Cyprus

3 01 2017

Wow. I knew the country of Cyprus was divided, and that the Muslim influence was quite problematic. But I until I read the notes in ‘Operation World’, I did not realise to what extent the nation has been divided. The Religion of Pieces, at it again.

“The country is divided as a result of Turkey’s 1974 invasion and occupation of the north. The Greek and Turk populations are separated: the north calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the south claiming the whole island as the Repubic of Cyprus (ROC). The ROC is internationally recognized as the legal government of the whole island; only Turkey recognizes the TRNC.” (Operation World, Jason Mandryk (Ed.), p. 295)

Population: 900,000

Capital: Lefkosia (Nicosia) 243,000

Official Language: Greek

Public Debt: 49% of GDP

Religion: The Christians are almost all in ROC and Muslims in TRNC.

Christian 71%, Muslim 24%, Non-Religious 3%, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish…

Largest Christian Denomination: Orthodox (by a country mile!), Catholic, Apostolic…

Problem: The ethnic-cultural-politcal traditions cloud a fresh encounter with the gospel.

Prayer: Living God, who loves the human race, and redeems them in the ministry of Jesus Christ, may this year bring a new movement of the Holy Spirit, to open doors for the hearing and response to the gospel in new and enduring ways. We pray for the evangelical Christians, who, though small in number, are equipped with the power of your Word. May the foreign workers, British military, Logos Bookstore, Growing numbers of ethnic evangelicals and YWAM, Interserve and others, combine to be a witness to Christ’s Lordship in new and stirring ways. Amen. 





The Meta-Narrative BC

14 05 2012
  • The Everlasting God
  • The Plan: before the Foundation of the World
  • The Beginning: Creation
  • Galaxies, planets, suns, moons, stars
Image
  • The Earth as Home: plants, animals, oceans
  • Adam and Eve, Created in God’s Image
  • Marriage – Centrality and Prototype
  • The Mandate for Humanity
  • The Great Tragedy
  • Great Grace
  • Anger, Mayhem, Murder
  • Noah and the Rainbow
  • The Nations
  • Abraham: Call, Faith, Blessing
  • Isaac
  • Jacob and Esau
  • Joseph and his Brothers
  • Egypt, Power and Slavery
  • Moses
  • Community Life of Israel: Law, Culture, Worship, Wisdom
  • Joshua, Judges, Prophets
  • David: The defeat of Goliath and Charter for humanity
  • Kings, Prophets and a Recalcitrant Nation
  • 587 BC     Babylonian Captivity
  • Daniel
  • 400 BC     Malachi
  • No Prophets
  • The Rise and Fall of Empires
  • The Roman Empire
  • Alexander the Great




Singers and Dancers

20 08 2011

Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.” (Psalm 87:7).

What amazing talents human beings have been given. Singing is something that most people can do—at least, to some extent. Little children, often love to sing away when they are happy.  Even so, a grand, regal, resonating singing voice is surely an extraordinary gift.   Likewise with dancing. To draw upon the presence of God in the exercise of our gifts, is surely something that we can do, consciously and unconsciously, or not. (Some even deny God’s existence, while exercising the gifts he gave). However, when looking to God, and asking him to bless the work of his hands – us – we may well be praying a good prayer, so that, we may be a blessing to others. To cause others enjoyment and encouragement and even a crisis leading to faith—with the gifts he has given us, namely, us the person he has made, has got to be a good thing, I reckon.

Proverbs 4:23 cautions one to, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life”.  Natural water springs are quite a beautiful feature of some of the farming land on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. When springs are flowing well, life surges and grows.

The theologian and teacher, Baxter Kruger, said something like this: “I knew as a child that something vast, deep, ancient and beautiful, was running through all of life—an invisible river of glory is running through our lives”.

When our springs are in the invisible river of glory, and when we are drawing upon those subterranean resources, the exercise of our gifts, and talents, flow in a river of life, and blessing into the life of others, and so into the world around us.

Jesus once cried out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”  Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).

Jesus was indicating that he himself, was the source of a river of glory, springs of life, to flow out to others.

Interestingly, this ‘river flow’ had an important background in the rock, that supplied water for Israel in the wilderness – as this whole blog title says: ‘And That Rock Was Christ’.

Interestingly, Moses had to smite, or strike the rock for the water to flow. Jesus was struck, or smitten upon the cross, as he was glorified, before the river of the Spirit began to fully flow. This was the place where the guilt of humanity was entered into and borne by Christ. Guilt is like a great blockage in the flow of human life, and love. Guilt is that which must be taken, to allow a true human flow of life into the world, into the future.

A river flows out from Eden, and flows into the world, and onward unto the future Eden of God, where there is a River of Life waters the Tree of Life, and the trees with fruit bring healing to the nations (Revelation 22:2).

The Word of Life, that the Ascended Jesus speaks, is the action of the outpouring of the Spirit of God—the River of Life—into the parched and dry weary world of suffering, lonely, lost, guilty and therefore uncertain humanity.  This river flushes out the old debris and brings with it new life—welling up to eternity.

To be part of the significant flow of God’s word in  Christ is to be in the flow of our true humanity, and it brings blessing and life. It is what we are created for.

How is it going with you? In the flow? Flowing? Or damn dammed up? May the Spirit flow anew, evoking life, evoking fresh participation in the invisible river of glory, the Word of the Gospel to the nations of the world: look up, receive, believe, Christ is triumphant over death; the Father is the God of ALL grace; he raised Christ and gave him into death for us all-to deal with us, fully in judgment; humanity has a new hope. Let’s begin to live that way!





The Resurrection—Unlike Anything

6 04 2011

Death. There is “a full stop” at the end of Christ’s death. Death.

It is a real death – a final death –a proper death – a tragic death – a human death. The Eternal Son of God, is… yes, …murdered, put to death. The image of a chrysalis, being transformed into a butterfly is a totally inadequate illustration of the resurrection of Jesus. It should be scrapped! It should be discarded from all children’s talks. It does not demonstrate Christ’s resurrection.

Pupa to butterfly is a marvel, no doubt. But it is not the Easter event at all. It is simply part of the wonder of creation, of life – of life flowing and maturing, growing and moving from one stage of goings-on to another. (It would be better to consider the image of a squashed butterfly – dead, finished! … now bring that to life!!).

The death of Jesus – his murder, and the subsequent resurrection of Jesus cannot be illustrated. There is nothing like it. There never will be. It is unique. No symbol can ever convey or represent this mystery. The glorious resurrection of Jesus was as a man. His risen body is real, not ghostly (Luke 24:39). This grand event is crucial for the future of all creation.

It takes the Holy Spirit of the Living God to publicly portray Christ as crucified, and to sheet home to us the enormous benefits of his death. And of course our total need of it—each one. It also takes the Spirit, to enlarge faith – and assurance, to know this Jesus who has been raised from the grave, for us all.

Looking forward to a glorious resurrection body? (Philippians 3:21). And what of the Father, who so loved the world? What love!  O Worship the Lord in Holy Array!!       Cheers, Trevor








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