“In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for he made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” – Psalm 95:4-5
“In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for he made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” – Psalm 95:4-5
Make me an arrow
Put me in your bow
Pull back and let go
And send me wherever you want me to go
I’ll be your shadow
You lead I’ll follow you
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
– Psalm 127:3-5
He makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. – Psalm 104:4
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. – Mark 16:15
2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[b] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants[c] and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday
I love being confronted. One of the things I like most is listening to a lecture and learning something new that is vital or hearing a sermon that allows the Holy Spirit to convict me. The confrontation that comes from this, whilst may be emotional and make me feel uncomfortable, is very good because it’s a blessing from God; it teaches me and makes me grow.
I have had a few conversations with Christians now where maybe I have been too rough with my choice of language, but whether I spoke in a bitter or sweet tone, they respond that they don’t like being confronted. Personally, I’m thinking great, they have heard the Holy Spirit and are now seeing their mistake, just like I have many times before. I really love that experience of becoming aware of the darkness within but also having that light to cling onto, so that I may strengthen. But unfortunately, this is (in my experiences) usually not what my brethren are thinking. They are thinking “I do not like being confronted, because I don’t want/need to be”.
Okay, let’s back it up a bit here. As Christians we are followers of Christ. Which means putting off our old self and looking towards the prize which is [in] Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23, Gal 2:20, Phil 3:14). A part of our process which many pastors (especially those Lutheran ones) have repeatedly taught is that we are to realise our sin and then through God become renewed, strengthened, made holy etc. And that is how we become more like Christ, Amen? It concerns me if a brother or sister after a lengthy discussion says ‘I do not like being confronted’, because it tells me that their focus is not on Christ and the life that He gives, but on them wanting to hide away their faults.
The Holy Spirit convicts us. And we need it.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
We are beings who have fallen short of God and constantly struggle to maintain good behaviour. To compare light with dark you can see the contrast between each. God is a light unto our lives (John 8:12) and in result He shows us where the dark spots are in our lives and ourselves. Interestingly enough, one of the readings for today Good Friday, is Hebrews 10:16-25 which helps us understand this:
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The most important thing for my argument I want to point here is the first verse, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds”. For when people are revealed to the truth of Christ this collides with their “in-built” knowledge of the law and they instantly understand their sin and see the need for Christ. So to say that you don’t want or need to be confronted, is to say you do not want to confess that you are or have been a sinful being who needs Christ.
The second part I want to point out, is the encouragement for faith and hope. If we see we have struggles and faults, we are to have faith and assurance that Christ has made us clean in His death and resurrection. Amen. And we do not need to continue in guilt for we have hope that God may guide us onto the right path.
I know confrontation is hard, but it is necessary. I know sometimes brethren don’t take the right approach to talk about it, but the truth still remains. We need confrontation and conviction. We need to see the darkness, the sin, so that we may strive towards the light.
In the follow up to this I will write up a short discussion on how we can approach (and/or confront) Christians and non-Christians peacefully, so that they may learn.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
“Ryan Hemelaar tried in vain to explain that the group had official authorisation, so that under section 45 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act, police could not lawfully give a “move on” order.
An acting senior police sergeant and an inspector then arrived and told George to move on immediately or be arrested. George refused to move on. He was handcuffed and arrested for disobeying a police direction. He was later released and issued with a notice to appear in court later this month.”
Gold Coast preacher arrested for talking about sin
These are some notes in response to a comment about women and authority in the church.
In 1 Timothy 2, Paul was probably having a problem with the women there themselves. Verse 11-15 can seem to be a bit “harsh” but in verse 10 Paul shows that he wants women to live a godly life. And at the beginning of the chapter, he is encouraging everyone to live quietly. Perhaps there were women trying to gain dominance over men and forgot that they are to be submissive. And yes, for women submission in marriage is truth “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” (Eph 5:24).
Why Paul is telling these particular women to keep silent, I don’t know. Maybe they were just too rebellious and needed disclipine? Back to 1 Cor 11, in verse 5 Paul mentions that women do pray and can prohpesy, so clearly it is not a universal rule for all women always to be followed, it was probably only just a temporary rule until these women calmed down.
The debate about women teaching “over” men is interesting. To my understanding a “bishop” (1 Tim 3) is different to a “pastor” (Eph 4:11). These days a lot of people automatically associate the word pastor for the head of a congregation/s however, it seems that this is what a bishop is. A pastor is just someone who leads and helps nurture Christ’s flock. This doesn’t HAVE to be the head of the congregation/bishop. 1 Tim 2 mentions that their bishops are men, not given any mention to women bishops. Even though Pauls need to explain what a Bishop must be probably because of men having multiple wives and not treating the congregation right, we can learn from his example of “For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?” (1 Tim 3:5)
He’s given us a clear indication that a church congregation must be run similar to a family. And as we know from the previous chapter, men are in authority as husbands and fathers, so therefore men are to be the heads of congregations. Men are bishops… But can women be pastors?
From what I’ve read and talked about with others, there doesn’t seem to be much indication what genders are appropriate for apostles(missionaries), prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We do know women can be teachers, and we know that they can be prophets. In Judges, Deborah was a prophet, judge and ALSO a counsellor for many men. Also in Romans (16:1-2) Paul mentions that he is sending a friend Phoebe (a woman) to help them. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.”
Paul has noted that to some degree she has authority over them if she needs something. Maybe this is just about simple hospitality, but he goes on and mentions various other women after this, but not with the same introduction. So that fact that he talks so highly of her and mentions her first, can give us an indication that she is of high leadership, maybe what some might call a deaconess, or she could be a pastor or apostle or teacher (to men and women).
So then, if these women existed and were encouraged and blessed for their work, then why ridicule women in leadership now?
For a secularist/atheist to say the religious should not announce their faith in front of others, is saying the same as for some they shouldn’t follow their beliefs.
As Christians we have to boast about God. I am literally going to ask the Holy Spirit to bring Himself upon you. Our belief is that God saves and our actions will clearly be in result of that, talking and sharing His goodness.
You say you respect us having a belief but you are trying to stop the belief. By all means we’re trying to stop (or asking God to help stop) what you’re believing too but this is a part of our faith. I’m personally not denying that I don’t want your beliefs to change. If a secularist feels the same then they need to stop saying they respect us with the belief we have because it’s clearly not true.
We can respect people for their talents but Christians shouldn’t respect someone solely just for their beliefs. If I did I would be supporting their pagan/secular beliefs, and I don’t want that, I want them to believe and follow God.
Likewise, I don’t care if others do not respect me because I’m a Christian. Jesus told us our faith will cause separation in families and persecution. (Luke 12:51-53, 2 Tim 3:12, John 15:18)
You can respect us in other ways, sure, but for religious belief, it doesn’t work. We’re not united on the same moral code. Multi-faith doesn’t exist.
Nativity of the Lord – Christmad Eve
The readings for Christmas Eve are Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 97, Titus 3:4-7 and Luke 2:1-20
Instead of looking for a common theme between texts like I have been mostly doing for my other pieces. I have decided to focus solely on the events of the night Jesus was born. This peice is based particularly off v20 of Luke 2: “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
I wanted to move away from the typical Nativity Scene and be more creative with the story.
The Bible tells us the Magi “wise men” did NOT see Jesus as a Babe in a manger that night but actually saw Him as a Child in a house later on. On the night of Jesus birth, shepherds near by Bethlehem were invited to see Him in the manger. This image is them after being at His birth place and walking away back home praising God. (There is debate whether the Shepherds saw the star of Bethlehem or not, even if they did they are walking away from Bethlehem now which is why there is no “big star” in the sky.)
Talking to a friend of mine, they figured the shepherds would have all been most likely negro (or similar), however we do know that some Jews were white. So to be as realistic as I could, I had 1 one, 1 black and 2 of dark middle eastern/mediterranean skin colour.
I researched what clothing men of this time wore (tunics, kercheifs, shirts/coats that are worn over the tunic). Jewish men in this time (similar to some now) would also have tassels on the end of their garments as well as showing a blue stripe.
I hope you understand the theology and attempt at Biblical accuracy behind this peice.
This is the biggest peice of the challenge this month.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Try not to take this holiday in vain because it could make you end up in a lot of trouble.
Praise to God for giving me the motivation and artistic ability to create this peice for His word.
Acrylic, text added in PS CS6
The readings for the day were Psalm 80:1-7, Isaiah 66:7-11 and Luke 13:31-35
Themes I found from these texts were requesting on the Lord, having hope in God and His work, share rejoices with brethren, do not be afraid of the enemy, we need to be supportive of our brethren when in suffering, but also that when people are not there to protect – God is.
Whenever I ask for God’s protection, particularly over the persecuted church I ask for God to keep His hand over the church to protect them. So this is what I’ve decided to draw for today’s peice.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly,[b] I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”” Luke 13:34-35
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Readings were Micah 5:2-5a, Psalm 80:1-7, Hebrews 10:5-10 and Luke 1:46-55
These readings are in preparation for the Christmas story. These readings particularly point towards some of the prophecy/promises of God, and Jesus’ fulfillment of them.
In Micah we see Christ described as a shepherd coming from the tribe of Judah. His “origin is of old” meaning He has been since the beginning, and He is the one of peace.
In Psalm 80:1-7 we are reminded again as God as a shepherd and His ability to save.
Hebrews assures that Jesus has come/came to do the will of God (as said in Micah, He will feed His flock in the name of the LORD) and also to give us sanctification and salvation.
Mary’s praise to God in Luke 1 is AWESOME. She just becomes so anointed in the Spirit and boasts about her Son her Saviour. She says He has regarded those in low places and lifted them up. Holy is His name. He has filled the hungry with GOOD things. “He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy… according to the promise He made to our ancestors… to Abraham and to his descendants FOREVER.”
Jesus is for everyone to partake in! Christ has come into the world to save and bless His people for generations!
Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
Readings were: Psalm 113, Isaiah 42:14-21 and Luke 1:5-25
There are a few different things going on in these texts, but I what I found to be connecting them comes straight from Isaiah 42:6 “These things I will do for them”.
He raises the poor out of the dust, He will destroy and restore, He will exalt the law and make it honorable and He will use people for His glory and as blessings to His people.
The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1 shows us God’s mighty power in using Zechariah, but for His plan to have John the Baptist He also blessed Elizabeth with a child which she and Zechariah wanted.
Readings were: Luke 1:46-55, Micah 4:15, Ephesians 2:11-22.
These readings were cool. They all talked about what and who God’s people are.
“For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation… He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.” Luke 1:49-50,54-55
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.” Micah 4:1
And in Ephesians we are told that the barrier between Jews and Gentiles has been broken by Christ! That we are altogether, one, in the name of the Lord. We are His Holy Temple, members of Christ, fitted together and growing together.
God works through us and allows us to shine with His glory, so that others may know Him more. But also from this we can see that God is our light. He’s our guide, His path is the one not in darkness but of much good.
Since I’m catching up to upload over a week of art peices for my Advent challenge, I will be doing block posts, having a few days in one.
(I’m slowly catching up on uploading my advent peices.)
The readings were: Isaiah 12:2-6, Amos 9:8-15, Luke 1:57-66
I wanted to more literature again, so from thee texts I created a hymn.
The style of verse I chose was 126.96.36.199. With an abcb rhyme.
Verse 1 is a response to the reading Luke 1:57-66, verse 2 is Isaiah 12:2-6 and verse 3 is in response to Amos 9:8-15
The Third Sunday of Advent
Readings were: Zephaniah 3:15-20, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18
A big uniting theme between these texts is preparing for God, which from this I focussed on the coming of Christ. Suitable for both old and new covenants.
Again I chose literature for this peice. The poetry is in the form of a haiku (5, 7, 5). The title comes straight from Phil 4:5. Photography is mine.
Readings are! Isaiah 11:1-9, Numbers 16:1-19, Hebrews 13:7-17
Much respect an honoring your spiritual leaders is taught in today’s readings. To put your preists’ wishes before your own greed and “remember those spoke to you the word of God… imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13).
However the art comes from the next part of the passage in Numbers 16, from v.25-35 because this shows what happened to those who disobeyed and wanted to rebel and take from Moses and the other current congregation leaders.
“Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. 29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”
31 And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.”
If we act in hate and want to move away from our leaders who are in good faith, we will receive punishment.
Watercolour, A3, 2015