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Consistency

Chapter 35

Good Monday Morning to this week 35 of 2022

1 Picture – 1 Verse this morning.

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in Him. 1 John 2:27

Wishing you consistency as you abide in Him!

Philemon

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In anticipation as already in existence

Chapter 34

Good Monday Morning to this week 34 of 2022.

What sort of people belong to Jesus’ church community?  Jesus said it is those who are committed to doing God’s will.  He talked about the importance of doing God’s will on many occasions.  Here is just one example:

“Whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50; see also Luke 8:21).

From one view, the center of Jesus’ teaching and the early church’s vision is a radical form of discipleship in tension with, or even in confrontation with, the world around it. But this teaching and vision is fundamentally lost in the Christendom paradigm that turns the church into a master in the world and mutes its prophetic voice.

As Christendom or more the “Sunday Church” collapses in the West, it again finds itself marginalized, even exiled, in society and culture. An increasing number of church leaders are calling on the church to recover the lost vision of the early church and return to a mode as a faithful minority in a not-so-friendly world.

Did Jesus give us, any practical guidance as to how we should organize our communities or our community activities? Not really! Members of Jesus’ family/community, in different places and times, can develop ways of meeting that are appropriate to our own cultures and our own needs. We do not need to do things the way others do them, and we do not need to do things the way others have done them for decades, or centuries.

On the contrary, Jesus did have a vision for his family/community in regard to values. It is set out in a prayer he prayed shortly before his arrest:

“I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23).

This is a wonderful prayer for the present and future community. It is regarded in anticipation as already in existence.

This short text this morning is a call regarding spirituality, it may not be the momentum or the quantity but much more a question of quality in regard to living the faith as a Christian and in the context of our lives and community.

Wishing you a great start to this day and week.

Philemon

12 Close Friends

Chapter 33

Good Monday Morning to this week 33 of 2022

I recently saw a meme that said :

Jesus’s real miracle was having 12 close friends in his mid 30’s.

The structure of Jesus Christ’ relationships with the twelve apostles presents us with an interesting model for our friendships as well. His relationship with these twelve “ordinary men” transformed these fisherman, tax collectors, and political zealots into men who changed the course of the world.

In his book, Making Friends, Making Disciples, author Lee B. Spitzer provides us with an interesting visual for placing people in our friendship circles, along with these definitions:

Best Friends: the 2 or 3 dearest loved ones.
Special Friends: the 3–5 closest friends outside the center circle.
Social Friends: the 7–12 people one spends a great deal of time with.
Casual Friends: the 50–200 people one knows by name and might socialize or work with (acquaintances).
Outside the Circles: Non-friends and enemies.

According to Jeff Atchison, Jesus showed us the importance of narrowing in on a smaller ‘inner circle for the highest degree of intimate training.” This “inner circle” consisted only of Peter, James and John, the three who witnessed some major events that the other disciples did not.

The raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead. The Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount
Christ’s travail in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane

Michael Hyatt, states in The Leadership Strategy of Jesus, that Jesus took His inner circle on special outings, allowed them to witness his greatest glory, and even His deepest temptations. Jesus prayed with His inner circle and taught them things He did not teach the others. Jesus even introduced the three to His heavenly family. Hyatt concludes the three were Jesus’ closest friends and confidants.

Sounds like a great model for your God Buddies!

Do you have a few close confidants — your “inner circle” per se, that you can trust with your deepest thoughts?

Wishing a good start to this new week.

Philemon

Ruins – Fragments of the future

Chapter 32

Good Monday Morning to this week 32 of 2022

For now we see as in a mirror and are baffled, but then face to face; now I know in fragments, but then shall I understand even as I also have been understood.
1. Corinthians 13.12

People have always helped their history along: They did not wait until dramatic events such as feuds and battles or lengthy processes such as neglect and weathering turned once proud buildings into ruins. They preferred to cut short the process and build artificial ruins straight away. They can be admired above all in English and German castle gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries. Antiquated structures such as towers and mossy temples, even half-ruined aqueducts and amphitheatres, not to mention all the artificial grottoes and miniature gorges complete with rock bridges cheerfully parading in velvet and silk.

At that time, there were master builders who specialised in such artificial ruins, had various types of patina in their catalogue of samples and knew how to carve a stone to make it look as if the ravages of time had been at work. The commissioners were concerned with effect, that is, effect without cause, pasteurised transience. I like to imagine that there were two schools of thought: one that offered the prospect of ruins with an unlimited guarantee of durability, and another that advertised that further decay was already included in its buildings and that showed durability from an other angle.

As with the ruins you can observe in literature quite alike. Many works of the ancient have become fragments from the future as soon as they are written. They are not deliberately enigmatic or mysterious but strive for clarification, differentiation, illumination: an inexhaustible reservoir of ideas.

Often enough, intentional literary fragments are mere glimpses of profound meaning.

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 1. Corinthians 13.12

Wishing you a good start to the new week with fragments of the future in what you do today.

Philemon