A scene in the gospels recently etched an image on my mind when Jesus took James, Peter and John up a mountain to experience something new of His presence. The encounter involved the spirit of Moses and Elijah but also the transfigured Christ (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9).
The message paraphrase of the Bible describes the manifest presence of Jesus in that moment in this way,
“…as they found themselves buried in the cloud they became deeply aware of God”
The post yesterday tried to shine a spot-light on the nature of God as an affectionate Lover of His people and the difference between this reality and the notion that God loves us only because He loves us unconditionally, as though we weren’t lovable to Him. Of course, our standing before Him is both transactional and covenantal (Romans 3: 1-24) but His love is not without emotional affection.
I was at a friend’s house over the weekend for breakfast and afterwards watched his little 4-year old boy plumb the depths of despair and rise to the heights of elation, back and forth, in literally less than a second. His roller-coaster emotions depended entirely on the pressure of water coming from the water hose pipe he was holding during a garden-based water fight. His little facial expressions were genius!
I’ll be working on a new worship project at Peak Studios in Bradford UK next week with some friends and members of my family to produce something special about the Presence of God. Here are two thoughts to steer you towards better creative output.
In my professional role as an NHS Exercise Practitioner, I’ve had the privilege of helping over 6000 patients one on one in the last 6 years to: improve their general health, lose weight, recover from open-heart surgery, reverse chronic metabolic diseases like diabetes, overcome depression and start walking again from life-threatening morbid obesity – the list goes on and on.
During that time I’ve met people from virtually every walk of life, most of whom wanted to lose weight and improve their health through physical activity.
Here’s some info for you if you are currently unhappy with your health/weight and how you might make that all-important move from being inactive to even moderately active. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments box and I’ll reply asap, otherwise I advise asking your GP about GP Exercise Referral/Prescription services in your area.
I remember Mike Bickle once saying that one way of recognising that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us as we read the Bible (The Spirit of wisdom and revelation – Eph.1:17) is that you can be reading a passage you have read a hundred times before and then suddenly you notice something for the first time about it that leaves you touched/moved/challenged/corrected/rebuked/motivated or inspired.
There are some Psalms I read and I just think, that is how my relationship with God should be. That’s the thirst and desire and God-centredness and single-mindedness and joy that I need and want. A heart completely secure in and sold out to the Father. They’re very inspiring Psalms. But I also find them convicting and condemning. Because my relationship with God is only very rarely anything even approaching that and usually a thousand miles away from that sort of devotion.
But… what it I don’t jump straight into the Psalmist shoes? What if I don’t straight-line the Psalms to me but first look at them as Jesus Psalms? Three examples (first one below and a couple more to come):
Deep down I do want to have that “one thing” focus on the Lord (v4) but I know that most of the time I don’t. I’m also…
I found a great e-book to download for free this week to do with manhood and masculinity, particularly as it relates to men working. It’s written by a guy called Richard Phillips and is called Masculine Mandate.
There are some really interesting thoughts in the book but none more so than the area surrounding Phillips’ disagreement with John Eldredge’s big thought in Wild at Heart about the core of mans’ heart.