Saturday, 31 December 2016

Historical Context.


Our historical context is the beginning of the 21st Century.

Our world is covered in darkness.

And this is not just the darkness which is lack of knowledge or ignorance.
This darkness is evil.

Those who have sold their souls create darkness and evil by accentuating the negatives of each sign of the zodiac, effectively sabotaging and cursing successive generations.

These are the rock stars and celebrities, the sports men and women who are the false messiahs of our time.

Add to this the darkness of modern economic materialism and the new atheism and it is dark indeed.

These things distract the mind with hatred and lies.
They immerse us in darkness and hopelessness and leave us nowhere and with nothing.

Do not follow them.

Turn to God and be delivered.

Go into your room and close the door.

Pray to God and He will hear.


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Friday, 30 December 2016

Bottom Up.


We are used to authority systems which operate from the top down.

But God operates from the bottom up.

God is with the lowly, the poor, the disadvantaged.
He dwells with the disabled, the persecuted, and the starving.

He lifts up the humble.

He hears their prayers.

And you, who are the winners of this world, what do you know of God?

What do you know of His ways?

Mercy, forgiveness, justice, compassion, love.....

You would do better to take your lead from the humble poor.

"'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.'"  Matthew 20:16 (NRSV)


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Compassion for the Enemy.


In order to be like God we must have compassion for our enemies.

God does not punish even His own enemies.

He forgives them and offers them redemption.

We must do the same.


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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

O Father!


O come, O come, O Father come

And open wide our Heavenly home.

Our massive ransom cause to apply

And give us final victory.


Rejoice!  Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to you

O Israel.


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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Ode.


I dream of

a great fair man

with

a great red heart,

whose tears

and thoughts

intermingle

com-passion.

And

love

blossoms

in my heart.


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Monday, 26 December 2016

Rejoice!


O come, O come, the dark disperse

And free us from this music's curse.

From earthly hell your children save

And give us victory over the grave.


Rejoice!  Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to you

O Israel.


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Sunday, 25 December 2016

The Seventh Horcrux.


In the final book of the Harry Potter series it is revealed that Harry Potter has a fragment of the evil Voldemort's soul within him.

And it is this which gives him his power.

This is a highly disturbing concept for a children's book.

It is as if all magic power comes from evil.

It is Voldemort that gives Harry Potter his power.

In the end Harry rids himself of this fragment by dying and coming back to life.

A drastic solution indeed.

So tell your children that not all power is evil.

There is a power that comes from God.

And that power is Love.


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Saturday, 24 December 2016

O Come!


O come, O come, O come and see

The devils' dark conspiracy.

Reject the music of the night

And death's dark shadow put to flight.


Rejoice!  Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to you

O Israel.


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Friday, 23 December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Sex.


Some people in our world try to claim that all sex is in the power of the devil.

This, of course, is ridiculous.

By pure persistence and force of will they claim all sex and pleasure is sin.

But these are lies.
And lies repeated can seem true.

In reality sex, as the prime creative force, is intimately connected to God, the creator of all.

Sex is not sin
Sex is not dirty.
Sex is not indecent.

Sex is an intrinsic part of God's good creation.

The seeds of sex are everywhere in nature.

They grow and flower in turn.

So do not believe those who tell you sex is sinful.

Sex is Life.

And God is the author of Life.


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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Our Hearts.


What is

The Kingdom of God

But

A Constellation

of Hearts.


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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Green.


After Summer rain

the green grows

abundantly.


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Monday, 19 December 2016

Intimidation.


How do so many Christians convince people to believe things which clearly contradict what Jesus taught?

The answer is simple - intimidation.

They threaten people with eternal damnation in hell if they contradict what they are teaching them.

Obey me or burn in hell forever.

Whether they actually believe this (having perhaps been subjected to corporal punishment by strict parents) or whether this is an attempt to subjugate people to their political will is uncertain.

Perhaps it is both.

But the damage remains.

Fear begets fear.

"But perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18b (NRSV)


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Musclemen.


God bless

musclemen.

Whose precursors

were hell-raisers.

Whose pride

was tempted.

Whose beauty

was worshipped.

Deliver them

from the mythical beast,

from maniacal monsters,

from deceiving devils.

Bless them.

Lift them up.

Make them

Gentle Giants,

Big Softies,

Beautiful Angels.

May tears melt

their big hearts.

And Love be

their lodestar.


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Friday, 16 December 2016

Peaceful Garden.


Alone

I sit.

Amid

divers birdsong:

Lorikeets, Turtledoves, Blackbirds, Parrots.....

Bees and butterflies

flit from flower to flower:

Azaleas, Camellias, Geraniums, Roses.....

A gentle zephyr

rustles the leaves.

And I catch a glimpse of

Paradise.

In the cool and

peaceful garden.


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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Help Will Come.


When we are attacked or oppressed we can call on God.

And help will come.


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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

To Know God.


The world does not know God.

Our God is a reflection of ourselves:

Of fathers and kings,

Of dictators and tyrants.....

But God revealed His face to me.

And taught me:

Life, Light, and Love.

To know Him

is to Love Him.


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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Emerging.


From the darkness

where we listened to

the black death music of

rock.

We replace the

music of the shadows

with

sunny Italian love songs.

And emerge

into the Light.


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Monday, 12 December 2016

Beware.


What we must beware of is forcing our ideas onto other people.

Even if our ideas are right we must avoid merely being right or trying to win.

We must open our hearts and ask, "What does my heart say?"

Even if others reject what we say we can still love them and offer them understanding and forgiveness.

We must let people come to understanding in their own way.

We can pray for that.


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Sunday, 11 December 2016

God's Hands.


We are God's hands in the world.

God works in and through us.

So if we listen to the teachings of Jesus but do not do them nothing will happen.

This is why the Kingdom of God has only partially manifested in our world.

People only partially act on the good news.

Jesus taught us how to live.

But most people only partially enact it if they do not ignore it altogether.

So it is no use complaining that God has not put the world right because we have not put the words of His chosen one into action ourselves.


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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Acorns.


Acorns are fertility symbols.

They are the seed-pods of the mighty oak.

Whose sturdy trunk is rooted deep in the earth.

And whose branches arch protectively down to the ground.

It is the greatest and most noble of trees.

And its single seed resides in the acorn.


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Friday, 9 December 2016

Love One Another.


What stops us from loving one another?

Fear.

Fear of the other guy.  Fear of  failure.  Fear of losing out.  Fear of poverty.

"'you of little faith'"  Matthew 6:30c (NRSV)

If God is our Father then all people are my brothers and sisters.

"of whom shall I be afraid?"  Psalm 27:1d (NRSV)

Love one another and create The Kingdom of God on earth.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Gay Sexuality.


Many people think that you cannot be gay and in a positive relationship with God.

But my experience is that God does not discriminate.

God thinks no differently about my gay sexuality than He does about heterosexuality.

And that is that He considers sexuality a normal part of life.

So don't listen to those who tell you that gays are not acceptable to God.

I am living proof to the contrary.


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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Prayer.


Heavenly Father,

Bless all those

who are caught

in the grip of Satanism.

Which is everyone.

Help them

to see

the evil which

ensnares us all.

And turn to you.

And be healed!

                             Amen.


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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Kingdom of God.


The Kingdom of God on earth is the community of followers of Jesus Christ who have been baptised and accepted the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus said, "'Who is my mother and brothers?'  And looking at those who sat around him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.'"  Mark 3:33-35 (NRSV)

I believe that Jesus regarded the Kingdom of God to be those people brought into the New Covenant with God which was born of his mission on earth.

But the statement "Whoever does the will of God" is broader than that.  It includes followers of other religions who do God's will.

And what is God's will?

That we love one another.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Punishment.


Most of the references to punishment in the Old Testament refer to the negative experiences of the tribes of Israel.

The prophets of ancient Israel rationalized their experiences by saying that God was punishing them for not obeying the Law.

This referred mainly to religious practices involving foreign gods and idols.

This was cited as the reason that Israel's enemies rose up against them.

This is a version of Prosperity Theology which states that our experiences on earth reflect the favor or the disapproval of God.

But the Book of Job clearly refutes Prosperity Theology.
Although it lays responsibility at the feet of a fictitious devil the Book of Job has Job justified despite his suffering and misfortune.

It is Job's opponents who claim that he must have sinned to deserve his fate.

But God says that what Job said was more true.

So where does that leave us?

It is clear that most of the statements about God in the Old Testament are followed by threats of punishment.

But is this a true picture?

They say that God is merciful and compassionate, steadfast in love, and ready to relent from punishment.

But then say that He will punish any disobedience.

What are we to believe?

The New Testament God of Jesus is a loving Father.

And, although there are still some threats of punishment, the overwhelming impression of God is of forgiveness, compassion, and love.

Perhaps the time has come to purge our image of God of all violence and punishment.

My experience of God is wholly benevolent, helpful, compassionate, forgiving, understanding, and loving.

I have never experienced any punishment from God.

Fear can make us imagine that God is punishing us.
But this is not true.

He is merely waiting for us to see.      


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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Rationalizing Jesus.


What Christians have done in the past and still do today is rationalize Jesus.

Because what Jesus taught requires courage and risk people rationalize what he said to suit themselves.

For example a succession of Christian political leaders have rejected Jesus' injunction to turn the other cheek and retaliated against perceived threats with military action.

This is in direct contradiction of Matthew 5.

Jesus said to love your enemies.

But many Christians today choose hate and violence, discrimination and prejudice.

They have rationalized what Jesus said by choosing another passage from the Bible - the Psalms of David or the Book of Revelation with its violent imagery - and ignoring what Jesus actually taught while claiming that their beliefs are Biblical.

"It's too hard, it won't work in the real world."

It has been said that Christianity is in danger of passing without ever being tried.

This is because realistic people rationalize what Jesus taught and cherry-pick the Bible to suit themselves.


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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Gay Rights.


When it comes to social justice Church organisations always omit gay rights.

Whether it be in church, from the pulpit, in justice ministries, orders of nuns or religious gay rights seems always to be out of bounds.

And it doesn't help to remind them when they are talking about human rights issues that gays and lesbians are persecuted in our world.

Perhaps this is because it is the Church which is doing the persecuting.

But even so called Liberal Churches omit gay rights from their agenda.

You will hear many pleas for asylum seekers, the homeless, battered wives, drug addicts, gambling addicts, even Muslims but you will seldom hear gays and lesbians mentioned.

We have been relegated to the status of religious non-persons.

We don't even rate a mention.


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Friday, 2 December 2016

Democracy and Capitalism.


Capitalism is not Democracy.

When Ronald Reagan defeated Communism the victory was not claimed by Democracy.  It was claimed by Capitalism.

But Capitalism is not Democracy.

Even Pope John Paul II said that Capitalism was no better for people than Communism.

But Soviet Communism was defeated and the Western Capitalist plutocrats assumed power.

And we are still in the grip of their brutal regime.


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Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Fragrance of the Rose.


All virtue

and goodness

issue from

God's Love

like

fragrance from

a rose.


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