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?

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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…

Sacred Spaces 500 – Simple. Centre

(Disclaimer.  Can’t believe I have written 500 of these since I started back in 2004. I hope God has used these words along the way.)

Sacred Spaces 500 – Simple. Centre

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(The photo is not mine.  But I like the imagery it captures.)

I was thinking recently,
How I make “life with You” so complicated.
When it just doesn’t have to be.

Jesus be the centre.
Be my Light.
Be my Guide.

Jesus says to you and I:
“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me.
Make yourselves at home in my love.” (John 15, The Message)

Isn’t that just so beautiful?
So simple. So true.
“Jesus there is something about your Name” (The Almost)

“Let all the other names fade away
Until there’s only You” (Matt Redman)
In a noisy world, I like that.

John 3: 30 “He must become greater, I must become less”
How true is that?
We so often get in the way

Jesus, simply show me.
Simply, I love You.
Be the centre

An honest interview with the church – Question 8) Is Jesus not just a product to the church like a soft drink is a product to a soft drink company?

QUESTION 8) Is Jesus not just a product to the church like a soft drink is a product to a soft drink company?

The Interviewer:

Over the last few years, I have noticed how the church seems to have become about “marketing Jesus” – as if He were a product.  A product that the church needs to promote.  It seems like the church is more focused on getting people to a product – and not to a relational Jesus!  Many modern churches look like businesses.  They have a board.  In that board meeting – they seem to discuss – how do we get more money in?

“They can buy our worship band album.”

“Let’s get with the times – twitter account, Instagram, Facebook page.”

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And I get it.  The church can’t live in the 80’s anymore.  It needs to evolve.  But it just seems like Jesus is more of a product than what He is supposed to be about…

 

The Church:

Sadly, in many cases I believe you are right.

Jesus has become a product.

People are pushing attendance to bring in more money.
They’re selling coffee in branded coffee cups… all about promoting the church… and not the Jesus of the church.

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Some churches are gathering “hipsters” and other trendy folk…
Because a trendy crowd draws people.

And with all these people
We often make “Christianity very fashionable” and consumeristic.  “What can Jesus do for me?”

As if Jesus was a vending machine.

When people realise there is a “cost to following Jesus” and one has to “die unto themselves” and “take up their cross” – then they seem to leave that church.

Churches then seem to become about promoting the “BEST VERSION” of Jesus.

So, what do we do?  How do we move forward?  I think part of the answer can be found in the timeless piece of scripture in John 15 – The Vine and the Branches.

Life with Jesus is a relationship.  It’s a vineyard.  The brilliant wine you that you buy in the shop this week, wasn’t made last week in some winery.  It has taken months and seasons to get on that shelf.

It’s gone through tricky periods of drought.  It’s been barrelled for months.  It’s been delicately made over a fair duration.

Jesus is like that.  He is beyond trends.  Life with Him takes time.  And we have all the time – in a sense.  Because truth is – God cannot be measured by time.  He exists out of our time and space continuum.

And when we get to “taste that wine” one day.  We will celebrate.  Jesus is good.  He is worth it.

Sacred Spaces 360 – 12/12/12 (Life takes time)

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Sacred Spaces 360– 12/12/12 (Life takes time)
12 December 2012

So people were talking about the end of the world coming soon.

How about a song tribute: REM
(There is always a song for every occasion)

Truth is; there is an end to our lives.  I think people fear death so that’s why they get so worked up on knowing when the end is coming.  However having faith and belief in Jesus; I have a peace within, that’s hard to explain… but allows me to not fear the end.
However this post is not about the end, but rather the journey there.

Life takes time.

This is something I have been thinking about lately.
So using the date (that carries all sorts of speculation): 12/12/12, I wrote this:

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12 minutes (drinking some coffee)

I don’t mind tea.  But I do prefer coffee.
However this blog I read from a mentor and friend of mine has changed the way I take a coffee break (well sometimes at least) – http://candidpresence.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/imagine-a-world-without-tea/

We live our lives so fast; we’re always in a rush. (Well, that’s how I feel at times)
Maybe we could take our tea/ coffee break up to an effective 12 minutes:

Pause / listen to our soul a bit.
Read an inspirational blog.
Or even say a little prayer.

I was reminded of this prayer that Richard Foster wrote:

Somehow, Jesus, I like praying with a cup of coffee in my hands. I guess the warmth of the cup settles me and speaks of the warmth of your love. I hold the cup against my cheek and listen, hushed and still.
I blow on the coffee and drink. O Spirit of God, blow across my little life and let me drink in your great Life.
Amen.

12 months (in a year)

I have had quite an eventful year: http://darrelhoff.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/between-a-pair-of-slops/

This verse from John 15 has popped into my mind:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1 – 6)

When Jesus taught this principal He could have been walking in a vineyard holding the branches of these vines.
A vineyard takes a while to mature; a good number of years to produce decent grapes.
Sometimes I act in a “rush with my ministry” like I got to “get deep” quickly…but maybe that should not be so.
Roots take time to grow.
In spending time with people, building relationships, those sorts of things don’t take a week to form.

In speaking of eternal things and kingdom living, that takes the entirety of our lives… to grow and “take root” in the hearts of men and women.

12 tribes (of Israel)

The world is big!  I know I am stating the obvious.
But we’re part of something huge.  We’re part of something small.
I thought the other day, Christians (and Christian haters) go on about saying and moaning that there are so many churches.  (Yes, sometimes Christians are a pathetic bunch with their petty arguments.)

Yet practically, let’s be stoked (pleased) when there are lots of churches.  (Well, churches with people in them).
It means: this story, this love of Jesus, is being told of and shared with people.
So build these churches.  But fill them with people who need to hear the beautiful life changing story of Jesus.

Also often I’m just super grateful that my family has grown “worldwide.”
12 years of ministry, 5 communities I have lived in.
I have friends from various churches, communities and countries.
I sometimes may feel lonely where I am (settling takes time… there’s that concept again: taking time)

God, thank you that your family and the people you place in our lives are just so precious and meaningful to us as we journey and live on.

TWITTURGY
 
We speak of endings
We speak of things far bigger
Than our understand
When you in fact
Do not begin or end
You are above and beyond time
God of no borders
I trust in You

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