Figuring out the Magicians tricks…

English: Yin yang

Is science and faith really like Yin and Yang?

Science vs Faith… I’ve never understood this debate.
Why do they need to be against each other?
Doesn’t one believe in truth… while the other is in search for it?

You see in our day and ages there seems to be an understanding that science and faith are opposite… like black and white, like heads and tails or yin and yang as if there was some invisible force separating them meaning we must choose one or the other.

Do you realise that The Bible doesn’t actually agree with this?

In 1 Corinthians 3:20 it says “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;  he knows they are worthless.”

God knows it all FIRST… any idea we have is only second hand.

You see truth is never our enemy… because true truth belongs to God, and nothing true ever contradicts God’s revealed word in the Bible… however as Matt Chandler wrote in the book Explicit Gospel “discovered truth sometimes contradicts the words of Christians”.

God knows everything there ever is to know… and any ‘new’ discovery is only dependent on God revealing it anyway, because it was an old idea to God.

We think we know it all… yet we are just little dust men and women… made from dust… our lives are just a blip.

We have more knowledge now than any generation before us… and it’s made us arrogant and we’ve let the ‘knowledge’ creep into our churches and our lives… and we’re now starting to think we can break God down into bite sized portion… or a bumper sticker or t-shirt… and we have starved ourselves of the AWE of God… the wonder of God. We’ve been like kids trying to figure out how a magician does a trick like it was something to figure out… but God doesn’t roll like that.

In Romans 11:33 we are told:

 “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!”

We’ve made God just a little bigger than us and quite frankly that isn’t God…

Once we have come to the understanding on just how much we don’t have a clue about anything, and every new discovery is revealed to us … and how vast and huge God is then we can rediscover the awe and wonder that we are missing in our lives.

How do you stop a tidal wave crashing through your heart?

Heart of snow

My heart just isn’t big enough

I used to think that I had a big heart… I thought I loved lots.

It’s only been recently that I have discovered how small my heart is… it’s just not big enough.

I have a small heart.

I’ve been thinking about how much I love my family… my closest friends… I honestly want them to do the best, I want them to strive for bigger things and not just survive, I want their relationships to be great, I want them to know how AWESOME they are, I want them to reach the potential that I know they were destined for… I want the VERY VERY best for them.

But I’ve only now realised it’s a hard emotional journey… because when they hurt, you hurt… when they are going through tough times, so do you… you ride the emotional roller coaster… you want to go through the pain with them… but you can’t… you have to sit on the sideline and watch them go through the trials that you pray will help them become better people

And what I have discovered my heart just isn’t big enough to contain the love I have for my closest friends and of course my family and it frustrates me. I can write songs, I can write blogs and I can express the feeling I have for those closest to me… however I just don’t have enough room in my heart to contain it all…

I recently tried to express it in a song and the phrase “How do you stop a tidal wave, crashing through your heart?”  came out- and it’s something I’m really struggling with… how do you do it?

I can’t hold my emotions in… I can’t hold my feelings in… and it means that those closest to me are ALWAYS on my mind.
I loose sleep thinking about them… I loose sleep thinking and strategising how best to help them… I can’t help it…

We’re called to love how God loves he said he will give us a new heart… in fact in Ezekiel 36:26 it says:

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart”

What the verse doesn’t say is how much it hurts… how hard it is to journey with people.
I guess that’s why there aren’t many people who are doing it… there are people who are in for the ‘quick fling’… the kind of people who help out while there is something in it for them, however when there is something better that comes along or things get hard (or weird)  they will leave their ‘friends’ in pain and in need of someone close.

I’m in this for the long haul… no matter how much it hurts.

I want to see those closest to me not to just do well… I want to be there to help them EXCEL.

I’ve said this in other blogs… God doesn’t make junk… and so when he made you – he made you with a specific plan in mind (Ephesians 2:10) and I wish I could journey with you ALL to help discover that… but my heart isn’t big enough.

My heart is hardly big enough to contain the few I do hold close to me.

So tell me…
How do you stop a tidal wave from bursting through your heart?

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle

Feminism

Feminist Gloria Steinham famously made the statement “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”  it was pretty witty statement that has been thrown around for years… it even appears in the song ‘Trying to throw your arms around the world’ from the U2 album Achtung Baby (a song I love for the record).

I wonder…  if woman need to start thinking MORE like this…

Now before you think “Has Goose become feminist???”, I want to make things clear that I believe that we were created for relationship… and a relationship between a man and woman… an equal partnership, divided by the two different genders.

Ok so that’s clear…

I have so many female friends who are so eager to be in a relationship that they are almost willing to throw away all their beliefs… their hopes and dreams… their futures… just to hold onto a myth of  ‘the perfect relationship’

or sometimes it is just to have a man in their life…

or the illusion of a family unit.

Woman please hear me… know who you are.

You are more than just a relationship tyre that gets kicked around.

You shouldn’t be loved because you’re good in bed… or the kitchen… or look good on someone’s arm…

You should be loved because YOU ARE YOU…
That should be good enough for anyone who you meet who wants to be in a relationship with you… and if not –  they don’t deserve you… you don’t ever sell yourselves shorter than the beautiful princess that you are.

Know who you are…

There are so many women who have a low self esteem or a distorted view of themselves…
Here’s the thing… The God who made you doesn’t make junk… in fact it says in the Bible that  “he knew you BEFORE you were born”… and then if that wasn’t enough he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross just so that he could continue to live with YOU.
Even better than that… he wants to have YOU as part of his family…

The God of the universe loves you so much… why would you sell yourselves short for some guy who likes you in bed… but isn’t willing to help you with anything else??

Your partner should be willing to die for you… they want the best for you… the want to see you succeed…
You see true love looks like this…

It’s patient... it’s willing to take its time FOR YOU.
It’s kind… it’s not belittling you or making you feel bad.
It’s not envious… it doesn’t restrict your friends or screen your calls (unless your in a dangerous place)
It trusts you.

You see love gets the best out of you… sometimes it’s hard because the same that loves gives you… you need to be ready to give the same back… it’s a sacrifice for both sides.

Maybe the phrase should be “you need a guy who doesn’t really love you like a fish needs a bicycle”
Because when you find the right guy… he will move mountains for you.

But women… know who you are.
Because when you’re picky about who you are… you start looking for the same in the person you want to be with.

You are awesome... because that’s how you are made.

You don’t need to settle for someone who doesn’t love you for who you are… EVER!

Get out of your camps

Gospel Graffiti II

what does the word say?

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. – Hebrews 4:12 NLT

I’ve been thinking a lot about the different camps that divide the church… and while there is a need to stand up for the truths that are in the scriptures… and there is a need for us to highlight messages that aren’t true… we all would agree with most of that… HOWEVER I believe that the camps we have found ourselves in are just making us lazy.

There used to be a time that people used to turn to the Bible when challenged… they used to check translations… they used to put it into context of the whole story of the Gospel message that had been threaded through the dozens of books of the old and new testament.

These days… we listen to the pod casts of those that we like… we talk about the Gospel with only those who share our views… we read books by people we know will challenge us a little bit without making us have to think too hard about the logical conclusion…

And we have become lazy…

We have become slack on the gospel story…

We are missing out huge chunks of the message of God.

It’s good to like good writers… it’s good to talk about gospel things with people who share our same view and it’s good to read books that cement our way of thinking… However… we need to get outside out nice little insulated Christian bubbles and look beyond what other people within our circles are thinking… we need to really get back into the Bible.

There seems to be more and more people who assume what they believe is right but it’s not based on personal study… it’s based on simply what they were told… that’s why you are seeing large crowds of presumable smart sophisticated Christians following people who’s message just doesn’t stack up biblically.

I love the book of Acts and I have most likely read that book of the Bible more than any book of the Bible… but this scripture caught my attention… I love how scripture is like that… you can read the same story 4 or 5 time and then one day this amazing realization hits you.

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. – Acts 17:11 NLT

These guys are just cool… they didn’t just take what Paul and Silas had to say… they were challenged and they went back and read the scriptures… not just read the scriptures in this version it says they SEARCHED the scriptures… and not just once or twice but “day after day”

So are you just believing what is being told?

Or are you being challenged and then going and checking it out in light of The Truth…

 

 

Living with the tensions…

Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

Sometimes it bugs me that the church is filled with ‘camps’ with their own agendas… I guess it’s the same with most work places… however it really gets under my skin the fact that this happens within church.
Jesus says in John 13:35 –

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (NLT)

Know I’m not saying that we should agree on EVERYTHING… that would just be crazy… the reason it would be crazy is because managing the tensions is a great way to cover the most ground. For example take men’s ministries, if they demanded all the attention then it would only diminish women’s ministries… and vice versa… or if evangelical ministries got all the funding and support then it could take away from discipleship programs. I know there is more depth to the ministries than I have given but you get my point right?

The same can be said about the orthodox camp verses the radical camp… they seem to be at each others heels all the time.

The orthodox church doesn’t seem to take anything that the radical church has to say… good or bad.

Many of us would have instances of someone giving  ‘a word from the Lord’ … and it sounds more like some just trying to manipulate a group of people than anything else… so we reject anything that sounds even remotely like that. The orthodox camp often does exactly this.

Sometimes it’s for good reason… bad teaching, false prophets etc these need to be called out on their biblical inconsistencies. However rejecting everything just because it comes out of the ‘radical camp’ could mean that you are getting close to “quenching the spirit” or treating “prophecies with contempt (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)

However the same is true for the radical camp… often they are so eager and excited about the Holy Spirit they take it out of the biblical context that it was meant to be in… they go too far. They add to the scripture by changing interpretation so it ‘fits’ what they believe… this gets dangerous when they start listening to distortions of the truth… rather than from the Holy Spirit. They think that the Orthodox camp need to get a life and  discover the ‘freeing power’ of the Holy spirit.

The truth is… to a point they are both right… just on opposite ends of the bar.

How can both of these camps be compatible?

The orthodox church is committed to living in the truth word for word of the Gospel… however large chunks of this camp are quenching the Holy Spirit because ‘The Holy Spirit wouldn’t ask me to to that”. They are making fun that the things that are happening within the ‘radical’ church  but by doing so could themselves be treating the Holy Spirit with contempt, because how can they know which things are from God and which aren’t.

The Radical church is willing to do whatever and go where ever the Holy Spirit leads… and it’s freeing they are pushing the boundaries. They would admit that sometimes it doesn’t make sense, however they could tell you countless stories of the way God has provided and worked miracles in their lives. However these people can often be quenching the Holy Spirit by not filtering out the things that are Bibically inconsistent.

However both groups together… working on a dynamic Gospel that is based on the words of God… and is lead by the tangible leading of the Holy Spirit… and Whoa… we have a church that is both radically new able to push boundaries but that is also so clear on the words of God that it pulls itself up on anything that doesn’t quite fit… meaning it takes away the ammunition that most secular skeptics have of the church and the churches ‘prophecies’.

Could it work… of course it could… the church in Acts was made up with Jewish converts and their were even Rabbis within their numbers… With the power of the words of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit within us… we can be a truly amazing force.

“Test everything. Hold on to good. Avoid every kind of Evil” – (1 Thess. 5:21-22 NIV)

Music Review: POD ‘Murdered Love’

P.O.D. (Payable on Death) are one of those bands that are seen by Christians as too secular to be considered Christians and considered by the secular world as to Christian to be taken seriously… and to be perfectly honest… that tension is one of the reasons I like the band.

Murdered love the bands sixth mainstream studio album is full of imagery. The album starts of hard both musically and lyrically… the first two tracks talk about hard subjects like ‘End Times’ while the title track of the album ‘Murdered Love’ is a song that talks about the minutes straight after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and it aims to paint a graphic picture of the event.

“Exterminate the absolute
Stain the just in the blood bath
Waste the pure, butcher the divine
annihilate the sunrise”

It’s great to have a song that really shows the pain that Jesus Christ went through for us… once you dwell on the imagery it’s hard to back away from… you’ve seen too much.

The album isn’t all heaviness… and 3 tracks in we are introduced to the song ‘Higher’ for those who only picked up on POD at the Satellite album this song is most like ‘Alive’… in fact the next 3 songs after ‘Higher’ are a homage to where the band has come from… and it may disappoint some hard-core POD fans as they are tracks that maybe aren’t so heavy musically… however POD have always been on the heavy end of pop and on the lighter end of hardcore as they infuse their metal blend sound with everything from punk, reggae, hip-hop and of course a natural bent to a latin style. West Coast Rock Steady is the albums ‘party fun song’ that they seem to like to put on each album a great way I feel to remember where they come from and where they have been… this track would not look out of place on their first album ‘The Fundamental Elements of Southtown’…

Talking about where POD had been…remember they had Katy Perry on their album ‘Testify’ BEFORE she was really famous. I wonder what Katy Perry thinks of POD’s most pop infused song to date ‘beautiful’… the best way to discribe it is like 311 with big boy pants on. It’s a great song, and would be a great Northern hemisphere summer song.

The album picks up the harder sound with ‘Babylon the Murderer’ and ‘On Fire’ (a song the band released as a free download in July 2011) before taking a brief journey into some metal based funk (Parliament meets Prince meets Living Color) in the song Bad Boy a fun song where Sonny sings “I’m a bad boy looking for a good girl” – it’s pretty cool… and a real epic funk number.

POD finish hard on the album with ‘Panic and Run’ talking about the world falling down around us… the mixture of styles is perfect for a song of this nature as it pushes heavily the punk infused sounds with reggae, SKA and even heavy metal… set upon the back drop of ‘chicken little’ imagery “The sky is falling”.

And POD finish it all off ‘I AM’in which Sonny sings with the same sort of honesty U2 used on ‘Wake up dead man’… it’s an honest song that talks about knowing God and knowing who you are in that… but confused about this mess that we are among in the world… thousands of religions… false prophets and confusion… it’s good to hear people singing about how things sometimes just don’t make sense.

This is a good album from a band that is feeling comfortable in itself… it’s an album from a band that is discovering it’s faith is getting deeper… and it’s a band who realise that their sound is not only part of who they are… but where they come from… and the sound of the community they have found themselves in.

This is an album that is an album that has got a bit of something for everyone… I just hope that POD isn’t trying to be all things for all people while alienating some of their longest serving fans.

Most likely POD’s most accessible album in Testify… but with new life and a harder edge.