Monday, December 31, 2007

The Dance Of The Marionette

Most have seen at one time or another the charming and harmless stories depicted through puppets or marionettes, all being conducted by a puppeteer secluded in some unobtrusive and hidden vantage point above the stage and its wooden actors.
Is it possible that rather than strings as it were being pulled from above, there is a much more sinister plot engaged and implemented from within our very being, please don't dial 911, at least not yet. I am not for a second alluding to the classic adage of, "The devil made me do it" and how that line became so popular years ago through the antics of the TV actor Flip Wilson.
Yet there is hidden deep within the flesh of all people a hidden entity totally obscured to our so called enlightened minds, that one is in fact pulling the strings and keeping people believing they are a bit of all right, that is until the Truth exposes this infestation of lies, sadly mistaken as that which is REAL.

I have often wondered about why the grace of God appears to be reduced to becoming something that seems complimentary to us, as if there is no power or stinging bite to this expression of His life becoming real in a persons life. Grace with a bite, now that's a brain fart eh?
It never has been an issue or question of giving up sin, but rather a giving up of the 'right to myself'. This is clearly unpacked by OZ Chambers in different thoughts I want to include in my continuing thoughts.

"This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best. Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil, and wrong, but we do debate over what is good. It is the good that opposes the best. The higher up the scale of moral excellence a person goes, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ. "Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh . . . ." The cost to your natural life is not just one or two things, but everything. Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself. . ." (
Matthew 16:24 ). That is, he must deny his right to himself, and he must realize who Jesus Christ is before he will bring himself to do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence".

There is a deliberate, defiant, and hostile battle within the soul of man, every minute of everyday, until we go to be with Him, and believe it or not, that is GOOD news, for once again as in ALL things Father is using these dynamic tensions to free us from what has sadly been mistaken for the real vs the Truth.
I am convinced that what has, and continues to blind Christians from the Truth vs that which we have adopted as being real, is our awareness (from a natural standpoint) of our so called, right, noble, and good qualities, virtues that deliberately spit in the face of our True covering.

"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would".

I've said it before, that even a blind man can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the orchards in one seed. I use this to further illustrate my point, being, it is only the Truth of God's Word that is able to penetrate and expose, make clear what the truth is regarding who we think we are, the 'real us', but not the true us.

"Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account".

Maybe the TRUE rest that is the birthright of the believer is ignored in light (pardon the pun) of what we have been led to believe about ourselves and our virtuous and good qualities? Now picture in this pristine setting of our pompous display of self-righteousness, the father wanting to offer His gift of love to us? We eagerly embrace it only in so doing His Word has brought onto the screen of our understanding something so loathsome, so vial, so wicked it actually gags us, the discovery of our absolute and total depravity.
The kicker is that it was always there, but camouflaged by what we thought was real.

Stay tuned, there's more to come, and once again, please say hi when you visit me, I won't bite.


Don't Confuse Me With The Facts, My Mind Is Mucked Up

Is it really mind over mattress? Give me another ten minutes to sleep on it and I'll let you know?

I'm not sure what world others live in, but mine basically starts that way each day, heck, it even started that way this morning, defying the law.
In the re-birthing there was instituted within me a whole new dynamic (law) that previously didn't exist, the Law of the spirit of life. The other Law, the law of sin and death, or as I like to call it, the gravitational pull of sin and death was there, and at the sake of disturbing some erroneous thinking, is still very much there.
It is these two opposing laws, or dynamic tensions that my Father is using in making real to me the one who says, I AM!

We, like water and electricity will always follow the path of least resistance for example, in having been shaped in sin and born in iniquity we were locked into what we have been duped into believing is real, the prison house of human nature, it is all we have ever known, it defines all that we see as being real, until another Law was introduced in us, the Law of Life.
Sin still effective and operational within our flesh has not been obliterated, and its impetus the father of lies still works in and through it as long as we only know what we perceive as being real, vs what (who) the Truth is.

In sharing with a friend yesterday we found it sadly amusing how we almost inevitably resort to a default reaction to what we are experiencing in the confusion, hurt, disorientation of our circumstances and situations that are new each and every day.
I don't know about you, but it still seems the most natural and instinctive thing to DO in life's upheavals is to try and address the issue/s with my ability-resources which is really much like stepping into quicksand, the more you move, the faster you sink, and eventually die.
Is my God-Father someone who was, or someone who will be, or like the Deist see him, from a distance watching us squirm and trying to do our best? Or is He now not only IN me, but in me as me?

For a minute lets look at God's answer to Moses' question when he asked God, when Pharaoh asks, who sent me, God's answer was, "Tell him, I Am that I Am has sent you". Cute answer, but what had that to do with the 'real' circumstances and situations Moses was in, knowing that Pharaoh was just itching for the opportunity to kill Moses, seeing how his forty year stint in the desert didn't accomplish that.
Our perceived understanding regarding the real life stuff that seems to be crashing in on us is not some cruel cosmic joke happening at my expense, but rather my Father's way of making known to me the Truth of that very same I AM, but unlike in Moses' situation this I Am is joined to me.

The Law of the Spirit of Life is there, now, in us and wanting to be set into motion. It will feel at first as if I am trying to produce, manufacture by my own efforts some kind of magic that will extricate me from all of this crap.
Maybe where it says, 'Stand still and see the salvation of your God, or, Be still and Know that I Am God', has much to do with the living God I am now joined to/with.
Wasn't there a time when Jesus' disciples came to him and asked the quintessential question, 'Master, what must we DO to DO the works of God', and Jesus replied, 'This IS the work of God, that you believe in/on Him whom the Father has sent'. But isn't there something for me to DO, other than simply believing? Could this possibly have anything to do with the exhortation of, 'labor (strive) to enter that Rest'?

I look forward to unpacking this even further, stay tuned, and please say high when you visit me here on my blog.
A very Happy New Year to all!!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Five Fold, Or?

This is one of the best and most succinct articles I've read in a long time regarding the 'Five Fold Ministry'.

The Church That Christ Built
By Darin Hufford

I am coming to the conclusion that the Church that Christ is building is something quite different than what we have been taught.
I can recall studying the "5 fold ministry" while in Bible collage. At the time we were taught that those five ingredients are what make up the Church. Where Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are functioning together; there is Church.
Rather than understand that particular verse to mean that these things will exist in the Body of Christ world wide, we have foolishly interpreted it to mean they must exist "underneath one roof". I've even seen Churches advertise that they have the "5 fold ministry" in an effort to draw a larger congregation. There are articles and books written on whether or not these five things are working in today's Churches. When we build a new Church great time and attention is put into making sure that all the necessary ingredients are present when the doors open. The theory is that if we have an Apostle, a Prophet, an Evangelist, a Pastor and a teacher all within our congregation, we will have everything we need to "do Church". It's very much like opening your own McDonalds or Jack in the Box. Once everyone is in place, it's time for business. You need an owner, a manager, an assistant manager, a fleet of workers and you're good to go.
About two years ago I started taking a close look at my life and the lives of people around me. Everyone I know has their own personal circle of friends they hang out with. It may consist of family members, people from work, school, internet or their neighborhood. Every person I know has their "Inner Circle". It usually consists of between 5 to 10 people. They have other friends as well, but those people wouldn't be considered "Inner Circle" friends.
To be an "Inner Circle" friend, there just has to be something that causes a mutual connection between the two of you. There is no recipe for it, and one can never predict when it's going to happen. You can't force it, plan it, cultivate it or even command it to take place; it literally blooms totally on its own. I have found that only certain people can "jell" together on a level of deepness that is not necessarily shared with others. It's almost as though they were made specifically with the other person in mind. In a realm only known to God Himself, these people fit together like pieces of a puzzle. In fact, I believe that they were brought together by the Holy Spirit. Only He sees the inner structure of each individual soul and then finds another soul to connect snug and tight. It's unexplainable and cannot be manufactured or re-created by human hands in a million years.
I have an "Inner Circle" of about 10 people. These are folks that I'm super close with. Our connection didn't happen in an effort to fulfill some Christian obligation to meet together and perform relationship once a week. We all connect because we fit. We knew it the moment we first met. I have many other friends that I absolutely adore and love spending time with. I'd even die for them. They mean the world to me; however they are not in my "Inner Circle".
My four year old daughter brought out a "Hello Kitty" 100 piece jigsaw puzzle the other day and asked me to help her put it together. The box said that it was for ages 6 and up so I knew it wasn't going to come together without my help. As we were laying out the pieces and turning them all picture side up, my daughter started screaming with excitement. She had found two pieces that fit perfectly. The problem was that though they fit, they didn't go. The picture didn't come together. As I took a closer look at all the puzzle pieces I was surprised to find that many of them were the exact same shape. This is confusing for a four year old girl. All she is thinking about is getting the pieces to fit. She is two young to understand that there is a bigger picture being formed when all the pieces are in their proper place.
When man kind sets out to "build a Church" we are very much like my 4 year old daughter. We think that "fitting pieces together" is what it's all about. It's ironic that man would even set out to build Church when Christ Himself said "I will build my Church". Only He has the blueprints and the final picture. The most we can do to build a Church is snap two pieces together that fit, but have nothing to do with each other when it come to the big picture. That is exactly what I see happening in the Institutional churches across America. They try and try with all their might to dictate and orchestrate relationship on their terms, and they do it all in the Name of Jesus. It's no wonder the Body of Christ today resembles a Mr. Potato Head that was put together by a deaf, dumb, and blind 4 year old. There's an arm sticking out of the eye socket, the lips are where the ears go and the eyes are on top of the head. It's a mess.
If a "men's accountability group" is meeting every Tuesday night at 7:00, YOU NEED TO BE THERE!!!!!! We are told that every man needs to come and connect with all the other men because they need that accountability. The problem is that the pieces don't go together just because they say so. A room full of men does not equal pieces that fit. Even if they are all Christian men who know the Lord well! You can manipulate and obligate these men to "go together" all you want, but it won't work. We have been taught if we are Christians, we should all fit together with that "Inner Circle" type of intimacy. WRONG!!! Jerry and Todd my both love the Lord and be brothers in His Name, but neither of them were made to be put together. YES they are a part of the same picture, but they were never intended to connect with an "Inner Circle" connection.
The sad thing is that Jerry is told over and over by his group leader or his Pastor that he needs to connect with Todd out of Christian love. So Jerry tries with all his heart to make that connection. He secretly beats himself up and feels condemned because it's just not happening. He starts to feel rebellious, and eventually wonders if he has the Love of God in him at all. Each week he reluctantly shows up to the men's meeting and makes small talk while glancing at his watch and wishing he was somewhere else. All the while, his leader keeps complaining to the group because he doesn't see the men connecting and talking as deeply as he thinks they should. (This is the story of almost every men's meeting in America)
I honestly think we try to "build the Church" because when push comes to shove; we really don't believe there is a Jesus Christ at all. We can't see Him with our eyes and we can't hear Him with our ears, so it makes it pretty difficult to just sit back and let Him build the Church. We jump in and do it because we don't believe in Him. Think about it. I am also convinced that this is why we start "Discipleship Groups" in our Churches. We honestly don't believe there is a Jesus. We feel that it's our job to disciple young Christians instead of just turning them over to Christ. I thought He wanted us to make "Disciples of Christ"? Why then are we intent on making people our disciples? Where in the Bible does it say that WE are supposed to disciple people? We do this because we don't believe there IS a Jesus.
If I disciple Jim and Jim disciples Tony and Tony disciples Greg and Greg disciples Brian; who disciples me? Who disciples the guy who disciples me?? Eventually won't it lead to Christ? Can't we just go directly to Him or do we really need another mediator? (More on this subject at another time)
So where is the Church that Christ is building???
It's your "Inner Circle" of friends. He is the one who brought you together. Not only do you "fit" with these people but you "go together" with them. You fit together in the big picture!!! Your close friends ARE the Church that Christ built. If you look within your "Inner Circle" you will find diverse personalities. One has the personality of an Apostle, one is a Prophet, one is an Evangelist, one is a Pastor and one is a Teacher. Everyone I know has the 5 fold ministry built into their "Inner Circle" of friends!
The problem is that we leave that inner circle on Sunday morning and "go to Church". We spend hours trying to pour our hearts into fitting pieces together that have nothing to do with the original blueprints. We focus our time and attention on building the synthetic church while we neglect the actual Church that He as already built into our lives. I hear people say to me that they need to "go to Church" because they need to find Christian people to connect with. My advice to them is that they spend their time deepening the connections they already have in their life. I believe that everything we need exists within our "Inner Circle" of friends. All we need to do is press in even deeper to those people that God has built into our lives. Those are the relationships that came from Heaven. Those are the relationships we need to spend our time and focus on. Those relationships ARE the Church that Christ built!

The picture I used to hang this on, is one of my daughters pictures she recently did.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Working with the premise that 'God is love', lets try and take a much needed and objective look at what we perceive we're actually seeing.
Did God suddenly have a make-over after Malachi, did He only become LOVE when the Word, his son become flesh, or, was He in fact always Love from before time?

If God has always been Love, then maybe we've adopted a view of love that is totally incongruent with with who He is, and the actions he has taken throughout time.
Would this skewed version of Love be anything different from how we by nature have determined our mores-môraz (morality-ethics) stemming from the nature that permeated all of man kind at the fall, acquiring the knowledge of good and evil independently from God?

Prior to our re-birthing, it says we were alienated from the life of God, by nature children of wrath, sons of disobedience. Though now we are in fact His adopted children, possessing His nature which is Love.
Saying all of that to say simply, because of the Father through his love in re-birthing us and not as an act of rape, we became His, but I still see rampant throughout Christendom, a lingering residual stain within the soul, and that being a powerful perception of a yet existing alienation, or not being Loved.
In most, there is a general knowing it no longer has anything to do with 'trying to be like God', but the trap of doing continues in order to be LIKED by God, is pandemic.

If God IS Love, then what needs to be changed within us to embrace the Truth vs what we have clung to as being real?
As I said, the miracle of His grace taking us, who were alienated from His Love-life and making us his sons and daughters doesn't guarantee that we have yet acquired an understanding of the impetus that initiated that action~ His LOVE!

In writing this, the humorous scenes from the movie, The Princess Bride comes to mind, when the actor playing the role of Vizzini redundantly uses the word, 'INCONCEIVABLE' to every one of the questions posed by the actor playing the role of Inigo Montoya....
You are sure nobody's follow' us?
Vizzini: As I told you, it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable. No one in Guilder knows what we've done, and no one in Florin could have gotten here so fast. - Out of curiosity, why do you ask?
Inigo Montoya: No reason. It's only... I just happened to look behind us and something is there.
Vizzini: What? Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night... in... eel-infested waters...
[In the boat in the morning]
Inigo Montoya: He's right on top of us. I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using.
[Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]
Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE. Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Any feedback would be delightful in unpacking this.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Mary Did You Know

Mary Did You Know

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There is so much not only wrapped up in human flesh and blood, the Word that dwelt among us, but in that Word coming to earth in and through a human body, Mary!

His birth was announced by an angelic choir, he was crowned The Lord by the Magi, King proclaimers.
What should have been a time of shouting and great joy was mysteriously held in caution by Mary.

Did Mary know what awaited her, in her bowing to the Angels words he bore from on high, that she would bear, give birth to the Son of God, did she know what sorrow, what anguish would pierce her heart in saying YES to Him? Do I know?

Christmas time is a very mixed bag for me. I was saying to my wife, its as if something, some part of me shuts down inside at this time, I feel very ambivalent, mixed with a great sense of sadness.
I'm glad I don't have to try and escape this upheaval, but simply embrace Him in the midst of it all. I am looking forward to our time together as a family tonight and tomorrow as well, it will be wonderful celebrating His life in us together.

The Mary body was the first of many to come, Christ in you the hope of glory!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is Grace Really All That Amazing

What is the grace of God anyway, yeah, yeah, I know all the right answers, but what is it really in my meanderings here?
Meaning, as my wife and I were talking yesterday we so long for the Lord to do what he does best in bringing realness (restoration-reconciliation) to broken relationships, and we don't have to look any further than our immediate family.

Until the reality of His love for me began to click, I agreed with my wife, it was as if I was going through all of the right motions of trying to be a good dad, but totally missing the key component, His love.
His love is creating within me what was never there before in my life. If you were to ask me as a young man what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have quickly told you, I want to BE a Dad.
I do not simply boil it all down to having gotten older and maybe mellower, but in fact have just begun to experience His intoxicating and liberating love for ME!

Margi, my wife and I are beginning to see ever so much more clearly the lies that keep trying to keep us as prisoners to that which is 'real vs that which is True'.
Here's the deal in a nut shell, if His finished work on the cross aka his grace, was in fact just for those who like me that see my need of total lack (emptiness), and that grace was not just an add on to an already exemplary life style, then why do we still struggle so much with it all?
Ergo, the illusion between what appears to be real, and what is the Truth.

There's a passage of scripture that continues to speak to me within this conundrum; He sent those who came to Him full, away, empty, but those who came to Him empty, He sent away Full.
Do you think that just maybe that might be pointing to the Truth rather than what appears to be real, meaning, didn't he say that we were to be envied (blessed are you) when you discover your poorness of spirit, when you hunger for Him, when you grieve, when you discover how blind and naked you are?

Could it be that Grace is bringing into being a reality of life that never existed before no matter how much I have seen myself as a looser compared to so many others that seemed to be doing just fine in every area of life without God?
Maybe His grace is NOT a Velcro merit badge for being the best of the best, but maybe much more to the point in how such descriptive language was used in the Old Testament scriptures where it talks of us being like a product of being born but discarded and abandon and thrown into a ditch on the road side, but, discovered by God, who took us to Himself as a cherished treasure. He washed away our filth, the caked on blood from our birth, covered our nakedness, and established us in the security of His never ending love.

Is it possible that grace is viewed by some in this manner, at best this lost and separated-alienated race of human beings was simply missing a couple of parts of being able to get back on the right track?
Or was this race so poisoned so totally corrupted, God had to do away with it and not try and fix-repair it?

Why is it so plainly illustrated that He purposed this for us except we are blinded by that appears to be real, rather than what the Truth is:
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blind, Deaf And Mute

There has been for some time a deep churning within me, much like the idiot light that comes on the dash board/panel of the car indicating that there may be a PROBLEM.
The light and in some cases a sound, associated with this warning is merely pointing to a potentially serious issue, and if one so chooses, it can all be ignored.

I have shared on my blog as well as with others over the years of how for the longest time I saw myself (maybe not at the time) very much resembling a prostitute. (One who sells one's abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose.)

Not knowing the reality of God the Father’s love provides a ripe and fertile (hot-bed) environment for this prostitution to take place, and here me, I’m simply speaking for myself.
I said to my wife as we were coming back into town after being gone for the day, ‘I’m making this up as I go along’, meaning, in my wildest dreams could that statement have any relevance to the Father of my spirit, actually guiding and directing me in the moment?
Without this unfolding reality of the Father’s love at best I see myself not just being immobilized, but much more as an spiritual quadriplegic.

His haunting but relentless question of, “Who do you (Richard) say that I Am” will never be answerable apart from His great love for me.
I find it far too safe and easy to cop out by copying and pasting wonderful quotes from this or that person. Of course they are great and wonderful as long as I never know the reality of His love for me!

Lately it’s been as if Father has been putting it to me this way, Son I really want to make myself known to you, but is it first permisable with Oz Chambers, or Jim Palmer, or Wayne Jacobsen, or anyone else that has become a substitute for poor wretched mute Richard?
One of the very first things I see happening as a result of His love opening up and freeing us from the paralysis of fear, is He gives us a voice to speak of Him and His doings in us.
If you look into the account of the blind man from birth in John 9, you will see that as he is being interrogated, he speaks of the One who made it all possible.

My wife got me thinking even more about the paralysis of muteness when she was talking about how God had chosen Moses to be His mouth piece to speak His words to Pharaoh, but what happens is indicative of finding (because of fear) another voice to speak on my behalf, and for Moses it was his brother Aaron.

I’m simply wanting to flesh out (unpack) this churning that He is doing in me, so please bear with me.
I see that in NOT knowing what (who) the Truth is, what appears to be ‘real’ dictates how I live, if one would dare call it living.
Meaning, does my Father need anyone else other than Himself to be the one who unstops my mute and paralyzed heart (tongue)?
Is it possible that my Father is interacting with me, guiding, speaking to me his son, but what if I haven’t published any books, songs, or held any high profile meetings, but simply experienced the ability because of His love to see and speak of His love, with no audience to be wowed over.

In my opinion, isn’t it the lowest form of demoralizing (prostituting) ourselves thinking when we read or hear someone like a present day Aaron speak about God’s interacting in their life without the stammering or stuttering, how dare I imagine that I actually was hearing or sensing Him in my life?

To the extent to which I allow others to speak for me – to use the words God is saying to THEM, not to me – I shortchange myself. Is God not capable of speaking to me uniquely, as an individual? If he is capable, then why am I relying on what others say?

I believe it was Anne Sullivan that signed on Helen Keller’s hand that Jesus loved her, to which Helen replied in sign, ‘I always new there was a God, I just didn’t know his name was Jesus.’


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is It Here Yet

Christmas time, just about to happen again, just two more working days-whew.
Its been as usual, a pretty busy time for us posties delivering all of those wonderful Christmas cards and parcels to our customers.

I find Christmas time to be a mixed bag emotionally for me, but I do look forward to the time off, even if its just for two days.
Our daughter is coming home for the holidays tomorrow (along with her friend), we haven't seen her since this summer, its been a very busy time for her this semester at University.
We are so proud of this young lady, and seeing how the Lord in His way is guiding her and making Himself known to her.

It may end up being a busier Christmas than we had anticipated, as our son will now be with us as well. Initially he was going to be leaving Christmas day to go to San Francisco, but that fell through. One of his room mates might be coming over as well, since his parents broke up and his father moved back to Poland. Also a co-op high school student that helps my wife with her children at school, was invited by my wife to come over for Christmas as well if she wanted to. She is going through a very rough time in her life, so much family turmoil happening all around her.

It is a magical time of year for sure, a time and a season for all things.

I love finding just the right picture to hang my blog entries on, and the thought hit me, why not take a picture of a recent picture my precious wife painted and use it. In my opinion it is one of her finest she has done yet.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Playing With My Persona

PERSONA: The word persona means actor's mask (from personare, "to speak through"). The persona belongs more to consciousness than to the unconscious; it denotes the various masks one wears when relating to the world outside oneself, the social roles we all learn to play. It mediates between one's individuality and the expectations of others. The persona is a necessity, but it should be flexible and adaptable; it is important that the ego does not identify with the persona.
The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; one's public image or personality, as distinguished from the inner self.

If man was created to have a nature, and yet when placed in the Garden he was nature-less, does it not stand to reason that in his defiant choice to become someone (to be like God-to be liked by God) apart from God his creator, that it was inevitable that in acquiring a foreign nature, he now lived with a false but permanent persona.
This persona has been stamped as it were on the DNA of all mankind, until the re-birthing, and even then this false persona can still rule in the life of the believer, unless there is revelation of our union with God the Father, 'He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit'. This is the result of Jesus asking his father, "Father I pray that they will be one as we are one".

Religion has become the only tangible persona mankind has ever known, and to speak of a reality outside this Matrix is to invoke sever displeasure. If there is any truth and validity to what scripture has to say, then lets look at the following.
In a definitive cutting to the marrow of our being, we can see that we 'were' (until the re-birthing), by nature, children of wrath, sons of disobedience, alienated from the Life of God. The cloaking lies of this false nature/persona is all that we have ever known.

Doing a word search I found this and it fits in so well.
"This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man."Most of us are familiar with the above quote taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but how many of us know this verse: "And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man." Unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others.To thine own self be true… profound.

How many of us have a hard time being true to ourselves? Those of us that gave our life to another at the cost of losing who we are in the process will have a hard time being true to ourselves. Allowing someone else to define who we are, we lose our ability to discover and grow inwardly. We no longer are able to discern a truth from a lie. For many of us, we have accepted lies for so long, that finding out what is true takes time. Having done this very thing, I know how difficult the journey to self-discovery can be.

Truth is also love. The greatest act of love towards another is living a life that is truthful. For those of us who find it difficult to love ourselves, we will find it will come more easily when we walk in truth about who we are. If we walk in truth, we walk in perfect love, and if we walk in perfect love, then we do not walk in fear because perfect love cast out fear. Because we have been honest with ourselves, we are able to love ourselves with all of our imperfections, knowing that we are in "process" and therefore need not have others approval. This is freedom indeed.

I love how David cried out to the Lord in being awakened to the lies that kept him bound to this false persona. I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

This new nature is the essence of God; it is not a persona, and the extent to which we allow His nature to be expressed through us as us is what the world is longing to see.

His kisses are sweeter than wine, and they have the power to release us to BE as He is!


Monday, December 17, 2007


"I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it. If once Jesus Christ is lifted up, the Spirit of God will create a conscious need of Him. Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men. It is never personal testimony that saves men. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."

The above quote was from Oz Chambers.

I read things like this and I wonder if in fact the 'Gospel' is simply Him in us and through us as us? Maybe its simply in this fleshed out reality of our union, He awakens within those we meet, a need they never knew they had?

(From Oz) It is God Who creates the need of which no human being is conscious until God manifests Himself.I wonder if that manifestation of God is as i said, simply Him in us as us?

Much the same as God for us, then with us, then IN us, now today? Maybe this is way to mystical/subjective, maybe I should just relax and rub my WWJD bracelet?

Jim Palmer shared this on his blog~quote: "lately i’ve been discovering how words can be obstacles, and the need to focus on the meaning or reality behind the words. for example, i’m discovering that when i use the word "God" that most people have a well-developed concept of "God" based on all sorts of influences, which there mind automatically plugs into the word when they hear it. it’s interesting because i have come across a lot of people who are disinterested in "God," but if i describe the reality of God without using the word, those same people are interested."

Once again, I come back to the simplicity (the mystery of Godliness) of the good news, Christ in us the hope of glory.For thirty years the son of man/God WAS the word made flesh, he wasn't working as an apprentice to get his Saviour~God ticket, he was/IS God in the flesh, but from what I can deduce, there weren't to many able to see that reality.
Has anything changed today, at all?
Meaning, this word that was with God and was God and became fleshed out in a human form, isn't it the same Word now being fleshed out in us as us?

I wonder if Jesus tried to appease his soul (in that thirty year dessert) by chanting, 'Thank you Father for making me a nobody', but in fact He was a somebody that no one could define? And yet the Father was present in everything, in and through this Jewish man.
Maybe this whole unseen, hidden reality of the invisible God that no one has ever seen, was now touchable, approachable, he cried, laughed, got hungry, had to go to the bathroom, wash himself and so much more, just like other humans.
Wow, could this really be a somebody of such great importance?

I see the same story unfolding in my life and in the lives of so many others, simply Being Christ in a Richard form, or Christ in a Dave form etc. etc!
Again from Oz: "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. The majority of people have their morality well within their own grasp, they have no sense of need of the Gospel. It is God Who creates the need of which no human being is conscious until God manifests Himself."

I would say that it is Christ in us as us, He is that One who is creating the need, which no human being is conscious of, until our Father manifests Himself to others through us as us in ways that are so totally unobtrusive.
I'm not really sure if it matters, being a nobody vs a somebody, but being One with Him seems to be what has my attention.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Struggle Of Delight

The sacrifices the Law demanded could never perfect us, at best those blood sacrifices simply covered our sin.
Jesus is spoken of in Psalm 40, and it says of Him, 'Burt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, "Behold I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, oh my God".

I can never escape this One who keeps lovingly getting into my face, with the urgency of his heart probing question , "Who do you say that I Am"?
There is nothing simpler or easier than to have a vicarious relationship with God done through and by what others have to say, those who have forged, treaded the wine/olive press alone. Before Jesus asked, "Who do you say I Am, he first asked, Who do men say that I Am"?
Somehow trying to ride on the wave of where others have been brought into an eye witness encounter with the Lord, is not going to cut it in our being processed by Him.

This morning reading Oz Chambers, it so deeply touched me, again the call, being called to Himself, not to some position, status, but simply to Himself, the lover of my soul.
I would say the key word that stood out to me in what Oz shared was the word 'struggle'!
This quote is what I believe defines the journey I have been on and am moving into: You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily - "I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say," the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be God's truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you.

Getting back to delighting in Him. My wife and I were discussing this very thing over breakfast this morning. My thoughts were as follows. It is my understanding that when Jesus said he came to do the Father's will, and that he delighted in doing it, he saw that His will being done in and through a human heart/body was not possible from extreme suffering.
Suffering is something everyone is exposed to at one level or another, but the true suffering I see the Son of man/God experiencing, is what we are called to embrace no differently than He did.

Scripture speaks of the Son of man in this light: Though he was God's son, he was perfected through suffering, and he learned obedience through his sufferings.
It is these sufferings I am wanting to flesh out here. I am of the opinion that from his earliest times as a child, Jesus was subjected to the barrage of misunderstood reactions from his fellow human beings. In this setting he knew the key to not giving into self-vindication-retaliation, was the growing secure knowledge of His fathers love for him, learning in the thick of these blows to his soul, of giving up over and over again, the 'right to himself'.

I see bondage in its truest expression having its firm hold on all of humanity until love breaks through the lies. For example, look at the multitude of people lead by Moses out of Egypt's bondage. Seemingly it would appear that their bondage was over, or was it? Maybe they would soon discover that bondage still owned them although 'outside the box'.

How is it possible to go on with the Lord as long as I am hanging onto 'my right to myself'?
Maybe Jesus wasn't asking anyone to give up things as much as he was asking us to give up that which is more important than any-things, the right to myself? Much like the young rich ruler, his wealth, his abilities defined who he was, his reputation of looking just right was too much of a price to simply let go and discover who he really was meant to be.

Is this all part of what it means to be 'made of no reputation', learning in the struggle of the lies that I no longer have to convince others that I am not the person others say I am? Maybe there will be no real established identity in the believers life apart from learning what it means to empty ourselves as Jesus did.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

15 Plus ? = 35? The New Math

Today according to the calender it was my fifteenth year at Canada Post, we won't talk about the first twenty years, those were just for fun.

Long story short I started at Canada Post in August 1973, and that in and of itself was nothing short of a miracle, grace I think thy call it.
After fifteen months of not missing a single day of work, (which is another one of those miracles) I got the brain wave of leaving the PO, what was that all about?Funny thing about that, today in our local PO I was talking with a management person that use to be the superintendent from my old post office and city I use to live in, wow, talk about coincidence or what.

There just seems to be way too much mail under the bridge to go into a lot of detail, suffice it to say this, I left the PO I think, three times all together in search of the 'Holy Grail' aka, going into the "MINISTRY"!
One of my colleagues remarked today, 'Richard, maybe they were confused with the fifteen year pin they gave you and maybe it should have been a thirty five year one instead'?

It sure was and is a mixed bag of mail I'll tell ya, all in the name of wanting God more than anything else in my life, and now here I am after all those years of the 'tail shaking the dog', trying to find Him in what I was so sure of, pursuing the ministry.
Heck, I eventually succeeded and became a pastor in two different flavored groups, only to discover according to the folks hiring me, that God had made a mistake, and I was no longer needed.

So with all of this being stirred up (a fresh) in the whirl of emotions today and that grand gala of my 15th year and having my hand shook by our new superintendent and having my picture taken, how could I not BE a happy camper???

I guess becoming a 'pastor' is so much easier than daily experiencing His loving pulverizing in my life, wanting to make me broken bread and poured out wine for others?

For those needing a laugh after this uplifting post: what do you call two letters stuck together, give up? Mail bonding...please laugh, I can't stand the rejection :)


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

and then Life happened

If our flesh is capable of producing what we stand in need of, then what the hell was His death really all about?
As I have said before, 'Nothing is as it appears to BE'!

I was supposed to have a Dell on-site tech show up today to fix my notebook that went down over the weekend, and to add to the disappointment of him not showing up after I went ahead and paid the additional fees to have this service, and making a point to be here for him when he called, nothing, a NO show!!
Oh well, life happens.

Tonight my wife and I got a wonderful meal put together for our son and his two room mates and a son of one of his room mates. Everything was in place, a delicious meal, the house looking as beautiful as possible and time kept slipping by, but No son showing up!
Again, life happens.

What I am discovering with 'life happening' lately, is a wonderful surprise of seeing His life coming forth. Am I disappointed, sure, both with the tech not showing up as well as my son and his roomies not showing up as well, but, my wife and I had a nice meal together, and we had the opportunity of sharing the sweetness of His life in a somewhat bitter unfolding.

He is so good!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who Are You?

The thought occurred to me today after viewing (seeing where you hale from) those who somehow, one way or another seem to land on my blog, either intentionally or by accident in doing a word search, "who are you"?

It would be great to hear any feedback, also I would love to hear from anyone that would like to share a bit about themselves and what is happening in their journey.

The story of His love, unfolding in a persons life is nothing short of pure joy. Experiencing this inner work of His grace freeing us to BE the person/s he purposed has everything to do with His promise of Life, and experiencing it abundantly!


Monday, December 10, 2007

It's The Good That Hates The Best

In continuing with yesterdays thoughts, once again I am seeing so much truth being most relevant with what Oz shared in todays thoughts.
The Offense Of The Natural

I am convinced that one size does not fit all, meaning, living within the Matrix there is a very specific expression of it just for you. What wouldn't be a temptation or pull upon your soul towards something tantalizing, or enticing, there will be so within the Matrix and its custom design for you.

The Father is not looking for cheap imitations of His son, but in fact the very opposite. Oz says it so well here:


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nothing Is As It Appears

The entrance into the Kingdom (or the Kingdoms entrance into you) is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man's respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life.

The above quote is from Oz Chambers.

When I woke up this morning with the clear and distinctive sound of my Father's voice saying to me, 'Why do you call me good?' I believe this was Him wanting to further illuminate what I had been pondering on from Oz's quote, and how it was used to speak so deeply to me.

You can read the full account of this (in the bible) dialog between Jesus and the young rich ruler who came to Jesus and asked the quintessential question, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life"? Then Jesus says, "Why do you call me good?" Following this, it gets real dicey.
I do not see God the Father coming to lost humanity and saying to those like this young rich ruler, you've managed your life very well, and have such admirable and sought after qualities, I'm going to now simply add (grant you your one wish) Me to all of that which has been working so well for you in your life~ha!

I think what Oz says in his quote is most fitting in this unfolding drama, not just with this so called self-made, self-righteous young man but of all humanity. It is my understanding that this fallen world system, aka, the Matrix is something that far surpasses any form or flavor of religion, but in fact has become a diabolical woven scheme that has all of us firmly believing, we're doing our own thing, living our life.
It is the only reality any of us have ever known, and that reality has so tainted, so warped our perception, that apart from the normalcy of who God the Father is, and experiencing His love, no one will convince us that what we are seeing, experiencing is anything but real.

Maybe David (from the Old testament) was seeing and coming into a dimension of reality that seems to fly way beyond any radar detection? From one of the illuminating times in his journey he said, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."

I love this saying, "Nothing is as it appears to be".

Was it as Oz said, the Holy Spirit being responsible for these crashing panging pains of agony that were hidden as it were from this noble pursuer of exemplary living that was soon to go off in his life as if stepping on a land mine?

I do not know how any of us can begin to understand this God of love when its through such devastation that He brings into our lives. Yes devastation, why, because we have only known a false reality, a lie that has defined who we think we are. As we are becoming established in the Truth of Who He is in us, and knowing who we are in Him, there is no way of escaping these very real agonies.

Again as Oz says, this most needed and necessary crashing intrusion into our lives is the preliminary steps our Father takes in "forming the life of His son in us".Those whom He foreknew, he predestined them to BE conformed into His likeness and image.

I trust this will be something from His heart that will provoke you to think outside of the bun.


Friday, December 07, 2007

The Trained Professional

With breath taking and unbelievable ease the person (right before our eyes) seemingly cuts through the most difficult of problems like a hot knife through soft butter.
You know, those images we've all seen and heard from the mystical guru, 'the trained professional', with explicit warnings, 'do not try this at home folks, we are trained professionals. All in the name of trying to sell you something, you think you need.

The following quote is from an interview ( with Paul Young the author of the book, The Shack. "Control is a need for certainty and faith doesn't grow in certainty".
I would say yes, BUT! In fact it IS the certainty of His love, the most rapturous power available to man, working in the hidden, secret recesses of a persons inner most being, and there establishing upon the unmovable bed rock of His unconditional love, the miraculous!
It says the Jesus was the first born of many sons yet to come forth, and it is in the womb of the Fathers heart, a heart that knows only pure love, that we are being established in the Truth, Life and the Way!

A comment left for me by my dear and precious brother Dave from Rhode Island, 'the reason why I like these things he shares here is because I see them happening in me'. Dave was commenting on something another brother had shared that we were reflecting upon.

It is a joy being able to hear how the love of God the Father is making His heart known to everyday nobodies, but when that unfolds in our lives, it gets real personal, or as I like to say, the gospel of good news begins to own us.
I shared with Dave this morning this thought (one of many we exchanged) "The beauty of the Father's love frees us to compliment one-another, and then Dave's response to me, when we no longer have anything left to gain, lose, or prove... then it's all Him, baby."

I see this reality dawning in so many hearts, a new found depth of security in the growing knowledge of His love, whereby we freely give out of what we have freely received in Him. I guess what I am trying to say is, that the term Jim Palmer has coined to illustrate and highlight a most significant point, is using the words "Divine Nobodies" to clearly show, that there is NO need for giving into the illusion of needing a 'trained professional' in order to become intimately acquainted with this God of love, or as Jim said, he had a Master of Divinity and yet didn't really know the Divine one!

This additional quote from Jim Palmer succinctly stains things real good: "in any event, this "nobody" thing is kinda throwing people off. as it turns out, the world is filled with people who desire to be known as a spiritual guru in one form or another, and it only follows that gurus generally act in a certain way, and try not to give away their big secret, which is, there’s no big secret. there is only the plain and simple truth, which is quite capable all it’s own to get any person’s attention if they are truly interested."

I may just be dumb enough to believe the following. Whether it would be a Jim Palmer or Paul Young, or fill in the blanks with that certain someone that impresses you, I honestly believe there would be a mutual delight in hearing each others story's.
For example, here is something shared on a blog, a brother commenting on having watched a video interview with Paul Young the author of the book The Shack said, "Make's me wish I could sit in a coffee shop with him for a couple of hours."
Indeed it would be wonderful, but in my opinion the wonder would revolve not around some one, but around some-One, the same Christ in us both, and his glory uniquely being expressed through one another.
Think about it, untrained professionals being and doing the impossible, because they know they are LOVED!


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Old Man Reconditioned Or Improved

We’ve also been contacted by major movie studios about purchasing the movie rights. We’re not selling those, by the way. The dream from the beginning was to make this into a general-release feature film that would offer our culture a view of God that religion has totally obscured. It looks like now we’ll get that chance.

The above quote is from Wayne Jacobsen over at the LifeStream Blog, regarding the current news about the book, The Shack, by Paul Young.

It reminded me of something I heard Paul Walsh share. He had been teaching for a long period of time on who we are in Christ, but there was a point where having done this he sensed something was missing. He went on to say how he felt the Lord was saying, 'They seem to know who they are in Me, but maybe they don't know who I Am in them.
If I heard him correctly it was during this time Paul sensed the Lord saying to him, 'I want to change how the world wrongly perceives who I am, by addressing how Christians wrongly perceive Me'.

The following comments were most helpful in seeing that this 'mystery gospel' and its affects upon our lives is so much more than a superficial botox face lift.

We might consider some familiar names of believers whom God obviously brought to maturity and used for His glory—such as Pierson, Chapman, Tauler, Moody, Goforth, Mueller, Taylor, Watt, Trumbull, Meyer, Murray, Havergal, Guyon, Mabie, Gordon, Hyde, Mantle, McCheyne, McConkey, Deck, Paxson, Stoney, Saphir, Carmichael and Hopkins. The average for these was 15 years after they entered their life work before they began to know the Lord Jesus as their Life and ceased trying to work for Him and began allowing Him to be their All in all and do His work through them. This is not to discourage us in any way but to help us to settle down with our sights on eternity, by faith "apprehend[ing] that for which also … [we are] apprehended of Christ Jesus… Press[ing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:12, 14).

The following comments are by Paul Walsh, from his book 'The Bonsai Conspiracy':

I had imagined that this was a book for disappointed Christians. But, as the work unfolded, I began to see that whilst my prescription is Christian , the reality is that the problems addressed here (e.g. performance-addictions, the need for meaning and acceptance, living with guilt, the fear of failure, anxiety and the deep-seated belief that our best might not be good enough) are not peculiar to Christians. Far from it. They are universal issues which confront us all. Whilst it is true that the primary audience of The Bonsai Conspiracy is the disillusioned Christian, it turns out that this is not an exclusively in-house book. A failure to understand who we are dwarfs us all.

The challenge is to enable people to be who they really are. And herein lies the great mitigant It is hard to be who we are because it does not seem to be what anybody wants.

Real freedom is not accessible to the strong or even the weak for to claim that one is weak is to admit that one has a modicum of strength. It is for the dead ! For many, this death to self-effort comes in the form of burnout which we define as a person being in a state of fatigue or disillusionment brought about by a dedication to a way of life which failed to bring the expected reward. There will be those who wonder whether the burnout phase is inevitable. I would dearly like to believe that it is not inevitable but I am yet to have any evidence to encourage such a view. Ultimately, everybody must have their own personal moment(s) of Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [Rom. 7:24]. Everybody must first exhaust their own resources before such moment(s) can be experienced.

Now, having undergone our period(s) of disillusionment (i.e. Dark Night(s) of the Soul), we emerge on the other side only to discover that we do not like the look of freedom. This is understandably so because freedom is a scary thing. How does one function in a paradigm where there are no alibis, rules, codes of conduct, ethics, structures or law? How does one function in a world where morality has been surpassed and outclassed by the absurdity of grace? It is up to you to interpret freedom for yourself. Nobody is going to tell you what to do. All this new paradigm will do is to reinforce who you are. So, you can neither control nor be controlled. Freedom is truly frightening as it is an alien and implausible structure to a bound guilt-stained soul.

We suggest that in most circles, what passes for Christianity is not Christianity at all. We shall prove beyond reasonable doubt that the essence of Christianity is self-replacement where the Old Man (Adam) is removed and is replaced by the New Man, Jesus (Last Adam). This is distinct from what we call Churchianity , the kernel of which is self-improvement.

In this paradigm, the old man is saved and the new man is simply the old man reconditioned or improved. We suggest that most believers are actually doubters because consciously, subconsciously and/or experientially, they acknowledge a difference between the Christian Life and the Life of Christ. We posit that there is no such distinction.

Burnout~This chapter of the same name explores and explains why burnout is an agony to be embraced. Burnout clears the path of all self-sufficiency and places the beleaguered believer on the threshold of realizing the true nature of the Christian Life. Therefore, in what may appear to be an apparent paradox, we argue that the key to success in the Christian Life is our abject and total failure to live it.

Frightened By Freedom , we examine the thorny problem of freedom. We are, for the most part, institutionalized and conditioned. Consequently, we are intuitively very much afraid of freedom, especially in circumstances where freedom comes at the high cost of change. As Daryl Conner, author of The Speed of Change , puts it

Humans are the most control-oriented animals on the planet . When we are unable to meet our needs, we become disorientated. When we meet these needs, we gain a feeling of stability and psychological comfort so powerful that attaining this state is one of the most potent motivators of human behaviour.

Anyone who has read the story of the Exodus of the Israelites from the captivity of Egypt to the Promise Land of freedom will take little convincing as to the congenital nature of this problem.
Long story short, I'm not sure how all of the above ties in with the following quote: "It sounds like you’re moving from the disillusionment of religion, into the reality of real relationship with him. I’d like to tell you that’s all glorious, and it will be in the end, but the process can be a bit disorienting and painful. That’s why many talk of it as ‘de-toxing’, because there is a bit of withdrawal involved from our dependence on religion. And, there’s the reaction of others that won’t understand what he’s doing in you and will make harsh judgments about you."


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Baskin Robbin's Flavor Of The Month

In the land of the blind, a one eyed man is a king.

Warning, this mystery gospel will be the end of you!

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

Last night as I was reading from Wayne Jacobsen's blog, LifeStream~Notes From The Journey, something caught my eye. "Getting Beyond The First Hurdle"!
In the opening of Wayne's thoughts to a person asking for help regarding a major hurdle he is facing, are as follows: "Thanks for writing. I certainly hear your heart and am grateful for the journey you’re on, even if it may get painful in days ahead. It sounds like you’re moving from the disillusionment of religion, into the reality of real relationship with him. I’d like to tell you that’s all glorious, and it will be in the end, but the process can be a bit disorienting and painful. That’s why many talk of it as ‘de-toxing’, because there is a bit of withdrawal involved from our dependence on religion. And, there’s the reaction of others that won’t understand what he’s doing in you and will make harsh judgments about you."

My contention is this, if we have all been born in sin and shaped in iniquity, or derived an identity apart from what we were created for, e.g. to BE loved, (to BE His) for God is love, then how can this transformation within His total unconditional love, be experienced apart from throwing our equalibrium right out the window? When at best, ingrained within us is an identity that knows no acceptance apart from striving-performing.
I'm not sure I see it as being 'just a little bit of a withdrawal'.

Here in my opinion is a classic example of what I'm trying to say. When the children of Isreal were being lead out of the house of bondage (having been ruled by Pharoah) by Moses, they thought as we all might think, now that we're no longer there, we're 'Free'! The sad discovery was that although out (of the box) of Egypt, Egypt was still very much alive in them, defining who they thought they truly were. It only takes a little more reading to see that as they journed towards the 'Promised Land', that what, or how they reasoned within their heart, was how they still saw themselves.
This proved to be most painful, and many sparks began to ignite very explosive attitudes, which ultimately led to their demise, all but two (Joshua and Caleb) out of almost 2,000,000 people.

I am seeing that this whole idea of discovering 'freedom-liberty' by simply coming out of a box, is ludicrous, meaning, Father didn't say in Roman's, "Don't let the BOX squeeze you into its mold, but rather, don't let the World squeeze you into it's mold". The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
The only Way of escape is Him, as it goes on to say, 'but be transformed by the renewing of your mind'. I see 'religion' no matter what Baskin Robbins flavor it might be, it's simply a piece of something that is so much larger.

If we are not experiencing His love for us, simply moving away from whatever kind of box we believe we have been shaped in and by, will sooner or later be replaced by a better looking mouse trap-box! Its inevitable, just look at 'chruch history', it seems to be undeniablely reality.
Maybe the real Jesus is still wanting to be seen in you (as you) and me?



I love how the Father is so good at weaving things together. Reading from two different writers this morning I saw such majesty in simply words.The first is a quote from Os Chambers, the other from George MacDonald.


The Law Of Antagonism

Life without war is impossible either in nature or in grace. The basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is antagonism. This is the open fact of life. Health is the balance between physical life and external nature, and it is maintained only by sufficient vitality on the inside against things on the outside. Everything outside my physical life is designed to put me to death. Things which keep me going when I am alive, disintegrate me when I am dead. If I have enough fighting power, I produce the balance of health. The same is true of the mental life. If I want to maintain a vigorous mental life, I have to fight, and in that way the mental balance called thought is produced.

Kiss Of The Spirit

While one is yet only in love, the real person lies covered with the rose leaves of a thousand sleepy-eyed dreams, and through them come to the dreamer but the barest hints of the real person. A thousand fancies fly out, approach and cross, but never meet. The man and the woman are pleased, not with each other, but each with the fancied other. The merest common likings are taken for signs of a wonderful sympathy, of a radical unity. But though at a hundred points their souls seem to touch, their contact points are the merest brushings, as of insect antennae. The real man, the real woman, is all the time asleep under the rose leaves. Happy is the rare fate of the true . . wake and come forth and meet in the majesty of the truth, in the image of God, in their very being, in the power of that love which alone is being! They love, not this and that about each other, but each the very other. Where such love is, let the differences of taste, the unfitness of temperament, be what they may, the two must by and by be thoroughly one.The negative and positive relation we live daily causes us to emerge from beneath the rose leaves and penetrate each other so as to have really seen and be seen. It takes the negative to arouse each of us from our sleep.......But the miracle of love that comes to birth each time forgiveness appears is truly the kiss of the spirit

Monday, December 03, 2007

Perfect Love

These thought's from Oz Chambers, I loved them:
"When once you are rooted in Reality, nothing can shake you. If your faith is in experiences, any thing that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God. When once you get into personal contact with Jesus Christ, you will never be moved again. That is the meaning of sanctification. God puts His disapproval on human experience when we begin to adhere to the conception that sanctification is merely an experience, and forget that sanctification itself has to be sanctified (see John 17:19)."

"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. (This is a whole subject in itself) 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".

Here's a mind bender, the Christian life is us becoming what we already are?!
To my way of thinking, these thoughts from Oz fit in well here, but not apart from those nasty dynamic tensions we find ourselves in."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."

It's fascinating to see, living in the waste land of the real world of His love, how there are unique expressions of the Matrix determined for each person on this planet, or as I like to say, 'a carnival buffet to keep us content in our cages'.
The dialog from the Matrix fits in so well here..The agent is interrogating Morpheus..
"Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. Did you know that he first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world where none suffered where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster, no one would accept the program, entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world, but I believe that as a species human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. So the perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from, which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this, the peak of your civilization. I say your civilization because when we started thinking for you, it became our civilization which is, of course what this is all about, evolution Morpheus, evolution. Like the dinosaur, look out that window, you had your time, the future is our world Morpheus , the future is our time".

Being established in the Truth of His love is the only way of not succumbing to these nonsensical luring entrapments. I would say right off the bat, the greatest deviation coming out of the Matrix is, it is no longer being crazy glued to the 'how to', but coming to know and see it has always been about Who, Who is our Life, or as Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I Am?

In regards to the 'perfection of relationship with God the Father and showing itself in the irrelevancies of life, this so illustrates what I to am seeing'.
"I once invested a huge amount of energy judging everything in life - bad, good, better, best. now i tend to think along the lines of "it is what it is," and desire to meet each moment, experience, person, encounter, opportunity and adversity with humility and compassion, knowing it all means something for me. even missing or forfeiting opportunities, and bouts of being judgmental and close-minded, and just overall stupidity are helpful because they all lead to suffering, and then suffering becomes my teacher. what it sometimes feels like is that there is this guiding flow of Love that is gently transforming me and seems to have adequately taken into account or factored in my present level of human stupidity and actually uses it!" (from Jim Palmer)


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Prison Or Prism

As light passes, enters a prism, a spectrum results.

In my previous post, I spoke of the Matrix, in my opinion the Matrix is that which is operative in the lives of all people. It's basis of operation is because of the fall, and man acquiring the knowledge of good and evil.
A person can be born again, and yet still be very much a prisoner to this entity.

The thought occurred to me that much like a prism, light being refracted through a prism can open up a whole new previously unseen spectrum of colors. Maybe in coming to know (experience) the reality of the unconditional love of God the Father, we are released from the prison of the Matrix. In fact, is it possible that we become as a living prism, transmitting the multi faceted colors of His grace, love and acceptance to those still imprisoned within the Matrix, offering then love rather than joining a religion?

I believe it always was the love of God that would ultimately do what no external stimuli could do, fully animate, activate, and energize-release us to BE extensions of His love, aka, lovers. Remember, man was created without a nature. He had to be defined by a nature, and only His love was able to do that very thing.

I so enjoyed what I read today on Jim Palmer's Blog, 'Jim's Blog' (the thoughts and life of just another nobody) 'There Are No Steps'.

"i received an email from someone who asked if perhaps in the next book (which i’m currently writing; yikes!) i would focus more on "how" i shed religion and began living in the "wide open spaces." i rolled it around a bit and was hard pressed to identify anything of my doing that could account for how my journey with God has been evolving these past few years. i don’t think i could write a book like "Seven Steps To Shed Religion and Be Free" because it hasn’t been that way for me. well, unless the steps went something like: Step One: Wake up, get out of bed, breathe, do whatever comes next; Step Two: Um…let’s see ahhh…see what happens next; Step Three: oh yeah, try to pay attention to what’s going on inside you; Step Four: and also, pay attention to what and who is happening around you".

So many not knowing the reality of the perfect unconditional love of this Father, will need something, someone to be that mediator between them and God other than the Man Christ Jesus. I am convinced that not knowing (experiencing this pure love of the Father, leaves us with only one other option, and remember there are NO vacuums, therefore, we will be subject to the Matrix, and life will only be defined through that lense, verses His love.
Living within the Matrix, like Jim alludes to in his article today, results in a 'how to, vs a WHO'!

I know I use many quotes and illustrations from the movie 'The Matrix', but I can't help myself, it is one of those things Father continues to give me insight into. One of the quotes that brought special meaning to me yesterday, was the one where Morpheus says to Neo, 'Welcome to the waste land of the real world'.
We are in this world but not of it Jesus says, and it is my contention that the only thing that will make living in the waste land of the real world (so to speak), is an ever increasing knowing of the Father's love, that which I was created for.

As C.S. lewis said, "God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.'' ~LOVE!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Liar, Liar

a.k.a. "Fake It Until Ya Make It"

In the movie, "Liar, Liar", Jim Carey's character was a lawyer. His little boy was so disillusioned with his father's never-ending promise-breaking that the son's birthday wish (unbenownst to the father) was that his daddy wouldn't be able to lie for a twenty-four hour period. In some hilarious scenes, the dad gets stuck in his inability to do anything but tell the truth. (see clip).

I wonder if the world would stop rotating in its axis if christchuns were only able to tell the truth for one day? Or would God use it to remove the supposed imaginary clothing we think we've been wearing, and in fact through this truthful speaking, draw others likewise hiding unto Himself?

In coming home from our weekly Saturday away, we, my wife and I were catching up on just reconnecting with one another, which is liquid joy for us both. Something came to mind (in our unpacking some thoughts) with regard to things my precious wife has been struggling with for a very long time, of course I don't struggle with anything, I'm perfect~ha!
I said to her, honey, frankly I'm sort of surprised that you haven't turned into a full blown alchoholic or blown your brains out yet, with all that you struggle with not to mention the crazy man I 've been in this ongoing journey of life. She laughed, but saw (I think) what I was getting at.

I really don't care what the percentage is, whether a major percentage or not, the bottom line is that this thing called 'Christianity' fosters so much hypocrisy and pretense, ergo the title I gave this entry, "Fake It Until Ya Make It".
What you talkin about Willis?
Why should we not although 'born again' (re-birthed) be consumed with fear, dread, hopelessness, apathy, despondency and many other sick maladies that plague the rest of the homosapiens on this dirt ball?

Here's what I mean, at best we have all in Christianity learned well how to fake it, why, to admit otherwise would be disastrous to our outward fake Christan veneer. To admit that we fail or have faults is also exceedingly guilt-producing, because as believers we think we have to have it all together, 'to have the victory', to show the world a happy face so that perhaps they might want us to "tell them of the hope that lies within", not to mention the real fear of letting the Lord down.

There is NO ability to 'let go' of anything! Here's a real kicker for anyone actually thinking they have in fact let go of their bondage. The lie, illusion, is that we have 'let go,' but in fact we never were in control, never were hanging onto whatever, 'it' was in control of us.

I know I have and I will continue to harp on this much more yet, but from where I am seeing things, all of this talk of religion is but a mere expression of the Matrix that holds us captive until we come to know the Truth.
Isn't all truth relative, yes, unless truth is defined in the person of truth, Christ Himself. The one who said, 'I am the Truth, Life and the Way'.

Because there are NO vacuums, we are either being conformed to this age by the Matrix, or we are being transformed by the God and Father of Love, there are NO other options, sorry to disappoint you.
Like Bob Dylan said in his album Slow Train A Coming, 'You Got To Serve Somebody'. Or in the language of Paul, a follower of Christ who said, 'Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!'

I need to include this so hopefully there will be no misunderstanding regarding the language used in the above quote. "But offer yourself to the ways of God", whether its the word, 'offer or yield, or trust, or abide, it inevitably is viewed/skewed through the matrix that still governs so much thinking, especially in Christan's.
We see it as a work we must do, as if Christ is asking us to perform, rather then seeing the truth of His love working in us to do what He in fact is asking.

I'm going to stop here for now, but will continue with more in the next addition.