Saturday, July 31, 2010

We are Ring Bearers

If you are following this blog, you all know that I love the LOTR books and absolutely love the LOTR movies. I highly recommend the high-def versions available on Blu-Ray for catching all the fine details the movie makers put in on this magnum opus work.

Like Frodo we are all ring bearers, carriers of a story (& carriers of purpose) that is being told on the grander scale. And as the story of life unfolds and takes on different paths we come to a point where we like Frodo say, "my adventure turned out so different, I didn't expect it to go this way". The longings, desires, hardships of life, and events that bring heart wrenching aches make us wonder that my adventure is not that fun after all. In the exchange between Gandalf and Frodo, Gandalf assures Frodo that it is not for us to decide as to whats should have happened, but it is up to us to decide what we are going to do with the time that is given to us. Here is the snippet for you to enjoy!. I have sliced this with the final scene in the "The Fellowship of The Ring" for you to see that Frodo's trusted friend and servant Sam will not give up Frodo half-way on the journey. The fellowship does get broken, but as long as we are true to each other (in spite of being on the opposite side of the spectrum), we will make it against all odds.

Gandalf Final Words To Frodo from Sam on Vimeo.

Life is hard but life is also joyful when we rely on the things that get us through, strength, honor, friendship, faithfulness and love. There are times when these are thoroughly tested and there are times when the closest ones feel that we have failed, but it is in those times that we look in deeper within ourselves and look deeper to those who were near us and who are near now. We should aim to see the good that surround us and these things helps us to move forward. I have learned when we realize this and keep the first things first, believe that many things happen that are not in our control or couldn't be. But know God has given each of us a task, each of us a ring to bear, to see to, that we accomplish the mission that He has entrusted us with. The journey is long, sometimes tedious, but on the way there are great flashes, flashes of joy, pain ....Yes! the journey is also full of perils, full of uncertainties and in spite of all this the journey is worth taking and the journey is worth finishing.

Shalom & Blessings,

Sam Kurien

P.S: And thus two Hobbits set out to change the course of Middle Earth

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hosea You are a Fool!

The creation of a man and a woman is part of the core story that God is completing for the glory of His son. The family, husband, wife, children are all part of the reflection of what God has set upon as model on the face of earth.  God is fierce and is beautiful two adjectives with almost opposite connotations. When you study the creation story in Genesis each day is magnificent, the crescendo goes on swelling like a great symphony till God creates man, the work of his glory. He creates Adam in his very own image; Adam bears the likeness of God, he possesses his fierceness and his passionate heart and yet one more thing remains. In the finishing touch of creation God unveils the beauty part with the creation of the woman. Eve is the crown of His creation and no wonder man is captivated by the woman.  God fashions Eve embodying the beauty and mystery and the tender vulnerability of God. William Blake says "The naked woman's body is a portion of eternity too great for the eye of man".

With this background set I want to introduce you to how God shows His pattern of love in rescuing us and coming after us no matter what. Michael card wrote a song on the book of Hosea a minor prophet entrusted to be an example of enormous proportions to tell God's story of love through his life. Hosea is asked by God with an unusual request marry a prostitute, a adulterous woman.  He is deeply in love with this woman and she bears him children. Eve has enraptured him in her love and he finds no satisfaction elsewhere. But time to time she runs away from him to her way ward ways, but each time she runs away Hosea pursues her and brings her back.The pursuit of Hosea's love is so strong that finally Gomer has realized she is not worthy for him, the scene in the story finally ends at the place where Gomer is on the auciton block of the flesh market, naked, abused, humiliated and torn. The bidding starts but nobody can match Hosea who has sold everything he has to redeem her. Here are the lyrics of the song and if you don't want to read it you can hear it here:

Don't know what he sees in me
He is spirit, he is free
And I, the wife of adultery
Gomer is my name.
Simply more than I can see

How he keeps on forgiving me;
How he keeps his sanity
Hosea, you're a fool.


A fool to love someone like me, A fool to suffer silently;Though sometimes through your eyes I see
I'd rather be a fool.
The fondness of a father,
The passion of a child;
The tenderness of a loving friend
An understanding smile.
All of this and so much more,
You've lavished on a faithless horror
I've never known love like this before
Hosea, you're a fool.

A fool to love someone like me,
A fool to suffer silently;
Though sometimes through your eyes I see
I'd rather be a fool.
This God of yours would not have told
To lift a love that you couldn't hold;
And though time and time again I flee,
I'm always glad to see you coming after me!
Simply more than I can see,
How he keeps on forgiving me
The wife of adultery;
Gomer is my name.

Listening to the song, I was overwhelmed by the God's great love for us. God stands and bears and is willing to even be a fool to pursue me inspite of knowing my "adulterous behavior". He is willing to forgive again and again because He has chosen to love me unconditionally. His pursuit is so strong that he won't quit, give up on me and is willing to risk everything to redeem me and bring me back to Him. I am overwhelmed not just with emotions of praise and adulation of what my savior did for me on that cross, I am overtaken by His love and great concern for my life. The Lord says in Hosea:

"I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD…I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:19-20,23)

My love thoughts for the day,

Sam Kurien

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Nice Guy! - Warning Nice Guys not permitted to watch the 2nd Clip

I love the work of Ransomed heart ministries, John Elderege is among my favorite hero- authors and the team at Ransom heart is awesome in carrying out the special message of discovering freedom that Yeshua won for us and liberating the hearts of men and women. WOW! What a mission? The clip below is one that they share in the introduction of what masculinity was not intended to be. No offense to Mr. Rogers and his nice guy image but come on...our entire culture of Christianity is moving towards the belief that the highest aspirations is to be nice all the time and the greatest virtue is not to offend anyone

esus invites us to have the heart of passion, and the passionate heart is powerful when it is free, it is released to chase after hunger and righteousness. When I survey the life of The King of Kings in the Gospel all I see most of the time is a fierce savior, gentle and a consuming God on a relentless rescue mission. It is not this nice guy who has come to invite everybody to be friends. Yeshua says the kingdom heaven belongs to violent men (passionate men) and they will take back and bring the kingdom of God on earth. I relate well when Elderedge paints this picture with the opening scenes of 'Saving Private Ryan' - the greatest generation that ran and jumped on the beaches of Normandy to meet the enemy dead on.  The idea to lay down, take the stand and meet head on the enemies that have come to steal and destroy. I have included the whole scene here for a purpose, these men sacrificed against all odds, these men overcame their fears, weakness's for the higher purpose just like Jesus did. And these men lived based on one of the truths Yeshua taught "A good friend lays down his life for the sake of others".

I think the greatest enemy today within our Christian cultures and circles is that of apathy, this unfortunately is also the greatest enemy of our pursuit of being passionate for holiness and righteousness. Friends our calling is not just to be the nice guy, but to take a stand where need be and go out with passion and courage. Look at your savior, He is something just more than powerful, He is Holy and demands holiness and may Yeshua instill in us His Spirit of courage to follow Him wherever He may lead.

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Open Tents Of Abraham & David

I am on a journey exploring the blessings of being in intimacy with God, its not just about the idea of being blessed or pursue God to be blessed, it is much more. To be in the realm of friendship with God translates into our lives in imitating Him and doing things that please Him. And this reflects on how we treat our families, friends, superiors and people in general.

I have been reading the book Jasher and I love the stories of the patriarchs and their wanderings by the leading of the awesome God of Israel. Abraham became a wealthy Prince of the Middle East, respected by his friends, enemies, and the pagan nations that surrounded him. He was known as a man of faith, a righteous man, a prophet, and most befittingly held the title of being the ‘friend of God”. Wherever Abraham pitched his tents, his tents were open; the book reveals that Abraham pitched his tents always over the hills so that he could see travelers who journeyed from one place to the other. Any traveler was welcome to stop by and be  refreshed with water, meals and supplies for their journey. Abraham treated thus the pagan and believer alike. His tents were open to hospitality to strangers; he took care of the poor and when need be he chased after kings to rescue the weak from the hands of the strong.

Though the tent of Abraham has a larger concept and deeper hidden meaning which I don’t want to explore in this post but in passing I do want to make a important point. God grafted the gentiles and sons of Ishmael into the Jewish vine by the grace and miraculous rescue of Yeshua. The Tent of Abraham was open in a physical sense thousands of years ago and the concept of that open tent has been enlarged by Yeshua to bring us into the glory of our savior.

King David was a man after God’s own heart. When David became King of Israel, he brought the Ark to Jerusalem and set it in a tent that he had prepared for it. Logically, one would think that David would have brought the Ark to the Tabernacle of Moses in Gibeon, but he did not. Instead, he brought it to Jerusalem and instituted worship before the Ark. David established a totally new form of worship. He provided for and appointed thousands of worship singers and musicians to praise the Lord continually in the tent. Indeed, they functioned around the clock for the remainder of David's reign. There was no veil in the tent; so the praise, worship, and intercession continued before the Ark — in other words, directly before the Throne of God.

King David also appointed priests and Levites to minister before the Lord and lead people into worship. He not only gave Israel a national identity but encouraged his people to come into intimacy with the Lord, the very intimacy that he himself enjoyed. Another character I want to highlight about him caring for his people is from the story when we see in his lifetime breaking the law by stealing consecrated holy temple bread and giving it to his hungry soldiers, men who rallied and depended on him.

David's intimacy with Lord translated in a life of seeking and pleasing Him and that in turn reflected on how he treated people; a man who valued people. Abraham and David were new covenant believers in old covenant times. They moved and lived their lives in intimacy and by the leading of the Ruach Adonai (The Holy Spirit of God). Their physical dwelling places were open tents and these dwelling places were beautiful because Lord inhabited in them and with them.

“For from the rising of the sun to its setting My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Mal. 1:11)

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien