Shalom.

It is a very popular Hebrew term, used as a “hello” and “goodbye” for the comings and goings in life.

Yet like most words, English cannot encompass what magnitude and depth this word contains. Following what the Strong’s Dictionary tells me, it means more than just the “peace” that people imply. Peace is a poor English word to describe what a huge expanse this word entails. Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord (7965). Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

When used in the Hebrew, it is the fullness that is comparable to a debt that is paid. That is, the debt is not partially paid, but fully–there is a sense of the completeness and the efficacy of the shalom being complete, and requiring no further action.

Keeping this in mind, I wonder when we read the words of Jesus, he often uses the greeting: “Peace be unto you,” a translation of shalom aleichem, what that would mean to us.

If it is, that Jesus is calling for our debts to be paid, and ourselves to be made whole through the freedom from the bondage of sin. What if shalom meant more than just peace, as we have understood it to mean, but Jesus continually inviting us to drink of the Living Water and eat of the Bread of Life? Applying this, are we seeking more than just peace, but are we looking for the debt of our sins to be paid fully.

Moreover, if we greet our brothers and sisters with the greeting–shalom–do we wish them completeness, wholeness…etc. ? Do we hope and pray for the utmost of graces and love to be lavished upon them, because Jesus certainly did for the people he encountered. To have the heart of Jesus is to know love other as you would treat them, and to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.

“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1v.7

Joyce Meyer and False Confidence in Self

ImageFor starters, this post has been breaking my heart the past few weeks. For large amounts of time I had locked away a portion of my heart, convinced that people that listen to Joyce Meyer do not exist. The only people that listen to Joyce Meyer are ghosts and people

It confounds me that for all the advances of feminism and the empowerment of women in modern culture (which I’m all for), that we still have women that allow themselves to listen to this. I am honestly convinced that Joyce Meyer is an insult to the intelligence and theological brevity of all women in the world. She is evidence that we, as the human race, have not gone far enough in the elimination of inequality between sexes because people still listen to her mind-numbing ignorance.

I seriously believe that. The same goes for men, that we have sure a derelict of godliness and Berean spirit that we listen to Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar e.t.c. It confounds me, that we as a human race, have catapulted technologically so far in the past century, but still follow these ritualistic, materialistic gods of wheat and rain. Never before in history have we had so much access to theological resources, but we seem to be in the greatest times bereft of seeking after God.

The Confidence in Self

Anyway, upon recommendation, I was listening to some Joyce Meyer the other day. The talk, I deign to describe it as a sermon, was on “Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman”.

I didn’t really understand the structure of the talk. The talk seems to be a lot of stories told in succession like a comedy routine. I guess it was entertaining, with chuckle or hint of laughter was merely another soul going to hell.

It was only thirty minutes in that the seven steps began. Of which, the first step toward becoming a confident woman was “knowing that God loves you”. She was very adamant on how important it was: Read more of this post

Individualism and the Prosperity Gospel

ImagePhotos of this nature are maddening.

This is, of course, excepting my presence in reading my facebook newsfeed, which is exceedingly more maddening. I am just a slave for slogans and the ilk.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s largely correct, as far as I can tell or what meaning I can infer from it: God is our healer through providential care and grace. We can put our faith on Him to bring us through this world, nothing can extend or shorten our allotted time on this earth. Admittedly, I’m not sure what “heart doctor” means exactly–perhaps they mean cardiologist. Moreover, when they refer to “energy booster”, I assume they aren’t referring to chugging down Red Bull energy drinks and mistaking angels for people with “wings”.

God is our portion, He fills our cup overflowing. But if that is all the post is about, it’s entirely incomplete–I would argue it’s blasphemously incomplete.

The problem of the post is not itself, but the underlying motivations of the post.

The intention behind the post is what is lacking as it is brazenly existential.

It assigns most of our hope on the current alleviation of suffering and none on the reward of faithfulness. Read more of this post

From “Affliction” by George Herbert.

“Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me
None of my books will show:
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree;
For sure I then should grow
To fruit or shade: at least some bird would trust
Her household to me, and I should be just.”

– verse 10

Affliction” by George Herbert.

The Blinded Samson

Image

Lovis Corinth. The Blinded Samson, 1912.

From wikipedia: “In many of his self-portraits he assumed guises such as an armored knight (The Victor, 1910), or Samson (The Blinded Samson, 1912)…In December 1911, he suffered a stroke, and was partially paralyzed on his left side. Thereafter he walked with a limp, and his hands displayed a chronic tremor.”

This painting was painful to draw, Lovis was only able to paint this with the assistance of his wife. Great is the fall from a mighty knight with no impairments to a hairless Samson within a year. Life changes within a moment and our greatness is shown to be foolishness.

We are nothing. We control nothing.

Dear Hipster Church,

So many thoughts I am likely not allowed to put on facebook. So, WordPress is in for a treat today! A early Christmas special as you would have it. ^__^

1. We Get It.

You love Jesus, we get it. You love others, we get it. However, it’s confusing when you treat Jesus and His words so flippantly.  It’s confusing when He’s merely “the man upstairs”, or “big bro in heaven”. I don’t really understand this Jesus you guys have placed your faith and hope, and ultimately laid down your life for. It’s confusing the obtuseness of your theology and lack of clarity in soteriology. Read more of this post

The Dangers of Asking The Lord.

I’ve been really blessed the past few weeks by this hymn.

Written by John Newton, it speaks of the danger of asking for holiness, growing in the Lord. On the flipside, it proclaims the comfort and security in amidst the turmoil and despair. It’s quite lovely.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”