Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Warner's top 10

A contextual message, developing a Canadian theology confronting and responding to culture’s context…
OUR Reality

Companies and corporations are crafting human thought so it establishes in us the assumption that we need the extra widgets only it can provide.
What is common ground among the companies and corporations is consumerism, reducing people to appetites to be fed?
when consumerism is applied to people it results in:
            a drug-filled culture and
            women being treated as objects to be consumed by men

Pro-abortionist arguments exchanged in a silo of white people fail to see the broader global context:
            a tool first intended to give their women choice and control over their bodies
            has become a weapon gripped by male-dominated circles for the death of helpless girls

Entertainment industries provide Canadians with enough static noise that we don’t notice the shouts and cries of people suffering and in desperate need.  Killing, wars, tragedy, starvation, violence, silence and hunger exists as the daily bread of so many millions.  But we go back to our regularly scheduled broadcast… the next hit of Netflix, Youtube or our satellite cable provider.  We go back to the war and fantasy games that promote the violence we refuse to hear elsewhere.

Canadian history – a violent victory over now-subjugated first nations – is about the prosperity of ancestors who naively and innocently stole land, money, food, culture, and life itself from their defeated enemies. 

Christianity is being associated with progressive, expansionist, hungry companies or countries, wanting to exploit weaker people for their own benefit.  Christians mistake the greedy acts of a secular state for the hand of God bringing justice.  Can warships bring the love of Jesus?  Can democracy be forced on anyone? 

Sheep follow the wolves… why do they do that?  Where is their shepherd?

The Church of Jesus sleeps on a bed made of electronic gadgets while…
it drowns in stories crafted for fun

All religions are said to be expressions of one God.  Any intolerant voice is thought to originate from an unenlightened goof.  Tolerance as a Canadian dogma silences Christ and paints his portrait from better celebrity models  

A tsunami of Russian, Chinese, Islamic expansionist idealism will soon wake up our North American dream – we’ll find ourselves in the poverty and desperation normal for everyone else in the world.  

It’s not too late to do something – but it might be too difficult.  We’ve been so shaped by corporations who want us kept in a continual state of passive dependence.  The call to rise up and make a change in our lifestyle so you can make a difference falls on deaf ears.  It can hardly be heard let alone acted on.

What do you think?

A word for the fearful

May 29th (words 347)
So awesome is God.  He speaks into fearful hearts, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge… O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?  Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.  Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!”  
“Come and visit me in this coffee shop… but hold back the smoke – it would distract people too much. come visit us in Cowansville… come to our house… Let your thrown be set over my personal space.”

Instead of cowering behind my inabilities – God trains me for active involvement in his kingdom.
I was talking with Becky about serving within our gifting. 
As God enables us to better know ourselves he can give us a better sense for how he wants to use us.  If you love God, you will obey him – the Bible says.

May the circles that I walk and swim in and rest in and work in be all within the bigger circle of your rule! 

My hands aren’t being trained for a literal war (as might have been the case for King David) – but they are being strengthened by God for living in a world that becomes more and more difficult.

Newest unbelievable news… Trump calls the Canadian auto industry a threat to American national security.  My prayer in a world that gets more and more crazy is that God would remind us to rest fearlessly in his provision. I looked up a song that might have first been written out of a pot-stoning:  “Don't worry about a thing; 'Cause every little thing gonna be alright; Singing' don't worry about a thing; 'Cause every little thing gonna be alright”  We can thank Bob Marley for words that actually reflect a Christian rest – spoken to fearful hearts.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Out of solitude

May 25th, (235 words)
Here are some frank words from my guts…  sometimes I don’t feel like trying to relate to people.  I have been pondering what to say – and not feeling like saying anything on this blog!  I get tired of the work that is involved in relationships.  But – and – also – so – God gave me a Psalm this morning! 

Psalm 142 says: “I cry to you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!  Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!  Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!  The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.”

I think in my case my persecutors are the voices in my head of past people who persecuted me… bullies… situations that resulted in my feeling harshly treated. 

Sometimes my prison becomes a place of solitude – wanting to hide from a hostile world.  But God brings me out of a prison cave and into a crowd of righteous who surround me! 

This evening our church is assembling together for an all-night prayer time – from 7pm-7am. 

“God bless the community of saints – which is your church!  God bless me as I move toward your healing touch in and with our spiritual family and away from independent solitude.  Amen.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 24th (published earlier on Facebook) (477 words)
Do you talk to yourself? Have you seen people talking to themselves? Sometimes they are singing in the car, or praying, or trying to memorize something…
Is talking to yourself a good way to know yourself?
Yesterday we finished another Alpha course. Nikki talked about how the Christian life isn’t easy, but it is abundant – full – great! If you want a great life – it is important to live it according to the creator’s design.
How did God intend life to be lived?
The simple answer is in relationship.
We were made to be in a relationship with God (our creator, and father, and friend, and shepherd, and brother and spouse). We were also made to be in relationship with other people.
There is nothing new in this recipe. It is like our installation manual or playbook.
When we look closer at this some things might surprise us.
Last weekend we watched the Disney movie: Finding Dorry. A key character in the film is the octopus. He wants so much to be alone in a little glass box that he goes to great [pool] lengths to help Dorry – so she’ll give him her tag – a ticket to a life of simple solitude.
Here is the rub – knowing yourself can only happen in relationship – interacting with the world around you. Life brings out what you are made of, it bumps the glass so what is inside sloshes out. I’m inviting you to disagree with society and the multi-billion-dollar companies that are telling you that life should be easy – with the purchase of this or that product. Disagree with the movies and TV programs that infer that life should have a happy-ever-after ending. Don’t avoid drama in relationships – work with them to better know yourself and better know others.
The more I get to know myself the more I realize how much I need God and his help in my life. We need the Evangelio – [the gospel truth] – we need God’s provision, his tools, his help in life.
We need God to:
know ourselves so that we can jump deeper and deeper into God.
know ourselves so that we can have mask-free conversations with God and the people around us.
know ourselves by relating to God and the people around us.
Bring yourself out to the world around you – be yourself in and for the world!
God loves you – and he is sculpting you from rough wood – into the image he has in his artist’s mind. This is who you were created to be. Don’t pull back from the artist’s sculpting tools.
So how would you answer the question: is talking to yourself a way of knowing yourself?
What do you think? How do you relate to yourself? Do you speak to yourself with harsh condemning words or do you encourage yourself with words God has given you?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8th (262 words)
Have you ever chased one of your dreams?
It is easy to forget what is important when so much time is spent in what is urgent.
Many of you have probably heard this before - I have heard it often.  Let's bring up the subject again.  In order to chase a dream, we need to look beyond our daily, waking reality. 
If we have a conviction that something is important in life we shouldn't let the daily grind wear down our resolve to make time for it.

What is important to you?
Is it getting crowded out by things that are not as important?
Are things that seem urgent crowding your life so much that you are unable to stick with what is more of a priority?
are there time-wasters that are simply gnawing away at the vitality of your living hours?

God is showing me an underlying pattern of laziness in my life, and I am repenting.

I find it easy to be unmotivated... to lose my focus... to get along with doing the minimum may-be because I'm tired or distracted...
"I am sorry about this God.  Help me continue to pursue holiness and faithfulness and the great good that you have prepared in advance!"

One of the dreams that lie before me is developing my art - copper wire trees.  I'd like to develop people's involvement in art - creating a touch-art-experience. 
What are some of your dreams?  What are your God-gifts that might be lying dormant but have been crowded out for one reason or another?