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!

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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?

Sacred Spaces 521 – A little bit of LENT

We are a school (college) of 51 students. ONLY one of knew what  lent / ash Wednesday  was about.

I was shocked!

But i am aware that all these students come from very different  Christian upbringings.

And it was suggested to me too that  perhaps in some of the Afrikaans churches LENT is not a big thing…

Regardless, this afternoon i had an awesome moment. 8 students and i sat in a circle  under the shade of a tree in a quieter part of campus… we had a little Ash Wednesday  service.

There was something authentic about that gathering… like a glimpse of heaven touching earth.

My simple  prayer: God, stir something in the depths of us all as we approach Easter with conviction.

The church calendar has a profound candence to it.

I believe when a believer follows these little “cairns” in the calendar that  they begin to tune into a deeper rhythm of what  God is doing…

There is longetivity  of belief in those who listen to the seasons that God has put in place…

“Rend your heart, not your garments” Joel 2:13

Sacred Spaces 520 – This is the day that the Lord has made.

We live in the beautiful Western Cape. It’s breathtaking down here.
Currently we live on a farm / plot type thing.

Come check it out if you are ever in the area. (88 Mondeor, Somerset West)

One of the “chores” (for lack of a better word) is that every second day or so i need to clean these pine needles.

Because they pile up quickly and become a right mess.

But i do it without complaining.
Because there is something to the little things we need to do on a daily basis.

Life is full of them.
Our lives are a gift and we need to celebrate that!

I’m reminded of Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made, i will rejoice and be glad in it.”

That’s the truth!
Daily, we should tune into God.

Life and Faith have routined things. And that’s okay. It helps us focus in some ways.

Have a good week!

Sacred Spaces 519 – A prose among the grapes.

The Vine
Will you remain in Me?
I won’t let you go.
A relationship with Me is about connection.
Connect the dots of your with My pencil.
I am writing a beautiful story over your life.

The Gardener
These rugged hands that tend to you.
Are the same ones that hold the stars in place.
That were outstretched on a cross.
I will lift you up.
You will be secure in My hands no matter what the season.
I know what I am doing. Trust Me.

The Branch
I would be foolish to think i am alone.
I would be like sour grapes apart from You.
I falter at times.
Be patient with me.
I’m still holding on.

And i can’t wait for the day we get to sip on wine together.
I’ll gladly do the pouring…

Dear Sacred Spaces reader

To whom it may concern,

I love words. I love reading. I love writing. I love expressing myself.

But…
You may have noticed… I have posted less over the last few weeks.
This ministry (it started as that) has gone on since Oct 2004. So thats roughly just over 12 years.

I’ve always prayed and hoped it would encourage a reader or two. And for that I’m grateful.

I had the idea of writing a post each week. I’ll try to stick to that… but if i don’t, please bare with me. I’ll write and post as something comes to me…

If that’s cool with you? Not sure why I’m asking permission? 😉

The biggest compliment i got about these sacred spaces is that it’s like “church on the move.”
That has always made me smile.

Who knows one of these SS posts would land in your life at the right time.

One last thought. I’ve felt this for awhile now. Christianity has become a market place. There is always a new book out. The prices of bibles are friggen high.
There is always a new worship album.
Another popular preacher or podcast…
It’s got too noisy!

And even these Sacred Spaces could fall in the same “industry” …

Hence, the idea of “slowing down” in a sense. Not filling your feeds with clutter.

Words are powerful. But we must use them wisely. Less is (still) more.

Yours in finding sacred spaces,

Darrel.

PS. The God behind the market place of Christianity loves you. I hope that truth resonates deep within your soul. May it stir a warmth within you. Take heart friends.

Sacred Spaces 518 – Simplify

(Maybe this seems to be a requiring theme in my life for a reason. Maybe yours too?)

Less noise
Less things
Less Facebook status updates
Less phone apps
Less clutter
Less social media
Less gadgets
Less running from one appointment to another
Less online presence

More quality time with loved ones
More present
More reading
More perspective
More peace
More quiet
More focus on things that matter

This sign I saw two weeks back brought me to a halt.
Don’t clutter your soul with unnecessary things.

I couldn’t find a scripture at the time of writing this that links…but it doesn’t matter.

Please join me in Simplifying…