Thursday, August 23, 2007

Welcome Back Fika!!

So it's been a while but it sounds like one of my best mates is blogging again and I think it's one worth reading often. Dave is the production manager for downhere and travels with us just about everywhere we go. He is a man who can beat the entire band in a game of trivial pursuit. That's him against all four of us. He's intelligent and witty. So here is the link. Subscribe, visit often and comment. To see the other blogs I think you should check out visit the ones on my side bar.



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quote from Lord Foulgrin.

In my last post I talked about a book I read called Lord Foulgrin's Letters by Randy Alcorn. Here's a short excerpt from it that shows how these demons are conspiring to make the humans fail.

This is Lord Foulgrin, the senior demon, writing a letter to his subordinate demon, Squaltaint. Fletcher is the name of the human that Squaltaint has been assigned to.

"One of your greatest opportunities to keep Fletcher from becoming a radical Christian is in the area of money and possessions. The carpenter claimed, "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Hold a mirror to those words and you have our perfect strategy.

It's a matter of physics Squaltaint. The more things the maggot-feeders accumulate, the greater their total mass. The greater the mass, the greater its gravitational pull. This sets the vermin in orbit around their things. Finally, like a black hole, their money and possessions suck them in. The vermin become indistinguishable from the things that hold them."

Interesting to think that a demon assigned to you may be getting these instructions . . .



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Two books to read.

Well I’ve finished a couple of books in the past week or two that I’d like to tell you about.

I’ll start with the one that I think is a must read, especially if you are a guy. It’s quite sad (yes, I did cry) but full of hope at the same time. It’s called Samson and the Pirate Monks and it’s by Nate Larkin. Here’s an excerpt from the back:

“Samson, that hairy, rugged individualist, that charismatic biblical leader and ladies’ man with a pirate’s nature, was a real man. But all of that couldn’t save him from his own temptations. His story is something Nate Larkin knows all about: the mistakes, the detours, and the wrong choices that bring lots of men – good men - to their knees.”

Nate is part of a group of guys that meet together weekly and call themselves the Samson Society. This “society” is a place where chains are released and freedom is found. Even when we decide to give control of our lives to Jesus we still very much want to control some of it ourselves. Yes, people the world call Christians, don’t always follow what Jesus said. Nate makes himself quite vulnerable and shares how his life unfolded and how he didn’t give full control to Jesus. Even though he was a pastor’s son and eventually became a pastor himself he still had the same difficulty any human has battling sin. His story is a good reminder that any of us could get to the brutal place he did. One poor choice after another and, to use a too often used saying, we’re down that slippery slope.

Nate promises on the back cover that the story inside isn’t boring. I couldn’t agree more. Men’s ministries are finally starting to pop up at churches everywhere and this book provides a great way for men to have authentic and honest brotherhood with each other which will help them be stronger followers of Jesus. Highly recommended!

The second book I read is called Lord Foulgrin’s Letters and it’s by Randy Alcorn. There’s another book out there by C.S. Lewis called The Screwtape Letters which Randy used as a basis for his book. (By the was, I just found out that C.S. Lewis was born about 20 minutes from where I sit here in Northern Ireland.) The idea is a senior demon is writing letters to a subordinate demon about how he can best tempt his human and keep him from giving his life away to Jesus. This book gives us a good look at some of the possible strategies the devil uses to keep us from God. It also reminded me of the very real spiritual battle that is always going on that we have forgotten about or just choose to ignore.

I thought I might be spooked out a little reading this book as it is about demons but that didn’t seem to be an issue at all. I was even reading it before sleeping! So don’t let that deter you. God is in charge of the universe and He’s living in me so I have nothing to fear. If He's in you too than neither do you! Pretty amazing!



Monday, August 06, 2007

Incarnation and The Urban Halo

Incarnation. I’ve known this word for a long time. I’ve heard it many times in church and in Christian circles but I’m not sure I’ve ever fully understood it. Some suggest that we will never fully understand it.

I looked up incarnation in a few places but found this great explanation in a program I have called Quickverse. A book that is contained in Quickverse called The Handbook of Bible Application, came up with this when I searched incarnation.

Sacrificial giving imitates Christ. There is no evidence that Jesus was any poorer than most first-century Palestinians; rather, Jesus became poor by giving up his rights as God and becoming human. In his incarnation God voluntarily became man—the wholly human person, Jesus of Nazareth. As a man, Jesus was subject to place, time, and other human limitations. He did not give up his eternal power when he became human, but he did set aside his glory and his rights. In response to the Father’s will, he limited his power and knowledge. Christ became “poor” when he became human, because he set aside so much. Yet by doing so, he made us “rich” because we received salvation and eternal life.
One of the books I’ve recently read is by an author named Craig Greenfield and is titled The Urban Halo. This book has helped me to understand what incarnation means to a better degree. Craig and his wife voluntarily gave up their rights and position as people who live quite comfortably in Western culture and moved into the slums of Cambodia. While there, they worked with an organization called Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor. One of the five Biblical principals that “Servants” workers are motivated by is incarnation. Here is what they say about it.

Incarnation: We live with the urban poor, learning from them, building genuine relationships, participating in their lives and struggles, learning their language and their culture, and working out how Jesus’ love can best be shown in their context.

I also have family members who are working in the downtown east side of Vancouver, British Columbia doing a similar ministry except with the Salvation Army. I’ll never forget walking down the streets of downtown Vancouver with my brother-in-law Jon. We passed a lot of “street people”. Some were scary but most were just people that I normally would not want to get involved with. And Jon seemed to know them all! By name! (Yes I felt a little guilty and convicted.)

My family members and Craig (the author of The Urban Halo) have both done what Jesus did. Even though they are not poor, they willingly gave up what they could normally have, and became poor. Poor financially, sure, but also poor in where they live and the friends they keep. At least that is what it looks like to the world.

I think this is part of what incarnation is all about. Except that what we have to give up on this Earth can’t be compared to what Jesus gave up leaving God’s side in Heaven.

I love my brother and sister in law and am very proud of them and what they are doing. I’m also thankful to them for helping me better understand what incarnational ministry is all about. I don’t know Craig at all but I would suggest picking up a copy of his book. His book covers a lot of great things including a new model of how to look after orphans and what daily life is like living in the slums of Cambodia. Plus it will give you a first hand view of what incarnational living is all about!




Stat Counter

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP