Monday, May 31, 2010

"Fight! Fight!" - My Son Is Wild

I love watching my little boy grow. He is such a combination of a lover and a warrior. The other day we were at Panera's and the simple sipping straw turns into a mighty sword and he beckons his papa to lift up that fork and fight him. At home he has his play swords, sometimes he carries them to bed ever watchful if some monsters were to jump out of the closet, he is ready to spill blood (green or red...he doesn't mind). He  runs around the hallways of our home sometimes chasing his sister or many a times rising in her defense.  Waving his sword, he stomps the spiders and bugs rescuing the damsels in distress (his mother and sister) who are terrified at the very sight of these bugs. The chants of 'Fight, Fight' is common sound in our household. Don't misunderstand me, its a good sound to hear especially coming from a two year old; reminds me we are in constant warfare in the spiritual realm and in the natural. I love watching this in Issac, no one has taught him to fight (especially from his papa who considers himself as a man of the tents) it is  built into him, its a heart that God has created in him. Isaac is also a snuggler and a lover, always ready to show love and compassion. At Sunday School, he pushes the bigger boys down if challenged and at the same time obedient to his teachers and doing what is commanded and gentle to the girls.  Why am I bragging? I not only want to but I learn from my little boy. Men are created in the image of God to be that warrior and yet to be gentle and tender hearted. Yeshua showed this He was filled with compassion, love and mercy but He is the same God who made a whip and lashed out at the merchants who had turned his sanctuary into a marketplace. He is the same God who stood in the pillar of fire terrifying the armies of Egypt, He is the same God who had wept at Lazarus's tomb but is enthroned on heaven's throne as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Son of God is Wild (lover-warrior & a consuming fire), and he has created me and my son in His image.

My love-thoughts for the day.

Sam Kurien.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Silence The Rooster

Sometimes we find ourselves doubting and questioning “If the freedom that Christ won for us is real?”. The questions lurk in our mind in form of difficult financial cirumstances, death of a close one, despair, disappointment, unfulfilled promises, a debilitating disease, treachery and the list of troubles go on. The adversary of our soul connives in soft whispers through these tough spots of life that the freedom and grace we live in is not real. Our adversary is more afraid of knowing what we are capable of if we know who we are in Christ and what we may become when we realize our real identity in Him.

The sound of these doubts are like the dark lord Sauron's murmurings (In the Lord of The Rings) to Aaragon that he is not Elessar, that he is not Issiuldur’s heir or the rightful king of Gondor. Over and again Sauron reminds him that he is just that lone strider meant to roam about in the deep woods with no purpose and no freedom.  I say it is time to silence those crowing roosters.

Max Lucado tells us about the story of Booker.T Washington’s family who were slaves serving in the cotton plantations of the south. The early morning rooster’s crow was a everyday reminder for them to report to duty to the plantation fields, a reminder of servitude with no wage, a reminder of bondage to an earthly master who did not treat them justly.  But then came Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation. Early morning, next day Washington’s mother was not answering to the rooster’s call but was chasing it down. Booker .T Washington’s family killed and ate the rooster for lunch that day.

Let not anyone tell you that your freedom is not real. It may be time to silence those roosters forever.

John 10:10  reads: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance."

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

Sunday, May 23, 2010

God is the Fiery Lover

God is the source of all masculine power; God is also the fountain of all feminine allure. My eastern friends may look into it and draw conclusions that this is very familiar with their gods and goddess's but it is not, there is no comparison here with false gods and deities but the idea here is to look into the face of the God of Israel and see His love and love his character completely. The endeavoring aim of this heart is to become more like him. He is the source of all perfection and every man or woman aiming to be more like Him has found the fount of all perfection.  Come to think of it, he is the wellspring of everything that has ever romanced your heart. The thundering strength of a waterfall or the thunderstorm, the delicacy of a flower, or for that matter the delicacy of your entire physical being, the stirring and romantic capacity of music, the richness of wine. The masculine and the feminine that fill all creation come from the same heart. What we have sought, what we have tasted in part with our earthly lovers, we will come face-to-face with in our True Love. For the incompleteness that we seek to relieve in the deep embrace of our earthly love is never fully healed. The union does not last, whatever the poets and pop artists may say, its only the futility of human wisdom and words that such earthly union lasts forever...unfortunately it does not. However, morning comes and we've got to get out of bed and off to our day, incomplete once more. But oh, to have it healed forever; to drink deeply from that fount of which we've had only a sip; to dive into that sea in which we have only waded.

And so a man like Charles Wesley can pen these words: "Jesus, Lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly," while Catherine of Siena can pray, "O fire surpassing every fire because you alone are the fire that burns without consuming! . . . Yet your consuming does not distress the soul but fattens her with insatiable love." The French mystic Madam Guyon can write, "I slept not all night, because Thy love, O my God, flowed in me like delicious oil, and burned as a fire . . . I love God far more than the most affectionate lover among men loves his earthly attachment."

Your God is a consuming fire, a fire in whose embrace the beloved will not be scorched or burned but the wicked will be destroyed.  As I pen this my heart is overwhelmed these days with the goodness of my God. Just as Yeshua raised Joseph and Daniel in the courts of kings so has His mercy come upon my life, so has his love consumed me. The verses from the Psalmist's heart come to mind:

Psalms 105:13 reads: “They went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people. He permitted no one to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm".

I meditate on these thoughts for the day.

Blessings & Shalom in the name of Yeshua Ha Meshiach

Sam Kurien

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If a Tree Falls In a Forest....

At work we have interesting philosophical discussions about faith, theology, stories, quantum physics, metaphysics, astrophysics, the theories of anything and everything and their confluence ends up giving me things to ponder about.  Recently finished reading Edwin Abbot’s book Flatland written in the 1800’s a treatise making fun of Victorian England, but it seems Abbot had much more to say that have significant impact on Physics, Metaphysics and even faith theology in general.  My pondering's or rants over this so bear with me:

‘Flatland’ basically describes a two dimensional world where shapes like squares, triangles, circles, polygons and lines live, almost in structure like ours but only in a two-dimensional plain. This two dimensional world has its own set of rules and regulations. The lines are normally females, and of course dangerous as they can severely damage you if you don’t see them coming, cutting you into half – so the apparent rule that they need to be walking in squiggly fashion to avoid accidents. Then there are things like houses are built in such a way where females have one entrance and the males have another entrance. The triangles belong to the soldier class, squares and rectangles belong to the gentleman class and the idea that the more sides you have, higher up you are in social class order. This means the circle which has so many sides that it’s almost impossible to count all of them is considered to be the perfect shape and hence on top of the social order and the one’s entitled to make the rules.   

One day in Flatland a sphere from the three-dimensional world comes into the two dimensional world. Now from all sides the sphere appears to the Flat-landers as a perfect being able to be in multiple places at the same time. The Sphere meets the Square and tries to explain him about the third dimension and the idea that there is much more to this world than two dimensions. The square has no perception of what the sphere is talking about.  Finally the sphere explains him with the concept saying “what if your world is one-dimensional?”-  Which means all you will be doing is walking in a straight line.  The square begins to understand but is unable to relate this concept to others. The idea of becoming aware of another dimension then opens up quite a few, or more possibilities.

Again, we all have heard about the age old philosophical riddle “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. Quantum Physicists will say the event never occurred since there was no observer. The deeper philosophical question then becomes what is the difference between perception and reality? Or when do these lines blur? Does observation affect outcome? Does the observer have an impact or influence on the event? Does the even influence the observer. If the tree did fall and did make a sound it must have traveled as a wave in the observable universe and propagated to someone.  If I say Disney World existed to someone who has never been there but has only heard about it and believes it exists is relating himself or herself to the experiences of others.  Sound is the variation of pressure that propagates through matter as  a wave is what we study in Physics, which tells me the most important part of this riddle is the division between perception of an object and how the object really is. If something exists outside of our perception there is no way for us to know that the tree exists. The kind of dimensional problem the square felt when listening to the sphere.

Now what am I trying to say here..I really don’t know how to relate...but I will do my best to explain.  Math and Physics do prove that multiple dimensions exist but we are not aware of it by our mere senses. The spiritual realm is as real as the physical realm.  I tend to think the tales in Narnia or Lord of the Rings may be a reflections of something that is more real than we can really perceive. If I was looking at a physical object like for example a table, and was aware of all the dimensions, it wouldn’t be much of a problem for me to walk through that table or say walk through the wall. Didn’t Jesus do it?

I believe eternity and heaven will be interesting places because in the resurrected body we will become aware of multiple dimensions and will be in the pursuit of the infinite dimensions of His nature. Eternity doesn’t sound boring after all. A mind and heart that is aware of all these dimensions or at least the dimensions that God makes us aware of is truly liberated. This has enormous implications a event happening in distant planet 'X' in the farthest corner of the universe trillions of light years away will be known to you just like that or like Philip who talked to the Ethiopian official and disappeared in a whirwind, or like Elisha servant Gehazi’s eyes that were opened to see the heavenly armies that were with them opened up new possibilities of renewed hope.

I believe as we grow in our relationship with Yeshua we become aware of more dimensions, our faith and hope grow and stretch, walking in the supernatural is the natural. Teleportation across the universe is the natural thing to do. And If the tree falls in a forest, you will not only know it and hear the sound but you can say the words and even re-plant it. Moving mountains is even easier...:) 

 Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

Multitude of His Mercies/Your Heart is His!!

Today I read in the accounts of Kings, the life of Solomon. It is sad to observe that though Solomon was loved deeply by God and was called ‘Jeddiah’ - meaning ‘beloved of the Lord’, Solomon in his latter days did not follow in all the righteous ways like his father David did.  The observations I am making here between David and Solomon are, though David committed sins and made terrible mistakes in his life journey, never once in his life did he give his heart or a place in his heart for anybody else but God.  On the other hand Solomon though he loved God, gave his heart away to things, power, women and followed after the idols of gods/goddess’s of other nations. In spite of being the wisest and the smartest man on planet earth Solomon’s life ended tragically, I say tragically because he left the path of following God and lost his heart,  exchanged it with perishable things of this world. Somehow, I know Solomon knew this, but was lazy or had traveled so far away from God that he didn't take corrective action. At least the Bible doesn't reveal to us that he did.

Yet, God in his mercy told Solomon that for his servant David’s sake He will not take away his kingdom in his life time but his kingdom nevertheless will get divided into ten smaller kingdoms and will be taken away from his son.  We see the fulfillment of what the Lord had said in Rehoboam – Solomon’s son’s life.  However, during Solomon’s own lifetime God had raised up men who were rebellious to Solomon and cause him lot of anguish during his rule.  And that brings us to the discovery I made in the reading this morning…

Edomites were a group of people that came from Esau’s lineage, we know God had chosen Jacob/Isarel over Esau as the chosen one for the scriptures say:

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Esau married pagan women and the Edomites came into existence. However the Edomites were blood brothers to Israel, they surface from time to time as arch rivals and enemies in various battles throughout Israel’s history. But it is during David’s time, Joab the commander of the armies of David almost routs out this race. He kills all the Edomite men and women; the race is almost obliterated. I say 'almost' because, God in his mercy had spared a boy called ‘Hadad’, who had fled to Egypt, grew up in Pharaoh’s household and married the sister of  Queen Tahpanhes. When Hadad learns about Joab’s and King David’s death, he returns as a grown young man to Edom and becomes a a life-long thorn in Solomon’s flesh during the latter's reign..

Why am I relating this obscure event here? I think it is important to observe and learn the working of our God and the multitude of His mercies even to his Gentiles. Though he loves his children deeply and expects a very high standard from them, He is long suffering, waits patiently, corrects us, judges us, justifies us and redeems us. I see God’s mercy on Abraham’s seed even in the sparing of Hadad’s life. Edom as a people group almost vanished because of the generational sins but for the mercy of God on Abraham’s seed. We also see Solomon is corrected by the Lord, he does not turn his ways, yet God has raised problems that surround him in his life time. We see this time and again in Israel’s history as a chosen people as well as a nation, when they surrendered and followed God as their first love, no one could stand up against them. But when they went seeking after other idols and other gods, they were not only judged but lost their standing with God. Yet God was merciful and kept on loving them unconditionally.

So what am I learning; apart from the enjoying the mercies of my God, the teaching here is simple and the lesson very important: Instead of identifying our hearts with His, we identify ourselves to things, people, idols, and other gods that distract and take our attention from Him; ultimately we stray and exchange our hearts for something else.  But Friends, we know our hearts are won and He is worthy to have it in complete surrender and complete devotion. I think it is the best place to be, the coolest dwelling place, it is a place when you will see the cup overflowing with His goodness and mercies. Now I understand why the Psalmist sings:

“Surely Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life”

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

Saturday, May 01, 2010

'Be Still And Know I Am God'

My talented friend Hannah posted a video on her blog singing a few songs and one them was "Still/Be Still My Soul" and am so excited for her as she prepares to lead worship for a church in Utah. She sings beautifully and the words of the song blessed my heart.I decided to look up the lyrics and fortunately I found them on you tube (everything is available on you tube).  The lyrics echo Psalm 46:10 and I related especially with it with what God is lately teaching me to "be still and know that He is God" along with the idea that those that wait on the Lord soar like the eagles.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

So here are the lyrics visually presented to you and thanks to Don Moen who wrote the lyrics. Enjoy!

Be Still And Know I am God from Sam on Vimeo.

I have a hard time sitting still, always on the move and always wanting to do something, so when God says to "Be Still" its a struggle for me. In my growing relationship with Yeshua I have found and from examples of great characters in the Bible it is the things that we struggle with most are the first places that He comes to address. And in the addressing of those issues waiting and being still play a big part. Daniel waited on the Lord for an answer, Esther waited, prayed and fasted before the Lord before going up to the king, Moses sat still for forty days and forty nights on the mountain. Being still before God is not a skill that you can acquire in an instant but develops over the course of time as you purpose in your heart a devotion of waiting upon Him. I am by no means an expert in this but reading books like "Conversations With God" and "Practice of the Presence of God" by Bro. Lawrence has given me a glimpse of the idea and I learn on the journey.

Be blessed by the lyrics, know that He is in control and He is the king over the flood and we are bound to soar up with Him. Be still and know He is the Holy One of Israel!

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

"Build The Plane" - Flight Of The Phoenix

Last night I saw the movie 'Flight of the Phoenix' for the second time a remake of 1965 version. The movie has some good memorable quotes. At first you may think it seems to be a movie about survival - how against all odds the oil rig crew that crashed into the desert survived and build the plane and saved their lives by getting out of the grips of death that surrounded them on all sides. But there is much more to that story than mere survival, it is a story that reveals more about relational dynamics, hope, and above all resurrecting the deepest desires of our lives..."To Live". In one of the scenes, the Captain of the plane has left the group to find Liddle a crew member who has left the crash site as he learns the captain didn't want to do anything about their situation and was against the idea of building the plane. The captain Frank Towns has resigned himself the fact that there was no chance for them to survive and the best thing for them was to wait, conserve water and again wait for a a search party to find them. The captain finally finds Liddle and tries to stop Liddle from wandering away from the group into the open desert. Liddle says I don't want to be a part of a group that doesn't want to do anything or at least try to re-build the crashed plane. The following is the dialogue that ensues between them.

Frank Towns: Why give people false hope?
Liddle : Come on man. Most folks spend their whole lives holding on to hopes and dreams that are never going to come true but they hold on to them. Why are you going to give up on them now when you need them most?
Frank Towns: You are assuming I'm one of those people who has hopes and dreams.
Liddle: I find it hard to believe that a man who learns to fly never had a dream.
Frank Towns: Look, how can I let those people build that plane when I don't believe it will work? And, every day they waste trying to build it brings them one day closer to dying.
Liddle: I think a man only needs one thing in life. He just needs someone to love. If you can't give him that, then give him something to hope for. And if you can't give him that, just give him something to do
Frank Towns: James, you'll never make it.
Liddle: Then I''ll die trying. There are people counting on me.
Frank Towns: Okay Okay, Okay. We''ll build it.

Aren't those some amazing lines? The reason to live goes much more deeper than mere survival, it is rooted in God given desires. The desire  of a redeemed heart is good and our lives burn down to three things love, hope and purpose. God places these as foundations of desire. We are created with a desire to love, with desire to clinch to our hopes and dreams and ultimately to have a desire to live a life of purpose. Liddle manages to convince the captain with the idea - "yes we are stranded but now we have a purpose, we have renewed friendships, a new fellowship and it is worth the shot to try rather than sit and do nothing".

Again a saved and redeemed heart is good and desires that He places in us are good, a contrary idea to the traditional Christian belief. It is good because Yeshua has made it good and we cannot afford to doubt the good work He has done for you and me.

Blessings, & Shalom,

Sam Kurien