PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
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Issue No: 417     Published: 19 Oct 2009

MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT

In the words of the Lord's (Disciples [both past and present!]) Prayer;

your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

When you pray that prayer, what is your thinking as to 'when' the kingdom is to come? Worthy of a pause to consider, before reading further.

Being born and brought up post World War 2, my understanding, along with most others, was that the prayer was referring to a kingdom to be set up upon the return of Jesus. "Jesus, you will come back one day, preferably after I am dead, and set up your kingdom upon the earth!" That was, and remains, the understanding of most Christians today.

Once I was truly established a personal relationship with Jesus at age 42, I started to read the Bible! I got into the Gospels. I started segmenting Jesus' arguments with the religious people of the day, His healings miracles, His disclosures on who He was, and details of birth, death and resurrection. Then I was left with His teachings. His teachings to me personally, on how I was to live my life.

I found that His teachings, almost without exception, were centered around the kingdom.

The primary teaching method of Jesus was to speak in parables. These 'life illustrations' about the kingdom would be understood by His true followers, but not by 'religionists'.

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (Matthew 13:10-12)

So I got to thinking, which for me, is always dangerous! I saw that Jesus spent His time teaching about the kingdom. Yet I had been taught that the kingdom was for His future return! Would Jesus ignore our present state and just teach about a future utopia?

I slowly have come to understand that He didn't and wouldn't. For it takes a lot to change us from preconceptions that have been established in our mindset over many years. Hence, if this sounds all too radical to you today, I can assure you that it once did to me too!

I came to the only logical conclusion possible, that the teachings of Jesus, His kingdom teachings, are for today. If then, His teachings are for today, His kingdom too must be for today also. For His kingdom teachings presuppose a kingdom.

As Jesus questioned and explained to His disciples;

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matthew 13:51-2)

That understanding, the new treasures, have revolutionised my life. No longer do I just try to live a good life until I die or Jesus comes, but there is now a present purpose to it all, to see His kingdom established upon the earth - now.

(Continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

The Parable of the Sower

"That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ”‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”"(Matthew 13:1-23)

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

"When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:5-12)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1012. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the biggest hindrance to God building His kingdom is man building his. It's called religion.

1013. Man organises the god out of God!

1014. Religion builds tradition, the Spirit, change.

1015. Religion builds tradition, the Spirit breaks tradition down.

1016. One person's vision becomes their successor's job.

1017. The kingdom of God is built upon relationship, not organisation.

1018. Mankind cannot build the kingdom of God for He has already done it far better than we ever could.

1019. While religion may desire to build God's kingdom, it finally succeeds in building its own.

1020. The kingdom of God doesn't need to be built, rather, grasped hold of.

1021. Religion is of the proud, the kingdom of God, of the humble.

1022. Religion revolves round organisation, the kingdom of God, relationship.

1023. Religion is planned, God's kingdom, spontaneous.

1024. God's kingdom is visionary, religion, managed.

1025. Religion is birthed in the institutionalisation of a revelation of God's kingdom.

1026. 'God given' revelation quickly becomes 'man controlled' religion.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON






32Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35Jesus wept. 36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:32-34)

The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.





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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM PEOPLE

We look at life change and humility.

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

*** "Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

109. YOUR POINT OF VIEW
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."

"Praise choruses?" said his wife. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.

The farmer said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you: "Martha, the cows are in the corn"' - well, that would be a hymn. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

'Martha, Martha, Martha,
Oh Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA,
the cows, the big cows, the brown cows,
the black cows the white cows,
the black and white cows,
the COWS, COWS, COWS
are in the corn,
are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,
the CORN, CORN, CORN.'

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise chorus."

The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He went home and his mother asked him how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "it was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."

"Hymns?" asked his mother. "What are those?"

"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his mother.

The young man said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you: 'Martha, the cows are in the corn' - well, that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:

'Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense
Hearkenest they in God's sun or His rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to the bright shining day by and by
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animals make my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.'

Then if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.

108. MORE KID WISDOM
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her 5 and 6 year-olds. After explaining the commandment "Honour thy Father and thy Mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"

One little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What do cats, camels, and giraffes have in
common?

ANSWER: Cats, like camels and giraffes, walk by moving their front and
hind legs on one side, then the front and hind legs on the other side.
When most other animals move, the front leg on one side and the hind
leg on the other move together. (Having only two legs makes decision
making so much easier.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: How can birds sit on electric wires without
being injured?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

316. ONLY FROM AMERICA
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was named one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World" by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994, along with the Hoover Dam, Interstate Highway System, Kennedy Space Centre, Panama Canal, Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and World Trade Centre. (Could they be just a teeny-weeny bit biased?)

317. YOUR ROOF
Mansard, gambrel, hip, gable, and lean-to are types of roofs on buildings. (Are roofs of the mouth all the same?)

318. MUCH READING
There is a house in Rockport Massachusetts, USA, built entirely of newspaper. The Paper House at Pigeon Cove, as it is called, is made of 215 thicknesses of newspaper. (Nothing is as old as yesterday’s news.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

TOPSIDES

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - PROVERBS

5) A gentle answer turns away wrath:

A - but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.
B - but a harsh word stirs up anger.
C - but he who heeds admonition gains understanding.
D - but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE"""

LIFE'S LITTLE REMINDERS

1. An apology is a good way to have the last word.

2. Pick your friends, but not to pieces.

3. Life is like a mirror; we get the best results when we smile at it.

4. Usually people are as happy as they make their minds up to be.

5. You cannot leave footprints in the sands of time while sitting down.

6. You will never offend a person by returning a smile.

7. Gentle words fall lightly, but have great weight.

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JUST JOKES

26. THE PROPOSAL?
A college senior took his new girlfriend to a football game. The young couple found seats in the crowded stadium and were watching the action. A substitute was put into the game. As he was running onto the field to take his position, the boy said to his girlfriend, "Take a good look at that guy. I expect him to be our best man next year."

His girlfriend snuggled closer, replying, "That's a unique proposal – but I accept!”

25.'CHEEP-CHEEP' CHICKEN HUMOUR (!?)
Q. What do the police do with criminal chickens?
A. Grill them, of course!

# This chicken soup tastes really funny
# Why aren’t you laughing then?

Q. Is chicken soup really good for your health?
A. Not if you’re a chicken!

Q. What’s the best time to buy baby chickens?
A. When they’re going cheep-cheep!

# Did you hear the one about the 50 year old egg? It’ a very old yolk!

Q. What do you get by crossing a chicken and an octopus?
A. Enough drumsticks for the whole family!

# The latest ‘Cheep Market Research’ shows that 3 out of 4 chickens make up 75% of the world’s chicken population. Could there have been a ‘fowl-up’ in the research?

# Waiter, these eggs are too runny!
# Shall I send them back to the chef for you?
# Too late, I’m afraid – they’re off out the door!

Q. What did the baby chicken say to the big bad bully rooster?
A. Why not peck on someone your own size!

Q. How do chickens get sick?
A. They come down with people pox, of course!

Q. What happened to the man who swallowed a pound of chicken feathers?
A. He was tickled to death!

Q. Why did the chicken cross the playground?
A. To get to the other slide!

Q. How do you get out of a hen house?
A. Go through the ‘eggs-it’!

Q. Which side of a chicken has the most feathers?
A. The outside, of course!

Q. What else do you get when you cross a chicken with an Octopus?
A. Eight feather dusters – of course!

Q. Why did the bubble gum cross the road?
A. It was stuck to the chickens foot!

24. RICH MAN POOR MAN
A father worked as an accountant for the Air National Guard. Despite a regular adequate income he had a "poor" mindset, always unhappy about money matters and very vocal about it.

One year at an air show, in a crowd of many close-by people, his daughter looked up at him and said, "Dad, what do you do out here?"

He answered with a smile, "I pay the bills."

She looked at him in obvious dismay, looked around, looked back at him, and announced (to the delight of all around), "No wonder we're so poor!"

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Relationship Between the Shepherd and the Sheep)

THE SHEPHERD IS SO ACUTELY AWARE OF HIS SHEEP.....

.....that he often doesn't even need to count them! He can feel the absence of any of his sheep. A Lebanese shepherd has said, 'If you were to put a cloth over my eyes, and bring me any sheep and only let me put hands on its face, I could tell in a moment if it was mine or not."

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

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Churches Close Their Doors for One Sunday to Allow People to Be the Church

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Oct. 12 2009 12:14 PM EDT

It's a risky move for many pastors but dozens of churches decided to cancel their weekend worship services and put their faith in action.

Pews were empty as Christians across the country wore their white and orange "Don't Go to Church. Be The Church" shirts in observance of Faith in Action Sunday on Oct. 11.

"The shirts make a statement that I think most Christians want to make – that we really do care about more than just what's happening in our building," said Shelly Langley of Cloudbreak Church in San Diego, Calif.

A collaborative effort between Outreach Inc. and World Vision, the annual campaign encourages churchgoers each year to shift their focus from themselves to others. Churches that have participated over the last several years testify that the campaign has helped moved their "inactive" members to become active and involved.

"Our Faith in Action campaign is helping us transform our congregation into a church that is motivated to help our community and strive to grow in Jesus' image," the Rev. Todd Lackie of Kenwood Church of Christ in Livonia, Mich., told the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers. "A church that puts its faith into action focuses not on itself, but living out Christ's teaching and his divine example of compassion."

Churches are already putting their faith in action – at least that's what many think, according to a recent poll.

Outreach and World Vision commissioned a national study to determine Christians' attitudes toward helping the poor and found that 67 percent of the more than 2,800 churchgoing adults surveyed believe their church is already doing enough to help the poor in their community.

But the national poverty line – currently at 12.3 percent, according to the United States Census Bureau – has remained relatively the same during the past five years.

Steve Haas, vice president for church relations at World Vision, says the information exposes a discrepancy between "Christians who believe they are doing enough and the reality that Christians are not doing enough to help our communities."

Faith in Action, he says, "is designed to be one step towards alleviating the complacency that is afflicting churches across the country, and an effective call to action to follow Christ’s example of compassion."

It's a radical idea, however, for some.

Some are against the idea of closing church doors on Sunday. Christians are called not to neglect to meet together in a formal gathering for worship, as the Rev. Kevin DeYoung of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., states in his book, Why We Love the Church.

"Our gathering for worship is an exercise in covenant renewal, a weekly celebration of the resurrection, and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come," DeYoung says. "So, no, you can't stop going to church and still be the church."

But organizers of Faith in Action maintain that campaign participants are not canceling worship. Rather, they are "redefining it."

"Worship was never to be confined to a single time of a single day during the week but a whole body experience of faithful obedience to a risen Christ," Haas of World Vision has argued.

Still, acknowledging that there may be some protest, organizers have offered suggestions to such churches. They are encouraged to either serve on Sunday morning and then worship in the evening, or vice versa. Churchgoers may also choose to execute their Faith in Action project on Saturday and worship as they normally do on Sunday. The campaign cautions, however, that Saturday events generally draw fewer participants.

via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

WALKING THE ROAD WITH JESUS

An illumination of Gods desire for our Christian walk as revealed in Revelations 12:11. Both a challenge and a hope - 22 pages from 'Eagles Fly High!'

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WAXING LYRICAL

I have been really blessed with a tremendous wife. Just took me twenty plus years to
really recognise it!

Wrote this poem nearly 10 years ago now. How time flies! It tells a little of the story of our first 30 years together. Nearly 40 now!

LIFE WITH THE WIFE

We met at a camp, some thirty-two years ago,
What life was to bring, little then did we know.
Yes, there was a spark, that brought us together,
A mutual attraction - more than just the weather!

Maybe more notice, of the weather should have been taken,
For just a few days later, the City of Wellington was shaken,
By the ‘Wahine Storm’, the like of which is so rarely seen,
A hurricane! Prophetic of our marriage, could it have been?

Still, two years later in the month of May,
Kathy and David married, on a cloudy day.
In Palmerston North Baptist, our vows were said,
The journey of marriage, lay tantalisingly ahead.

Two years on, after tripping right around the world,
Exploring our roots. In Britain, they were unfurled.
We came home, ready to start our family of four,
Two sons soon, followed later, by two sons more.

So twenty years of our marriage, it did pass,
Oh me, oh my, the time! How it does go fast!
Me, taking the male path of ‘girls, gold and glory’,
The wife ‘at home with the kids’, you know the story.

Turning my back on God, over this time,
The vibes between us, they ceased to rhyme.
Resulting in tears, flavouring the baking you see,
Kathy gently sobbing, while making muffins for me.

By now our business, we had lost,
In stormy seas, vigorously tossed,
But then, I did come to the Lord,
For Kathy, that did strike a chord.

(Concluded next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

For the past 10 days or so we have had our friends Ben Chris and Suzette, from South Africa, staying with us. The day they left South Africa it was 21C here. The day they arrived in New Zealand the temperature had plunged to 10C! So they were very cold for a while! This had the benefit though, that they were able to see snow on the mountains behind the plain on which we live, and also get to feel a little bit of snow on the side of the road when we travelled from Napier, over the hills to visit relations in Taupo, 150 km away, for the 89th birthday party for my mother.

While in Taupo, we visited a thermal area, where Ben and Suzette were able to see boiling mud (pictured), and also steam coming out of the ground being used to generate electricity.

Yesterday it was 24C here. So they have now thawed out and are enjoying our normal, beautiful spring weather!

Much like life these days. As with both the variations in temperature and scenery in New Zealand, life has lots of ups and downs!

Some of us are celebrating success, others experiencing failure. Yet God is unchanging, and with us through all the ups and downs of our lives. We enjoy the 'ups', but normally draw closer to Him during our 'downs'.

May we all experience the Lord's presence this week as we 'walk through life with Jesus'.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: DEPOSITS

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 5) B - but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
7 Bull Street
Ahuriri
Napier
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 835 0567 International (+64) 6 835 0567

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Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

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