Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Naked Gospel

I've really enjoyed reading this e-book by Andrew Farley.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Highest Rank

I love the visual illustration Jesus gave to those wanting to know who was going to have the highest rank in the kingdom of God. “For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.”

Lately another unexplainable thing has got me scratching my head as I go about my job delivering the mail. It seems that whenever I see a little boy standing on his driveway, or out by the curb as am delivering my parcels there is something mystical happening deep within me. It has happened enough times to solidly get my attention.
One little boy in particular a week ago or so was standing there watching me, he came closer to the end of his driveway and just stood there staring at me, I waved to him and as I did his face ignited into a full blown beaming smile, it melted my heart, but, and here is the thing that will sound so absurd. It was ‘as if’ I was waving to me as that little boy, somehow Father was healing, releasing something so long lost and forgotten in me that logically it was something I was going to try and dismiss.

I have no understanding about any of this, all I know is similar things keep happening to me, and there is a melting within me when I see a father out with his little son and other similar settings. I sense Father doing what is in His heart to free me up as a 59 year old man to enter into a whole new season of discovering his relentless pursuit of those many lost places He is finding in my heart and making whole within me.

Abba, I love you so much!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paradigm For Trusting

I have been so richly encouraged listening to Darin Hufford from the Into the Wild pod casts, one in particular I just started listening to was entitled “Free Falling” you can listen to it here.

I am finding I can far better relate to this brother than I can to another couple I have listened to for several years now Wayne and Brad from the God Journey. Darin is speaking my language as he is trying to hammer out what it means to live in the wild, or as I like to put it, living in the new world.

Having our mind (soul) catch up to the reality of whose we are reminds me of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nick was only at that point able to relate to a New World reality with an Old World mind set. Can you relate to that?

The following quote is from Brennan Manning from his book Ruthless Trust; “Our story is perhaps a paradigm for every trusting disciple. The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without and rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it as his presence and his promise.”

I have shared at different times on my blogs how much interest there is in the results of faith, but venturing into the way of faith/trust, well, that’s another issue. What Brennan has said here is what I see being the life of trust, and the very nature of trust is that it must continually be tried. So much faith/trust is in my opinion simply faith or trust in our faith or trust! Better known as a form of godliness but lacking any real power!!

As he continues to bring an unshakable certainty into my life it operates within the context of vast uncertainties, ergo the strain, the pain, the struggle of His life becoming FULLY formed in me as me.

Another quote from Manning; “The basic premise of biblical trust is the conviction that God wants us to grow, to unfold, and to experience fullness of life. However, this kind of trust is acquired only gradually and most often through series of crises and trials. Through the indescribable anguish on Mount Moriah with his son Isaac, Abraham learned that the God who had called him to hope against hope was eminently reliable and that the only thing expected of him was unconditional trust. That great old man models the essence of trust in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures: to be convinced of the reliability of God.The story of salvation-history indicates that without exception trust must be purified in the crucible of trial.”


Monday, August 24, 2009

Coming Out Of The Closet

It is truly amazing how furious and fiercely the longing of God is toward the lost, broken and hopeless, and I am one of those who have been rescued by such an arresting unconditional love.

A friend sent me the links to a four part conversation with Paul Young being interviewed about his life and the writing of the story that turned into the book, The Shack. To say it impacted me is the understatement of the century; I am sensing afresh the boldness of His love for me to begin the baby steps needed to come out of the closet of shame and fear.

God is using religious institutional systems (they are no threat or rival to God) and otherwise to drive people to helplessness. To expose power, to expose those things that need to be transformed!

More than anything I want to be real, transparent with myself, the Lord and with others, on the other hand, fear and shame is something that is designed to want to keep me known for who I’m not.
So much has been and continues to be stirred up in my life and I’m beginning to recognize the hand of my loving, caring heavenly Father in it all.
If I was to simply be released from painful circumstances and situations without being set, made free on the inside, what the hell good would it be to have to face those very same things again without the fear and its grip on me broken?

I am seeing that grace has no attraction to it without being vulnerable, transparent, and weak, swimming in an abundance of inner depravity. Performing will never earn or buy God’s favour and fear is something that drives us all to do just that perform.
In watching and listening to Paul Young open up and share about the depravity within his own life and how grace transformed him, I could easily relate to him.
On the other hand someone who has never seen or admitted to their inner brokenness of shame and depravity, grace no matter how loud they proclaim it has no more appeal than a conceptual buzz.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome To The New (Real) World

There are numerous stories of those who heard of the “new world” and for many different reasons sought it out, many leaving all they ever knew in their birth country to venture into the unknown, aka, the new world.
What they knew and understood about this new world and their actually getting there and trying to put down roots was a whole different reality, just read the history books.

The truth (reality) offered to us in Christ is not merely a change in perspective it is the only way of living in this world but not of it!
So many of us who have been translated, transported through the portal of grace into the family of God the Father, are trying to operate in this new frontier with a remaining old mind set, is it any wonder there are such incongruent clashes happening repeatedly?
Just when you think you have an inkling as to what it is all about, suddenly you are entering something far stranger than the story bound Twilight Zone.

There is so much on and in the heart of our loving Father that He desires to share with us but, much of it we cannot bear as of yet. The ability is there resident within our spirit union with the Father, but our soul e.g. our mind is far from being able to grasp this intuitive language and reality that is trying to ‘fully’ define whose we are and who we are!

There is no ability to live in this new order, new world with an old mind set, as if there really was a secret of mixing oil with water, law with grace-ha! The momentum of the unforced rhythms of grace is violently and aggressively dealing with that which is totally hidden to our understanding, keeping us bound inwardly to an identity that is no longer ours.
As in the song The Battle Hymn of the Republic, where it says, “He is sifting out the hearts of men beneath His judgment seat”, is a case in point, He is trying our hearts motives, attitudes reasoning’s and inclinations.
This is all part of our inward emancipation; the impetus is birthed out of our perfect union with the Father, it is His purpose for us to be fully conformed and transformed by this abiding and unalterable reality of His unconditional love.

The rabbit hole only gets deeper!!


Monday, August 10, 2009

God Fixes A Fix

I believe that was part of a quote from Bob Mumford. After listening to the latest pod cast from The God Journey with Wayne and Brad, that quote came to mind from Bob.

How often does our loving caring heavenly Father do just that, fix a fix for us whereby the necessary and available grace that saved our spirit and made us one in and with Him, is now also wanting to save our soul, having His life fully formed in us as us, not just in our spirit?

I love what Oz Chambers has to offer with my thoughts here very much, read them here.

Our being identified in and with Christ is taking us into divine fixes that will not register with a one size fits all template , and unfortunately there will be those wanting to fix us according to a man centered (but inspired by Satan) body of soulish knowledge.

A couple of quick points of reference are, Job, no one was able to see behind that curtain but God himself in bringing about His divine fix for one of His sons. Also in the life of His son Jesus, after Peter clearly sees and acknowledges that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus begins to lay out his necessary next step, going to Jerusalem where he will ultimately have a collision course with a cross with His name on it.
Peter hears this and begins to protest; Jesus in love, of course, rebukes Him for channeling Satan’s thoughts.

None of us are going to escape these divine fixes he is going to choreograph with our names on them.
The foundation to everything is, that God IS Love! Anything and everything that seems to contradict this unchangeable fixed reality is the very thing required to transform us within our soul, not merely our being fixed, parroting a lifeless robotic religious script that “God is Good”!

Often in running smack dab into this unalterable reality that God is Love, we try to make it fit, line up with our circumstances and situations that far from our liking, or our comfort. It is in these messy times we either become more religious or learn to be real, something He cherishes!
Religion leaves no room for the ugliness and self-righteousness that we cling to as we have to face the real and rawness of life that totally refutes that God is Love. His desire is for us to be real with him in our tortuous pain and discomfort and not try to get Him buy into our pious religious platitudes.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What Would It Look Like

Margi (my wife) and I were discussing the other day after listening to a pod cast how the co-host or hosts on the pod casts were almost always in sync, agreement with the host of the pod cast. What she asked, if the co-host/s were free enough in the security of His love to at times say, “Sorry, I do not agree with that”?!

To see things differently is good and rightly so that it is this way, it allows us to be stretched maybe in ways we had not planed or thought of. In my opinion it also takes the focus off of the host as being the one with the final word.

Often listening to a pod cast lately it sort of reminds me of still being in the institutional set up, where you listen to the Man of God speaking for Him, never do you ever consider voicing what you see or think being sometimes very different (not better) from what is coming forth as the gospel!

Are we just clones clowning around simply bobbing our heads like the little dog in the back of the car window in agreement with something that we know is not right?


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Confused By The Scaffolding

This quote spoke to me, taken from OZ Chambers. The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God's purpose, not our own. Naturally, our ambitions are our own; in the Christian life we have no aim of our own. There is so much said to-day about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament it is the aspect of God's compelling that is brought out. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God's purpose, we are taken up into God's purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God's aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short sighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God's purpose is - 'I am meant to go here or there,' 'God has called me to do this special work'; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God. "He took unto Him the twelve," He takes us all the time. There is more than we have got at as yet.

Over and over the truth of His unconditional love for us has to become the fixed but fluidness to our purpose for being where we are, not where we want to be or do what we have determined is His call upon my is NOT about me trying to fill that need apart from Him!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Embracing Your Inner Crazy

Back a short while ago Darin Hufford over at the Free Believers Network did an Into The Wild pod cast entitled, “Embracing Your Inner Crazy” I thought that title was spot on especially as I see it dealing with so many that have been labeled unstable rather than those who see themselves as the stable ones.
It is folks like those depicted in the video clips I’ve included here that in my opinion speak real life to me, but then again I qualify for that label of being one of the unstable!


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