You give and take away

This morning we have learned that our friend Derek Loux has passed from this life to a better one. His life has not ended, it is lived now in the presence of God who is Eternal Love.  Death has carried him to the One he longed for. He sees reality as it is. He dwells in the presence of our life giving  Creator, The Greatest Intercessor – Incarnate Word, and in the shadow of the Comforter. He was ready, we must wait.

About two years ago, during one of the worship briefings Derek was sharing with us that he really does not want to be remembered as a “worship leader”, but as a father to the orphans. During these last two years especially he put all of his love, time, energy and care to fulfill this primary calling in his life.

We are left with a huge gap, unanswered questions, shattered expectations. His passion and love speeded up the fulfillment of his destiny. The Almighty has decided, it is time. From a human perspective, it looks like he has just started…and he has not finished….and we want to scream out loud: What was the point?

From the heavenly perspective, he was done here. Trusting this is hard.  And there are no words to express the anguish. This is earth, not heaven. We will suffer, we will die, we will live again.

For the next decades we will remember him. His awesome wife Renee and their ten kids (eight of them adopted) will have many Christmases and Easters without their daddy. And as he talked about widows and orphans, he changed his life so many times in order to help them…now we have  a chance to practice how we listened to him reading and singing and crying over Isaiah 58.

Father, You give and You take away, blessed be Your name.

He has the best worship team now and the greatest multitudes of those who loved to the end. What do you see, Derek?

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st. teresa of avila

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I was looking for a good and realistic movie portraying the life of St. Teresa of Avila and found this one(through the World Cat library thingy), which looked promising because it was made in her homeland and depicted faithfully the times and places of her life. 450 minutes in Spanish with English subtitles.

Teresa is played very realistically, as described by her contemporary, as a woman with a strong personality, who through suffering and love for God, the truth and the church, was prepared for her mission in leading others to the knowledge of God as a Bridegroom and founding communities of people living a simple life, pursuing God’s ways in working and praying.

teresa-avila

Magnificent U2

Magnificent

Magnificent

I was born

I was born to be with you

In this space and time

After that and ever after

I haven’t had a clue

Only to break rhyme

This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue

Only love, only love can leave such a mark

But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born

I was born to sing for you

I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up

And sing whatever song you wanted me to

I give you back my voice

From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…

Only love, only love can leave such a mark

But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify

The Magnificent

Magnificent

from U2 new album No Line on the Horizon

(much of the quality is lost in this clip, but you can buy this song here)

Christianity Today has something to say about this new album here

10 year holiness challenge

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During onething08 we were challenged to live the life of holiness. These are the main points to pursue for the next 10 years:

The Sacred Charge: 7 Commitments of a Forerunner

Friends of the Bridegroom preparing the way of Jesus’ Second Coming

As part of the Sacred Charge you commit to:

  • Pray Daily: Spending 2 hours in prayer and Word (Book of Revelation once a week for 3 years)
  • Fast Weekly: Setting your heart to fast 2 days a week as a lifestyle
  • Speak Boldly: Standing as a faithful witness in allegiance to Jesus’ heart for the Church, Israel and the nations
  • Do Justly: Doing works of justice focusing on the fatherless and oppressed
  • Give Extravagantly: Giving to the prayer movement (beyond our tithe)
  • Live Holy: Walking out the Sermon on the Mount and keeping the Purity Covenant
  • Lead Diligently: Leading weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies (focused on training forerunners)

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Swięte Wyzwanie: 7 Przyrzeczeń Posłańca

Przyjaciele Oblubieńca przygotowujący drogę na powtórne przyjście Jezusa

Zobowiązujesz się do wymienionych działań:

  • 1. Módl się codziennie: poświęć 2h dziennie na modlitwę i Słowo (Ks. Apokalipsy raz w tyg.)

  • 2. Pość regularnie: 2 dni w tygodniu

  • 3. Mów odważnie: stając jako wierny świadek serca Jezusa wobec Kościoła, Izraela i narodów

  • 4. Okazuj sprawiedliwość: koncentrując się na uciemiężonych i sierotach

  • 5. Dawaj obficie: ofiarność względem ruchu modlitewnego (ponad dziesięcinę)

  • 6. Zyj w świętości:wzorując się na Kazaniu na Górze i utrzymując przymierze czystości

  • 7. Prowadź innych sumiennie: prowadź spotkania modlitewne / grupy biblijne

Advent conspiracy

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Greek icon of Second Coming, c.1700

I never understood Christians, who would not want to celebrate Christian holidays. God Himself gave Israel feasts (holidays), Jesus celebrated religious feasts, early Christians did also. I know, the dates might be screwed up, the majority is more concerned with the tradition (can you hear Tevje singing: “Tradition!”) then with the spiritual meaning behind it, people are going nuts over the gifts..but

We need seasons, cycles of life, to remind us, who God is, who are we before and in Him.

Advent was celebrated by the first Christians since the fourth century, when the synod announced that as a preparation for Christmas “from the seventeenth of December to the feast of the Epiphany no one should be permitted to absent himself from church.”

I found Advent Conspiracy site, an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption.

People of USA, celebrate Advent during Advent, and Christmas during Christmas! Don’t put Christmas tree or sing carols before Christmas Eve. Don’t buy more than one gift per person, give the spear money to those who really need them (like to my friends adopting Aiden, a boy with Down syndrome from Ukraine), but most of all give presence. Celebrate St. Nick’s day on Dec 6th (that’s why you are hanging your stockings for anyway…St. Nicholas is the one who is supposed to fill them with some sweets) with your kids, reminding them, who he really was. Have Advent evenings with your family underlining Jesus’ first and second coming as the reason of this time.

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Our family celebrating Advent.