Friday, November 30, 2007

Loved: Being The Impossible



I really enjoyed what my friend Rob Horton has shared on his blog, http://www.robhorton.us/
(robhorton_(re)formation_catalyzation Matrix: Possibilities Continued)

I have been of the persuasion that man (Adam) when created and placed in the Garden was nature-less, and it was the two trees (one, the tree of Life, the other, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) that pointed to that reality becoming realized in this nature-less creation called man.

'Nature' is a definitive word: The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: "She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble". The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing.Also the word 'attribute', A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something.

Now, lets look at what Paul has to say regarding nature.
Ephesians 2:2-4, In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.

I am more convinced than ever that Love, (God is Love) which was seen in a shadow form or type in the Tree of Life, was to be what would truly define and crown God's highest creation-man!
In the re-birthing, it is my understanding that the essential nature of God being Love, is what we are to become, living expression at the core of our being, lovers.
I like how Peter describes his insight into this inner miracle of grace working in the new creation: Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Years ago my wife and I took a Dale Carnegie leadership training course. Even then at that time being believers, we could see that as good as this course was, it was most evident to us, that people who did not know the Lord (God is Love) saw this training course to be a tool to change them from the outside in.
Please here me when I say we were believers at that time, yes we were, but we as most believers, lived in much the same way as those not professing any kind of religious adherence.
It is very easy to become a believer-Christian, and yet not knowing and growing in the reality of the Father's total and unconditional love, there is only one recourse, definition comes by way of performing.
We too, were sadly out of sync with what it meant to be Loved.

Paul uses the language that if any man be in Christ, he is a whole new creation (species) reborn, Free. If the ongoing renewal of the mind (mind-will-emotions) fails to engage, is it any wonder like in Rob's illustration of the Matrix, that any attempt to do what we would call the 'impossible' withers up and dies?

I love how Morpheus in the movie the Matrix says to Neo: "The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."
Neo: What truth? Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind. Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.

I was pondering on this thought while delivering my mail today, why, if Adam was 'perfect' and lacking nothing, why would he (and Eve) be persuaded to look for anything else that could bring absolute definition to their lives? Maybe our identity is not, nor was it ever meant to be seen in this morphed entity called, 'human-nature'.
Maybe the impossible, was purposed to become possible defined by His (God the Father's) love: Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (whole) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

The knowledge of 'good and evil' (which in reality is the same thing) is the Matrix that continues to try and define who we are, (and it's influence transcends, race, creed or color) regardless of being a 'Christian' or not. Apart from the Love of God breaking through, and because there are no vacuums, there is but one recourse, to be defined by what we do, rather than being defined by love, freeing us to BE!

It is my opinion that everything outside of Christ is 'religion', in flavor, nuance, or expression. It will only be the Father's love that will bring this Matrix to a grinding halt in any persons life.
As so many are being awakened to the living reality of Love, they are in turn, learning what it means to 'live loved', the impossible is happening, and one person at a time is seeing the invisible God made visible in flesh and blood..."If you've seen me said Jesus, you've seen the Father"!

Rich

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Shook Up



Your Not Going To Get Out Alive

I love how Papa directs me in finding the pictures I want. What I try and share here on my blog usually begins with an image/picture, that captures the essence of what He has put upon my heart to share.
I was going to use another picture until I came across this one, it so sizzles.
Maybe in light of the scriptures quoted on the picture, the following ties in better than I could have even planned...Our loving Father and elder Brother Jesus, dealing with that stuff which has been exploiting us and making merchandise out of what is HIS!


A good friend of mine has shared this very funny, but painful season in his life when the Lord was making something most clear to him.
My friends name is Rick..He said it was impressed upon him this way. God speaking to Rick, "Son, I'm thrilled you are in love with me, but the good/bad news is, the me you're in love with, isn't ME"!

What the^*+~*%??

Is it any wonder that the religious landscape is what it is, when at best, we have all been following blindly nothing more than a caricature of God?
You know the one who says, "Hey come follow me, I want to make your life a picnic with no end of fun and thrills, but no spills~Ha!
I'm sure if I had heard Him say, "Come follow Me, I have a perfect planned out life of suffering just tailored made for you, oh, and by the way, I'm going to shake the ever living shit outa your life...what the hell, I must be hallucinating here..surely that couldn't be God?

As I said, if God, the one we think we're in love with is but a caricature, why would we not believe he came to simply add 'life' to an already in motion full of ' a action Jackson' mover and shaker?

In light of this caricature God that seems so popular, lets try this one on for size, I'm sure one size fits all?
Perhaps you are praying for a "breakthrough" in some area of your life. If so you have a wonderful opportunity to meet God especially if you were taught God never gives us more than we can bear - And HE HAS. Relax, God is committed to giving us more than we can bear; otherwise we will never learn to depend on him and give up trusting in SELF and abandon all confidence in the flesh. [Phil 3:9]
What the hell, I rebuke you Satan!!!!!!

Here's a real tasty hors douvre (for the ones beginning to see He isn't a fabricated lifeless caricature God at all) from over at Jim's Blog http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/

"Taking It In The Gut (I Suck At That Too)

I loved this and my heart goes out to this precious brother who is having the ever loving shit removed from his life, most painful, but oh so necessary..gonna let you in on a little secret, this real Jesus we are coming to 'know', He hasn't lost His balls, and the good news is, He's going to lovingly shake all and any facades you and I would like to hang onto, especially as long as it makes ME look good.
Other wise how could I ever preach the gospel of 'Wining Friends and Influencing People"?

I want to throw this kicker into the mix as well. If it's Life we want, but are we remotely willing or ready to acknowledge that's what just might be unfolding in my feeling as if I'm loosing my ever loving mind?
Come on Rich, get a grip ole boy, you know that can't be life, it's way to MESSY!

Everyone knows that's why we came to Jesus in the first place, He was going to save me from messiness!
Or is He 'shaking' loose everything that has been sucking the life out of me.

Oh, one last piece of great news, none of us is going to get out alive...come on let's follow this Mad Max, it might just be worth encountering some One other than our caricature God.

Rich

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Catching Glimpses



I really like what Father is revealing to my brother Kent Burgess over at Faithfully Dangerous, http://nthegarden.blogspot.com/
Especially this recent post of his, (Vertigo) although if you were to read more of how Father is gracing Kent, there are other entries where he his speaking either directly or indirectly into this whole matter of disorientation, or vertigo, or seeming to loose ones sense of equilibrium.

After the dessert storm (shit kicking) I just went through, I can so relate to such a total loss of my equilibrium, or vertigo! I want to try and flesh out some of this in what I am seeing.

I want to throw this out for myself and whomever else reads here before I continue with what Father is drawing me into.
I am beginning to see in such vibrant strokes of His brush, His grace, gracing those he has called unto Himself, the colors are almost blinding, totally breath taking, and so full of His loving heart for all of humanity.
His life is being expressed in myriads of ways, through ordinary nobodies, leaving a wondrous and indelible stain upon this world and those in it. Little is Much, when He is in it.

I'm catching but glimpses of what is already mine, ours, (here me) glimpses I said. It is so important to see that it is only in part, that the best of us see anything, but seeing and knowing we are, and we're being brought into it's wealth.
Without the illumination that is present because of the Light Himself, the revelator, it would be very easy to run with what we see, like in trying to hoard todays 'manna', (grace), until tomorrow. Oh how we need Him!

For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darknessFor with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

Every word you give me is a miracle word— how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

In the gospel of John, there is a point where Jesus strips himself of his attire, and clothes himself in the garb of a servant, he takes water, a towel and begins to wash the disciples feet, until he comes to Peter.
Peter is not going to allow Jesus to was his feet. Jesus says, Unless you allow me to wash your feet, you will have NO part with me.
Bear with me here, as I try to walk this out in my thoughts. Because of the fall, (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) what has settled over us is a complete and total blindness.
Maybe what Jesus was saying to Peter was, Unless I can lay my life down for you, unless I can become nothing in your sight, you will not become all that I have for you?

Everything we do is driven by our identity, and if we do not know who we are, and because there are no vacuums, someone will quickly give us one.
We can only be who God says we are, but if we do not know who we are, then who, are we going to be?
I see this washing being of utmost importance for then, as well as now in this hour. Is it possible that this washing is required to wash away the lies that we have all believed regarding who we think we are?

It talks in different places within the scriptures of us having been raised up and seated in/with Christ in the heavenly places. Talk about dizzying heights, well it only gets better.
Without the Father opening the eyes of our heart (washing away the crud that keeps us so earth-bound-seeing) we are at best operating separated from not only Whose we are, but who we are in Him.

There is a battle going on, in case you are not aware of that, (and Father continues to remind me of it all the time) and that battle is spelled out in its viciousness within our soul.
Here's a kicker for you to chew on, it says, (and all of this imo ties in with the vertigo) 'We are to set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

What I think I am seeing, is that all who have been rebirthed, are either seeing things from His perspective, what is already ours, or from a soulish-natural perspective trying to bring to pass through human effort His church and all that, that encompasses.
Is it any wonder there is such whacked distortions of not only who He is, but what and who His church is?
I want to stop here, but I ain't going away, my Father has started this process of opening my eyes, and I am soaking in all I can...more to come.

Rich

Monday, November 26, 2007

Emaciated


The following is a email response to a precious and wonderful friend, inquiring and wanting to know what was going on with me.

Funny hearing from you, in fact, I'm not surprised, meaning, you were on my heart this morning as well as different mornings, simply lifting you up to our loving Father.

What's going on..hmmm, plenty.
I reflected on your question, and I guess I would have to say it goes back to Him recently impressing upon my heart how He was in fact birthing in me a whole new reality of who He IS, and that all of the very 'stuff' I was in and going through was all part of that new reality coming to pass.
Strange how one can so soon forget, eh?
Not to be over dramatic here, but I'm not sure that in this new reality of Him coming to pass in my life or in anyone’s life, is it ever going to happen without some kind of heavy duty flack?

Things came to a head for me yesterday, when Margi and I were coming back from London, as usual we were listening (catching up on the last two pod casts) and Father was making known in specific detail how much he wanted to Love up on me.

I am using this term, (junk yard dog) only because it is a picture of how he is making himself known to me right now. (in case you haven't caught it yet, I am a most visual person) Not Him being that dog.
Most junk-yard-dogs, are pretty scrawny, fiercely savage, and griped with fear.
It was as if Father was saying that's what humanity is at its best, filled with fear, not being able to even for a moment believe I am good, or loving.
He began showing me that I was very much like this pitiful creature, destitute of being loved, but, He was going to do what I could not do, put within me the very ability to begin to receive/respond to His love, and as that unfolds, I will discover I have in Him the ability to trust Him...does this make any sense??

I guess the real issue here, is Him making it very clear to me, that He has NO expectations upon me, He asks nothing from me, not even to trust Him, as if I even could.
I am seeing how much I have been simply working out of what I thought he required/asked of me as his child, but I think I may have had that really balled up big time~ha!

Somehow in the midst of all of this, there is being awakened a 'knowing', that if anything ever comes to pass, or comes forth from my life, it will only be because of His doings.

I had an image pop into my thoughts today while delivering the mail, of the most pathetic emaciated human being you've ever seen, like a starving person from some third world country, or of one of those pictures of some of the prisoners from the Nazi death camps. I sensed Father saying to me, 'Son, that is you, you are barely alive, I am here to fill you with the greatest gift I have, my LOVE for you'!
Even now in putting these words down, it causes me to weep; I am so broken by this, His undeserved gift.

It talks of rightly dividing the word of truth in the scriptures, but yesterday when my wife and I were able to share such wonderful life with one another, I said to her, I actually feel that the Word himself is rightly dividing me!

I realize this is all so very subjective, but its my story and I'm sticking to it.

Please know we love you dearly, and thank you so much for asking about me, and best of all, sharing your pain, sorrow and joys with me, I treasure it all!!

Rich

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Let's Just Be Nice


Here is one of the things that sticks in my craw big time. What a farce hearing of how others who basically suffered a minor speed bump in their life and then, like a cat dropped from a second story window, simply landed right side up, on its feet once again. There are those who, in my opinion, had everything working for them as unbelievers, people with what I call had a predisposition toward 'niceness’, and then Jesus, as an afterthought, was just one more award ribbon Velcro-ed to an already great and exemplary life. That's what I mean when I say I have no tolerance for those who do not have to trust Him to BE their future now, let alone tomorrow. For example, if Jesus doesn’t work out for these folk, they still have all their stocks and bonds and retirement savings in the bank as a back-up. I wonder if that adage which goes something like, 'burn all of your bridges behind you', might be very much to the point here? Isn’t this akin to Jesus criticizing those who ‘gave out of their abundance’ while singling out, as an example, the widow woman who ‘gave out of her need’ – and consequently gave her all?


Also while I'm wondering here, i personally think we're drowning in a toxic stew of “niceness”. Let’s imagine for a minute that when Jesus was asked, 'Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” that we put a spin on that word 'good' and change it to 'nice'. Of course this might fly in the face of those who actually believe they are nice, but put it in the context of Jesus saying, 'Why do you call me nice, for no one is ‘nice’, not even God! To be ‘nice’ is hypocrisy! I have a friend who says that ‘nice’ is a political term. NO ONE IS NICE!!!


Without Christ, we are all worse than crap (pardon the language – substitute the biblical ‘dung’ if you prefer). We are without hope. We are utterly depraved! Yet, I see Christians walking around pretending to be nice when in actuality they are seething on the inside! They think they HAVE to act nice by virtue of the fact that they are believers…yet on the inside they are walking powder kegs. These are the type of people who ‘go postal’! They end up either imploding or exploding simply because OUT OF THEIR OWN EFFORTS they try to be ‘nice’ in adverse situations and circumstances that make them feel otherwise. Inwardly, they are full of rage. These are the folk who end up with stress-induced heart attacks, because they are trying to do the Christian thing... without Christ!

Let’s give an example: a husband makes the bed, does the laundry, makes dinner, etc. etc. because he feels an inward prompting from the Lord to be a blessing to his wife. Isn't he, like her, not tired and frustrated after a long day at work? But he does it all anyway. He does it purely for the Lord. He denies his ‘self’. He uses ‘self’ control, and by that I mean he controls self. He puts ‘self’ under his feet so that Christ can prevail in his life. Let’s add to this scenario. Let’s say the husband never gets any thanks or appreciation from his wife for all he does. Self would have him say, ‘Screw you! YOU serve ME! I’m the man of this house! Don’t you think I get tired too? I’m hungry! Feed me!’ Yet he doesn’t. Even though he may feel unappreciated and angry…he denies his own wants and needs in order to be Christ to his wife. He knows within himself he doesn’t have what it takes. He knows that often he doesn’t have a fat bank account of warm feelings toward his wife. He isn’t drawing from his abundance. He knows that the ONLY reason he can continue to bless his unappreciative wife is because of Christ in him, the hope of glory, and the more he subdues his own flesh and in the process allows his mind to be transformed, the more the life of Christ is evident to all around him. See the difference?


Shoot, let’s do a little detoxing (give it a year or so) now that we're outside of the 'box', let’s learn the whole new in-Christ lingo, and bang, we're off to the races! Nope! I don't think so, friends. Christ is not an add-on to our already nice selves. I honestly think that some folk hit a speed bump somewhere along the road, in panic turn to Christ, then continue along their very well-paved and manicured nice life-lanes.


Maybe this hidden, but ever present under-tow of nice self-reliance is a hideous entity that works seemingly wonderfully outside or inside of religion? Maybe this transformation of Christ in us, AS US, is far more than simply us hitting a speed bump and being momentarily inconvenienced? Maybe it’s a lot more like this, quoting a fellow sojourner: “Because of this man Christ Jesus I have suffered the loss of ALL THINGS”.

Rich




Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's In It For Me?



The following thoughts are not mine, but do express much of where I am at and have been.

The perennial question of the "separationist" is this - "Why do the righteous suffer?" Many have supposed that the book of Job seeks to answer that question. However, that is not the question that is posed by Job's story. The question asked in that extraordinary tale is not "Why do the righteous suffer?" but "Why do the righteous serve God?"

What was Satan, the father of the independent separated self's cynical answer to that question? - "Does Job fear God for nothing?" [Job 1:10] "He fears you," argued Satan "because you bless him." In other words, he serves you because there is something in it for Job. Remove the blessing and Job will curse you and embrace the self-life. What follows is forty-two agonizing chapters in which he sees the loss of all things. Moreover, Job has to endure the maddening self-righteousness of his "comforters" which finally incites him to demand an audience with God to question His integrity in His dealing with him. The story finally culminates in his coming to union "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you and therefore I despise myself." [Job 42:5-6]

Herein lies the key to God's dealings with us. We must draw back from our tendency to see evil and the devil's purposes advancing against us. The Devil is God's devil; he can only accomplish God's purposes [Gen 50:24]. Seeing God in our circumstances requires an ability to see through our circumstances. We must become fixed in the conviction that all things work together for good for those who love God" [Roms 8:28] and see that the apparently negative "all-things" are the tools of the divine trade useful for conforming us into His image and likeness" [Roms 8:29]

These are my thoughts/questions?


It's this very issue the author above is sharing that I have, and continue to find myself in over, and over again. Meaning, has it thus far been most advantageous as far as coming to know Him beyond the lies of the lost as well as what Christians have told me regarding who my heavenly Father is~YES!
But, my life is in the moment a never touching bottom, nor do I for see any ability to touch bottom.

This ties in with what I said in a previous post, I have no desire to listen to anyone with their (my) religious don't worry, be happy platitudes, where they have Never had to trust Him alone.

I could be very wrong on this, but being set free from my self-(reliance)-righteousness as well as those around me as I continue to be put on the grist mill is much in line with what our brother Job must have experienced?

Did Job actually think (very possibly totally unknown to him) there was in fact, something in it for him or me, or any of us who are being trashed in life's unfoldings?

Being exposed, naked, is not my idea of feelings of great exile ration, but if I am to know Him, then let the sharp knife do its work, cause sometimes, ugly is right to the bone.

Rich

Not Giving Up



This song came to mind today in the midst of feeling so totally numbed, the very opposite after feeling as if I couldn't stand anymore pain.

Also these comforting words from a fellow traveller..

Rich

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Upset Me, No, I’m Pissed Off!!


Better judgment says, just let it go, hang in there, hang tough, have a little talk with Jesus, what a load of crap.

I was out doing my postal (delivering the mail) thing today, at least as much as I can with my bad knees, and while out there, being consumed at times with a choking sense of, what the hells the use anyway.

I’m afraid I have no tolerance at the moment for anyone who’s played it safe all their life and yet talks about trusting the Lord.

There’s just TOO much shit to even begin to make any sense of it all with such a back log of crap, and what I’m feeling here today/tonight.

Suffice it to say, hopefully tomorrow is in fact another day, a day that will not be as tormenting as it was today!

Rich

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Firm, But Loving



I wanted to share these two things that touched me this morning.I

remember years ago reading some of Chuck Swindoll's writings, and he would share some correspondence from a good friend of his, a retired Marine, Drill Sargent, he would always close his letters to his friend Chuck by saying...

Your tough and tender friend!

What I saw, heard, and read this morning is much in line with these sentiments, I see my Father being just that, oh so tender, but very firm.

Rich

First one by Oz Chambers "Shallow And Profound" http://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/my_utmost/utm.cgi

Second one: Jim's Blog http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ySSg4QG8g
Kenny Chesney-Don't Blink

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whose Image Do I Bear


I ask you to please bear with me in my rambling rabbit trail thoughts here.

I woke up this morning early at 3:15; I didn’t need to be up until at least 5:15, why??

It was another flash back, (horrible memory) or maybe as I am sensing, the tremendous cleansing, and restoring (reconciling) love of my Father bringing the wine and oil into my very needy soul.

Didn’t Jesus say, he leaves the ninety and nine healthy and safe ones, to seek the lost one, and that He came to seek and save that which was lost? Yes Father, you’re speaking to me.

The King James bible is the only one I know of that uses such strong language in such often and great, but caustic and disturbing words, such as ‘bastards’!
It was this word which was spoken to me in my flashback, which jerked me up straight and wide awake.

Some quick renderings of that word:

A child born out of wedlock.
Something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin.
And especially this one, Resembling a known kind or species but not truly such.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. (But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.) Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

But doesn’t the bible say, ‘If any man be in Christ Jesus he is a brand new creation (species)?

If the best any of us has ever known is conditional (acceptance) love, ‘do good get good, do bad get bad’, is it any wonder we are such twisted and pressed out of shape (undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature) creatures?
Maybe in this unfolding continuous work of grace what is being awakened in us is a newly discovered depth and awareness of how much we have been forgiven, and maybe that’s why Jesus said, “He who has been forgiven much, is empowered to love much”.

If I am becoming aware of anything, it is what I was born for, what I was created for, to BE loved with no strings attached, no ulterior motives, totally accepted as His son.

I see this being played out when Jesus said to his disciples, show me a coin used for paying your taxes, and taking the coin he asked, ‘Whose likeness and inscription (an imitative appearance; a semblance) is on this coin’?
Behind that likeness was the power of Rome, but that power had no ability to define who people were then, nor does it do any better today. Although on some coins, it tips its hat by saying, “In God we trust”!

Definitely there was a likeness of the supreme power of Rome on that coin, but it was lacking any true substance (image) or any Life.
It is God the Father’s love and it alone that will bring forth in us not just a likeness, (not just an imitative appearance or semblance) but His very image in us, as us.

It is the Father’s greatest desire to press, stamp deeply into the core of our being, who we were created to be. It is only His love that can define us and our eternal worth in this moment we live in.
Maybe in so doing we will be the currency of His economy, e.g. “Silver and gold I have not, but what I have, I freely give to you, rise up and be made whole”.

“It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, (by nature, children of wrath) all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Lord.”

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

For those interested in further thoughts that I read this morning after finishing what I wrote here from Oz…

http://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/my_utmost/utm.cgi

It Is Finished

Rich

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Orphan’s Raising Children


As a result of sin, none of us have escaped having been being born into this world totally lame; it’s just that some of us lame ones, stick out like two left feet.

In a conversation with one of my boss’s (and a friend and brother in the Lord) before coming home this afternoon, he had brought up something about a guy he had to help out at the PO, that needed to do something, and in the process of talking; my boss started sharing for some unknown reason with this total stranger about the importance of family relationships with this man. My boss knows this only too well, having been separated from his wife and nine kids for a couple of years.

I said to my boss, that I was in the process of writing about that very thing, a ‘Fatherless generation’. I said to him, is it any wonder that there are so many men missing in action, missing dads, and why?
I said, maybe it’s because (and no excuses intended here) it has been orphaned boys who grew up that way, now trying to raise sons and daughters of their own.

Is it any wonder that there is such a rampant disintegration within our society with such a huge gaping hole in the hearts of so many children, and in the children, that are now father’s themselves with just as big a hole in them?

Well getting back to what had happened re: my son. To say that I was not a patient, loving, kind and understanding person in the past as a believer, would be very true, I wasn’t, and I’m still not, but that is another story for another time.

From the time the Lord found me on my way to hell, I always wanted to serve Him, and that was spelled out according to my warped perspective by going into the full time ministry. Long story short, my wife and children were so badly short changed through this endeavor, with many hurts and wounds in the process.

I’m trying to fill in some blanks here, with a bit of copying and pasting of other thoughts from a letter I wrote my son regarding what happened when he was over the other night. I trust it will make sense.
I said to my son, I was not aware of my behavior, but I do want to apologize for anything I did that had stirred up any painful bad memories.

It bothers me so badly knowing what a lost soul I was even though I was a Christian from before he was born. I do not want that kind of legacy left for you like the one left for me, and that’s why I wanted to jump right on this and hopefully it can be an opportunity for us to even get closer.

I said to my son, I never want to let things like this slide, as long as I have breath, of wanting to be there, available to both you and your sister, why, because your worth and value is priceless.
I wish to God that I could have had this kind of talk, connecting with my dad, but I know sadly, and too late, that he was an orphaned boy growing up himself.That’s why one day so clearly yet in my memory I said to my dad, “Dad, you owe me nothing, I owe you everything”. Meaning, as I was so very slowly learning what it meant to be a ‘man-father’ I wanted to reach out to this lost son, orphaned boy, and now an aged man, my father.

Is it any wonder that there is such a rampant disintegration within our society with such a huge hole in the hearts of so many children, and in the children, that are now father’s themselves with just as big of a hole in them?

All I know is that if it weren’t for the reality of being able to get to know my heavenly Father, it would be a living hellish nightmare for me, and living would be but a cruel sad joke.

What I am loving so much about all of what happened here and other things that have happened as a result of this, is seeing a confidence, a security, growing because of the true, total, unconditional loving acceptance of my heavenly Father, and that being loved, is freeing me to take responsibility for any and all of my actions.

I anticipate many good times with my son as this son (man) continues to discover the Father’s heart for all sons.

Rich

Monday, November 19, 2007

Flashback: A Fatherless Generation


Some dialog between the characters Morpheus, and Neo from the movie, The Matrix.

You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth.Let me tell you why you're here.

You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but its there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.

Do you know what I'm talking about? The Matrix? Do you want to know what it is? Yes.

The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. What truth? That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind..
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If we have all been born into bondage, how can that be defined when all that has been accepted as being true, has been rooted in a lie from our earliest recollections.

I realize I am redundantly and relentlessly saying pretty much the same thing regarding the unconditional loving acceptance of God the Father, but please bear with me.
I’m going to attempt over the next couple of postings on my blog to wade into the depths of seeing this religious Matrix being pulled away from my eyes.

From the creation of man, it is my understanding that he was created without a nature, and in my opinion, the insidious lie that became the normative (operative) view of mankind after the fall in the garden, was us having a ‘human nature’, the ability to live as it were independently. If in fact we were without a nature, then maybe we were created to have one i.e. the very nature of God.
Because of the matrix being pulled (as it were) over the eyes of all born out of this rebellion that went down in Eden, God unfortunately has been sadly, badly characterized in and through the total warping of the very vessel He wanted to make himself known through.

For e.g., from the hand of Paul we have this... How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

This is all a part of that leading up to my experience of last night, of the ‘flashback’ when our son was over for supper with his new girl friend,which will hopefully spill over into, a much deeper view of it all being part of this ‘fatherless’ generation, I, my son, daughter, and my wife are all part of.

This morning when I got up, my wife shared with me something that our son shared with her, while I was still in the computer room (last night) after they left from viewing some artwork my wife was showing him. Ironic thing being, it was during our supper time something had already triggered a flashback memory, most painful to me in my earlier interacting with my son. My wife went on to share with me some wonderful but painful news causing even more flashbacks……

Stay tuned for what that news was…..

Rich

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spontaneity, Not Striving


If grace could be looked upon being synonymous with 'rest', then in light of the following scriptures lets delve into potentially an increased clarity.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Spontaneity, Not Striving

When and as the love of the Father becomes experiential, the ability to relinquish and let the Father continue to lead us into a love relationship with Him, we open ourselves up to spontaneous living.

Children do not work at being related to their parents. Children are related to their parents by birth. Striving has no part or place in the natural, healthy relationships between family members.
Striving is a sign of ill health in a relationship. When we are trying to make something happen in our dealings with another person, we strive. We should note here that there is a huge difference between striving and effort.
We will always need to put an effort into the things God calls us to do. Family life, either with our natural (biological) family or with our spiritual family, requires the expenditure of effort. The difference between striving and effort has to do with motivation. The motivation of striving is to make something happen and to bring under our control. Effort is simply the expenditure of energy (dynamos~power~grace) to be instrumental in producing an effect.

We can look to the fruit of our efforts to see if we are striving or merely working. The fruit of striving is burnout while the product of effort is effect.

The power of the father's love freed us from our unrighteousness, now that same grace~power~love of the father is working mightily in us freeing us at a much deeper level of our self-righteousness, bringing forth in us the righteous One, aka, Christ in us AS us.

Apart from the activity of the life of the Word doing the following.."For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." it will be the natural man trying to live for the Lord, resorting to human effort to please him, by striving.
I see it being the inner working of the Word, in and through His love, that we are being defined by that which we were created for, to be loved unconditionally, as well as being released to Be the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Rich

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chris, The World Is Flat



In a conversation last night with my friend Brad we were doing what we often do, thinking outside of the proverbial bun of tasty dogma.

I shared some of our thoughts with my wife this morning and as we were going over it she saw this beautiful picture of our friend Brad.
I see this to be most fitting not only of him, but to any having their equilibrium being redefined by the Father's total loving acceptance of us.

Brad is walking through a minefield of preconceived notions, erroneous suppositions and tenderly held, but suspect beliefs. As he has walked, several have exploded...and as he picks through the residual debris, he is beginning to perceive the truth with greater clarity.

Rich

Friday, November 16, 2007

Born Free



It is so emancipating, actually experiencing, not just some flittermouse experience, but experiencing God the Father's total loving acceptance in his son Jesus Christ!

Some of this is being spelled out in a newly established and increasing freedom to share my thoughts on my blog, as we continue to journey together.
I don't ever get confused about what I'm doing or trying to do here, but simply wanting to express the unfolding discovery of what it might look like to begin to live Loved.

There are so many others so far advanced in their writing abilities, but I too have a story to tell, as it were, 'a work of grace in motion'.
In an upcoming post I intend to share even more personal stuff that I see Father freeing me to unwrap, only because of knowing at a greater depth His total loving acceptance of me.

I just read the recent entry on my brother's blog Jim Palmer, (Jim's Blog~the thoughts and life of just another nobody)
http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/
and this so resonated within me, I had to make a second blog entry today.

Rich

"within us there is a presence…a presence we experience as Love…which is drawing us back from our disintegration, from our self-centeredness, from our misplaced attachments and dependencies, into the life of the Spirit, into the life of God, into the present reality of God’s kingdom. this process gradually rebuilds our nature and transforms our being from the inside out. most people don’t have difficulty imagining Jesus Christ having lived a life of perfect wholeness, integration, and oneness with God.

we do however doubt this as a possibility for ourselves. the scriptures speak of having the "mind of Christ" and "being in Christ" and "Christ in us" and sharing in "the life of Christ." what should we take from all this? practically speaking for me, these truths are telling me that the real "I" (or Jim) shares in the life of Christ, and this Jim united with Christ has the eyes to look upon this other Jim who often lives in this rut of past conditioning and all its hurts and fears, and the endless insanity born out of them. but united with Christ and sharing in that divine communion of love, i can look upon this Jim with compassion. and in love, i can let that Jim die so his suffering can end, which is the most compassionate thing i could do. all of my mental and emotional anguish is caught up with that other Jim. sure, the world is filled with difficulty and hardship, but it was mostly what that Jim did with it, which created the anguish and suffering. honestly, this way of life producing anguish and suffering must be doing something for me; otherwise, why i do i still hesitate, even resist letting it go.

but the voice of love progressively prevails.
within us there is a presence…a presence we experience as Love…which is drawing us back from our disintegration, from our self-centeredness, from our misplaced attachments and dependencies, into the life of the Spirit, into the life of God, into the present reality of God’s kingdom."

Indecent Exposure



What are we to understand in this exposure that seems to only be intensifying?
Is God perverse? Is He capricious?

Herein lies the key to God's dealings with us. We must draw back from our tendency to see evil and the devil's purposes advancing against us. The Devil is God's devil; he can only accomplish God's purposes [Gen 50:24]. Seeing God in our circumstances requires an ability to see through our circumstances. We must become fixed in the conviction that all things work together for good for those who love God" [Roms 8:28] and see that the apparently negative "all-things" are the tools of the divine trade useful for conforming us into His image and likeness" [Roms 8:29]

I love how our Father is so good at bringing whomsoever to Himself, although the process and the ongoing being processed will never be at first, something we initially warm up to, until the miracle of His total unconditional love begins to address the lies that seem to bind us!

The following is a glorious living picture shared by my brother Paul, and in it I see an untold, unknown, army of sons and daughters likewise being released into the surpassing greatness of the Father's love.

Rich


--------------------------------------------

Up until then, I had known at an intellectual level that I was one spirit with Him. I knew that Christ "was my life" but that summer I discovered the life of Christ. I had only understood salvation as my giving my life to Him - I had not realized that salvation was Him giving His life to me. Ironically, I had been developing a reputation for being an accomplished teacher of the Christian identity but, in truth, I was like Apollos who, though full of fervour and passion for God, a sound teacher who could explain freedom from the law and the divine exchange needed the way of God explained to me more accurately. In recent days, He has been gracious enough to send my Aquilla & Pricilla to me in the written form of Norman Grubb & Dan Stone and in the physical form of Dee Dee Winter & Linda Bunting.

That summer as never before the Lord began to apply His cross to me and as He did He began to reveal His life in me [Gal 1:16]. I began to see that I had been set apart from before I was born [for union] but, like Paul, in the absence of enlightenment I was deceived and sought to cultivate a righteousness of my own, a righteousness that I too now considered rubbish [Phil 3]. To my dismay I realized that what others thought was the model Christian life was actually a backslidden compromised existence. Having begun in the Spirit I was now trying to live the Christian life by self-effort.

I had reduced the Christian life to something I did rather than a Person who I now was. My successful church career had validated the deception. From the ashes of Brazil, the Lord was about to bring forth the real self, the unexpected -self the new creation. I was suffering from a condition that I have since diagnosed as false self-syndrome.

Recognition of your inability is the key to experiencing His ability. Man, saved or lost, must become conscious of his total inadequacy. Each one must have his Job moment and recognize his parlous condition.

Perhaps it would be appropriate for us to ask ourselves at this juncture whether we have any of the symptoms of this condition. A few simple diagnostic questions ought to be sufficient:

Do you have a tendency toward self-reliance?
Are you self-consciousness? Are you sin-consciousness?
Are you law-consciousness?
Are you right and wrong consciousness?
Are you good and bad consciousness?
Is your self worth based on what other people think of you?
Is there a cure?

Most of us, without fear of being branded hypochondriacs can recognize some or even all of the above. The question then is, can anything be done about it? Is there a cure? To that we answer emphatically "Yes there is." However, candidly one must also admit that God's prescription can taste rather unpleasant.

We must first see that the root problem is sin and we must see that the root of sin is independence. Much of the trouble with our modern day discipleship is that it is pre-occupied with sin and sinning, whereas discipleship is concerned with the invasion of life, not the intrusion of sin.

Moreover, if, as we suggest, the core problem is the independent self then the remedy is to know the Christ-dependent-self. The remedy gives rise to the core strategy, which is to convince us of our total need of Him. This He does by exposing us to the futility of self. It is imperative then that we fail and fail spectacularly in our attempts to live the Christian life. Failure and disillusionment create in us "a godly grief that leads to repentance that leads to salvation, without regret." [2 Cor 7:10] Once persuaded of our total inadequacy we are ready to be introduced to The Person who is our adequacy and "infinite supply."



Thursday, November 15, 2007

May I Have This Dance


The picture I choose for here is of a Aurora Borealis, it succinctly illustrates in my opinion what I see my heavenly Father inviting me into, a dance with Him.

Aurora is a luminous glow of the upper atmosphere which is caused by energetic particles that enter the atmosphere from above.
This definition differentiates aurora from other forms of air glow, and from sky brightness that is due to reflected or scattered sunlight. Air glow features that have "internal" energy sources are more common than aurora, for example lightening and all associated optical emissions like sprites should not be considered aurora.

On Earth, the energetic particles that make aurora come from the geospace environment, the magnetosphere. These energetic particles are mostly electrons, but protons also make aurora. The electrons travel along magnetic field lines. The Earth's magnetic field looks like that of a dipole magnet where the field lines are coming out and going into the Earth near the poles. The auroral electrons are thus guided to the high latitude atmosphere.
As they penetrate into the upper atmosphere, the chance of colliding with an atom or molecule increases the deeper they go. Once a collision takes place, the atom or molecule takes some of the energy of the energetic particle and stores it as internal energy while the electron goes on with a reduced speed. The process of storing energy in a molecule or atom is called "exciting" the atom. An excited atom or molecule can return to the non-excited state (ground state) by sending off a photon, i.e. by making light.
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It is a majestic and breath taking dance we're all in, the dance of divine dynamic tensions. For e.g.

There's far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There's also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You're involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.

'Trusting', may be nothing more than a moot point without suffering, ergo the dance, (dynamic tension) the struggle. Apart from the Father making known His total loving acceptance of us, there is no way in hell of looking upon, 'suffering being as much a gift as the trusting'.

I remember many years ago when my wife and I were doing a stint with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) a brother that was there for part of our training shared the following.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

"Consider it a all joy-a sheer gift"!! Our friend went on to say, either this person was loopy or 'he knew something'!

I really don't know how apart from suffering, the reality of "It is no longer I that lives, but Christ" is going to come forth.
This is clearly seen in my opinion in the life of Paul the one who wrote Galatians 2:20...I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and this life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
In all Paul wrote fourteen letters to the believers, and the last seven were written from prison. It was in this setting of dynamic tension he was seeing the beautiful marriage (harmony) of trusting and suffering.

I want to insert a living moment when that occurred in my life were these seemingly diametrically opposed worlds of trusting and suffering hit me like a bad accident.
From the time the Lord apprehended me in 1972, I instinctively knew His call upon my life, trouble was, my perception was terribly polluted, indeed there was a call upon me, not to do, but to be..be His first and for-most!
This head on collision occurred shortly before the end of May 1991, it was only moments away from being euphemistly, 'let go' from all that I had pursued in obtaining my dream of being in the ministry, aka a pastor.

A very long story abbreviated here, while in prayer with my fellow staff members I saw and heard my elder brother Jesus saying to me, 'I now give you permission to enter into the fellowship of my sufferings'.
Less than a week later, the Axe fell. It was in this horrific but unknown to me at the time, scared trust that began a journey into discovering what it meant to be totally lovingly accepted.

This journey is only being intensified right up to the present moments I live in, and it is and has been the gift of suffering that is making it ever more real, 'It is no longer I that lives, but Christ!
I just turned 58 yesterday, and I can join with my brother Paul and say, 'Because of this man (Jesus) I have suffered the loss of all things, but it was in my loss, I freely gained what I could never obtain had not He called me unto Himself.

Rich

Suffering.. by Gene Edwards

When suffering comes your way, there is something you will certainly do: You will ask the Lord, ''Why has this happened?'' And there is something else almost as certain.
You will receive no answer.

If the ''why'' could be removed, dear brother, dear sister, most of the transforming power of the cross would disappear. The ''why'' factor of the cross is perhaps its sharpest, most effective, most deadly aspect. Remove the ''why'' factor of the cross and there really isn't much suffering involved in it. But of this you can be sure: You are fellowshipping in the sufferings of Christ!

If you would complain, remember that long before creation, something awful, even horrible had happened to the Godhead. Before He created eternity, before he created angels, or the heavens, or earth, or anything. . . He had already suffered more than any of us will ever suffer. He knew based on His own personal experience of it before creation! The Godhead accepted the fact that there would be the certainty of suffering in our universe. . . for Himself and for the most precious thing in the universe to Him. . . His wife. He knew, yet He was not turned back by that experiential knowledge. He calculated the enormity of that suffering, beheld the end result, and decided that it was all worth it! If any man questions that decision, that man should pause and remember just what experience of suffering Jesus Christ had in His life upon which He based His decision.

I was slain Before the foundation Of the world.

Taken from The Inward Journey by Gene Edwards

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Word Famine



I want to delve a bit deeper into what it might look like, living loved instead of being ruled by fear.

There is a driven and relentless searching within us to try and find something or someone that will quell the intense hunger we have.
But as he has pointed out, living is only found in relationship with Himself, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word spoken in the setting of this common-union'.

I was reminded again when reading the following scriptures where our true strength comes from.

"I'll send a famine through the whole country. It won't be food or water that's lacking, but my Word.People will drift from one end of the country to the other, roam to the north, wander to the east.They'll go anywhere, listen to anyone, hoping to hear God's Word—but they won't hear it."

The bible speaks about 'the mystery of Godliness', the Word becoming flesh, and in so doing was fully identified with man as a man.
In that miracle we now are being fully identified with God. Lets look for a moment at a scene where Jesus was deliberately led into the wilderness by the Spirit Of God, and after forty days of going without food, it says He hungered.
It goes on to say, the tempter (Satan) came to him saying, 'If you are the Son of God, use you divine power to turn these stones into bread.'

Many see this being a moot point, meaning Jesus could not actually have been tempted..well he was, and it was as the Son of Man (the last Adam) that he over came.

What I think I am seeing here is this, it was as a man, (the Son of man) that Jesus was tempted to draw upon his divine powers, but instead it was as a man he drew His strength, his sustenance from the word that his Father spoke into his heart...man shall not live by bread alone..

In the ongoing transformation unfolding in the lives of the saints, our same adversary comes to us and in the heated and trying moments, whispers his lies to us, and if we are not living in the security of His loving acceptance of us, the result will be for us to lean upon our humanity.

Maybe its meant to be a famine no matter how idyllic it appears. Maybe its only in hearing the spirit of truth whispering into our hearts, It is no longer I that lives but Christ, and in hearing that, we are enabled to over come the father of lies.

Who do you say that I AM?

Rich

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our Birthright



I like these quotes from Jim Palmer.

http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/

Relevant Magazine did a write up on his new, soon to be released book Wide Open Spaces

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god_article.php?id=7440

"Too often we become dependent on other people—a favorite leader, teacher, speaker, author—for determining Truth. Rather, it’s helpful to see those roles are really “sheepdog” roles. The sheepdog role is to get sheep (people) to the Shepherd (God). That’s it. Then your knowing and interacting with the presence of God within you takes over.

There is a sizable gap between the number of knowledgeable Christians and the number of Christians who express the reality of God. Why is that? Really, why is that? I wonder if it’s because we too often take someone else’s word for it, rather than experiencing for ourselves God’s Spirit confirming Truth within us. Maybe that’s the difference between knowledge and knowing. We acquire knowledge by absorbing teachings others show us, but knowing occurs when the life of God within you reveals a truth and your spirit says, “I know that I know.”

In light of what I posted yesterday regarding hearing, not just listening, but hearing, I see this to be a beautiful expansion on that thought.

I believe it's our Birth Right, to be totally loved and accepted unconditionally, and in that perfect atmosphere of love, we are able to truly live. Living as a result of hearing the loving voice of our Father. Freed to live because we're able to grow up in His love for us.
Maybe He knew what He was talking about when he said, 'Call NO man your father.'

A friend and I were discussing what Jim said here along with many other things he has written, and I thought what my friend Dave said was spot on..

He's asking questions like many of us...I said yes! I see love freeing us/him to not be afraid of being wrong in attempting to flesh out things!!

Rich

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear



I'm home today from work, it being a holiday for us government workers, yesterday being Remembrance Day in Canada.
I went out earlier this morning to obtain what I like to call a, 'real cup of java', yes I like my joe way to much, and I can make it at home, but somehow getting a real Timmy's (for those not understanding this encrypted word) from Tim Horton's coffee shop.
The term 'double double' is now a legitimate word found in the Websters dictionary...what would you like in that coffee, a double double please~ha!

My wife had used the car last and she had listened to the latest pod cast from Wayne and Brad on the God Journey. I turned the radio on and it, the cd started from the beginning, now I want to say that I have heard (along with the other intros) this intro many many times, but this morning Father captured my attention big time in hearing Him through what Wayne said..this is what I heard, and it is still resonating within me. Actually it was the first thing said by Wayne in the intro.........

"This journey is about listening to Father"!!

Without 'hearing'~(man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from His mouth.) is it not merely going through the motions, maybe even looking right on the outside according to some religious standard, or as Paul says, having at best a form of Godliness, but void of any real power.

When they asked Jesus what were the greatest commandments, (meaning, they knew what Moses had said) Jesus replied first and foremost (And this is missed almost every time) HEAR OH ISRAEL, and then He said what they were, but it means nothing without hearing..faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the WORD Himself.

In my opinion, this whole deal of hearing, is a most vivid expression of intimacy, as it were, Him the lover of my soul, making love to my heart.
I cannot fathom the Father of my spirit interacting, speaking into the core of my being, without it being full of copious amounts of His total loving acceptance of me~His son.

Here is what I am pondering on in light of 'hearing' today...When He answered the question as to what was the greatest of the commandments, I see this happening.
First I want to inject this thought, Jesus said, 'He who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying'.
In not hearing and in not knowing (understanding) that what He speaks is inseparable from His total loving acceptance of us, all we hear is something we think is to be done.

Maybe in hearing, we are experiencing so much more than simply hearing sounds/words being spoken, but in fact being washed, bathed, showered in this undeniable total loving acceptance of His embrace, and maybe out of that overflow, we discover the supernatural natural ability to not only love Him above everything, with all of our soul (mind-will-emotions) body and spirit, but also our neighbor as ourself.

Is this a work, YES, a working of His grace, doing what we were created to do, knowing his present total loving acceptance of us, it frees us to live and love others, because we're LOVED!

Rich

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Think So, But I'm Not Sure



Is the impossible, possible, because I think its so, or because Father God says its so!

If Jesus is in fact the same yesterday, today and forever, and changes not, why is there such an anemic and pathetic portrayal of Christ coming forth from my life?
Is it because of not knowing the lover of my soul, the Father of my spirit, (who loves unconditionally) maybe seeing myself as an abandoned orphan having to fend and provide for myself?

Jesus said he had a meat, a sustenance his followers new nothing of, also he said, my meat is to do that which I see and hear of the father.

The staggering thought that is freshly upon my heart today is in knowing that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that the Father speaks.

I believe with all of my heart, we were and are created to be loved unconditionally, and in that flow of His wooing and loving heart toward us, there is opening up within us a capacity to see what previously appeared to be hidden.

I love how His spirit is not pointing at a doctrine or teaching, but opening the blinded eyes to see Him, Christ in you the hope of glory, and not because of a talented selected few.

Rich

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What A Shame



The only shame about 'shame', is, not knowing Father God's unconditional love!


The above thought was birthed in the moment,t as two brothers on the same journey were thinking and coloring outside whatever lines that have been established, or mandated as to what true intercourse is really all about.

Father is removing the blinders, as he so wonderfully spoke to those of yesteryear, and as well as in this exact moment of living...John 9:39-41 (The Message)

Jesus then said, "I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind." Some Pharisees overheard him and said, "Does that mean you're calling us blind?" Jesus said, "If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you're accountable for every fault and failure."

Again, dealing with the shame factor in all lives, including the Christan, in NOT knowing (experiencing) the only true and lasting unconditional love and acceptance of Father God and because there are NO vacuums, this will manifest itself...Ephesians 4:17-19 (Amplified Bible)

So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds. Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature]. In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

Because of the urgency of the moment we now live in, I hear and see Father God offering, extending His Life/Love to whosoever wills, and I see this particularly been addressed to 'Christians' first and for most.

As a brother shared, how can the world not help but see this God of the Christan's as being someone far removed from where the average person lives, in their steaming pile of shit-less existence, with all of their pain and misery?
Maybe as we the 'Christan's' are being awakened as it were from our dumb-downed opiated slumber, (very much resembling a corpse) and truly begin to see Him, maybe that which will be manifested through us will be what it means to be defined not by some cheap label, i.e. 'Christian' vs Muslim, vs Hindu, vs Buddhist, but BEING living expressions of Him who IS LOVE!!

Ephesians 5:13-15 (The Message)

Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get.


These are desperate times and I want to end this part of what I am beginning to see, with two quotes from my dear friend and brother Brad....

"Do other religions provide valid avenues to God and His salvation? No. None do, not even the Christian religion. Only Jesus can serve as the mediator to God." Karl Barth.

From a Buddhist: "neither logic nor metaphysics is to be relied upon for insight….the truest of books can be at best but a ‘finger pointing at the moon.’ If we fix our gaze on the finger, we miss the heavenly glory".

Rich

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Treasures Of Darkness


I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables—
I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places.

From over on Jim Palmer's blog..

The Great Church Debate

people are different. for some, what interests them about my journey is the evolution of my understanding and experience of "church," which i devote a chapter to in Wide Open Spaces. many years ago i started as a staffer at Willow Creek Community Church. (by the way, do we really need to relish in Willow Creek’s recent admission that their approach to church ministry has been flawed? does it make people feel better who have fashioned an identity around doing church in some more enlightened or progressive way? personally, in terms of where i was at during that season, Willow Creek was exactly what i needed, and i could list off several ways i benefited on my journey by being there. okay, enough of that)

http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/


I love what my brother Jim Palmer is seeing and sharing on his blog.
In my opinion, these things which are becoming so visible and tangible to him, I would call, 'The treasures of darkness'.I would go as far as saying, this reality he is experiencing along with so many others throughout the earth is but the result of a prolonged season of time in deep darkness.

These dynamic tensions are all part of the Father God making known His Way!
Isn't it interesting that the one called Saul of Tarsus, was apprehended by God, and in so doing, was struck blind, but while blinded, he saw for the first time in his life!

In this ongoing unveiling taking place in so many lives, one thing is beginning to take shape with such sharp distinction.

When man fell, suddenly that which we call real, (real-estate) that which can be seen, was suddenly more real than the unseen. Funny how our brother Paul addresses that line of thinking.Simply put he says, that which is seen, is passing away, but that which is unseen, that is real, and lasts forever It is seeing this unseen reality that is setting so many free from the prison of illusions.

One of the beautiful fruits I see as a result of coming out of these deep and exceedingly dark times in our journey with the Father, is a genuine humility, as it were, being clothed in humility.

Rich

Thursday, November 08, 2007

God, What Stinks?


I love how Jesus never pointed out how bad the religious dudes were, but he DID SAY, its the leaven of these guys, watch out for that, cause it Stinks!

This is wonderful from the Message Bible...
'Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.'

And this from the Amplified.....
For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is qualified (fit and sufficient) for these things? [Who is able for such a ministry? We?]

I was thinking how they add a component (a chemical-mercaptan) to natural gas that gives a distinct, odor, aka, a stink.

I'm greatful He is awakening who so ever will, from the stench of death. Thing is, until He came to be here to be with us, we could not smell-detect anything wrong with this whole sin/death thing.


I may not have this right in my illustration yet, but what I think I'm seeing is this..when the Word became 'flesh', it was as if the Father injected this additive in and through Jesus the Word ( as it were kind of a spiritual mercaptan) becoming flesh, it was and is being used to bring us to an initial place of sobriety?

Those that are His say, "What a lovely aroma," Where those that don't know Him say, "What the hell is that smell?"


Without that additive put into natural gas, being exposed to it can cause us to die from the fumes, not to mention the explosive and destructive power of it as well.


Thank you Father that you are and will continue to awaken those that are asleep.


Rich

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Word Being Fleshed Out




I cam across this artist this morning, and his simple but delightful artistic wonder captured my heart.

If you look closely, you'll see he is using as a back ground/canvas, bible scriptures.
I couldn't help but see in this one expression of his work, the living truth of not only the Word (Christ Jesus) becoming flesh, but how He is being fleshed out in others.
(The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us)


Rich

Friday, November 02, 2007

The C & S Chain Gang


A friend use to use that expression all the time, 'The C & S gang, meaning the curcumstances and situations our Father was and is using to drive us to Himself.




I enjoyed what my brother Kent shared on his blog, and I want to share some different thoughts, not better ones.
Thoughts that are much more applicable to me, as well as maybe to many others. Maybe it has much more to do with, freedom in, vs freedom from circumstances (expectations) and situations?

I would love to imagine that the old Negro song, ‘Nobody knows what troubles I’ve seen, nobody knows but Jesus’, was in fact how some within a race of people discovered freedom (in the midst of racial injustice/hardships beyond my imagination) in discovering Him right there in there plight, with no hope other than the Living One in them!

The following is from a friends blog, 'Faithfully Dangerous'

http://nthegarden.blogspot.com/

The Tyranny Of Expectations'

I have never lived more free from the tyranny caused by the life of expectations I had lived. I've never lived more free to be able to see the hope that is waiting to be found living a life of expectancy. To begin the day with the excitement of a child, "Father, what are we doing today?" As I write that I'm left shaking my head still in stunned disbelief. Father had been here all along loving me and those around me. I just couldn't see it through the fog caused by all my expectations. That leads me to believe that freedom is closer than we all might think?
It's already right there inside us.
---------------------------

Indeed, except this is how I see it unfolding in my life-walk.
It is the very tyranny of life's expectations that Father is using to make Himself known to me. By removing those expectations, its but a shell game, or better yet, shadow boxing.
There is NO freedom from these expectations apart from His grace drawing me to Himself in the very midst/thick of this mind bending crap. It is Him using these dynamic (divine) tensions, a medium at His disposal, to make it even more real in knowing Who's I am!

Sort of like what David said, 'The Lord is my Shepherd, what more do I want.' Learning and experiencing that reality is not, nor will it ever be because He removes that craving-lusting-longing within my flesh for those whacked expectations I seem to perpetually have. It seems to me, freedom in these tensions are spelled out by some in their removal..hmmmm? Is it apart from my circumstances or situations I am learning and growing in the continued grace and true knowledge of Him that is always available.

I wonder if Paul saw it this way, not only him but countless thousands down through time, meaning, if true freedom say for Paul was only defined in being on the other side of the prison bars, beatings, betrayals, then that looks pretty shabby at best to me.
I think he implied something like this...
Its the one who is His slave, that is truly FREE!

If peace and joy for example are simply the results of having no antagonistic, annoying, shit kicking disturbances etc., then why is He necessary?
I think too many hear about what the Lord has done in someone’s life, and how they are living in such freedom, and yet seeing in their lives, they are still so full of relentless expectations or whatever and think, wow maybe one day I will be free from all of this stuff.
When in fact maybe its this very stuff that we're trying to escape that God is using to bring us to Himself.

I think as long as we are in these fleshly clay tents, the issue of having expectations will be there, and the freedom we seek is in my opinion not the result of Father putting me in some kind of opiated space, I dub as 'freedom'. But in the moment/s of assault, battering upon my mind, I turn to Him.
Its the very assaults battering us that He is using to reveal what true liberty and freedom is.
Maybe its a revelation of Him in us now, today, and not in having everything outside of me being real comfy-cozy?

Rich