Monday, April 28, 2008

Amazing Grace Thoughts

I am enthralled with this book, definitely one that has snuck up on me, meaning there was a time i would not have gotten to far into it without thinking, nope, its not for me-ha, does Papa have a wonderful sense of humour and timing.

I so appreciated this passage from the chapter entitled 'Exorcism'.

"When I think of the demons I need to exorcise, I have to look elsewhere; inward, to my heart and soul. Anger is my best demon, useful whenever I have to go into a Woman Warrior mode, harmful when I use it to gratify myself, either in self-justification, or to deny my fears. My husband, who has a much sweeter nature than I, once told me that my mean streak grieved him not just because of the pain it caused him but because it was doing me harm. His remark, as wise as that of any desert abba, felt like an exorcism. Not that my temptation to anger was magically gone, but I was called to pay close attention to something that badly needed my attention, and that was hurting our marriage. It confirmed my understanding of marriage as a holy act: one can no more hide one's true faults from a spouse than from God, and in exorcising the demon of anger, that which could kill is converted, transformed into that which can heal."

It's this kind of reality that so draws me ever deeper into knowing, experiencing even greater depths of Father love for me.

I love the image that comes to mind in reading this quote, as it were rolling up my sleeves and availing myself of His abundant grace and simply moving forward in working out my own salvation, or working out what He has miraculously worked into me.
So very often I have the mind set that is waiting for some angelic messenger to come and pay me a visit that will either vaporize my demons-problems, or energize me, funny how a lazy mind thinks. But as a brother once said, and I love this in its daily applications, "God doesn't give us over coming Life, but gives us Life as we over come"!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Am I Sick?

This past winter has been one of the hardest on me personally health wise that I can ever remember, maybe it has something to do with getting older, I don’t know.
Lets take an inventory shall we.
First there was the prostate biopsy that was needed because of the PSA levels being a bit higher than they should be for a man my age, which was a delightful experience to say the least.
The results from that showed to be very good except for a couple of minor anomalies that caused some minor concerns by the specialist I went to, and the need to follow up every six months for two years just to make sure all is and remains well.

Following this was a succession of colds that lasted and lasted only in getting over one to be followed by yet another, four in all.
The last one turned into an extreme case of bronchitis then into pneumonia accompanied with the bonus of the flu just for good behaviour.
Because of the seriousness of this I had to have two different sets of x-rays taken along with a cat scan. The first set of x-rays showed a spot on my left lung, and following that, the cat scan showed nothing at all on the left lung, but something (a spot) on the right lung, as well as some anomaly showing up in the lymph glands in the right lung area as well.
Last Thursday I had to go into a neighbouring larger city to see a lung specialist, as my family Dr was stumped as to why there were these incongruence's showing up?
There’s more to this story but I will cut it short for now.

My point being, health wise, it was and is most apparent to me that in being sick, really sick, a physician or Doctor is hopefully someone that can do me some real good rather than additional harm.

I am pondering on the fact that Jesus himself said, ‘I have come for the sick-needy, for it’s the sick that are in need of a doctor/physician, not the healthy.’Is it any wonder that so many that have never been shattered/broken/devastated by their own sin look upon the biblical words such as ‘grace-love-forgiveness-healing-life’ as just concepts?
I wonder if God’s grace-love-mercy-life-forgiveness remains only for the needy ones, but not for those believing they are not sick, unhealthy.Also in this vain of thought didn’t Jesus say, ‘Those who love much are those that realize-know they have been forgiven much?’

So long as a person is duped into believing they have the right stuff and never seem to have a rendezvous with disaster why would His love-grace-forgiveness be anything but merit badges worn on their self-righteous vests?


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Amazing Grace

His grace is truly amazing isn't it!

Going through this maze of grace, there is this constant offer of His unconditional loving acceptance, without it (the oxygen of His Love) I would suffocate.

Through a series of twists and turns I was lead to read about Kathleen Norris and some of what she has written, the picture of the book I have here is the one I am just starting to read.
Funny how after looking and searching for this book along with others that caught my interest, it was at our local library I was able to obtain two of them~go figure.

This alone captured my attention: "Struggling with her return to the Christian church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment", "faith", "dogma", "salvation", "sinner" - become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, story-telling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life - and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world."

I'm sure you will be hearing more from me as I dive into these living streams.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Breathe Deep the Breath of God

The wonder of His Love, oh the wonder of being Loved!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

God’s Daily Grind

It is within the crucible of life, daily living that the fashioning and the forging of the Life of God in Christ is either becoming fully formed within us, or we try to go the path of little or no resistance and settle for having a form of Godliness, knowing all about Him, but experiencing NO power. (Knowing about God’s love and not experiencing it is far to much of a serious issue to dismiss).

In a recent episode on the
Oprah Winfrey show, four out of five people quizzed in a survey are unhappy at work—that's 84 percent of the nation's workforce!

It is not enough to simply be re-birthed, but the re-birthing is that which was meant to facilitate what the scriptures point to, Jesus being the first
born of many sons.

Before the fall of man within the garden there was effort, but there was no sin, no sweating or strain. All of that suddenly changed when man committed high treason in willful and defiant rebellion by declaring he was in control of his own life. . As Dave Coleman, (Wayne Jacobsen’s friend) so succinctly put it on the most recent pod cast; (Why Religion Doesn’t Work) that sin is simply us wanting to have control.
Funny how pride blinds us, in thinking that we can obtain control over our own lives without seeing the inevitable and devastating consequences that turn our lives into a forgery.

It was into this arena of death and grinding devastation that the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and lived here with us on planet earth. The mortar and pestle of everyday circumstances and situations were used of the Father in the perfecting (forging) of His Son. It says, though he (Jesus) was the Father’s only begotten, yet he was made perfect (fully forged) through that which he suffered, or, he learned obedience through that which he suffered.

I need to touch upon what I said earlier re: the episode on Oprah about 84% of (the nations work force in the USA) people being unhappy at work.

In my opinion there is so much ambiguity regarding, ‘I love my job, I am unhappy with my job, I love my kids, my marriage etc’, without qualifying (elucidating) the adjectives being used, it all becomes a blurred generic smear.
I for one love my job, but to qualify this, it has to be understood that mixed into this love of my job is a grinding, a forging, straining as it were.

In my opinion, simply stating, “I love my job…I am unhappy with my job…I love my kids…I love ice cream…I hate broccoli” etc. isn’t clear. How does the speaker define the words ‘love’, ‘unhappy’ and ‘hate’? One may love one’s job – but intermixed with all that a person’s job entails has to be a certain amount of strain. To elaborate: Jesus said that but for the joy set before him, he endured the shame of the cross. It wasn’t easy sailing, by any stretch. In the same way, when believers declare they love something – it’s important that they qualify the word ‘love’. For example: I love my dog, but when my wife and I have to spend hours de-matting his 10 inch long hair, or clean the yard of his excrement, or suffer the pain of his puppy nails raking down our bare legs in his exuberant excitement of seeing us…the word ‘love’ takes on a bit of a different meaning.

I am seeing that by either omission or intent, without elucidating with as much clarity as possible, (which encompasses both positive and negative, chaffing, grinding factors) regarding, ‘I love my job, marriage, kids, co-workers, the street I live on etc,’ will leave those struggling with the notion that if they are beset with anything less than warm, fuzzy, happy feelings, there must be something radically wrong with them.

It was through Jesus that a door was opened up for all of humanity to clearly see how the Son of God/Son of Man was going to attain perfection…and that it was not going to be achieved by his Father removing the grinding, chaffing, forging circumstances and situations needed to accomplish this perfection.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Grace:Panacea or Placebo

‘I pity the fool’, a phrase that became synonymous with Laurence Tureaud aka, Mr. T, I guess this somewhat dates me, eh?

Somehow that catch phrase seems to be my jumping off point here this morning, ‘I pity the fool’ that thinks that the grace and unconditional loving acceptance of God the Father is but a placebo or maybe better yet some kind of opiate that anesthetizes (neutralizes) us and gives us a sense of euphoric bliss? Seems to me if I remember correctly, that was how the first Matrix was designed by the architect in the first Matrix movie.

The intelligence of His love is indeed totally freeing, for a laugh,
click on to YouTube - Mr. T: The "T" in I.T.

One doesn’t have to look too long or hard at the miracle of spring and its powerful invasion within nature all around us to realize there is a huge battle, struggle and straining taking place.
Funny how our present senses are so limited especially in seeing and in hearing, because I’m sure if we really had ears and eyes to see and hear, maybe what appears to be but in bud form regarding the buried bulbs bursting forth in our gardens and the buds becoming ever so much more pregnant on the trees, the silence would be eclipsed with the cacophony of the sounds of Life and its liberating beauty displacing death, and all of this beauty coming forth into the ‘visible’ world through great consternation.

Actually this is but a continuation of my thoughts from over

I want to say that in experiencing the love and grace of the Father, it is not nor was it ever meant to be an escape from having to face and go through the stuff as Jesus mentioned; ‘Sufficient unto the day are the struggles we will all have to face,’ or something close to that, and yes, there is grace for all of this and more!

It truly is amazing how those (and that includes a vast populace) who simply want to give the impression or keeping some kind of religious veneer/appearance of never having to sweat it, struggle anymore since being set free from their fear/control issues. If they were ever to admit to experiencing the gravitational pull of sin and having to rely upon His grace in the throes of this daily struggle/battle would somehow tarnish their new found testimony of what it means to live loved.
Two words come to mind when thinking on this crock of crap-bull shit!!

If grace (love) is the power to be known for who we are (and who we are becoming), then pride must be that which chooses to try and pull the wool over the eyes of others to be seen for who we’re NOT? Sure sounds a lot like the religious self-righteous dicks Jesus bumped into a lot of the time.
In my opinion, who we are and are becoming is not really real apart from His grace (love) bringing forth His son being fully formed within us apart from the strained struggle of Life displacing, overcoming the ‘true lies’ we have all believed.

‘If you continue to follow Me (Jesus), you will Know the Truth, and the Truth will set/make you free.’


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Secret Identity

For the child of God, not KNOWING that He-God lives inside of them (as their only Life) is tantamount to being a son or daughter of the richest father in the world and yet living as if they are but an orphan.
I know first hand, living in such mistaken poverty and how the lies seems so true. How many times as a believer would I look at the so called encouraging words from the scriptures, 'Above all brethren, I pray that you will prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers,' and walk away thinking it was still dependent upon myself as an orphan to somehow find what seemed to be so illusive and just out of my reach, rather than knowing I really had a Father that wanted to provide for me.
It is this wonderful journey I am on, along with so many other siblings who are starting to see (discovering) and know the difference between the 'fools gold' and the real.

It is an awakening of unparalleled proportion and it has one source and it ain't man's doing, but rather Father God himself bringing those he has fathered into an alert, sober, clear appreciation of all that is included within their Birth-right.

First and foremost within this unfolding revelation of the inheritance-birth-right of the child of God is unmeasurable Love, unconditional loving acceptance that knows no end. As this love meets the unmet heart needs within us the rippling affects are going to cause a great disturbance to the force of the religious establishments of this world.Bottom line, as Love is discovered, nothing will ever be able to extinguish its power.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fathers Needed

I read this, this morning and liked it a lot. (By John Collings)


If we live as children in a world lacking real maturity, then we are led by those who are physically stronger or intellectually more articulate. We perceive ourselves as grown because there are no examples of adult obvious to us. We operate as adult even as orphaned children must in order to survive. Yet something within us proclaims a restlessness that there must be more. It is because children should be children. Desiring to be a father and caring for children does not make one a father. Becoming a father is a process of time, an accumulation of experience, and involves the transference of a seed of life into a suitable container to contain that life.

This is the predicament of the organized church. Children who know no real maturity striving to proclaim reality which is past their experience and comprehension. Because they cannot ''know'' by virtue of their ''age'', they must operate not by spontaneous living, but by structure and rules which only gives the appearance of what they wish to be.

There must be fathers within the church. Those who operate by an inner knowing of who they are and are able to comfort the children. Encouraging them to be children. To give understanding to the young men, knowing their rebellion and search for gifts and God's power is a natural part of their becoming. Fathers who have no goal and no vision, except to love those whom they have been given that they also might know the Life. Fathers who produce fathers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is God Just a Concept?

At different times and places I have either mentioned on my blogs or in person how I dislike with a passion the use of the word ‘concept’ especially in relating that toward the Truth Himself and what the Truth wants to make known to us.
For example, ‘Wow what he shared in his book, what a powerful concept.’ As if it’s simply a matter of time of deducing and trying to assimilate this into a workable 2+2 = the right answer that will fit in well with what I think I know, but is the reality of God the Father being LOVE, just a concept? Or is it something that you put under a microscope and try to figure out what makes it what it is?

Is it like the dyslexic agnostic saying, ‘Is there really a Dog'? (of Love)

I really wonder if we look at God’s wanting to not only approach us but to bring us into an eye/heart witness encounter of what (Who) Love is, (you know those who have been labeled as having ‘intimacy issues’, well welcome to the human race, born into a world who’s only working definition of love is spelled out, try harder, and after that, try some more to measure up) we revert to looking at his love purely academically, intellectually?

I like Os Chamber’s thoughts
here, and here.

In my opinion all religon is looked upon as a intellectual, conceptual or philosophical study thang, my truth of concepts vs your concepts, and at best only having a vicarious relationship with whatever god through the soul/mind, intellect.

Listen to these thoughts, ‘Being saved and seeing Jesus are not the same thing. Many people who have never seen Jesus have received and share in God’s grace. But once you have seen Him, you can never be the same. Other things will not have the appeal they did before.’

‘Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself.’

Is it any wonder why we find ourselves feeling cut off, alienated from this so called God of love when we keep trying to fit Him into our workable 2+2 concepts? I’m not sure a concept has the power to dismantle the kingdom of fear and its tormenting crippling effects within my soul, but when Love comes to town, well, look out baby cause our lives are about to be turned right side up for the first time.
Bring it on Papa!!


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Freedom in Being Loved

Over at Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

Especially these couple of posts, and here .

Jim is processing much as he is being processed, and in that process discovering what and who freedom just might be.

It is a wonder to see as His unfolding grace (the unforced rhythms of grace) frees a person from the inside out.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

More Losing of Religion

Talk about an oxymoron, never has it appeared to me of that being more true than today.
I am viewing Christianity as becoming more and more irrelevant to so many, but especially to many, many Christians.
I can not but see God the Father’s hand in all of this; it is a wonder in the making.

Why (and I’m being rhetorical here) has Life-Truth-Love become synonymous with simply furthering what we were doing before the personal God encounter in our lives?
Meaning what has Love-Life got to do with it, perpetuating although now under the banner of ‘Christianity’ any religious adherences?
I thought it was all about God in the person of His Son saying, ‘I have come that you might have Life, and experience it to its fullness.’

Somehow Jesus is seen as someone who came to establish the only right religion, no longer the old format called Judaism but bringing to birth a whole new improved and MUCH better religion called, ‘Christianity’.
As I mentioned in a previous post, that in my opinion the basis of all religion, (or the impetus aka the father of religion being Satan himself), is based solely upon a performance based acceptance towards whatever God we say we worship.
And why shouldn’t it be that way when all we have ever known from birth was the religion of the age (the religion of our fathers), be a good vs bad boy and you will be rewarded etc, from the sublime to the ridiculous, really its all ridiculous isn’t it!

So somehow in becoming a recipient of the Life-Love God freely offers, why is it necessary to perpetuate any expression of any religion?


I wonder?

Friday, April 04, 2008

It Was the Winter of Our Discontent

Sometimes we have to live with some uncertainty and chaos before a new order can take shape.

This speaks much into what is happening in our neck of the woods weather wise, it’s officially according to the calendar spring, but we’re getting rain mixed with snow, and this has been more on than off lately. So much of the long range weather forecast has and continues to be below the norm.
One season seems to be in contention with another, fighting to hang on while another is replacing it, catching us in a vortex as it were.
The season we are in as a re-birthed person is the season of (or dispensation) grace, and it has replaced the season (or dispensation) of law, and yet using my weather illustration here we are caught in between or the middle of something that seems to make no sense.
It’s supposed to be (grace) spring time all around us, but it appears as if we’re caught or stuck in the (law) winter scene.

To quote A. Sparks here, “Supposing the deepest purposes of God can only be realized by His hiding from our flesh all that that flesh craves for its life, and - more - supposing His work in us, whereby triumphant faith and obedience reach their highest form, necessitates His concealing Himself and accepting the risk of being considered to have been unfaithful?”

This seems to be a constant at least in my growing and learning of Him.

To quote my friend
Dave here in one of his comments to me this morning in our processing this, ‘So we're so often left feeling more like a shattered piece of glass, a scattered bunch of puzzle pieces, than something that has it all together.’
I replied back, if we are in fact this whole new creation, and all of the old has passed away, and everything has becoming new, then why do I feel and see myself this way yet? Maybe it’s because one season does not go without a fight.
Dave went on to say, ‘Right... because, maybe because, we're LIVING in the midst of the storms, the transitions of winter into spring, and it looks like all hell is breaking loose.’

There’s a verse that sheds some light on this in the life of David a man after God’s own heart, and a king in the making, ‘There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.’
As in the life of David, he too was living as it were caught between two worlds in opposition to one another, which only compounded his hurt and confusion. As Dave said, ‘yes.... and maybe David had some days wondering what the heck is this God that he's trying to follow, doing in his life. Sure don't look to good.’

It’s not the weather, but whether we are going to be able to begin to see through or past that which seems to have immobilized us, and this is crucial (imperative) to our moving into the higher purposes our Father has awaiting us.
This ability to start seeing past-through our present circumstances is not going to remove us from the nasty-now-in-now stuff we’re facing, but I believe there will rise up within us an ability to know His control in the face of all that appears to be out of control!
There is so much more I could say here, but my intention is not to turn this into an epistle.


Here are some thoughts from Austin Sparks that accent the meal I’m putting together here.
For further reading.

It can be truly said that a great deal of what we are, and therefore of the effect that we have in this world, is the result of our seeing. There is much truth in the saying that we become like that upon which our eyes are mainly focused. This can be seen in national characteristics. The arid, austere, hard, cold, and colourless regions of the world produce a hard, austere and matter-of-fact type of people. The colourful, verdant, soft, warm and fertile realms, where nature has not to be coerced but only guided, produce colourful and easygoing people with more artistic and sentimental natures. Small and restricted surroundings produce small minds, with limited interests and understanding. The dwellers in the spheres of far distances and massive dimensions are venturesome, bold, and generous, with enterprise almost audacious. This is a general rule with occasional and particular modifications or variations. It points to the effect on an individual or a community, consciously or unconsciously, of that which is continually before their eyes.

There is more that shows that that final 'beholding' will have a consummating effect in putting the final touches to the work of 'conforming to His image'. So, from first to last, our salvation, transformation, and glorification are vitally related to our eyes, our spiritual seeing. 'The pure in heart shall see God' (Matt. 5:8).

But, when I set out to pen these lines, I had other things also in mind. Our eyes are so much confronted with conditions that are contrary to Christ, and this constitutes such a battle-ground for our eyes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Feat, His Divine Fiat

There is way too much to try and copy and paste here, so for those wanting to read (Keeping Christ In View) further, bon appetite.

These will be some more thoughts on what I shared earlier, also for those interested in another’s thoughts, Ruth over at Come Away My Beloved, has also shared some wonderful thoughts as well.

Here are a couple of quotes: There is everywhere today an immense amount of definite or tacit admission of the failure of Christianity; the asking of the question: 'What is wrong with Christianity or the "churches"?' The would-be doctors seeking to diagnose the malady and prescribe the remedy are a growing multitude. Not all are mistaken, and if we seem to have joined their ranks, we do not think that we are speculating when we assert that that which is preached and taught has become - although largely unwittingly - detached from the personal significance of Christ Himself. The business of the Church and its ministry is not to propagate a system of Christian truth, but to bring Christ Himself, in the power of the Holy Spirit, wherever it goes and is. The Gospel as such saves nobody. Salvation is a vital personal contact and union with Christ Himself. Hence, and this is the crucial point, Christ must have a living organism in which and by which to make that contact and that union.”

“Christianity has become something almost entirely apart from the Person of Christ. It is a religion, a system, a philosophy of life, a set of ways, practices, and ideas. It is something that people enter into, take up, join, and choose. They come to Christ through the Christian system, but the Christ they come to is a denominational, sectarian, ritualistic, or evangelical Christ. The Christ that they know and believe in is the Christ of this or that connection and interpretation. Christ rarely now creates Christianity; it is Christianity that creates Christ.”

Maybe as a wise master builder, the Apostle Paul was unwilling to deviate from the DNA design that constituted what His church was to BE? In other words, he didn’t resort to clowning or cloning around with that which was entrusted to him. You know, somebody who say is very skilled (talented) at painting assuming they can take one of the recognized great masters paintings and make it even better with the magical brush strokes.

Flesh and blood humanity has not evolved nor will it ever become a shinning pinnacle of man’s doings, never! And yet it is within man the miracle of the re-birthing is to be established.
Maybe that’s why Paul could see first hand out of having been translated (caught up) into the heavenly realms wherein it says ‘he both saw and heard things he could not speak of’ regarding the coming together of His church, which IS His body.
And just maybe that’s why he prayed for His church that although there were such wonderful expressions of His life flowing through it, he was privy to the Father’s design, and asked of the Father to give unto His church a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the true knowledge of Him.

Within man, long before the technology was discovered regarding the ability to ‘clone’
was very much a reality that was set into motion from the church’s inception. Whenever the individual/s moved away from their only Life, Christ in them, it devolved into a form of godliness, but lacking any power.
It seems without fail every time God the Father makes himself known to someone in the uniqueness of what that constitutes, man only seeing at best the external results of these holy encounters begins sooner or later to manipulate it and turn it into a movement and ultimately a denomination, and of course the only one who HAS the truth!

I will most likely come back to this conversation many different times regarding His church which is His body, as so many are being awakened to the reality of who He really is and the loving but probing question he seems to delight in asking; “Who do you say I AM?”