20 April 2009

I wonder

I was in prison yesterday. Yes in a maximum security prison for that matter. I didn’t go in as an inmate but as a minister. As a member of the Prison Outreach Network we frequently attend different prisons in and around the country to worship with the inmates. The services are always inspirational, the simplicity of the inmates never fail to amaze me, the worship is always breathtaking and that is without guitars, drums, piano or the other stuff that we think we need before we can praise God. To hear the inmates lift up their voices in one accord and praise God is just a blessing and one I always look forward to.

This got me thinking, about our churches today. You see in today’s church especially our Pentecostal ones the focus has shifted, I am sad to say that we no longer worship in spirit and in truth. Over the last few years, there has been a change from true worship to human worship.

Our pastors or leaders are held in high esteem, we the people come short of worshipping our leaders. It’s no longer what the word says, but what pastor this or that says.
I am all for giving honour to whom honour is due, but what qualifies one to receive honour? Who determines who gets honour?

Does being a pastor qualifies you to automatically receive honour and in what form?
Is there a separate place in heaven for pastors and leaders and for the rest of the people? If not why do leaders, pastors etc separate themselves from the rest of the people? Why are they so untouchable, unreachable, and unapproachable? Why the change? Why should the size of a congregation affect a Shepard's heart? If they are approachable before how come that changes once the numbers increased?

Today’s “leaders” (I use that word lightly because really we are all servants), are far removed from the people they’ve been called to serve. They are suppose to be the lead-servants of all of us and we are to follow their examples in savant hood, serving faithfully. Jesus was honoured even though he served his disciples, they saw his humility and servant's heart that they were humbled in his presence and compelled by what they saw, to serve him.

What happened to the days of simply walking up to your pastor without fear of being shoved aside by one of the body guards masquerading as protocol officers? What happens to the days of simply walking into his office and saying hello because you were in the building? You don’t need counselling, don’t want to be prayed for, or encouraged, you don’t want an appointment, and truth is you’ll only be 2 seconds.

What happens to the spirit of being a servant? What happened to we are called to serve not be served. Or the people are called to serve the pastors not the other way round? How come we qualify to be preached to, told what to do, admonish, encouraged from the pulpit, but we don’t qualify to embrace the pastor after the service. I know there are those odd ones who if given a moment with the pastor would recite their live's problems, but I think the pastor can kindly say please not now book an appointment with my PA. I genuinely think the majority of the congregation just want a simple hand shake after the service.

I wonder what happened to the Christ like spirit. Isn’t the meaning of Christian “Christ like” those who are like Christ?

You see Christ doesn’t look at me any differently than he does those inmates. We are all sinners saved by grace, whether it took them going into the prison to get saved or I being born into a Christian home. It is by grace we are all saved, the same blood was shed for us. In the same vain, God doesn’t regard pastor so and so or bishop so and so, more highly than the usher or the children’s teacher or the member who is simply a member. Let’s stop this segregation, this us and them attitude. I don’t think our leaders deliberately set out to be untouchable or unreachable. I think there was a shift in focus or purpose either because they became busier or pride found its way in.

Even our master described himself as a servant: Here’s a few of what he said:

For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and gave himself a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am GENTLE and HUMBLE in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. Matt 11: 28-29.

He was the greatest teacher of our time yet he described himself as lonely in heart
He was besieged by people from all places, yet he never turned one away.
He demonstrated his capacity to give unconditionally when he gave his life on the cross
He demonstrated his love for all when he choose to dine with those of unequal status as he
He demonstrated his humility when he choose to serve rather than be served
He was all things to all men
To the sick he was a healer
To the thief he was a saviour
To the prostitute he was a forgiver
To the dead he was the resurrection and the life
To the leper he was the cleanser
To the blind he was their sight
He chooses to serve rather than be served.
To the deaf he was their hearing
To the downtrodden he was an up lifter
To the unjust he was a judge.
He was sort by many and available to all.

I wonder if one of us or our big preachers today were in Jesus shoes how would they be described.
I wonder.
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11 April 2009

Happy Easter


Mercy looks beyond man’s fault
Mercy made him came as a servant
Left the splendour of his throne
To walk earths rugged road
It was mercy that caused him to
Exchange the praise and honour of angels
For the scorn and hate of men
For mercy he came and bought my pardon,
Redeeming me with his blood



Never was a deed so vile
Never was a task so hard
Never was a plan so falsely harsh
Never was an act so divine
For a man to die in false accuse
But never was it so needful
That he should die for sins so grave
That only his blood would cleanse
Never was the victory so sweet
When he rose again!


I’ll do the same

I’ll bear my cross
In pain or despair
I’ll stay close to him
In every season
I’ll work for him no matter the task
Not for gain or praise
Spending myself till my last breath
I’ll follow his lead
Though the path be rugged.
And when my work here is done,
I’ll gladly wait to hear him say well done.


Yes he lives we can sing,
Yes he lives we can laugh,
Yes he lives we have a hope
Yes he lives we can dance
Yes he live we can live also

© Deboo April 2009
Pictures by "photobucket"

8 April 2009

I Imagine

Can you sit back and imagine with me for a few minutes, the Easter story? This is not some literary story, told by people of old to spice up this time of the year.

Easter, a time for reflection and celebration, a time to sit back and enjoy the many blessings God has graciously delivered to us. A time to offer gifts and praise for the selfless act of kindness the father displayed when he took on the form of man, took our place on the cross and died the death of a wretched sinner.

Easter did not start with a celebration!

O what sadness was felt by Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene when at dawn they found the tomb where he was laid empty, the feeling of hopelessness finally became real, their fears now a reality. He is dead, and worse his body stolen. With their heads bowed, they wept. He is gone, Mary’s precious Son, Lord and Saviour taken away and now the last fragments of his body gone too, nothing to remember him by, what sorrow they felt.

I imagine the disciples too, gathered together as usual encouraging one another, finding the strength to go on the day after their Lord and Saviour was killed. The man whom they saw performed miracles never before seen by men, the one who walked on water, the one who caused the blind to see and the lame to walk, the one who raised the dead.

I imagine Lazarus too, inconsolable from grief and disbelief that his saviour, the one who brought him back to life, killed and gone.
But still the one who humbly let them take him away from them? How dare he do this to them?

Peter too must have been really grief stricken, he denied his Lord, the Christ, O the look his master gave him moments before he was led away! Peter, I imagined locked himself away in his shame, cried and repented over and over again, but hoping and praying that his Lord would rise again as he said he would, praying and whispering, please come back, please come back.

I imagine the others too shocked to venture out for fear of reprisal from the crowd.

Hey, where’s your Lord and Master, the one who made himself equal with God, Dead huh? He hasn’t risen yet I suppose. You want to take his place? I imagine this.

Then I imagine the women as they stood by the tomb in agony as they realised that their saviour is gone forever, I imagine the angel as he spoke to them, women why do you look for him here? He is not here. He is risen, just as he said he would.

I imagine the change in their demure, the joy, the almost too good to be true expression that started with mouth agape and then spread to a simile and then to uncontrollable laughter and praise to the father.

I imagine them too excited to wait for the angel to finish his statement but ran, almost tripping on their garment to tell his disciple, he is not Dead, but he is "Risen" I imagine them stuttering over their words.

I imagined the disciples too, stunned with disbelief, confused, saying to Mary, slow down, speak quietly, what are you saying? You are not making any sense, what did you just say? And Mary, trying desperately to recount her encounter with the angels repeated, he’s not dead, he’s risen. Finally they got it, He is Risen he is not dead. He is back, like he said he would.

I imagine the joy, the cheers, the cries of, at last, he got up, he is risen, he is alive! I imagine this and I can’t help but dance and celebrate too.

This is for real, this is not a spiritual resurrection, not just my imagination, it happened. Jesus died and rose again. That’s what Easter is about.

A celebration of his resurrection, because with it, he gave us freedom from sin, sickness and disease, we can go to the father boldly and obtain mercy.

That’s what Easter is about.

I hope you too can know Jesus as Lord and Saviour and enjoy the joy and peace that comes with this knowledge.
Reflect on his death and resurrection and let that encourage you through whatever you may be going through, because if he rose from the dead, he can bring you out from whatever difficulties you may be facing.

Happy Easter. He is not dead he is alive because...........
Only he can take my sins and wash it white as snow.
Only he can take my pain and turn it to gain
Only he can touch my life with love so true and real.
Only he can comfort with words of peace and joy
Only he can turn a dark dull day and make the sun come shining through.

© Deboo April 2009.
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