Showing posts with label kn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kn. Show all posts

13 October 2005

What do you see here? (KN)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well here's a new twist on that thought. I provide the picture, and you write some words!

Buildings and skyIt's not difficult, here's a small photo to work with. You can view a larger version in a separate window while you write your comment, or you can even download the full-size original. The photo is copyright but the terms allow you to use and reproduce it.

The idea is not just to write any old comment. Instead, look at the picture and ask yourself if it speaks to you about our heavenly Father, about the human condition, or about our relationships with him and with one another. Can you bring an encouraging message out of the picture?

Let me show you what I mean. The lower part of the picture is man-made, it rests on the earth, is grey, hard, and unchanging. The upper part of the photo is of the sky - it's not made by human effort, is owned by no-one, is not bound to the earth, and is gloriously colourful, bright, and changes moment by moment.

Go on, have a go, write a comment. It's not a spelling or grammar test, there are no right or wrong answers, and there's no prize except the prize of encouraging people and opening eyes and minds to the truth. Expand on my thoughts above, begin with new ideas of your own, or reply to other comments already present.

Thanks for your contribution, and may your words be a blessing to others.

(This was my final post to the Koinonia blog. Hint - click the topic 'kn' at the top of the page to show only the Koinonia posts.)

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email ·
The commerce, machines, contructions of "man" cover the earth. The extent of the social constructions of human beings is so vast, it is often difficult to see the simple, raw beauty that God created when he spoke the world into existence. Alas! So many will look upon the social construction of reality and say "where is God?" Others will hang their heads low in disappointment and bemoan the loss of the Father's original imprint of LIFE upon the globe.

We, however, have the opportunity to "raise our eyes to the hills" and remember from "whence comes our help!" Every day the sun rises over the earth and the glory of the Lord is available to behold. If we would but search for Him as Song of Solomon's maiden searches for her lover, we would find Him. Look, over there, coming up out of the valley, "my Lover stands radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand!"

I see a similar picture of Christ when I view the above photo. He is steadfast, ready and wise, ever-beautiful, unchanged by human ideas or culture. He is the Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today, and always.

What a glorious reminder in that photo Chris. The "sun" remains and is always the diligent counter to anything that fails or corrupts here on earth. So much happiness and joy in life overflows or diminishes; it's all in what we choose to behold, isn't it?

14/10/05 @ 03:20

Comment from: Kay Harvey [Visitor]
The picture reminds me of the end of my daily labor to go home and retreat from the world of busyness, and rest with Him. Kay
19/10/05 @ 15:41

Comment from: Chris [Member] Email
Thanks for your comments, that's two very different thoughts so far, I think it shows how powerfully the universe displays the nature of the Almighty to those who have eyes to see.

I'm sure there's much more about him that could be mined from this image. Anyone else care to contribute?
20/10/05 @ 05:21

Comment from: jimp [Visitor]
Couldn't tell IF that was sun rising or sun setting.... don't matter for "from the rising of the Son to the going down of the same - the Lord's name is to be praised!~

and prasing Him is easy - in light of the cities that man's hands have framed - that pix w/ sun -reminds me and encourages to be ever vigilant - those cities we don't look for = we hold out for the city who's builder and marker is God! \O/


Good shot, Great reminder, ChrisJ
29/11/05 @ 18:33

Comment from: Robert Gillard [Visitor]
It's funny but didn't I read somewhere that God hates cities. After the flood, folks started builing cities and trusting in the walls to save them. These days cities divide people, get people mad, all cooped up together like rats in a cage. I remember some guy did experiments where he put lotsa rats, all jammed together, in a cage. they got mean and anti-social real quick. Sounds like a city... But that sky!! Look up your redemption draweth nigh. The Son (sun) of Righteousness has risen on you. A sky like that is best viewed from a desert. A dry and weary land where no water is. Thus have I beheld thee in the sanctuary. I've seen skies like that from my desert places and my heart leaps within me.
30/12/05 @ 03:31

Comment from: S. R. [Visitor]
The first scripture that came to mind (which seems odd) was " your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." And also, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field..."

And in this context, the glory of the sunset reminds me of the scripture, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field."

Normally, these scriptures would be applied if the picture were of a wheat field, but could we say that perhaps if we were to broaden what we see, and see with the Lord's eyes, i.e. having the mind of Christ, that we will see His desire?
04/01/06 @ 10:59

Comment from: Shirley Miranda [Visitor]
The creative God is displayed through the creativity of man as seen is great architure. However, when placed next to the Creators artwork, it pales in comparison. His glory can not be outdone.
30/01/06 @ 16:48

Comment from: Sue [Visitor]
I look at it as a sunrise, there are many people asleep in those buildings, they are missing the beauty that God sending our way. But also picture a lot of people awake, watching and marveling at the beauty God is sending their way, and they thank Him
03/02/06 @ 20:59

Comment from: joshua kelly [Visitor]
I see what has become of mans doings here on earth. Not to say all is bad. But, my first thought is it looks like low-income housing or possibly vacant and inhabited by homeless folk. It makes me thankful we have a hope of a place not made with human hands to reside in eternally. Oppresive picture even with the sunset. What have we become? A culture subject to so much failure and also success at the cost of many lives being pushed to the lower part of society. But the ones making money in this area would ofcourse disagree.
13/02/06 @ 11:10

Comment from: David E. Gregory [Visitor] ·
I see what I would rather not see, i.e. a big city. I live in the country, and I would greatly prefer to see the sky over the country. On the other hand I know of some folk who live in the big city and their God is just as close to them as my God (the same God) is to me. I am (or have been) very survivalist minded, meaning learing how to be self-sufficient, and I am learning somewhat painfully that it is all a mirage. There is no such thing as [absolute] self-sufficiency, nor did God intend there to be. The city is dependent on the country for growing food, and to a large degree, at least, the country is dependent on the city and the business enterprises that are more easily put together in the city for the mass transportation of the country's food nationwide.

There is another aspect that I see, because I have been in construction most of my life. All of those buildings, without exception, existed in someone's mind before they ever existed in brick and mortar and steel. All of them started on an architects drawing board, and the contracts were let out to dozens of contractors before there was so much as a shovel full of dirt turned over. So in reality all of those buildings represent the genius that God put into man that is part of the unimaginably brilliant and complex image of the Creator God himself.

And, of course, while most men don't see it (they are blinded by the sheer 'glory' of the physical building just as the pharisees of old were blinded by the 'glory' of the temple) God is building his own building, but it isn't in the buildings you see here.

And yet, even those who (in my opinion) have the misfortune of being stuck in the big city have the same privilege of looking UP, and seeing the same glory of the sky (almost, because there is less smog in the country)as those in the coutry. And if there is faith, then God honors that faith no matter where he finds it.

I worked in the World Trade Center for six months when it was under construction in 1971, and while it was an experience, no amount of money (aside from the distinct calling of God) would compel me to go back there, entirely apart from the tragedy of 9/11.

David E. Gregory
Belgrade, Maine
14/05/06 @ 19:06

Comment from: jeffrey hosman [Visitor]
When i first looked at this image it was as if i heard The Lord Saying....

"When it is evening you say 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red' and in the morning 'It will be foul weather today for the sky is red and threatening '.
Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. "
Math 16:2&3
25/07/06 @ 19:58

Comment from: jeffrey hosman [Visitor]
The 2nd thing i heard was The Lord Saying...( after i read all the many other wonderful comments which i had not done up to that point )..

I heard The Lord saying...

"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 chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Math 23:37 nkjv.

Thank you for providing this opportunity to comment, Chris.

It's a GREAT Idea!

Thanks to all contributors so far...all great comments I think!

25/07/06 @ 20:14

Comment from: Walter [Visitor]
I see a city whose inhabitants need evagelism and discipleship.
17/11/06 @ 05:58

Comment from: Larry Baker [Visitor] ·
I see the machinery of life. I see that every bulding must contain some element that gives life to the larger body. Every employee in every building contributes to a product or service which supports the bigger world. First glance gives the impression of how small I am, but when you think of it, all componants of society are small.The factory worker is a small cog in the big machine, but without him, no end product to benefit the population. I think that we can look here and see that the body of Christ has even more members than Paul mentions in the Bible. The complexity and balance of a city is the result of a "bigger picture", of which all Christians participate, in a small cubicle or a wide open area. Within the walls of this city, you may find a thousand christians talking to their co-workers about the kingdom of God.
03/04/07 @ 02:25

Comment from: Kate [Visitor]
What I see is simple, even in the midst of all this humanity, God's glory shines. God reaches out to every eye to bear witness to His love, the rays of the sun he Created touch us. Christ comes to meet with us no matter who or where we are. His power out shines our attempts to claim we don't know He exists, we didn't know better, we didn't think anyone cared, we don't realize that everything we do MAKES A DIFFERENCE in God's eyes.
There is black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, (yin yang, karma, blah blah blah)...

...and then there is grace.
22/04/07 @ 23:36

29 October 2004

Mr Mole shows the way! (KN)

Walking back from town, crossing a patch of grass in the park, A mole at workI spotted some molehills. Fresh soil, pushed up from below, looking for all the world like miniature volcanoes; they were dotted about here and there, apparently at random.

But Mr Mole's little piles of earth are just the visible evidence of something going on out of sight. Are you a mole?

Moles work away underground, they're hardly ever seen and most of the time they live their lives quietly, out of sight, and not having any real impact on the world above ground. We should all be like moles! Just think about it.

Moles are active - For a start, moles are always busy. Their main purpose in life from day to day, like all animals, is finding food to sustain themselves. They must feed themselves, and they must feed their young. In the case of a mole this means finding earthworms and other small prey, and to do this they dig tunnels. Lots of tunnels.

They're always at it, digging, scurrying, digging some more. And they patrol their tunnels relentlessly, searching for food and repairing any damage to the tunnel. You won't find a mole with his feet up, watching TV, smoking a pipe and nursing a pint of ale. Mr Mole is far too busy for that!

Now I'm not suggesting we should not have time for leisure or watching TV, but I am suggesting we should be busy and active about our Father's work. Like the mole we should always be building new, or repairing what already exists. And that doesn't mean church buildings, it means church relationships!

The mole's work is hidden - Although Mr Mole is always busy below ground, most of the time we don't even know he's there, let A mole in his tunnelalone the fact that's he's working hard and never gives up.

Except for those molehills, his work goes on unnoticed. Shouldn't we be like that too? Not that we should hide our light from the world, quite the opposite, let it shine! But our work in the church is one of quiet industry, smoothing a difference of opinion here, helping a brother or sister with a problem there, visiting a sick friend, praying faithfully for someone. These things are mostly hidden, we don't need to draw attention to them, it's enough that our Father in heaven notices.

So, what about those molehills? - Yes, I wondered about those too, those are certainly visible! But then I asked myself, why are they there? The mole doesn't build molehills to draw attention to himself, it's not a case of, 'Look at my hills, aren't they great!'

Building tunnels involves getting rid of the unwanted soil. It gets in the way, it's not needed. If left underground it would prevent the tunnel being extended. As we work quietly and hidden, sometimes there will be things that need to be ejected, things that get in the way, things that we don't need.

From a mole's perspective those hills are not visible. Moles know that if they have unwanted soil, they must push it upwards and it will just disappear from view, it will no longer be in the tunnel creating a blockage, it will be gone and can be forgotten.

And that is exactly what we should do when we find the way blocked by stuff we don't need. We are always finding such things in our lives, things we're ashamed of, things that prevent us moving forward, things that reduce our effectiveness in the church. Push those things upwards and they'll vanish from our view. Give those things to our Father above and he will deal with them. Don't cling to them as then they'll just continue to block progress. Let them go!

That's all I have to say about Mr Mole right now, but I'm sure we are like moles in many other ways too. Maybe you can think of more Mr Mole parallels; if you can, do please leave a comment below.


Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.

Comment from: Terry Craig [Visitor] ·

Did you take the photo? I LOVE it.

Other than what you wrote, I know that moles can't "see" what they're doing in the dark of the soil. They have to feel their way around. While I'm not endorsing a life led by "feelings," I DO know that faith is pushing on even when we can't see the thing God promises.

We don't have moles here in South Florida as far as I know. We do, however, have crabs that burrow all over in some neighborhoods, filling the lawns with holes and soft spots, just like moles! Years ago we lived in a neighborhood with them and they drove our neighbor--who wanted a picture-perfect lawn--crazy. There's probably a parallel there as well, as life is messy sometimes. As much as we want to cultivate and control it (especially when others are watcing!)... we need to realize we aren't the masters of it. . . we are partakers of it, in all it's unexpected turns.
31/12/04 @ 19:31

17 October 2004

Walking in the light (KN)

That's what this blog is all about, I've been trying to catch those special moments when something is clearly illuminated for me and, if I can, explain them in mere words.The River Great Ouse

Of course words are just not up to the job, but they're a start. A picture here and there helps, images are like short-cuts to the heart, worth a thousand words as the old adage has it.

But best of all is for each of us to walk in his light so that we all receive it fresh and first hand. You don't need my stale, second-hand light, you need your own, straight from the source.

I was walking along the riverbank yesterday, the sky was cloudy but with blue patches dotted around. The air was chilly and a light mist was starting to rise from the river. And then I was dazzled by the light...

A bend in the footpath brought me into full view of the river, and low above the trees on the opposite bank the full strength of the sun hit me full in the face. Not only that! Reflected by the calm water surface, there was a second beam of golden light, it caught me full in my face as well.

Light on the waterThis was seriously bright light, the light of two suns! The photo doesn't even come close; you can't properly illustrate something like that. (To get a photo at all I had to move to one side and take the picture with the sun filtering through the leaves of the trees to reduce its strength.)

So what did I discover from this experience?

* The first thing I noticed is that when I looked straight at the light I saw... Light! I couldn't see the real sun, nor could I see the sun reflected in the water. They were far too bright. All I could see was the light, not the source of the light.
* Secondly I noticed that although I could see the opposite bank of the river, and some trees, everything was indistinct. Details were difficult to make out in the glare, close to the source of the light it was hard to see anything.
* Thirdly I noticed that when I turned around, the fields and trees illuminated by the light were very distinct and clear. Looking back at the world, back where I'd come from, things were clearly and brightly illuminated. I could see everything!

Do you think this is true of the light from heaven too? I think it is!

The source of the light is the Mighty One himself, who among us can look on him and see his face? Perhaps it's good for us to remember that although we can see the light of his glory, we cannot see any detail; he is too bright for us. He is more wonderful than we can yet understand. Our senses and our imagination are just not up to the job.

Can you imagine a light twice as bright as the sun? A thousand times as bright? A billion times as bright? Neither can I, yet the Almighty is far, far brighter than that!

Do you know what heaven is like? In part, yes, but only in part. You won't have full knowledge in this life, just hints, bits and pieces of information. Do you know what is in another person's mind? Only in part, even if you know someone well there is not complete knowledge. You can't fully know because you can't stand in that friend's place. Neither can you know heaven because you do not stand there, the detail is lost in the glare streaming from the face of the Holy One.

But when I turn around and look at the world, what do I see? I see more clearly now than before I believed. I see more fully than I did a year ago. Why? because I'm learning more and more to see in the light that shines out from heaven. Yahshua said, 'I'm the light of the world'. It's true, seen in his light the details of the world become clear. What was hidden is now plainly visible, what was lost can now be rediscovered, instead of stumbling in the dark we are now able to walk in the light! I was blind, but now I see!

I'm still just beginning to learn to walk in his glorious light. But every day he shows me more precious truths. Praise him! HalleluYah!

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email ·
What a peaceful scene.

I'd like to bring a thermos of tea and go for a walk there.

Thanks for the photos! Keep 'em coming!
21/10/04 @ 06:04

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email ·
I keep coming back to this first photo. There is such a sense of peace on it, and in it.

It's edifying just to look at the photograph; I wonder how much more enriching it would be to be stomping up the bank, feeling the cool air of the river on my face?

Isn't it wonderful to enjoy God's great majesty of this creation?

Thank you for taking the time to post it. Not everyone gets to live so near a river and enjoy the natural beauty there.

23/10/04 @ 04:20

Comment from: Kay Harvey [Visitor]
I get everyones koinonialife mail but not long after I registered yahoo began saying my address was not registered though I saw it was and after much confusion I settled for listening, not responding. I was new at the computer and in fear I'd mess up receiving, I left it alone. I read you alot after I finish others for the same reason you told us accidently, what you thought of Jay. I don't have many people left here to the richness of Him that comes from a long walk with Him that is of a similar trail as mine. I notice you notice nature,His awesome thoughts which at 5 years old made me want to find how to talk to Him. My mom didn't know, she said if I did'nt doubt and I realized I did so I left Him in the sky till 15 and He fixed her mistake. I have known Him 36 years now and have a big garden to go escape with Him in. It is spring here in Florence Alabama USA and my roses and amaryilles, and daylillies are comming out, reminders of His awesome thoughts. I thank the Lord for Him in you. In Christ, Kay Harvey
08/05/05 @ 11:55

09 October 2004

What kind of dog would I be? (KN)

Walking along the river bank this afternoon I came across a woman exercising her dog. Some dogs collect things!The dog ran towards me along the river path, then obediently lay down at a command. As I came up behind him and walked past, his eyes didn't waver. He didn't so much as glance at me, he was watching his owner very intently, waiting for the next command. His owner said, 'Get it then! Go on!', and off he went like an arrow released from a bow, off to fetch a ball or something else she'd left behind for him.

As we passed I smiled and said, 'Very good!'. I got a big grin back as I carried on walking.

Is this dog typical? No! I don't think so! I can think of several examples of badly behaved dogs - and I'm quite sure you can too...

We are like dogs too, some of us are more obedient than others. My brother-in-law has a Boxer called Rosie, she has a mind of her own, she will obey - but only if it suits her - or if she can see a titbit waiting for good behaviour! She is wilful, and she wants to be in charge. There are other dogs that don't disobey deliberately, but they never learned the words of command, they don't understand what is wanted of them.

I doubt if any of us is totally obedient. Some of us are wilful and want our own way, others perhaps are not attuned to our Master's voice. Some make a determined attempt, but sooner or later get it wrong for one reason or another.

It seems to me that the obedience of dogs is a very good illustration of the principles. A dog needs a master and must learn to obey without hesitation, certainly a good working dog will never question an order. Think of a sheepdog, or a retriever, or a dog trained to find drugs or explosives. They are only useful if they are obedient and reliable.

So if we want to be useful to the Master we must begin by learning to hear and recognise his voice. We can't obey him unless we first know what he wants of us. And having heard, we must have a heart to do his will, not our own. We might think our own ideas and methods will do the job, but they will not; we would be no more use than a sheepdog that decided for itself where the sheep should go.

Nor should we expect a reward, we may or may not receive one; our main reward will be in heaven - eternal life with the Son in the presence of the Father and surrounded by a great host of brothers and sisters. But here and now there may be no reward that we can identify. Our motives must be pure, we obey because he is our Father and we love him.

And like the obedient dog we must fix our eyes on the Master, unwavering, undistracted, and patient. When he gives the word we will be ready and will obey instantly.

Here in this world we have a relationship, first with the Master but also with our brothers and sisters, we will do well if we keep our eyes firmly focussed on his wonderful face. We will learn so much from what we see there, is he smiling? Being one of his people means we must interact with others. If they are to be built up and encouraged we'd better be obeying orders, not just making it all up as we go along.

Where we are not sure we do well to look all the more carefully. Never take your eyes off the King! Where we are not clear we must practice listening. How does the obedient dog develop such acute powers of observation and attention? By training, by practice. Practice hearing and seeing and you will get better at it. I promise you! Practice obedience and you will get better at that too. So that is our goal, to practice and practice and become more attuned to hearing and obeying.

See! We can even learn from the behaviour of our pets. Our Master is really good, loves us well, and knows how to train us; if we are obedient we can expect to do exceptionally well.

Oh, and one last thing. A good dog must have only one master - so must we. We are not to follow teachers, or preachers, or elders, or any other man or woman. We have one Master, and our attention should be fixed unwaveringly on him. Then we won't be distracted or deflected from his purpose. And as we help and encourage one another, we do well if we remind one another always - 'Look to the King, keep your eyes on his wonderful face, see his love, hear his voice.'

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email ·
Having "his heart," not our own, is a phrase that is resonating with me, Chris. How does that happen?

I think that some of it has to do with the 30, 60, and 100 fold story in the New Testament. A 30 fold return on investment is pretty darn good.... but it's not "all" there is to be had.

If we want his heart, we've got to give 100% of ours, with no holes barred. Unfortunately, the forces of our human nature and society's constraints around us are 100% opposite to that. Everything seems to work against that work of maturity and complete surrender.

Isn't that why we need each other? To help each other press on to the upward goal, the *prize* .....

which is "his" heart.
Thanks a terrific blog.
14/10/04 @ 04:27

08 October 2004

A handy Bible tool (KN)

Q - When you want to look up a Bible passage and you don't have a Bible with you, what do you do?The Bible Gateway website

A - Find an internet connection and browse to the Bible Gateway!

There you will find the entire Bible in a number of versions. You can display a verse or a whole chapter just by entering the details in a search box. Easy!

But you can do so much more than that with this well-designed tool...

If you've already used the Bible Gateway you'll know exactly what I mean, but if you're a newbie to this clever website - read on.

Keyword lookup - A second search box is provided for looking up words, type in 'fish bread' for example and click 'Search' and up pop those gospel passages about the feeding of the thousands, along with several other verses containing the same two words.

Changing versions - Once you've found the passage you need in one translation, you can read it straight away in another. It's easy to look at the same passage again and again in different versions; and there are lots to choose from.

Sometimes it helps to search in the King James Version (perhaps you remember that version of the verses you need), then, having found it, swap to a modern translation to read it.

If you've already used the Bible Gateway you'll know exactly what I mean, but if you're a newbie to this clever website - read on.

Audio versions - There are also audio versions in a variety of languages. This gives a different kind of experience and may be helpful.

Other materials - There are some study guides here too. Not as comprehensive or easy to use as some of the Bible software available on CD or traditional print, but very useful when nothing else is to hand (when you're travelling away from home, perhaps).

Foreign languages - There are versions of the Bible here in all kinds of languages. So whether you are from Albania or Vietnam you will be able to read and search online in your native tongue.

This mini review should be enough to get you started. Visit the Bible gateway website and hunt around to see what other features are available. And watch out for the new, improved version coming soon.

Happy reading, and happy searching! Why not bookmark the website now? - There are also audio versions in a variety of languages. This gives a different kind of experience and may be helpful.

07 October 2004

Everything I have (KN)

'Everything I have, was given to me.'

This simple line came to me today in an e-mail from a friend. It referred to something quite specific, but it's so true in a general way too.A young plant The more I've thought about it during the day, the more its meaning has become rooted in my heart, like a seed planted there. It seems right to share these thoughts more widely.

When I was first conceived I was no more than a tiny bead of protoplasm carrying a copy of the DNA that spelled my potential. As I grew, the meaning of the code worked out in detail until the day I was born and took my first breath.

We often think of birth as the beginning of life, but by the time I'd taken that first lungful and tested out my new voice with an ear-splitting wail, I'd already received so much.

First, the DNA code itself, donated by my parents but specifying a new, unique creature. And then all that realised potential - a heart that beats, lungs that fill with air, bones and muscles, fingers and toes, and all those amazing internal organs working away to keep me alive and healthy until adulthood. I earned none of these things. They are rich and wonderful gifts bestowed on me even before I was born!

Throughout my life from the morning of my birth to the evening of my old age I'll have received so much. The air I breathe, the water I drink, the food I eat and the clothes that keep me warm, I earned none of these things.Mature growth and abundant flowers I used my gifts of mind and body to 'earn' my way in the world, but I could create nothing without the means to do so, and the means came to me as generous gifts.

It seems to me that I have nothing at all to boast of, and absolutely everything to be grateful for. And look around at the world we inhabit! See the beauty of the sky, sun shining on leaves, the frost on twigs. Smell the fragrant orange blossom, the wonderful aroma of freshly cut grass, or bread straight from the oven. Ah, what a wonderful, wonderful world. And what a wonderful Creator who brought it all into being and planted me here amongst it for a season. I earned none of this!

And friends, family, just a smiling face in the local shop or at the bank, a kind word from someone who cares. Did I earn these blessings? No, I did not. All are gifts.

How true then it is to say...

'Everything I have, was given to me.'

Praise the King of Kings who has blessed me with so much. Honour and glory and power are yours, for ever and ever. Amen.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email ·
Oh yes -- just look around at the world we inhabit; it *is* amazing. Unfortunately, so many of us miss the little joys that are at our fingertips each day. Sometimes a simple glance, lingering on a thing of beauty or taking an extra moment to smile at a passerby is enough to remind us that there is more to this world than what we see, handle and touch. Just a glance can mean so much!

What I especially enjoy is when someone has the gift - an "eye" really -- to capture some of these glorious things and share them with others. Whether it's a melody, a phrase well turned, or a beautiful moment captured by photography. I appreciate these gifts so much. They inspire people like me to look higher, deeper, and live more meaningfully.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing these awesome photographs. I'm in love with this last one of purple heather and a dogwood bending low. At least that's what they look like from this vantage point.
08/10/04 @ 14:29

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.

Comment from: Barry [Member] Email ·

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.

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,

02/10/04 @ 14:55

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,

02/10/04 @ 15:52

Comment from: Steph [Member]
"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.

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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