What’s your tweet?

Chapter 45

Good Monday Morning to this week 46 of 2020

John 11:35 – “Jesus wept.”

Many of us have been following tweets sent out in the last days and weeks. Here a few nice ones from #realbibletweets

❦Andrew – A storm’s coming toward our boat & we FORGOT TO BRING JESUS!!! #doomed
❦Philip – Get bread for 5,000 men? Sure, Jesus. Good thing I have a wheat field in my pocket. #sheesh
❦Mark – The look on Peter’s face when he took 2 steps on water & then started to sink? #priceless.
❦Moses – Thought for sure “Thou shalt not be a jerk” was gonna make the Top Ten.
❦Jesus – The Baptists are going to HATE my first miracle. #IKnowTheFuture
❦God – Every week, I’m reminded that the best idea I ever had was making everyone take a day off. #RestIsVeryGood
❦Jabez – Said a little prayer, & out of the blue I get a surprise delivery of a gigantic tent! #PrayAndReceive
❦Peter – Crushed it. #OneSermonThreeThousandConverts
❦Mary – I know every mom thinks her kids are perfect, by my 1st born son really is perfect. Like, divine without sin perfection. #boom
❦Gideon – Put fleece out 3rd time. No dew anywhere. Just a message written in the sand: Don’t push your luck.
❦Lazarus – Guess I can throw away this YOLO shirt. #youonlyliveonce #livingtwice
❦Peter – Jesus wants us to stay awake while he prays. This from the man who slept through a storm!
❦Noah – I can’t help but get a little bit nervous every time it starts raining.
❦Jesus – Love singing praises with my disciples… but I still sometimes secretly hum “How Great Is Our God.” #IKnowTheFuture
❦Paul – Whenever things get boring, I like to toss out a resurrection question then sit back & watch the Pharisees & Sadducees go at it.
❦RichYoungRuler – Luckily, I’m rich enough to build a gigantic needle that camels can run through. #boom
❦Eve – Adam thinks he’s soooo funny asking me to bake an apple pie.
❦Moses – To this day, I refuse to carry anything in a basket or ride on a raft.
❦God – I gave Jesus the keys ❦Satan. He can walk in your place any time he wants.
❦Peter – Greatest. Comeback. EVER! #MyJesus
❦ShepherdSam – Hearing angelic choir? Priceless. Having that beautiful tune stuck in my head ever since? Driving me insane.
❦Jesus – Please stop tweeting end time questions at me. I PROMISE I DO NOT KNOW THE DAY OR HOUR!
❦Solomon – “To everything there is a season. Now is the time to heal!”

What is your tweet this week?

Wishing a blessed week!

Soli Deo gloria

Chapter 44

Good Monday Morning to this week 45 of 2020

Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone!

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:2) is the Spirit emptying the heart of self that Christ may fill it: it is a sense of need and destitution. A. W. Pink

According to Philip Melanchthon, 31 October 1517 was the day German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Historians and other experts on the subject argue that Luther may have chosen All Hallows’ Eve on purpose to get the attention of common people, although that has never been proved.

The five solae (from Latin, sola, lit. “alone”; occasionally Anglicized to five solas) of the Protestant Reformation are a foundational set of principles held by theologians and clergy to be central to the doctrine of salvation. More recently, certain scholars have suggested that there should be additional solas on the list: Sola ecclesia (“the Church alone”), Sola caritas (“Charitable-love alone”) and Sola Spiritus (In the “Spirit alone”).

Soli Deo gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God alone. It has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, the Baroque composer wrote the initials “S. D. G.” at the end of all his church compositions and also applied it to some, but not all, his secular works to signify that the work was produced for the sake of praising God. As a greeting, it was used by monks in written communication. As a doctrine, it means that everything is done for God’s glory to the exclusion of mankind’s self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God’s glory and not their own.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen Romans 11:36

God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel pleasure and work of Another – God alone.” – Martin Luther

Wishing you a week “Soli Deo gloria” with this quote:

I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.
Charles H. Spurgeon


Faithful Wounds

Chapter 43

Good Monday Morning to this week 44 of 2020

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27.6

We just about all knows Cory Asbury as the guy who sings “Reckless Love”
Remember the lyrics with “leaving the 99”:

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah”

Yesterday evening I heard the song “Faithful Wounds” on a livestream and it truly got me by surprise. We’re so used to the smashing hits coming out, packed with hope songs, upbeat texts. Then comes an album packed with deep, thoughtful songs as if not caring for this previous mega-hit or much for his record company as a whole.

Fair warning: this album is not for the weak of heart. To Love a Fool is packed with heavy and raw emotion about encountering God, biblical truths and the messiness sin. The lyrics are not sugar coated  paired with an upbeat poppy sound to make it seem like a happy-go-lucky kind of life; they are honest, and hard to hear sometimes. Of course there is the everlasting truths of God that are more positive and inspiring painted throughout as well, but there is plenty of real-life grit within these stories too.

Let’s look at the lyrics:

Vers 1
God I’m wrestling with the way then again, again
I am patience, a disease, in this cage from mice and men
They say “Boy you better keep running” but this place I can’t sustain
But my head knows to trust you but the heart of me is slain

Faithful are the wounds of a friend
Faithful are the dealings of your hand
The troubles and the trials like the gold refining fire
Faithful are the wounds of a friend

Vers 2
God these questions, that just won’t leave me alone, alone, alone
Will this crushing ever end?
Or is this ache now my home?
Am I a prisoner of hope? But just the warden of my pain
When my head knows to trust you but the heart of me is slain

Chorus 2
And faithful are the wounds of a friend
Faithful like the tides pulled by your hand
I’ve learned to piece the wage that pushed my soul into a cage
Faithful are the wounds of a friend

“Faithful Wounds” a very impactful songs. It’s a cry out to God with the reminder that these trials, tribulations and sufferings we encounter in this life are necessary for our growth and sanctification. It also is a reminder that Jesus endured the wounds of the cross to save me and you from our sins and offer us eternal life in the love of Christ.

Songs overflowing with sensitive topics, it seems like the right way to go. Thank you Cory Asbury for not shying away from the tougher and messier things we do experience, feel, think and do, as well as look at the not so pretty parts of ourselves too. It’s very refreshing to hear something so raw, open a dare and convicting shared on an album.

Wishing you a open and honest dialog with God this week!


Ps: The Youtube Link to the Song: https://youtu.be/nrO-2RRkLEQ

Lectio Divina

Chapter 42

Good Monday Morning to this week 43 of 2020

Deuteronomy 11:18 : “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

This week we were blessed with an aged person at our home. She keeps repeating verses of all ranges of culture and home and even scripture. When I was young we were also taught quite a few rhimes and bible verses as well and it’s interesting to see how the mind can memorize it for many, many years up into high age.

One way I came across: A prayer method for reading and praying with the Bible:
“Lectio Divina”

Lectio divina is broken down into the following steps named in Latin:

Lectio (reading)
Meditatio (meditation)
Oratio (prayer)
Contemplatio (contemplation)
Actio (action)

Each of these steps together form a process by which we encounter God in his sacred word and respond to his grace. 

Lectio (Reading)

We understand what the passage we are reading says in itself. At this stage we do not yet consider our own lives in connection with the Scriptures. We do not let our opinions influence our reading, but seek to understand the message of the passage.

Meditatio (Meditation)

In the meditation phase of lectio divina, we ask, what does this text say to me, today, and to my life? We allow God to pull up certain memories of people, places, and events in our lives that relate to the passage we are reading. Meditation is also an opportunity to see ourselves in the text. In this way we come to a deeper appreciation of how God is working in our lives through the word. Having entered into the story ourselves, we can return to the present and consider the areas in our own lives that God is calling us to contemplate.

Oratio (Prayer)

Through a meditation on Scripture, we experience an intimate encounter with God that leads us to respond in prayer. Having met our Lord in His word, we courageously speak to him in our own words. In this way we consider prayer to be a simple conversation with God. This conversation that comes in various forms: we ask petitions or requests, maybe intercession, we give him thanks, and we give him praise.

Contemplatio (Contemplation)

A true encounter with the Lord always leads to transformation. Indeed, the Lord God proclaimed, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Through contemplation we come to an understanding of the parts of our lives that need to be transformed by God’s grace. We humble ourselves and open our lives up to his transformative power. At this step in the lectio divina process, we ask ourselves: What conversion of the mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me? 

Actio (Action)

Finally, although this phase is often not considered to be a part of lectio divina proper, it is an essential result of the encounter with God and His word. We do well to remember that the process of lectio divina is not concluded until it arrives at action (actio), which moves the believer to make his or her life a gift for others in charity. Having received God’s love and grace, we go forth to serve others out of the love we have been given. These acts are done out of the inspiration we receive from the acceptance in faith of God’s love.

Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6: 21-22

Wishing you a blessed week as you draw from this rewarding Source.

We grow

Chapter 41

Good Monday Morning to this week 42 of 2020

You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. Jeremiah 12:2

God comes nearer to the hearts of His people.

By God’s nearness we understand not His omnipresence (that neither comes nor goes), nor His love to His people (that abides), but the sensible, sweet manifestations and outlets of it to their souls. John Flavel

We grow
Our sincere souls are sensible to God’s accesses to them in our duties, we feel His approaches to our spirit. Our hearts fills apace, the empty thoughts swell with a fulness of spiritual things, which strive for vent.

We grow
Sensible of God’s withdrawment from our spirits; we feel how the ebb follows the flood, and how the waters abate.

We grow
The Lord’s nearness to out hearts, is evident from the effect that it leaves upon our spirit. For look, as it is with the earth and plants, with respect to the approach or remove of the sun in the spring and autumn, so it is here as God speaks.

We grow
With the taste of the joy of the Lord, given to us with the fullness of His Spirit.

We grow
With a mighty strength and power coming into our soul, actuating all its faculties and graces. When God comes near, new powers enter the soul especially to the feeble the the example of King David all so often in Psalms.

We grow
By a remarkable transformation and change of Spirit following. The sight of God, the felt presence of God, is as fire, which quickly assimilates what is put into it, to its own likeness.

We grow
With a vigorous working of the heart heavenward; a mounting of the soul upward.

We grow
By a glimpse of God’s presence, going down to our hearts? Oh, how unutterable, then, must that be which is seen and felt above, where God comes as near to man as can be!

Wishing you this, His nearness and presence this week.


Grace in God-forsaken places

Chapter 40

Good Monday Morning to this week 41 of 2020

Last week I got a message with some very disturbing lines of hardship and trouble. Ending the message the question was raised and ended the conversation abruptly:

Has God forgotten us?

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Psalm 10.1

Why do You stand afar off, O LORD?  Here, the psalmist asked a question well known to those who follow God: the concern, the anxiety, over the seeming inactivity of God. The psalmist felt that God was afar off and did even hide in times of trouble.

or in Mark 5:

If we ever wonder how bad it can get, how lonely, how divided, how isolated and separated we can become, this passage in Mark’s gospel paints the picture in haunting detail:

The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 

Brendan Busse, an Jesuite writes:

The poorest places of our world are never so poor as to be truly God-forsaken, but they have certainly been desecrated. The real scourge of poverty is not about being God-forsaken as much as having been desecrated by systems and structures, personal and social sins of violence, exclusion, and exploitation. The sanctity of life is damaged or denied by a lack of compassion and care. What God created in his goodness we have desecrated in callousness and cruelty.

In Mark 5.9: Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

God-forsaken places don’t exist and God-forsaken people even less so. You only have to visit to know that this is true. Walk into those places and up to those people and simply ask, “What is your name?” And the forsaken will be returned to themselves, the human family made a little more like what God intended. The many become one, with not a single person abandoned in self-harm or isolation, but rather something more like a family reunited, like a lost child returned home.

One way to walk out of the “God forsaken places” he further writes:
In God-forsaken place’ we do simple things – simple verbs are the heart of the matter: We share, we accompany, we collaborate.

I wish you a week full of hope and care for those feeling “God forsaken”.


Absent Amens

Chapter 41

Good Monday Morning to this week 40 of 2020


The sanctuary was empty after M. had finished preaching, this a new normal for preaching during the pandemic, one pastor from a big church writes about the absence of the Amen.

“I have had some of the most powerful times of worship preaching in a sanctuary with no people,” he said. Preaching without a congregation became “an undistracted offering to God” without the temptation “to respond to what I’m seeing in the pew.”

There is a story of a meeting between two converts to Christianity, perhaps an Indian
and a Pacific Islander-one of whom was reading in his own tongue the
Christian Scriptures. Communication between them was impossible, till
one of them thought of summing up his mental attitude with an exclamation” Hallelujah,” whereupon the other at once heartily replied ” Amen.” The Hebrew expressions had, of course, been naturalized in both languages.

The word “Amen.” The fundamental idea is “stability, steadfastness, reliability.” “Amen”,
in the Arabic , “safe, secure,” while in Hebrew “Amen” an indeclinable particle meaning verily, truly, so be it, a strong agreement or confirmation with/of something.

In the Old Testament. The first thing that strikes one about the use of
“Amen” in the Old Testament is mostly Exilic or Post-Exilic.

Benaiah, replies: “Amen Yahwe the God of my lord the king say so too! “
Jeremiah says to Hananiah: “Amen! Yahwe do so!” and “Amen Yahwe ”
Nehemiah tells us that the “congregation” pledged itself in the matter of the poor brethren by a solemn “Amen”
Tobias and Sarah were left alone he prayed, and at the end of his prayer
“she said with him, Amen
Gabael prayed and blessed Tobias, all who were present said, “Amen”

Jeremiah replies to the word” that came to him from Yahwe in the phrase:
“Amen Yahwe ” In this cases “Amen” is a kind of conversational particle, and stands by itself, prefixed to an exclamatory sentence, expressing a wish, ” So be it!”
In the later literature the “Amen” tends to become more and more liturgical

Rabbi Jose tells us that “Amen” has three powers:
1. Acceptance
2. Acquiescence (consent, approval)
3. The secret of “Amen” God, the faithful King”

If “Amen” was in common use outside of the temple, and especially in the synagogues,
it would naturally be retained by the early Christians. At all events, I Cor. I6 shows that it was in liturgical use in the days of the Apostles as a well-known formal
response of the whole congregation. In one place in the “Amen” does occur
and is immediately preceded by Maranatha. This naturally calls to mind the “Amen” as in “Come Lord Come”

German kings and emperors early began to append “Amen” to the introduc-
tory and concluding formula of state documents.

By a rather strange fate, however, this word, which, as we have seen,
originally invariably stood at the head of a sentence, is now
also frequently used in the sense of the very last of any
matter in hand. H. W. HoaGG

Could it be that Covid-19 is bringing the “Amen” back to the beginning
of our thoughts and preaching with a refocusing of God-centered speeches? In any case it need not be absent, not in our prayer, not in our speeches, not in our daily lives not even in all that we are challenged to read see and listen “online” during this pandemic.

Wishing you a blessed week!



Ever tried 2,000-year-old Dates?

Chapter 40

Good Monday Morning to this week 39 of 2020

A while ago a friend travelled back from Tel Aviv and brought us some dates to the office. What a delicious taste. Dates, Khurma, Dátil, Tamar… This tasty fruit has a lot of names in different countries and comes from one of the most vicious plants in nature. It’s a vital food source for people living across the Middle East and North Africa. And the trees bearing it have been growing alongside some of the world’s most ancient rivers for thousands of years. Although the date palm, with its lush, sweet fruit, is even more than that.

A 100-grams serving of dates provides these nutrients: Calories: 277, Carbs: 75 grams
Fiber: 7 gramsm Protein: 2 grams, Manganese: 15% of the RDI, Potassium: 20% of the RDI
Magnesium: 14% of the RDI, Iron: 5% of the RDI, Copper: 18% of the RDI, Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI, Rich in Fiber beneficial for controlling blood sugar, also an excellent source of antioxidants ….

back to the report I saw this week …. Nir Hasson | Sep. 14, 2020 | 6:01 AM

Ever tried 2,000-year-old dates? Now you can, thanks to these Israeli researchers. Researchers celebrate – and sample – the first fruit of palm trees germinated from ancient seeds from the Judean desert

On Friday, an unusual ceremony was held on a hilltop overlooking the Old City in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood. It included the Jewish Sheheheyanu prayer recited on momentous occasions, as well as the traditional offering and tithing ceremony. At the heart of the ceremony was a small package of dates.

But these weren’t ordinary dates. They were the first dates to ripen from date palms grown from seeds that are more than 2,000 years old. Over the past 15 years, a project has been underway in Israel’s southern Arava region to revive ancient species of date palms germinated from seeds found at archaeological digs in the Judean Desert.

In 2005, a preserved 2000-year-old seed sprouted. It is the oldest verified human-assisted germination of a seed (the claim in 2012 of a 32,000-year-old arctic flower involved fruit tissue rather than a seed. The palm, a male tree named Methuselah, was about 1.5 metres tall in June 2008, by November 2011 it was 2.5 metres high. As of February 2020, Methuselah had reached 3.5 meters

Deuteronomy 8.8 (KJV)
A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

2. Chronicals 31:5
As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.

There is a blessing on bringing the first fruit as written in Proverbs 3:9-10
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

God, El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty, our all-sufficient and all-powerful sustainer who triumphs over every obstacle and all opposition. Not only is God the source of our provision and but also of our needs, but he can bless that provision too.

In the case of bringing the dates as first fruit we see the enriching blessing it brings to those that eat and enjoy them!

Wishing you a great week with all the provisions available.


Unmasking Hope

Chapter 39

Good Monday Morning to this new week 38 of 2020

For many of us, these are very confusing times. We’re challenged to constantly choose the lens we look through life and hope with.

“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” – C.S. Lewis

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 5:1 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

1. Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”

We live in a fast-paced, instant gratification oriented society. Complex ideas, thoughts and emotions have been compressed into megabytes. We have become fairly incapable of assimilating large chunks of information and constructing our own complex thoughts, feelings and opinions. We are at the mercy of rapid-fire newsfeed to shape our perception of reality. The result of this is desensitization toward important issues and sadly, individuals. It’s so easy to throw out statements like “ It’s been 19 years since 9/11, they should be getting over it!” and “That homeless guy could just get a job if he really wanted to.” This compresses an individual’s life journey into one judgment. We don’t want the discomfort, and we don’t want to take the time to understand complicated societal, political and human issues that allow us to honestly address a person’s misfortune or life situation.

The Soul’s Conflict with Itself, as written in Psalm 42:5 that is exactly what you have, the soul arguing with itself, preaching to itself. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God!”

Eric Christiansen made the film “Unmasking Hope” and quotes: We need society to rise up and tell their stories, change starts in the heart. What lens do we choose to look through, to not only see ourselves?
Unmasking Hope chronicles the extraordinary stories of trauma survivors who know of their spiritual, physical and emotional pain. From survivors of 9/11 and mass shootings, the film goes behind their masks to experience the abuse, social stigma, and moral injury that have scarred their souls.  Taken on their journey from seclusion to inclusion, we realize that the aggregate stories of these brave individuals share a powerful message of HOPE, inspiring us to unMASK hope and be who we were born to be.

The Soul’s Conflict with Itself, as written in Psalm 42:5 that is exactly what you have, the soul arguing with itself, preaching to itself. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God!”

As CS Lewis put’s it “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

Psalm 33:22  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Wishing you a blessed with this perspective of Hope!



Chapter 38

Good Monday Morning to this new week 37 of 2020

The story of Elijah has some of this in it – the unrivaled God. In 1 Kings 18 …. He answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore have all Israel assemble for me at Mount Carmel, with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.

it goes on ….
Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.’ All the people answered, ‘Well spoken!’ Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, 

then came the test ….
So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice, and no answer. 

now it was Elijah’s turn ….
Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come closer to me’; and all the people came closer to him. First he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down; Elijah took twelve stones …

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.’

God is unrivaled!

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1. 20

God is unrivaled!

His deity; divinity; divine nature, or essence. The word is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. The truth of the unrivaled God, His supremacy, or supreme divinity of God, was exhibited in the works of creation, or that he was exalted above all creatures and things.

If he wasn’t unrivaled … God would be

common, commonplace, comparable, imitable, indistinctive, matchable, equal, equivalent equal, comparable, matched, paralleled ….

God is unrivaled!

He possesses unrivaled influence, His movement is lead with much grace and dignity, His Kingdom is advancing with mastery. Jesus son of God, man of courage and decision also unrivaled in his humility and approach to the suffering and needs of this earth, He takes on this great challenge of Earth one step at a time and advances with unrivaled tact and vigor.

God is unrivaled!

Wishing you a great week as you join in with the steps of this unrivaled God.