1. Boldness & prayer, Acts 4:23-31

    23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

    “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
        and the peoples plot in vain?
    26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
        and the rulers were gathered together,
        against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

    27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

    Acts 4:23-31

    The believers pray for boldness.  

    And I am left in amazement: how often I forget to pray with other believers.  Prayer is not something that should be left to leadership behind church doors.  Believers pray for boldness.  This is inclusive — all who believe in Christ pray. 

    Yes, prayer is work.  Prayer takes time and effort.  When praying with others, prayer requires unity of purpose and direction.

    But look at the fruits of prayer…

    31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

    Filled with the Holy Spirit, moved & unified, speaking with boldness.  These are the fruits of prayer. 

    The question I must raise for myself is — how long have I been praying for something individually that needs corporate prayer?  And, what have I not been praying for at all? 

    Lord, boldness — first to gather with others and pray.  Second to the ends of the earth. Reveal to us the first step we need to take. Amen. 

     

  2. Thoughts waking up - 1 John 1:9

    This morning I woke up and it occurred to me that:

    1. The twenty three books in the New Testament that are not the four gospels are to be informative and demonstrative of how the church was formed, where our hope lies, and how to live the Christian life. 

    2. These twenty three books are just as relevant to the Christian as the gospels, but we must reflect on what is taught by Christ as normative action and contrast that to situational norms due to geographical or demographical challenges.  In so we will find the best action in our life to walk out.

    This is not to say the teach of Christ can be changed based on location or former beliefs.  But just as Jews and Gentiles required a different approach to understanding the Gospel, we so have tailored out understanding to times or locations — we should then reflect on Christ’s teaching to get to the most pure point of action in this context.

    3. There is huge comfort in 1 John 1:9

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    He forgives us everything. Wow.

     

  3. Your joy may be full if… John 15:9-11

    Abide.

    As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:9-11
     

  4. Feed on my flesh and drink my blood, John 1, 6

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

    John 6:53-56

    And what is Christ?

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    John 1:1-5

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 1:14

    Consume the Word.

     

  5. Featherweight, John 3:9, 4:23-24

    The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    John 3:8

    Oh to be like this!  To know the Spirit and to be as light as a feather.  Lifted and carried to our daily purpose, preforming His will. 

    But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

    John 4:23-24

    And we will worship in the Spirit with truth. 

     

  6. Blessed

    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)
    Blessed is the man.
     

  7. Reflecting on my father’s life I better understand the man who me was. He was selfless in the way he provided for his family.  He always wanted the best for them — even at the cost of his own opportunities or time.

    In his final days he needed a lot of care. I realize, now, that this was not selfishness, but a fact of the disease. His saying, “You need to be gentle with me, you need to pay attention to me,” was not a selfish desire, but a requirement within the care he needed.  And still he would suffer bodily discomfort and emotional drain to work around our schedule and needs.  Was he forced to suffer by our own selfishness and incorrect order of things? Yes. But this is all the more a reflection of Christ in his life and the brokenness in ours. 

    I very much want to adopt this model of selflessness, a reflection of Christ brought to light through my father.

     

  8. Put on the imperishable, immortal, 1 Corinthians 15:53

    For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

    1 Corinthians 15:53

    For this perishable mind must put on the imperishable, and this mortal mind must put on immortality.

    For this perishable heart must put on the imperishable, and this mortal heart must put on immortality.

    And with immediacy. 

     

  9. Stay awake and pray

    And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

    And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

    Luke 22:39-40, 44-46

    This is pertinent in every moment.

     

  10. New York City, Habakkuk 2:1-3

    It’s funny how sometimes you plan on doing one thing and you receive a completely different outcome. 

    Today I spent the entire day in New York City.  Bright lights.  

    I went to the city to attend a selection of photography seminars, aiming to advance my knowledge and career.  I came home reflecting on my identity.

    Lord, help me understand that my identity is not found in what I do or am, but in what You’ve done for me through Christ.

    I will take my stand at my watchpost
        and station myself on the tower,
    and look out to see what he will say to me,
        and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

    And the Lord answered me:

    “Write the vision;
        make it plain on tablets,
        so he may run who reads it.
    For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
        it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
    If it seems slow, wait for it;
        it will surely come; it will not delay.

    Habakkuk 2:1-3

    If you have spoken with me at length recently, you may have heard that I have been stuck in Luke, the middle chapters — roughly 12 through 17.  They keep rolling over in my head & I feel the earnestness of Christ as he tells parable after parable, urging fruitfulness and reflection on heart condition and those deserving of the Kingdom.  

    And I am moved.

    Way beyond the point of idly being a photographer: making memories, capturing moments, or witnessing (both history or evangelically) through my work.  I love people, I want them to know Christ and realize (to bring to fruition) their talents.  I love discussing their dreams and seeking a way to make them happen. 

    So there you have it.  It’s not a perfect vision, but I want to walk that out.  I want to run it in the appointed time.  As slow as it seems. 

    Let me be on watch.  Do not let it delay Lord. 

    Again, make still my identity in what You have already done for me.