Les Henson In the western world, we no longer seek to develop character. Instead, the focus is on each individual constructing their own image or even multiple images. Our society is obsessed with image, so much so that many young people have no idea who they really are at the depth of their being. Consequently, they are condemned to live out shallow surface-level identities because our culture does not provide the foundation for them to build a true meaningful identity. Thus
Les Henson The world we inhabit is continually changing. You can feel it in the air as we move deeper into post-Christian secularism. The mood of society is increasingly indifferent to all things Christian, and the foundational Judeo-Christian worldview that once was deeply rooted within our culture and society has all but disappeared. Many who once believed are leaving our churches at an alarming rate, young adults and older people once active in the faith. Church buildings
Les Henson Jesus Christ sent his disciples into the world, and he is doing the same today. We are sent out on the mission of advancing the kingdom and reign of God. As servants of the King, we are to communicate the transforming good news of Jesus the Messiah. In so doing, we are to present Christ credible among the gods and idols of this world as Lord of all creation. We are to re-envision the good news for our own time and generation so that God's transforming power is rele
Les Henson The sky is blue the sun is shining quietly the wind blows the clouds slowly across the ever-changing sky the brightness is slowly encompassed by the ever-growing darkness of life. The day is ending the darkness comes with ever-increasing strength a darkness so penetrating that life itself fades into the frosty shadow of the encircling gloom. The sun begins to rise the darkness that holds life in its grip slowly dissipates beneath the warmth of the sun’s life-giving
Les Henson Enchantment lost The earth is flat Locked in the prison cell of the imminent Any sense of the transcendence is abandoned. Reeking-havoc Deadening one’s senses The imminent squeezes out all life beyond Leaving existence devoid of authentic meaning. Mystery dissolved The magic as vanished Imprisoned in the lifeless box of rationality Any hope of eternity disappears into the ether. Sparking chaos Disturbing one’s heart Certainty forces out a desire for the inexplicabl
Les Henson The gift of salvation comes to us through the mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ alone. There is nothing we can do to earn it, nor can we add to it that may supplement it. Salvation is a free yet costly gift. However, for many of us who seek to follow Jesus, this is one of the most challenging truths to grasp. We may pay lip service to this truth, but our lives often portray a different reality. We so often slip into living as if salvation depends on us doing a
Les Henson The fire clouds rage in the darkened sky, The mystery man spoke of days gone-bye, A hundred angels danced on the head of a pin, And the choir-boys sang of peace within. The multitude awaited the coming of the King, The elephant danced and the bells did ring, A book was burned at the standing stones, And the trolls gnawed on a bag of old bones. The wild sea crashed on the wind-swept shore. The priest chanted verses of ancient lore, A dozen demons fought to avert the
Les Henson Each alone in the maddening crowd, thousands dwell all around. Hundreds pass on busy streets, moving in, out and round-about. Eye contact hardly made, rarely a nod nor a wave. Each going their separate ways, never stopping no delays. Hurrying on without a thought, to their lonely dwelling place.
Les Henson Julian Barnes, the former post child of exclusive secularism, wrote in Chapter 6 of his book, Nothing to Be Frightened Of that: “If I called myself an atheist at twenty, and an agnostic at fifty and sixty, it isn’t because I have acquired more knowledge in the meantime: just more awareness of ignorance. How can we be sure that we know enough to know? As twenty-first-century neo-Darwinian materialists, convinced that the meaning and mechanism of life have only been
Les Henson Jimmy Carter suggests that “The common good is reached when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world. The rights of the individual to personal possessions and community resources must be balanced with the needs of the disadvantaged and dispossessed.” As Christian people, we must work together with others to overcome our differences for the sake of the common good. We must seek justice and peace for all, not just ourselv
Les Henson Suffocating in a swamp of imminence the secular overpowers us at every turn. Pretending to be free we are ensnared by the very things we thought would liberate us. Seeking after independence we are enslaved by the exact liberties we so ensconce. Determined to be the author of our own destiny we become puppets of the world that we inhabit. Enlightened by superior knowledge we become entrapped by the very structures we helped create. Shouting from the housetops that
Les Henson As followers of Jesus and those committed to the way and things of God, we should be aware that God is both revealed and hidden. God revealed himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and ultimately in and through the person of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, our understanding and knowledge of God is always partial and limited this side of Christ’s return. The reality is that the more we understand and the deeper our relationship with God becomes, the mor
Les Henson In city, suburb and street
behind locked doors lonely people dwell
high fences create islands of inaccessibility
imaginary barriers hinder meaningful exchange
empty conversations deaden the heart
poverty of the soul fosters seclusion
inflamed isolation generates cycles of despair. … loneliness, the exclusion of friendship, hope and love.
Les Henson Sadness and joy Tears and laughter Despair and hope Bondage and freedom All mingle together In the time between the times. When the kingdom comes Tears will be no more Then joy and laughter Hope and freedom Will finally prevail And time will be no more In the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Les Henson There are times when God seems so far away when it’s difficult to read one’s Bible, to pray, or to engage in any form of spiritual practice. One’s temperament to some degree influences such times and the frequency or the effect on our lives. I envy those who have a consistent spiritual routine and can practice it day in day out faithfully. My temperament does not allow me to do that. I need variety; otherwise, I get bored and switch off. So I have developed several
Les Henson There are lots of lonely people within our communities. For various reasons, people are isolated and alone. Loneliness affects people of all ages and backgrounds. It is indiscriminate in choosing its victims. Part of the reason for loneliness is the breakdown of traditional communities, the fragmentation of families, and our contemporary lifestyle. So, I believe it is essential for us, as the people of God, to be creative in crossing barriers of isolation and lonel
Les Henson As Christians in the second decade of the twenty-first century, we need to willingly be unfashionable in our engagement of the prevailing culture and its numerous idols. That does not mean that we reject everything, but it does mean never accept anything uncritically. It means that we are to walk the narrow path between the absolutes of the fundamentalists on the one hand and the secular cultural-materialists on the other. Authentic Christianity will only survive a
Les Henson Many of God’s people have a magical view of prayer. Almost all of us have prayed magical prayers at some point in our lives, where we seek to twist the arm of God, metaphorically speaking, to get God to do what we want God to do. Hopefully, with growing maturity, we move beyond this type of prayer that seeks to manipulate God to give us what we want. Another form of this is when we strive to make a deal with God. If you do this for me, then I will do that for you.
Les Henson When talking to people about our faith and their belief or belief in God, we must regularly ask: In which God do you believe? Alternatively, in which God do you not believe? We must never assume that when people say they believe in God or don’t believe in God, they speak of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must invite them to articulate their understanding of the God in which they believe or don’t believe. To assume that we are referring to the same
Les Henson Suppose we believe that God is active in all the cultures and religions of the world that God has not left himself without a witness. In that case, we can also assume that there are aspects, instruments, or vehicles of God’s saving power within each culture and religion. That was certainly true among the Momina people of West Papua whom I worked among for nineteen years. The dominant theme within Momina worldview was the theme of ‘Life’. Within that theme, about tw