Posts Tagged ‘God’


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:


Lectio – John 14:15-21 – Love, truth and obedience…

January 24, 2012

Truth, love and obedience these elements are entangled in todays reading.

The obedience of love is not one of subjugation or pressure – the obedience of love is a desire, a passion… and the core is the knowledge and understanding of the truth that God loved us first… totally, completely and perfectly and has been looking for us to return to him.

Blessings… today live loved, live as His beloved… then obedience is easy.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”


RUA – Raise a shout… the sound of the spheres….

January 19, 2012
Place of Grace

Place of Grace

After folks had left life group this evening I started to play some of the soaking music we played earlier in the evening… a tune called ‘Deep calls to Deep’ by Ancient Path was playing…

On my computer I noticed a tweet refering to the IHOP KC prayer room live and joined the live webcast from the prayer room… and both my wife and I were blown away by what we heard…

The music we were playing and being played in KC right at that moment melded together in a fantastic way…

The Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keys and vocals merged with the horns, strings and orchestral sounds we were listening to…

I captured a brief segment here ->  InTune

What you’re hearing is a live music from Kanas with a live soaking session in Inverness… and they are in unity.

Listen for the sound of Shofars coming in at the point where they sing… “we lift your name up”

If you listen to this you can clearly hear the horns appearing within the IHOP music…. all in tune all together – totally awesome…

And I thought “RUA” – to raise a shout, give a blast:

  • battle cry,
  • cry,
  • cry aloud,
  • crying,
  • jubilant shouting,
  • raise your battle cry,
  • raised a war cry,
  • raised the war cry,
  • shout,
  • shout for joy,
  • shout in triumph,
  • shout aloud,
  • shout joyfully,
  • shout loud,
  • shouted,
  • shouted for joy,
  • shouting the cry,
  • sound an alarm,
  • sound the alarm,
  • sounding an alarm,
  • utter a shout.

Around the world at this moment – 10’s of thousands of people are in prayer and worship, in different countries, speaking different languages, expressing their love to God in many different ways… their song… our song…

But God hears the whole song – it’s in tune, its a fragrant offering of united praise and worship…



Pastoral Care Foundation Course.. closing date

January 17, 2012

The ACC will be running a Foundation Course in Pastoral Care in Inverness from 28th January… Applications close today 17th January.

More information on the course can be found on the ACC website or by emailing

The following taster is taken from the ACC website…

“The ACC Pastoral Care Foundation Course is designed to reach across the breadth of pastoral care offered by Christians. It is a development of the acclaimed ACC Pastoral Skills Course that has been available for the past four years.

The need for pastoral care has never been greater and Church leader’s resources never more stretched. Many members of the Church show the love of Jesus to others in pastoral ways but would benefit from some guidance in how to be more effective in this. The ACC Pastoral Care Foundation Course aims to develop those with a heart for pastoral care, helping them be enabled to release the hands, feet and voice of Jesus into their local communities.
The new course recognises the value of collective wisdom to which we can all contribute, and from which we can all gain. It has been designed and developed to embrace the sharing of our experiences and can be used to develop individuals, pastoral care teams, leaders, specific groups and congregations.”


Lectio – John 5 “The Father”

January 10, 2012

The ‘centred-ness’ of Jesus was outside of himself… Jesus was centred on his Father…

When Jesus called on Abba he did so from a deep intimate relationship with Him, one that he calls us to share with him.

At church this past Sunday I could hear a child cry in the creche, and noticed a Father heading for the door in response to the cry – and I felt the words “The Father knows the cry of his own children” go across my mind, and that is true of Jesus relationship with his Heavenly Father… and there’s more…

The Fathers desire is for His children to grow and go on to do what the Father does… I see my own kids copying what I do (both the good and the bad)… and our heavenly Father calls us to grow, and to do what we see him doing as well… he calls us into a dialogue with him, speaking and listening…

In John Chapter 5 Jesus refers to “the Father” more than 10 times. So this morning I’ve been reading verses 17-30 and would like to share then with you.

Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God

17 … Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.

24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

25 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.[d] 28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.

Blessings on you today as you step further into the Fathers Heart today.


Lectio – John 18:3-8 – “I AM he”

January 3, 2012

Electron & Positron tracks in a Magnetic Field

On BBC 4 last night there was a programme on the most important equations of our times (BBC iPlayer: Beautiful Equations)– and I caught a brief section on Paul Diracs equation on quantum mechanics that described the spin of electrons and predicted the existence of the anti-particle of the electron, the positron.

The equation was initially scorned by all the best physicists of the day… the brilliant minds of the new age of quantum physics took years to grasp the truth of the equation.

Beautiful Equations

In the previous couple of chapters in John Jesus discusses and defines the ‘New Age’ of the Kingdom of God… a place where we are called to Love one another as He had loved us, where were are to remain in Him, where we will be guided by the spirit of truth, where we all belong and are protected.

I’m sure that to the disciples the ‘New Age’ of the Kingdom of God was more difficult to grasp as the Spin of electrons was to the physicists of Diracs day.

But where physics had to prove the theory through experimental observation – in the disciples case the proof lived with them in the person of Jesus the Christ… “I AM he”

And so onto the passage for today… Jesus crossed the Kidron valley to a grove of Olive trees to pray…

3 The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.

4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.

“I Am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I Am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! 7 Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

8 “I told you that I Am he,” Jesus said.

Jesus says “I AM he” to everyone who looks for him, “I AM” the name that God gave for himself… He is the first born of the Kingdom of God.

And the response of all of us in the presence of “I AM” is to fall to the ground in worship… Such is the authority, the glory, the power of his person.

Who are you looking for today?

What proof do you need?

“I AM he” holds the answer.