Illustration results for ascension
If you ever happen to listen to Positive 89.3 on Saturday nights, you know that Joe Polek and I often enjoy sharing humorous stories from the news between the songs that we play. If you listened last night, you would have heard us talking about a variety of mistranslations with humorous results. We got started on mistranslations because I had found a news article about a recent tourism publication from the City of Jerusalem. Boldly proclaimed on the front of the brochure were these words: “Jerusalem! There is no such city!” Tens of thousands of copies had been distributed before the mistake was realized—the correct translation? “Jerusalem--there’s no city like it!”
Some of my other favorite mistranslations include:
• A warning to motorists in Tokyo: "When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor."
• In a Tokyo hotel: Is forbitten to steal hotel toweles please. If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read this notice.
• In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: "Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists".
• When translated into Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin’ good" came out as "eat your fingers off".
• Denmark: in a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions
• Apparently skiers (and their ski-boots) were making lots of noise after hours in this Austrian hotel, so they posted this sign: "Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.
• in a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily
• Serbia: in a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll pass on that elevator—United States comes pretty late in the alphabet, so I’m not sure I’d ever get to my “wishing floor!”
I’ve been reading "The Journal of John Wesley". In the entry for 24th May 1738, he wrote a detailed account of his spiritual pilgrimage. As a young boy in the family of a clergyman he had been "carefully taught" that salvation could only be obtained by "keeping all the commandments of God." Over the years at school and university, he wrote, "’I now hoped to be saved, by, (1) Not being so bad as other people. (2) Having a kind of religion. And, (3) Reading the Bible, going to church, and saying my prayers.’ I doubted not but I was a good Christian."
He was eventually ordained as a minister and lived very strictly, as he put it, "I omitted no sort of self-denial." But this brought him no peace with God. He went as a chaplain to the American Colonies and came under the influence of Moravian Christians and on his return to England in that January he realised that what he was lacking was "faith in and through Christ". He wrote in his Journal that he resolved to renounce all dependence upon his "own works or righteousness" and instead turned to a "saving faith, a full reliance on the blood of Christ shed for me." He finally knew he was converted when his heart "was strangely warmed" within him and "an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins."
“An Image Better Than Adam’s!” Isaiah 59:1-8 Key verse(s): 1-2:“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.”
Oh if we could but live one day as Adam and Eve. Have you ever wished this? If you could but experience for even the briefest moment the joy and complete satisfaction that must have been manifest in the lives of our first parents before they fell into sin. They walked innocent, naked and in complete communion with God their Father. Disharmony, sorrow, fretfulness, and anger were unknown to them. Doubtless they cried; but their tears could only have been as those which flow from a feeling of complete contentment and happiness. Their state was one of total cooperation, unswerving commitment and consuming love both for each other and for God. Created in holiness, they dwelled within its tent, secured and warmed by its amazing completeness and immeasurable capacity to grant happiness and promise. Adam and Eve were the lucky ones. They were created in pure holiness, a state which we have never experienced. We can only speculate what it must have been like. Can you imagine a day in your life when, in the presence of a person, even someone that you love with all your heart and soul, you do not harbor a single wrong thought or secure even the faintest glimmer of jealousy or resentment? Those little irritating thoughts that cross our minds constantly, the ones that are there for but an instant and then gone, would never happen. In a sinless world people would never know bitterness or envy. They would dwell apart from comparisons and they would have no need for justice. All these things would be made meaningless in the absence of sin.
Truly Adam and Eve were more fortunate than we. Unfallen man had in his possession the power of sinlessness, the ability to live in complete harmony with others and with God. Oh to be like them if but for an instant! We could throw off this coil of sorrow and woe. Our worst enemies would be our best friends. Our worst obsessions would be trivialized in the presence of such perfect promise and hope. Our worst fears would become nothing more than idle thought. To walk hand in hand with the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, if but for a moment, would be a thrill beyond expression. To step back into the world of Adam and Eve prior to Satan’s appearance would just have to be the one experience that nothing in this life could top. Or, would it be? Is there yet a state that could compare or, better yet, surpass this? How could there be anything surpassing to the joy and completeness our first parents must have experience before Eve took the apple and Adam placed his lips upon it? To be in a state of created holiness, holding the very hand of the One who made you and kept you each day; how could there be anything better than that?
When God created man the Bible tells us that He made man a little lower than the angels but in a state of complete holiness. God created man in His image to dwell in holiness and rule over the entirety of His creation. He did not, however, create man in equity to Himself. It was in His image He made us, not in His essence. Man was holy indeed. But, their was One to whom all things were subjugated and under whose domain the entire universe bowed down. That was and is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. There was no equity between Adam and Christ beyond the knowledge of sin. Although Adam lived in sinlessness at first, he had the capacity to sin later. Christ, the sinless Son of God, possessed power over sin. Not only did he live without sin, He dwelt in complete dominion over it. In that respect, Adam and Eve, bereft of the ability to defeat sin, could never know the power, the perfected love, that dwelt within the essence of Jesus Christ. Only Christ has power and authority over sin. Would it not make sense, therefore, to aspire to this greater power, one superior to the holiness of our first parents? To claim the authority over sin would be a greater power than the ignorance of it. C. S. Lewis writes, “Whatever may have been the powers of unfallen man, it appears that hose of redeemed Man will be almost unlimited. Christ, re-ascending from his great dive, is brining up Human Nature with Him. Where He goes, it goes too. It will be made “like Him.” (Miracles, chap. 15, para. 5, p. 135)
You and I in this sense are far better off than Adam and Eve. Even though we know sin, we aspire to a holiness even greater than theirs; the holiness of Christ Himself. Through the Holy Spirit we grow in this grace daily. When Christ descended into Hell to claim victory over the sin that Adam brought into the world, he arose with such a force and shout that we too are taken up with Him and made holy in that ascension to the throne of God. There can be no greater aspiration than this. To be like Christ would be far better than to be like Adam.
In a book entitled "Quiet Talks on Service", written by a man named Dr. S. D. Gordon, a fantasy is painted for is that is strikingly poignant and says much. Dr. Gordon shows Jesus walking down the golden streets of heaven. He has just returned from earth in His ascension. All heaven is eager to greet Him and welcome Him, and the first to rush up in excitement and greet Him is Gabriel. They have known each other forever, it seems, and these two companions of old walk and arm in arm along those streets of golden. Gabriel – curious – engages Jesus in a conversation that (in the fantasy) goes something like this:
"Master, You died for the whole world down there, did You not?"
"You have suffered much."
"Yes," the Lord said. "
And do they all know what You did for them?" replied Gabriel.
"Oh, no...no; only a few in Palestine know about it so far."
Gabriel replies, "Well, Master, what’s Your plan? What have You done about telling the world that You died for them, that You shed Your blood for all of them? What is your plan?" Gabriel waited expectantly, anticipating a grandiose plan – along the lines of the Creation itself.
And Jesus answered, "Well, I asked Peter and James and John and Andrew and a few other fellows to make it the business of their lives to tell others. And then the ones that they tell could tell others, and then the ones that they tell could tell others, and the ones that they tell could ...
"We enjoy the blissful consequences which are ours because we are in Christ. These consequences which flow to us include His perfect obedience, finished atonement, resurrection, ascension, intercession, as well as His dominion over all principalities and power."
LEAVING YOU IN GOOD HANDS
The story is told of a mum who would take her son to nursery school, kiss him good bye and would always say to him "Darling, I’m leaving you in good hands, OK?" She will do this every day she takes her son to school.
When the son was of age and mum was quite old now and experiencing dementia, the son took his dear mum to a care home. As he said good bye, he remembered the words of his mum when he was quite young; he then kissed her and said, "Mum I’m leaving you in good hands." His mum who could hardly remember things now because of dementia held on to his son’s hands and tears started streaming down her eyes; she remembered her own very words years ago.
BUYING THEM BACK
We're told about a gift of grace (singular) and informed that it will help us to build up the church in LOVE. Do you see a pattern, here?
Whatever we have to use in God's service comes directly from God.
It's a lot like a former colleague experienced at Ziff-Davis Publishing. He was working for ZD in public relations when he was called into Bill Ziff, Jr.'s office. Ziff told him that he wanted to reorganize the company and get a leaner, meaner PR group. To do so, he offered to fund my colleague with the start-up costs of starting his own PR agency and hiring his own staff. Ziff promised to provide the major part of the fellow's billings, but he wanted everything out of house.
My colleague took the money and started his agency. Ziff was true to his word and, not only did the PR man have all of the ZD business he expected and more, but the rest of the agency had grown faster than expected. Within a couple of years, Ziff called the PR man back into his office. At this point, Ziff expressed concern that he wasn't getting enough of the agency's attention. When my colleague started to protest, Ziff stopped him and said that he knew the fellow had built up his agency and that Ziff wanted to compensate him for the business he was going to lose when Ziff acquired his agency completely and brought him back in-house. When Ziff cited a number for buying back the business, my colleague said, "I don't understand. You funded the entire business in the first place and have been the biggest client the whole time and now, you want to pay for it again?" The PR man shared this with me several years after it had happened and he still had a sense of amazement. How much more generous could someone be than to buy the necessities for a person's business and then, buy them back?
Yet, that is essentially what God did. Jesus' death paid the blood debt for our sin and His ascension paved the way for our participation in His triumph. Now, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of grace, we are essentially being given the tools with no strings attached to find fulfillment together in the Church where we get the blessing. In fact, the word used twice in this passage for building up the body of Christ could really be translated with something that Yoon and Peggy (who repair homes and resell them) could relate to. God's Holy Spirit provides the tools, materials, and labor for us to be able to do "home construction" on the body of Christ, but then we get the privilege of living in the "home," the body of Christ where we have been privileged to do the work.
Like Blind Beggars! (08.15.05--Envy!--John 21: 20-23)
“No one has done a better job of portraying envy than Dante, In his Purgatory . . .the envious sit like blind beggars by a wall. Their eyelids are sewn shut. the symbolism is apt, showing the reader that it is one of the blindest sins--partly because it is unreasonable, partly because the envious person is swept up in himself and swollen with poisonous thoughts in a dark, constricting world of almost unendurable self-imposed anguish. (Swidoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes)
“What about him?” Jesus’s ministry was nearly finished on this earth. He had visited with and met with His disciples a number of times over this period. The Gospel of John records for us this very unusual visit just prior to His ascension into heaven. Jesus is leading Peter down a “path” that he had not heretofore known; a path that would lead Peter into apostleship and eventual death at the hands of the crucifiers. They had been talking and Jesus had been feeling Peter out. “Do you love me?” He asked this of Peter three times. Each time the disciple who denied Him answered that he did. Now, after plying Peter with the question three times, Jesus simply says, “You must follow me!” (John 21:19) But, before he could take that path, Peter turns around, seeing John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” following at a distance, he asks, “What about him?”
The answer that Jesus gives Peter is one of the most intriguing passages in Scriptures. “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:22) “None of your business!” Jesus is telling Peter that it should be of no concern to him what happens to John or anyone else for that matter. Peter’s focus was to be Peter and not John. Peter’s grace was Peter’s grace. The fact that he would die by execution and John would not did not in any way “cheapen” the grace that God had given Peter. Envy has no place in the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Envy blinds us to the purpose that God has given us and the grace that He has reserved for us. For some He has given much in the way of pain and suffering. For others he has given little. For some He has blessed with wealth, for others He has not. When we blindly lash out at others, especially fellow br...
NO OTHER PLANS
There is an ancient legend about Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
He is met by the angel Gabriel who asks him, "Now that your work is finished, what plans have you made to ensure that the truth that you brought to earth will spread throughout the world?"
Jesus answered, "I have called some fishermen and tax-collectors to walk along with me as I did my Father’s will."
"Yes, I know about them," said Gabriel, "but what other plans have you made? "
Jesus replied, "I taught Peter, James and John about the kingdom of God; I taught Thomas about faith; and all of them were with me as I healed and preached to the multitudes."
Gabriel replied. "But you know how unreliable that lot was. Surely you must have other plans to make sure your work was not in vain."
Jesus quietly replied to Gabriel "I have no other plans. I am depending on them!! "
NO OTHER PLAN
An old legend imagines Jesus arriving in heaven right after the Ascension, welcomed by all the angels. Then the angel Gabriel asks Jesus, "You suffered much, dying for the sins of mankind. Does everyone down on earth know it?"
"Oh, no," replied the Savior, "just a handful of folks in Jerusalem and Galilee know about it."
"Well, Master," continued Gabriel, "what is your plan for everyone to know of your great love?"
The Master replies, "I asked all my apostles to carry the message into all the world. I told them to tell others, who will in turn tell others until the last person in the farthest corner has heard the story."
Gabriel’s face clouds, for he spots a flaw in the plan. "What if after awhile Peter forgets, and goes back to his fishing on Galilee, also James and John and Andrew? Suppose Matthew returns to his tax booth in Capernaum, and all the others lose their zeal and just don’t tell others. What then?"
After a pause comes the calm voice of the Lord Jesus, "Gabriel, I have no other plan."
(From Leslie B. Flynn, The Twelve, pp. 22f.)