Tag Archive: Pope Francis


Twitter has been making me a little mad lately.

Angry mad, that is, not chop up all the vegetables and throw them in the bath tub and declare it ‘Salad Bath day’ mad… and sad mad as well – somewhere in between the two.

And by Twitter i don’t mean the whole of Twitter, and i do mean Facebook to a lesser extent as well, but christians on the various social networking sites, especially the Twitterer.

And not all christians on Twitter, thankfully. In fact, i can probably divide it into two camps [and this post in my mind originally contained a bunch of names of people but i think i will leave half of them out, so as not to become that which i am railing against – use the ‘test and see if this is me and if it is take it on and if it’s not don’t’ approach if you read this] and this is somewhat generalised but i think largely true, and of late seemingly worsely so.

THE FIGHTERS AND THE LOVERS

now i have been in the first camp for the majority of my life, i think, and so i am trying to keep my mind on that, while at the same time being able to critique why it has been frustrating me so much lately – but those who more often than not seem to be picking fights with people or issues [although the issues tend to be linked quite closely to people more often than not] and these might be people and issues that are deserving of having fights picked with them, but i think there comes a point when all you are doing seems to be picking fights and take a breather and smell a flower or celebrate something good for a change. not to say these people don’t do that, but the overwhelming nature of some of their voices has seemed more belligerent and fighty of late.

in the midst of all the fightiness and arguing and point-making and name-and-shaming [which, as i’m saying, i feel definitely has its place] on Twitter, i am hit by huge big breaths of fresh air – and this is where i will mention names – Eugene Cho [@eugenecho]talking about One Day’s Wages and the work they are continuing to do in the disaster areas of the Philippines,  Donald Miller [@donaldmiller] who is currently on honeymoon and tweeting out some gems he prepared beforehand but often sharing exciting stories from the Storyline blog he helps put together, Mike Pilavachi [@mikepilav] who generally shares exciting things about exciting kingdom happenings that he gets to be involved with all of the time, whoever is tweeting for Pope Francis [@pontifex] which tend to be inspirational Jesus-focused messages and calls to live like Him, and the Tim Keller Wisdom [@dailykeller] tweets which are often inspiring quotes or scripture verses. as well as anyone who shares C.S.Lewis quotes.

and in the middle of that, on her own planet [and what a fun planet it is] is Jamie Wright [@JamieTheVWM] who bounces between completely serious and mouth-wateringly-sarcastic and vulnerable and crazy and inspiring and fun… so often fresh air in the midst of the fresh air.

light

MORE LIGHT, LESS DARKNESS BASHING

i do believe there is a time to take on the darkness [slavery, woman’s rights, human-trafficking, racism] and maybe there is a case for some people feeling the need to do that more often than not [there are certainly some Old Testament prophets who didn’t get their fair share of the friendly messages to deliver] but i do believe that it is a lot more helpful and inspiring and all-around-fun to shine the light more often and more regularly and with more intensity than taking on the darkness.

so when you need to take on the darkness, by all means do so… but if there is ever a choice, rather shine some light. 

you see, light drives away the darkness simply by being light [not by any active drivingness on its part] and Jesus called us to be light [not hidden light, displayed light]

also i don’t know too much how people are swayed by Twitter fights and Facebook wall arguments and i imagine the watching world does not take away the hugest declaration of ‘You shall be known by the love you have one for another’ from a lot of what has been going on of late.

the responsibility is so huge when you have a huge following as people are strongly influenced by the how as well as the what.

may we be faithful in every aspect of our online presence and may we be surrounded by people who love us well who we invite to call us on stuff when we get it wrong.

thank you to all of you who are drawing people towards Jesus and a Jesus-following life through your efforts, whether it be light-shining or darkness-taking-on.

together for the kingdom. but let us always ‘err’ on the side of Love.

[how about you? who do you follow on Twitter who brings life and light to your day? please leave their name and Twitter handle in the comments section]

for years i have sent out a weekly challenging Christ-following email message called ‘Thort for the Week’ which you can sign up for by emailing me at brettfish@hotmail.com and asking to be added to TFTW… but this week’s one i really felt i should share here as well…

Worlds-Most-Beautiful-Feet

In Isaiah 52 the prophet says, ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” [verse 7]

I feel like that might be one of the verses we easily dismiss because we have heard it so often. But let’s take a closer look.

When i read that verse this morning i was immediately reminded of that line, ‘Preach the Gospel. If necessary use words’ which has been credited as having been said by a whole variety of different people and so it is hard to find out where it originated, which is not all that important.

It feels like a historical Tweet from ancient times: Preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words. And it has certainly been ‘retweeted’ through the ages.

The problem with it is that people have used it as an excuse where they say, ‘My life will show the Gospel so much that i don’t have to speak about Jesus!’ [the chilling Truth is so often that the people that use it for that excuse have lives that come nowhere near displaying that message and they, maybe more than most, need to be speaking about Jesus as well]. It generally always has to be a combination between speaking the message and living the message. The speaking of it gives clarification and explanation of why we live the way we do.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…

feet

What grabbed my attention from my reading of this verse today was the idea of feet bringing news. Surely it’s mouths that bring news in terms of preaching or proclamation or declaration or even a gentle whisper or conversation between friends. Or else it’s hands that bring news through a message or a scribbled note, a newspaper or a pamphlet or book.

 

‘The feet’ signifies an action. A journey. Going. Doing.

Not just sending a message, but delivering it.
Not just writing the good news down, but embodying it.

Here are some quotes that I got off of the actual Twitter’er this week:

‘Don’t just tweet, preach from pulpits or rant from soapboxes. Love your neighbors. Be peacemakers. Engage the culture. Live out the Gospel’. [Eugene Cho]

‘The litmus test of our love for God is our love for our neighbor.’ [Brennan Manning]

‘Let us not forget: if we are to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, our lives must bear witness to what we preach.’ [Pope Francis]

‘who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”‘

This part sounds like just a spoken piece, but i think you need to hold it alongside the life and teachings of Jesus to realise that it is all about being lived out Truth.

We ‘proclaim peace’ by our lives – the way we promote peace and reconciliation, forgiveness and grace, restoration and rehabilitation.

We ‘bring good tidings’ when we choose to actively get involved in acts of social justice, of not just teaching people how to fish, but also getting involved in the process of removing barriers and red tape and systems that prevent them from being able to fish [in the same rivers and ponds that we can]

We ‘proclaim salvation’ when we move away from the idea that being a Christian means that we are saved for heaven one day when we day and to the Truth that we are saved to be part of bringing about God’s kingdom ‘here on earth as it is in heaven’ [as well as one day getting to spend the rest of eternity with Jesus however that looks] – but part of that is living well here which also means looking after the world God has given us and sharing the message of Jesus both by our lives and our words to anyone who will listen.

We ‘say to Zion, “Your God reigns!’ when we start to demonstrate the same God that we say we believe in by living lives that have been completely transformed by the good news we preach. when we move away from looking like everyone else in the world [and sadly too often in the church as well – paying lip service instead of life service] and living lives that point to the redeeming work of our Saviour.

And finally a quote, from the late Brennan Manning, which i think sums up one of the chief flaws within those who claim to be Christian [but are not so much Christ following in the way they speak or live our their lives] and also among a bunch of the people who we might put on pedestals as we are challenged by their books or inspired by their tweets:

‘The temptation of the age is to look good without being good.’ [Brennan Manning]

We have a powerful message that needs to be spoken. But it also HAS to be lived out in every area of our lives on a daily basis. Not perfectly perhaps because we are still all in the process of being made more Christlike. But in intention and priority and action, who we say we are has to start resembling more and more who we actually are.

Washing feet

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” [verse 7]

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