I have long wanted to write a fiction story, but I couldn’t find a credible plot. But now I had the first paragraph of what would become the book, “Shemayin”. I had the first idea, but it didn’t have that title, nor a story line, nor any characters – yet!
Imagine the burning bush as a reflection of Moses. Imagine the burning bush as a reflection of you.
The ultimate Christian hope is bodily resurrection in a renewed Earth, but ideas originating in Platonism and Gnosticism have led many believers into a watered-down hope – the prospect of an eternity as disembodied souls in a non- material “heaven”.
Jesus in the Wilderness
Jesus began his ministry following his encounter with John the Baptist. The four Gospels are unanimous about that, and it’s an easy story to understand. But the next story, whilst familiar, is much harder to comprehend. We are presented with a picture of God incarnate in a head-to-head debate with the Devil. What’s happening here?
Jesus stilled the storm. It’s a well-known story that's usually told to show how powerful Jesus was. But the story starts from a quite different perspective. As he boards the boat, there’s a little phrase in the story that we can easily miss. It says that the disciples took Jesus “as he was”.
I don't recall ever hearing a sermon based on Philemon, and I probably wouldn’t have started this study but for a question from a friend.
Glory to Glory
Most of us mess up occasionally, and it’s natural to feel embarrassed about it. We may chide ourselves for our mistakes, but it’s not those fleeting moments of self criticism that worry me. My concern is for people who continually put themselves down – and especially those who think that’s what God expects of them. It does no honour to the Gospel to declare ourselves “miserable sinners” after we have received salvation – and it’s bad for our mental and spiritual health.
As we grow older, consider this – it’s OK to leave footprints that people may choose to follow, but it's not OK to leave holes that people will feel obliged to fill. That’s the difference between management and leadership. It’s the difference between commanding and inspiring. It’s the difference between taking and giving.
The Prodigal Run
The Prodigal Son's father as viewed by the Son. What does it FEEL like to be forgiven when you know you've really messed up?
The spiritual life is characterised as a walk - why is that? And what does it entail?