy Spirit to reveal by His wisdom every part where the systems is in me, in my environment. The place where it landed, made its “rights and wrongs”, formed my perception of good and eveil, what should and what should not!

Leaving the system and with it the “spiritual” experiences revealed the desperate longing for His (real) presence and with it, it is so easy to choose the same “tools” for creating that environment again. Words like “bible-study”, “prayer-meeting”, evangelisation, easily show up as a translation of the old habits. We even come up with these apologies as: there was nothing wrong with it, as if we need to defend our automatic moulded minds.

Yesterday I heard this great statement: The reason of darkness is the absence of Light! We have to be honest that when God is testing us, confronting us, He needs to expose the lack of real light in our environment and therefor He needs to get to the cause of it… Us!

So, now while the system is challenging me and those close around me, my prayer and longing is that the outcome will be what we have longed to created with our honest but religious efforts: His Kingdom here around and through my direct responsibilities!


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Captivating my thoughts…

There is so much going on in my mind this morning, fuelled by the terrible mix of soul and spirit, the battle of reality and truth. I just have to process it and willingly, even vulnerable allow you reader to be part of that. Thoughts, fears, hope, insights, all intense impressions that try to proof themselves legal and worth listening to! I am sure you will have the same experiences, there is nothing strange in that, but one day it can be more intense than the other. One day you can be more vulnerable to it than the other.

But… the Word is the most trustable source to go to and as this morning my never-met-but-every-morning-present friend Glenn H. Jackson wrote on his dairy:

Satan is in serious, serious trouble – and it does not get any better for him!”
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”…. Revelation 20:10 NASB

A good perspective to start your day with! The beauty of our life where we were able to read the last page, through the Revelation of God. That is the only true word we use as our compass, the only right direction we are aiming for while in the meantime going through life, beautiful, scary, high and low!

I try to imagine the guys, the beast and the false prophet, as they still had their hope that at least he, the devil, was still around and most surely would free them from that “lake of fire and brimstone”! Sitting there with this last spark (funny metaphor) as their master was thrown in… I have to be a bit creative in describing it to make you at least aware that it all will not last forever!

Yesterday we physically experienced early Spring as we visited Laura’s farm. New life meeting new life. Presenting a new generation the beauty of Life and with it, speaking/living/imparting Hope for a New day.

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Thank you for being part of this out-load thinking and the correcting of my thoughts by making them captive under the obedience to Christ!

 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 


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About Steve Jobs, Nehemiah and Jesus…

Maybe not the best order as I put Steve first and definitely not to be misunderstood as my first affection…

Maybe better to see it as the one I want to address first and was with us physically the most recently.

Steve Jobs
Although it can be that the things we think can be learned from Steve Jobs are “wishful” skills we gladly add to him, the legacy he left us is still great and beyond virtual reality! I have been reading his biography by Walter Isaacson two time now as the first was a more scanning/reading, lately I tried it from a more detailed attempt. I am not going try to explain, analyse or even comment him as for me the only one thing stood out: a focussed man, determined to complete the job. Apple was not “his thing”, since when he even was fired from his baby, it showed that it was not about Apple! He declared, in a time of IBM and stupid terminal environments: One person, one computer! The freedom that he was pursuing was fuelled by a passion to use technology for the better of the individual.

As his surrounding was filled with distraction, money makers, good ideas, for him there was only one assignment and no one could keep him from fulfilling that passion. Yes, it made him into a hard-to-work-with-guy, he fed the brains of the physicians and wise guys as they analysed him till nothing was left of him but… he gave us “the thing”!

Steve’s attitude, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!

Nehemiah

Praised through all ages as the man with the best visionary strategy and an example for many people, even secular business leaders, Nehemiah is the second person that inspires me daily and deeply!

The Book of Nehemiah can be seen, as it is by many, as a blueprint for restoration, from the passion, the vision to the approach! Being totally dedicated to his task, he saw that all the effort the priest Ezra was putting into the rebuilding of the temple did not make any sense until the safety of the city was guarantied by rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. He was compassionate by the need of a nation that was discouraged, tired, without any hope after working for years without a visible result. That’s where the man nehemiah came in as his apostolic heart was moved to the bones when they gave him the repport of the status of Jerusalem. Moved and determined from that moment on that the liberty, the freedom of the individual had to be guarantied by “surrounding them” with safety! The way he connected with the need, even made him to be “guilty” of it, knowing that there was lack of the quality that he has forsaken for so many years, just “serving the king”! Taking advantage of his position, firstly he restored his identity before being able to restore the identity of his people!

I can write so much on this but I really recommend you to read the book and find the beauty of it’s lessons for today. For me now it stand out that what connect him to Steve was his passion to accomplish that one thing that lacked! The attempts to distract him by the “Dalton Brothers”, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab, were at the end almost violent and at least very offending, accusing (Are you rebelling against the king?), trying to “work together” and even “praying together”!

Nehemiah’s attitude, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!

Jesus

Only a few lines because there is no way these guys above can stand before Him because of the accomplishments, not even can we compare any of their effort to the thing He did and accomplish on behalf of our individual and with it corporate Freedom. He was in no way part of the society and therefor did not deserve “the blame and the shame” for what we did. As they wanted to make Him king, he refused every attempt to be elevated in “glory”, for the sake of the glory we were going to have!

Jesus’ approach, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!

Steve, in many ways standing out above the crowd, lived and was very much fuelled by anger, bitterness and that’s what caused the sometimes pride attitude that he was carrying.
Nehemiah took his job very seriously because he knew that he was part of the problem and therefor needed to be physically involved.
Jesus was moved by that fact alone that His father was grieved and saddened by the condition of His creation. His only reaction was: Father send me!

What can we learn from Steve Jobs and Nehemiah?

Bombarded by the “problems” in this world, the media is interfering our god-given assignment: making disciples of all nations. They know that we “cannot withdraw” from “the need in the world”!  The system is ok with us “taking care” of the needy. The only thing they don’t want us to do is building the condition for a generational safety by the way God shows us in The Word! We are people from the offspring of Jesus, with the assignment to bring His Kingdom, His justice, His conditions to the Earth.

Like Steve, Nehemiah and Jesus we need to be focused to, what ever the people around us try to make of us, accomplish the god-given assignment through the restoration of our god-given identity.

And that approach, not always appreciated by the people around us, is: We are on a mission! We know what our assignment is and just don’t distract us!