Georgetownrose

from glory to glory…

Archive for the tag “sharing”

This Pale Blue Dot…

…We are often asked to step back and ask, In the midst of this chaos of what has unfolded on this pebble, is there a unifying purpose for all of creation? Can it all be held together by something greater than itself?”

–Tony Reinke, Senior Writer, desiringGod.org

…a link to a wonderful article with a spectacular view.

earth from distant view

“This Pale Blue Dot with Eternal Purpose”

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Another Day to Glorify the Lord Jesus…

Just thinking out loud…

Paul Witnesses to Roman LeadersI have been studying the Book of Acts with my friends at Community Bible Study, and this week’s lesson material is covering Acts 25-26. While examining the record of Paul’s defense before Agrippa in Acts 26 I read Paul’s opening statement:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews…” (vs 2).

One of the study questions asked: “Why do you think Paul considered himself ‘fortunate’ to be addressing Agrippa in his defense against the accusations of the Jews?”

This is not the first time in my studies of Paul’s life and witness that I have seen his total surrender to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. Paul’s life and ministry was both a physical and spiritual battleground every day of his breathing existence this side of Heaven. And still, he wakes up each morning with the expectation that he has another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–because he loves Him more than all…

…(wait while I weep over my ambivalent, insipid commitment to Jesus)…

spiritual battleAnyway, not so very long ago, in another moment of awakening, I told the Lord that I want that same expectancy in my own life when I wake up every morning–another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven. And not very long after that, Satan went “nuclear” on me, mustering every weapon in his hateful arsenal to quench that desire… To be sure, it has been a battle of “operation desert storm” proportions in my life, because Satan is not having any of it…

But I wonder if Paul ever had periods of waking up dreading what he might face in his day–whether it be the physical taxing on his body to travel while in pain, or whether it be the undercurrent of dread at facing another mob bent on drawing blood… so much so, that his flame of gladness of glorifying Jesus gutters and flickers in the battles of each day; and that instead of jubilation, his heart is like a ship anchored and held fast to its mooring in Christ while yet battered from within and from without…

god-strength2That’s something of how I feel in my dusty existence this side of Heaven…But I know that Messiah Jesus fights for me, because I am alive today “fortunate” to have another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven…

Thanking God that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world, as it is written by another faithful one who loved the Lord Jesus:

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

-1 John 4.4

Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people [the Jews] and to the Gentiles.”

–Acts 26.8,22-23

Glory to Thee, Lord Jesus!

Paul’s Letters: Courage for the Times…

Paul&TimothyReview of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey:  Acts 18.23-21.17

  • Overview of Paul’s route and cities of ministry: Acts 18.23; 20.1-16; 21.1-17
  • The difficulties Paul faced in Ephesus:
    • Acts 19.9: The rejection by Jewish leaders in the synagogue
    • Acts 19.23-30: The revolt by Demetrius the cult of Diana
  • The message Paul brought: Acts 17.2-3; 18.5,28; 20.21,25
  • Where Paul began his teaching in Ephesus: Acts 19.1-8
  • Where God moved Paul to teach in Ephesus: Acts 19.9-10
  • The work the Holy Spirit did in Ephesus: Acts 19.11-12,17-20
  • The treasure Paul carried in his ordinary body was the message of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Word of God—fulfilling what is written in the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets: Acts 20.20-21. He carried this treasure in a body that was often weak and tired and hungry and sick: 1 Corinthians 2.3; he may have had a troubling problem with his eyesight: Galatians 4.15.
  • Paul lived in a world like ours where he was surrounded by Jews and Gentiles who were disobedient to God and who worshipped false gods. He faced dangers and difficulties everyday: 2 Corinthians 11.23-27. But none of these things kept him from preaching the message of the Lord Jesus Christ: Acts 20.24
  • The Holy Spirit worked through his earthen vessel to work the greatest miracle of them all: changing the hearts of rebellious people to bow before the only true and living God. The act of the Holy Spirit was to awaken these darkened hearts to the message Paul was bringing…”and fear fell on them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified…so the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19.17,20).

Stepping Stones to Rome – Acts 21.17-26.32

Paul in CustodyCourage In Jerusalem (10 days):

  • the attack on Paul by the Jewish leaders, and his confinement in jail; his escape from murder; escorted to Caesarea by armed Roman guards (Acts 21.17-23.33);
  • Paul’s witness of how God revealed the Lord Jesus to Him (Acts 22.3-21);
  • God’s encouragement to Paul (Acts 23.11)

Paul’s Witness In Caesarea:

Paul speaks to the Roman governor Felix, to the Paul Witnesses to Roman LeadersJewish leaders who follow him to Caesarea, held for two years in Herod’s Praetorium; speaks to Felix, Festus and to King Herod Agrippa and appeals to be heard by Caesar in Rome (Acts 23.34-26.32)

  1. To Felix:  “…This I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men…But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he…commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him. And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24.1-25)
  2. To Herod Agrippa and to Festus: Acts 26.2-23: “I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. …And…I persecuted them even to foreign cities. In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And…I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ …And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26.6-9,11b-23)

 

Paul on a Stormy Sea

On a Stormy Sea – Acts 27

 

Paul's Mercies at Malta

Mercies on MaltaActs 28.1-10

 

In Roman Confinement – Acts 28.16-31

“And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with thePaul in Roman Confinement soldier who guarded him. After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, ‘Brothers…I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.’ And they said to him, ‘We…desire to hear from you what your views are…’ When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved…He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28.16-17,20,21,22,23-24,30-31)

Reflection and Prayer

1 Thess 5vv16-18As I meditate on the Apostle Paul’s exciting journey to Rome, I pray courage for the Body of Christ in the shipwreck of this land, and for those who experience the grace of God in their unbelief only because they are in this shipwreck with us who know the matchless grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Father, Your servant Paul and our brother endured many dangers, difficulties and sorrows to bring Your Word to all the lands where You drew him to witness the Lord Jesus Christ. His faithfulness has multiplied Your Name and Your Kingdom to reach the peoples who came to this land. I praise You and thank You, Lord, for Your great grace in blessing my life to see the Truth You shared with Your servant Paul.

Father, I ask now, in this place where I reflect on Your goodness, grace and purpose, that Your Spirit would strengthen the Body of Christ in this land, as we face the shipwreck that looms in our journey toward Jesus’ return. As Paul spoke courageously to the captain and crew of the vessel he occupied to Rome, let us speak courageously to those who occupy this American Ship in the same way: if they all will trust in the God in whom Paul trusts and teaches to this day in Your Word, not one will perish–only the ship will be broken.

Lord, protect the Body of Christ in this land from fear and anxiety and discouragement in this storm we face; give us the voice and bold kindness You gave our brother Paul who spoke the Truth to those who enjoyed Your grace because he was in the ship with them, although they had not yet embraced Your Truth. As Paul did, so help us redeem the time on this journey, that Your Name and Your Kingdom would be magnified and exalted.

Correct Dates for Feast of Tabernacles…

My previous post was a day off: The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 4, and continues till sundown on Thursday, October 12..

veil of the temple is torn2

For us in Messiah Jesus, the feast has no end… so let us “feed on Him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.”

Here is the link to the “gateway” article for more information on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot):

The Autumn Holydays Continue

Mea Culpa…

…or how to avoid misusing the blog…

Some of my followers know that I publish annual, seasonal content during the autumn holydays and other celebrations of faith in Messiah Jesus. This year, I found a way to re-set my publishing dates on the content of the Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe. I needed to edit the content and re-format it to some degree in each day’s post. Then, I found the little setting in the “Status” box to re-schedule the post for the appropriate date coinciding with the content presented…

Most of my  re-scheduled posts appeared in the Reader, but at least two did not. When I made inquiry to the “Help” staff of WordPress, I was ultimately directed to a paragraph in the “Misuse” category which characterized such re-schedulings of posts  as attempting to force my posts to the top of the reading heap…  

Little did I know that I had misused the blog by simply re-scheduling the post to coincide with this year’s dates of observance. I did not intend to try to “push” my post to the top of the tag results to compete for “top of the heap” viewing.  I simply wished to move it from its previous year’s publish date to a current publish date to coincide with this year’s observances.  I did not see this as a “misuse” of the blog; to me, it is very appropriate to be able to move seasonal/annual content from year to year in the publishing/reader queue for the benefit of both old and new followers…

i-beg-your-pardon-824194_960_720

IF, however, WordPress is sensitive to this kind of operation, then I will find an alternative–if not as accommodating–way to direct the readership to the annual content in such a way that does not violate WPs sensitivities…

My apologies to all my fellow bloggers for this unintended discourtesy… 

Positively “Electrifying”!…

…or “What Hath God Wrought?”

Been watching AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire…”

Let me say first that I am not a fan of voyeuristic viewing, and I could comment on the fixations of the writers and producers, but I do not wish to dwell on those things here. If you can get past all the gratuitous physical play-acting, there were striking messages in this series which I cannot ignore…

Such as?” you ask…

Rather than my publishing “cliff notes” for the series here, I recommend that you say a prayer and engage your little grey cells and watch how the process began and unfolded–the subject process being that of wrestling information into a communicable medium for a world community to share…

My “Aha!” moment occurred the other day, when I was searching the web for definitions and Bible verses, listening to messages I missed at church, writing e-mails, and sending e-cards, listening to worship music on YouTube, etc…

Those digitally minded brains who see everything in the world–all information in bits and bytes… mathematically defined… they stayed up nights theorizing and seeking mathematical solutions for packaging information into a form which can be communicated, collected, stored, and found all over the world. I think of it as “electrifying” information. (That may not be an accurate description, and to all who are knowledgeable in such things, I apologize;  but that is the only way I can think of it–being that I don’t see the world in numbers and algorithms and mathematical equations. To me it is positively “electrifying!”)…

keyboard head2

I would guess that the series writers and producers were pretty accurate when they developed their cast of cerebral story characters whose efforts became highly competitive (that’s a euphemism) to develop the software and the hardware for this project. In truth, many of them  scratched and clawed to make it to the top of the heap in the “www”…

They thought they were building an empire for themselves…

…But God used the gifting they enjoyed by His grace to build it for us who know and understand the God of all math–even if we don’t understand the math; we understand the God of all math. To be sure, everybody enjoys the mercy of using it for now; but if you view it through the lens of eternal reality, we who believe in Jesus are co-owners with Him of the whole blooming network…

In Bosley’s words: “Well, ain’t that a hoot!”  

Thanking God for the network, even if I have to share it with those who will not acknowledge that their gift has come from God and give Him the glory due to Him… some day… For now, let us who were created for declaring the Kingdom of God in Christ Jesus, use the www in a way which glorifies Him and increases His Kingdom in all the earth…

Trusting the God of all math to grant the increase and to multiply to His glory my bits and bytes about His glory on the www pages of my thoughts…

Fallen Co-Regents…

Early in this morning, 5:30, I awaken to a power outage in our neighborhood…In a ground floor garden condo, facing north, it gets dark without the help of interior lighting after sundown. But this was really DARK:  without the benefit of the glow of exterior security lights on the neighboring buildings… 

I felt my way to the room where I keep  my stash of tea light candles and kitchen matches to get some light for my nocturnal shuffling. Then I rummaged for flashlights and batteries. When I finally returned to bed, I was too stimulated to go back to sleep; so I prayed and reflected on Scriptures featured in  recent posts on my blog… all on the theme of the parables of the Kingdom of God–specifically, that Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God, and His parables are word pictures of what the Kingdom of God is like… And Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of God to His listeners because  we were created to be co-regents and ministers with God over all His creation… and we messed up “royally…”

As I prayed, I remembered an encounter with one of my Sunday School children this past week–an encounter which, in that moment, forced me out of my comfort zone. I confess that over the months of working with the children in my class, I had begun to grow, and especially to grow more comfortable with them. We all grew, the children and I; but without fully realizing it, I had become settled into my little “organized kingdom…”

 With the advent of the new school year, the demographic changed, and God gave me a new little man to nurture in the Word and Kingdom of God. The little man was not having any of it; he is quite comfortable in his own little world where he is king…   

In the early morning moments of this day, remembering this encounter drew me into prayer for the child… And then for me… The answers from the Lord came flooding into my soul… 

Big question: How can a fallen co-regent even hope to approach answering Christ’s holy commission while in this tainted condition? More specifically, how can a fallen but sanctified Sunday School teacher–so much in need of grace–co-reign with Christ in the business of declaring the Kingdom of God to 15 wee fallen ones, each one in need of extra grace?

This is where I was awakened (in the early hours of a morning power outage) to the weight of the glory of God…

I could not access my computer, and I could not see to write the flood of things I was learning in my moments alone with the Lord. I never did get back to sleep, and I had a new Bible Study group to attend after breakfast.  As I lean heavily into the Holy Spirit to bring to memory what we exchanged in prayer in those glorious moments, here, I am pouring it all out as best I can…

‘Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

–Zechariah 4.6 NKJV

I am called during this season of my life to nurture another generation in the knowledge of the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ… I am a member of the human race, a descendant of the ones created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose of  being co-regents and ministers with God in His Kingdom–all of creation… And I am a fallen regent…

But the commission has not changed; and in Christ, the commission is to declare the Kingdom of God revealed in the Bible and the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ: the “now” and the “not yet.” And I am still “becoming…”  I am “not yet” lifted to a  place where my responses in fallen encounters are either immediately or completely characteristic of a “made perfect” co-regent and minister with Christ…

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–The Nicene Creed

Wrapping my mind around the truth of the Nicene Creed: Jesus became incarnate; not like any other man in His Perfect Being, He dwelled in the vessel of a man born like any other man, for our sake

Yes, Jesus laid down His life for our sake; but His sacrifice for our sake began long before He was “led as a lamb to the slaughter…” before “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.”  (Isaiah 53.5-7, NKJV)

The angels attended His incarnation, announcing the glory of the Lord. No less gloriously, He laid aside His resplendent majesty and became incarnate; and He lived as a man on our fallen planet, among His fallen co-regents…  for our sake and He told us what we had forgotten about the Kingdom of God… (Matthew 13.1-52, NKJV)  

By His incarnate life we can see how the God-Man, the Unfallen Regent, the One who is  “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2.9, NKJV) walked in this dusty existence as the Christus Rex, among and over all fallen creation–in full submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit… at every turn… without fail… perfectly reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit… for our sake even to death on a cross… to reconcile His fallen co-regents to submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit as He is…

…where I am meant to be… where I am in my sanctification “now,” but in this dusty existence “not yet.” My reflexes are not yet always, completely, and perfectly tuned to seek God’s regency in my life, let alone to seek or comprehend His counsels at the lightning speed of life in times like these…

…when my Sunday School children need to see the presence of the Kingdom of God while I declare the Kingdom of God to them from the Word of God… even while yet a fallen co-regent with Christ… for such a time as this…

I am undone… God, help me… 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

–2 Corinthians 12.9 NKJV

Whose Kingdom?

We’ve been called to have dominion over the earth to the glory of God, but we want dominion for the glory of man. That’s what was going on at Babel—a distortion, an evil twisting of the legitimate task that God had given mankind.”

–R.C. Sproul

Our Story by R. C. Sproul

Go ahead! Read the link above; and then, I have some thoughts of my own to share… 


Shared this a year ago on my Facebook page. At that time, America was approaching a huge decision in its democratic privilege to choose leaders in the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government–which, in turn, would affect the choice of leaders in our Judicial Branch of government…

…As I have been reviewing 1 Kings 11 and 12 in my studies of last week. All about how king Solomon’s sin tore the kingdom apart and the life which the people of Israel faced in the wake of Solomon’s death…

Two men in the wake of Solomon’s reign: Rehoboam his son; and Jeroboam his servant. Two men who would not hear wise counsel.

Rehoboam rejected the wisdom of his father’s elders, but intensified his father’s oppression. Jeroboam rejected God’s wisdom and made Israel to sin against God. He did not heed God’s counsel and promise to him in 1 Kings 11.37-38. Jeroboam listened to his own paranoia and ego instead (1 Kings 12.26-28)…

Neither one of them sought God’s wisdom; neither one of them had a heart for what God’s Kingdom is to be…

Ever wonder how the faithful among the people of Israel felt at that time? Which king does one who loves God honor and recognize? With one comes the hardship of usurious taxes and service; with the other comes the state sanction against living worship of God and against finding reconciliation with God before the place He appointed for His Name to dwell and the means of grace…

It occurred to me that the tribes of Israel did not have to go along with Jeroboam’s political platform; they were not deprived of a choice. They did not deliberate on the ramifications of such a move, nor place limits on Jeroboam’s response to Rehoboam’s rigidity. They chose to go along with Jeroboam in his disgruntlement against the government of the House of David and set themselves at odds with the means of grace at Jerusalem…

Questions arise in my mind. Whose sin was worse? Does this historical event which reveals the inclinations of men’s hearts have significance for those who react to the state of government in our country? What do those who believe in Christ hold more important in a leader?

Patricia’s Facebook Thoughts – History


 

…And as I reflect on the lessons in our church’s Sunday School curriculum this year– Yeshua/Jesus declaring the Kingdom of God–I also reflect on R. C. Sproul’s article from TABLETALK, commenting on Genesis and the kingdom of man… (See the link I shared above. Really! Go ahead and read it! It will do your little grey cells good!) 

My earnest prayer is, “LORD, Jesus, Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

In my own dusty existence in this earthen vessel… Let the increase of His government have no end…

 

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant…

From my journal of summer Bible lessons in children’s Sunday school… for such a time as this…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

Unforgiving servant bookmark1

Bible Passage: Matthew 18.21-35 NKJV

  • Jesus taught a parable about an unforgiving servant…

 

  • Even though the servant’s enormous debt was forgiven by his master, he would not forgive the small debt owed to him…

 

  • Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God enters by the forgiveness of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…

 

  • In the Kingdom of God there are no unforgiving servants.

 

 

 

The Parable of the Sower…

From my journal of summer Bible lessons in children’s Sunday school… for such a time as this…

Jesus the Storyteller

(THE GOSPEL PROJECT FOR KIDS – SUMMER 2017)

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Mark 6.34

the sower bookmark1

 

Bible Passage: Matthew 13.1-9,18-23 NKJV

  • Jesus taught a parable about a man who scattered seeds…

 

  • Jesus told about four kinds of soil, but only one produced a crop…

 

  • Each type of soil represented a way people respond to the message of the Kingdom of God…

 

  • Not everyone who hears the Gospel believes it.

 

 

 

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