"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." 2Thess.3:5
IN THIS EDITION
This month, I'm sharing with you a spontaneous worship and exhilarating praise report from a friend of Soaking.Net, D'vorah Driskell. Looking up beyond our earthly surroundings, God's beauty and glory is daily displayed differently, and sometimes it is way off the chart! Responsive hearts will always
be nurtured and inspired by it...
The late Henri Nouwen talks about living with the awareness of being beloveds of God. Inspiring a right vision of yourself.
Ray S. Anderson, senior professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, clarifies for us the difference between guilt and shame.
Visual Arts - we also are blessed to share with you beautiful inspiring art from Charlene Rice and David Costello. I am including their website address here so you can look at their beautiful other works.
Charlene Rice - www.worshipthruart.com
David Costello - www.davidcostello.com
MESSAGE FROM ANDRÉ
SOAKING.NET IS GROWING!
Over the past few years, I've attempted to recreate the vision I have for this site but have fallen short of being able to complete it. Lately, thanks to the kindness and generosity of a few people who contributed financially, I was able to secure the services of a brother and sister
from New Zealand who are taking on several tasks I'm unable to accomplish in order to structure the website according to this vision.
Coming soon to a computer screen near you: SoakingPlanet.com!
FROM ALL TRIBES AND NATIONS
As of today, April 12th 2009, Soaking.Net has recorded visits from 115 nations. Since April 2007, 370,980 views are been recorded as well, which means people from all over the planet are seeking spaces of silence and encouragement in the Lord.
The western world is finally joining two-thirds of the world in experiencing the fragility of human insitutions and the power of sin and greed, as a few men and women appropriate for themselves the financial wealth of the many entrusted to them. The magnitude of the
disaster is felt worldwide across our societies affecting both rich and poor, and the whole labor landscape is being deeply plowed, leaving families exposed and vulnerable.
Government are called upon to intervene and put an end to the corruption, and restore confidence on world markets. How ironic in a way, that those who have been fleeced now have to be convinced to come back and invest more... But invest what, exactly? What's left to invest
when you struggle to keep your house and feed your family?
Many believe things will turn for the better under the present circumstances, but for others "better" means that we will be able to return to our former lifestyles. Shareholders are constantly promised profits, and often no matter how it comes, it is welcomed as entitlement.
However, it is this very culture of entitlement which serves the cold hearts of financial systems, to which much is sacrificed.
Our whole way of life is being challenged in our "rich" countries. I feel we have a moral imperative to rethink the way we live and operate as societies. As devastating as the situation is, I feel this is an opportunity to go back to our God-given "factory settings" and consider
how God intended for us to live and love one another? Sharing our abundance with those in need so that they wouldn't lack, and we wouldn't become selfish.
How can we be wise with abundance, and compassionate in times of want? What will happen when we will have to deny our children basic necessities in order to continue to tithe? Will we accuse God of having no heart? Is there truly a choice to be made between a pack of
cigarette and a gallon of milk? We no-doubt have to consider with wisdom what the Lord would want us to do with our finances if faced by the choice - tithing our last to our local church, or paying our bills so our utilities don't get cut off, which would definitely affect our
Time to hit the reset button on our world?
I pray for a wave of creative ideas to come to the Church as it is called to turn to its struggling members and their neighbors in order to bring life into these communities. Nothing is business as usual. Hard choices are before us, our dreams of glory will have to wait, for we are
called into the Lord's harvest. And I do join all of you in praying for provision and safety for our families and communities. May we shine in the darkness of these end-times.
by - Deborah Driskell
On the way to Dance class tonight, I saw a beautiful prism in the sky as the sun began to set. It was on the "tail" of what looked like a WING or bird in flight. The PRISM was green, yellow, red, VIBRANT! THIS SIGHT of COLOR AND LIGHT was heading into the SUN setting, "like diving in!" whew!
Then came the beginning of a glorious sunset; after awhile, this looked like a swirl of fire, spinning LIGHT upward, spreading LIGHT: "like a flame being fanned" by unseen BREATH. (Like His flame of love burning in His bride!) It was really quite astonishing, and seemed to grip my heart...more than I can say.
by - Henri Nouwen
I would like to talk a little about how to live the life of the beloved. There are four words that I want to use, words that come from the gospels, words that are used in the story of the multiplication of bread, words that are used at the Last Supper, words that are used at Emmaus and words that are used constantly when the community of faith comes together. Those words are: He took, He blessed, He broke, and He gave.
To be taken, to be blessed, to be broken and to be given is the summary of the life of Jesus who was taken, who was blessed by God, broken on the cross, and given to the world. It is also the summary of our life because just as Jesus, we are the beloved.
by - Ray S. Anderson, Fuller Theological Seminary
Shame has to do with a loss to one's identity and being. Long after the guilt has been
removed objectively, one can still be caught in the de-humanizing grip of shame. When I feel
guilt for having broken a traffic law long after the ticket has been paid, it is really shame that I
feel. I experience a loss of personal integrity. My self-worth is threatened. Paying the traffic
ticket removes the guilt, but does not restore my sense of personal worth.
Shame does not necessarily disappear even though guilt as an objective offense standing
between God and human persons is removed. Shame, as the deeper problem of the self, means
that one has suffered loss of being, not merely loss of status. The purpose of divine forgiveness is
not only to pardon sin as a legal or objective fault, but to overcome shame which has weakened
and destroyed the inner fabric of the self. When we think of atonement for sin as a removal of
guilt we must also understand that it has not produced wholeness and health within until the
effects of shame on one's personal being has been overcome.
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and gave us, by his grace, encouragement eternal and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
(2 Thessalonians 2:16)
Forgiving one another - Ephesians4:32
Accepting one another - Romans 15:7
Being devoted to one another - Romans 12:1 & 10
Bearing with one another - Colossian 3:13
Honoring one another above ourselves- Romans 12:10
Greeting one another - II Corinthians 13:12
Being hospitable to one another - I Peter 4:9
Being kind and compassionate to one another - Ephesians 4:32
Sharing with one another - Hebrews 13:16
Serving one another - Galatians 5:13
Carrying one another's burdens - Galatians 6:2
Building up one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Encouraging one another daily - Hebrews 3:13
Comforting one another - I Thessalonians 4:18
Stimulating one another to love and good deeds - Heb 10:24
Instructing one another - Romans 15:14
Admonishing one another - Colossians 3:16
Praying for one another - James 5:16
Confessing your sins to one another - James 5:16
Being of the same mind toward one another - Romans 12:16
Submitting to one another - Ephesians 5:21 [Wayne Jacobsen]
Note to artists: if you have released new music since we last corresponded, and would be interested in sharing a song or two on Soaking.Net, please send me an email to let me know.
I'm also seeking short devotional and edifying writings from our artists to include in our future newsletters. Let me know if you have material, or are interested in contributing in the future.