Sunday, 8 March 2015


Gathering Together
Listening to what the Spirit is saying

Patmos, where John was exiled circa 90 AD, and wrote Revelation.
"I, John, your brother and fellow partaker
in the tribulation and 
kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, 
was on the island called Patmos 
because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."
(Rev. 1:9)

Week 6--Overall Reflections on Rev 1-5 (8 March 2015)
This is the final week.
Time for some overall reflections about our "travels" to Patmos and Paradise.
And the One that we encountered there....
Write comments at the end.

It's been great traveling together!
Kolton and Kelly!

--Forever by Kari Jobe; a song that reminds us that when Christ did the work, He solidified His throne forever. He is the worthy lamb who can open the scrolls.
--Victor's Crown by Darlene Zschech; this song is quite victorious in its tone as it calls our attention to the Savior as a the Victor. Once again, He is worthy and therefore we can now be worthy. Thank you Jesus for what you did for us.

Week 5--Revelation 5 (1 March 2015)
Write comments at the end.
Adoration of the Lamb
Jan van Eyck, 15th century, part of altar piece at Ghent Cathedral

Behold the Lamb of God, Glen Kaiser
Behold the Lamb of God, Barry Brake
Lamb of God, John Michael Talbot
Kyrie Eleison, Gregorian Chant
Agnus Dei, Gregorian chant

Week 4--Revelation 4 (22 Feb 2015)
Write comments at the end.
Indescribable (Illustrated Edition)  -     By: Louie Giglio, Matt Redman

Chris Tomlin, singing live, Indescribable:

Week 3--Revelation 3 (15 Feb 2015)
Write comments at the end.

Week 2--Revelation 2 (8 Feb 2015)
Write comments at the end.

Week 1--Revelation 1 (1 Feb 2015)
See the comments at the end..
Artist of the painting below is a friend, Gaye Lynne LaGuire.

Chi Rho, song by Iona

Overview--30 January 2015
We are focusing on the book of Revelation, chapters 1-5. We'll go over one chapter per week starting Sunday Feb 1.  For a bit more background on the book, see the Wiki entry:

The overall purpose is using Rev 1-5 a a springboard for hearing the Spirit in our lives. As said seven times in chapters 2-3, 'He/she who has ears, hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.'  Including us, right now.

What to do?
Read a chapter a week, one or more times. Reflect on it of course. Use the comment section below to write a brief response each week that we can all see. For example, what impacts you the most? What do you want to know more about? Practical applications and take aways for you? Sign your name too!

Feel free to use any Scripture translation you want. Chapters 1-5 in the NASB version are located under the Pages area to the right side oft this home page (just click it on). You can also read it online at this site:
Comments from Our Journey Together

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
One note is that JC is all over the pages here. The reality of his death/shed blood permeates the pages too. The central place of the historic Pierced-One. Kelly
30 January 2015 at 03:18

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
--My main reflections from chapter one are in verses 5,6:
1. Jesus Christ loves us. Right now.
2. We need to be "released from our sins" and this was/is done "by His blood."
3. What he is doing and has done for us is forever, and He is the central focus of the forever.
--My main take away for this week:
Jesus the Christ, the historic-cosmic Pierced-One, faithfully loves me and I want to do my best to do the same with others.
1 February 2015 at 01:34

Blogger Koltskywalker said...
Unfortunately my previous post was somehow lost in the shuffle and didn't go through, but here is my attempt at recapturing what I said in there:

The first chapter is full of powerful imagery and bold claims. At first glance it seems as though it's much different than the other NT texts, but it fits right in, as it is a letter. What I see as its distinguishing factor is the apocalyptic focal point.

Revelation is a reminder that the work of Christ is not the end point, but a means to the eternal fellowship for which He died for. There is more ahead, an eternal life that we have yet to experience. How exciting.

The main takeaway I have from this chapter are verses 12-18. Here, Jesus is presented in all of His glory, the Eternal Creator and The Risen King. The description is awe inspiring. Here we see John, who saw Jesus transfigured, resurrected and walked closely with Him, falling at His feet as a dead man. Why? Because Jesus is beyond our comprehension in His glory. The fear of God that the bible mentions frequently is not merely respect or admiration, but trembling fear. God is so far above us, if we were to see Him, we would all tremble. Yet, there He is putting His hand on us telling us not to be afraid. This is why the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, because it deals greatly with our perspective of Him.

These series of verses remind me that God is uncontainable, unmanageable by us. Our wonder of Him is often too small, our imagination much to restricted by the tangible world that we often forget that He is the source, the great Creator.

While my previous post was much more coherent, I do hope that I offered something insightful.

2 February 2015 at 09:39

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
Here are some summary messages from Jesus to the four churches in chapter 2. What the Spirit said to the churches then is also meant for us today--"hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches."

Return to your first love...
Be faithful until death...
Hold fast to My name and to My faith...
Hold fast until I come...
9 February 2015 at 14:38

Blogger Koltskywalker said...
Isn't our Lord powerful?

These letters reveal the consistency of His character and His attentiveness to us. Jesus is concerned with both the good we are doing and with cleansing us of the toxic evil that dwells within us simultaneously. He is able to encourage and rebuke with authority. He is the perfect just being, in Him there is no darkness.

Each letter reminded me that there is a constant struggle between goodness and sin in our lives, and though we are no longer bound to sin, that doesn't mean that Satan doesn't try to cause us to pick up those chains and reattach them. However, we have the victory in Christ.

The Great Judge is merciful as He gives warning before destruction and only asks that we repent in order to escape judgement. How simple Jesus has made it for us, but some refuse to "listen to what the Spirit says to the churches".

Concluding thoughts:

-I pray that like Smyrna I'm faithful unto death so that I may receive the crown of life.

-I am grateful that God is willing to forgive us even when we do the most horrendous things.

-May God deal so patiently with us, as we tune our ears to hear His words of encouragement and rebuke so that we may repent and be cleansed.

10 February 2015 at 07:56

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
I am enthralled by Gregorian Chant. It connects me to the Transcendent while stoking the fires of intimacy with God. Its my Catholic upbringing in some ways and I can smell the incense in the air almost--the prayers of the saints--every time I listen to Gregorian.with God.

This particular chant is sung by monks at a French abbey. It is usually sung around the Feast of Pentecost, hence 50 days after we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. But I like it all the time because Pentecost is all the time-The chant is calling upon the Holy Spirit to come--the Blessed Creator.

Application to Revelation 3 for me: Help me Holy Spirt to be holy, set apart, virtuous, like Jesus. Help me to hear what you are saying to the churches, to the world, and to me and my family. Help me to wake up from anything leading to death and to repent (v. 2) Awaken me from my lukewarmness (v. 16). Help me to keep the word of your perseverance and steadfastness, Jesus(v. 10)

Take away: Consciously connect with the Holy Spirit this week. And listen. And act on what I sense He is saying to me. My sheep hear my voice (John 10).
15 February 2015 at 09:05

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
Indescribable. That's what comes to my mind when I enter in Rev 4, into the glory of God. So not just the indescribable wonder of His created cosmos, but the indescribable glory of the Creator Himself.

No wonder John needed to be "in the Spirit" to access the celestial Presence. No wonder the 4 living creatures are forever proclaiming His holiness. No wonder the 24 elders fall down before Him, enthralled with His worthiness.

A take away, and perhaps a bit of an exegetical stretch: God says to me come up here and I will give you perspective and show you the way forward for you (v. 1). Psalm 32:8 "I will show you the way in which you must walk and I will counsel you with my eye on you." So as I consider the future and look for direction, the first step on the way is to see God for who He is in His indescribable glory.

Application this week: Make time to look at the stars at night. Reflect on God's glory and goodness. He is bigger than anything. Relax.
22 February 2015 at 05:53

Blogger Member Care Associates said... is not all about my future of course. But the world's future--as per "Building the Future We Want"--the UN effort to get people around the world to express their concerns and desires, especially young people. And it is not just about the world's future, but it's about God's glory.

So...filter the future through God's glory.

So 'come up here and I will show you the future but first you will see Me and My glory'....

All we do, ad majorem Dei gloriam.
22 February 2015 at 06:49

Blogger Koltskywalker said...
Revelation 4:

Here is John not just experiencing Heaven, but the throne room of the Creator, the God of the universe, the God of everything.

Reading this chapter made me realize that God doesn't need anything to make Him legitimate. Even if He didn't create the universe or didn't have a Heavenly kingdom, He is still God. This is what we are in awe of, His innate completeness in Himself. He is fulfilled within Himself, the only independent being in existence.

As John takes us through this throne room, the descriptions he uses, the stones and colors he describes are at first foreign to me. Yet, I also wonder how hard it must be to even give a description that can reveal the splendor which is unlike anything our eyes have seen. The Lord graced him to even be able to give the descriptions that he did.

It reminded me that we must yearn for our home in His presence, for that is the goal, that is our focus. Sometimes we get so comfortable in this earthly space that we forget to set our hearts on things above. I never want to lose my insatiable desire to be with God as He intended. I never want to be so content on earth that I forget that this is just an in between space. I pray that all of our hearts burn with a craving to be in His presence.

We have yet to experience God in His fullness, for I believe if we did in our current state, we would instantly perish. He is too much for us, yet He is preparing us for a time when we will be able to see Him. For now, our worship seems to be voluntary, a choice we make, a practice we take part in, but when we experience His glory as the elders and creatures do, we will have no choice but to worship. In that moment everything will make sense, we will see and know Him without any words being spoken.

My focus this week and forevermore is to worship Him every chance I get, in all that I do. I want to experience as much of His splendor in this life as I can. I desire to have a true revelation of God in a way which will remove any traces of fear, doubt, worry or anxiety. I want to know Him intimately and worship Him with everything that I am.

May His sovereign will be accomplished in all of our lives.
23 February 2015 at 10:57

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
Revelation 5
Well, the star of the show is the Slain Lamb, Jesus Christ(v. 6,9.12). The historical person's historical crucifixion and what it means for humanity--folks from every tribe, language, people, and nation (v.9), including me. So because of who He is and what He did, every created being is worshiping Him--the four living creatures, the 24 elders, myriads of angels, and "every created thing" (v. 13). Me too!

I am touched too by John's weeping. One pastor said that John may have wept because no one was fond worthy to open the title deed to the earth (the scroll, v.1-5). Hence humans would be stuck forever in the misery of sin and all the problems in the world, including death--no exit. No human effort can get us out of the mess. Only Jesus the Christ, the Slain Lamb, is found worthy to open this special scroll.

Application and take away for me:
1. It's all about Jesus Christ. Worship Him.
2. Remember Him and the utter need for Him/His atoning death, in my life and in whatever I do to help make the world a better place.
4 March 2015 at 09:10

Blogger Koltskywalker said...
Revelation 5 is joyous, it is victorious and encompasses all of the splendor that is God's love in action--the worthy Lamb that was slain.

Thinking of His worthiness, I'm brought back to Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, He refused to sin, resisting all temptation to become blemished. I'm often reminded that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because of His perfect life on earth. I'm so grateful that His time on earth was purposeful, focused and fulfilled in its entirety. That alone inspires gratitude, but to then read of this glorious image where we are informed that all He did paid off, it really mattered in this huge plan.

In this chapter I myself am in awe of the revelation of this Kingdom coming to fruition. The very Kingdom that John the Baptist spoke of, the one that Jesus proclaimed all of His days on earth. He was never bound to the limitations of humanity, rather His heart has always been to establish this kingdom where He would reign. And here He is, claiming His throne that He solidified with His own blood.

Thank you Lord for your perfection, for being worthy of all the worship--all of creation sings Your praises for who You are and the great work that you did. Thank you for sacrificing and suffering for our sake, that You may be glorified. Open the scrolls and set us free!
5 March 2015 at 10:19

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
Some summary thoughts about Rev 1-5--for those who persevere and remain faithful to Jesus Christ, for whom, through whom, and by whom all things are made.
To the overcomer there are 12 promises from Jesus:
--I will give him to eat of the tree of life, which his in the paradise of God.
--He shall not be hurt by the second death.
--I will give him some of the hidden manna.
--I will give him a white stone with a new name written on the white stone.
--I will give him authority over the nations.
--I will give him the morning star.
--He will be clothed in white garments,
--I will not erase his name from the book of life.
--I will confess his name before my Father and His angels.
--I will make him a pillar in the temple off my God.
--I will write on him the name of My God and of the New Jerusalem and My new name.
--I will grant him to sit with me on My throne.

Thanks for traveling together Kolton!
8 March 2015 at 13:36

Blogger Koltskywalker said...
Revelation 1-5 Summary:

The Lord Jesus is present in His glory. The imagery present in all of these chapters calls me to humility and worship. The Christ-King, the Creator of all things is back in all of His glory, the glory which He gave up so that He could save us. Who else but believers in Christ can claim that their God came down to suffer with and for them? He has all power and authority, He is much more glorious than we can imagine and His love is deeper than we can fathom. Jesus, just as He was here on earth, is focused, precise and intentional. He is consistently on a mission and is set on His target. He is worthy of the worship.

My prayer is that while here on earth, my life reflects His glory. I want to be vessel that radiates His majesty and the magnificent work He completed on our behalf. I too want to be as focused as my savior and my God.

Though Rev is one of the most feared books of the bible, I look forward to reading it more in depth and eventually seeing all of these things come to fruition. We must remember that this is not our home. I yearn for a greater affection for the eternal life that Jesus bled and died for. He didn't die to make me rooted here, but instead liberated us all from the confines of sin, so that we can fix our eyes on things above.

May the Lord bless each of us as we follow His lead towards the place He has gone to prepare for us.
9 March 2015 at 09:54

Blogger Member Care Associates said...
Well, its the last day of the last week of our Rev 1-5 trip together. So, to round things off, I could not resist, I posted a song on our site [above]. But you have to find it: Chi Rho, by Iona.

Iona is a Scottish group that I have tracked with off and on for 25 years. Unique. I love the simple yet profound lyrics. It pulls together our trip together and pulls us clearly into the heart of, well, Chi Rho!
14 March 2015 at 11:38