Posted in Emily Wierenga, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Spirituality, Suffering, Tell His Story, The Love of God, Women from the Bible

Mirror, Mirror on The Wall

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God’s Thoughts to Me

In his proud exclusivism he condescended to receive Jesus into his home, probably to engage in some ad hoc detective work to personally interrogate Him and pin Him down on His ideas and prophetic credentials (A Commentary on The Four Gospels, James Fowler).

Who’s The Greatest Debtor of Them All?

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A while ago, my husband and I watched the movie, The Huntsman; a brilliant new version of Snow White. Now, being an incurable romantic, I like my fairy tales to end with a happily-ever-after.

In this movie, Snow White was crowned as queen without a knight by her side. But, at her coronation feast, she lavished the handsome huntsman with a promising, coquettish smile. Soooooo romantic!!!

As I was pondering the parable of the two debtors, my heart was filled with gratitude towards Jesus’ love and compassion towards all the undesirables of the world.

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Jesus told the Scribes and Pharisees that prostitutes, especially those with broken jars of nard, tax collectors, murderers, etc. etc etc. and drunkards (mind you) will enter the gates of heaven long before they do. (Matthew 21:31).

Heaven is a place for the unwanted, the poor, the lame, the lepers, the harlots, the tax-collectors, the humble, the peacemakers, the sorrowful, the Samaritans and, worst of all, the despised gentiles as well!

Not a place for the self-righteous who prance around like peacocks admiring themselves in an evil magic religious mirror, looking down at the drab grey sparrows.

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When Simon, the Pharisee, invited Jesus to a meal at his house, his dislike and disdain of our dear Lord was open for all to see. He withheld even the common courtesy of washing His feet!

When the party was well under way, one of those undesirables, an uninvited immoral woman, violated their customs by gate crashing the party. She was a prostitute whose reputation for harlotry was well-known; a fact accentuated by her loose, flowing hair.

We all know of her sweet smelling offering when she washed His feet with her tears, dried it with her hair and annointed Him afterwards with her expensive nard oil.

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And Simon was horrified that someone claiming to be a prophet could allow himself to be touched and soiled by such scum of the earth. And it hurts … it hurts very much! I know that so well.

He is an excellent example of how repulsed loveless, merciless religion is towards notorious sinners like this woman.

Then, and how I love this part, Jesus told Simon the story of the two debtors. He knew Simon’s heart and wanted to know who would love the lender the most after their debt was forgiven because none could pay back the money they owed.

Was it the one owing 50 denari or the one owing 500? Simon’s greedy, materialistic mindset of course, presumed that it would definitely be the one who owed the lender the most.

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I can almost hear our Lord Jesus asking Simon,”Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest debtor of them all?”. I think Simon needed a few mirrors to accommodate all his self-righteousness.

Was it the white washed tombs of religious hearts who meassured a person’s worth by a bunch of external religious rules, but were blind to their own subtler sins of pride and hypocrisy? Keep in mind that our Lord called them the children of their father, the devil.

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Was it the one who looked down his nose at our Lord Jesus and treated Him with contempt, or was it the sorrow-filled sinner who humbly, with a repentant heart knew how much she needed this Divine Forgiver?

Was it the one who was appalled at Jesus’ audacity to think He could forgive sins, but failed to appreciate his own need of a Savior?

Or was it the despised one who was heartbroken about her sinfulness that she didn’t dare even taking a peak into the murky soiled mirror of her heart?

Did her gratefulness to the sinless One enable her to humbly accept the redemption and forgiveness our Lord offered her as a free gift of grace?

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I always considered the woman to be the one forgiven the most, but that was at the time while I was still thinking with a religious mindset and from a human point of view.

After all, sexual sins were nearly at the top of my sins-to-avoid-at-all-cost list. I used to have a very long unwritten one. But not any more!!

I remember the time when my family and I were in a similar position as this woman and were treated with the same contempt by some modern day Pharisees.

My oldest son and a pastors’s daughter fell in love. It was at the time when the congregation was doing the Ancient Paths course.

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At that stage I was very, very ill and under the impression that it was caused by demons. After my doctor’s diagnosis of that between-the-ears disease, I believed them. And so did my husband.

I went for deliverance after deliverance, made a spectacle of myself in the process and eventually started drinking to ease the physical, emotional and spiritual pain.

Ancient Paths teaches that the sins-of-the-fathers thing never misses a generation! Suffice to say, my son was considered to be the next heir to that painful between-the-ears illness, as well as a drunkard in the making.

He was considered not good enough for that sweet girl and both their hearts were broken as a result.

I just pray that Pappa will do a mighty work of healing in both their hearts and enable them to forgive completely.

My Son, Simon
My Son, Simon

Today I have the joy of knowing that my child loves His Pappa with a fierce love, way above most other young men of his age.

I have the blessed assurance that my sweetheart is living daily in his Pappa’s Loving Embrace!

Much love xx

Mia

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Posted in Amber Haines, Everlasting Father, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Run-a-Muck

Jack and Jill

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV).

But the time is coming – indeed it’s here right now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, NLT).

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

So Far Away from Me

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In 1985 Dire Straights released their album, Brothers in Arms, with the hit song, So Far Away. Poetry through music, according to me!!!

Whenever their lead singer, Mark Knopfler, laments his loneliness, shivers of delight run up and down my spine! “I’m tired of being in love and being so alone when you’re so far away from me”.

These words from the song capture the heart of our Pappa when Isaiah brought His message to the Israelites about His distaste for the farce of their religious show and pretense.

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He informed them through Amos that He was tired of their religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

He refused to accept any of their offerings and sacrifices or to listen to their noisy hymns of praise (Amos 5:22-23). Our Pappa turned a deaf ear to their prayers for their hearts were so far away from Him.

Another peculiar thing has surfaced amongst the churches nowadays: Praise and Worship teams to lead the congregation into the presence of our God!

In many instances, these bands have become the main feature or attraction to lure people into joining the congregation.

But we read in Hebrews and 1 Timothy that there is only one mediator between man and his God, and it is definitely not Peter, Paul, Mary, the Pope or the pastor.

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Our Lord Jesus has not abdicated His position to anyone or anything. He is the Narrow Gate, the Way and the Truth, the only One who can usher us into the presence of our Pappa.

I recall the words of a youth pastor friend of mine on how the worship leaders know which set of notes to play just before the altar call.

Apparently this specific octave has the ability and great potential to manipulate the minds of the congregants and stir up their emotions.

As I was pondering the act of worship, I was heartbroken to see how so many have cheapened this holy act of love.

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I  knew I had to find the true meaning of Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman at the well about the kind of worship that would bring joy to our Pappa’s heart.

Worship and praise have become like Jack and Jill, hoping to draw living water from the Fountain of Life by going up the hill of the modern interpretation of praise and worship. We all know that they, together with their empty bucket, tumbled down this hill.

Religious worship is totally self-centered and focuses on the worshiper’s actions and experiences.

It is bound by time, place and all the different procedures involved. This kind of worship is defined by what we do and plays along in the game of humanism.

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We gather together in the parameters of a program, a place and time … we sing … we pray … we listen … we give … we serve.

We do and do and do and do some more. This is truly a do-it-yourself kind of worship experience!

When we look at true Christian worship, we find it totally the opposite of what we have become accustomed to.

Worship in spirit and in truth is a daily lifestyle where we always express the “worth-ship” of our Pappa’s character through an intimate bond of love between two kindred spirits.

As we allow our Lord Jesus to worship our Pappa by His Spirit of Truth by living His life in and through us, He enables us to love our Pappa with total abandon, unashamed, unbound and totally free.

This is the mystery Paul spoke about to the Colossians; God’s mysterious plan which is Christ Himself (Colossians 2:2).

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Religious worship has taken the “in spirit and in truth” part and replaced it with things like emotion and mind … enthusiasm and orthodoxy.

Of this kind of worship A.W. Tozer wrote in the 19th century, “We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inward to meet God in adoring silence … I wonder if spiritual worship was ever at a lower ebb.”

I know I am taking the risk of being misunderstood and want to clarify my argument. I am not against beautiful gospel music; in fact, I love it.

I am not against a band playing when saints assemble together in the unity of the Spirit … there where everyone is captured by the beauty and love of our God … there where every heart is closely knitted to our Lord Jesus.

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Dear Ones, let each one examine her own heart and cease from man-centered religious worship.

Let us learn from a dear old saint, Brother Lawrence, who explained this mystery of worship of our everyday life, as the moment-by-moment privilege of practising His presence.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

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Posted in Emily Wierenga, Girl Meets Paper, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Marriage, Monday Morning Meditations, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Our Saviour God, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Bride of Christ, The Love of God, The Peace of God, Walking with God

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24, ESV)”.

Enoch’s Secret

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There was a nagging thought that had the habit of pestering me every Sunday after church, “What makes you any different from all the people who walk the aisles of the grocery store when the first thing you do after church is walking with them along the same aisles in the same store?”

My heart was compelled by a persistent still small voice urging me to find the reason for this thief stealing my pseudo peace.

I had no idea that it was our Pappa convicting me through the avenues of my conscience about my hypocrisy.

This peace had the abilty to make me feel smugly superior to these poor lost souls. I know now that it was only a fabrication of the latest great gospel songs we sang at church. Music does have the ability to lull the soul. And today’s gospel music has a great beat and melody.

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I envied Enoch who knew the secret of just walking with God and I did the only thing I knew how to do well. I went knocking on heaven’s door, imploring Pappa to teach me Enoch’s secret.

And my Pappa answered!! I admitted to Him and Him alone, alongside many voices through the ages, that I had no idea what true faith really was!

I lamented alongside Mike Yaconelli, “I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokeness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in my acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith (Abba’s Child)”.

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Together with the father of the boy with the evil spirit, I cried out to our heavenly Father,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)”.

Our Pappa tenderly showed me how I desperately tried to manufacture faith through striving very hard, on my own, in the flesh. What a futile endeavor!

He knew of my fear of being included in the crowd who were chided by Jesus, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you?” (Mark 9:19).

He knew of my uncertainties and insecurities that made me believe our Lord was speaking to me in particular. He was well aware that in my vocabulary and my mind, “faithless” meant, “unlovable, useless, nuisance, shameful” and so forth!

When I came to that place where I had to admit defeat, our Pappa showed me the beauty of relationship. He didn’t give me faith as an entity per se; He gave me Himself.

The deep longing to desire Him and love Him, and then to love Him and desire Him even more, was the answer to my persistent prayers of years ago! Truth be told, I didn’t think I was worthy or important enough for Him to listen to my prayers, let alone, respond to my requests.

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First, He patiently had to remove the veil of law still covering my mind. The glorious truth and understanding of grace were veiled in my heart.

Like a bridegroom removes his bride’s veil, He removed the veil that prevented my heart from KNOWING His love … His grace … His mercy and compassion.

He gave me the wedding gift of receptiveness to receive Him into my longing heart and taught me the secrets of any relationship of love.

He convinced me that to get to know one another, I had to share with Him not only my life, but also my heart with all its secrets and my depreciating thoughts of myself.

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I willingly had to open the door of my heart to the room where a little girl was still hiding in fear, rejection and pain. I had to allow Him to gather her in His arms and heal her with His Kisses of Delight.

I had to dare to believe that He truly loved me unconditionally before I was able to show Him my spiritual nakedness and allow Him to clothe me with His righteous robe of His blood and redemption.

He whisked me off my feet to our private garden where He showed me the beauty of true love … where He overwhelmed me with His grace and forgiveness.

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He taught me Enoch’s secret of how to walk with Him, living in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

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Posted in Commercialism, Emily Wierenga, Galatians, Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Jesus Christ, Tell His Story

Riding the Tithing Train

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The early church had no tithing system … But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by moral obligation or by precept of positive law.

The tithing of the old law provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught… The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to pay (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.XIV, pp. 174-175).

Blessings for Sale

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As a child, I often had the privilege of riding on a steam train. How I enjoyed the sound of the locomotive picking up speed.

When it was well on its way, the whistle would tell the whole world of its pride and glory.

I remember how we and all our luggage used to be covered with a thin layer of soot. It even found a place to hide behind your ears or between your teeth and toes! Today, the steam train is just a fond memory.

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Nowadays, there is another train; the one driving on the railroad tracks of the monstrous, cruel religious teaching of tithing.

This train is driving through a thick, dark and scary forest of deceit, straight to the Kingdom of darkness.

This train’s thick layers of soot has crippled many of our Pappa’s children; not just financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.

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When the Catholic Church started this teaching in the year 585 AD, they, at least, refrained from violating the famous verse on tithing in Malachi 3:8.

Their trump card, which was already an abomination in itself, was excommunication.

Looking at the origins of tithing in the Old Testament, we find Israel being under a Theocracy. Their president or prime minister was none other than our Heavenly Father Himself.

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He instituted the tithing as His income tax system for the upkeep of the nation. The people had to “pay” three tithes.

The first tithe was brought to the Levites in the seventh month of the year. The Levites and the priests were the cabinet responsible for the upkeep of the nation.

The Levites had to give a tenth of this tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).

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The second tithe was brought to the temple for the feast that took place in the seventh month.

Sort of their public holiday to honor their monarch where they all feasted and had a good time together.

The third tithe was only paid every three years and this one was given to the strangers, the widows and the orphans.

All in all it amounted up to 27,9% of their income, spread over a period of three years. This is as far as my mathematical abilities go!

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Today another trump card is being played by the drivers of the tithing train. They play on the insecurities and greed of the human race and promise wealth and prosperity to those who fill their coffers with their hard-earned money.

I wonder if they are the descendants of the Judaizers pestering the first Galatian believers and the priests at the time of Malachi?

Actually, our Pappa was chiding the Levites and the priests who cheated on their income tax and even the widows and orphans of their daily bread. They were also an adulterous bunch, divorcing their wives left, right and centre.

I will never forget how an old black gentleman told me once the reason why he COULD NOT go to church: a lack of money.

After giving a tithe to their church he didn’t have much left for even just a decent meal. We all know what our Lord Jesus did to those who turned His Pappa’s House into a den of thieves.

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Another wagon that has been hitched onto the tithing train, comes from the Beatitudes, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38,NKJV)”.

Could it perhaps be that our Lord Jesus was speaking of forgiveness like He did in verse 37?

This wagon also sport the Seed-Faith compartment.

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I remember the time when I met my own set of “Judaizers”, telling me that I can line my own pockets through giving as much as possible, waiting for my sevenfold return.

I recall an incident when I was given a choice of receiving a nett or gross return on my salary, all depending whether I tithed on my gross or nett income!

They reckon the more you give, and that to them of course, the bigger your return will be!

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This deceptive teaching is based on Galatians 6:7 where Paul chided the Galatians for lending out their ears to the Judaizers who added onto the simple Gospel of Jesus, which was no Gospel at all!

I am so grateful for Pappa’s protection against this tithing madness that has been the spiritual ruin of many.

Whenever I needed discernment on this matter, He abundantly supplied all the wisdom I needed.

In my own life I have found that as I allowed our Lord Jesus to become my life,  I started to give more and more and more!!! Giving and sharing just seem so natural. It gives me so much joy for our Pappa has written the law of love on the tablets of my heart!

I cannot do otherwise and truly understand now why the first Christians were commended by all because of their love for one another.

It does not really matter what percentage I give, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite. The truth is that one actually wants to give way above one’s means for the sole reason of love!!!

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Dear Ones, let us listen and heed our Lord’s advice and not allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing and be surprised one day when we are invited into the eternal Kingdom for clothing, feeding and visiting with our Lord Jesus.

Much love XX

Mia

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