Thursday, January 31, 2008

Follow Up

I tried to post this in response to what Dave had said in his comments, but for some unknown reason it wouldn't do it, so here it is.
In light of what Art is sharing here, I thought I would ask him about something that has troubled me re: the whole issue of man bearing His image, as if we are ALL His children etc, here are his thoughts.


Hi Richard:

I consider the matter of man being in the "image of God" as follows:
The word image speaks of an "empty representation" of the "real thing" - such as a shadow may be of our body. Man is an empty vessel.

Man is like a well suited Ferrari, but lacking fuel and a proper driver to drive (guide) him. Christ as the proper driver in man fits the drivers seat perfectly - Spirit to spirit.

The Bible figures for this are the words such as Temple, and branch, etc. I like the vine because it relates to bearing a life, it has the capacity to receive the life of the vine-tree. Even the branch fits the tree, but it can do nothing of itself - it must have the flow of life from the vine-tree, which is Christ. Man was created as a "yet to be completed" being. By creation man had the proper organ (his spirit) to take in the content that he was missing - Christ's life; and man has and faculties of soul (mind emotion and will) to give expression to that innermost life. By receiving Christ the "image" is then filled with the "real thing."

The word "likeness" on Romans goes even further in this analogy. Where image speaks of the empty container suited to receive Christ. The word likeness means much more. Some time ago I discovered that the word "likeness" is from the Greek word root "homoioo." It means the ability to "assimilate," (<<<
Strongs) "take in," like a sponge may "absorb" or take in water. Man's empty spirit is the precise container in man having the ability to "assimilate" Christ's Spirit of like.
Here are a couple of "likeness' verse to consider:
In Rom 6:5 we as believers have "assimilated Christ's death and life as our death and new life".
In Rom 8:3 Jesus "assimilated man's sinful flesh", so as to be able to condemn it.
That's my view on image and likeness.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Created Man & The Reborn Man

The following is from a 14 part article my friend Art has written, I wanted to share this here with my friends.


Part 6 of 14 - The Essential Spirit - The Created Man & The Reborn Man

As stated earlier, God’s spirit is in every created man. This occurred by God breathing His “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) into Adam’s body of clay, resulting in the total animation of Adam and all his human lineage. God’s breath (spirit) was to give the created man spirit-life on-loan. When God breathed His “breath of life” into Adam, Adam also immediately “became a living soul.” Adam’s body and soul thereby became lively and animated by God’s one “breath of life.”

Here, in Gen 2:7 “breath of life,” the word “breath” is the Hebrew word “neshamah,” meaning “spirit”; and the word “life” here is the Hebrew word “chay,” meaning “lives.” The KJV translates “chay” as “life,” but it more correctly is “lives.” God’s one “breath of life” gave man three kinds of life; in spirit, in soul and in body. The English transliteration of the Greek for “physical life” is “bios,” as being the biological life; and for the “soul life” it is “psuche,” as being man’s metaphysical organ, having the faculties of mind, emotion, and will. The Greek word for “spirit-life” is “ZoĆ«.” These three are the sum of the parts of man.

God’s breath breathed into man is called “the spirit of man” and the “the spirit in man” in the Old Testament Scripture. Apart from God’s breath (spirit-life) in man there is no life at all in the created man. Adam’s physical body creation was as his outer clothing. Man’s body and soul derive their life from man’s spirit that was given by God’s spirit-breath. The core of men then, is their human spirit. This spirit is man’s human life source – the core of man’s whole created living being. 2 Corinthians 3:6b …the spirit giveth life. James 2:26a …the body without the spirit is dead…

The humanist and religious liberals, those who may admit to there being a God at all, often erroneously refer to God as the Father of all mankind, but this is not accurate. Actually, God is only “a father of sorts” to the original created man. Adam and Eve were only created by God; they were not born of God’s Seed (sperma). Only a birth father is a genuine father. As creator of man, God is not man’s birth father. A father is one whose seed (sperma) births His own child to life. Thus, God only “sort of fathered” humanity, when He created humanity and imparted His breath (spirit) to be the “spirit of man.” God did NOT impart His Seed.

Nevertheless, the human spirit that God gave man is the source of man’s human life, and that spirit is “on-loan.” This is not what it is to be born-again of God, by His “Seed.” 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his (God’s) seed (sperma) remaineth in him... Each believer, now in “the body of Christ,” has been conceived of God the Father's Seed (Greek, sperma), which is Christ (1Pet 1:23, Gal 3:16). By that Christ-Seed we bear His very life and nature.

The human spirit “on loan” in the created man has need to become regenerated (Titus 3:5) by Christ’s resurrected “spirit of life” in order to become a genuine, eternal, birthed child of God the Father – born of God’s Seed (Greek, sperma). The believer is regenerated because he has additionally received the resurrected “spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” Jesus Christ is God’s One Seed that became available via Jesus’ incarnation in Abraham’s lineage (see Jesus’ genealogy in Luke), then dying, to rise as “the life-giving spirit” (1Cor 15:45). Now a man may simply receive Christ's resurrected Spirit into his human spirit, to be born of God. John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 1:13 ...born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus prayed that each believer would be one with God the Father and Him. John 17:21a That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us… And so it is. Receiving Christ’s resurrected “spirit of life,” makes a man eternally justified, righteous, and one with the Godhead. Colossians 2:9 For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. The Father and the Son are of One Spirit (Eph 4:4). Romans 8:9 But ye are … in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. We participate in this oneness by a once and for all spirit-union between our “human spirit” and Christ’s “Spirit of life.” The believer thus is one with both the Father and the Son by the addition of the all-inclusive “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” into his human spirit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


A quick note to those who have been visiting my blog, I will continue to keep this blog going, but at the same time with the wonderful assistance of my good friend Dave Aldrich from Rhode Island, I/we have put together a new blog I got up and running this morning.

I look forward to seeing and hearing from any who wish to make themselves known as well as to how Father is making Himself known to them.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Waking Up

Matthew 6:30 (The Message)

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.


Saturday, January 26, 2008


I love how God is so wanting to engage us, to draw us unto Himself. The following is but one example of that reality, the Word that became flesh, the man Christ Jesus sharing his heart with a very smart man, but still not able to grasp the meaning of such simple words.

"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."

Nicodemus asked, "What do you mean by this? How does this happen?"

Like the blowing of the wind, His ways are a wonder to behold. For instance, I have sensed his direction in picking up a book I've read many years ago from my library and seeing some wonderful insights as I am in the process of reading it again.

Here is but one example from the book Baffled To Fight Better, by Oswald Chambers;
"Eliphaz claimed to know exactly where Job was, and Bildad claims the same thing. Job was hurt, and these men tried to heal him with platitudes. The place for the comforter is not that of one who preaches, but of the comrade who says nothing, but prays to God about the matter. The biggest thing you can do for those who are suffering is not to talk platitudes, not to ask questions, but to get into contact with God, and the "greater works" will be done by prayer." (John 14:12-13)


Monday, January 21, 2008


Hurt and pain is something none of us are able to escape being born into this world.
Some of it is expressed in the poem my daughter shared with me.


Packs of geese are landing
in the pre-winter river -
flurried graded grey to black
and fluid silver flashes
of the reflected moon.
Crass calls and the ecstatic
anarchic wind of all wings
at once
garners no applause
even though
the magnificent uproar
drowns the sound
of all the town’s
despicable bipeds
tooting their own horns.
I stand watching - awkward,
lonely, lachrymose and obsessing
over recent sins
over truths such as the first plastic
ever made has not yet disintegrated
and all the world’s waste is
piling up somewhere out of sight
and how so many will never know
the fierce staggering degree
to which I love them. Oh well.
The geese will fly in the morning
I will see the v from my window
and hear the phantom voices.
I will begin the day longing
illogically for that height
and horizon.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Messiness Of Life

The following is a brief excerpt from a daily email I receive, I thought it so overflowed with how amazing Papa's love and grace is!


Messy Spirituality Anne Lammott

In her book, Traveling Mercies, Anne recounts her conversion to Jesus. Things were not going well in her life: addicted to cocaine and alcohol, involved in an affair that produced a child whom she aborted, helplessly watching her best friend die of cancer. During this time, Anne visited a small church periodically. She would sit in the back to listen to the singing and then leave before the sermon. During the week of her abortion, she spiraled downward. Disgusted with herself, she drowned herself in alcohol and drugs. She had been bleeding for many hours from the abortion and finally fell into bed, shaky and sad, smoked a cigarette, and turned off the light.

''After a while, as I lay there, I became aware of someone with me, hunkered down in the corner, and I just assumed it was my father, whose presence I had felt over the years when I was frightened and alone. The feeling was so strong that I actually turned on the light for a moment to make sure no one was there--of course, there wasn't. But after a while, in the dark again, I knew beyond any doubt that it was Jesus. I felt him as surely as I feel my dog lying nearby as I write this.''

''And I was appalled. . . . I thought about what everyone would think of me if I became a Christian, and it seemed an utterly impossible thing that simply could not be allowed to happen. I turned to the wall and said out loud, ''I would rather die.''

''I felt him just sitting there on his haunches in the corner of my sleeping loft, watching me with patience and love, and I squinched my eyes shut, but that didn't help because that's not what I was seeing him with.''

''Finally I fell asleep, and in the morning, he was gone.''

''This experience spooked me badly, but I thought it was just an apparition, born of fear and self-loathing and booze and loss of blood. But then everywhere I went, I had the feeling that a little cat was following me, wanting me to reach down and pick it up, wanting me to open the door and let it in. But I knew what would happen: you let a cat in one time, give it a little milk, and then it stays forever. . . .''

''And one week later, when I went back to church, I was so hungover that I couldn't stand up for the songs, and this time I stayed for the sermon, which I just thought was so ridiculous, like someone trying to convince me of the existence of extraterrestrials, but the last song was so deep and raw and pure that I could not escape. It was as if the people were singing in between the notes, weeping and joyful at the same time, and I felt like their voices or something was rocking me in its bosom, holding me like a scared kid, and I opened up to that feeling--and it washed over me.''

''I began to cry and left before the benediction, and I raced home and felt the little cat running at my heels, and I walked down the dock past dozens of potted flowers, under a sky as blue as one of God's own dreams, and I opened the door to my houseboat, and I stood there a minute, and then I hung my head and said. . . 'I quit.' I took a long deep breath and said out loud, 'All right. You can come in.'''

''So this was my beautiful moment of conversion.''

Anne Lammott, Traveling Mercies,
as quoted by Michael Yaconelli in Messy Spirituality.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Freedom Ache

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose Nothing, I mean nothing honey if it ain't free, no no Yeah feeling good was easy Lord when he sang the blues You know feeling good was good enough for me Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

So said Janis Joplin in her song, 'Me and Bobby McGee'.

I am so enjoying reading Paul Anderson Walsh's book, The Bonsai Conspiracy. Such wonderful confirmation of the spirit's working within my own life.I want to share a few thoughts from his book, hopefully these will be found to be lovingly provoking as I have found them to be.

The insidious battle that goes mostly undetected on our radar screen is the ever working, scheming and conniving self-effort-reliance within us all. To the degree this is not happening, grace has become so much more than a new word along with so many others within our christianese vocabulary.

One thing that stood out to me was a contrast Paul used, for i.e., the 'lost/unsaved' man, believes he can live without god, but is that illusion any less disturbing than the man who has been re-birthed suffering from a very similar illusion, only in this case he is going to 'live for god'. Both have the same unknown problem, self-reliance.
We were created for freedom, but maybe freedom comes at too high a price, lets ponder some additional thoughts here from Paul.

"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 alien and implausible structure to a bound guilt-stained soul".

"So, if we are too frightened to go forward but know too much to go back, what are we to do? Well, we will learn that as freed persons, we have a new responsibility and in this new paradigm, responsibility means that we, as freed men and women, have been freed and empowered with the ability to choose our response to the things which have previously caused us so much pain".

I hope these thoughts have stirred up more questions that answers, if so anyone reading this, I would love to hear yours.


The words on the picture above read as follows.

The true meaning of life cannot be found by strenuous self-effort. All attempts to establish contact with God via religious acts or good deeds are in vain.
Searching for God in nature or philosophy also leads to a dead-end. People can sense that they are hopelessly cut off from God.
This is why they have no inner peace. Consciously or subconsciously they embark upon a quest for him. Tormented by a yearning for paradise lost, they do everything in their power to overcome the separation between themselves and God.
The hand of God the Creator has left its imprint on mankind. We were created for him. The purpose of our life is not self discovery or self realization - it is to be found in God alone.
You cannot ask about the meaning of life without asking about God. It is a question each of us has to ask ... at some time or other.
God has planted eternity in the human heart.
(Ecclesiastes 3,11)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Focus Of His Love

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.

Living in the moment!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Cross Portal

There is no doubt that God was going to be fully identified with man, and apart from embracing the totality of suffering, (the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice] from the foundation of the world. -God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God), it would end up as a stalemate.

Because God is intimately acquainted with suffering, maybe it is in fact through our sufferings we are brought as through a portal into a whole new dimension of living.

Luke 9:28-31 talks about many things, but one of the key things that stands out to me regarding the transfiguration of Jesus was that Moses and Elijah appeared in glory with Jesus and were discussing what was about to be opened up because of his suffering and death on the cross.
I love how it clearly says, Jesus himself speaking, ‘I am the one that closes doors no man can open, as well as open doors that no man can close’.
This in fact was about to happen, there was an exodus about to unfold that totally eclipsed what man saw and experienced as Moses was used in the exodus of leading bond slaves out of bondage toward freedom land.

Since the fall in the garden, a ‘door’ was closed that no man could open until the second man, the last Adam came to open a door that no man could shut, and in my opinion this new reality about to unfold, was a big portion of what Moses and Elijah were discussing with Jesus.
Jesus was about to lead captivity captive!!

As I pondered these thoughts this morning, thinking of how the Father used the cross with all of its shame and suffering to become a portal whereby anyone could pass through it and enter into something far greater than simply going to a ‘promised land’, but in fact becoming one with Him who promised to free those who were born prisoners.
Suddenly I saw that experiencing any suffering in being identified with Him was going to be used in opening up whole new dimensions of understanding of what it means to be loved as His son.

These present but momentary light afflictions are nothing in comparison to what is unfolding in our lives right now as we embrace them. (Suffering in our flesh, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions).

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourself with the same way of thinking (mind), for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.


Monday, January 14, 2008

I Don't Know What To Think

I am somewhat reticent to even talk about this but, at the present time I have no other conclusion than, God did it.
A few friends know about the ongoing chronic pain I have been experiencing in my knees, not a good thing for a guy who walks twelve to thirteen miles a day delivering the mail.
I have been going on a regular basis to my physio-therapist as well as obtaining custom designed orthotics (this week) as well as having had x-rays taken of my knees only to find out it is an arthritic build up in my knees because of the compounded ponding they have encountered with the many many miles and weight I've had to carry.

Here's the deal, I woke up Thursday morning and slowly it dawned on me that my knees were not hurting me as they normally do, I shrugged it off and proceeded to attend to my early morning necessities before leaving for work.
At work I continued to experience a very pain freeness. I am a relief letter carrier so it encompasses many different duties, and this past week and the upcoming week is no exception. I process the incoming mail at 5:00 am and distribute it to my fellow colleagues as they further segregate it to the specific carriers etc.
I knew when I had completed this job I would then be going out to deliver on a route, this is never something I eagerly look forward to anymore because of the advancing chronic pain in my knees. Again, here I am delivering the mail and I am noticing there is something wrong, no pain.
Friday I wake up, the same thing, went through a duplicate day of Thursday, no pain. When I get home other than a few chores, I usually get involved on the computer and having set there for an extended period of time, when I get up I usually do so hobbling. To my surprise I was stiff, but no pain.
This has continued as well into all day Saturday, Sunday and today, what gives?

I have prayed for myself, as well as a couple of friends who like wise have prayed for me, but when I picked my wife up from work Thursday afternoon I told her about this bazaar experience of having NO pain in my knees.
She informed me that she had felt directed toward praying most specifically that morning for me, for my knees that Father would indeed heal, I said, is this in fact what has happened?I feel somewhat restrained emotionally to break out the balloons and party hats, and I almost want to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming, but these knees for that past four days have not felt so good.

Thank you Jesus!!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spontaneous Combustion

Typically, we think that worship is something we do. We sing hymns, praise and worship songs or we pray. But could it be that worship is not something we do, but rather a moment by moment acknowledgment (discovery) of who God is?
By that I mean, if we can know for a certainty that God is IN all things, and that ALL things work together for our good, then we can thank him no matter what life throws at us.
To me, that is true worship - a spontaneous expression of gratitude to our Lord and Saviour, no matter how trying the circumstance, because we know that through it He is intimately concerned and involved with every single aspect of our lives.

The wide eyed, child like wonder that erupts within our soul in discovering what Father has been actively doing in wanting to fulfill the purpose we have been re-birthed, 'to Know Him'!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Everything You Know Is About To Change

So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.

These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.

You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Embrace The Cross

Take your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Dead Men Walking

Our teachings about the Bible and its purpose in our lives have basically made us a generation of dead people. Since we don't believe we can hear God on our own without the Bible, we find ourselves searching the Scriptures to find out whether something is right or wrong and we don't even stop to look into our own heart and ask ourselves.

I honestly believe that out of this zombie and lifeless belief system, we have no other option but to blindly stumble throughout life clinging to our WWJD bracelet in hopes that we can survive yet another day. It's a very depressing time we live in when we have to stop everything and analyze what Jesus would do in this situation or that before we act. It's fake. It's scripted and from the head.

And we wonder why people today have no real intimacy with the Father. Listening to many Christians witnessing in todays age is perhaps the most grueling experience I can think of. So often it seems that their entire witness is based on what they have read in a book. (Who do men say I am vs Who do you say I AM)? Just because you read about a crime in the paper, doesn't mean that you can go to court during the trial and be a witness. Sadly, that's what our religion has produced in recent years. A bunch of well read people who haven't really witnessed a thing.

Sadly we subscribe to a religion that pretty much encourages people to have a relationship with their Bible over God Himself. It's like there is something within all of us that would rather spend time with an inanimate object then with a living being. This is why so many people don't have a problem making the trade. Real intimacy is intimidating to us.

Imagine if all you were given was a shadow of something. You would have no choice but to study it from every possible angle in hopes that you might find out what was casting that shadow.

We have been given the very One who casts that shadow! Why in the world would we ever be tempted to study the shadow when the one who casts the shadow has made His home within us? Our teachings on the Bible (and what others have said about the bible) have turned us into shadow chasers who refuse to acknowledge the Shadow Maker.

See all of the article written by Darin Hufford


Thursday, January 03, 2008

What Will The Neighbors Think

I was watching one of my favorite sitcoms tonight and the episode was about new neighbors moving in next door to Doug and Carrie. In a nut shell the new neighbors were, according to Carrie's perception, everything her and Doug weren't.
So what to do when one sees they are lacking, or inferior to others, you got it, 'Let's pretend'!
One of the scenes was with Doug and Carrie coming to verbal blows which seems to be a regular part of what has been scripted into their TV roles, but not realizing that their bedroom window was open all the time the verbal lambasting was going down.
To Carrie's dismay she went into over drive setting up a totally bogus scenario where she and Doug were acting out the very opposite to their previous behavior, and of course with the window deliberately left open for their new neighbors to hear.
It just went down hill from there, from bad to worse.

I enjoy seeing this vivid contrast within human interactions, usually depicted with a 'normal' family vs a 'so called dysfunctional one'.
To my way of thinking this is but one of a myriad of ways of that which appears to be real vs. knowing the Truth is becoming so concrete to me. For example, using this TV illustration here, let’s say for humor sake all of the characters in this episode were Christians, 'good ones vs bad ones'.
Were the 'good' ones interacting apart from any so called dysfunction solely because of the grace of God, or was it simply an expression of them relying on what they have by virtue of heredity? (A totally corrupted heredity that required God's only begotten Son who knew NO sin, to be MADE the sin of the world)?

Is grace simply available and required for the losers, those short changed in their being born into this world, bankrupt as it were from having a reservoir of virtuous and healthy heredity, I don't think so.There isn't one person born into this world apart from it being a still birth, totally lacking any life whatsoever, otherwise Jesus' good news of coming that we might have life and experiencing it in overflowing measure, was but for a targeted demographic? I Don't Think So!
Have all really sinned and fallen short of His glory, is there NONE that seek Him, is grace really only for the social misfits of society? I thought Jesus said its the sick that need a Doctor? I guess Jesus’ offer for Life and wholeness was just for those who seemed to do nothing but muck of living more and more?

Is it any wonder this whole deal of becoming a new person, (Christian) part of a whole new race (creation) is a frickin nightmare to embrace by those who see NO need for what they seemingly are doing so well at already?
From that perspective, their compassionate retort might be, 'There are those that simply need a crutch'.
Maybe the evil that blinds us all is not the overt blatant 'evil' we so easily seem to recognize in others, but hidden behind the facade, veneer, of so called respectability, manners, ethics, people of integrity, goodness and morality lies hidden the true master of disguise, the fallen angel of light, Lucifer himself?

I am observing first hand the perceived cruelness of His disturbing grace addressing, cutting through the lies (Bull Shit) of our cultural ethnicity, what we do vs what we don't do, what we have vs what we lack, how smart vs how ignorant, how white vs how black we are, bringing man to see their desperate need for the TRUTH!

Jesus and His love for us is not, nor will it ever be doled out for meritorious living, but will be freely offered to all who do NOT deserve it in exchange for what we all rightly deserved. Behold the beauty of glorying and boasting in the Cross and its finished perfect work.

The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to those who are being saved.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Disturbing Grace

It seems I am stumbling into/upon more and more individuals who are experiencing a reality (like a Son-rise within their soul) that they never thought possible, nor the pain that is coupled with it.

This so reminds me of the scene in the movie, The Wizard Of Oz, when Dorothy's dog Toto begins pulling back on the curtain being used to hide the shenanigans of an old and decrepit man, masquerading as the Great Oz, and with his best trickery, bellows out, 'Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain'.
As an additional thought regarding the Oz story, didn't Dorothy, as well as her three companions already have what they thought only the Great Oz could give them, but were totally blinded from this truth?

If we were hard wired as it were in the re-birthing to be defined by God the Father's love, then anything less than that will continually create a cheap and disturbing placebo within us.
When Love, His love begins to break through in a persons life, it is in my opinion, much like the scene in the Bible where it says that Jesus came to Jericho and then leaving it, there was this blind beggar named Bartimaeus, who began to yell out loudly, 'Jesus Son of David, have mercy upon me'.
It goes on to say, those around Bartimaeus sternly reprimanded him for not exercising more dignity and restraint, and yet in spite of their scorning (chastising) him, he yelled all the louder, what a painful but hilarious scene.
Jesus hears the hub-bub and says to those trying to muffle Bartimaeus, bring him here to me, and he ends up regaining his sight.
In light of one of the quotes below, it is this reality of His love that begins to evoke, penetrate a persons soul which causes in my words, birth pangs, much like the labor pains of a very pregnant woman about to explode if she isn't soon delivered.

In the face of what APPEARS to be real, the looks upon the faces of my fellow Christian brothers who 'appear' to have it all together, are no longer able to stop me from becoming the biggest (fool) horses ass in many counties. (To borrow a line from the movie, Field Of Dreams, where the role Kevin Costner is playing, he decides to plow under his corn field in lue of building a baseball field in its place, which was pure insanity in light of needing the cash from his corn crop to try and offset an impending bankruptcy).

Life is designed to cooperate with what Jesus said would happen as a result of being in this world, 'In the world you will have trouble-pressures, multiplied many times over'. This distress is designed for the purpose of being used in His skillful and loving hands to free us from the lies, you know, those lies we've all bought into, thinking we can live this Christian life, or believing we have the where-with-all to deal with the shit kicking that WILL happen.

Seems to me it is a life long journey of staying in this living, loving orbit, revolving around the Son, and in so doing, the progressive discovery of being extricated from the lies...'you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free'!

Grace has been given a bad rap especially seen from the eyes and hearts of those 'going through the wringer' of life, maybe for more than just the first or second time.
Seeing what they perceive is the work or fruit of God in another's life whereby whenever they experience life's dumping on them, they seem to bounce back good as new, seemingly with the slightest of ease. Not realizing that what they think is the grace of God operating in their lives, is but them relying solely on what they have by virtue of heredity, and that will never be enough to withstand the storms of life, and in fact will rob them of being intimately acquainted with Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.

Thank God for the tsunami effects of His stubborn love awakening such seemingly out of control desperation in the souls of men and women throughout the earth. So many are desiring to hush them up like a questioning and fidgety child in some mausoleum called a church, asking 'Why, am feeling so empty, why is nothing making any sense no matter how hard I try to serve God'.
I am so grateful that Father has his priorities clearly fixed in His heart regarding those he IS disturbing with His wonderful grace...Just like Peter, we say to those noisy moms with their crying babies, don't call us, we'll call you, BUT, Jesus hears that and says, 'Bring the children unto Me'!

Amazing His Disturbing Grace!


I can TOTALLY relate to your story. TOTALLY!Thanks for your raw honesty. It makes me feel less "weird". It can be very lonely trying to describe some of those feelings to other christians who appear to have it all together. So thank you!
Denise, the raw honesty is where it is really at. It is so painful but it is the process that He uses to make Himself known. God accepts us as we really are. We learn to accept Him here as He really is. I think everyone who seeks Him goes through this. It is not as evident because folks try to cover it up like a dirty family secret. That just makes it harder as we feel "weird" and lonely and thinking we’ve done something wrong. But Father also uses that to draw us to Himself.

It really has nothing to do with being Christians who appear to have it all together. After you go through the "wringer" a few times their is very little, if anything, of your civil self left. There is only your real self & raw emotions standing before God. That is what it takes for Him to work on us.

We are all different, so He needs to work on us differently, but it isn’t pleasant or pretty for anyone who is willing to let God work on them. I also can relate to this story. The first part anyway. I haven’t come out the other end. I’m still making more passes through the wringer. But I do have a renewed Faith that He who began a good work in me WILL carry it through to completion.

This fall I took a 12-week class from the Center for Professional Excellence called the Sage Hill Institute. One of my goals over the holidays has been to compile some of my notes. I thought I’d share some here that spurred further thinking.

God is more concerned with you having you than he is with you having him. It sounds heretical at first. However, if you really think it through, it makes frightening sense. The more we know and have ourselves, the more we realize that we are not enough. So much of our efforts attempt to gain more control over life. If we are honest, though, we’ll grasp the fact that we can’t, and if we ever think we have, we’re in deeper trouble than when we started out. Our authentic lives genuinely get started when we are brought to the end of ourselves. Once at our limit of life that we can handle, we experience a "cry out". A "cry out" is our desperate plea that acknowledges God as the only one capable of satisfying our need.

God loves our "cry out" because it means that we know and have ourselves, and we realize we need more. I am not enough. God wants all of us because we have to have him, not because he is one of our options for life. He wants us because we can go nowhere else. And so God is first concerned with you having you before he is with you having him. Are you willing to travel to the end of yourself to risk finding God?