25 August 2014

 Last Wednesday I rode to work.  On the way I saw an African Hoopoe:

 5

 

I haven’t seen one of those in ages.

God got me thinking after that sighting.

 

What’s the deal with birds?

Why are they on this planet too?

 

You see, us humans get so arrogant about our existence.  We think life revolves around ourselves.

Birds remind us, we’re not the only CREATED beings on this planet.

We’re part of something FAR bigger.  Don’t forget that!

 

Then I thought about this:

 

Every day, if you’re NOT hearing at least one bird chirp in your day.

Then perhaps YOU are too BUSY and too NOISY.

 

For the next 10 days, why not try this challenge:

Jot down 1 – 10 and then write down what bird you hear or see (and where you spotted it) for the next 10 days.

Even if you don’t know what the bird is, just write down: LBJ as my dad used to joke:

“Little Brown Job”

 

The purpose of this challenge and the words in this blog to help you:

SLOW down and be more AWARE of what is going on around you each day?

 

Do it!  No excuses

Before you read this post… I am quite proud of THIS POST at my other blog. Feel free to visit it.

So this week in the church lectionary there was a rather intriguing and difficult passage to look at:

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

My minister Andrew preached a good explanation of this passage here: HMC website

(Look midway through the blog to hear the audio of his sermon)

——-

Now, for my three cents:

Jesus’ actions are confusing. But as I sat with this passage. I began to observe another view that one could look at this passage.

Perhaps, in a way, the whole scene was “staged.” Because, for anything is possible with God, right?
(Please don’t shoot me down here.)

These are my own thoughts and ideas. I promise I’m not starting a religion here. Just sharing a thought. Take it or leave it.

I believe Jesus has a godly (clearly) ability to look into each person and situation and discern it and bring out something from it. A lesson or encouragement or a challenge.

So when this lady approached Jesus (God on earth); He saw into her soul.
And He assessed it like this:

This is a strong woman. She will “work with me” here. She won’t back down from my silence or use of a cultural idiom. (Did Jesus already know how she was going to answer? Maybe He did.)

The audience of a life lesson that day, was not her, but in fact his disciples.

Jesus wanted them to learn these things:
i) This is not a male dominated world. Yes, I can took to ladies too.
ii) I am not bound my culture. And they shouldn’t be either. The grace of God is not just for the Jews.
iii) How determined is your faith? When the going gets tough will you stick at it or simply back off?

So he first responds in silence.
The strong lady does not back down.

He says I’ve come for the lost sheep of Israel. (Now this is what the disciples had also believed up to this point.)

But they were wrong. They had been following him with a wrong notion. Jesus came for more than the “lost sheep of Israel”
She calls on Him again. Jesus hears.
And then uses a cultural idiom of that time.

Yes, if you hear (read) it; it sounds very insulting. But this woman didn’t see it as an insult. She was part of this “greater scene” being played out with Jesus; for the disciples to learn.

Because maybe the disciples themselves were incorrectly thinking: “Yuck, a Canaanite woman, one of society’s dogs.”

And she answers with a brilliant line, the pinnacle of the drama “being displayed before them.” Turning the idiom on its head:

“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.”

Curtains closed. Potent line dropped.

You see, dear disciples of back then and now in 2014; the grace of God is not only for the “Jewish men” or for an “elite few”

(Christians tend to do that often: “us and them” mentality.)

Lesson taught. Is it learnt?
God’s love crosses gender and cultural borders.

I discovered this guy from Aimee who blogs here: The Bright Blog

She reviews good books and good wine.
and good music too.

This guy, Heath McNease can be found at the NoiseTrade site.

In fact, NoiseTrade is a good site to discover new and upcoming bands who usually give away FREE downloads of their EP’s and albums.

This site WON’T disappoint you…

Check out this week’s song of the week below:

Enjoy :)

Here in South Africa, I remember the freedom of my childhood.  My dad would allow us to walk to the beach.  We would also cycle and skateboard everywhere.  we would also walk back from church at about 8pm at night.  It was relatively safe.

Now days in South Africa, kids can hardly doing anything.  Crime is high.  Mugging occurs often.  Kids can’t just walk around.  it’s not safe!  And that sucks for them…

 

But, imagine the Gaza strip.  Kids growing up hearing the sounds of gunfire and bombs.  Unrest is all they know.  Will they make it to their 21st let alone their 16th Birthday?  Or having to move home because their previous one is covered in rubble from the latest bomb blast.  (they’re thankful they weren’t hit!)  I thought about this yesterday.  I feel sad for them…

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Trust me, this band is NOT a gospel band… but this is indeed a fun song:

“Jesus Walking On The Water”

Oh my, oh my, oh my, what if it was true?
And oh my, oh my, oh my, tell me is it true?
Did he, did he, did he die upon that cross?
And did he, did he, did he come back across?

Jesus walking on the water, Sweet Jesus walking in the sky.
Sinking sand, took my hand, raised me up, and brought me up,
So I can hold my head up high…

Will I, will I, will I be true to my birth?
And will I, will I, will I give what I’m worth?
Oh, yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir, I come when you call,
And, yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir, sweet Jesus, my all-in-all.

It’s always interesting sitting in on different memorial services held at our church.

You can tell which are the ones where the people don’t believe in God:

There’s a feeling of despair hanging over the place.

There are also some misconceptions spoken about God.

Today one little girl said;

“GOD needed another angel in heaven that’s why her gran was taken away by God.”

Seriously is that what God does?
He just takes away people..

I don’t believe that.
Isn’t birth,  age and dying part of the created process?
Why are people so surprised by death?

Another thing was read out:

“Gran you’re going to a place where the streets are golden.”

Oh my word, that’s sounds awful!
God, if heaven is golden streets… please can I stay here on this beautiful earth.
Lush meadows, majestic mountains,  soothing and powerful ocean. Breath-taking sunsets.
Now that’s heavenly!

Hmm, just some of my observations from another day working for the church..
Hopefully serving God well..

Rise Against are back with a new album: The Black Market.

This is the first single. A song packed with a punch. Very interesting stats are displayed in this video.

What is your rating?
I say 8/10.

Rise Against – I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore

On pins and needles we are waiting for the fall
We count the days scratching lines on the wall
Wait in the wings at someone’s beck and call

No longer recognize the place that I call home
No longer recognize this face as my own
Somewhere, this fate, I lost control

We backed down
We took no for answers far too long
We felt those walls close around

I don’t want to be here anymore
I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore (be here anymore)
I know there’s nothing left worth staying for
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore (fight this anymore)
I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn
I don’t want to be here anymore

On hand and foot we answered every single call
And weathered every day like passing storms
But when they break, we will all be gone

Won’t back down
Won’t take no for answers anymore
These walls close, we pace back and forth

I don’t want to be here anymore (be here anymore)
I know there’s nothing left worth staying for
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore (fight this anymore)
I’m listening with one foot out the door
But something has to die to be reborn
I don’t want to be here anymore

The point where we break gets closer everyday
But where do we go?
But where do we go?

I don’t want to be here anymore
I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore (be here anymore)
I know there’s nothing left worth staying for
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore (fight this anymore)
I’m listening with one foot out the door
But something has to die to be reborn
I don’t want to be here anymore

(We need a better way)
(We need to let go)
[x2]

Anymore
(We need a better way)
(We need to let go)
(We need a better way)