Blog 2016

The Inception

I started writing Monday Morning Messages on the 28th of March 2016
A short inspiration every Monday Morning (Format for Whatsapp)

I wish you a very meaningful and wonderful start into this new week 13 of 2016. The easter days gave me some time to dig into some of Ravi Zacharias’s writings … and so as you realize … I quote from what i am just working on, reading on or thinking about!

“I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. Ravi Zacharias

Have a blessed evening!
Philemon

Good morning,

… just thinking about the balance and tension between Grace and good Works this morning.

There’s something about compassion that causes those around to say, ‘We’re going to take this person seriously.
Good works won’t save us, but they for sure will follow us and bring Glory to God. Lucado/ Warapunga

Wishing you a great week!
Philemon

Week 15 of 2016
Monday morning thoughts

thinking about my daily walk and talk

“Act in such a way that your humility may not be weakness, nor your authority be severity. Justice must be accompanied by humility, that humility may render justice lovable.”
—Gregory the Great (540-604)

wishing you a blessed day and week!
Philemon

Monday morning of week 16/2016

Good morning,

This weekend I read two inspiring books on overcoming difficulties, forgiveness and finding acceptance. Here is one of the nice quotes from the books:

When you recognize that you will thrive not in spite of your losses and sorrows, but because of them, that you would not have chosen the things that happened in your life, but you are grateful for them, that you will hold the empty bowls eternally in your hands, but your also have the capacity to fill them. The word for filling them is healing!

I wish you a week of filling the empty bowls with HIS healing!

In His grip!
Philemon

Biel/Bienne Switzerland week 17/2016

Good morning – a prayer this morning

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

wishing a great week!
Philemon

Good Monday morning to this week 18/2016
Music has inspired me immensely this week!

I went to a concert of which my two older kids were part of a concert as they sang in a choir of 100 students and they sang in surround sound around the audience.

… in the middle of the various other songs – all went dark, they stood in a circle around around us and sang the piece called “Immortal Bach”. It was a moment of eternity. Here is how one component describes the piece:

The choir begins by singing the chorale through consisting of three phrases, each of which have a cadence, or a progression leading to a particular chord, at the end. Then, the choir sings through each of the three phrases again. But this time, each part moves at a different slow pace through the phrase, so that all of the parts move independently of the others. The result is exquisite, as the parts combine in different ways, the dissonances of the piece are extended and new sonorities are created. At the end of each phrase, all the parts come to rest on the final chord (eventually), there is a pause, and the next phrase begins. It’s incredibly simple, but incredibly beautiful as well.

As we look for this unity this week in all we do, at work, in our relationships I learn from this piece that the unity is formed not by conformity but by each part moving to it’s own precious pace, but as the parts start to combine and interact in different ways and singing gently errupts into beautiful harmonies, then the unity and the moments of eternity immerge.

Have a week of deep unity with your God, your surroundings, yourself, and may you find the beauty as you are completely, simply yourself, understanding the basic paramenters of your life and those around you.

Philemon

Good morning to the week 19’ of 2016
Thanks to a conference, friends and many writings I have been inspired greatly again this week. Over the last few weeks I have begun writing a fictional story with two protagonists in a season of change. As I write, it’s more like a daily blog of their journey, interwoven are personal reflections of some of my experiences. One of the conclusions I have already made is a very simple one indeed: We need people of inspiration around us, people who inspire us!These people can be writers, teachers, friends, wives, husbands, teachers … but they need to be tangible, with a certain closeness or interconnectedness. It further helps if we have certain areas that we can assimilate as peers in areas of competence. Here are some observations on seeing who inspires me and how I would like to inspire others: –
They care,
They listen and they interact They are enthusiastic and love what they are doing
I trust them cause the build people up
They stand their ground through thick and thin
They do admit flaws, not in all detail but don’t act like they know it all
They treat those around themselves with respect and all equal
They share, books, resources, and communicate well
They keep their promises and stay true to who they are
They also listen to my ideas and explore alternative ideas They set people free
They do not add insult to injury
Wishing you a week of inspiration with the following quote:

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. Mulan

Philemon
Good morning to this week 20/2016

today I was woken by an early morning call that my mum was in the hospital again. Her heart has been weak for years but it is seriously on the decline now. So my day was preoccupied with seeing her, then spending, quite some time with my dad who is having a hard time with the situation.

Right – but now of course I wish to inspire as every monday:

On sunday we had an amazing praise and worship time at the French church in Bern. This church has so much history of giving shelter and seening outburts of revival and signs of God. Yesterday two of our worship bands joined and were accompanied by an organ player. From the front we heard the build up of the band and from behind the organ blew in frequencies that made my heart race and hands raise in praise God. It was awesome. After the meeting I chatted with a man I greatly love and respect; here our conversation:

… oh what these walls of this Church have heard and seen in the past years. Oh how we long that they would be filled every sunday with this amount of praise. He then quickly was inspired by walls hearing and reminded me of:
Joshua 24: 27 Joshua said to all the people,”Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God. or
Luke 19:40 I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.” or
Habakkuk 2:11 “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, and the rafter will answer it from the framework.

I somehow get the feeling that the stones cried out this sunday, “we have been witness of greater things and may the presence of the Lord come again to this place”

David G. Horrell writes in a Journal of Theology; Third, and most importantly, there are strong reasons to suggest that what the stones might do in v. 40 is take up the crowd’s cry of praise. The neatly balanced and concise phrasing implies that if the crowd were to be silent ( ) the stones would take up the acclamation of Jesus ( ), since this simply cannot be silenced or contained, yes they would pick up the chorus of joyful praise’ if necessary. Or with an extreme counterexample: God can make children even from stones, or can evoke praise even from stones, should human beings refuse to respond as they should. The use of the stones in these texts is thus another example of Luke’s rhetoric of reversal, his insistence that the good news turns the world’s hierarchies upside-down, lifts up the lowly and thus calls forth their response of praise.

It’s more then the here and now, God’s Kingdom is on the move, God has a plan, God will reach his goals and HE LOVES OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP!

I will not stop, I never want to stop worshipping this great and awesome God!

Wishing you a week of great inspiration and worship!
Philemon

Week 21/16
I see a beautiful stained-glass window of one of our old churches as I sit in the pew. Imagine this stained-glass window is you! You have been designed, you have been made to let in the light, no ….far more, your call/destiny is to transform the light by simply letting it through you into the spaces/hearts ready and open in the room or space in front of you. The light has been given to us as a gift, the place is a calling and you are the bright stained-glass window at the right place, at the right time filtering the light and message to shed and fall into many hues and lives.
Wishing you a week of “filter and shine”
Philemon

A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted. A. Carmichael
This past week I’ve been in and out of the hospital every day. There have been improvements and setbacks to the condition of my mum’s weak heart. When we sit and talk I often hear my mum say – I’ve had a good life. Yes, it’s as if she is also saying, my cup is full of sweet water. We’re not speaking about being perfect or of not making mistakes, no it’s about the perspective of who filled our cup to the brim and the perspective we see the person of Grace that HE is, He that is with us every day of our lives. We also speak about forgiveness. (thanks Sandro for the reminder) Yes we pray in the Lord’s prayer, and forgive us … as we forgive those who owe us something. Isn’t that one of the biggest challenges, but also the biggest rewards. Jesus is saying that forgiveness is unlimited, and forgiveness by nature is something that cannot be measured in its appropriation. When we fail to forgive, we fail to recognize our own debt, and we fail to appreciate the reality of the limitless scope of forgiving grace on our account.
Or as Ravi Zacharias writes: To be sure, dealing with our human hurts and offenses, and becoming generous people who freely forgive takes time and effort. And for some of us, the hurts we have suffered and endured may never result in phone calls that attempt to reconcile and restore relationship. Nevertheless, the cultivation of a forgiving heart frees us from bondage and opens us to the possibilities of giving forgiveness. For the one who understands first and foremost her own need for forgiveness, and the one who then opens his heart up to forgive others, enters (perhaps even unknowingly) into the very heart of God. Yes, her spiritual heart is strong and free, even though her physical heart is failing. This week I encourage you to keep your cup full of His sweet water by extending forgiveness. In His grip!Philemon
06/06/2016, 10:54 – warapunga: Monday 06.06.2016 Week 23/2016

This Sunday evening we went to a church in Aberdeen Scotland. From the outside it looked like a regular Anglican church with wonderful windows and a park out front where various people were having a drink. Here In the heart of bustling Union Street, Aberdeen’s Soul Bar is a large, sprawling affair which takes up its quarters in a converted church. Drawing a veil over what the rights and wrongs of doing so, the erstwhile Langstane Kirk is now a fashionable bar full of trendy twenty-somethings in pursuit of some liquid refreshment drink and perhaps a spot of dancing. On weekends, a DJ can usually be found spinning some excellent tunes from the -pulpit. But rest assured, it’s all in the best possible taste. The setting is dramatic. After all, it was a place of worship and its stained glass windows and imposing pier shafts lend the space considerable drama. This lead us three visiting to a great time of discussion with questions as of – where is God? – Does the place of Church have a special anointing? – Do these walls have to bear a bar, music and regular guests all day around? – Do churches need to rest? – Is it sin to have a drink at the bar? Are the managers out of line? Is the building out of line? Yes, I didn’t like it? I was shocked as I walked in and saw that the pulpit now home to a DJ, or the celing could no longer been seen because they had put a casino into the top floor where the balcony used to be …then i was

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I also believe that places have can have a special meaning and so this week my morning message one of encouragement but also of asking a question or starting a discussion. Do you have an input or an idea? Looking forward.

Have a blessed start today!!
Philemon (on a road trip through Scotland with 2 good friends)

Monday Morning 24/16

“God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.” David Livingstone

Within three months I have had the privilege to travel through Scotland, the home country of David Livingston born in Blantyre , all the way to Lilongwe and Blantytre of Nyasaland (Malawi), one of the regions he passed through on his missionary explorations witnessing the horrors of the African slave trade out of towns like Karonga or Nkhotakota.

There is a lot to learn from this fearless, independent, strong-willed Lowland Scot. For example David Livingston writes in his diary: Slavery ruined not only the lives of the enslaved but also the character of the men who owned and traded them.

So this morning I reflect on the things that my heart is wrongly tied or bound to. I reflect not only on the consequences but the source. Quickly, I am then reminded of myself having been a “slave”, now set free, no! even more – adopted into a new family, no longer bound but called to freedom. We’ve been singing the worship song over the past year now “I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God”. YES! Exactly! Set free indeed!

Galatians 5:13 “For we are called to freedom, use the freedom as an opportunity to love serve one another.”

These thoughts get me going, revive my system, give me the motivation to walk, work, serve, live as “Child of God” this week!

Blessings
Philemon

Monday Morning Message 25/2016

If a man travel along a long road, he learns to desire the whole journey, the way, the path, the surrounding, the up’s and down’s the meadows and the fields. So much more is it with God as we journey towards him, we desire intensely, in stillness, in joy, in transformed feelings, radically, supernaturally and most of all with heart mind and strength. Warapunga/Huxley

I wish for this desire as I, as you journey towards Him this week!

In His grip!
Philemon

Monday 27.06.16 (26/2016)

Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest.  Cardinal Roger Mahony

Sitting there in the circus tent of the “Circolino Pipistrello” at the school of visually impaired and disabled children, this late Saturday afternoon, I was greatly moved by the profound and deep messages communicated. This non-profit group of teachers, arts, pedagogues, instructors, enabled and empowered every single participant to be an artist, and perform wonderfully in a circus show. Many of children are severely disabled with multiple conditions and yet each and every single one had a beautiful part in the 90min show. They were accompanied, assisted, cared and loved by teachers, other students and the objective was clear, to make each and every one “shine” no matter how strong or weak they were.

I think this is a most vital and important message we need to share and promote as the the Cardinal says, it shows how a society, a church, a family treats the least, littlest.

I encourage you have your eyes open for these the littlest and weakest this week and not get distracted by the message we tend to get all the more, that it’s all about honor and respect how we treat the greatest, most handsome or most influential around us.

Jesus also reminds us in Matthew; Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these you did to me.

Wishing a very blessed week!
Philemon

Monday Morning 27/2016

Is it really all about us?

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.
Ephesians 3: 20-21

Are you in a time of transition? Are some of the views you held dearly to now in doubt, have you realized that some of things you so firmly believed in, could have a new or other way to look at? You’re in good company!

As written in this verse above I just keep seeing it, hearing it, feeling it, it’s not about us, not “our” work within “us”.

It’s His or the “godly power” at work in us, HE can do far more abundantly! This is where I draw from, yes I am a vessel or a transceiver, I (my soul) can receive and transmit the communication, the power of God at work within me.

These thoughts help in transition, yes we change, we seek new, let loose of old, have more or this or less of that … but yes that is the one dimension – the here, the us, but there is so much more the other dimension, the spiritual part, that is not about us!

I wish you abundance in receiving and transmitting of His power this week!
Philemon

Monday Morning 28/2016

These last few mornings I’ve been praying this prayer:

Lord you have blessed me with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, difficult relationships,
so that YOU will live deep within my heart.
Lord bless me with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people
so that I will work for YOUR justice, equality and peace.
Lord God bless me with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war,
so that YOU will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.
And may you Lord bless me with a foolishness to think that I can make a difference in the world,
so that YOU will do the things which others tell me that cannot be done.
Author Unknown/warapunga

I wish you a great week!
Philemon

Monday Morning 29/2016

The seaman tells stories of winds, the shepherd his sheep, the traveler of his journeys, the theologian of methods and narratives …

An Anglican priest toured the Holy Land many years ago. One day on his travels, he saw several different groups of sheep converging together on a watering hole. As he watched the meeting, he thought to himself, “Now, there will be trouble. They’ll all get mixed up. The shepherds won’t like this.” But the sheep continued to come together, until they formed one big flock of sheep. They all looked a like–a big mass of white wool. “What will they do now?” the priest thought. “How will the shepherds ever separate them out?”

The priest was intrigued enough to stay for a while. And when the sheep had finished drinking, he was amazed at what he saw. Each shepherd gave out a cry. Each let go his unique call, and almost by magic, the sheep divided back into their original herds.

The next two weeks I am away from work and look forward to much rest, reading, inspiring moments in nature but also in listening to the unique call of THE shepherd. Like in John 10:3 …. the gatekeeper opens, the sheep hear His voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

I wish you good listening this week! … it may be a whispering, a wind, his guidance, his wisdom, peace, a deep sense of belonging, truth, being full of mercy, peace-loving, good fruit, a song, praise, confirmation, direction, a prayer, a dream …

Philemon

Monday Morning 30/2016 (a bit longer again today 2’175 words)

Yesterday I heard a great story, listening to a sermon of Bayless C. The greatest fear of the settlers going West through the Prairies was not depression or Indians or plagues but Prairie fires. There is a story of a settler and his family being trapped a fierce fire approaching and coming dangerously close to their wagon. To great astonishment of the family or clan, the settler took an incredible risk and set a new fire right behind them, resulting in them being circled by fire. As the greater of the two fires approached their wagon it came to the spot where the other little fire had consumed all and left only ashes behind. The fire couldn’t continue, therefore continued in another direction and the settler and his family were saved. If we go from here to Salvation we see that it’s not just about us individually escaping the devil, but it’s about being set free, being liberated from enslavement, being rescued from the power of darkness (fire) and being transferred into the Kingdom of God. The burnt passage was the escape route for the settlers and was proactively prepared. Or as Greg Boyed writes in God at war:

“Our part in being transferred (spiritual war), we proclaim Christ’s truth by praying it, speaking it and by demonstrating it. We are not to accept with resignation the evil aspects of our world as “coming from a father’s hand.” Rather, we follow the example of Jesus, and going forth with confidence that he has in principle already defeated his (and our) enemies, we are to revolt against the evil aspects of our world as coming from the devil’s hand. Our revolt is to be broad, as broad as the evil we seek to confront. Wherever there is destruction, hated, apathy, injustice, pain or hopelessness, whether it concerns God’s creation, a structural feature of society, or the physical, psychological or spiritual aspect of an individual, we are in word and deed to proclaim to the evil powers that be, “You are defeated.” As Jesus did, we proclaim this by demonstrating it.”

The bottom line, the second fire set by the settler could be seen as part of not accepting evil and the scorched land in between, the passage (Now and Not yet) leading to the new and coming Kingdom of God.

I wish you a great start into this week as you actively revolt the evil aspects of injustice, hatred and hopelessness, igniting “fires” around you!

Philemon

(Many thoughts today come from the “Christus Victor theory” as I look and review this approach with an emphasis that the work of Christ is first and foremost a victory over the powers which hold mankind in bondage: sin, death, and the devil.)
Monday Morning 31/2016

Good morning!

Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Proverbs 30:4-5

As we travel home from a fortnight with wind and sea, seeing and hearing the rise and fall or the low and the high of the tides, I am inspired by our God who holds the wind, the oceans and the tides in the palm of his hands.

The tide is a cosmic phenomenon. The moon has the greatest influence on the tides. The gravitational force from the moon causes a high water level on the side of the earth where the moon is at that moment. Less strongly, the moon pulls on the earth itself and even less forcefully on the water on the opposite side of the earth. In that way, a high water level, or rather a low earth level, is created on this side of the planet. It’s nature’s way of taking and giving back life to earth. It symbolizes God being sacred and divine then his working, living and creating in and through us.

Life with our creator is like a circle, represented in tides, in one new life giving way to another new life. God in creation is extravagant, all abundant, excessive, fantastic, ludicrous, implausible, extreme lavish …

all the more reason! …. to tap into his love, abundance, care, goodness even more, his boundless, unbroken, everlasting, unchanging, persistent and incessant grace this week!

stay blessed!
Philemon

Monday Morning 32/2016

My past week was filled with; a funeral, a wedding, visits to the hospital and then feeling my own weakness spending the weekend on the sofa with a fever.
In all the activities I had many a thought cross my mind. I’ll share some of my “brainwork” with quotes or verses I drew from!
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
On the commute to work I continued to read: How God became King of N.T. Wright “Truth is what happens when humans use words to reflect God’s wise ordering of the world and so shine light into its dark corners, bringing judgment and mercy where it is badly needed.”  Looking for quotes on leadership I came across Daniel Pink, thought it really fitted a few situations:

“Asking “Why?” can lead to understanding. Asking “Why not?” can lead to breakthroughs.”

Of course music wasn’t missing either, again accompanied by Lauren Daigle. This time her song “Wordless”
There isn’t any rush here So I’m just gonna wait on You And linger longer oh
Cause ev’rytime I find You I’m a little more undone When You come, when You come

I wish you a great start this Monday morning!
Inspiration will come as you ask for it, as you need it! As you have Him fill all of you, tune in to the various levels listen, hear, feel and become undone!

Stay blessed!
Philemon

Monday Morning 33/2016

Good morning friends,

A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist. Louis Nizer (1902–1994)

As I was watching a friend refurbish the flooring of the cafeteria we use for the social ministry I was amazed by result with the the new oil finish. But as much as I saw the floor that now looked better then new, I was also surprised to find how many similarities there are to the accompanying we do with people, their lives, their hearts.

He started by clearing out everything of the room, making space and removing the old waste. Then had to prep the floor, followed with sanding by machine, then came the sanding by hand into all edges and corners. Starting with coarse grit, changing the sandpaper once or twice then going over the entire floor again with a medium-grit sandpaper. After cleaning, came the first oil finish, to then sand again, to clean again, to go over the bad spots by hand, to then apply another finish. He applied the finish completely by hand with a soft rag. Every step took a few hours then came the time to let the finish dry, check, correct and go over the last spots.

It’s very exciting seeing people take the first big steps of change, coming to Christ, making good decisions, Yes! Yesterday we saw 17 baptized in our Sunday meeting. But on the long run I think what we do is much more like the craftsman who works with hands, brain and heart .. and of course Spirit, in a slow but lasting sprocess of change, very often taking much time to bring out the best of “old floors”, bringing them to new color, shine and their original purpose!

I wish you many blessed hours of craftsmanship this week!

Philemon

Monday Morning 34/2016

For weeks I have been avoiding the news of war in and around Syria. This week I took a short “glance”. It was just the day the picture of the five year old boy Omran Daqneesh, being carried out of the rubble after another awful bomb attack from Aleppo, was shown all over the media. I was not greatly moved, but also hurt by the picture, in all touched by the courage he showed. Following I quoted Ernst Hemingway;
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

In a humanistic way, yes suffering makes us strong, hard or even bitter. I don’t think that Omran had any time to think about that, but yes he survived and was discharged from the hospital 2 hours later and yes he was a “strong one” at a very broken place. … sadly his older brother and others didn’t make it. I thought of the doctors, the aid workers, the mothers, all the many living and helping there, all the many “strong” ones there, these five long, very long years of war.

I also think of many of you my friends, that are put in the midst of war, turmoil, poverty, sickness and are there to carry people out of the rubble, in a literal, a spiritual and a very practical way.

So many of you went, stayed or go to the hard places, there where the God seems absent or His promises have not broken through, there were so many need to be carried out of the rubble. I think of situations in Soweto, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kitale, Togo, Aleppo, Irak, Kabul, Accra, Switzerland, and many more.

I wish you God’s strength, His strong arms and His care as you are “strong” at the broken places.

Isaiah 43:19  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
In His grip
Philemon

Monday 35/2016

Good morning

This week I tried to read through the seemingly endless brochures and pamphlets of NGO’s, organisations and individual people writing wonderful stories of “lives changing”. In conclusion I then had a payment slip with an appeal, my few $$$ can change the world. I am moved my the stories, the need, the requests and the great and excellent work everyone is doing all over the world. But yes I am not completely content that this is about me, or just about my purse or my emotions.

One thing all the writers have in common is; generosity! They give their time, their homes, their security, their culture and surroundings and they go out to the most uncomfortable places to share and care.

“We do not give or share to have more, we are blessed to receive, to be able to give”. Mäth. B.

Yes, that is exciting, being generous is about the God using us to pass on and to share, it’s not about me, not about my personal situation, not about money, if I have a lot or little, no it’s about the principle of His Kingdom.

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I wish you a great week!

Philemon

Monday Morning 36/2016

This morning I read from Exodus 3:2
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.
God had been silent over the past 400 years to then speak directly to Moses from the burning bush ….

I also read that today the 05.09.1666 (350 years ago) The Great Fire of London gutted the medieval City of London. It consumed 13,200 houses, 70’000 homes , 87 parish churches even St Paul’s Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities. Only 6 deaths were verified. The fire was fed not merely by wood, fabrics, but also by the oil, pitch, coal, gunpowder stored at the riverside. It melted the imported steel at the wharves to melting point up to 1,480 °C. Just a year earlier, 1665 The Great Plague epidemic is believed to have killed a sixth of London’s inhabitants, and it is suggested that the fire saved lives in the long run by burning down so much unsanitary housing with their rats and their fleas which transmitted the plague, as plague epidemics did not recur in London after the fire.

As we know from our lives fire has so many different sides to it. The fiery bush back in Exodus is an icon of the divine window into God’s presence that both reveals and hides. In part, the ever-burning shrub out in the wilderness signals God’s merciful accommodation. God comes down from the mountain of God to meet Moses in the bush.

Yes the fire is burning all around us. (if we look at wars and famines and plagues or the fire of London 1666). What about the inextinguishable flame in us? Is that what is burning in us, and yet not consuming us?

May you be touched with the inextinguishable flame a sign of God’s awesome and powerful holiness, a fiery holiness that is both dangerous and attractive, frightening and comforting, untamed but reassuring.

Philemon

Monday Morning 37/2016

Good morning,

Are you a “jug” or a “riverbed”?

I think of the love of God as a great river, pouring through us even as the waters pour through our ravine at floodtime. Nothing can keep this love from pouring through us, except of course our own blocking of the river. Do you sometimes feel that you have got to the end of your love for someone who refuses and repulses you? Such a thought is folly, for one cannot come to the end of what one has not got. We have no store of love at all. We are not jugs, we are riverbeds.
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951 Irish missionary to India)

I like this quote, this approach and think it right for love as she writes, but I think it can be applied for far more, be it ministry, sharing, leadership and social work. We are riverbeds and make ourselves available. Yes, we can stop, slow down or block but in doing so we can’t store it or keep it to ourselves in any way. We just stop the flow, the river, the blessings and that which God wants to do through us.

It’s a hard learning, I would love to be able to draw from my own reservoir at times. On the other hand, to be able to tap into a river of ever fresh water, that’s a deal! Yes I prefer to be a riverbed then a jug!

Wishing you a great week!

Philemon

Monday Morning 38/2016

All a matter of perspective!

The Apollo 13 mission launches on a third mission to the moon on 11th of April 1970. The lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded, but the crew returned safely to earth 17th of April 1970. For the scientists, they weren’t successful, for the families of the crew they were .. they came home safe!

The dark side of the moon is a myth. In reality both sides of the Moon see the same amount of sunlight however only one face of the Moon is ever seen from Earth. The side facing away from Earth has only been seen by the human eye from spacecraft.

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. Hal Borland

Ecclesiastes 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning, and do not stop working until the evening; for you do not know which activity will succeed – whether this one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally.

what am I getting at today … a familiar topic of mine, a favorite actually! Don’t be distracted by what is just in front of you, you’re often not getting the whole picture, there is more, it’s deeper, it’s richer and it’s not the end either, even if it looks like all has failed or you think you are getting only the “dark side of the moon” you’re not!

Wishing you a blessed week as you sow the seed this Monday morning!
Philemon

Monday Morning 39/2016

This morning I’m putting Psalm 9, 29, and 99 into the blender.
I think I (we) need a good drink/blend of vitamins to start off this week!
Our King of all heavens is coming out of his chamber! He is trustworthy, wise, rejoicing, rising, perfect and revealing knowledge to those who have no words. He gives light to your eyes, forgives your hidden faults, you are more precious to him them gold, sweeter to him then honey! He answered Moses, Aaron, Samuel, yes all who called on his name, He will answer you! His voice is powerful, majestic, holy, it breaks cedars and thunders mightily over waters. He speaks by day in glory, bright as the sun, or by night from a pillar of cloud!
He reigns, He gives strength to you, and He blesses his people and nations with peace.
As you run your course like a champion he is rejoicing with every circuit you finish.
May these words of your mouth and this meditation of your heart be pleasing and blessed.
Blessed be the King, the ultimate champion!

Wishing many blessings and a good week!

Philemon

Monday Morning 40/2016

I feel safe and calm even in times of great crisis. K. Moser

Well done, good and faithful servant, Klara Moser-Steiner 16.05.1947 – 28.09.2016. This Monday afternoon we will conceal the “first” part of the life of my Mum and lay her to rest. This past Wednesday she parted onto the next journey to meet her Maker, as I was sitting with her in the solitude of her hospital room. It was a moment of deep, deep inner peace and utter stillness. In her journal I found a quote: “Stillness is an essential part to finding God.” As in her life she kept finding God – so also in her dying she started the journey with deep peace, stillness and finding God! Thank you all that I could share my personal bereavement with you this morning.

I wish you may moments of stillness this week, as you find God in your working, your sleeping, your washing, your waking, your travelling, your talking, your cooking, your sharing and caring!

Philemon

Monday Morning 41/2016

Upcycling – the reuse of objects or materials to create a product of higher value or quality than the original.

Our Heavenly Father, the ultimate “upcycler”! We all know situations where God upcycles, he takes situations that seem hopeless and turns them into something beautiful something so much better then we imagined. God he creates, recreates, repurposes our mistakes or difficult experiences to priceless treasures.

We got a rather nasty letter from our property management a while ago, stating the fact that many of the hedges around the houses in our neighbourhood had far outgrown the allowed height of 1.80 meter in size. As tenants we got into action to cut back the hedges and plants. Now a few weeks later we see how the plants sprout, new branches or leaves grow, and many of the plants are much nicer and healthier than before. “upcycling in nature”.

Yesterday I visited a beautiful spot in the Emmenthal called Chuderhüsi. It was a popular restaurant with a magnificent view of the Alps. After going bankrupt, a Christian organisation called El Rafa bought it and started an alcohol free restaurant. The five participants now running the house all have a long background in drugs and have successfully left that behind, to live and work together in a community. I would call this another great example of upcycling.

There are so many more examples of broken relationship becoming whole again. I think it’s time we get back to upcycling and getting away from throwing things away that look broken!

I wish you a great week – hopefully with many opportunities to upcycle!
Philemon

Monday Morning 42/2016
The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness hath not overcome it. John 1.5

This week I was abruptly caused to stop and pause as I came across the piece of “Yo Yo Ma’s” version of Gabriel’s Oboe. It’s so beautiful, it continues to take my breath away, it soothes and lingers long after it’s finished. The piece comes from the film set in the 1750’s, that involves Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel who enters the north eastern Argentina and western Paraguayan jungle to build a mission station and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity. The Guaraní community is not initially receptive to Christianity or outsiders in general. Father Gabriel travels to the falls, climbs to the top, and plays his oboe. The Guaraní warriors, captivated by the music of Father Gabriel and the Oboe, allow him to live!
Not by might, nor by power, but by “Ruach* yes, by breath, to blow like the wind, invisible, immaterial, and yet so incredibly powerful and inspired.

We speak works, we sing songs, we play tunes and we breathe in and breathe out the “Ruach” of our Maker and Creator. The words, songs, tunes are carried far, to the many corners of our homes, communities, churches, roads, shops, factories, open spaces, hills and fields and they shall not return void, they will accomplish what He desire’s and they will achieve the purpose for which they were sent out for.

He the creator will give you His Ruach this week as you ask of Him.

Philemon

just in case you want to listen in; three similar versions of the piece on youtube.


Monday 43/2016

Good morning,

Today my texts and quotes are inspired by Parker J. Palmer and his book A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey toward an undivided life.

“The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings” JP

On our journey of life, we’re often afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, so we hide our true identities from each other. I think it’s not the big conclusions, nor the “highs” on the mountaintops we climb, that get us to a new level. When we find to the “hidden wholeness” amid the violence of the storm, when we return to the original form of our soul, made by the Creator, because He never stops calling us back to our birthright integrity and identity.

Imbedded in these tensions of hope and despair, love and loss, highs and lows, an atmosphere of “truth” is created which discernibly becomes the path we take, the walk we undertake.

Wishing you a great week of “truth”.

Philemon

Monday 44/2016

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
St Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva

This a reoccurring theme in the life of Jesus, the life of many in the Bible, of many missionaries, pastors, spiritual leaders and mentors, as also in the life of Francis de Sales. Let’s look at this contradiction or why these opposites make sense. Strength; physical power, emotional toughness, a source of support, resistance, defensive ability, asset or quality, a degree of intensity, force or effectiveness, persuasive power. Gentleness; kindness, having a kind nature or manner, being moderate and mild in force, using little force. Friendliness, generosity, kindness …. The Word barely mentions our strength, mostly His strength looking at 3 verses: Psalm 18:35; Your right hand upholds me and Your gentleness makes me great. Deuteronomy 31; Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble for Adonai your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Mathew 5.5; Blessed are the gentle ones (meek) because they will inherit the earth (for the Kingdom of heaven is theirs) I see the quote we started off with, all the texts of strength and gentleness as nuggets of truth and am encouraged to draw from them. I conclude that it’s a Godly principle. Real strength, God’s interventions, our strength, all! strength comes from Him and from a place of gentleness.
Wishing you all a very good start to this week. May you overcome struggles, experience breakthroughs and let His strength be blessed on you as you act in gentleness!

Philemon

Monday 45/2016

Good morning friends,

“God helps those who help themselves is the story we are told. It’s all up to you, what you make of your life. I tell myself another story! God helps those who receive His grace and help themselves with interdependency!” So often it is the first part of the quote mentioned in our daily lives. We are even encouraged to it, with lines like; Yes, you can! If you really want, you can do it! Only if you work hard you’ll get rich and successful! etc. Yes, we need to give our best, work hard, improve and optimise our life. Sure! I think it’s only half the story, let’s look at the another half or perspective. All living things depend on their environment to supply them with what they need, including food, water, and shelter. Interdependence means mutual dependence, reciprocal dependency, or mutual reliance. It happens when two or more people rely on one another for their needs. Like in the church we’re an interdependent group of followers in need for one another. We read that abstaining from fellowship can even be of spiritual danger. Apostle Paul brings is right to the point in Philippians 4:13; “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” His grace is extended to us that we can do all things through Him who is in us and changes us from within. In contrast we have the co-dependency. Codependent people usually are out of balance. There is often an imbalance of responsibilities, anxiousness, resentment, feeling guilty and control that gives them a sense of being trapped or not free. Their codependency makes them insecure and threatens relationships. Paradoxically, interdependency requires the capability of autonomy, an essential ingredient of identity leading to the ability to function interdependently. Lives are intertwined, the sharing and taking of responsibilities. Interdependent relationships are experienced with much freedom in mutual respect, support and commitment. Yes, I think that is how God created us, interdependent with Him and with one another!

Wishing you a great Monday morning!

Philemon

Monday 46/2016 Good morning friends,

(Wow, my broadcast list has grown to 72, cool! Thanks for all the feedbacks. To unsubscribe just send unsubscribe to +41796835092)
“Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”.
This past week I’ve been confronted with alcoholism, the consequences it had on an individual and how it moved from generation to generation. It was followed by a great testimonial of the person now being “dry, clean, free” since April 2016! These eight months have had an incredible impact on health, family, life and the experience of the “hear and now” both physically and spiritually for the person mentioned. In some countries the alcoholism is hidden because it’s a shame and forbidden and in other counties the true problem is hidden because it is cool to be drunk or to drink a lot. In the “Big Book of AA – Alcohol Anonymous” the fifth step is regarded the key to freedom. After the fourth step where you’ve made a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself, you then move to the fifth step where you admit to God, to yourself and to others, the exact nature of your personal failure. Having dealt with what was found in the inventory, not kept these defects or failures inside, it leads you out to living clean and into new freedom of the here and now in an interdependence with God and no longer the alcohol. My friend Trevor mentioned last last week that in South Africa this interdependence is called Ubuntu; A person is a person through other persons.’ As Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes this perspective, “Ubuntu” ‘is not, “I think therefore I am.” It says rather: “I am a human because I belong. Or, humanity to others, ‘I am what I am because of who we all are! These thoughts touch me and make me take a personal inventory of many areas of my personal life, am I in this freedom in this Ubuntu and walking in it. Do I walk in the freedom and the interdependence with God and not the co-dependence I wrote about last week? I quote my thoughts as follows: I breath in God’s grace as I continue this journey called life, I feel the walk, I taste the sweet and sour, the blessings and hardships all around me. I am here now, I believe this is good, my journey it’s becoming stronger, seeking truth and always aiming for renewal. This is my journey, at times I walk alone, at times I walk with many, I walk with my family, friends and many brothers and sisters and yes I walk with God. Wishing you His freedom on your journey of faith and life this week! Philemon

Monday 47/2016
Good morning friends,
Listening to Anja Klug of the UNHCR at a conference yesterday, she mentioned the word resilience and was quoting Luthar: “the building of resilience, programming strength for the future”. The notion of resilience emphasizes that despite exposure to severe adversity, stress and turmoil, such as war, mass casualty, violence, or political oppression, often the bases for which refugees are forced to flee their homes, individuals and communities can demonstrate positive adaptation and a strong capacity to recover and even thrive! Resilience; the ability to spring back into shape, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. This is a long discussion but yes I have seen many, be it refugees or people out of severe poverty of hopeless situations “springing back”. One thing that reoccurs is by creating an environment essential in in which both setbacks and successes are treated as positive learning experiences. Leaders can create a constructive environment by breaking down social and barriers engaging openly admitting their mistakes and perhaps surprisingly, avoiding giving out either praise or blame. The bible gives us lots of words for creating this environment: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed! Consider it pure joy, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect! I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 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 your paths straight. Somehow the topic of interdependence blends in again, as in the last two messages. Resilience cannot be created alone, the environment, the setting, the priorities, God in the center, this sets the stage for the success or ability to “spring back”.

Wishing you strength this week as you create the environment for others, or others for you, to “spring back” and recover and thrive!

Philemon

Monday 48/2016

Good morning and many greetings from Ouagadougou/Burkinabé.

A whole bunch of thoughts go through my mind and fingers as I write with the Sahel heat of the day turning into a very warm evening breeze. I was about to write on contradictions, no I am completely unsatisfied with the word, it’s far too simple and doesn’t get it right! So many things are not contradictions but divergence. “Divergence a difference in the way that two or more things develop from the same thing”. Or other descriptions could be; variance, polarity, contrast, shift, wandering, alteration … doesn’t that open a complete new window! Let’s look at 3 quotes: 1. Ce qui est difficile est bon, le facile n’a pas de profit. Mossi proverbe du Burkinabé. “That which is difficult is good, the easy won’t bring you a benefit” 2. Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat. A Lorde. 3. Psalm 117 … God changed rivers into desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, fruitful land into a salty waste ….. then He changed the desert into pools of water, arid land into springs of water, and settled the hungry there; they built a city to live in. They sowed fields and planted vineyards, brought in an abundant harvest. God blessed them, and they increased greatly, and their livestock did not decrease. Not everything that looks like a contradiction is one, could it be divergence instead, a developing of opposites? God is a God that creates, makes, remakes, remodels, causes the impossible, let’s polarity be of benefit, makes a way where there is none, yet at times, lets us wait and wander. Of apparent opposing situations in your life, let a radical divergence of extremes find reconciliation as they dare to dance! Have a very blessed week! Philemon

Monday 49/2016

Good morning from Adidodian @Lomé Togo. I was greatly blessed this weekend and there is so much to write … but one topic has taken me by surprise; fear, great caution or the contrary, immense feeling of being blessed not having to fear. The issue is covered up quite well, there are many dangers around but you need to overlook them to a certain degree to cope well, as I have seen and heard in many hours of talks and sharing this past week. The accidents and the sicknesses around …. every family has a story. Recently I had the treat of a swim. The situation was boiling down between mother son (3-4years old) If he would not go in the water she would never return to the pool, she had paid money and a teacher to teach him to swim … I watched and watched and finally couldn’t watch no more! So I asked if I could give him a try. I went in the water and and asked him to follow! He screamed, shivered and was gripped by more fear more before! So we talked, we played, we talked of the fear, the water, the endless depth. His huge fear was to fall and not to be picked up! (we’ve heard that one in counselling!), and he had fallen in the big pool a while ago and took a while for someone to get him out, as his Mum then shared. Every 5min I asked if he was ready, we splashed and played as he sat on the edge of the pool. We splashed so hard even the mum started to get wet. I was in the water, showed him how I float, how I I didn’t sink, I swam and we communicated and built trust. After 20 minutes he came in! Wow! He gripped me like a monkey as I promised not to let him go! Another another 20 minutes! he started to play and swim with me as we went up and down the pool! He never let go, nor did I having promised not to let him go! How much do we trust HIM not to let us go, even through the deep water, not to let us fall even though we don’t see end of the depth! Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Wishing you all a great week! Philemon

Monday 50/2016

I had an extraordinary chance to meet the King of Achim on the evening the president elect: Nana Akufo-Addo was announced as winner of the elections in Ghana. Yes, the king Achim of an eastern region received us at his home. We talked about his passion to change the country through education and ecological issues and further had the pleasure of meeting his wife. The joy was then immense when the announcement of the winning of his favourite candidate and party NPP was announced after many many hard years of passionate political activity. All us three visiting were impressed, he didn’t sit on his throne but in his lounge, further all my “worries” of visiting the king unannounced in my simple shorts and shirt instead of suit and tie, vanished. I like the analogy – let’s look at our King and His Kingdom again this morning. Our King is described so well in the Beatitudes. Our God sends in the meek, the mourners those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s justice, the peacemakers and so on. As we are serious about being under God’s reign, then our faith will influence all realms of society. Jesus the King has in mind to have the rulers of the world reconciled, to bring God’s wise order as we live in “God’s new World” and wait for the final act of God. We as Church do stand in contrast to the world seeming to run out of control. The king I visited demonstrated that well, his kingdom is at times very insignificant and yet he acts and speaks in authority and does not tire to bring change to this country in all the means and influence he has. NT Wright wrote so well – I quote; “we are working with God to draw heaven to earth as we partner with Gods renewal of all things”! Our life, our connectedness to our King and the Church does really matter! I wish you a great week as you “draw heaven to earth” in your daily life, ministry and work. Philemon

Monday Morning 51/2016

A new broom sweeps well, but the old broom knows all the corners. African
One afternoon I was visiting a little “project” or a “Mini Resto” as they say, in a neighborhood of Lomé called “Amadahome”. As there were no customers yet and it was time to prepare for the evening, I suggested I would help with some practical work. Immediately the owner had an idea, that I could sweep the front place where the eight tables were being set up. I grabbed the broom, yes that was easy I thought and started sweeping, but oh, very much to the amusement of all around. I smiled, looked around and asked what was so funny! “Well well … you don’t move like you should move to sweep, either you take all the dust with you, or you miss half of the trash, further you can’t sweep with a straight back, you need to bend over a little, yes … even here it’s about the way you move! (the last was not said!) In regard to age, I was more the “old broom” but in regard to the sweeping I was the new broom and didn’t know the corners! A broom also can’t sweep by itself, someone who is well instructed needs to pick it up and use it appropriately. The Bible reminds us in Proverbs 19:20 to: Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. We’re never to old, neither too new to learn and accept instructions. As we then looked at some principles of the small business loan, prices, equipment, refrigeration, storage, security, dining area, sound and lighting, accessibility to customers and much more, the atmosphere of learning had been created through the little lesson of sweeping I had received. By the end of this week we’ll all be celebrating Christmas, we might think of it, as I thought I could sweep! Don’t we all know what it’s about, is there really something still to learn about Christmas? Often we think or hope of Christmas as a time of perfect peace and harmony and joy … but I’m reminded that the first Christmas was full of interruptions, actually it was THE INTERRUPTION par excellence!
Maybe this coming Christmas we might encounter interruptions, actually it could be HIS way of calling us and reminding us that it’s about His story, the story of the King returning and reclaiming his “terrain”, approaching us to return our story to His story. Wishing you many good interruptions and encounters this week! Philemon
22/12/2016, 23:05 – Boris Eichenberger’s security code changed. Tap for more info.
26/12/2016, 08:57 – warapunga: Warapunga:
Monday Morning 52/2016 Unwrapping Christmas and wrapping up 2016. During the Christmas days we wrap and un wrap gifts, then wrap ourselves in the stories of baby Jesus coming, further we fill our cathedrals with the hope and promise of Jesus our King reclaiming ground and re-establishing His Kingdom. Sometimes we also get wrapped up in all that is happening around us, in our homes, our families, our countries, the conflicts and wars, then we seek the equilibrium or the perfect balance. But, we find the reality to be more of a disequilibrium or an imbalance. Yes, this year what we saw and heard, be it personally, socially, politically or spiritually, was more of a dynamic equilibrium. So much change, many lives transformed and changed, but we also saw the other, with many reactants of the opposite side. My hope, I believe and trust, is that the concentration and the quality is no longer equal, yes, for sure it has increased! The promise and prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7 is being accomplished! “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this!” I wish you a happy and blessed week as you unwrap, wrap-up, refocus, launch and set in motion for 2017! Philemon

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