Sacred Spaces 528 – Name above all names

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Everything has a name.
Everything is named.

My name is Darrel.
Today is named Wednesday.
This post is known as a blog.

We name all items: coffee cup, table, bicycle, laptop and mobile phone.

We name illness too: bronchitis, pneumonia and depression…
We name our sins too: pornography, gossip and murder…

Philippians 2 reminds us:

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

Matt Redman sings about it like this:

“Let all the other names fade away.
Until there’s only You.
Let all the other names fade away.
Jesus, take Your place.”

Isn’t that powerful? Isn’t that beautiful?

All names, are under the name of Jesus.
(It just got me thinking… about the name we utter so carelessly, sometimes)

Not realizing:

In Jesus’ name…

Sacred Spaces 527 – Nahum!

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Scripture is full of little gems.
No matter how old you are, you can still learn new things.
And discover new things too.

Part of tour (with my team from Pneumatix) we spend each day in devotion (as a team) where one of the students will share something.

Recently one of them shared from Nahum 1: 3.

He spoke of being in awe of God.

Reading Nahum 1: 3 should do exactly that!

Think about it? The massive clouds above your head are like mere dust to God’s feet.
That’s how incredible huge and powerful God is.

And this big God pursues both you and I.

Sacred Spaces 526 – The thesis of “like an epic”

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This tab has been open for the longest time.
I have wondered how to pen down this installment of sacred spaces.
I have slowed down on writing these scared spaces as you have no doubt observed.
(I wanted to write when I felt I had something to say.)

Sometimes (often) I ask myself why I believe what I believe…
I step outside of myself (in a sense) and look at my belief in God.
Being a Christian.

I’m riddled with so many questions so often.
I’m accompanied with obscure doubt and confusion.

Sometimes faith in God seems almost primitive!
It seems quite bizarre.
The commands of scripture seem so threatening and uninviting.
The ways of the church are far behind.

I don’t know how to put exactly how I feel in words.
I have expressed already how it all seems like a market place. Jesus the product. Church the market place. The pastor, the tactful salesman…

Then we have heard about the many contradictions and the confusion found in the scriptures.
What if this was all made up?

These are the thoughts that I am sure a lot of people have had already…

But in all it’s obscurity the bible is to brilliantly put together to have been made up by an individual or a group of individuals.
Then it comes to countless lives that have been changed for the better from the message of the bible. The God behind those words.

Millions of folk who gather on Sundays and other days… who are convinced that God is who He says He is.

Then I think of all the epic tales that we have come to like.
Frodo on his journey in the Lord of the Rings.
The four kids in Narnia.
Harry Potter and his friends.

These epics inspire us. We want to know what happens. We always believe good will triumph over evil. Light breaks through the darkness.

And just like an epic – requires some faith. So does following God.
We demands to “see then we will believe”…

but the invitation is actually: believe then you will see.

I once heard this analogy. Believe in God is liking tuning into a Song that only some want to listen to.
We can continue to live in a mere three dimensional (3D) world or we can open our minds and hearts to many more dimensions. We can tune into a Song… that is actually so sweet, we don’t want it to end…

So these are my thoughts today… on Independence Day…

Sacred Spaces 525 – … For this day…

I noted this morning in church when a member was asked to pray for the offering… the gentleman started the prayer with “thank You Lord for this day.”

Now there is nothing wrong with that at all. But in my years in ministry (in the church or out) I’ve noted that people (myself included) when asked to pray out loud: in a service, at a meeting, on a camp or elsewhere…

We pray out that almost automated start: “thank you for this day”

(Am i the only one who has noted that?)

Now there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, i thought past the ‘automation’ of it…

And realised… what a great way. To always start a prayer. To start our every day…

Because each day is a gift. How we take that for granted so often…

This day.
This day that finds you reading this post (perhaps) is a gift.  Are you thankful for it? The very breath we breathe is a gift. All of what we experience daily is a gift. The people in our lives, our work, our victories and challenges, our meals. All of it.

Maybe we need to pause. And say thank You again.

Start off. Carry on in. End off with gratitude.

Thank you dear God for this day. Amen!

Sacred Spaces 524 – ministry on the road

Its been awhile since i blogged here. But I’m back. 

So over the last three weeks i have been on tour with some students from Pneumatix (the college where i work.)

We’ve been across three provinces in the towns of Ficksburg, Despatch and now Calirzdorp.

I’ve learnt a few things along the way and want to share some thoughts with you:

(I’ve included pics of our team in action to give you an idea of what we do. )

1. From small towns comes the biggest hospitality.

2. There are little “gems” all over the world.

3. Sometimes a sermon (a preach) won’t bring someone to God… but then perhaps performing arts could help…

4. People like to be entertained. (That’s why theatre all over the world is packed.) The productions we put on… carry a message that we hope would inspire / challenge and encourage our viewers.

5. I have a new found respect for performers who need to remember their lines and / or remember their dance moves.

6. There is a lot of despair all over South Africa. Sadly but understandably.

7. When we as a touring team come to a town we don’t  “minister to” people but rather “minister with” – that struck me a lot.

8. We also can ask of every town “what can i learn from you” instead of always coming in with a “messiah complex” and demanding that you can teach and have the answers…

9. We as a visiting team may be the catalyst / may light some fireworks in the lives of those who come to our shows but the main work is done by the pastors and youth pastors of every town or community we visit. Those people deserve the true applaud and prayer. We may awaken some lives. But the helping with continued growth comes from the local churches.

10. Tour involves ministry to the team too. There have been 18 personalities i have had to learn with, encourage, motivate and monitor their wellbeing.

Thank you for reading my observations.

Sacred Spaces 523 – More thoughts on John 9.

I love it when scripture comes alive!  (That’s what happened to me sitting in a church here in Somerset West yesterday.)

The preacher spoke about John chapter 9.  Here are the verses that got me thinking:

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ARE YOU APPROACHABLE?

“20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.”

– if you are a church leader / deacon (or whatever) – are you approachable? Or are people scared of you?
– what religion do you live out? Is it one, that calls others to fear you? Surely, that is destructible?!
Basically, the religious uptight – kills the soul!

THE BRILLIANT CHEEK:

27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him…

– If he spoke, out of pure ignorance (and innocence) – the pharisees (Sanhedrin)’s reply must have confused this poor “once was blind guy.”
He was probably thinking: ‘Gosh, why do they hate this guy so much? He seems pretty swell. After all, he did heal me and all.’

OR

– If he was being cheeky in his reply, it was brilliant! “what’s with all the questions about Jesus? You want to be a follower?” Haha! It just made me chuckle. Anyone else see the humour in it?

KEEP IT SIMPLE:

“25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

– Less is more.
– Keep it simple.
– What does the process or “how to” matter?
– I was blind, but now I see…
I was lost, but now I am found….
I was scared, but now I am brave…
I had no purpose, now I have life…

You get the idea.
Faith is a life thing. Not a discussion!

Sacred Spaces 522 – Same old, same old – familiar verses…

I chuckled to myself recently; realizing that so often with these Sacred Spaces, I use the “same old same old” scriptures and that even my themes (topics) seem to be recurring…

I write about the likes of:
– creation
– the nearness of God
– the practical “ness” of the gospel
– not treating Christianity like a market place

and I use:

– Psalm 46: 10
– Acts 17: 28
– Romans 1: 20
– Psalm 118: 24
– John 15

So, I wondered about that.

Maybe there is comfort in the familiarity?
Maybe it’s the simple truth, that God doesn’t change?
Maybe the topics that I cover, are the basics… and people long to go back to basics? Because maybe following Jesus has got so cluttered lately?
Maybe it’s because creation is still the “loudest” (and quietest) sermon?

I’d like to think it’s one of those.

BUT ALSO… I know that I have not yet arrived…IMG_20170122_090603_837.jpg
I still have lots to discover in my faith journey.

And there are still incredible verses (treasures – How is that for Christianeze?) to be found in God’s word.
When last have you and I delved into His word?

(definition of delve: “reach inside a receptacle and search for something.”)

 

So what do you think about this whole same old same old thing?