Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eye Has Not Seen

I love how my Father is able to use any and everything at His disposal to make known that which appears to be hidden from my sight. I am seeing more and more how Father has hidden things for us, not from us!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, ‘Jim’s Blog’, and this was used to spark something wonderful from deep within….

“why can’t we approach more of life and all people as students or learners?
also, a friend of mine asked the question: can we choose contentment? if the answer is ‘yes,’ isn’t it insanity that we don’t.”


Is the residual effect of the Matrix still trying to shape, define me/my view of reality? Meaning, if I am in fact a whole new creation at the core of my being, maybe that living reality (the Way, Truth and Life) wants to be expressed in and through me.

In my situations and circumstances of life with its un-nerving, frustrating, perplexing, unsettling feelings happening most days, (didn’t he say, sufficient unto the day is the trouble you’ll face) there is in me a reality that is not trying to disprove what I'm feeling, but wants to truly define who I truly am?

For e.g., everything around me is screaming, if only I had this, or was over there, I would be able to find the ability to BE content!
The lies that seem to bind us, as if seeing and coming to know Him is outside of the very circumstances and situations Father has allowed in my life.

What if I were to right now in that which is pounding mercilessly upon my soul, simply speak out, Lord Jesus, You ARE my contentment!! Is that me choosing to be content, or am I learning to be, simply by experiencing and operating out of the grace available to me to have my mind renewed?( I’m really wondering more and more about the whole thing of, ‘faith without works is dead’ thing.)
Am I trying to make something magically happen, poof, zap, shazam, I'm all better because of what I DID?
Or, am I drawing upon an yet mostly untried, inexperienced, untapped source of power/reality wanting to make Himself known to me, not based upon circumstances or situations, and especially not based upon my efforts to make anything happen.

I’m not coming to any hard, fast conclusions about anything here in my musings, but I sense His spirit probing and prodding me, the real I from deep within and saying things like….

'I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!'

I remember hearing or maybe it was even me that said this once, (the adage goes, ‘You can’t teach old dogs new tricks’,) well, I’m not a dog, and the present, working reality of the cross, is no magic trick!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Christianity: A Better Morality?

I like how Father has expressed these thoughts through one of His sons, Oswald Chambers..


'Justification By Faith'.
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10

Just one quote from this part of the above entry that Oz wrote, I am so in agreement with.

"I am not saved by believing; I realize I am saved by believing. It is not repentance that saves me, repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. It is my obedience that puts me right with God, my consecration. Never! I am put right with God because prior to all, Christ died."

I am simply pondering on some stuff, pertaining to the whole issue of 'living outside the religious box,' rendition of Christianity.

In my opinion, there is no freedom apart from knowing that which we were created for, to BE loved unconditionally, we are prone to fix solid, none fluid, inflexible meanings to words that might be partially true, but fall short in not allowing God to further illuminate and expand our understanding in the needed ongoing renewing our minds.
My ponderings have caused me to wonder as Oz said in the above piece, has there been a dangerous emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause?

What's essential is that we are constantly aware of the fact - the truth - that without the spirit of Christ indwelling us, we are destitute, worse than dung, irreparable, with no hope. That will keep us from boasting in our accomplishments and spiritual progress ("Look what I have done! I used to be a s.o.b., but look how I've changed!") and instead, giving the glory to the Lord who alone deserves it.

If we are not constantly being reminded of it 'being finished', from before the foundations of the world, God the Father having perfected his plan for us,we'll begin to fall for a dangerous but subtle illusion - and put the emphasis on the effects rather than on what He accomplished from before the foundations of the world.

Maybe because we have attached such firm, solid understandings to grace/freedom etc, we have inadvertently shifted not only our focus, but those seeing us emphasize the effects of His grace and freedom, rather than simply presenting Him?
Is it any wonder in this shifting the focus from Him, the source/cause of all the effects, 'Christianity,' has become nothing more than another religious self-morality? *

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

I especially like these further quotes from Oz Chambers that I feel tie in so wonderfully here:

"It is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God's purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements is apt to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you go off on this idea of personal holiness, the dead-set of your life will not be for God, but for what you call the manifestation of God in your life."

"Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship to God which shows itself amid the irrelevancies of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that strikes you is the irrelevancy of the things you have to do, and the next thing that strikes you is the fact that other people seem to be living perfectly consistent lives. Such lives are apt to leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary, by human effort and devotion we can reach the standard God wants. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God is not after perfecting me to be a specimen in His show-room; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He likes."

"The missionary is one in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought this realization - "Ye are not your own." To say, "I am not my own" is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not that I might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He had done for them. It was not until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said "Go."

"The viewpoint of a worker for God must not be as near the highest as he can get, it must be the highest. Be careful to maintain strenuously God's point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don't think on the finite. No outside power can touch the viewpoint.

The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, viz., to be captives in the train of Christ's triumphs. We are not in God's showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing - the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ."

Somehow I felt this to especially tie in with the last quote from the Oz man;

For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. Hebrews 4:10-11


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Seeing God

Matthew 5:8 "You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

This verse of scripture from the Message Bible speaks to me deeply regarding the thoughts I've been pondering today.If my point of reference is not a growing and expanding experiential knowledge of the unconditional love of the Father, then because of the knowledge of good and evil resident within me (as well as in all flesh) my perception of reality (that which is determined to be the truth) will be horribly distorted, no matter how much I say I know about God!

I am being brought back as it were to square one, a deep awareness of although I say I know so much about God, I am truly wondering how much of that knowledge is mixed, contaminated, corrupted with seeing Him through the reality that has been generated simply through the knowledge of good and evil.
Based upon our perceived soulish knowledge it seems one can determine the difference between that which is good vs evil. Maybe it was never the Father's intention for me to evaluate this.As Matthew 5:8 implies, maybe its the unconditional love of God (the Father) that is able to transform my inner world within my soul, (mind-will, and emotions) 'get my inside world-mind and heart-put/set right', and out of that true reality, I am able to see Him in my outside world.

Is it possible there has been generated a world of theology that has attempted to clearly define the difference between that which is of God and that which isn't, that which is good vs that which is evil?Maybe it has nothing to do with having the 'right theology' per se, meaning, it can be perfect theology, but in not knowing, experiencing the Father's unconditional love we have simply attempted to establish something that spells security for us.But maybe any substitute, theology or whatever, will never be able to produce the security we crave and grasp for, and grasp I/we, will do!

I am beginning to wonder that at the core of our unrenewed being, because of not knowing and growing in the (unconditional) love of the Father, that there is today such a bastardized rendition of that which we call, 'Christianity?'
Meaning, if our perceived reality that is simply coming out of our innate ability to reason out of the knowledge of good and evil, won't this try and dictate and over rule what in fact is all being used of the Father in our further needed training, and discipline. The proof of His love for us is His loving correction, and how that is administered to our individual lives can be thwarted in the name of, we think we know best.

These thoughts as I said in the beginning, are being fleshed out, they are far from being clear, no matter how I've tried to make them clear. I continue to look to Father in a fresh knowing, that I know too much based upon that which is generated through a unrenewed soul, aka, the knowledge of good and evil. I hope to pursue additional thoughts in light of His pure love shaping and bringing into greater clarity, that which is truly Real.


Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm home today, I had the day off, but not a day of frolicking, no a very painful day (add that to the accumulation of other disturbing issues).
At 7:45 AM I had to be at the hospital to be briefed and prepped for a prostate biopsy, I get the results soon I hope.

I was just using the bathroom, (a most painful experience) and while sitting there, like a pungent stabbing I sensed Papa speaking His loving heart to me, (He so knows all of my fears and doubts I am struggling with) "I am awakening in you a new and living reality of who I Am, and all that you are going through is all part of that reality."

Amazing this unfolding reality of knowing (experiencing) the reality of His endless unconditional love, and how it so freely disarms the lies I have and do believe.

As I previously posted on my blog about the whole issue of 'experiences', maybe this is all part of what it means to move past the outer shadows and entering into this reality of, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth (heart) of the Father!


Some precious thoughts that I find comforting in the midst of the storm tossings I am in the throes of.

"If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out. Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbour bar, full of delight, but always moored; you have to get out through the harbour bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment."

Yet, in mainstream Christianity, many have earnestly attempted to reduce the irrefutable mystery of the life of faith into a safe, predictable, logical, formulaic framework. I believe these attempts overlook the fact that "Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spirituality to formula, we deprive our hearts of wonder."

Is it possible that the people would be more attracted to Jesus if those who claim His name became known for what they had discovered diving beneath the present surface of it all, and shared these new discoveries with others? Do you believe that there is any merit to the statement that, "Our modern preoccupation with producing and consuming leads us to live on the surface level of reality and to seek our satisfaction in the finite. But the sacred is known in the depths of reality, not in the manipulation and consumption of the surface."

"Hungering and thirsting for more, disturbs complacency, induces a blessed state of disquiet, and propels our unending exploration into the mystery of God in Jesus Christ."

"When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Look At Me

Apart from a couple of times, the Apostle Paul spoke very little of his blinding encounter with the Lord, but I do see him wanting to share the One who made it all possible.
Its very interesting, down through the centuries, God touches a person, and seemingly over night, a whole movement or eventually a denomination is birthed out of one persons experience.
Maybe as my friend says in this quote from his testimony,
"I did not do this so you would have yet another experience… but to show you that I live in you and I am as close as your breath."

I really wonder no mater how real or powerful the experiences are that the Lord permits us to have, was it done so that we could look good, important, having some kind of newly discovered super status?

Let me share an experience I had recently, it is fall here in our neck of the woods, and winter is soon going to pay its long visit to us. We still have the old wooden/glass windows and I had to put on the storm windows in preparation for the colder weather coming.
Here's the deal, before putting the storm windows on, I had to clean not only those windows, but also the outside windows the storms were going on, why, so I could continue to see as clearly as possible through out the winter months. Funny thing, I rarely ever notice the storm windows at all, but I am still able to see clearly through them, the portal to the outside world.

This may not be the best analogy, but somehow I see Jesus being lost in the shuffle of the new experiences we have, being much more focused on it/them, then in Him, the one who simply brought to birth through much anguish, His divine order.

Its interesting how Paul said, when he came to the church, he preached Christ and Him crucified and nothing else! Maybe the experiences He allows us to have is to point out our great need to receive in a deeper ever expanding true knowing of what it means to be loved unconditionally.

Its funny but sad, how its possible to exchange continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of His love, for ever deeper experiences. So many look upon those gifted ones, anointed ones and become so despondent, thinking, 'If only I too could have that happen to me,' while forgetting His words of truth, "And I will make you witnesses of Me!"


This is a small portion of my friends testimony.

Permit me now to share my personal experience in such a realization by revelation of Christ in me. I had a most wonderful and remarkable preparatory experience one day in 1975, which was from my Father, to once and for all time deliver me from seeking Him in outward experiences.

At this point in my Christian life I had been saved about 7 years and was a founding teaching elder in a church we and three other couple had founded. Yet, I still had a burning desire to know Him in a deeper way, at any cost.

One weekend I had been reading a little booklet someone had given me six years earlier, but I had not yet read it. It was called "A Simple Way to Touch the Lord". The premise was that if I wanted to touch the Lord in reality I could just call or breathe out His name – "Lord Jesus." The writer cited the many scripture references of the people of God who "called upon the name of the Lord." He said by example, if one wanted to have the presence of their mate elsewhere in the house, they could call, as I do my wife - "Linda". Well, this sounded too simple.

Nevertheless, it was the Monday following that weekend in which I had read the little booklet and I was driving on an overnight business trip from my home in Foxboro, Massachusetts to Connecticut. I recall that it was early morning with the sun rising as I drove past two lakes on either side of US Route 6 in Rhode Island, when I said to myself – "Well I’ve read this booklet long enough – let’s try it."
So then, alone but feeling conspicuous, I simply called upon His name – and breathed out the words from deep within "Lord Jesus."
I immediately sensed an almost liquid presence of the Lord welling up within me. The tears flowed as I pulled my car over to the side of the road. I recall then saying to myself in my head "I can’t wait to get back tomorrow night to tell my fellow elders of this new "experience" – BUT as I was speaking, I heard what seemed to be the audible voice of God speaking to me saying, "I did not do this so you would have yet another experience… but to show you that I live in you and I am as close as your breath."

Monday, October 15, 2007

No More Guess Work

If a picture is worth a thousand words, rather than me trying to sound cute, (although I would love to use this graphic picture to spout off some thoughts) I will leave it as it is, to stand or fall.

Provoking others unto love and good works, yeah, maybe that's a wonderful part of learning to live loved.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.


A special thanks to my dear friend and brother Dave for this delightful image.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Clothes, 'Seam'ingly

Some thoughts my wife and I were musing over, in our weekend/day getaway: Most folks are fairly familiar with the children's story, "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen, and if not, here is but a brief snippet from that delightful story:

"Here it is your Highness, the result of our labour," the scoundrels said. "We have worked night and day but, at last, the most beautiful fabric in the world is ready for you. Look at the colors and feel how fine it is." Of course the Emperor did not see any colors and could not feel any cloth between his fingers. He panicked and felt like fainting. But luckily the throne was right behind him and he sat down. But when he realized that no one could know that he did not see the fabric, he felt better. Nobody could find out he was stupid and incompetent. And the Emperor didn't know that everybody else around him thought and did the very same thing."

For those in Christendom who are finding life/love apart from the machinery of the institution, the out-of-the-boxers, the free-rangers, the out-side-the-camp-campers, or whatever other name you might use, maybe there has never been more of a magical and mystical weaving of this new heavenly clothing made out of grace about which so many seem to be pontificating.

Here's what's been gnawing its way into the core of my being: maybe, unlike never before, there is a seemingly endless ability to pontificate on what grace is. By that I mean, so many being able to know about grace, but very few knowing what grace is, about!
Consequently, have we (like the emperor) covered ourselves with this "beautiful fabric" that has, in essence, no substance?


Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Roaring Lamb

My last blog entry was a teaser, wanting to see if I would get any bites/nibbles, and sure enough I did.
The following is a bit more insight to Father's unfailing hurting love for me, and us.

Maybe the extrication taking place in our lives, although meant to be liberating and freeing, will not come to pass without great anguish and suffering.
Think about it, even after becoming a 'Christian', our point of reference almost without any exceptions, is all based upon the outer man, aka, the natural man/woman.

If we were created by God who wants to become a Father to us, making known experientially His unconditional love and acceptance of us, how can we ever establish a secure identity based upon anything that revolves around performance based measuring up?

I want so badly to get a copy of a book, (its title alone grips me) called, 'Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untameable God', by Mark Galli.

Here is an excerpt: "This is what Jesus saw in the Pharisee’s of His day. They had God in a box of rituals, laws and explanations. There was no more to be unearthed, revealed, or discovered. Spiritual fulfillment that led to no questions, no new mystery and no new promise. Jesus rejects all this not just because of the hypocrisy or because of the lack of love, but because you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven."

I'm being stirred afresh in the midst of my Father's relentless bent on forming His Son in me, to look with a new sobriety at that which is more costly than fine gold, a grace and love I barely even know. But this gracious and loving Father is NOT sparing me from any pain in being able to truly know Him, and his heart.

I like this opening greeting from the author, 'God has a most painful plan for your life'!
How many have ever looked upon the Father's invitation into His family and purpose for our lives, prefaced with, 'I have a painful plan for your life'?

This is sweet, and bitter: "One characteristic of the postmodern Christian landscape is to neatly, almost hermetically, divide Bible according to how God interacts with the world. In the Old Testament they exclusively depict a God of wrath, judgment and vengeance in contrast to a New Testament portrait of a saccharin-sweet Jesus who never says an unkind word, never does an unkind thing and is never anything but "nice." The one thing all Christians seem to agree on is that Jesus was a pretty sweet guy who was meek as a lamb and harmless as a dove. However, the New Testament paints a picture far more complex than the current crop of Christians are inclined to accept. It is much easier to reduce Aslan to a tame lion and minimize the inconvenient passages that speak of a Jesus who was anything but nice."

I find the following quote from Jim Palmer, the brother and author of Divine Nobodies, and soon to be released, Wide Open Spaces says what I feel is so very much coming to birth in my own life, and it too is the direct result of the spiritual chemotherapy being lovingly applied to my soul!

"Then it all catastrophically caved in, and the inner suffering of that season of my life was like spiritual chemotherapy, killing off virtually all my religious pretense. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through that dark period, and part of me didn’t want to try. Dying seemed like a better option. Divine Nobodies essentially tells that part of my story, and the unlikely people God sent my way to process it. Another reason I am labeled "radical" is because so many religious people live in pretense and denial, and when you shed it and begin speaking honestly about your journey with God it shocks people. We’re all thinking it, but like we don’t actually say it.

The spiritual chemo during that period killed off the religious Jim, and gave me a new beginning place with God. At the end of my pretense were a slew of questions that pressed hard into matters that previously were not open for discussion. Each chapter of Wide Open Spaces delves into one of those questions. In seminary I constructed an air-tight Christian theology on paper, and had since grown accustomed to doing Christianity from my head or intellect. But the answers I was now seeking were not the sort that could be satisfied by another set of new and improved truth propositions. I was hungry to know God beyond paper and propositions, and experience him along the everyday paths of life and living. The answers I was seeking required living life with a new attentiveness to God, and an openness to new possibilities."


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Aslan is not a tame lion

Has Jesus become for us a celestial Mr. Rogers??


Monday, October 01, 2007

the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts

It is only as you grow in coming to know HIM and His love, and the facts of your unshakable relationship with Him, that you will be freed – to stand on solid rock.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Prior to being saved or apprehended by the Father, and even for quite some time after wards, all we have known in terms of our personal identity was solely connected to the outer man, our gender, our ethnicity, our financial standing, our intelligence, our health etc, etc..., and we weighed things by what we saw or experienced.

All of this had/has nothing to do with who we in fact instantly became in being rebirthed by the sperma-word of the Father – Christ.

To live in accord with the new truth, of love, life and liberty there must be a transition – and that transition comes about by God’s work, through the situations and circumstances of life that He orders for our eternal good.
Philip. 2:13
For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philip. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

All of what or how we would have defined who we were, was in fact tied inseparably to what we erroneously call “human nature;” but actually, there is no such thing as human nature – it is only the fallen, lien, “sin nature” we gained by Adam, and by which we lived before coming to receive the Lord.

The truth is spoken from the Father by his Spirit through our brother Paul, “If any man be IN Christ, they are a new creation!” I see this being the living picture/reality of who we in fact now ARE; aka, our identity, rooted and found solely in Him.

So much fear is still lodged within the believer’s soul as the Father starts to work. I believe that work starts from the moment we were apprehended of the Father. That glorious work began its loving, but violent assault upon the father of lies in our flesh. The works of the evil one still try to keep his grip/hold on the believer’s life through fear. At that very moment of being apprehended of the Father, I believe the walls of what and how we previously defined who we were, started coming down.

Our freedom from fear is ours as we start to learn the truth, the truth that
we can let go and be safe in the Lord.
I love this story about “letting go.”

It’s about the capturing of monkeys. It goes something like this, the ones sent to capture the monkeys use a hollowed out casing and through a hole in the top of it, small enough for the monkey to place his hand through, they insert a special treat that monkeys love. Here's the kicker, the monkey inserts his hand trying to retrieve his luscious treat, the thing is, with the treat in his closed hand, it is now to big to withdraw from the hole in the casing. Just let go of the tasty treat, and your hand is not only freed, but you are free to go and live another day. The monkey is tenaciously stubborn, not willing to let go of his treat, is now easily captured by the hunters.

I liken this story to the reality of learning and becoming intimately acquainted with the unconditional love of the Father, as a matter of fact and truth. As this Love (God) does its procreative and liberating work from deep within, the fears are slowly displaced, and we start becoming intuitively aware of a divine security and enabling, called trust; we learn to yield, let go to abide in union with Him. This is the miraculous result of coming to know and taste the Father's Love. As we let go to trust God we become free. So long as we still grasp at securing ourselves we are still bound to a hopeless state. We must come to know the truth of Him and His love.

As you know, His work of liberating us is a time of great confusion and pain, in the thick of it. We may think “this can't be God,” may resort to unworkable methods like “rebuking the devil and his minions,” but in that we would remain bound.

Rather, be filled with the security of the Father's unconditional love... (The Lord is my shepherd, what more do I want or need). Don’t gravitate like the Jews in the wilderness, lusting again for Egypt (fear) bondage, aka, the fear of loss of control.

We must come to see His unconditional love and His sufficiency, as we begin to view all things from His eternal perspective – He sees you as a person already “complete in Christ.” Only the love of the Father can free us from within, free us from clutching and clinging to what we perceive as some tasty treat, like the monkey; then learning to live loved in the constancy and security of His love, regardless of the outer appearance of our situations.