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Archive for the ‘The Christian walk’ Category

We look at life as that which fulfills our souls, things that reach to our deepest of parts.  In doing so we miss the very thing we think we’re looking for.  We miss it because life isn’t about us, it’s about God.

Although life will fulfill our deepest parts, we’ll never find life by attempting to be satisfied.  True satisfaction and fulfillment come as by-products of finding life… by-products of finding God.  May we enjoy this benefit of life, but more importantly, may we truly live!

John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

God be praised!!!

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This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while!  Normally things I wait this long to be entertained by end up disappointing me.

Not this book though!

From the very first chapter I was caught back up into the excitement of the Wingfeather Saga.  It took a few chapters for a few details from the last book to come back to me, but that wasn’t the book’s fault.  Whenever Andrew dropped a hint from the past the memories flooded in like a welcome tide.  It made me want to read the first book all over again.

So on the story went, in directions I wasn’t expecting.  There were many pleasant surprises, though they weren’t all pleasant for the characters to go through.  I did see a few surprises coming, but I think it’s because I’m familiar with AP through his music, and because he’s a fellow Christian.

The characters are deepened and developed more in this book than in most of the books I’ve read.  Take in where they started from in the first book, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”, and it’s amazing to think of where they are compared to where they started from.  I have a feeling that the next book will do even more with them than both of the first two books combined.

I’m loving the setting of the books, the world of Aerwiar.  It’s a land of excitement and epic epochs.  Every image of Aerwiar that the book conjures up has filled my mind with bright vibrant color and overwhelming life (except those places in which life is snuffed out, color is erased by the wicked, or where all is dipped into the darkest black).  The pictures he scattered throughout the pages definitely drew my interest deeper.  I doubt Andrew will write enough books or draw enough pictures to fill my mind with all there is to the world he has created, and the world he is still creating.

The adventure of the book was thick throughout.  It was always one notch more exciting than I expected at any given time.  The drama of the tale unfolded naturally through the course of the journey, leaving NO time to wonder if the pace was too slow or too fast.  After reading the book I feel like I should have a torn up traveling outfit hung on my wall for a display to all.

And while I know I should have seen it coming, the power that filled the last part of the book blew me over.  There was one line in particular that broke me down.  My eyes flooded and my heart stole my mind away for well over ten minutes.  After that I was able to get back to the book.  There were a few more parts that caused my soul to pause and reflect, to soak it all in and breathe deeply the truths of the Living God.  I was compelled to think on Christ’s love, and it was so easy to comply.  The power lasted long after the last words, and I was assured that it goes back farther than the first book.

It was all strengthened by the fact that the next day I read a verse in the Bible that reflected the same truths written in that line that took my breath away.  I don’t know if Andrew had that Scripture in mind, but I’m sure he had the Author of Scripture in his heart as he wrote.

I really want to thank Andrew for writing this book and series.  I want to thank his family too.  As a writer myself I know the impact a wife can have on one’s writing, and I know about some of the sacrifice a wife has to make to let her husband immerse himself in the world he’s making.  And I can’t help but think that his kids are adding light and color to almost every corner of Aerwiar.  Thank you Petersons!

North! Or Be Eaten is an amazing story, and an amazing sequel to an awesome beginning.  I recommend the book to anyone of any age.  I’m truly hoping for many more books in Aerwiar, set in anytime in its history.

Thank God He has made people in His creative Image!!!

For more on the Wingfeather Saga, visit http://wingfeathersaga.com/

For more on Andrew Peterson, check out http://www.andrew-peterson.com/index.php  and  http://www.rabbitroom.com/

For more from the publisher, go to http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/

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Another clip of Rich Mullins sharing some thoughts, not fearing what people might think.  Please share your thoughts that relate to what he has to say…

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How many times do we shy away from sharing Christ, from spreading light in the darkness, from standing up for The Lord and what’s right, simply because we love praise from men?  And we make up all sorts of excuses.  Among the worst of those reasons is this one… if they don’t like me I won’t be able to evangelise them effectively.

How dare we blame our shortcomings on God.  It’s one thing to honestly misunderstand, but to lazily settle for less and say someone else is to blame… shame on us.

While we must become all things to all men, that does not mean they must like everything we do.  Indeed if they are not a Christian then there will be things they simply won’t like about us.  There’s no getting around that, for the flesh does not like dying to the Spirit.

God did not call us to “Go unto the world and be liked.”  There are enough people who are liked, that’s not what the world is starving for.  God called us to love, and to speak the truth plainly in that love.  He called us to be like Christ.

In our passage, starting in vs. 42, we see that while some denied the plain truth of Christ, others believed.  Even some among the leaders believed!  But they fell short.  They would not confess their belief out of fear.  Fear of being put out of the synagogue.  Fear of losing the praise of men.  They loved that praise, more so than praise from God.

But Jesus encourages them.  He tells them, and indeed us, that those who believe in Christ believe also in the Father.  He tells us that He came to give us light, so we won’t have to remain in the darkness.

Jesus even says that He did not come to judge us.  No, He came to give us life.  Now there is judgment, and it will come by the words Jesus spoke to us.  But those very same words lead to eternal life!  We only need to heed them!  It isn’t God’s goal to cut us off and leave us in darkness.  Quite the opposite!  He came for our good.  And all that He did is for our good.  All that He continues to do is for our good, if we love Him and His calling.

God’s commands lead to true life.  And He has commanded every vessel of His Spirit to go and show the world that there is indeed light.  We need to warn them of the darkness they’re in by showing them that light.  Even if it means they don’t like us.  It’s not their opinion of us that will judge us on that Day, it’s the words of our Saviour.  The Saviour we claim as Lord.

And it’s not their opinion of us that will get them into heaven or hell.  It’s their standing with the Lord.    Are you living for yourself, so that hell will be full of people who like you and were never offended by the light you didn’t bring to their eyes?

You may enjoy your time in the synagogue that is the heart of the lost.  But will it be at the cost of Jesus not coming into their place of worship?  Has it become a place for the worship of you?

But they won’t listen to me if they don’t like me…

I desperately need to be different in this, and I fear I’m not the only one.

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I don’t think any other song (save those written in the Bible) has ever affected me as much as this one has.  This song literally changed my life, by the God whom the songwriter serves.  I pray your heart’s true desire is Him, and that no desire for this world will bind to your heart.

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Jesus did so much to prove who He was. 

Many people today say that if they could meet Him face to face then surely they’d believe.  I doubt most people who say that, that is those who continue to say such a thing,  have been honest with themselves.  Even people of His time, who saw (in person) real and undeniable MIRACLES, did not to believe in Him. 

Verse 39 says “for this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn- and I would heal them.””

This is not the easiest passage to understand.  It seems to have a lot in common with Pharaoh’sheart being hardened.  Some people try to explain it by saying that God pointed fingers at random and decided who would and would not be capable of believing.  We know that’s a fallacy however, for many reasons.  One reason being that God Himself said through Paul that He “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

The quote in verse 40 of our text is from Isaiah 6:10.  Let’s go there.  God is sending Isaiah unto Israel with a message.  There’s more to it than that, but you’ll have to go back and read it carefully (noting in vs. 9-10 what Isaiah is told to “say” and what he’s told to “do”).  I’m still working on that one myself.  But in response Isaiah asks how long.  God says (to sum it up) until Israel’s cities are destroyed and the Israelites are sent far away.  All of this is because of Israel’s unfaithfulness.

Also quoted in our John text is another passage in Isaiah.  John says it’s a prophecy fulfilled by the people not believing in Jesus.  This quote is from Isaiah 53:1, and again you really should go to it and consider it in relation to our John 12 text.

While I have some ideas about what the entire meaning of this passage in John is, I won’t lay out my speculation here.  I’d hate to lead someone astray.  But what I can say is this…

Every person presented with Christ has a choice to make.  Choose Him and you will live.  You can ask your questions, but do not do so proudly.  You’ve been shown clearly enough that God exists and you have been shown that you have indeed sinned.  God does not expect you to say you believe in Him if you really don’t… He expects you to really believe in Him.  So leave no stone in your heart unturned and throw your all at His feet.  Consider everything with eyes wide open… He will answer you.  And the humble in heart will love His answer.

But a person could also choose to be proud and arrogant.  They could choose to close their ears, and turn their eyes, and harden their hearts.  This is not a correct answer to a math problem that they’re making, it’s a decision of what the answer is regardless of the equation.  It is not a whole hearted honest response, it’s a choice to reject the evidence before them because they want to believe something else.  Such a response may have results you didn’t plan on though.

A warning to any such person is found in John 12:37-50.  Go down this path, just as Pharaoh foolishly did, and you run the danger of having your heart hardened.  This hardening may last until you come to your last breath, in which case you will have ruled out for yourself any possibilityof hearing the truth with your heart.  Or the hardening may last until the false kingdom in your heart is destroyed, and you experience a pain and suffering for which you only have yourself to blame.

Lamentations 3:31-33 says “For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.  For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”  It is not God’s desire to make you suffer.  But He will do it to open your eyes and ears, to soften your heart.  The pain is your own doing, for it would not hurt to tear a thing from you unless you yourself stitched it into your own flesh.

Tear it off He will though, if you dare to let it go.  Better still, believe on Him when He comes to you, and save yourself the heartache of seeing your lie destroyed.  Believe on Him, that He might save you from the wrath to come.

Verse 41 brings up some more interesting thoughts, and again I can’t tell you I have it all figured out.  Likely it’s simply referring to the event described in the beginning of Isaiah 6.  Whether it is speaking of that event or something else, it’s clear that seeing the glory of Christ will change a person.  For better or worse, believe that you will be changed.  And know that you will have to answer for your response to Him.  Don’t chance eternal suffering for the sake of keeping your heart calloused.

Praise God!!!  Believe in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of man!!!

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So I picked up a 15/16 Hammer Dulcimer on ebay a couple months ago.  It was made by Sydney Martin of The Luthier’s Staff.

Here’s the first song I learned from the hymnal…

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