Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thoughts on Proverbs 3

The use of the words "My son" in Proverbs 3 makes the chapter, and most if not all of Proverbs, feel more personal like a parental letter. The advice within the verses are serious and forceful, but also hold hope within them. Over and over the advice to take rest in God, His mercy, and grace adds further to the feeling that there is a solid place on which to rest not only one's hope but also where one can rest entirely.

Bits that connected with me: 

In everything refer to the law and the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will lead you. By depending on His strength we gain nourishment, and life. The use of the words "navel" and "marrow" are quite potent here. The first, navel, because it is the part of the body which allows a foetus to be nourished/fed. This can be considered as assistance and strength from outside. The second word, marrow, is focused on the inward development or sustenance. The marrow is at its the core manufacturer of blood (cells). For God's law (wisdom, and understanding) to be the fuel on which operate is powerful. And His willingness to take this role is humbling.

Honour God with who and what you are, not just the things you own but also with your "substance" - this includes not just the physical body but also what makes you who you are - your character and talent, and also the things which are being given to you, your increase whether they are gifts, or salart, or anything else. This will cause a pouring out of blessings on you. The blessings might not be your wants, or the things you think you need. Instead they might be the things you need in the times that you need them. View correction as a blessing. Endure and appreciate it, because it is a sign of love, care, and appreciation of purest and deepest kind. Those things which are difficult but make you stronger and better in character are blessings as well. Blessings will not always be wrapped in pristine paper, or a bow.

Insight, knowledge, and the ability to understand are great blessings above which nothing greater exists. In tandem are long life, serenity, a good reputation, and all that is good for all of the senses.

There is a continuous reiteration and repetition of the qualities to be gained by receiving and using wisdom and understand which pushes towards the conclusion that life without these elements is greatly lacking and out of sync with God, and true happiness. He is life and anything which lengthens life and peace is one with Him.

The text pushes on stating that these are the qualities used by the Lord. It explains how important they are by explaining how they are used by God (in creation). Then an explanation is given on the importance of the law, of wisdom and discretion in life.

By keeping the law near to and within you, you keep God's grace near to and within you. There is but one mention of the ten commandments within this text. This drives the thought that the law, being referred to here, is not restricted to the commandments. But instead it is the law of God which is essentially, love - brotherly, pure love. This is the love which God bestows on you and which you ought to emulate in and towards yourselves and all men and women with whom you exist. It is also the same love and respect (because love breeds respect) which you should lavish on God.

But this does not exclude the commandments, because it too was written based on and around the character of God, love. It asks you to love God without bounds in the first group of commandments, and then it asks you to love yourself and your fellow men in the remaining commandments.

You do not kill, covet, steal from, or in any other way deprive someone you love of something that is their own. Therefore, to keep the law is to love in purity, to love as God does by walking in His law.

Always act with love in your heart. If you something which is owed to someone, or which someone deserves, give it to the individual with love. Do not deny anyone of anything out of envy, or act in hatred towards anyone.

Live in love, doing good to those who are against you. Do not follow the steps of those who live in hatred. Stay your course of love. Keep your feet, your mind, your heart ever filled with love, and following the laws of the Lord day and night as you succeed and as you are pained.  

The law shall keep you safe and upright, always within the bands of safety and with a peace permeating your mind and emotional being. Harm will be around but it will not come unto you with God as your Protector. 

Keep the wisdom of God with you always to discern what is of Love and what isn't. Keep the wisdom of God with you always living in the humility of love.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Funeral This Morning

I went to a funeral this morning and received a word of encouragement. I didn't expect it. I actually was rather unenthusiastic about going. Most people usually are, but previous to this morning I wanted to go to show support for the wife of the deceased.

This morning happened and I really did not want to do anything. I go in and out of depression, and this morning like the last few weeks I woke up in it. As I began my day I was hit continuously by situations that shoved, pushed, and kicked me lower. Somehow I made it to the funeral.

It was, figuratively, just what the doctor ordered. From the beginning there was 'Hallelujah' singing. By the end of the tributes and praises session I was feeling a lot calmer, relieved and somewhat happy. (Yes, there was a praise session: boisterous singing; clapping; hand raising; the  works. The type of praising I like.)

The sermon began and it was as though the pastor was having a conversation with me. As I thought various things he responded to them directly, and added more. The additions touched me as well. Some of them were just re-affirmations I needed, and others were things I would have gotten to later.

That funeral service was necessary for my upliftment. I hope it helps you too. Be blessed

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Remember the Rainbow

by Jean Ricot Dormeus

I was heading home while it was raining intermittently. I noticed a wonderful rainbow that caught my attention. I believe all of us are used to seeing rainbow, but its beauty and artful disposition in the sky has never ceased to amazing us. Well, I delighted at that sight, but for some reason it sticks to my mind. The rainbow reminds me of Noah’s experience. It symbolizes God’s grace and love. The Lord made a commitment not destroy the Earth by flood again despite the spread of sin.  

I came across Ezekiel 1:28 that tells me that the glory of the Lord is like the rainbow. It reads: “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake”.   Now I have always thought that the glory of the Lord would be like blinding light, a very bright halo surrounding him. I take this idea from John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”. And I tried to connect the light with the rainbow.

I understand that rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by refraction of light in water droplets in the atmosphere, resulting in a spectrum of light, a multicolored arc appearing in the sky.   This morning, the title of my sermon is: Remember the rainbow. Did you know that the rainbow has seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet? Likewise, we would have seven compelling reasons to have Jesus as our light and to walk in his light, as it is written: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Ps 119:105.  

The first color of the rainbow is red. You know, red is the color of blood and fire. It symbolizes life and energy, because the light imparts life. The first compelling reason why we must walk in the Jesus light is: Jesus gives life, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10.  In some areas with long winter darkness periods, people develop a disease called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD, showing depression and overcome by gloomy thoughts. The cure available to these people is exposure to the light that restores their health.  

We know quite well that plants use to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into oxygen. This process called photosynthesis maintains atmospheric oxygen levels and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for all life on Earth. Also you have heard about the phenomenon call heliotropism. Have you ever seen a bent or crooked tree? Well, these trees simply try to point in the direction of the sun. In the same way, you will see flowers turning to the sun. On a tree, fruits exposed to the sun tend to be more abundant and sweeter.  You see, we have life in Jesus, because he is the light of the world. When we walk with him, we walk in the light; when we turn to him exerting tropism to him, our life becomes more vibrant, more successful, and more joyful. There is plenty life and health in Christ.  

The second color of the rainbow is orange. Orange is the color of harvest. It is a combination of red and yellow, and symbolizes enthusiasm and encouragement. Because, orange is the color of harvest that is facilitated by the heat, it reminds us of the law of sowing and reaping, as Apostle Paul say in Galatians 6:8, “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”, and in Hebrews 12: 11, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way”.  

When we dwell in the light of Jesus and the Holy Scriptures, we sow to the Spirit what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable, we think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. As a result we have a peaceful harvest of right living and life everlasting. Whatever we do, we need to assess the consequences. Only Jesus guarantees authentic success in this life and everlasting happiness when he comes again.  

The third color of the rainbow is yellow. Yellow is the color of sunshine and symbolizes joy, honor and loyalty. The sunshine drives away darkness and ignorance, as it reveals the truth. There is one truth, and a multiplicity of errors. God said: “let there be light; light came and darkness had to flee. Likewise, when we stick to God’s truth and the Bible teachings, we tend to ban evil, lie and error from our lives.   

Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” Mat 5:16. He also said “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” John 17:17. When Jesus is our light, we walk in the truth and we remain loyal to God.  

The fourth color of the rainbow is green. Green is my favorite color. It is the color of nature and symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness. It is the most restful color for human eyes. A friend of mine was doing some professional activities going up and down a large area in Antigua. She told that she felt a warm sense peace. As lush green nature promotes peace, Jesus light drives away worries, stress and anxiety. Usually we are stressed out when we are in the dark, because we don’t know what’s going on.  

When I was a boy, I used to live in a city where there was no power. In the night a group of us would in sit on my Mom’s gallery; we would tie a thread into a piece of cord place on the other side of the street. When a passerby was approaching in the dark, we would pull the cord letting them think it was a snake and they would be startled or run. In the dark, anything startles us, we take a pebble for a rock and we tend to become negative and alarmist, therefore losing our peace. In the light, we are not afraid because we see clearly.  

Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:27. When we walk in the light of Jesus, we grow harmoniously, as we become positive, hopeful and abounding in peace.   The fifth color of the rainbow is blue. Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean. It symbolizes trust, faith, confidence, stability and constancy. It points us to the constancy of the light. You know that the light always travels a distance of 300 000 km per second. Our God, as the source of light, is constant; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” Hebrews 13:8. As Christians, we need to be consistent; we cannot love today and hate tomorrow or be kind today and rude tomorrow.  

It is also written, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. Because we walk in Jesus light, our faith grows and we remain confident as we progress in life. And God gives the consistency that leads to victory.  

The sixth color of the rainbow is indigo. Indigo is the color of a plant used for dyeing cloth. It symbolizes spirituality that guides us. We I was a boy, they used to utilize indigo for white clothes laundry. It disguises hints of yellow and makes the garments whiter. Not only Jesus is the perfect indigo that makes us as white as snow, he guides us through the Bible because he is our light. When we land by night, usually two columns of light on the runway guide the pilot to the arrival area and someone with a phosphorescent stick guides him until the gate.  

As indigo whitens a white garment or changes it colors, and as the sun transfers light to the moon for it to shine, so Jesus, the perfect light transforms us. It is to accomplish what is written: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” Eph 5:8.  

The seventh and last color of the rainbow is violet. It combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, wisdom. This is to remind us that God is Lord of Lord and King of Kings. Every light originates in him. He is the source of power and wisdom. He has given us the Holy Scriptures to inject wisdom in us, drop by drop, day by day until the day of our perfection in Christ.  

Brothers and sisters, if we walk in the light, we will become powerful and wise. We will develop a noble character and enjoy the luxury of righteous living. As Jesus said in John 8:12, if we will follow him, we won’t walk in darkness, but will have the light of genuine life.  

Let’s remember that God is light and the rainbow reflects his glory.  

Let’s also remember the seven colors of the rainbow to enhance our spiritual life: Red: color of blood that symbolizes life. Jesus has come for us to have everlasting life. Orange: color of harvest that symbolizes enthusiasm and encouragement. We need to sow to the Spirit to reap everlasting life. Yellow: color of sunshine that symbolizes joy and loyalty. Let’s stick to the truth and remain loyal to God. Green: color of nature that symbolizes peace and harmony. Let’s abound in the peace that only Jesus gives. Blue: color of the sky and the sea that symbolizes faith and constancy. We must endure and remain consistent until the end, just as God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Indigo: color of the dyeing plant that symbolizes spirituality that transforms. Only Jesus can transform us for eternal life. Violet: color that combines red and blue and symbolizes power and wisdom. The Holy Scriptures will make us wise for salvation.     

Brethren, lets walk in the light as we remember the rainbow.     

God bless you all!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Men and Women Apparel - Deuteronomy 22:5

Today' Concern: Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

I was raised believing that it was incorrect to wear pants. This is what my mother taught me. But having read the above I am now in a tug-of-war in my understanding.

I think it strange that this text is being literal. First, it comes out of nowhere and has no further explanation attached. Second, as time changes so does out clothing. I don't wear pants because my motner taught me that it is man's apparel and to her based on this text it is incorrect to wear it. However, as pointed out above times and fashion changes. From tv shows (which is my only reference to the past) both men and women the same if not similar apparel. And it is Scottish tradition to wear kilts which is something like a skirt. I think the text is more symbolic stating that both we should know or place in society. Nonetheless, I will be doing more reading on this. Wearing pants is more suited to my next phase in life, and can be viewed as a setback as I am at a disadvantage not being able to manuveur different terrain, and positions for photography in a skirt, long or short.

So I went googling and found these posts. They may help otheres. And though many sources were cited I have yet to be convinced of anything.

History & Deuteronomy 22:5 Part 1 and Part 2

My main, if not only concern, is what the clothing of the day was when Deuteronomy 22:5 was written. I think that point would be of extreme importance. In tv shows based on a time period that I assume is close to that time both men and women wore what I think are called bliaud, garments of a frock-like nature. If this is correct, what were their gender distinctions? And if their apparel were so close what is the problem with today's attire namely men and women pants being close.

With no context surrounding this next could it not also be that it was more symbolic of the male and female roles as in 1 Cor 11:3?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Talents At His Feet

But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. Matthew 26:8

The ointment was expensive and according to the disciples it could have been sold and the money used to make happy the sad.

For the first time in reading this text I thought of us, of myself. We and our talents are the most expensive things. Often sell them to make way for money-making so as to make life better for ourselves and others. But what about simply taking our ointment, our talents, ourselves to God and placing them at His feet, using them for His Glory?

What about giving up the desire for fame, money, a comfortable life and simply live to, and for God.

I hoped this helped you in some way.

Go forth, and be blessed in Jesus.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Plead my cause, O Lord

Psalms 35

Plead my cause, O Lord , with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord : it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, Lord , who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

This thou hast seen, O Lord : keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up. Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Power of a Praying Person

The recording is of a section of a sermon I heard which really touched me in a way that makes me feel more acceptable in the eyes of the Father. It isn't because of who I am, but because of who Jesus is.

The sermon was preached on Matthew 15:21-28.

Unfortunately, this is the last 1/3 of the sermon. The thought to record, and share only crossed my mind then.

Blessings into you.
Preached by Pastor Knowles in Antigua