06 October 2004

Whose house am I building? (KN)

Quite soon I'll shake heaven and the earth, the sea and the land. I'll shake every country, the treasures of every land will come in, and I'll fill up this house with glory. (Haggai 2:6-7)

These are the words of Yahweh Elohim, the Mighty One of Israel, to the remnant of his people. He spoke through the prophet Haggai at a time when they had returned from captivity, they had built houses for themselves, but the Temple still lay in ruins.

The people had been saying to themselves, 'The time isn't right yet to rebuild Yahweh's house'. But his word to them through Haggai was, 'Is it then the right time for you to be living in your own, panelled homes while this house is a ruin?' (Haggai 1:2-3)

They'd built their own lavish homes, but done nothing to restore the Temple, the home of the Almighty himself!

And then he told them this...

Think about it! You've done a lot of planting, but there's not been much to harvest. You eat but you are never full. You drink but you're still thirsty. You wear clothes but they don't keep you warm. You earn money but you put it into a purse with holes!

Think about it! Go up to the mountains, fetch wood, and build the house so that I can enjoy it and be honoured. You expected a great deal but it turned out to be very little. You brought it home, A very fine house, I blew it away - why? Because my house lies in ruins while you're all busy with your own houses. (Haggai 1:5-9)

Does this sound familiar? We are his called-out people, we are his living Temple. But instead of building the one living Temple we've been so busy building a meeting here, a gathering there, a stream of churches, a denomination, an abomination. My friends, for almost 2000 years we have been building our own homes. We have been released from captivity and we have been building our own homes - and very nicely panelled some of them are! Expensive buildings, full-time paid staff, glossy publications, radio and TV broadcasts.

But it's not just the big names and the great denominations, we are all just as bad. My friends, until now we have almost completely ignored our Father's house, this living Temple of which we are all indispensable parts.

And his word is true, isn't it? Look how hard we have struggled to build and sustain our own efforts. Look at the ploughing and sowing and watering we have done, hoping for a good crop. How many exhausted pastors and worn-out preachers there are!

And where is the harvest? Oh, it's there all right, enough to survive, enough new people to keep our meetings ticking over, but where is the massive harvest that we looked for? We can all agree on one thing - we're not satisfied.

Why? Because our Father's house still lies in ruins while we have been building houses for ourselves. He tells us that he blew away what we brought home! Our Father did that to us! He will never accept our houses in place of his house. He will not bless our work, only his work in us.

What are we to do? We are to learn that building his house is the only goal that counts. Yahshua said, 'I will build my house'. We need to come to him, stand in his presence, repent of building our own houses, and become his labourers. We must follow him, do what he tells us, stop planning the work on his behalf, and allow him to surprise us with his plans and his way of doing things. Where will we find the materials for this work? 'Go', he said, 'to the mountains and bring wood', we must go to the holy mountain, only in his presence will we find the material to build! And we need to stick at it until the work is complete.

And what does our Father say about all this?

The silver is mine and so is the gold. The glory of this new house will be greater than the glory of the previous house. And in this place I will grant peace. (Haggai 2:8-9)

05 October 2004

Why not come and join us? (KN)

A Small Town CommunityIf you are enjoying the items on this blog, maybe you'd also enjoy discussing matters of relationship on the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum.

The list centres on how we share our lives as believers, how we relate to one another, and how together and individually, we relate to the Messiah. These are interesting topics and are at the heart of what it means to be a part of his body here on earth.

Of course, talking about these things in itself gets us nowhere. We must live the life, not just chat about it! But for those who are living the life (or trying to), a chance to bounce ideas around and hear the opinions and experiences of others can be liberating and helpful.

The group is a friendly and encouraging place where people try to help one another. The objective is to avoid argument and confrontation, but focus on building one another up in love.

If you want to know more, why not read the main information page at Koinonia Life and see what you think. If you want to join the list just click the 'Join This Group!' button at the top of the page to start the process.

Come on in and share with us, you'll be made very welcome!

04 October 2004

Leaves in the autumn (KN)

Autumn is here in Europe. Autumn leavesThe leaves are beginning to change colour and fall from the trees.

Walking across the car park at work this morning I watched the wind pick up some leaves and whisk them along the ground beside me. They looked alive, scurrying and hurrying, almost as if they were on an important errand, or playing a vigorous game.

But of course autumn leaves are not alive! They appeared active only because the wind moved them.

These autumn leaves reminded me that there's a huge, unfathomable gap between human life in the here and now, and the spiritual life we have in the Messiah. Just as a dead leaf is immobile, but a leaf whisked by the breeze is in vigorous motion, so it is for us.

This current existence in which we can so struggle with life and sometimes feel tired, frustrated, and disappointed; is being transformed daily by Yahweh's involvement, through the gift of life in the Son, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In him we are refreshed and invigorated, as different from our old selves as the wind-borne leaves are from those lying limply on the ground. If we let him change us, we can all become creatures blown by the wind, we can all become active and mobile, like leaves on a mission!

So when you feel dejected or hurt or useless, remember that you are like an autumn leaf. You can achieve nothing on your own for you are lifeless, but if you will let him lift you and carry you along like a leaf in the wind, you will achieve much for he will be the power that moves you!

03 October 2004

Creation speaks of the Creator (KN)

Science, art, music, poetry, The Orion Nebulaand every human endeavour can illuminate the truth about the Almighty, even when that was not the original intention.

I've been reading a book called 'The Bit and the Pendulum' by Tom Siegfried, science editor for the Dallas Morning News. He discusses the ways in which scientists are discovering that information lies at the heart of existence.

Here's a short extract...

Siegfried writes

'There are many hints from the frontiers of research that the information viewpoint will allow scientists to see truths about existence that were obscured from other angles. Using a microscopeSuch new truths may someday offer the explanation for existence that visionary scientists like [John Archibald] Wheeler have long sought.'

'Wheeler, for one, has faith that the quest to understand existence will not be futile: "Surely someday, we can believe, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, 'Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind so long!'" It could just be that the compelling clue that Wheeler seeks is as simple as the realisation that information is real.'


So close to the real truth, yet still so far! Indeed there is an 'explanation for existence', the quest to understand it is not futile, and the answer is indeed simple, beautiful, and compelling!

HalleluYah! We have seen the answer, and we have tasted that he is good! How privileged we are!

Rejoice, for what has been hidden from the wise is revealed to the simple heart; there's no need for scientific study.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Comment from: Barry [Member] Email · http://koinonia.org.il/blogs/b2e/blogs/index.php?blog=2
Chris,

Interesting read. I think it was Chuck Missler who made the point:
SETI searches for evidence of extra terrestial life by looking for patterns of communication in radio signals.

yet, the DNA codes of life contains an information message system so complex that we have not figured it out. Now that we are mapping the genome, we are discovering that there is all this stuff that was referred to as junk DNA, because we thought it had no meaning. No they are starting to discover that there is another deeper message system hidden in what we thought was junk.

How ironic, our scientist think that DNA arose by random chance, and won't accept it as evidence of a creator. Yet a simple code message on radio waves would be accepted as evidence of extra terrestial life.
03/10/04 @ 23:48

02 October 2004

The wind blows (KN)

I'm sitting here this morning in the conservatory, the sun is shining, but I'm insulated from the weather outside. I can't feel the wind here; The moving clouds reveal the wind but I can still sense its effects.

The plants in the garden are waving gently to and fro. The big chestnut trees are fidgeting, rustling their leaves all the while. Even the shadows inside the conservatory are moving. The wind is not inside, but its indirect effects are.

And if I listen carefully I can hear the breeze as it gathers and whisks around the house.

Isn't the Holy Spirit just like this? I can't see him or touch him, yet he sees and touches me - constantly. He makes himself known to me, he reaches into my life and into my heart. Like the wind in the garden I know he's there because I can see the effects in my life.

Yahshua, thank you for leaving your Spirit with us, thank you for living with your people. Thank you that we have a Comforter and a Guide, that we are never alone. Thank you that, like the plants in the garden, we are always being moved by your invisible presence. Unseen but so, so real, and so welcome.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Chris,

Thanks for sharing the beautiful thoughts about the Holy Spirit.

I'm curious - why you use prefer to use the form of Christ's name Yahshua.

I had history with a communal group in the 70's and we were pretty adamant about only using the terms Yahweh & Yahshua.

Blessings my bro,

Barry
02/10/04 @ 14:55

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Comment from: Chris [Member]
Hi Barry,

Thanks for the question, I'm glad you asked.

I like to use the Almighty's name, 'Yahweh', because it was given to Moses and it just seems odd to replace it with 'LORD', even if our Bibles do use capital letters. Since he told us his name, I feel he'd like us to use it.

And I use 'Yahshua' because it's the Aramaic form of 'Jesus', the name he would have used himself. If I had a French friend called 'Pierre' I wouldn't call him 'Peter' or 'Pete', but 'Pierre'. It just seems natural and more friendly.

But I'm happy to use 'the LORD' and 'Jesus' instead if it makes people more comfortable.

Bless you Barry,

Chris
02/10/04 @ 15:52

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Comment from: Steph [Member] http://www.es-creative.com
"And if I listen carefully...."

What a thought!

How true, Chris Jeffries, how true.

If we but listen, the Spirit will send his song on the wind, overflow and melt our hearts with all depth and riches that are truly OURS in Him. From the gentle fragrance of summer turning to Fall or the fragile wisp of a dove-colored cloud streaking throught the sky at dusk, all is ours to breathe in and enjoy, if we but abide in Him, and listen.

May we have the reputation of John, the Beloved, who rested on the breast of Jesus, his friend and Lord.

STephanie
03/10/04 @ 09:07

01 October 2004

Meetings in Eaton Ford (KN)


Every three weeks or so we meet to praise and worship our Creator and King, to enjoy being with one another in his presence, and to listen carefully to whatever he chooses to show us.

These have been truly wonderful times. We're not making any attempt to expand because we feel (so far at least) that he wants to work in our lives first. But we welcome anyone who would like to join us, whether for just a single meeting, or more regularly.

If you live near St Neots in the UK and would like to meet with us, visit our web page and get in touch.

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