Part 3: A Call to Restoration (Henceforth a New Eden)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. (Genesis 2:15)

Of course man still cultivates gardens, even in these, some say, “last days” when the long shadows East of Eden have stretched to the ends of the earth.

What got me thinking along more spiritual lines was a scene near a country road in South East England my friend Colin wrote about entitled, “The old homestead” (copied below) detailing life in and about a centuries-old farmhouse and who, perhaps, had lived there and how. Continue reading

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Part 2: A Call to Restoration (On Two Kinds of Words from the Heart)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

The first section of Part 2, below, on restoration is excerpted from a series on verbal abuse I featured in 2017. It identifies a unique research project designed to illustrate the damage that can, indeed, by inflicted by mere words alone.

The second section will expand on the origin of damaging words–the “heart/soul”–and offers several biblical encouragements to keep our mind (heart and soul) on Jesus Christ to not only help us remain spiritually–thus also mentally and emotionally–awake, aware, and alert but also to be better able to resist responding in kind to those who will turn more and more against us and goodness in general, because of the “increase of wickedness,” that causes “the love of most (to) grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).  Continue reading

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Part 1: A Call to Restoration (Especially in the Heat of the Fray)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul… (Psalm 23:1-3, Berean Study Bible)

It occurs to me it’s time to take a break. Continue reading

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Dealing with (Spiritual) Earthquakes and “Mass Wasting”

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NIV)

On Earthquakes

The following headline from yesterday, August 20th, 2019, in Zero Hedge, caught my eye: “This Isn’t Normal: Kansas & Oklahoma Hit By 65 Earthquakes In Last 7 Days.” Well, the title says it all.  Continue reading

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On the “Spiritual Occupy Movement” and Hearing God

Phyllis  Beveridge Nissila

I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:15-16, Berean Study Bible)

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (Luke 19:13, KJV)

On Spiritual Occupation

You might say that when believers are born again (by putting faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) the Holy Spirit imparted to us enables us to become a kind of “stealth occupation” in the world. Continue reading

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Honoring the “Mission of Joe Brown”…In Remembrance of a Great Man of God (1941-2019).

 

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

A few days ago I received the notice of Rev. Joe Brown’s passing. 

In contrast to some other great men of God, the passing of Rev. Brown, who for nearly six decades faithfully served hundreds of thousands of the poorest of the poor, “dump dwellers,” as he called them, eking out a survival in the mountains of refuse outside Tijuana, Mexico, will probably not be featured in more than just local headlines. There will likely be no heads of state marking his passing or big name religious leaders sounding funeral bells in great cathedrals. The reason for that and for his “bare-bones ministry” the lion’s share of all contributions going to the poor (very little for ministry announcements and updates), will be made obvious when you read my original feature on his ministry, re-printed below.  Continue reading

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When Comes Contempt–On Sheltering in (God’s) Place While Resisting and Rescuing (& Redux: Nehemiah’s Strategies)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Introduction

When I woke up yesterday morning and turned on the news there was yet another story about on-lookers at a crime scene verbally and physically insulting and assaulting police who were there to help and protect, ironically, the onlookers, even while the police were also risking their lives to apprehend an active shooter who had already downed six officers. Continue reading

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In God’s Love There is Justice; in His Justice, Love–Don’t Be Fooled, Rejoice

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Where is the Justice?

I have been thinking of late how we hear less and less about God’s justice these days, in certain churches, particularly “Business Model” and “Seeker Friendly” type churches that  have Continue reading

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Is It Time to Make Sure Our (Spiritual) “Oil Lamps” Are Full? Why and How

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

“Spiritual Oil Lamps?”

I refer to the term as it is used to suggest spiritual truths in “The Parable of the Ten Virgins” (Matthew 25: 1-13, NIV):

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Continue reading

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When Frustration Peaks: “Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verses 9-10,” Redux

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

I have been offering encouragement lately to hopefully help allay some frustration and anger amid this, the middle of an unprecedented time in history where, on all fronts–and at the speed of (insert current number here: 5? 6? 8?) G–we seem hurtling toward some kind of real existential, perhaps even apocalyptic, cataclysmic events. Stress level: high.

My hope is always that by rising above ground zero to view what’s happening through a Christian lens, this can help all of us to maintain clarity of mind, emotions, and spirit. Continue reading

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