Posts Tagged ‘Christ’


Romans 5 – Word Cloud

May 24, 2013



This morning I was reading Romans 5… and as I was reflecting on it I thought to create a word cloud from the chapter… and this is it.

The chapter talks of being made right with God by faith in Gods perfect gift, Christ Jesus… it talks of peace, it talks of undeserved privilege… to be able to stand… in confidence… in joyful hope.

And it goes on… we will experience troubles.


Faith is tested… tried… weighed…  as you would a precious metal or jewel.

Tested faith endures… develops strength of character… strengthens hope… Love wins.

I know of many people going through troubles at this time… to them (and to myself) I say “stay with it”… endure… let God develop in you the character he wants to draw out… come to His promised peace… a deeper relationship in Him.

Let the creator make you… let Him sign you as His own work…

And be sure of this… God is Love, God loves you (he sent His Son for you be in right relationship with Him), and He has given us His Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love.

Hold to your faith in Him.

Grace and peace.


Fleeting Experiences of God – Reinier Sonneveld

January 31, 2013

Fleeting Experiences of God

by Reinier Sonneveld

We are in the Lady Chapel (Mariakapel) in Hoorn, The Netherlands. What happened there in 1968 has happened with thousands of church buildings in Western Europe: it became vacant.

Totally vacant? One day in 2012 a cloud could be seen in this chapel (see here), for less than half a minute. And that cloud gave light – the kind of thing that unfortunately did not happen when the pews were still present.

Berndnaut Smilde is a young Dutch artist. He delivers experiences. Earlier on, for instance, he sprayed a space full of hospital air, which brought back memories in the visitors of the times they were in hospital themselves. He also projected a rainbow on the photo of a landscape. Just for a moment you think it is real.

Nibmus2I suspect because his image is totally at home in a place of worship. In other locations his clouds sometimes come close to a magic trick. But here, in the mysticism of such an empty church space, the surreal character of this indoor cloud seems to fit.

Smilde titled his photo Nimbus. That is short for what we usually call a thundercloud. But it is also a halo or aureole around the head of a saint. How ambiguous! It is the same ambiguity that we also encounter in the ‘mysterium tremendum et fascinans’. Divine mystery fascinates, but also makes us tremble. We can call this ‘the fear of the Lord’. Whoever experiences God, feels an astonishment that comes close to fear.

With his title and choice of location Smilde himself hints at such a religious reading of this work. When it comes to clouds, believers have indeed often thought of God. When long ago the Jews fled Egypt, a cloud went before them during the day, in which God was present. When Solomon consecrated the temple, a cloud came down into the temple, designating that God had finally entered into the building. Later Ezekiel saw a cloud leave the temple and his conclusion was: God has left us.

That is what I see in this photo. This church may have been empty for almost half a century, but God is still there in a hovering, fleeting manner. This work by Smilde stands in a long tradition of transience. We all know sand and ice sculptures. Or think of street artists with their chalk drawings that are washed away by only one rain shower, or of the potato heads by Giorgina Choueiri that will quickly sprout and disfigure the faces.

It is fascinating that the ancient Hebrew nation experienced God’s presence as a cloud. A cloud can disappear just like that and changes its form constantly. But a cloud stands, at least in dry countries, also for hope. A fluffy spot on the horizon means rain. Out of that mysterious, elusive form flows tangible water that moistens the soil so that green shoots up. Somewhere in that cloud must live a source of life.

Apparently the Jews experienced God as both life bringing and elusive. God, the eternal one by definition, expresses himself in the transitory: a word, a name, a Jesus, a cloud.

The original article this is from can be found here:


Structure Your Presentation Like a Story – Nancy Duarte

November 1, 2012




I saw this posting by Nancy Duarte on the Harvard Business Review blog and though to repost it here.

Telling effective stories one of the tools that Jesus used to share the word of God to people.  We are often too ‘technical’ and full of jargon in our attempts to share the life of the good news.

So what story would you tell – which “what is”, “What could be” story could you share with someone today…


Structure Your Presentation Like a Story – Nancy Duarte – Harvard Business Review.


Lectio Divina – Matthew 5, the beatitudes..

April 10, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I listened to a talk from Thom at Kings Fellowship… due to some technical difficulties the talk was not recorded for posterity, which is a real loss.

He was sharing reflections on what it means to be a Disciple of Christ as part of a short series, and used the Beatitudes to illustrate the attitudes of a Disciple.  There was something fundamentally both old and fresh in what he was sharing…

The beatitudes can become a very familiar passage, and as such we can have the tendency to treat them lightly… and what Thom shared challenged me to wait in this passage some more…

The following weekend I was co-hosting a Street Pastors gathering at the Barn Church, Culloden.  And as part of our devotions together we used this passage in Matthew as a Lectio Divina… mature christians, from 18 different churchs… all knew the passage well.  But yet after 3o minutes reading and sharing together each person had something new, something that God was highlighting for them…

So today, here is the first part of Matthew 5… and it is my prayer that God stirs some new understanding of what it means to follow our Lord Jesus Christ…

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.


Lectio – Galatians 2:20 – Whose life?…

March 13, 2012

It seems to be part of our human nature to take something simple and make it complex, to take a gift that is freely given and make it into something than is earned and paid for.  We love to argue over the interpretation of rules, the off-side trap in football, of board games like monopoly and even scrabble has us reading for the dictionary to challenge a spelling.

Todays Lectio is simple… really…  single verse that tells a number of huge truths.  It’s about addressing the question “whose life is it really?”…

So today receive this verse, engage with it in body, mind and spirit… and let the truth of it minister to you…

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.