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Belonging

Chapter 48

Good Monday Morning to this week 48 of 2021

It’s been a day full of many impressions, smiles, talks, blessings, prayers and much more.
What a priviledge to be back in Lomé with the La Vigne churches, Nouvelle Perspective and the many friends I have and know here.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Out of Romans 12

I’m touched by deep spirituality and faithful comittment I see and experience here in Lomé. This morning I spoke about this passage. On a side note I mentioned that when someone is blind it’s amazing how the other senses are activated and “jump” in to compensate the loss of sight.

Back in the car, my friend mentions, there will be a musician in the afternoon program that is blind. He’s a great musician and greatly helped us transition through a period of loss.

Much later in the day I got to hear his talent on the keyboard and even got to greet him.
As we talked a little a sentence followed that touched me deeply, and think I’ll never forget.

I remember you Philemon! You used to come visit us when were still at the other building.

This little sentence spoke to me deeply.

Yes we belong to each other!

You might be out there alone, thinking no one see’s you, cares about you. But in the spiritual
realm there is a belonging, there is a spiritual mystery in being one, belonging, being one part of a whole, of something complete.

Wishing you a blessed start to this week!
Philemon

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A few thoughts to the future of the Church

Chapter 47

Good Monday Morning to this week 47 of 2021

Reading an article called, The Church of the future, I found a
a very helpful passage.

I did a quick and incomplete translation out of the German passage.
Einführung in die Evangelische Theologie U. Schnelle

The Church must be a spiritual Church,
one that is indebted to the Spirit and gives space to the
the creative Spirit of God, because the creative Spirit of God is the Spirit of life.

This, “Spirit” is by no means simply the uncontrollable, spectacular seizure by an incalculable power. Rather, the term “spirit” is to be differentiated and concretised in three different terms.

Pneuma, (breath of life)
Nous (reason, intellect or intelligence)
Logos (word, speech)

All three Greek terms are closely related to each other (cf. Romans 12:3-8) and yet
set their own accents and significance.

Pneuma; is the Spirit in the fullest sense”,
which is our being shaped and being gripped
holistically by the entire existence, the breath of God.
Pneuma makes it clear that there is a
deeper spiritual experience that moves and blows far beyond words.

Nous; as reason, intelligence
and insight by the Spirit. This
intellectual dimension of the
of spiritual activity is more and more relevant.
The general, accessible and rational
perception of self and the world, along
with critical consideration and judgement, lead
by Gods Spirit is greatly needed within the Church.

Logos; as “speech, power of thought and spirit”
represents the rhetorical and pedagogical
presentation of the word of the cross and the word of reconciliation.
and shows its priority and deliberate focus.

The Spirit is seen as a transforming
power, as knowledge and power of speech, the representation
a divine gift, which experiences its highest
form in the presence and inhabitancy of love.

In summary,
The level of experience, the level of thought and the level of representation of the Spirit,
build a holistic vocation and calling of our human existence as a Gods creation. Being open to all dimensions of the Spirit of God is a door, a path, a direction to the future of the Church.

Wishing us all a good and blessed start to this week as we wrestle with the implications of the questions of the cooperate future along with our personal calling within the Church.

Philemon


The heart asks

Chapter 46

Good Monday Morning to this week 46 of 2021

Moreover, I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the stony heart from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Ruach within you. Then I will cause you to walk in My laws, so you will keep My rulings and do them. Then you will live in the land that I gave to your fathers. You will be My people and I will be your God.
Ezekiel 36 26-28

Yesterday evening I was reminded by an old friend of my dad how greatly he was inspired by Martin Loyd Jones while doing training in London. Yes, I remember a lot later of all the books still on my Dads bookshelf. Maybe it influenced my theology as well!

In one of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermons “A new Heart,” he elaborates : Man’s greatest need is not that he should become wealthy or emotionally fulfilled. Man’s greatest need is to be made right with God.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister and medical doctor who was influential in the Calvinist wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.

This is something that happens to you: it is God dealing with you, and God acting upon you by His Spirit; it is something you become aware of rather than what you do.  It is thrust upon you; it is presented to you and almost forced upon you constantly in this way.

It is a kingdom which is to come, yes.  But it is also a kingdom which has come. “The kingdom of God is among you” and “within you.”  The kingdom of God is in every true Christian.  He reigns in the Church when she acknowledges Him truly.  The kingdom has come, the kingdom is coming, the kingdom is yet to come.  Now we must always bear that in mind.  Whenever Christ is enthroned as King, the kingdom of God is come, so that, while we cannot say that He is ruling overall in the world at the present time, He is certainly ruling in that way in the hearts and lives of all His people

The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.

We must come back to the soul and to God who made it. We were made for Him, we are meant for Him, we have a correspondence with Him, and we will never come to rest until, like that needle on the compass, we strike that northern point, and there we come to rest – nowhere else.

Our supreme need, our only need, is to know God, the living God, and the power of His might. We need nothing else. It is just that, the power of the living God, to know that the living God is among us and that nothing else matters… I say, forget everything else. Forget everything else. We need to realize the presence of the living God amongst us. Let everything else be silent. This is no time for minor differences. We all need to know the touch of the power of the living God.

Wishing you an inspiring as you continue to know this God along with the mystery of Him living in us.

Philemon 

Narrow spaces made wide

Chapter 45

Good Monday Morning to this new week.

These last weeks have been filled with questions, reflections, even some riddles. Here is one concept that makes narrow spaces wider!

Faith

Faith is reason grown courageous.

You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.

Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Life without faith in something is too narrow a space to live.

Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Wishing you a good start to this new week!
Philemon