Thursday, 27 December 2007

May I never forget…

It’s that time of year again. Time for New Year’s resolutions.
Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. They are generally just wishes and usually come to nothing.

I’m setting goals (visions) of how I would like my life to look like in the year (and years) to come. I’ve found that to be much more motivating.

Anyway, I was thinking about what my financial dreams are. Look, we all want to never worry about money again, right? And I thought about how we seem to forget about the Lord a little when things are going well.

Let’s be honest, we certainly don’t seek Him with as much fervour as when we really, really, really need His help. And I was wondering to myself, if I became financially prosperous, would I stay grateful to God?

What I mean is, would I remember to count my blessings and really feel grateful for them? That’s food for thought! Well, for my mind anyway. ;-)

Am I really feeling gratitude and expressing it to God right now, in the circumstances I currently find myself? It’s a good place to start practising!

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
Psalm 103: 1-2 -(New Living Translation)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Would we?

Sometimes I can feel you
Sometimes I feel nothing at all
Sometimes I just plain forget about you
For a little while…
Until life starts to press & squeeze
And I seek to find some inner peace
Boy! It would be just so much easier
if we could see you!
But would we really want to?
Would we want to be confronted by
the reality of God?
Would we then choose
to be in relationship,
or not?
I wonder…
Mostly I just love

(written by: Karin)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Love is..
well, not perfect
Even if we act as if it should be
How about real?
Real works for me
And beautiful
in the pleasure and the pain of it all
Who wants fairy tales anyway?
Give me reality
Something you can see, taste, touch
Yeah, rather give me something that lasts!

(written by: Karin)

Monday, 17 December 2007

Christ vs Santa

Christmas has lost a little of it's sparkle for me as I've grown older.

It used to be such a sacred holiday to me...the songs about Christ, the family time. It really is about celebrating Christ's birth for me. And yes, I also grew up with Santa and no, it didn't influence my Christian beliefs.

I'm not saying Santa is the anti-Christ, but as a Christian, what the heck does a fat old man, elves and reindeer have to do with celebrating the birth of Christ?

I know it's just my growing awareness about how the world celebrates Santa more than Christ (the world does not exist of all Chistians after all, and I respect that) that has made me a little disillussioned with Christmas. I thank my parents for the way they made Christmas such a special holiday for me, and I thank God for making me realise that Christmas isn't a biblical holiday. It's a very nice idea, but not something God instituted. He is honoured more by living a life of love and service, than by divisions about what Christmas means.

Reading about how Christmas was a pagan holiday that the Catholic church gave a Christian flavour, explains why Christ and Santa just don't want to mix for me. Two totally different celebrations got melded into an uneasy partnership.

Right now I don't know how I really feel about Christmas, except that I still love the songs that honour Christ in such a joyful way, I still love the family togetherness, giving gifts and that I would love to honour Christ by the way I live.

Friday, 14 December 2007

The Rebel Jesus

I heard a Christmas song on radio this morning that was more honest than anything I've heard in a while.

God is taking me on a journey lately where He is showing me how non-Christians view us and the Christian faith. I don't know why, but I'm along for the ride.

This song seems to speak as an outsider looking in on how the Christians are not really living the Christian life of giving to the poor all year round, but only at Christmas, when the mood fits.

The Rebel Jesus as sung by Bebo Norman
(written by Jackson Browne)

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
and the music of the season
and the merchant's windows are all bright
with the faces of the children
and the families hurry into their homes
as the sky darkens and freezes
We'll be gathering around our hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
and the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the Prince of Peace
and they call him by the Savior
and they pray to Him upon the seats
and in every bold endeavor
and they fill His chuches with their pride and gold
as their faith in Him increases
but they've turned the nature that I worship in
from a temple to a robber's den
in the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
and we guard our fine posessions
and once a year when christmas comes
we give to our relations
and perhaps we give a little to the poor
if the generosity should seize us
but if anyone of us should interfere
in the business of why there are poor
we'll get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
to take the tone of judgment
for I've no wish to come between
this day and your enjoyment
in a life of hardship
and of earthly toil
there's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
from a heathen and a pagan
on the side of the rebel Jesus

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Only we Christians have the true religion

That's what we believe, isn't it? But boy, how that must sound to an unbeliever.

Talk about arrogant!

So what's got me on this topic? A book by John Shore: I'm OK, You're not. The Message we're sending unbelievers and why we should stop.

With chapter titles like How dare they leave when we're offending them, it explains why evangelism in the modern world doesn't seem to be working really.

We're so into the Great Commission, that we've forgotten about the Great COMMANDMENT:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’No other commandment is greater than these.” -Mark 12:29-31

Mr Shore doesn't say evangelisation is wrong or that it never works, but that in a world that already has heard about Jesus and chosen not to serve Him, it is futile to tell them to repent. They believe just as strongly in whatever it is they've chosen to believe in, and with our attitude of "you're wrong, I'm right" we're just pushing them further away and damaging the reputation of the Christian faith.

Rather, we can be like Jesus and just love people. What about becoming friends with an unbeliever (*shock, horror, gasp*), live an example of Christ's love and then if they have questions about our faith, we can answer in love.