Sunday, 10 September 2017
Sunday, 11 June 2017
The chief purpose of man is to know God and enjoy Him forever. It's funny how many of those who genuinely know Him haven't learnt what it means to enjoy Him. Enjoying Jesus is a foreign concept to them.
Keeping ones heart free from finding fulfillment in the things of this world is a daily struggle. This is because we are weak and we have a flesh. This is why renewing the mind is of such significance. Renewing our minds to who we are and to whom we belong is key. It's so important to be fully aware of His presence in us and around us daily. That has helped me. Allowing the realization that He is 'here', wherever I am and through whatever I face, has helped me to find my fulfillment in Him, "in the moment".
Don't allow your hear to be satisfied in money, in material wealth, in sex, in any idol on this earth. Train your heart to be satisfied in Jesus. It's the Christian's greatest challenge, but it's so worth it.
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Monday, 17 April 2017
I buy the fact that He "loves me unconditionally". I even buy the fact that He approves of me and is proud of me most of the time. But anything more than that is hard to accept.
It's hard to accept because, you know...How can God approve of me and be proud of me when there are times when I disapprove of me and disappoint myself by the things that I do and say. And I'm quick to justify myself to at times too. But there are other times when I concede defeat and I'm truly gutted at things I do and say. So how exactly can God, the perfect judge, be proud of me....all time?
Suppose I put a piece of torn paper into a container. If I put that container in the fridge, where's the torn paper? If I put the container in my cupboard, where's the torn paper? That's right. Wherever the container is, that's where the torn paper is. So it is with us being in Christ. We are in perfect union with Him. We are in Him. If He goes in the fridge, so do we :-) Whatever the Father feels or thinks of Jesus, He thinks of us. We are in Him!!!!
And do you know what? He is proud of Jesus all the time and He approves of Jesus all the time! And therefore He is proud of us and He approves of us all the time.
"This is my beloved Son, whom I love and in whom I am well pleased." - Father, Gospel of Matthew, 3rd Chapter
Friday, 3 March 2017
Take sex scenes in movies. When I was at school, seeing a pair of boobs was always an age restricted: 2-16. A sex scene where you saw boobs or a bum was 2-18. Today, I've seen 2-10 movies with boobs flashing in a few scenes. It would have horrified us back then...but as time has gone by and the more lenient the restrictions got, the more "normal" it became.
As I observe our society today I see open gay relationships moving in the same direction. The message to our culture is that being gay is acceptable and normal, as long as you stay true to your partner as one would in a straight relationship. Soap operas are airing kisses between gay men, movies are doing the same. And just this last week, Disney announced that a new character in their latest installment of Beauty and the Beast will be gay. Ten years ago these things would have been heavily restricted. Today, the world is forced to accept it as normal. Today's children don't know how society was ten or twenty years ago, so they don't see it as indifferent. It's become their normal.
As society evolves it's acceptance of gay relationships, many see it as progressive and victorious for the gay community because to them, acceptance hasn't been a commodity.
On the other hand, those who value straight relationships for whatever reason and still view gay relationships as wrong will be put under tremendous pressure in years to come to either confirm with the new normal or else....
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Monday, 9 January 2017
The kind of embracing of Christ that Bonhoeffer talks about is that we live for others in a sacrificial, loving way. As I said in the beginning, Bonhoeffer declared that “the church is the church only when it exists for others.”
In the days when Bonhoeffer preached, he was stirred by this truth, this "Christo-ecclesiology". He saw clearly that the church must have Jesus at the center and that the church must have room for the Jesus who suffers. In the outline for the book he never wrote, Bonhoeffer also spoke of Jesus the crucified as the model for us. As the crucified one, Jesus suffered rejection. Even as the crucified one, Jesus came and lived for others. As the crucified one, Jesus, having lived a sacrificial life of love for others, died a sacrificial death in love for others. This served as both the basis for and the model of living the Christian life and Bonhoeffer's theology of spirituality.
He wrote much of this thought in his book "The Cost of Discipleship." The book could not be clearer. “Discipleship is commitment to Christ." Christ calls, we follow. That much is straightforward, even easy. The doing of it is another story. Bonhoeffer leads us to the Sermon on the Mount and the difficulties in the simple command to follow Christ. Bonhoeffer places huge emphasis on Christ’s imperative: we must, like Christ, take up our cross and share in his suffering. He explains what this entails. “The first Christ-suffering that everyone has to experience is the call which summons us away from our attachments to this world. It is the death of the old self in the encounter with Jesus Christ.” This death, though, is the beginning of our life, our life in Christ. Second, this following of Christ in his suffering leads us into our everyday battles with temptation and our daily struggles with sin and satan.
He then offers words of comfort. “Christian suffering is not disconcerting, Instead, it is nothing but grace and joy." Christ not only suffered, but bore the suffering on the cross. In his bearing of the suffering, he triumphed over it. Bonhoeffer puts it plainly, “His cross is the triumph over suffering.” We are called to such a life. We follow Christ “under the cross.”
For Bonhoeffer, living the Christian life begins with Christ, with his call to discipleship, with the cross. We live in Christ. We live from the cross. “We are the church beneath the cross.”
I've been truly challenged by Diedrich's life - his theology in action - his compassion, his courage and his way of thinking. I may not agree with everything he believed and his every interpretation of the scriptures - but who am I? Diedrich demands respect and an audience...and for one would love to spend some good quality time with this Disciple of Jesus one day. I have nothing else to say, except "Wow".