Love – without the audience!

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

This scripture got clearer sometime in the past week when I dwelt a little longer on a passing thought…
Jesus teaches that our alms giving should not be one targeted at public recognition or acknowledgment. It got me thinking about love publicity!
Ours is a generation where love is incomplete if the eyes of the public ain’t allowed participation. Does publicity and the applause for creativity and sacrifice pass for a reward for love?
I would say yes!
See, I’ve known the love of a farmer and then that of a hunter…
The farmer would toil in planting and not see the need to tell his tales in selling his produce….but the hunter would put in the effort to catch the game….and twice the effort telling of how his mastery and motion without footsteps granted him and advantage of surprise in killing his game… Both have a proceed – one’s focus is on the viability of the produce , the other on the skill and mastery demonstrated and perhaps a pat on the back in allusion to this.
Its these farmer hunter instincts…that makes one man wait on end to pick up his wife after a late meeting… Massage her shoulders and give her a foot rub and dinner @ 10pm all for the look of relief in her eyes and the smile she cannot hide in appreciation…. The other does same but makes certain to put up a pic on Facebook…footrub for wifey@10pm….
Its a generation of public love bereft of privacy… Acts of love that seek for likes! Awwws !and all the shorthand comments people who haven’t been in touch for decades will take time to make. Its a generation of the periphery….all effusive and little or no depth. We ought to smile….not just for the camera or dp or profile picture… We ought to put our phones aside and have a conversation…. We ought to show acts of love not just for status updates… We ought to pride in the intimacy of two and not the likes of a million unseen faces.
Its almost a mammoth task in the acknowledgment…reward seeking….publicity breathed society we live in…. But its possible!
Would u show kindness, if you didn’t get a like for it?
Would u make a sacrifice if no one knew enough to applaud you for such self deprivation to meet another’s needs?
Would u smile when the camera was turned off?
Would u wrap arms around friends and family if it weren’t for a group pic?
Would you say I love you if no one could get to comment?
For this is the story of our saviour… Not one videographer was available to make a movie of all he went thru for humanity…he had a jeering crowd…not applauding his sacrifice.. But mocking him for his claims… Might have been better had they not shown up at all…he didn’t get a chance to set his status to ..”about to die to save the world”….but guess what?
He did it…. No status update…no likes and comments…no shares yet Jesus Christ was beaten and crucified, buried and resurrected to save humanity!

……Didi
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:2″

Without words…..

A famous man visited our city last week. Prior to his arrival word had gone out about his extraordinary abilities… His capability to make wishes come true….to make money available to those who needed it ….to restore health to those who were ailing ….to bring joy unspeakable to those whose hearts were breaking….
Little wonder the entrance into our city was jammed… People on foot…in cars…Many had come hours before the arrival to await his speech… Some just to behold him…
As the crowd cheered and thronged while he made his way to the podium…. I could barely see her… She looked old and scruffy… Dressed in very dirty clothes…heads turned in search of the source of the stench… But her head was covered with a scarf and she was bent slightly to keep her face hidden…her feet were without shoes… Her heels seemed to have zebra stripes with cracks and dirt’s in its crevices… Then the famous man stopped…he turned around asking who touched me?
The crowd roared with laughter presuming it was an ice breaker… But then he called out again even more loudly saying…. Who touched me?
She made her way and stood before him….both staring in each others eyes….
The questions were obvious on the faces of the crowd…. What’s going on here?
And then he reaches out to touch her face…and he says to her…
Your faith has made you whole!

Herein is the love of Christ made manifest…not that he gives to whom he pleases, but that those who believe can take without his awareness… For the woman had said in her heart that if she touched his clothes she will be healed and so it happened unto her!
…. Didi

24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked,“Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her,“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Mark 5:24-34 (NLT)

When God is Silent

Thinking Out Loud

“Keep up your courage, Paul! You have successfully told your story about Me in Jerusalem, and soon you will do the same in Rome.” – Acts 23:11

Taize-SilenceAs far as we can tell, this becomes the last time Jesus appears to Paul. We don’t have any records, either in Acts or in Paul’s letters that the Lord ever appears to Paul and encourages him again.

Have you ever felt God wasn’t speaking to you anymore? I’ve had people ask me what they should do when God feels silent and far away. I say don’t live by your feelings. Psalm 139:7 finds David asking, “Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit? Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?”Then David goes on to answer his own question. “If I go up into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in the realm of the dead…

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Who Told You That?

Thinking Out Loud

questionmarkI was reading an article in a magazine recently about Erwin McManus, pastor of the church Mosaic in Los Angeles. In it he quoted Genesis 3:11, “Who told you that you were naked?” and followed up with a tremendous insight.

Until the fall, the whole universe was filled with the voice of God, and everything that is was created by His voice. When God saw that the first couple had fallen, He did not first ask them, “Why did you do this?” or “What happened?” He simply asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” And then as way of explanation, McManus hammers home a most important translation to God’s question to Adam and Eve: What other voice did you choose to replace Mine with?

This week at Journey Church I am starting a series on Philippians. As I do so I am still challenged by this Erwin’s question…

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Can It Be This Simple?

Thinking Out Loud

“He has showed you. O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

micah-6-8As I have recently turned the half-century mark, I’ve noticed the questions I ask myself are starting to change. When I was in Bible college, I’d ask myself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” No one is really a grown-up in college, unless you were already married and pursuing a second career. But I was nineteen, so now you understand.

Another key question on all the young minds was, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” In a continual effort to look and sound spiritual, we were very keen to put God in every aspect of our conversation, and this question verily dripped of spirituality (inquiring after God’s Will) and…

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Praising …with the Mind!

I sat up leaning against the wall…so I wouldn’t sleep off and I lifted my voice in praise to the Lord.
As I sang, song after song… I found my mind wandering from whether I had logged out of my PC at work….to if my lab was tidy enough for an unannounced audit….and then the bread and eggs I would like to have for breakfast and oh I had forgotten to call my brother…
Quite a journey travelled by my mind, yet my mouth was singing.
That’s when it hit me…man is a spirit that has a mind and lives in a body…it is possible to have all three components out of sync!
So I thought to myself, I could focus my mind instead on imagining even beholding God’s majesty while I praise.. I could see the fierce and mighty angels….squashing the demons under foot and trailing behind me as undertakers and body guards…I could see them towering over me watchfully while I’m curled up in my pink nightie asleep.
So the next time you praise,
Praise with your imagination… Praise the beauty of his holiness..praise the strength of his might….praise the might of his deliverance….praise the tenderness of his love…praise him for his attentiveness… His sure commitment… His steadfastness…
For, there is none like Him!

….didi

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
Isaiah 29:13