27 May

Aramaic? Hebrew? What language DID Jesus speak?

I read an interesting article on the BBC today about which language Jesus spoke.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27587230

Follow me for a minute (remembering I am neither a Biblical scholar nor a linguist!)…..

The evidence suggests he spoke Aramaic or Hebrew and probably understood some Greek.  I live and work in a place where people regularly use 2, 3 or even 4 different languages.  It seems perfectly normal here to do so, yet each person seems to have 1 language that they understand best.  We refer to this language as their mother tongue or heart language.  

The New Testament was written in Ancient Greek so no matter what conclusion is drawn on the language Jesus spoke, it seems that Jesus words were translated when the Bible was first written down.  God seems very pro translation to me!   

I think God's desire to reach out to humanity is demonstrated in Revelation 7:9 "After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands"

Every language represented – it doesn't matter how big or how small that language group is and we have both here in Nigeria, they will be represented!  Brilliant.  

 

24 May

A prayer for Nigeria.

For those wondering how to pray for Nigeria – a friend posted this prayer from a friend of his.   I hope it inspires you.  

O God of the Nations, we praise You for your mighty and majestic power. There is no one like You, O God!



You rule over all the earth, and You are Lord of Nigeria. We ask that You demonstrate your awesome strength to all the people of that nation.



Lord, we first pray for every Nigerian girl who has been abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist organization. We ask that you release your angels from heaven to protect and defend them. Comfort their hearts when they are afraid, and give them unusual courage and peace. Do not let the enemy touch them. Surround these girls with songs of deliverance. You are the great defender of the orphan, the widow and anyone who is helpless. Hear their cry and answer them swiftly.

We pray also for the parents of these girls. We ask that they will call on Your name and look to You for help. Calm their fears and encourage their hearts.

We pray for Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, and for all other Nigerian government and military officials involved in looking for these girls. We ask for divine wisdom and guidance in this search mission. Shine Your supernatural light in the darkness, and expose the hidden plans and agendas of the enemy. Reveal the locations used to hide these girls, and don’t allow the terrorists to hide anywhere. If there are any Nigerian government officials who are covertly working to aide the terrorists, we pray You will expose corruption and bring all traitors to justice.

We pray for all American, European and Israeli government officials working in Nigeria to assist this mission. Guide their steps and use them to root out evil.

Finally, we ask you to deliver Nigeria from the dark forces that are bringing terror and death to that nation. In the name of Jesus we bind the spirit of militant Islam. Do not allow these terrorists to prosper. Dry up their funds, confuse their plans and cause them to lose courage. Release Your angels into the camp of the enemy. Just as Saul saw a vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus while he was persecuting Christians, stop these evil men in their tracks. Let them fall on their faces in fear of the Living God.

We remember the ancient prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, who said: “Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, the Lord will judge the ends of the earth” (1 Sam. 2:10). We ask You, O God, to contend with Your enemies, shatter their power and—as the world watches—rescue these girls from their captors.

In the mighty name of Yeshua we pray. Amen.

31 May

The second wife

The hope was that after the ethno arts workshop, we would have a couple of days break and then start recording songs and stories onto mp3 players and sd cards and the like. Since the Canadian team unable to come, we took the decision to postpone the recording but still to run the arts workshop. Lots of people came to get involved, so it was very exciting.

While at the arts workshop, an interesting situation came up. One of the ladies present is the second wife of a man. As a result, she is allowed to attend church and make an offering, but she is unable to be part of the choir, or attend other events, or be part of church life in any other way. There was quite a discussion about her participation in the arts workshop. She has an excellent voice and loves to sing, and was very excited about the idea of writing songs. However, not everyone was happy with her participation. In fact, an elder drew the line at her being involved in the recording. Apparently, it would jeopardise the ability to distribute the recording because people won't listen to it if she is involved.

I was mystified, maybe even a bit pissed off about it. How dare they judge a lady for that! How dare they decide who is and isn't worthy of worshipping God! How dare they decide who can and cannot come to a church programme!

And what of the man? He has the two wives! What sort of church are they when they say 'no' to someone? God is love, and I believe Jesus wants to hear her songs – to glorify him.

The problems:

  1. Talk about pot and kettle!
  2. The Bible does have guidelines and standards, but who are they for? What would I do if a gay or a lesbian wanted to join my church band? I know it is not the same thing, but multiple wives is a cultural problem. It is banned by law in England ad so we don't have to deal with it. The UK is about to allow same sex marriage. How are we going to deal with that?

We're struggling to differentiate between culture, theology, law, preference and interpretation of all the above!

What would you do?

  • Allow attendance but not recording?
  • Say no to it all?
  • Allow participation in everything?

It is very easy to judge through our own cultural filters – different isn't wrong simply because it is different, but it might be wrong when measured up against the Bible.

Time to read up on the apologetics of multiple wives.

21 Mar

We were designed to work

Watching the rugby France are ahead and they deserve to be to be honest but I have a short attention span and wanted to whip open the laptop. I don’t have a laptop it belonged to my previous job and so stayed with that job. Not so long ago it annoyed me. The lack of laptop and the lack of getting one. It was a lifestyle I was accustomed to and enjoyed. Thank goodness on reflection that my value and identity are in Christ!

Jesus and his disciplesThis last couple weeks at work have felt turbulent but have been really good. Eden to eternity is awesome it was great to play a tiny bit shooting some pics. It also gave a sense of purpose for those few days. I was contributing something that would count it was great. Then this week start meeting with my boss who has been very occupied with the tour to start working our what I can be doing for him. I have picked up a couple things and you know it was great to have some work to do. I’m nut great at doing nothing it is true but I felt dealt released to get on with some stuff. Maybe it is the morning exercise or the eating healthy maybe it is everything. But feeling good!

It the midst of my suffering I was Reading some Bible, Eden to eternity inspired me to reflection on creation. You know I found, we were designs to work. That Is part of God’s design for us. WOW. Never really thought about that before. No wonders there is so much depression and struggle when people are unemployed. It goes beyond the initial and obvious financial struggles in to a lack of self worth simply because we are not fulfilling a basic part of our designed purpose.

I have often wondered what was so attrarive about gardening, mans first job! First jobs often hold a special place in our heart.  I’m still not a huge fan!

09 Sep

Future of church?

I was sent thing video, very amusing at first, but actually a very good serious well produced video. This is why we need more youth workers!

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