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Watching ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ On Netflix

We’re watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.

I imagine Marie Kondo’s KonMari tidying philosophy could be really helpful for people who have compulsive collecting/hoarding tendencies.

The idea of keeping that which ‘sparks joy’ is interesting. It brings some echoes of the idea of learning to be content. It is a thought provoking concept.


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Following Jesus, The Pioneer Pilgrim (via Jonathan Gibson)

A reflection on the longing for the better world which Christians experience, and how Jesus has walked through the darkness of this life to bring us to eternity with himself.
From Jonathan Gibson:

One of the ways in which the Psalms connect to Jesus Christ is in the sphere of typological experience. The psalmist or the person described in the psalm (like the blessed man in Psalm 1, God’s anointed king in Psalm 2, or the righteous sufferer in Psalm 3) is a type of Christ in their experience. That is, the fullest and most perfect expression of their desires, disappointments, and sufferings is found in the life experience of Jesus Christ. In this regard, the psalms are not just about Jesus; they were also experienced by Jesus.
As the true, faithful Israelite, Jesus perfectly experienced the desires expressed in this psalm, especially the vivid, intense pulsebeat for heaven and for God. Jesus was the Son of Man, born of Mary, but throughout his life he never forgot that he was a son of heaven. During his earthly ministry, he wandered from place to place like his patriarch fathers before him. In fact, he didn’t even have a tent to dwell in. “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). Why? Because for the joy set before him, he endured the cross and then sat down at his Father’s right hand in his presence (Heb. 12:2). This world was not his home, he was just a-passing through.
The life of our Lord is one of those parts of the Bible—like those of the patriarchs in Canaan and those of the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem—where the affectional pulsebeat for heaven, for God, is pumping strong. Jesus was the pioneer pilgrim, the one who in his earthly life embodied the perfect longing for heaven, the perfect longing for God. And because he perfectly lived out this longing, God looked with favor on him as our Anointed King. When Christ died, the temple curtain was torn in two: God removed the angelic barrier that had stood between him and humanity since the day Adam was expelled from the garden-temple of Eden.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let his little child come in.

And when God does let us “come in” to his heaven after our earthly pilgrimage, we will find that C. S. Lewis and Augustine were right: we were made for another world, we were made for God. The deep longings we experience now will be met then, fully and finally, not simply in heaven itself, but in God himself.

Read the whole post here.


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Jesus Is Alive – Sunday Songs

Jesus Is Alive is the final song from CityAlight’s recently released five track EP Yet Not I that I’m posting here.
It’s sort of mid-tempo, with musical hooks that you feel comfortable with pretty quickly.
A song of those who are being gathered celebrating their gathering together.

1.
There is now a hope that lasts beyond our days
For the one that once was buried lives again
Now the tomb is bare and empty and the stone is rolled away
Praise the Risen one who overcame the grave
2.
All you broken hearted, all you worn and weak
Come find living water, everlasting streams
To the wandering spirit, lost and searching wanting something more
Find the risen king who overcomes the world
Refrain.
Let there be dancing in the darkness
And let our song break through the night
Lift your voice and sing that Christ is King
For Jesus is Alive
3.
No more condemnation, no more doubt and fear
For our sin and shame they have no power here
In his resurrection, perfect love has set the captives free
Praise the risen king who stands in victory
Refrain.
Bridge.
Hallelujah, death is undone
Hallelujah, Jesus has won
Hallelujah, we overcome
Oh in Jesus, Oh in Jesus
Refrain.

Words and Music: Michael Farren, Tiarne Tranter, Jaywan Maxwell, Jesse Reeves, Niki Shepherd & James Tealy
© CityAlight Music


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New City Catechism Question and Answer 2

Question 2
What is God?
Answer
God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will.

(The song is a minimalist expression of the answer, to say the least.)


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Just As I Am by Matt Maher Acoustic

Matt Maher sings and plays his song Just As I Am as one of a series of renditions of his songs at the Steinway Factory.

The lyrics:

In shackles and chains
I came to your door
And fell on the floor
Of mercy
Guilty I stood, guilty I was
I couldn’t hide my shame

Just as I am
Just as I am
Jesus you welcomed me
You took me in
I’ll never be the same again
My life held in your hands
Just as I am

You saved a place
Amazing grace
You came all the way
To meet me

Carried me home
With a ring and a robe
Threw your loving arms around me

Just as I am
Just as I am
Jesus you welcomed me
You took me in
I’ll never be the same again
My life held in your hands

Just as I am
Without one plea
But that your blood was shed for me
And that you bid me come to thee
Oh Lamb of God I come, I come

Just as I am
Without one plea
But that your blood was shed for me
And that you bid me come to thee
Oh Lamb of God I come, I come

Just as I am
Just as I am
Jesus you welcomed me
You took me in
I’ll never be the same again
My life held in your hands

Just as I am
Just as I am
Jesus you welcomed me
You took me in
I will never be the same again
My life held in your hands

Oh my life is held in your hands
Just as I am
Just as I am

Ed Cash|Mia Fieldes|Matt Maher
(C) 2017 Be Essential Songs (BMI) I Am A Pilgrim Songs (BMI) Upside Down Under (BMI) (admin at EssentialMusicPublishing.com).

#MattMaher #JustAsIAm #Echoes


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Renewed Relationships (preparing for MGPC 13/1/2019)

Song: How Great Is Our God
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Arise My Soul Arise
Prayer Of Confession
Song: How Great Thou Art
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 2
Song: Now To Him Who Loved Us
Bible Reading: Zechariah 2: 1-13 – Zechariah’s third vision is of a man with a measuring line, a tool of construction, as God promises to dwell in the midst of a rebuilt Jerusalem, from which God’s grace shall be extended to the nations.
Bible Memorisation: Matthew 6:6
Song: All Creatures Of Our God And King
Bible Reading: Titus 2: 1-16
Sermon: Renewed Relationships
The Lord’s Supper (gf bread) – Guests who are members of any Christian church are invited to share in the supper. If you are uncertain about your situation don’t feel under compulsion to participate. Talk to one of our elders or pastors after the service.
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: 10,000 Reasons


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Empathy – The Fellowship Of Suffering (via Rut Etheridge at Gentle Reformation)

Some reflections of nurturing a capacity to go beyond recognising a hurt to having a sense of the impact of the hurt – while not allowing the situation to be about your experience.
Rut Etheridge at Gentle Reformation:

Every emotion you’ve felt, the Lord has felt. I don’t know how that works, exactly. I do know that he’s felt your emotions and mine without the taint of sin. But that only means that unlike us, Jesus has felt what it is to be fully, uncompromisingly, relentlessly human, an image-bearer who never fell. He knows empathetically what it’s like to hurt as a human, but moving beyond what you or I can experience, he experienced the pains of a fallen world in the holiest and most holistic manner possible. What he never experienced was the corrupt and corrupting responses you and I daily conceive and enact as we face trial and temptation. He endured to the end, unstained by rebellion against his Father’s law. He was tempted in every way we are, but remained without sin (Hebrews 4).
As adopted, beloved sons and daughters of God, siblings of Jesus Christ, we are called to live as he did in this fallen world, learning sympathy as we suffer and ever straining toward empathy. We will never be our Savior, nor is any Christ-like suffering we endure ever identical to what Jesus endured and accomplished as the unique son of God, the spotless substitutionary sin-bearer. Jesus calls us to take up our own cross, not to carry his. But as Paul puts it so personally and poetically, it is the cry of the maturing Christian heart to come as close as possible in life to what the Savior endured and experienced in this world, through whatever times and circumstances the Lord would allot us (Philippians 3).
We are to seek empathy with Christ not in the sense of trying to mimic particular actions of his or trying to recreate historical circumstances and cultural conditions long past. We want to approach empathy with the Savior by having a heart made increasingly like his, filled with affections taught by God’s word and flowing forth in words and actions which draw attention to the glory and goodness of our heavenly Father (Philippians 2).
Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that he wants to know Christ, both in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering. Indeed, we often experience the power of Christ’s resurrection most truly and tangibly in the midst of our suffering the trials he calls us to endure for his sake. This is the case with my friends, and with countless other Christian sufferers throughout history.
None of this is to even come close to suggesting that only Christians suffer, or that Christians by definition suffer more severely than others, much less that only Christians suffer nobly and admirably. I wish that could go without saying, but sometimes Christian discourses on suffering can seem self-important and forgetful or dismissive of the pain shared by those who don’t share our faith and who endure that pain in an exemplary way. At the risk of falling into that same trap of self-importance, however, there is something unique not only about the purpose and principles of Christian suffering, but about the Christian’s capacity with regard to suffering.

Read the whole post here.