Saturday, February 28, 2009

Your Presence

Why have You kindled in me the flame of faith, this dark light which lures us out of the bright security of our little huts into Your night? And why have You made me Your priest, one whose vocation it is to be with You on behalf of men, when my finiteness makes me grasp for breath in Your presence?

(Karl Rahner)


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

No, it is not yours to open buds into blossoms.
Shake the bud, strike it; it is beyond your power to make it blossom.
Your touch soils it, you tear its petals to pieces and strew them in the dust.
But no colours appear, and no perfume.
Ah! It is not for you to open the bud into blossom.

He who can open the bud does it so simply.
He gives it a glance, and the life-sap stirs through its veins.
At his breath the flower spreads its wings and flutters in the wind.
Colours flush out like heart-longings, the perfume betrays a sweet secret.
He who can open the buds does it so simply.

(From the Indian poet, Tagore).

This poem speaks of the wonder of His love and power stirring within those places in my life that cry out Abba, Father!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't Cross My Will

But isn't that just what the Father of our spirit has purposed - to introduce a custom-designed and unique application of the cross to my will? If God the Father is love (and He is), then be prepared to embrace the "goodness and the severity" of the Father, at times simultaneously! And although your immediate thought might be, "This can't be of the Father" think again…or better yet, think it NOT strange what has befallen you!

Let's take a look here into Hebrews which plainly speaks of this blessing that goes hand in hand with our being received of the father. To further illustrate, a couple of verses from the King James translation is particularly sweet:

"If ye endure chastening, God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

From my perspective, the reality that none of us sees is the reality that deals with the unseen current of our hearts. I love the story of the pastor who allowed his youngest son to have a sleepover with a parishioner's son. The next morning the pastor called his friend to inquire about his son's behavior. To his surprise, the pastor was informed that his son was simply a delight, but experience led him to add ruefully, "I guess you never had to cross his will."

The story in Luke 15 of the generous father is a graphic illustration unveiling the hidden reality of our hearts, and how without being disciplined, corrected, and extricated from the Matrix of religion our needed and continued growth is aborted: "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons". It would appear as if this father's sons were outwardly perfect – until their wills were crossed. Likewise, we are our Heavenly Father's forever children, but His ultimate intentions are for fully mature (perfect) sons!

Isn't it amazing how, at a heart level, we can divorce ourselves from the Father of our spirit simply because we choose to go our way? The kicker is, because of the intensity of His love for us, He grants us that very freedom. Sooner or later as truth-filled sobriety invades our inner senses, we begin to see the stark reality of this being a divine conspiracy which harmoniously flows between Father, Son and Holy Spirit - that there really is only One way, His way, Jesus the Way! Because of the innate inclination of our foolish "wisdom", we try to go the right way versus the wrong way, and in that process blindly miss out on the best way - His! However, thanks be to God who allows us to go wrong before we learn to go right.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Miserably Set Free

Anything dealing with this life and love of God in Christ stems from His initiative, “We love him because he first loved us.”
Jesus spells this out so very clearly and yet for most of us simply going by the letter without the breath of His spirit that always accompanies the letter, we will be set up for an alarming upheaval in our journey.

Listen to what He says here;
“If you continue to abide within this relationship I have called you into, you will know the truth and the truth will make, set you free.” As well as, “Whom the Son makes free, is free indeed.”

Many who have been and continue to follow Christ have run into unimaginable nightmares and this is happening while they are wide awake.
What none of us ever thought would erupt within us walking, abiding in this relationship He called us to, was that the Truth was going to establish itself in our innermost being and in doing so, that which we have blindly mistaken as the real us is being radically altered!

We have all been born in sin and shaped in iniquity, that was our introduction coming into the world, but it didn’t stop there. Yes when we were received of the Father we became a whole new creation, but, for most, they were led not by the spirit of the Father but by their natural inclination. Rather than allowing the Father of their spirit to further enlightened as to what happened in being apprehended of God, they became religious without really knowing its corrupting death influence happening.

For many throughout the earth there is an inner revelation of the Father's deep love gripping the hearts of those who want to respond to the Father of their spirit, an awakening of unparalleled proportion. Much like the Prince in the movie Sleeping Beauty, he fights to save this one he cherishes and loves by kissing her and waking her from her death sleep.
Unbeknown to us is that we have had established within us an erroneous identity fashioned, formed by the spirit of this age, the Matrix of religion, the impetus being the father of lies and all religion, Satan.

Before experiencing and enjoying our freedom promised by the Father, the truth is going to make you miserable!
This inner work of demolition, tearing down, plucking up, uprooting that which is contrary to who’s we are and who we are is being displaced. In that unfolding process, you will be convinced at times you are loosing your mind, even to the extent thinking it is the devil himself have free course with you.

The saving of our soul is nothing to take lightly and for most of us the words spoken by our precious brother Paul who knew suffering and persecution more than most offered these words of living encouragement, “All who will live Godly lives in Christ Jesus will go through much tribulation!”
A man’s life does NOT consist in what he has or what he hopes to have. In coming to know Him as our only Life, we will suffer the loss of all things, but on the flip side gain more in our poverty than ever dreamed.

That I might know Him!


Friday, February 20, 2009

A Lively Hope

Only in knowing (the Word) and that knowing flows out of being known by the Word himself, that we begin to know!

He is that Word that when He speaks, the geography of our inner life begins to be transformed; much like it was in the beginning. Genesis 1:1-3, “In beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved (hovered-brooded-resonated) upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light, and there was light.”

Here are a couple of translations from Hebrews 4:12, “For God’s message is alive and full of power in action” and, "For the word God speaks is alive and active” and, "For whatever God says to us is FULL of living power.”

I love the brilliance of Who’s we are, is shinning ever more intensely within the lives of those He calls His sons! Look with me if you will at what our brother Peter has to say regarding this inner reality that is transforming these ones chosen from before the foundations of the earth.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” and especially this one, “Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent: Look! I'm setting a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation
will never have cause to regret it. To you who trust him, he's a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it’s.. . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.”

I love how the word “stone” was used to illustrate the power of this One who has called us to BE His treasured and prized possessions.
Stones are inanimate objects, but we have been called unto a living (lively) hope, and in my opinion what the creation, the world is longing to see is an outer display (demonstration) of the inner reality, revelation of Who’s we are!

“In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the “sons of God” coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited-yet it has been given HOPE. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the “children of God!”

The intensity of this birthed, not created longing within me to know the Father of my spirit is the very impetus that fuels this out of control raging fire that burns within me, freeing me to embrace the intense privilege of being granted permission, access into being intimately acquainted in and with the fellowship of His sufferings.
More and more my breath is taken away in knowing the inner resonating happening, as one living (lively) stone is being established in an unmovable strength and beauty of like wise receiving the growing revelation of, “Who’s we are!”
Christ in you the Hope of glory!


Thursday, February 19, 2009


My daughter sent us this poem that deeply touched her, as it like wise spoke to me of the wonder of His great love.


every day
i see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
it is what i was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
nor am i talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
oh, good scholar,
i say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

-Mary Oliver.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Victorious Limp

Reading from the ragamuffin Gospel today, I loved this quote from Brennan Manning; “Most of the descriptions of the victorious life do not match the reality of my own. Hyperbole, bloated rhetoric, and grandiose testimonies create the impression that once Jesus is acknowledged as Lord, the Christian life becomes a picnic on a green lawn-marriage blossoms into connubial bliss, physical health flourishes, acne disappears, and sinking careers suddenly soar. The victorious life is proclaimed to mean that everybody is a winner. An attractive twenty-year old accepts Jesus and becomes Miss America; a floundering lawyer conquers alcoholism and whips F. Lee Bailey in court; a tenth-round draft choice for the Green Bay Packers goes to the Pro Bowl.
Miracles occur, conversions abound, church attendance skyrockets, ruptured relationships get healed, shy people become gregarious, and the Atlanta Braves win the World Series. Idyllic descriptions of victory in Jesus are more often colored by cultural and personal expectations than by Christ and the ragamuffin gospel.

The New Testament depicts another picture of the victorious life; Jesus on Calvary. The biblical image of the victorious life reads more like the victorious limp. Jesus was victorious not because He never flinched, talked back, or questioned; but having flinched, talked back, and questioned, He remained faithful.

What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots, and wandered into a far country. Yet they kept coming back to Jesus."


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Father continues to totally amaze me as he in his wisdom keeps walking me through His maze of grace.
I honestly feel like a little kid that you just know by reading his body language that he had to pee some time ago but because of being SO excited having so much fun, well, having to pee just has to wait.
That kid is me for sure today, but it didn’t start out that way, no sir-e-bob. I went to bed early last night being so dog tired, but sometime during the night had a horrible nightmare, which lingered throughout most of the day, but into this crap He dropped a bomb, yup the kind that makes you wanna forget anything else but Him!

It truly floods my soul in how His foolishness is so much better than all of my wisdom, He led me to a site that He used to confirm so much He has been getting me prepared to see in His light and His timing, my soul does magnify His name!

Those who do not know any of my story, suffice it to say that religion, being a “Christian” has cost me more than I can try and put into words. So the very hint of the subverting odor of (leaven) religion, makes me wanna puke!!!
It was hard reading, wadding through this site, because of all the religious bull shit, but the wonder of Him drawing me there and keeping me from its entanglements is nothing short of a miracle.
I am resonating in this fresh unfolding of being wonder struck by His great love for me all over again, and knowing this love IS for all of my siblings as well.

There is so much He has poured into my being today even after being slimed last night with the sickening nightmare, I can not get away from His brilliance in connecting so many dots that have been at best abstract and obtuse to me.
I am looking so forward to being able to share some of what He continues to make even clearer to me in the near future.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting into the Wheelbarrow

The following is from the “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning.

“Perhaps we are all in the position of the man in Morton Kelsey’s story who came to the edge of an abyss. As he stood there, wondering what to do next, he was amazed to discover a tightrope stretched across the abyss. And slowly, surely, across the rope came an acrobat pushing before him a wheelbarrow with another performer in it. When they finally reached the safety of solid ground, the acrobat smiled at the man’s amazement. “Don’t you think I can do it again?” he asked. And the man replied, “Why yes, I certainly believe you can.”
The acrobat put his question again, and when the answer was the same, he pointed to the wheelbarrow and said, “Good! The get in and I will take you across.”

What did the traveler do? This is just the question we have to ask ourselves about Jesus Christ. Do we state our belief in Him in no uncertain terms, even in finely articulated creeds, and then refuse to get into the wheelbarrow? What we do about the lordship of Jesus is a better indication of our faith that what we think. This is what the world wants from our rhetoric, what the man of God longs for in a shepherd-someone daring enough to be different, humble enough to make mistakes, wild enough to be burned in the fire of love, real enough to make others see how phony we are.

Let the prayer of Nikos Kazantzakis arise from our hearts at a passionate pitch of loving awareness.

I am a bow on your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, who cares if I break?


Friday, February 13, 2009

Grace in Theory

the following is from the Ragamuffin Gospel.

“We accept grace in theory but deny it in practice. Living by grace rather than law leads us out of the house of fear into the house of love. “In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear: because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love” (1 John 4:18).

While we profess our faith in God’s unconditional love, many of us still live in fear. Nouwen remarks: Look at the many “if” questions we raise: What am I going to do if I do not find a spouse, a house, a job, a friend, a benefactor? What am I going to do if they fire me, if I get sick, if an accident happens, if I lose my friends, if my marriage does not work out, if war breaks out? What if tomorrow the weather is bad, the buses are on strike, or an earthquake happens? What if someone steals my money, breaks into my house, rapes my daughter, or kills me?

Once these questions guide our lives, we take out a second mortgage in the house of fear.
Jesus says simply, “Remain in me, as I in you” (John 15:4). Home is not a heavenly mansion in the afterlife but a safe place right in the midst of our anxious world. “Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him” (John 14:23).

Home is that sacred space-external or internal-where we don’t have to be afraid; where we are confident of hospitality and love. In our society we have homeless people sleeping not only on the streets, in shelters or in welfare hotels, but vagabonds who are in flight, who never come home to themselves. They seek a safe place through alcohol or drugs or security in success, competence, friends, pleasure, notoriety, knowledge, or even a little religion. They have become strangers to themselves, people who have an address but are never at home, who never hear the voice of love or experience the freedom of God’s children.

To those of us in flight, who are afraid to turn around lest we run into ourselves, Jesus says, You have a home. I am your home. Claim me as your home. You will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home. It is right where you are, in your innermost being. In your heart.

For those who have moved from the house of fear and have made their home in Jesus reads the following.

Eviction Notice!

You are hereby banished from the house of Fear forever. With malice aforethought, you have flagrantly withheld the monthly rent of guilt, anxiety, fear, shame and self-condemnation. You have adamantly refused to worry about your salvation. Already I overheard one dismal tenant say, “There goes the neighborhood!” Your freedom from fear is not only dangerous but contagious. Real estate values have plummeted; gullible investors are hard to find. Why? Your callous and carefree rejection of slavery! A pox on you and all deluded lovers of liberty!

The Prince!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Appearing to be Real

Impostors in the Spirit prefer appearances to reality. Rationalization begins with a look in the mirror. We don’t like the sight of ourselves as we really are, so we try cosmetics, makeup, the right light, and the proper accessories to develop an acceptable image of ourselves. We rely on the stylish disguise that has made us look good or at least look away from our true self. Self-deception mortgages our sinfulness and prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are—ragamuffins.

I really don’t know of a better description of how religion in any flavor does what it does best, covers up, masks not a defect, but the defiance within fallen man.
But is it any wonder that it should be any different, meaning, the father of lies-religion is a master of disguise, as it were transforming himself (an angel of darkness) into a angel of light!

The quote was from The Ragamuffin Gospel.

While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn't give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Christ In You, the Fullness of Hope

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What meaning or purpose is there for anyone as long as they have ‘hope’ in anyone or thing other than Christ? Blessed ARE the poor!

I loved this quote from the OZ man himself (Oswald Chambers).

"We have sinned with our fathers; . . . and have forgotten" - then put a stiletto in the place where you have gone to sleep. "God is not talking to me just now," but He ought to be. Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve. Provoke yourself by recollection, and your affection for God will increase tenfold; your imagination will not be starved any longer, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.”

You can read the rest of it here.

It is a major hurdle to embrace, learning to trust the Father when everything within you screams for action when you see a person who is being slowly reduced to nothing. The need is the call, Lord what is the truth in this situation, in this person who ‘appears’ to be so hopeless?
Learning to move, do, say only that which is made know to us by the Father is that which will bear fruit now and through out eternity.

It hurts like hell seeing real suffering all around us and knowing unless He says, sets into motion His directive, the best we can do is carry them in our heart before Him as He brings them to that blessed place of total bankruptcy.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Strange Attraction of Jesus

"One of the mysteries of the gospel tradition is this strange attraction of Jesus for the unattractive, this strange desire for the undesirable, this strange love for the unlovely. The key to this mystery is, of course, Abba. Jesus does what He sees the Father doing; He loves those whom the Father loves."

(From the Ragamuffin Gospel)


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Deep Eyes of Faith

He believed on the strength of the absurd, for all human calculation had long been suspended. Had it not been thus with Abraham he may well have loved God, but he would not have had faith; for he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God reflects on God. At this extremity stands Abraham. The last stage he LOSES SIGHT OF IS INFINITE RESIGNATION. He really does go further and comes TO faith. For the movement of faith must be made continually on the strength of the absurd, though in such a way, be it noted, that one does not lose finitude but gains it all of a piece. The knights of infinite resignation are readily recognizable; their gait is gliding, bold. But those who wear the jewel of faith can easily disappoint. . . and yet the whole earthly form he presents is a new creation on the strength of the absurd. He resigned everything infinitely, and then took everything back on the strength of the absurd.

You can read the rest here.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Vine and Branches

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”

I will most likely touch upon additional thoughts that I started here yesterday with, “Closed and Open Doors,” as this continues to be an area that Father is wanting to open up to me in ever clearer ways.
Once again I quote from my friend Bill Landon’s book, “Life After Death.”

“As I stated in the introduction, the Bible is the one objective source of confirmation that I accept on matters of truth about life, God and spirituality. This position can only be applied successfully if the Scriptures are used correctly.”

Before I go any further here I want to emphasize a needed and necessary point.
Because of sin and the death affects that came into an entire race of people, which which was totally unnatural became the norm for us. Because of what Adam and Eve did in imbibing from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it has become the fixed inclination (fulcrum) of our hearts to trust in ourselves, to lean unto our own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge we are the ones (gods) in control of life.
Sadly this inclination was not aborted in those who were re-birthed, if it was then why was Jesus forcefully stressing the following, “If you continue to abide within this relationship I have called you into, you will know the Truth and the truth will make-set you free.”

Our loving and compassionate heavenly Father is dealing in direct proportion, going to the depth of the habitual sin habit pattern inclination of us turning to ourselves verses being freed to turn to Him as our only Life.
The truth will set us free, but it is my experience that before the fruit of this becomes evident within our lives, the truth will make us very miserable!
A perfect word for that might be, “disillusioned!”

"Please remember that we human beings have the ability to choose to use any tool correctly or incorrectly. Contrary to what many believe, correct use of the Bible is not a massive intellectual exercise. Further, receiving instruction from the Bible does not require special instruction from a seminary or the blessing of any organization of men. We only need an understanding of a few relatively simple rules to be able to work with the Father in using His marvelous book. If we choose to ignore or violate these rules we will have to deal with the consequences of that decision and the Bible will be a snare to us instead of a guide.
The Bible is a wonderful writing but is, unfortunately, also an extremely dangerous one. For reasons completely known only to the Father, He had this book constructed in such a way as to make it completely usable only when we study it in surrender to His teaching through the Holy Spirit’s revelation. I understand at least one reason for doing this. This is a safeguard to prevent us from unraveling the mysteries of the spiritual out of our own intellectual efforts alone.
This prohibition is not a mean-spirited act on the Lord’s par. We are kept from successfully discovering spiritual truth on our own because the whole purpose of life in this world is to develop a personal living relationship with God. As such, it would be counterproductive and even harmful for the Father to allow the truth of reality to be accessible without some collaboration with Him. In God’s plan, our growth in intellectual understanding is only a secondary attribute in the larger area of developing our living relationship with the Father.”