zaterdag 29 januari 2011


Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith
- Author unknown -

Link to article "Waiting on God"

vrijdag 21 januari 2011

Seeing for the first time

This video is an adaption of Plato’s allegory of the cave. I was struck by some of the similarities with the gospel. There are also some differences because I think the things in this world have value and beauty in and of themselves and aren’t just ugly shadows and the gospel is about more then just becoming enlightened. Still I could recognise the sense of exitment of finaly being able to see clearly, the sense of freedom this gives, the frustration in not being able to share this with others and with that the temptation of starting to doubt the things you have experienced, to forget about them and to start staring to the wall again.

Yesterday evening after preparing for this post I read some verses in daily light that all happened to be about God enabling people to see. I picked two of the verses and looked them up in the Bible:

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

Luke 18: 35-42

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 1:17-22

Song "for the first time"
Link to song: The Afters "for the first time"

Song lyrics:
There’s a different sunrise
It’s a different world
In a way I feel like
I have just begun

Like I don’t remember
Waking up from a dream
All my chains are broken
And it feels so free

I can breathe for the first time
I can see for the first time
It’s like you opened my eyes
I can feel my heart is coming alive
I feel alive
I can breathe for the first time
For the first time
For the first time
For the first time
For the first time

Once a life imprisoned
I was locked in the past
But your love has given
Given one more chance

Once my light was fading
But you gave me yours
Now my world is brighter
Than it was before


And I’ve never run so far
I’ve never felt so strong
When I am where you are
I found where I belong
For the first time
For the first time


zaterdag 8 januari 2011

Connection or isolation

Attachments occur when we take the risk to allow someone else to matter enough to us to hurt us if they choose to. (John Townsend)

After many years of studying psychology and the variables involved with behaviour it seems to me that there is one thing that is on the basis of everything else, namely to what extend somebody is connected or isolated in his or her relationships.
The first and most important thing you learn when you grow up is the ability to connect yourself to others. As a child you are helpless and vulnerable and you are completely dependent on the care of other people, most importantly your parents. When everything goes well the child learns that the world is a safe place, that he is loved and that other people are trustworthy. When it doesn’t go well the child learns relationships are dangerous and insecure and that he has to be in control in order to be safe, either by isolating himself or by manipulating closeness and affection. This will influence his thoughts, emotions and behaviour in a destructive way and is the basis of many difficulties and stresses throughout his life.
The more I think about this the more I realize how this connects to the way God created things. There is an underlying law in the universe that makes it that any living thing which is not connected will die. Nothing can survive on its own, without, food, without sun, without water, etc.
It’s also interesting to see how throughout the Bible eternal life is described as the result of being connected to God, knowing him, loving him and receiving his love. When this connection is cut off, death will be the result. Choosing other connections above the relationship with God (which is the essence of sin) will ultimately lead to the deterioration of our soul (‘the wages of sin is death’ Romans 6: 23a). Instead of Gods life flowing through us leading to goodness and light, sin will gain increasing power in our lives resulting in evil and darkness. Darkness does not connect to light, because darkness is in essence the absence of light (‘for what fellowship can light have with darkness?’ 2 Corinthians 6: 14b). Jesus by taking on our sin and freeing us from darkness restored our connection with God.
Still despite the fact that through Jesus our spirit is again connected with God we still suffer from sin and brokenness. We don’t trust God. We are like the child that hides or manipulates. We seek idols to meet our need for connection or we try to manipulate God to fulfil our needs in the way we think He should and when He doesn’t we question his love. When we learn to trust God we can feel loved even when things are difficult and times are dry because we are rooted and grounded in love.
God is the only one who can root and ground us in love because He is love.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

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. “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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

…but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

John 17:3; Hosea 11: 1-4; Ephesians 3: 16-19; John 4:13-14; John 15: 4-6; 1 John 1: 5b; Psalm 1: 2,3

zaterdag 1 januari 2011

Follow me

The things Francis Chan writes about are challeging. The following is from his book "Forgotten God":
“Nowhere in Scripture I see a “balanced life with a little bit of God added in” as an ideal for us to emulate. Yet when I look at our churches, this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives. People who have, in a sense asked Him to join them on their life journey, to follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded. The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before. The Spirit who raised Christ form the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives. Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us. He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life.”

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for a man to direct his steps.

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

…anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Matthew 4:18-20
Jeremiah 10: 23
Exodus 33:15
Mark 10:21-22
Luke 14: 17
2 Corinthians 5:15
John 21: 17-19
John 12: 24-26

link to song Jesus Culture: where you go I go