Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 June 2017

If The Missions Impossible, What Can I Do?

Andy looked towards the top of the mountain but couldn’t see it. You see he was only an ant, but he had a job to do, he hoisted his backpack and started crawling… and crawling. It was impossible to see the path through the maze of grass, gravel, fallen leaves and other obstacles but he must get to the top. Every day for as long as he could remember he had been traveling upward, and much of the time the trip was exceedingly difficult. He was lost, Andy knew it; he hadn’t been able to find the trail for days, but knew it must be there somewhere. Surely, if he kept climbing in the right general direction he would get there; after all, he was climbing upwards.
Andy was exhausted. The sun was beating mercilessly on his head, had been for hours now, and the load was getting heavier by the minute. Could things get any worse? They could. Other ants were making their way back, tired and discouraged.

“It’s not enough,” they lamented, “You’ll have to hurry, our little anthills of good deeds are not enough to appease the Creator.
“What about those who have been martyrs: their piles are made up the pain they have suffered, are their offerings more acceptable?”
The only one not too weary to respond shook his head. “All of our offerings look pitiful; I don’t know why we try.”  At that, the other insects hissed angrily and there was such a clamor of protests that Andy crawled away to find shelter under a leaf.
He wondered for a long time what he should do if they toiled all day and long into the night yet their efforts weren’t satisfactory.  At length, he fell asleep.

“Andrew! Andrew!”
Andy stirred and opened his eyes but saw no one. There was a soft glow off to one side so focused on it.
“You are not an ant, but a man,” the melodious voice continued. “The one you call your master has convinced you that you are worthless, of no more significance that a lowly insect, but that is not so.
“Come let me take your burden, and as you share your worries with me, you will find the weight shrinking and you, yourself, will grow into the person you were meant to be.”
Andy turned over and went back to sleep, but in the morning the vision had not left him.
“I don’t know who you are, Sir,” he whispered into the air, but could you come and help me carry my weight?”
Immediately he felt his chest expand as if he could breathe easier and he was able to walk faster.
As the days went by, he found himself sharing more of the load with the unseen Comforter. Other ants looked up at him, puzzled, he was changing, growing, but not in a fearsome way. His face took on more human characteristics, such as kindliness and joy. Every time he helped someone with their troubles, he grew.
One day he shed the mold that was cramping him and was able to gaze into the eyes of his new Master.
Thank you for loving me enough to set me free,” he whispered.
The other ants still clamored around him, belittling him, accusing and distracting him, but he had a new Master.
That made such a difference.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

What's Going On Here?

I updated this post to make it more clear to those that aren't familiar with the setting.

Her master paced agitatedly just on the outskirts of the crowd, thought better of it, then ducked behind a sycamore tree, hoping to see but not be seen. ‘Why did the scribes and Pharisees have to pick on her of all people? Why couldn’t they have chosen some worthless scum like, like well, Marta, for example. She is old and bent over and no one wants to spend a night with her anymore anyways: might as well put her out on the streets.’
He peered around the tree, why is everyone so quiet? ‘I thought they would be stoning her by now and she would be screaming out and sobbing for mercy…What in the world? He is stooping down writing on the ground? What an odd rabbi.’
He tugged at his jet black beard agitatedly. ‘Something is definitely going on here that is strange.’ He inched a little closer, careful to keep concealed behind the billowing robes of the onlookers.
John and all the rest were edging away from the girl they had dragged in. They knew she committed adultery but now they were slinking off like beaten pups. The master was feeling increasingly uneasy. ‘Does that rabbi know what goes on under cover of darkness? Does he know how sinful these scribes and Pharisees really are?’
Suddenly he felt guilty also and found himself scurrying down the street, heedless of the other men also slinking away, heedless of the stares.
Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. Reach out to Him.

John 8:3-11
The Story Behind the Story
In Jesus' time the scribes and Pharisees  had a lot of clout. They were the religious leaders and forced the people to adhere to the law, their laws in the tiniest of details.

 They liked to stand on street corners loudly praying, but in their hearts where no one could see, but Jesus, they were proud and cruel, and sinners like everyone else. It rankled them that Jesus, who was kind and merciful spoke so strongly against them. This is just one incident where they tried to trap Jesus into breaking a law that would get Him into serious trouble, but since He know their hearts, they were the ones that turned away feeling guilty. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

Gimme Yer Money!

Acts 16: 16-19. The Bible says very little about the damsel in this story, but we can hope it turned out something like this, can’t we?
It doesn’t take a studious historian to know that women have been used and misused almost since the beginning of time. What is it about the fairer sex that causes men to take advantage of her?  Here’s an example, of course my imagination had to kick in to fill in the details.

“Okay, damsel, get out there, hurry now, those Christian men are heading to the place of prayer, and you know what you are supposed to say.”
The young girl lowered her eyelashes for the briefest instant and stifled a sigh. Yea, of course she knew what to say and she knew the terrible beatings, or worse, she would have to endure if she didn’t appease her masters. At least they didn’t demand that she try to sell her body to these preachers: that would seem impossible, she knew they were good men, and loved the One True God.
“These men are the servants of the most high God,” she called, then glanced worriedly at her owner. ‘I’m not being forceful enough.’
“These men are the servants of the most high God,” she called out once again, trying to make her voice sound stronger and more mocking.
Several people scurrying by paused to look at her then at the men. They knew that she was considered a wicked woman so cast the humble, earnest preachers’ scornful looks.
“If Delilah says good things about them, they must be worthless frauds,” they told each other.
Tears sprung to Delilah’s eyes, she knew they were good men and hated what she was doing.
“These men show us the way of salvation,” she screeched, and several others scurried over to Master Kasich to pay to have their fortunes told next. She felt creepy for always ‘knowing’ what to say about their future, and didn’t enjoy doing it.
This continued day after day, Delilah was impressed that the men never yelled at her or knocked her around because of her scornful shouting. ‘Do they know I don’t really want to do this? If they know surely my masters will catch on also.’
She tried desperately to try to be louder, more raucous, and saw the men who had bought her rub their hands together maliciously, gleeful that she was bringing them so much business.
But then something happened.
The preachers turned to look at her, and her heart pounded loudly. The tall, thin one, she already knew his name was Paul, seemed so grieved. ‘Is He mad at me?’ But no, he started speaking, and it seemed like he was talking to someone else, that ‘someone’ inside her that made her say such mean things even when she didn’t want to.
Delilah’s eyes widened, Paul was commanding the evil spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus Christ!
Suddenly Delilah felt so released, so free, so filled with a quiet joy. She would have collapsed with the wonder of it all if Silas hadn’t taken her by the arm to steady her.
Of course Kasich grabbed her roughly and told her to get back to work, but she didn’t, she simply couldn’t say anything against these godly men, she couldn’t even foretell the future for any of the customers crowding around, either.
After roughing her up for a while they turned on the men, and Delilah knew they would be in deep trouble.
We’ll get to that in the next story, but I like to think someone, a kindly Christian matron, perhaps, had been watching Delilah pityingly all these days. Now that the mob was focused on the two would-be prisoners she took Delilah by the arm, and whispered,
“Would you like to come home with me?”
What do you think Delilah said?
This is one of my favorite verses: ‘For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ Can you grasp that?