Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reading tips

I've been reading the Bible since I was a child, and through the years my approaches have varied due to where my walk with Christ was. Only in the last 5 years, after listening to sermons, reading spiritually directed books have I come up with a method of reading my Bible. Apparently, I am not the only individual who has discovered these tips. Blogger of Journey of the Word has created a Do's and Don'ts of Bible Study. The Spirit was definitely talking to us both. Amen.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Many people unknowingly walk with God. They seek and recognize goodness, search after honesty and look to help their neighbour. They are disgusted with the vile man's ways and understand the importance of stewardship. These are the one's who have rejected Christianity because others have misrepresented. This part of Christianity speaks louder than their actions. Their message is rejected and the many people walk away from them.

This is my take on David's Psalms 15 and the people I know. There's also another category of people I am friends with - unchurched believers. They believe in God but aren't concerned with going to Church. They seek to live the good life and believe in prayer. I've been blessed to know some of these people intimately. They have shared their life with me and I have been blessed by that experience.

And currently that is what I seek as I live out this life in the here and now. I pray to be connected with people from this community whether they be Christian or not, but to find a people who I can connect with on a mental and spiritual level.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sometimes you drive me nuts

I have a few favourite books of the Word. They are books I can't help but come back to repeatedly, and certain chapters have always pulled me back. Book of Isaiah and the book of John have always been favourites. Isaiah for the full revelation of the human nature and nature of Christ and the poetic imagery of that message and the book of John because of how personable he reveals Christ. 

As I read David and his condemnation of the wicked person and how he cannot come into the presence of God and there is no hope for him, I remembered Isaiah 55: 6-7:

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 

David speaks of his own experience, he an individual person against many. Isaiah speaks of Israel's experience, and he speaks for a multitude. When I read David, I feel like I looking into the thoughts of someone born and raised in the Church - they are in their younger years and their spiritual and life experience is a bit straightforward, no areas of grey. Reading Isaiah is like looking into the thoughts of an older Christian who has left behind the idealistic youthful years and struggles with God on a regular basis and questions the entire Christian walk. They know God exists but they struggle with their view of the world around them and the view of God and consolidating that information into their identity. 

I guess this is my way of coping with reading Psalms. There are times it drives me dithers just because I can't entirely embrace what I am reading - I heavily question David's voice. Questioning his absolute statements with other part of the Bible is what's keeping me sane in reading through the early parts of Psalms. 


Monday, June 20, 2016

a view of black and white

I struggle with reading David on some days. He can be so definitive at times - meaning people are either good or evil. There is no grey area. Psalms 14 is just that - definitive. He states - the fools says in his heart, "there is no god" but what of the person who does say there is a God, but acts like there isn't one. Okay. I see it now. The heart is a private matter and what comes from the tongue, another matter. There are people in this world who claim there is a God, however, the heart will eventually be played out in their actions. I guess that's the confusing part. Christianity is a mumble jumble mess (just like other religions), and out of that mess comes a people of diversity - people who know Christ, struggle with Christ, and are very real about their weakness. On the flip side, there comes a people who claim to be Christ followers, put Christ on a pedestal, speak about Christ, but don't take allowances for their weakness.

I guess at the end of the day, David is speaking on a very basic idea regardless of whether a person is a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim - if there is not God in the heart - they are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Anyone can seek and claim God, but their actions will inevitably find them out.


Friday, June 17, 2016

He's not here right now, leave a message

He was going through pain, he was going through loneliness, he was going through a withdrawal of a spiritual connection (my interpretation). He didn't feel that God was right there, and he was leaving behind a message - will you forget me forever? how long will you hide your face from me? how long must i wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? how long will my enemy triumph over me? 

There are a few of these messages in Psalms. David constantly calling and it going straight to voice messaging. He kept calling and kept getting that voice machine, wishing God would pick up on the other side - look on me and answer, or lord my god. give light to my eyes, or i will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "i have overcome him, and my foes will rejoice when i fall."

But David somehow knew that God wasn't ignoring him, He just wasn't available to pick up (again, creative licenses, here folks!) because David ends the message with - but i trust in your unfailing love; my hear rejoices in your salvation. i will sing to the lord for he has been good to me. Because of the history of their relationship, David knew God would come through for him. David at times didn't understand his emotions or the general situation that was happening around him or to him, but he knew without a doubt, God would inevitably show up and say or do something.

I get it, because I am finding myself in the same position, especially in these last few months. Of course there are other passages, where I am like, dude, what were you thinking?? Anyways food for thought. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Biblical David & the Facebook commenter

I was just reading over Psalms 12 and was completely struck with the imagery David painted with regard to talkers/flatters. Of course, the word "talker" can refer to a wide range, but David paints a very specific picture -

help lord, for the godly man ceases! for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbour; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

The rest of the chapter goes onto explore God's relation to these talkers and how oppression of the poor is a result of these talkers (...I think). I read this and was immediately struck with the parallel to the modern day Facebook commenter. Facebook comes to mind firstly, because that's where I see most of this, but elsewhere on social media sites, the culture of commenting has become a savage sport of sorts.

David specifically looked at people who were two faced - individuals who weren't honest, who were insincere, aka butt kissers/nosey neighbours. On the social media circles people are perhaps more honest, brutally honest about what they think, even to the point of cruelty. Whether they are vicious with their mouths or flatters, I find David's solution to these people also striking -

may the lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, with our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?

I wonder how David would fare in the internet world. What words would he pen for this group of people - people who have the ability to be anonymous but their words unkindness?

I believe he would respond the same way.