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roadsign
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 Re:

Quote:
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.



As we move along, we must keep this Pauline text firmly in our front view. After all, we ourselves are prone to peering back into the desert behind us – and fix our eyes on threatening giants – those things which merely aggravate our fears, suspicion, distrust, and unbelief.

Let's admit, human nature finds it easier to focus on the threatening problem of unbelief "out there" than on the the treasures of faith within us - through Christ Jesus.

Notice how Paul's prayers tend to include many words about God himself - the treasure itself - the blessings in the Promised Land - the Kingdom of God. Paul is looking at the full "half" of the cup when he prays!

Seek first the kingdom of God, and then all the things which you are inclined to fret over will be taken care of. Set your vision, goals, and aspirations on the Promised Land, and there you'll see that your needs are met - ABUNDANTLY!


May our spiritual eyes become skilled at recognizing the evidence of trustful faith in others – lest we find ourselves focusing on what we see wrong – and we become critical and cynical.... without a single prayer for the faith growth of brothers and sisters in Christ. That is NOT faith living!

It's time to disengage our minds from the discouraging reports by the "ten spies" and seek after the encouraging reports by the "two spies".

NO MORE DWELLING ON THE EDGE - WITH ONE FOOT IN THE DESERT AND ONE FOOT IN CAANAN!


Do I hear an "Amen"?

Diane

Be THOU my vision.....


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Diane

 2012/8/8 6:41Profile









 Re: Now the Lord is not only with us He is IN US!!!!

Numbers 13:33, "And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

Let's look at what Joshua said in response to this.

Numbers 14:1-9, "And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
----
Neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Now the Lord is not only with us He is IN US!!!!

Why fear???

*edit added verse

 2012/8/8 16:30
learn
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Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


 Re:

Hi Diane,

It was not so much a question but the general perception I got that you were asking on how to get more faith and how to let go of earthly things. Now bear in mind I only briefly read/skim your latest posts and so may be wrong and if so I apologize.

The Paul Washer sermon touched on how we need to pray so that the Holy Spirit empower us and when we do so we get more faith etc. When I saw the sermon, I immediately thought of this thread and thought that it might help.

Currently I do not have time to really read through the whole thread and meditate/discuss as I'm off pursuing another area of God although there's certainly some overlap with faith.

Perhaps I may come back to this thread at a later point.


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geraldine

 2012/8/9 16:25Profile
roadsign
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Posts: 3776


 Re: Drawing from our weaponry


I praise God for how the Church has provided us with a mighty weaponry against this giant of fear. Our rich hymnody is a good example.

Today this one especially encourages me and strengthens my fragile faith. Here is an expression of deep trust:

Jesus! I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For, by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus! I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

2 Oh, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea:
Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

3 Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart,
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings,
Thine is love indeed.

4 Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.


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Diane

 2012/8/13 6:30Profile









 Re: The biggest giant

There is a giant that has not been truly exposed so far. In my opinion it is the worst and biggest giant. One reason it is so dangerous is that most people do not even consider it a giant. What is this giant? it is the giant of religion. Now when I say religion I am sure many ideas may pop into your mind so to make it very clear - I am talking about the giant of "Christian Religion".

Now True Christianity is NOT a religion at all but is really just embracing, walking in, enjoying and participating in Christ's Life daily in our union with Him. Now all of this is just the result of what God in Christ has already accomplished for us and in us.

 2012/8/13 8:12
roadsign
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 Re: by the rock band, Rush

The Weapon (Part II Of Fear) by Rush:

We've got nothing to fear -- but fear itself
Not pain or failure, not fatal tragedy
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry

With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun
In the glory game on the power train
Thy kingdom's will be done

And the things that we fear are a weapon to be held against us...

He's not afraid of your judgement
He knows of horrors worse than your Hell
He's a little bit afraid of dying --
But he's a lot more afraid of your lying

And the things that he fears are a weapon to be held against him...

Can any part of life -- be larger than life?
Even love must be limited by time
And those who push us down that they might climb --
Is any killer worth more than his crime?

Like a steely blade in a silken sheath
We don't see what they're made of
They shout about love, but when push comes to shove
They live for the things they're afraid of

And the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them...


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Diane

 2012/8/16 7:43Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
They shout about love, but when push comes to shove
They live for the things they're afraid of



I think this is an amazing observation of humankind. History has proved this to be true over and over – certainly in the historical church. I think this line of lyrics, in itself, is worth considering. How does this observation play out even today – among the people of God – especially in view of our weak faith?

It's true, isn't it: We can easily speak of love as the ultimate virtue, but when “push comes to shove” – that is, in temptations (perceived threat), our behaviours are determined by what we fear. What is it that we fear so intensely? How is that revealed in our choices and habits?


Diane


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Diane

 2012/8/16 8:29Profile
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 Re: I’m being taken over”: Popular music and the fear of the impersonal

article by Rachel Thorpe January 2010
(CAPS MINE)

“It takes a worried man to sing a worried song.” So croons popular singer Paolo Nutini in a song on his latest album Sunny Side Up (May 2009). In doing so he reveals the serious side to the glossy pop culture of the twenty-first century. In the era of the iPod, Spotify and free music downloads, song lyrics are fast becoming one of the most important windows into the thought-world of our society.

One concern resurfaces regularly across the genres – that FEAR LIES AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING. As we shall see this is probably an echo of the earlier existential “angst” or brooding disquiet about the apparent meaninglessness of everything. An obvious example is Lily Allen’s 2009 hit entitled simply ‘THE FEAR. In January 2010, the song has been re-released on the internet with a new promotional video. Young people from across the country are filmed singing along with Allen, and these snippets are put together to create a montage. A whole generation joins together to affirm her words, which speak of an overpowering FEAR. This kind of FEAR, the chorus points out, is the cause both of emotional numbness and the loss of a moral code:

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
Because I’m being taken over by The Fear.
(Lily Allen, ‘The Fear’)

One could make a thorough and convincing critique of modern society by extending some of the points that Lily Allen picks up in these verses. We see a society defined by “free-for-all celebrity, rampant materialism and triumph of self” (Jod Mitchell). Allen mentions the love of money (“I want to be rich and I want lots of money”) and the culture’s obsession with appearance and the superficial (“Everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner”). But all is blamed on this all-pervasive fear, which seems to be at the root of capitalism itself:

I am a weapon of massive consumption,
But it’s not my fault, it’s how I’m programmed to function.
(ibid)

Mechanistic man is at the mercy of his FEAR and attempts to douse the flames of an ever growing fire with possessions, wealth and momentary fame: “I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless / ‘cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous”.

But what is this fear? It is the angst that Francis Schaeffer was already writing about as early as 1971.Facing the kind of existentialist despair expressed in writers like Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, he claims that “fear can come in many guises, but it mostly comes in three areas: the fear of the impersonal; the fear of non-being; and the fear of death”. It is what Graham Bretherick calls “negative fear”, to be distinguished from the fear of the Lord.

Much could be said on each of these areas, but my focus here is on the most persistent of the three fears which Schaeffer lists.

Fear of the Impersonal

cont'd....


http://www.rachelthorpe.com/im-being-taken-over-popular-music-and-the-fear-of-the-impersonal.html


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Diane

 2012/8/17 16:23Profile
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 Re: cont'd

FEAR OF THE IMPERSONAL

The fear of the impersonal saturates song lyrics, the poetry of the twenty-first century. One singer who deals with this issue specifically is Sam Sparro, who released his song ‘Black and Gold’ back in March 2008. Internet discussion asked if it was about the God of Christianity, since the singer’s father is a minister. Sam Sparro’s response was “[The song] is pretty much about existential moment. Does God exist? What are we all doing here? I was thinking about the origins of the universe when I wrote it - you know, nothing much, really!”

The song is a seemingly harmless dance track with a catchy tune. But Sam Sparro’s use of the word “existential” points us towards the serious philosophical considerations that underpin his lyrics. Fear or “angst” (to use Kierkegaard’s term) about the unbounded freedom of man quickly surfaces. Within its first verse the song is already tackling one of the big questions about the “origins of the universe”. It highlights the uncertainties which a wholesale acceptance of Darwinian evolution inevitably raise.

If the fish swam out of the ocean
And grew legs and they started walking
And the apes climbed down from the trees
And grew tall and they started talking […]
Now I'm looking for a reason why
You even set my world into motion.
(Sam Sparro, ‘Black and Gold’)


The song quickly comes to the point and defines the FEAR under consideration here. Without a God, everything we see is meaningless - matter which does not matter, existence without significance. Lily Allen’s song expresses the fear that eats away at emotions and morality. But Sam Sparro’s song goes a step further in claiming that this fear poses questions about the fundamental basis of reality:

‘Cause if you're not really here
Then the stars don't even matter
Now I'm filled to the top with fear
That it's all just a bunch of matter.
(ibid)


The concern that everything we see and feel is just material substance is one of the most powerful messages of our culture.


“I want to be next to you”

Paolo Nutini returns to this theme in his song ‘Coming up Easy’ (Nov 2009), when he remarks in a refrain, “It was in love I was created and in love is how I hope I die.” What Nutini refers to is something all human beings experience - a deep desire to bracket life in personal human contact; that is, to escape the all-powerful impersonal. But, if we have come from matter and death is simply a release from matter then his remark is meaningless. Can love, a concept which is itself challenged by song lyrics, really be strong enough to banish the fear we have been considering?

It is – but only if two things are true: first that there is a real personal Creator, and second that this creator loves. Only the agape love of the creator has the power to banish ‘The Fear’: ‘There is no fear in love,’ says the apostle John,’ but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18, ESV). God’s unconditional, active love is the only antidote to the rebellion that automatically produces fear, and also to the punishment that is feared. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10, ESV).

What is involved here is the need to replace matter as the bottom line in the universe. The existence of an objective personal God who loves, and who is love is in fact the ultimate foundation of all reality (1 John 4:16). The personal replaces the impersonal and fear, ‘angst’, is swallowed up the by a love that gives an infinite meaning to human experience and an assurance of infinite mercy. And God’s love doesn't just come down from an ethereal space above the universe. It is intrinsic within it. Humans are made in, by, and for love, and it is only because we are personal beings we can deal in categories such as 'love' and 'fear'. They are no longer empty words. Nutini is right - in love we were created, and in that same love we can live and die, free of fear.
The words of the songs we find whirring in our brains and tripping off our tongues are a window into the intense emptiness of contemporary life. They deserve attention. And there is an answer. Once we accept this, both in looking at our culture and in listening to its music, we are able to echo Sam Sparro’s address to the creator:

'Cause if you're not really there
I don't want to be either
I want to be next to you.


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Diane

 2012/8/17 18:39Profile
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
The words of the songs we find whirring in our brains and tripping off our tongues are a window into the intense emptiness of contemporary life. They deserve attention. And there is an answer.



Fear is the agonizing end-product of a society without God. Yet, tragically fear also keeps God’s people from being all they can be - from living in their own destiny: to be a light in our hurting and fallen world. Here I see a collision of two mighty forces of FEAR at work fear in the unbeliever and fear in the beleiver (for different reasons). This is surely a sinister work of the devil – to keep the world in such a death grip through the power of fear.

Praise God for those many followers who by faith have conquored the giant and been effective minsiters of hope and redemption.


Oh Lord, open up our sensitivity to the cry which our society is expressing so loudly through its song, behaviors, and pursuits. May that heart cry echo deeply in our minds – that we may ponder more seriously over the gift of life God has given humanity. You have called us to be privileged guardians of a vast and awesome Truth – the very Springs of Living Water – the Water that alone can quench the parched soul.

Free us from the grip of fear that we may reach more deeply into the Spring of Life within, walk more boldly in the Promised Land … and in that way, through our trust in you, be living evidence of hope in Christ. For in him one can be truly filled. And He is fully trustworthy to his promises!

Diane


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Diane

 2012/8/18 7:51Profile





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