From Mason To Minister: Through the Lattice is an autobiography at heart. It is about one man’s lonely journey in his quest to find the meaning of life. Therefore, in some ways it’s a journal. As I began writing down some of the events that led me to my present place in life I began to see that I had a rather interesting life story. I have lived in Scotland, Canada, and Australia. These places seem exotic to those who have never lived there. I could see that even just with that I could have an interesting book. However, it was when I started adding it all together that I began to see that it was more about the invisible leading of God than the haphazard journeys of a young adventurer. So, God was the inspiration for my book!
The Through the Lattice part of the title has to do with a verse of Scripture: “The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice” Song of Solomon 2:8-9. Along the way on my journey, though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was catching glimpses of God through the lattice as He watched me through the lattice. The Bible says that God is reflected in the things He has made (Psalm 19; Romans 1). In my search for God I was actually catching glimpses of Him at every turn. He was like that elusive highland stag on a Scottish mountain…
When we were growing up people would refer to God as “the man upstairs.” The school I attended as a kid was next door to a church. There were dormer-like windows on its steeple. We thought that God was upstairs watching us through those windows! (A friend of mine actually wrote a poem about this very thing!) At times we were sure that we saw someone looking out the window at us! Anyway, the fertile imagination of my young mind has stayed with me now that I’m much older.
The idea of God looking at us through the lattice was very inspirational to me. I entered into Freemasonry where the Omnipresence of God is spoken of as “the all-seeing eye”, like that depicted on an American one dollar bill. Some people don’t like the idea of God watching them, while others, find it a reassuring comfort. My trouble was that I had begun to wonder who God was. Was he some old guy with a long white beard that lived up in a church steeple? Who is God? That’s what inspired me to write From Mason To Minister: Through the Lattice. I want to tell people about God, about how He can be seen in the things He has made. As strong as an ox, as graceful as a gazelle, as gentle as dove, as wise as an owl, I’m sure you’re getting the picture. All of God’s creation reflects something of God. I found this to be amazing and I wanted to tell others.
In Freemasonry I learned a lot about symbolism, how certain objects and ideas can be used to illustrate other things. At theological college I learned about typology, how certain themes and principles are played out or contained in the Bible. For example, David slaying Goliath is also a picture of Christ tying up the strongman, i.e., Satan. Solomon and his Temple is a picture of Christ and His Kingdom. All the Old Testament sacrifices and the shedding of animals’ blood pointed to THE sacrifice and the shedding of Christ blood to take away our sins. The list of Old Testament types and New Testament anti-types is almost endless. I wanted to share a lot of these in my book.
So, in summary and in conclusion, I was inspired to write my book because I was just bursting to tell others about God in Jesus Christ and how God can be seen in the things He has made. However, my book is peppered with Biblical references because it was in the pages of the Bible (the Masonic Lodge had presented me) that I found the One to which everything in creation and in Scripture points, i.e., Jesus Christ.
(Read the original article at): http://thestorybehindthebook.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/the-story-behind-from-mason-to-minister-through-the-lattice/
Purchase From mason To Minister at: http://www.nordskogpublishing.com/book-through-the-lattice.shtml
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Christianity is not an armchair religion from which we pontificate about the rest of humanity’s poor performance. Rather it is about rolling up your sleeves and loving God and your neighbour as yourself. This is your way of showing thanks to God for forgiving you your own poor performance. However, slavish commandment-keeping is for slaves. Christians are free, having been freed forever from God’s condemnation. The freedom comes with knowing that God knows you fail to measure up to His perfect standard. That is why He sent us a perfect Saviour who kept God’s Commandments as our representative and died to pay the price we owe for our breaking of His Commandments! This is what believers’ believe. This is the good soil into which we, as new shoots, have been planted.
The great Gardener talks to His plants as He feeds and waters them. Christians are to, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves’ James 1:22. Notice that the Christian is not to make it up as he/she goes along. First he/she is to hear the Word (i.e., understand, heed and apply what the Bible teaches), then he/she is to practice it. The whole Bible teaches us about God’s grace being extended to undeserving sinners, i.e., a humanity that keeps on breaking every one of the Ten Commandments. However, the Bible’s emphasis is on God’s grace! Grace is the sunshine in which Christians grow.
What does God’s grace have to do with growth? The Christian is to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ 2 Peter 3:18. To grow in grace is first to learn what grace is and secondly to practice it. What is grace? Grace is God giving you what you do not deserve while not giving what you do deserve. Without God grace is nigh impossible for human beings to begin to understand. Thus growth for the Christian begins when the meaning of God’s grace begins to sink into the heart and waters the good soil into which God has planted the seed of His Word. This is where the knowledge of Jesus Christ comes in.
Who is Jesus? Jesus Christ is God’s gift. He is God’s grace to fallen humanity. He is the Light of the World that is sitting in darkness. We remain in darkness without Him. We wither and die on the vine without him. We become straw and stubble without Him. If we are to be saved from the great bonfire on the Last Day we need to understand who He is and what He has done for us. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. He is the ideal mediator, being God and man in one divine Person forever. Our sin separates us from God. If we are not reconciled with God we remain separated from Him forever in Hell. However, God and mankind have been united, reunited, in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus kept God’s Commandments perfectly as representative of those He is saving. God poured out His judgment on Him instead of those whom He represents. He represents, i.e., He is the Saviour of all who believe in Him alone for salvation.
New Testament believers are grafted into the same tree as Old Testament believers (Romans 11:16-24). All believers are to grow and to bear fruit. Jesus says, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.’ John 15:1-2,5-6.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Home Is Heaven
It is certainly true for the Christian that home is where the heart is.: Heaven! Whenever a Christian dies someone is sure to say that they have ‘gone home to be with the Lord.’ Perhaps the most famous ‘going home’ story in the Bible is the ‘Prodigal Son’ parable. After squandering everything he had in a life of debauchery he returned to his father’s house with a penitent heart. Even though he had turned his back on him his father welcomed him home. The picture here is, of course, that all humanity (which includes you) has turned its collective back on God and lives life as it sees fit. However, there are many who hear the Gospel and by the grace of God repent and return to the Father’s house. Jesus says, ‘In My Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go there to prepare a place for you.’ John 14:2. Jesus had Himself slaughtered at a Roman abattoir to prepare a place for each one of His people. He raised Himself from the dead and ascended into Heaven to go and prepare a place for them.
Scripture says that God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and that those who repent and believe in the Gospel will spend eternity with God in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15; John 3:16). But where exactly is the house with many mansions? Where is home for the Christian? First, God converts the individual, i.e., causes them to be born again, born spiritually, enabled to see and to enter His kingdom (John 3:3-8). Second, when the Christian dies he or she temporarily departs his or her body and goes to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:21-24). This temporary period is the ‘
Some mistake this as Heaven for Christians and Hell for God-rejecters,
forgetting about the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:13). The
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus speaks of the ‘ Intermediate State .’
‘Then he [i.e., the Rich Man] cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on
me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue;
for I am tormented in this flame” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that in your
lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but
now he is comforted and you are tormented.”’ Luke 16:24-26. Third, the Lord
returns to earth and the graves give up their dead, i.e., all humanity is
resurrected on the Last Day which is Judgment Day (John 6:39; 12:48; Acts
17:31; Revelation 20:11-15). This means that the souls in Heaven and in Hell
regain their bodies (albeit raised with different qualities, 1 Corinthians
15:39-45). The question arises at this point: If there are people in Heaven and
Hell before Judgment Day, then what is Judgment Day? It is the day when God
makes His face shine grace upon believers while His justice pours consuming
fire upon unbelievers (Revelation 21:6-8). Jesus says, ‘Do not marvel at this,
for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and
those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.’ John 5:28-29.
Fourth and finally, the house of ‘many mansions’ is on the new earth
(Revelation 20:1). This is the eternal
home of resurrected Christians. This is where the heart is. This is Heaven. Intermediate State
‘But seek first the
and His righteousness and all these
things will be added to you.’ Matthew 6:33. kingdom of God