This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Up super early, off to the office - phoned the
girl, ( Nat very generously allowed me to use the company
phone line ), had a lovely conversation.
- Off to church in the morning, Kris Perkins speaking
Ephesians 5:1-21, essentialy the sermon summed up in the first
verse: "Be Imitators of God", disagreed with some of what he said.
But we are to imitate the faith of our elders too
Heb 13:7. Ultimately we need to know who we are in Christ before we
can live as children of light. He'd rather replace WWJD bracelets with
WHJMYTB: Who has Jesus made you to be bracelets. Hmm.
- Back to write to Julia, spent some happy hours. Eat
bagles with Ettore with Nutella and Cream cheese - talked.
- Off to church in the evening, Dr Gorden Hugenberger.
Amazingly, I picked up the 2nd part of his sermon series on Healing,
the first of which I heard last time. Extremely good. 3 Pages of notes.
A very solid sermon - much to think about.
- He started by telling of how as a young minister
he never knew anyone close to him be sick, his whole
family was healthy and he never considered death. Then
he got some horrendous heart autoimmune
response. Having counseled the dying before he never
realised the peace of God until looking up he saw the
blood drain out of the Doctor's faces - as they saw
his condition. And he knew - not that he would be healed
but to be absent from the body is to be with Christ.
- The whole church was praying for Gordon - and he
came through - God can heal, even hearts. By what
mechanism is immaterial. But, then his wife's good
friend the secretary died a horrible death of cancer,
and she was not healed - despite the same treatment;
- What is Satan's view of illness ? after Job' has
lost all his material wealth, and still
praises God The devil says "But stretch out your
hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will
surely curse you to your face."
(Job 2). Indeed so strong is Job that he says:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him
- Can it be that illness and the brink of death
brings to you, and those around you an acute awareness
of the value of life ? that when you can see that
things are not worth dying for, then living for them
seems foolish too.
- Conclusions from last time
- God can, and does heal
- It is utterly foolish not to ask him to heal
- But, every healing is ultimately just a reprieve
Lazarus lived to die again.
- The ultimate, perfect, healing is in death:
- There are degrees of 'miraculousness'
- Miracles wax and wane in frequency
accompanying God's redemptive plan. So God
warns his people that when the come into the
promised land they will no longer have bread
falling from heaven, and must beware of
thinking that they are feeding themselves by
the sweat of their hands - beause God is still
- The Doctrine of Concurrence: there are
multiple explanations of causation, and many
are true in parallel. Whilst if something has
a material cause - you planted the seed and
watered it - ultimately the planting and
watering was fully caused by God. And yet, God
also can work without obvious means.
- ie. simply because when your pneumonia
went away you could measure more white blood
cells fighting it - by no means indicates that
God did not cause it.
- Do not disparage Doctors, to claim that this shows
a lack of faith is to radicaly misunderstand how God
often chooses to work, and construct instead a
misguided ascriptural presumption on God's grace.
Many churches can get this wrong.
- Admittedly in a parable Jesus says On
hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not
the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick...."
(Mark 2:17). Jesus didn't have a problem
with healing people, so should it be
re-phrased no-one needs a doctor now ? -
Good Samaritan held up as an example for
us all used bandages, oil, wine to disinfect
and took the wounded man for a convalesence
and cared for him.
- Timothy was told by Paul ( again with 2
ressurections to his name ) to Stop
drinking only water, and use a little wine
because of your stomach and your frequent
(1 Timothy 5:23).
- So what do we see today - yes God heals people,
but why is it that in some 'healings' so often we hear
of a leg seemingly lengthen in an apparently already
healthy person - but the people in most need are not
healed ? Why do we see trivial healings when the
amputee is not even prayed for ?
- The NT miracles were not like this: this man was a
paralytic for 40 years - and even the
critics did not think of denying his healing for
he was walking, and jumping, and praising God
- Why are there not more miracles ?
- They cluster around turning points in
- They point to a deeper and lasting healing
that God is working with his people.
- Jesus heals "all", and the quality is amazing:
Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes
of a man born blind.
(John 9:32). Not the prophets before or since - Nobody.
A man born blind is an amazing metaphor for my life.
- During the Acts of the apostles there were 2
ressurections in 30 years [Dorcas,Euctus], and plenty
of Christians died - life insurers shouldn't offer
lower premiums for Christians; it's not statisticaly
- God's special favorites have not been especialy healthy
- Elija's successor Elisha - with twice
the spirit of God - notice Elija didn't
even die - he was taken into heaven. Elija fed
1 hungry man, Elisha 100, etc. How did Elisha
die ? he suffered an illness and died from it
(2 Kings 13:14)
- Again, Paul - not wanting for gifts of
healing - his friend Epaphroditus: Indeed
he was ill, and almost died.
- And Paul himself - As you know, it was
because of an illness that I first preached
the gospel to you
- Is it not that God can adjust the test to our
strength or our strength to the test ? Is it not that
instead of longer legs we need to say with the
sufferer of acute calamity in
(Habakkuk 3) The LORD God is my strength, and
he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will
make me to walk upon mine high places.
- Do we not need to acknowledge and remember that
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all
the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's
power may rest on me...
(2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Gordon remembered visiting lady in the church
dying in her home, and she would say "I know what
you're thinking Gordon, you're just jealous that I'm
going to see Jesus first" - and the constant stream of
people into that living room to see the comfort of God
- David C.K. Watson a very prominant preacher on the
power of prayer in England - ( apparently associated
with John Wimber of the Vineyard movement ( who prayed
for him ) ) in his book Fear no Evil: One man deals
with terminal illness he writes (along the lines
of) "some are whispering that God hasn't done
anything for me ... but God has been far from
inactive. From 1 until 3 in the morning he came and
spoke to me, and told me that nothing was important in
comparison with my personal relationship with him
... and that this was a mockery if I didn't love my
brothers from the heart" and he finishes "Not
my will, but yours". (
- Nosh with Iain and back to the barracks on the train.
- Watched "Dr StrangeLove - or 'how I stopped worrying
and learned to love the bomb'" - extremely amusing. I didn't
realise Stanely Kubric was capable of producing movies without
excessive violence / sex - how ignorant am I.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)