What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rêverie


Je passe mon temps
A rêver tout conscient.
Mes pas me conduisent
Sur une plage déserte,
Un doux zéphyr caresse
A sa guise
Une conque aux reflets
D’arc en ciel
Que la marée complice
Abandonne à mes pieds.

Ce trésor à l’aspect anodin
Partage son secret
Lorsque me penchant
Dans le reflux du matin
Mon oreille attentive
Et patiente découvre
Une musique sublime
L’harmonie des ondes
Qui tendrement
Evoque dans mon être
Une sensation profonde.

Un désir irrésistible
De murmurer en unisson
Le nom qui provoque en moi
Un indescriptible émoi,
Le nom de ma douce
Et tendre bien-aimée
Qui par la richesse
De ses qualités
Et la beauté de son cœur
Pur, doux, bon et généreux
Fait de moi l’homme le plus comblé
Et certainement le plus heureux.

Jean-Louis.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Le Lion et l'Agnelle





C’est ce que j’aime en toi, ce qui m’attire …

Pouvoir te comprendre sans essayer d’analyser,
Quel privilège de contempler ta simplicité virginale
De simplement recevoir ce que tu m’offres
À ta manière toute originale,
Si gentiment, et courageusement,
Si tendrement et si généreusement

La porte,  tu l'as entrouverte
En réponse à un aveu
À peine chuchoté dans l’intimité
D’un boudoir de trafic virtuel,
D’une alcôve sans cloisons
Les murs n’ont pas d’oreilles
Dans le royaume du sommeil
Des rêves lucides empruntant leur essor
Des ailes caressantes de tes paroles
Réveillant tendrement ce cœur mort
D’avoir battu, trop vite, trop longtemps
Pour de mauvaises raisons.

La raison est souvent trompeuse
Elle se laisse emprisonner
Par les idées de vendeurs d’esclaves
Au meilleur acheteur
Mais l’amour pur et vrai
A seulement ses saisons,
Et nul besoin de se rendre,
De s’acheter ou de se vendre.

C’est lui seul qui rend la liberté
Qui ouvre toutes grandes les portes
De la servitude d’un peuple opprimé,
Fatigué du joug qu’ils ont eux-mêmes forgés,
Tendant leur cou fragile en abaissant le regard
Sous l’arrogance du maître de leur choix
Élu par peur de lever leurs yeux jusqu’au ciel
Pour accueillir humblement le message
Depuis longtemps proclamé.
Source éternelle d’unique vérité
Seul remède à la mourante humanité.

Toi, ma sœur, mon amie de toujours
Et mon amour renaissant en concert
Avec l’aube de chaque jour,
Tu l’as vue, cette chère liberté
Tu l’as goutée, elle guide ta vie,
Elle a rempli de mesure sage
L’infini qui nous est promis
Dans un avenir si présent
Dans ta belle âme sans frontières
Découverte et arpentée seulement
À la lumière des pas précédents
Sans besoin d’un regard furtif
Sur le chemin déjà parcouru
Dans le domaine des ombres

Nul besoin de se dérober
Quand le cœur pur est mis à nu
Sous le regard protecteur
De ton égal en réflexion
Sur la surface miroitante
De ta profondeur inaccessible
Aux navigateurs zélés étalant
Leur convoitise dans le creux
De leur marée basse où s’accumule
Un flux incessant d’écume inutile

Seuls les êtres équilibrés
Peuvent se permettre
De parcourir à leur gré
Le domaine des superlatifs
Sans pour cela admettre
La faiblesse de paraître extrêmes
Aux yeux des aveugles
Et de tomber dans le piège si tentant
D’une insipide médiocrité

Tout cela tu me l’as enseigné
Avec ta douceur, ta patience
Face à mon érudite ignorance
Tu as calmé ma fougue
Et mes élans passionnés
Ce lion que je crois être
Tu l’as dompté et lui donne à manger
Dans le creux de ta main entraînée
A bénir et à nourrir, toi enfant fidèle
De l’agneau de Dieu immolé

Toi, ma douce et gentille agnelle,
Bénis soient le reste de tes jours
Dans la paix, l’amour et la joie
Que Dieu dans sa grâce t’accordera.

Jean-Louis.














Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Sailor's Dream


Dedicated to my friend Andrew

One evening, sheltered from the wind and the rain
At ease in a little cove, enjoying his Southern Comfort
The sail, a happy and soft tune exchanging
Between the mast and the rigging
My sailboat anchored in melancholy
Was dreaming of a start for a change.


A little whisper, just a small breath,
Who knows? Perhaps a ballet
Of blue or sperm whales
To rock the boat and take him for a dance
Just a sensation
to fill the silent, 
empty space between two waves.

Thirsty for fullness, surrounded with solitude
In this well designed habitat, all weather-proofed
The hold all sealed up, air conditioned
The rudder plunged in a space
Reduced to an indefinite wait.

Nothing, flat pond water, at the horizon
Nothing, but a synchronized flight of pelicans
Flipping their wings with the rhythm 
I was beating with the tip of my foot.
Maybe, that’s it, the echo of the deep
Response in harmony to a shiver of the heart
That emerges in the night on some wooden deck
And rises in crescendo up to our neck.

Not even daring, the veiled sound of a Ukulele
Draws from her sleep a sweet vahiné.
“Wake up! It’s time to rise and shine”

Strumming morning chords fade slowly,
One needs to play more than a song
To discover the pearl hidden
Behind the veil of a moiré sarong.

Meanwhile, she unaware of her own power
Lets a melody escape, miraculous breath
A westerly trade wind blessed by God.

Filled with wonder at the sight
When he was hoping for a whale
To rescue him from his plight
The sailor, staggering, stumbling
Holds the dancing mast with all his might
As in a ballet choreographed on an off-beat.

Suddenly, surprise
A gentle stern wind blows on his sail
The hull whimpers and all the joints
Start singing a sweet symphony.
The floating hammock swings
And heads for a sweet harmony.

The sailor, far from analyzing
This fortuitous scented breeze
Asks almost in a whisper:

--Aren’t you gutsy with your gust!
-- Why, no! All my wrong if any
Is to have blown in your sail?
Now it’s your call to follow your star.
After all you woke me up
With your foot tapping.
Isn’t it what you wanted?
--Come on, sailor man, don’t blow your cover
Especially, don’t blow your cool!
To your words, add your steps,
And stop giggling.
For after having heard you
I was gutsy, indeed
So, now play me
A happy tune on your Ukulele.

Jean-Louis.

Mon Croissant de Lune


A Mírian

Tu es
le croissant de lune
Illuminant de paillettes dorées
Mes nuits blanches passées
À arpenter les dunes
De sable
Infranchissables
Jusqu’au courant libérateur
Menant au bas de l’équateur

Tu es
le parfum exquis,
Ma fleurs aux mille pétales
Que la brise fraîche de tes yeux
Exhale en paroles caressantes
Me guide hors du dédale,  
Et chasse la brume étouffante
De l’implacable et cruel oubli,

Tu es
 le miroir limpide
Qui se meut constamment
Dans la clarté lucide
De mon enchantement.

Jean-Louis.



A Rebelião das Massas. José Ortega y Gasset

(Interesante ponto de vista)
Se você concorda, compartilha
Senão,  compartilha também
Se não compartilha, você perde a chance de expressar sua voz, e como não represento o governo, não posso saber seus pensamentos. Jean-Louis. 

Extraido de Prólogo para Franceses

Sobre o direito.
(Achei muito interesante saber o que pensava um dos mais ilustres Filósofos europeos sobre o tema de direito cual nossa época é muito usado como se fosse nossa propriedade exclusiva sem nem compreender seu sentido próprio). The Blogger.

É de somenos importância que a esse espaço histórico comum, onde todos os povos do Ocidente se sentiam como em sua casa, corresponda um espaço físico que a geografia denomina Europa. O espaço histórico a que aludo mede-se pelo raio de efetiva e prolongada convivência - é um espaço social. Ora, convivência e sociedade são termos equivalentes. Sociedade é o que se produz automaticamente pelo simples fato da convivência. De sua essência e inelutavelmente esta segrega costumes, usos, línguas, direito, poder público. Um dos mais graves erros do pensamento "moderno", cujas salpicaduras ainda padecemos, tem sido confundir a sociedade com a associação, que é, aproximadamente, o contrário daquela. Uma sociedade não se constitui do acordo das vontades. Ao contrário, todo acordo de vontades pressupõe a existência de uma sociedade, de pessoas que convivem, e o acordo não pode consistir senão em precisar uma ou outra forma dessa convivência, dessa sociedade preexistente. A idéia da sociedade como reunião contratual, portanto jurídica, é o mais insensato ensaio que se fez de pôr o carro adiante dos bois. Porque o direito, a realidade "direito" - não as idéias sobre ele do filósofo, jurista ou demagogo - é, se me permitem a expressão barroca, secreção espontânea da sociedade e não pode ser outra coisa. Querer que o direito reja as relações entre seres que previamente não vivem em efetiva sociedade, parece-me - perdoe-se-me a insolência - ter uma idéia muito confusa do que é o direito. 

Não deve estranhar, por outra parte, a preponderância dessa opinião confusa e ridícula sobre o direito, porque uma das máximas desditas do tempo é que, ao toparem os povos do Ocidente com os terríveis conflitos públicos do presente, se encontraram aparelhados com instrumental arcaico e ineficiente de noções sobre o que é sociedade, coletividade, indivíduo, usos, lei, justiça, revolução, etc. Boa parte da inquietação atual provém da incongruência entre a perfeição de nossas idéias sobre os fenômenos físicos e o atraso escandaloso das "ciências morais". O ministro, o professor, o físico ilustre e o novelista soem ter dessas coisas conceitos dignos de um barbeiro suburbano. Não é perfeitamente natural que seja o barbeiro suburbano quem dê a tonalidade do tempo? (2)

A Rebelião das Massas. José Ortega y Gasset


Extraido do Prólogo para Franceses.

(Prezado leitor, você não precisa de um Doutorado em Linguística para deixar um pensamento seu expresando sua opinião, qualquer que seja). The Blogger.


Definimos a linguagem como o meio de que nos servimos para manifestar nossos pensamentos. Mas uma definição, se é verídica, é irônica, encerra tácitas reservas, e quando não a interpretamos assim, produz funestos resultados. Assim esta. O de menos é que a linguagem sirva também para ocultar nossos pensamentos, para mentir. A mentira seria impossível se o falar primário e normal não fosse sincero. A moeda falsa circula apoiada na verdadeira. No final das contas, o engano vem a ser um humilde parasita da ingenuidade.

Não; o mais perigoso daquela definição é o acréscimo otimista com que costumamos escutá-la. Porque ela mesma não nos assegura que mediante a linguagem possamos manifestar, com suficiente justeza, todos os nossos pensamentos. Não se arrisca a tanto, mas tampouco nos faz ver francamente a verdade estrita: que sendo ao homem impossível entender-se com seus semelhantes, estando condenado à radical solidão, esgota-se em esforços para chegar ao próximo. Desses esforços é a linguagem que consegue às vezes declarar com maior aproximação algumas das coisas que acontecem dentro de nós.
Apenas. Mas, habitualmente, não usamos estas reservas. Ao contrário, quando o homem se põe a falar, isto faz porq ue crê que vai poder dizer tudo que pensa. Pois bem, isso é o ilusório. A linguagem não dá para tanto. Diz, mais ou menos, uma parte do que pensamos e põe uma barreira infranqueável à transfusão do resto. Serve bastantemente para enunciados e provas matemáticas; já ao falar de física começa a ser equívoco e insuficiente. Porém quanto mais a conversação se ocupa de temas mais importantes que esses, mais humanos, mais "reais", tanto mais aumenta sua imprecisão, sua inépcia e seu
confusionismo. Dóceis ao prejuízo inveterado de que falando nos entendemos, dizemos e ouvimos com tão boa fé que acabamos muitas vezes por não nos entendermos, muito mais do que se, mudos, procurássemos adivinhar-nos.


Esquece-se demasiadamente que todo autêntico dizer não só diz algo, como diz alguém a alguém. Em todo dizer há um emissor e um receptor, os quais não são indiferentes ao significado das palavras. Este varia quando aquelas variam. Duo si idem dicunt non est idem. Todo vocábulo é ocasional (l). A linguagem é por essência diálogo, e todas as outras formas do falar destituem sua eficácia. Por isso eu creio que um livro só é bom na medida em que nos traz um diálogo latente, em que sentimos que o autor sabe imaginar concretamente seu leitor e este percebe como se dentre as linhas saísse u'a mão
ectoplástica que tateia sua pessoa, que quer acariciá-la - ou bem, mui cortesmente, dar-lhe um murro.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A SHIP NAMED RELATIONS A study on human relationships from Acts 27.

A ship named “Relations” .Part II
A study on human relation-ships from Acts 27.
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.
To read Part I click: Here

Life Application. "When our boat shipwrecks"
To understand the previous context, first read Acts chapter 27:1-7.

Picking up at v. 7, we read: "We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens near the town of Lacea."
The circumstances out of men’s control were such that time had been lost.
Without being overly insensitive to the unfairness of this life, this is the stuff reality and life are made of. At one time or another during the course of our lives every one of us will experience things that are out of our control. Notice that everyone in the boat was there as a result of their past thoughts, intentions, actions, reactions, desires, habits, patterns and life styles resulting from choices they had made, whether good or bad. Basically, we are all in the same boat.

The question is: Who is going to be in charge of the boat?

There was nothing wrong with the boat. The timing of the voyage was wrong.
Note that after the first unheeded warning, Paul let things run their course.
He didn’t have any other alternative solution to offer.
Not listening to, nor heeding wise godly counsel, advice and warning has its disastrous consequences.

When finally Paul heard the Angel, at the proper time he relayed the message, exhorting and encouraging all to be courageous, have faith in God’s mercy, grace and providence. This shows the compassionate heart of a true pastor full of grace, mercy and love, ready to intercede for the people under his spiritual leadership. His revelation was in answer to intercessory prayer.
The one who hears the message of warning has the responsibility to be obedient, advise, exhort and encourage the people believing in faith that God will accomplish what He said he would do.

However, as far as our receiving the blessings and promises of God, there are conditions.
In answer to Paul’s prayers, God could have calmed down he wind and the storm as He had done previously on the Sea of Galilee. Paul himself with the power of God could have calmed the storm. In either case, the boat could have reached safely its destination.
Instead, God chose to let the boat shipwreck.

As it is with us, when this happens, God through that experience wants us to abandon our old patterns of living, trying to patch up our old ways of relating to each other. He wants to give us a new lease on life, just as all who were saved from the shipwreck got on board a new ship. “After 3 months, we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island”. Chapter 28:11. We can perhaps assume that their lives and relationship with each other had been tremendously impacted and affected by this experience. (I have personally experience several really bad storms at sea and I can testify of the profound effect it had on my life).

What is lost is lost. Give it up. Let it go. Start anew.

Warning!
After we have made a wrong decision in whatever relationship (ignoring God´s warning, stubbornness, wrong choices, actions or wrong timing perhaps based on faulty logic, self-interest and/or accurate data), pleasant beginnings in our new journey can deceive us into believing that everything is fine until it’s too late and we realize that we are in the middle of a deadly storm. We must not presume and take God’s grace lightly and go contrary to God’s will.
“When a gentle wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted”. Verse 13.

Now, just because God later on gives us a revelation of His will doesn’t necessarily mean that it will automatically be done in our lives. Obedience following faith exercised in actions is necessary to be in God’s will and to do God’s will. There is no such thing as real faith without a corresponding response through action.

Sometimes, God has to destroy the false sense of security by removing from us the props on which we build our lives in order to start rebuilding on the right foundation.
On the ship there were free men and men in chains. There were sailors, soldiers and prisoners. Every one of them thought of doing what was right in their own eyes guided by their own desires and motives.

Some like the owner had something to gain but could lose everything.
Others like the sailors didn’t care about the owner’s cargo or profit when it came to choose between that and their survival. All they wanted to do was to save their lives. The prisoners had nothing to gain and everything to lose whatever the outcome of the voyage.
Paul was physically bound by chains but spiritually free in Christ.
It’s only when nothing else worked that all the others started listening and were receptive to Paul message.

Paul was the one with the words of spiritual authority.
  • He was calm and contented with his station in life.
  • The only one with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  • His life didn’t depend on anybody or anything.
  • He had placed himself in God’s hand.
  • He was called of God for a purpose, already knew and accepted that suffering was going to be involved in that purpose.
In conclusion, we can see that God’s grace was at work, demonstrating this time not His awesome power in wrath and judgment, but His love and mercy by sparing the lives of all the persons on board the ship, whether free or bound, criminals or innocent of crimes.
Let us pray in the same way as Habakkuk did in Chapter 3: 1-2 and ask God to make us instruments of His mercy and love to others:
Lord, I have heard of your name, I stand in awe of your deeds. O Lord, Renew them in our day, In our time, make them known;In wrath remember mercy.

“Let us speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, the perfect law of Christ, the law of love), because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful”. James 2:12.

MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT. James 2:13

For a poem I wrote describing a storm at sea click: Here

Jean-Louis.

A SHIP NAMED RELATIONS A study on human relationships from Acts 27

Today, I feel the Lord putting on my heart to post again an outline I wrote about a storm in real life and God's salvation through the terrible ordeal that we can identify with.
For some time now the earth has been reeling from certain clear signs of the time, warning to a human race out of step with its Creator, running headlong into untold, unbearable sufferings that are looming closer to fulfillment than we think. It behooves us to pay close attention to what the Bible has to say.
I feel an urgency and have written before in poem form and posted several pieces on the subject of storms and the peace of God through them, personally and from others, written accounts.
I was a close witness ( a few miles away) just 2 weeks ago  of the disaster that fell on the northern region of Rio de Janeiro and left probably more than 1.000 dead and 10s of thousands in need of shelter, food and medical help.
I have a friend in Australia that writes me about the flooding there.
We as Christians are called to encourage each other in words and deeds in times of need.
This is why I write this blog. I hope that something I have said in it has caused you to turn to God and find in Him the only solace and encouragement for your troubled soul.  



A ship named “Relations” Part I. Outline
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.


I. PAST SITUATION.

1. Circumstances outside anyone’s control.
“Much time had been lost and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast”. Verse 9.

Paul’s warning: “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship, cargo and to our own lives also”. Verse 10.

2. Men’s efforts to correct the situation.
The leadership response:but the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship”. Verse 11.

3. Pressure to do something.
Result: wrong decision: “since the harbor was unsuitable for winter, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there”. Verse 12.

Lesson to be learned:
Sometimes the majority can make the wrong decisions based on logical reasoning and accurate data.

Consequence: the ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along”. Verse 15.

II. CURRENT SITUATION.
1. No help from above

"Natural" weather condition:
when neither sun, nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging”. Verse 20, (a).
Result: Loss of hope: “we finally gave up all hope of being saved”. Verse 20, (b).

The much needed “I told you so in learning our lessons”.
(Apparently Paul hadn’t had many lessons on how not to damage people’s brittle self-esteem by telling them the truth.) We don’t like to hear those words because we hide our sense of pride under the thin veneer of our fragile egos. (A little shame at first would save us a lot of pain at last.)
Paul to the crew: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete, then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss." Verse 21, (b).

Notice that Paul (or rather God who spoke through him) waited until the men were ready to listen to him, just as the Father in the parable of the prodigal son waited for the son to be hungry and at the end of his rope and to come to his senses. He exhorted them onlyafter the men had gone a long time without food”. Verse 21, (a).

Exhortation with assurance of knowledge:
Paul says:
“but now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be lost”. Verse 22.
2. Help from above: divine intervention
Paul’s explanation: an angelic visitation.

Result: Hope restored
“Last night an angel of the Lord whose I am and whom I serve stood beside
me and said:” Do not be afraid, Paul… God had graciously (here we see the common grace and specific personal grace of God at work) given you the lives of all who sail with you”. Verse 23.

One important biblical principle to remember:
Being always precedes doing. Just as we are sinners not because we commit sins but because of who we are in our sinful nature, we do righteous acts not because we are righteous of our own merit but because we have the righteousness of God imputed to us. God was very clear in revealing His Name to Moses, He told him: "I am that I am, not I do that I do". If Christ whose name we bear could say those words out of the burning bush, who are we to go ahead and have our “doing” before our “being”?

Response from Paul to the Angelic visitation:

The only response that pleases God, namely
FAITH.
Paul to the men: “I have faith in God that it will happen as he told me. Nevertheless we must run aground on some island”. Verse 25, 26.
Not only Paul’s exhortation to the crew came from the assurance of his knowledge of divine revelation (this was not blind faith, neither was Abraham’s faith, neither should our faith be), but from the faith that it inspired and motivated.

3. Escape attempt: (Running away from God and His will).
“In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow”. Verse 30.
What are some of our lifeboats, the easy way out, the exit strategies that we keep hidden in the back of our minds just in case the boat that God has given us in our present relationships proves to be less than adequate for our lives? After all, we know better than He does what is good for us and how to run our ship, don´t we?

--Is it divorce?
--Is it children running away from a difficult situation at home?

--Is it ending a commitment with a Church or a job situation that turns out to be unpleasant for the moment? (see Hebrews 12:7-13)?

--Is it ending a relationship at whatever level of commitment because it requires unselfishness and sacrifice on our part and does not fulfill our unrealistic expectations and needs although it may be the very ship that God has ordained for us to navigate the rough seas of life, for our own benefit to help us grow and mature into the person He desires us to be?

Notice that in such cases there is always an attitude of pretense, a denial of the reality, indicated by a lack of honesty and willingness to take responsibility in an attempt to justify and rationalize one’s own actions and bad choices. This mostly happens through blaming the other person’s for one’s predicament. (For a more thorough and better understanding, read and study the story of Jonah).
In this story, every one attempts to save his life using his own survival skills. The sailors wanted to use the lifeboats. Further on, the soldiers wanted to use their swords to prevent the prisoners to swim ashore and escape because they needed them to save their own lives from military justice if they failed to carry on their military duties to the end and to take the prisoners to their final destination.

4. Paul’s warning: Condition for God’s rescue.
“Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved”. Verse 32.
The promises and blessings of God are conditional, only His mercy and love as demonstrated in the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross in payment for our sins resulting in our forgiveness, salvation and the gift of eternal life are unconditional. The condition required is faith, resulting in trust and obedience. This involves volition, the conscious act of submitting our will to the will of God and choosing His ways rather than our own.

5. Encouragement and reassurance from Paul:
Whatever the reason for the crew deprivation of food for 14 days, whether it be “constant suspense”, unending struggle in keeping the boat afloat against the elements, or purely visceral reaction in keeping any food down, now that all 276 persons are still aboard, Paul encourages them in those terms:
“ I urge you all to take some food. You need it to survive. No one of you will lose a single hair from his head”. Verse 34.

6. Paul´s demonstration of Faith and authority in spiritual leadership:
A good and faithful servant of God will always show the example to follow; his actions will prove his words.
First, Paul turns to God who gives the blessings and promises and exemplifies the correct attitude, the response of a grateful heart towards the grace of God who supplies all our needs. “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, then he broke it and began to eat”. Verse 35.

Results: Faith turns to action:

a) Increased response from the crew in renewed faith and trust in God’s providence through Paul’s leadership and example: “they were all encouraged and ate some food themselves”. Verse 36.
Further proof of their faith and trust in God’s provision for the rest of the journey: “when they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the grain into the sea”. Verse 38.

b) Change of attitude and actions in the centurion entrusted with secular leadership:
Even though the fate of the ship was out of his hands and in the hands of Almighty God, the centurion didn’t shirk his responsibility and delegated governmental authority by asking Paul to take charge of the ship and its human and physical cargo. Whereas at the beginning, the centurion was opposed to Paul’s advice, now because of his training to recognize and respect true authority, he shows wisdom and a right attitude in the end in responding to God’s mercy with faith and mercy of his own as the following verses describe his actions:
The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest of were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship”. Verses 42-44. He did this knowing full well that he risked losing not only his career but also his own life. What a great admirable example of courage, leadership and sacrifice!

III. CONCLUSION: Everyone reached land in safety. Verse 44.
Faith and trust in God’s revealed will and obedience to His command will bring the desired fulfillment of God’s true word and sure promises in any situation. Sometimes, this might be done through following the leadership and good example of a legitimate, called servant of God, whose actions consistent with his words demonstrate that he has received his calling and delegated authority from God himself.

Stay tuned for the next portion of God's powerful rescue.
For part II click on the link:

Jean-Louis.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Le Passage du Temps


Le Passage du Temps

Poème original d'Ester 22/01/2011
Para ler o poema original da Ester em Português, clique aqui:


http://manifesto-interno.blogspot.com/

Au fil des années, des refrains enfantins,
La fraicheur des saisons, les chants d’oiseaux
Les sentiments épelés, les lueurs nocturnes diluées
De confessions furtives, maintes fois devinées...

Une trame d’énigmes, tendresses préssenties
Comme si la simplicité se dévoilait
Et que seul l’amour  exhibait sa lucidité
Penser ce que l’autre n’osait exprimer…

Combler le vide de silences,
Combien de mots murmurés
Saturaient le manque d’existence?

La pensée de paroles protégées
Éveille des rêves de chimères apprivoisées
Peut-on choisir un moment unique
Épanouissement du néant chaotique?

Et cependant, les secrets révélés
Dans un regard scellent leurs empreintes

C’est le passage du temps qui m’a réveillée…


Ester
Traduction du Portugais de Jean-Louis Mondon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Through the Storms of Life with Jesus

Hope for the storms


Exclusive: Greg Laurie points out calamities sometimes come after obedience

Posted: January 22, 2011
By Greg Laurie

On Jan. 24, 1986, a significant archaeological discovery was made in a seaside village in Galilee: a first-century fishing boat. This ancient vessel, called The Jesus Boat, dates back to the time of Christ. No one knows for certain whether it was a boat Jesus and his disciples used, but certainly it is a boat that would have been similar. It is very simple, very primitive, and would have been a very frightening place to be during a storm.

So it is understandable that the disciples would have been terrified when they found themselves on the water in the middle of a storm. In fact, the disciples had followed Jesus right into the storm. Matthew's Gospel tells us, "Now when He [Jesus] got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea. ..." (Matthew 8:23–24)

Sometimes when storms come into our lives, when hardships come, we may think it is because we are doing something wrong. But notice these disciples were in the will of God. The storm came as they were obeying Jesus, not because they had disobeyed Him. And sometimes calamities will come because of your obedience, not your disobedience.

This reminds us that storms will come into our lives. The storm the disciples were facing way was a serious one – so serious in fact that these seasoned sailors began to fear for their lives. In the original Greek, the word that is used to describe this storm is also used to speak of an earthquake. So it was a megastorm. One translation from Mark's Gospel says the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger. These were guys who knew how to navigate rough seas and knew how to use their equipment. And they were panicking. Meanwhile, Jesus was sound asleep in the lower part of the boat.

Does it ever seem to you as though God is asleep, that he is not paying attention? It can be rather disheartening when someone falls asleep when we need them. In the technical sense, Jesus, weary from a hard day's work, was asleep. But in the broader sense, God never sleeps. Psalm 121:4 says, "Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" (NKJV). God is always on watch, always on duty, always paying attention. Jesus was asleep because he rested confidently in the will of God the Father.

The disciples cried out to Jesus, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" (Matthew 8:25). And that is what we need to do when we find ourselves in the midst of a storm. We are not going to offend or hurt God by crying out to him. Tell him how you are feeling. Sometimes I think we feel as though we need to sanitize all of our prayers. God wants to hear you speak from your heart. He wants honest prayer. Even Jesus, hanging on the cross, cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

You can be sure the disciples had tried everything possible to get out of the mess they were in. But after exhausting all their efforts, they knew Jesus was their only hope. Sometimes in life, God will allow us get to the end of our rope to come to the end of ourselves so that we will cry out to him. And when we cry out to him, he is always ready to answer. God says, "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him" (Psalm 94:15).

Although the shrieking of the storm did not wake Jesus, the cry of his disciples did. He heard their cries, and he responded by rebuking the storm. Suddenly everything calmed down. Matthew's Gospel tells us that it was "a great calm" (8:26).

God has his purposes in the storms of life. Maybe you are in a storm right now and have cried out for it to stop, but it hasn't. In fact, maybe it has gotten worse. You are wondering why God is allowing it. There are no easy answers to that question, but know this: where there are no trials in life, there will be no triumphs. It has been said the hammer shatters glass, but it forges steel. And often in the hardships of life, great things will come.

Many times when you go through difficulties in life, there are things you will learn and discover that you would not learn anywhere else. Psalm 23 is a well-loved passage of Scripture that opens with a pleasant scene: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters" (verses 1–2). It was written by a shepherd named David, who knew a little bit about sheep. But David continues, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (verse 4).

"Hold on," we say. "I signed up for green pastures and still waters – not for dark valleys. I don't do valleys." While there will be those times God will take us to green pastures and still waters, he will lead us into valleys as well. And it is through those valleys we learn important lessons, because fruit does not grow on mountaintops; it grows in valleys. And here is the secret of making it through the valleys of life, the storms of life: Know that you are not alone, and God will get you through whatever you are facing.

David said, "I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4). That is the hope. That is the promise: God is with you. And He is with you in your storms.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peace, Be Still

Peace, Be Still
Written and published by Jean-Louis 
To read a study on Paul´s shipwreck on Malta, " A ship named Relations" click, Here


 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.   

They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.

They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.  

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.  

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed. 
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.  

Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
Psalm 107: 25-32.


Land, land, a chorus of sea-gulls heralded
Childlike, dolphins merrily pirouetted
Celebrating with the rhythm of whimsical waves
This propitious journey with delighted voyagers.
-----
Suddenly, a venomous storm
Escaping from an Aeolian windbag,
Stinking and green with envy
Unfurled its fury on the peaceful seascape.
-----
The cloudy canvass thickens,
The undulating liquid walls
Rise, with threats of wrath.
Are we in this deadly dance moving
Toward an unavoidable shipwreck?
-----
The increasing tempest suspends
The harmony of the Mediterranean abyss
Feeding the human fear
At the thought that our last hour
Had chimed without any recourse. 
-----
The heart in this reflex instant
When the compass swings wildly
Remembers that God exists
And humbly kneels
Asking for pardon and mercy.
-----
The time for good deeds is gone
No more “Our Fathers”, “Hail Marys”
On beads to recite, nor “Aum Shantis”
The re-winded video unfolds as lightning
On the screen  of the impotent memory.
-----
The refuge of conscience is no use.
No more hypocrisy, no more subterfuge
Everything is in the scales
No more karma, no more bribes
Here come the angel executioner
Executing the sentence 
Or eternal life and its recompense.
-------
As I was quietly contemplating my lot
A soft voice, above the furious wind
Asked me the following:
“Tell me, “can you with one word, calm the waves?
Perhaps, are you the captain of your own ship?
Can your eyes pierce the dark clouds
And predict your own future?”
------
Recognizing the divine presence
 and the still small voice
That saved my life many times before,
From war, from human violence,
From unchained elements,
I left my appeased heart
In the hands of my Savior
Who invites all sinners to come and rest
In the secure love that emanates 
from the mercy seat surrounded
by the wings of the worshiping cherubim.
------
At last, my struggle calmed by his Word
The ship arrived safe at port
Where, from the beginning
It was following its intended course.
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