“Tweets” at their best are a brief, concise, memorable, pithy summary and statement of a position that one believes and holds to be significant
At worst, they are a simplistic, opiniated and nonsensical reduction of a complex issue to less than 120 words.
As Christians we should be able to express succinctly and well our faith in a tweet.
We also need to both defend or our faith and argue persuasively for it in a substantial debate.
This monthly series of “Triumphant Tweets” is intended to give us examples of concise expressions of what we believe and why. You are free to use them as you wish, as personal reflection, home group study or in family studies.
They set out to be encouraging and to help us reflect on what is means to belong to Jesus.
Triumphant Tweet: November 2018
As I tweet, we await the electoral results of the US elections for Congress and Senate. Nothing is known and virtually anything can happen. It is right out of my control. I am powerless and this is of huge importance. Often life is like this. We seem to have no real choices – just bad options.
But by facing our challenges, we overcome them. But only if we accept and face the power and grace of Jesus.
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” Marcus Aurelius
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. Hebrews 11:1
Triumphant Tweet: September 2018
The great chess player Bobby Fischer said some interesting things. For example, he said (and today, he might have tweeted)
“I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.”
Christians believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in understanding Him, who God is and what God has said and done. This is commonly called Theology” (literally, “the study of God”) Our “good moves” are inspired by Jesus and we follow his good moves.
Fischer also said: I like the moment [in chess] when I break a man's ego.
We all know that crushing moment when we feel defeated. But Jesus has all the best moves to prevent that breaking us.
Triumphant Tweet: August 2018
“My momma always said; “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” Forrest Gump
When I was young, I always wanted to get the Turkish Delight in the chocolate box. Turkish delights had a flavour all of their own. I know this is a bit of absolute trivia, but the first Turkish delight was made by Bekir Affendi in 1877 in Istandbul. Amazingly his original shop still stands and is run by his direct descendants. If you want the real thing, you have to look for it. And it may be in the obvious place – where it was in the beginning.
“Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we'll skip and dance all the day long.” Forrest Gumpwpoi;ld have loved that.
Triumphant Tweet: June 2018
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”
Not all of us are musicians. Not many of us are acknowledged as good musicians. The vast majority of us are consumers of music. But music is food for the soul, both through the music and the words. Good music makes us think and feel higher than we expected!
The great hymns of the 19th century expressed faith in thought-provoking ways and provided good, popular tunes for their time. We can do the same today. Listen to good music both the music and the words, and see what God says to you.
From Bridge over Troubled Waters
When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Triumphant Tweet: May 2018
North and South Korea sign an historic agreement and take the world by surprise. It is better than taking the world by force, or deception, or cyber-bullying or terrorism. Sometimes words are important, especially when there is a hand shake and a written and signed document. Jesus is God’s word to his, an agreement or covenant sealed by God’s “handshake” with us and recorded in the Bible. God is no cyber-bully.
Reconciliation in Korea will be long, hard and slow. But as Martin Luther King Jr might have tweeted:
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Or Albert Einstein:
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Abraham Lincoln also gives us a warning:
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
Or a tweet to Job (and us and may be the people of Korea) “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favour.” Job 11:18-19
Triumphant Tweet: April 2018
“Holy sites near where Jesus was baptised could be landmine-free by Easter 2019” NZ Herald
You can’t be baptised or visit the Jordan river this year because you might get blown up. It is a scandal against heaven itself that landmines prevent Christians seeing where Jesus was baptised.
Kids of course pick up shiny, colourful, interesting looking things. Landmines are made to look shiny, colourful and interesting looking. Is there anything anywhere more evil that this? Landmines remain a curse throughout the world.
“Life is about making choices: you can either spend three quid on a glossy magazine or you can spend it clearing three square metres of minefield and help give people their lives back. As simple as that” Twiggy.
[Twiggy was a super slim teenage model in the 1960s who had a brain and a conscience, some acting ability and a sense of fashion design.]
Triumphant Tweet: March 2018
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10: 36
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates (died 399BC)
“Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. Why deadly? Because it can distract you from God and make you unhealthy so that you can’t serve him fully. It makes us want more, to try the latest burger – or autumn fashion accessory. Healthy, enough, tasty washed down with a glass of gratitude should do the trick.”
Don’t forget to celebrate good food and good company when the right occasion arises though.”
Anyone who has seen an eagle flying effortlessly through the sky, or a snake sliding across a rock to bask in the sun, even just on TV, knows how simply beautiful and spectacular those sights are. Their movement is sheer poetry in motion. Sex is an amazing art and a a wonderful work of art. It is a gift given by God to two people to express their love for one another. I wish Solomon hadn’t mentioned the ship though. I get the point, but it reminds me of getting sea-sick. Maybe Solomon means that we should choose our times well when we go sailing and check the weather before we set out.
Tweety Bird: a Model
In the days before TV was common, mums and dads took their kids to the movies in town on Saturday afternoon (I have fond memories of going to the Savoy, the Tivoli, and the Regent cinemas in Cathedral Square in Christchurch). “Tweety Bird” would appear in a cartoon series known as “Looney Tunes” which appeared before the film. Tweety bird was constantly chased by a cat called by Sylvester – but Sylvester could never catch and eat Tweety Bird.
The song included the lines:
“I taut I taw a puddy tat a creepin' up on me.
I did! I taw a puddy tat as plain as he could be!”
If we put our faith in Jesus, we can be confident that He will guide and protect us. We will not see him “as plain as he could be” with our eyes, but we will with our hearts and minds.
Today President Trump moved the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will be a highly controversial move. From a Christian point of view, perhaps our Embassy should be in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. It would be a sign of peace. Bethlehem is not far at all from Jerusalem. But New Zealand is a secular society and this is unlikely!
"He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought... doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!" How the Grinch stole Christmas
“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” G.K Chesterton
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” St Augustine
Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life. Corrie Ten Boom
The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation. J.I Packer
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
October 2017 Bible Tweets on faith
The October Bible Tweet
“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
(1st John 5:5)
“This tells us we overcome primarily because of who we are in Christ, not because of what we do. We overcome because we are born of God, and we are born of God because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God- again, not in a mere intellectual sense, but we put our lives on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God for us.” [Rev David Guzik, Biblical commentator)
“Born of God” means that we have been (re)born in a spiritual sense – brought in to a new relationship to God. That changes everything and you can tell those born of God by the love. They don’t have to be perfect at loving themselves and others; they will be giving it their best shot though.
“God will never give you anything you can't handle, so don't stress.” [Kelly Clarkson]
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” [Martin Luther]
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” [Martin Luther King Jr]
“We all face storms in life. Some are more difficult than others, but we all go through trials and tribulation. That's why we have the gift of faith”. [Joyce Meyer]
“Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.” [Martin Luther]
Triumphant Tweets; August 2017:
Bible Tweets on Hope
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” Job 14:7-9
Wise Owl tweets
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”
Bishop Desmond Tutu
“What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”
“Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”
“The story of Christian reformation, revival, and renaissance underscores that the darkest hour is often just before the dawn, so we should always be people of hope and prayer, not gloom and defeatism. God the Holy Spirit can turn the situation around in five minutes.”
“Hope is patience with the lamp lit.”
Tweety Vogel (Vogel = German for Bird)@acpc
hey you, yes you, reading this, you are important you matter, just letting you know in case you forgot. God says so - Hope you all good.