Those who mourn are blessed: Reading scripture backwards.

A few weeks ago our pastor taught on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, and he highlighted something I hadn’t really considered: The verses from 3 to 12 are not simply separate sayings, like little nuggets of wisdom. Instead, they form a whole and each verse builds on the one before. They reveal a pattern for the life of a Christ-follower.

A few weeks ago our pastor taught on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, and he highlighted something I hadn’t really considered: The verses from 3 to 12 are not simply separate sayings, like little nuggets of wisdom. They’re not like some parts you might find in Proverbs, superficially a list of individual, wise sayings. Instead, they form a whole and each verse builds on the one before. Have a quick read through with that in mind and we’ll pick up after,

Jesus began to teach them,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

The first thing that struck me was that these people were “blessed.” Blessed?! Blessed… Maybe they were blessed because each ‘bad thing’ was followed up by a comforting thing, like “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” but that’s a little morbid, isn’t?

Continue reading “Those who mourn are blessed: Reading scripture backwards.”

Lion of Judah: New verses with chords

I really enjoy this song so I added two verses which I’ve inserted as Verse 2 and 3. You can find the chords at Ultimate-Guitar.com [Note: Linked original version, not mine, as it’s not approved yet. Will fix link when approved. Link now works.]. Here’s a plain-text version for now.

Here’s the song, including new verses…

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The Firelight In Your Eyes

In the dark I can see,
reflected, weaving and waving,
in this blessed early morning moment,
the firelight in your eyes.

Your lips, full, pained, hurt,
whisper out an injured stream,
while I memorize your eyes,
and the mirrored flame of your soul.

And I am struck dumb,
feeble words wretch forth,
anguished to see you lifted and built up,
to fan the heart and the flicker still there.

Who am I,
that I should be the one here,
so lacking, failing even in this,
to blow these embers back to life.

But God–this is not of me–
but God–in spite of me–
He can take you in the hollow of His hands,
and blow your embers back to Life.

When we part ways,
the morning darkness hides us,
when I hold you again, once and again,
heat rushes into me, melting the cold of many moonless ages.

In the darkness, parting, again I look deep in your eyes,
and the warmth of your embrace rushes out from me,
but my prayer has ascended to Him Eternal, that I see you again,
and the firelight in your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish Passover and Good Friday

Jewish Passover falls on Good Friday this year. Passover remembers the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt during which God told the people to kill a “lamb without blemish” and paint their doorposts with the blood. God said “when I see the blood, I will pass over you and no plague will befall you to destroy you“. If they did this they were saved from the plague of the death of the firstborn. Every year the Jewish people would sacrifice again for the sins of the people. More than a thousand years later, God’s Son came down to earth as the man Jesus Christ, “a lamb without blemish or spot“, and He died a final death, a final sacrifice for our sins, and rose again in “victory over sin and death.” This Good Friday remembers the day Jesus, God’s firstborn, was not spared and was sacrificed for your sins so that when Jesus’ blood covers your sins God can say again “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Selah. Today, “if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts,” for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.#TheShepherdIsTheLamb #SoliDeoGloria

Lives of Quiet Desperation

Henry-David-ThoreauMy father, on more than one occasion, has referenced this quotation in various discussions on purpose and meaning: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation“. I’ve been thinking about that lately. So, I Googled the phrase this evening and came across this enlightening write up, entitled Quiet Desperation, on the words, the man behind them, and where those thoughts can lead, either for good or for ill. Here’s an excerpt to give you a taste,

One night very early on in a life, a young boy lay back on the rocky New England soil, contemplating the heavens,  “looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them.” This quest became one of the primary motivators of his life — one might say he never stopped looking into nature for the ultimate truth.

But what did Henry David Thoreau mean by his famous observation, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”?

You may have seen those Facebook/Twitter/Instagram memes, the ones that say something to the effect of “Everyone you meet is battling inner demons that you known nothing about.” It’s so true. As much as we want to be open and free with our feelings and emotions with friends and family there are some things too deep, too subtle, too sensitive, to speak openly about. I think of the late Robin Williams. A man of laughter but a man of surprising inner turmoil to the point of ultimate desperation. If you don’t have a friend you can talk to, know that you have a friend in Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16,17

Soli Deo gloria

Faith Shaking Scientific Discoveries (Or Not)

Take-away: You know all those big big scientific discoveries that seem to shake your faith just a little bit more each time, if you’re being honest? Actually, they usually end up on the cutting room floor. Just wait a bit, and watch some Christian sources like AIG, CMI, or ICR, and you’ll see these claims often be completely retracted or significantly eviscerated. But you won’t usually find the mainstream media covering this because after all we-were-wrongs aren’t all that exciting. Rest assured all science inevitably, eventually, ends up agreeing with the Bible. Here are just a few of the big discoveries that later turned out to be largely hype…

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How to inject some life back into Far Cry 3

If you’re like me, you tore through Far Cry 3 and learned that if you took outposts out early and raced to unlock radio towers you were able to see more sooner and get to story missions quicker. Now that you’ve finished the game, you have this feeling that you want to play in that beautiful world again, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to it anymore? Here’s a few things to try to reinvigorate your Far Cry 3 experience…

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Happy Easter

So the LORD God said to the serpent [in the Garden of Eden], “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

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On Purpose

The following After Eden comic, for biblical creation ministry Answers in Genesis, was published on Saturday, October 19, 2012,

And the following is my comment on their Facebook post of the same comic identifying what I felt made this comic much better than it at first appears,

This question is actually better than it at first appears. Atheists will immediately respond that the recognition of their argument would lead to people living their lives as they truly wish, not ‘controlled’ by religion or fear of gods, and religious based conflict would stop. We would finally be ‘free’ to live in peace and we would go from strength to strength unrestrained by ‘artificial’ barriers. Utopia. But they rarely take the next logical outcome of throwing away an ultimate authority and throwing away purpose: there is then no reason to act in any kind of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way, and everyone would do what was right in his own eyes (see the Book of Judges for what happens when this is the case). Neither would we have justification for the government and law which puts restrictions on ‘bad’ behaviour. We can see the beginning of this kind of thinking in the last century with the courts having no real authority to condemn anything, instead relying on causes outside the control of the perpetrator like genetics, or up-brining, or mental illness. They can’t call it morally deviant, there’s no yardstick to do that with anymore. Thus, instead of the atheist’s utopia you actually get something worse. What the atheist can’t see or doesn’t want to see is that their utopian vision is actually dystopian.

Motion 312 – Defining the fetus as human

Check out Pass 312.org, the central website for information about an MP Motion in Canada for changing the criminal code to identify an unborn child as human (contrary to what the law currently says). Here’s a little bit of info from the site,

1. Canada’s Criminal code defines unborn children as non human beings!

2. One brave MP Stephen Woodworth has brought forward Motion 312 in an attempt to evaluate that law and possibly change it.

3. Every political party in Canada is opposing Motion 312. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that he will vote against it.

4. An estimated 100,000 plus letters and emails have been sent to our MPs this summer urging them to support Motion 312. And yet the word from MPs is that it will not pass unless they hear more from Canadians in support of it.

5. There are over 4,000,000 evangelical Christians in Canada. That means 4 million people who have no excuse for ignoring the abuse of our unborn children (Psalm82:2-4). Nearly 4 million people, however, who have no idea what Motion 312 is and have not yet contacted their MP in favor of it.

Not sure if a fetus is a human? Check out this article.

Contact your MP. Who’s your MP?

For more third party information about the motion check this article.