Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

These are a few additional thoughts to something I shared the other day, you can read it here, “The Tail Shaking the Dog.”


While all of the positive-thinking techniques seem on the surface to be worthwhile and positively influence human behaviour, the teaching is a major deception. The philosophy that undergirds the technique is not based upon truth. While the principles seem to be in line with Scripture, Jesus is eliminated!
Positive thinking and possibility thinking lead unsuspecting Christians away from looking to Jesus for their identity and life and push them back into focusing their minds upon themselves. While the Bible teaches us to judge the content of our natural life through self-accusation, positive thinking directs us to think highly of ourselves and to hold wonderful thoughts about ourselves. Many positive thinkers consider the consciousness of sin and guilt as negative thoughts which produce negative energy and should, under no circumstances, be confessed. Dr. Paul Vitz of New York University is correct in pointing out that possibility thinking is based upon faith in one’s self and turns God into a mere servant who exists in order to help us achieve our goals.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Loving One Another

I so enjoyed these thoughts from my reading this morning, I’m including them here.


Loving One Another
George A. Maloney

From the first time we wept as infants left alone by our mothers, we began learning that no one can be happy without love. By ourselves we are helpless, threatened, anxious, and fragile as cut flowers. Without our roots deep in the common soil, touching the roots of others, we dry up and wither. Only by touching another do we know where we leave off and the mystery of the other begins; only by love can we penetrate that mystery. As babies raised without the touch of love pine and die, so do adults if they separate themselves from those who would love them and be loved by them.

The energy of God meets itself coming and going when two of God's children meet heart to heart, eye to eye, loving and being loved. That love that moved the sun and other stars precipitated the Word, Jesus Christ. He was enfleshed as man so that we could by knowing and loving Him be gathered up in the arms of God the Spirit, out of the swaddling clothes of our flesh.

God wants to give Himself to us in every possible way: first through Jesus, who loved and touched His people with human heart, human hands; then through the Holy Spirit, who knits us all into one seamless cloth that wraps the world; and finally through the hands of another human being, laid on us in love, as ours are laid on that other person. When we open ourselves to this other person, we open ourselves to God and God can touch us, like the sun touching the heart of an unfurled flower. Closed, we can't be reached. But a life spent loving is a life spent open. To reach out and receive, we must open our hands; to be loved, we much first love. The wife or husband [or friend] next to you is more than your spouse [or buddy]. He or she is your path to God. In the face of a wife laboring in birth or a husband crushed at the loss of his job, you see the face of God, open to your love, wanting you to give it.

Deeper, deeper you go, till you touch the place in the other where God is, dropping your own veils of ego, self-defense, falseness as you go, until you both stand before each other and God naked as newborn babies. At this moment when you see God in each other, you see. . . the image of Christ as He might have looked walking the earth. As the veils fall, we see God not through a glass darkly, but face to face in the light of love, in the one through whom God sees and touches us. And each moment in which we give and take love, we touch God.

Without God, we cannot love; without the other, we cannot show our love. . . In our love for others, we express the link between flesh and spirit, as God expressed it in the Incarnation. Like God, we are an intimate community of love, pouring ourselves out so that we can fill others and be filled.

Growing up means 'growing out,' dropping our walls and opening in selfless love to another. We become a two-way channel through which the uncreated energies of God flow. The more love we give, the more love grows in the place we have planted it.

Love has everything to do with the ordinary events of daily living, since the giving of all we are and the receiving back of all we can be happens in the workshop, the nursery, the office. When we discover the energies of God in each other, we pour those energies into all we do, reconciling the world to the Father.

True love - God's love - is to see others as God sees, knows, and touches them. To love truly is to see with the eyes of God, to go beneath the skin and plunge straight to the heart, where the other shows him or herself to be as unique as if alone in the world, the sparrow whose fall God notices, the lamb for whom Jesus died. True love is caring for the other, mindful only of the others good. It is being quick to hear the others need, to serve the other's growth toward his or her true self and carrying the other into deeper touch with God. The prayer of Jesus before he underwent death was that we would be ONE as He and the Father are one (John 17:21-23). It happens as we love one another.

--Excerpted from Loving the Christ in You.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Affirmation is a Big Deal

Because of sin and the impetus of its source entering into humanity there was set into motion this insatiable craving for identity, purpose, definition, worth, value, significance, and affirmation to mention just a few things.
Self in the fall became blinded in having its eyes opened, blinded to the reality of knowing that true lasting acceptance and affirmation had nothing to do with our feeble efforts but everything to do with His unspeakable total unconditional love for us!

This week I was listening to a pod cast that Father used to spell out, flesh out in my thinking some wonderful additional insights to something I harp on a lot, “the Matrix of religion.”
If you are interested you can listen to this here at the Family Room Media, entitled, Spiritual Abuse. Just scroll down until you see the pod cast.

As brought out in the pod cast, our need for affirmation is genuine but apart from the Lord himself unveiling, revealing to each of us, all that we have been looking for became ours when we were received of the Father and we received the spirit of adoption, the spirit of son ship.
What none of us saw in becoming part of the religious system, and please know it matters not what label you prefer to pretty things up by calling what and where you went as this church or that church, you where blindly imbibing from a system whose intent was to keep you from knowing who, and whose you where!

It doesn’t matter how sincere you were or the leaders were in the system you were apart of, bottom line we were all sincerely wrong in giving allegiance to something other than Christ alone. This is not an indictment; rather it is a picture of our blindness.
Just a thought for you to chew on, when Jesus said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” what do you think he was pointing out? In my opinion he was revealing that which is in man to make him into one of these people, ‘leaven.’
It only takes a very small portion of leaven to do its invasive undermining in the soul of a believer, trust me on this.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Does One Get It?

The quintessential million dollar question being asked all the time of those trying to expound upon living out, living loved, sadly falls upon deaf ears of those with un-renewed minds, trying to adapt and adopt this freeing and thrilling good news much like trying to make a new piece of cloth fit with the torn religious garments they have been wearing.
What God the Father is doing in building his church, he has NO need to duplicate or clone to adapt to whatever the buzz-word term happens to be (ex. ‘free believer’, ‘free ranger’, etc.)
This mystery gospel has and continues to be deciphered by one source alone, God the Holy Spirit, aka, the Spirit of grace and truth. To elucidate this further, let’s take a look at what scripture says in this regard. “In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life~So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.”

Until the realization-revelation dawns upon us that it isn’t something we get, rather it’s someone who has gotten (into) us in way and fashion that is irreversible, we will blindly continue clamouring over trying to get into some (one) thing we’re already IN!

I love how my wife dramatically illustrated this “getting it” with me today while listening to a pod-cast. She likened it to any one of us who up to a certain point had been getting swimming lessons, but our experience had been confined to the safety of the shallow end. Along comes the Divine Lifeguard, and what does He do? He tells us simply to trust in Him, leads us to the deep end…and then abruptly pushes us in! Oh, we can see him standing there, smiling, arms crossed across his chest, as we struggle and sputter. “Save me!” we scream in our panic. “Oh, you’ll be just fine!” He calmly replies, totally unconcerned with our crazed thrashing. “I’m right here! Just stop struggling. I’ve given you the ability to float! Just relax!”

Upon the initial discovery of his direct and personal involvement in our life (and this seemingly becomes often more apparent when one has been led out of the matrix of religion), we thought our growth and maturation was dependent upon the swimming principles but in fact what we thought was ‘swimming’ was being done in the safety of three feet of water.
What none of us sees at first is that within the overwhelming seriousness of suddenly finding ourselves in over our heads, lies the newly engrafted innate ability to discover who and whose we are. It is out of the abundance and overflow of his consuming love for us we begin taking the necessary baby steps, drinking in of his unconditional love, freeing us from the knee-jerk reactions that are so deeply entrenched, freeing us from being consumed with fear.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Assimilation or Celebration

To quote a friend, “I have become quite content with sharing Jesus and pointing others to Him right where I am in my little, unadvertised neck of the woods. Anything beyond that seems more intended to bring the focus to ME.”

Is it just another religious (grace) cause, crusade, we have been called to join, or is it rather that we through grace have become joined to Christ himself?
There is such an insatiable hunger and longing I detect in so many for real authentic community without the covert toxic additives of some man/woman’s (unbeknownst to them) desires to exploit them even further.
I love where Paul illustrates (in my opinion) this divisive maniacal undetected heart exploitation of men to make merchandise of those the Father has re-birthed.

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

In being detoxed from our own undetected leaven a whole new world of sobriety begins to cut through the religious malaise we use to accept as the norm. I can hear so clearly the voice of His spirit imploring me (us), to not become entangled all over again with that (or any) yoke of bondage again, so stand fast!

Is being Jesus to others right where we live enough or should we refuse to resist such a crazy notion and simply allow ourselves to be assimilated much like the Borg from the Start Trek series; "resistance is futile, you will be assimilated into the collective.”
Rather than celebrating our uniqueness in Christ and being Jesus to the others God places in our daily living, the charming incantations and potions (cunning craftiness) of men are once again being activated in the “grace awakening” bent on attempting to dupe the dopes into believing that by signing up, joining their own particular brand of Jesus Manifesto the world will stand up and take notice, but I want to ask, take notice of who?


Thursday, January 07, 2010

August Rush

"The music is all around US, all you have to do is listen."

I just got through watching for the second time the movie August Rush in as short a time as a week. I can't remember having being so profoundly touched by a movie in a very long time.

Those of you who know and are getting to know me, realize how much I love the medium of movies, how Father speaks to the deep places within me, those places that are much like a desert until His voice comes, then they blossom like an oasis.

I found myself unable to halt the tears in different places in watching the movie not once but twice, as David the King said, "at the noise-sound of your voice, deep calls unto the depths within me". Oh how I too resonate with His holy dissonance as He continues to play upon the strings of my heart. What wholly devastation He wreaks as he magically weaves into my life using both the intensity of sorrow and joy. The continued zeal of His love in not wanting me to rest, settle for that which is so good only to miss His very best.
Through whatever crushings are yet to introduce themselves to me, I know in a growing and learning way, to be fully identified with Him lies no short cuts, and for that my heart is enraptured.

I want to finish with a quote from Henri Nouwen…"Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth."


Sunday, January 03, 2010

There Are None So Blind

Through a series of things, mostly movies, I have been so richly encouraged this week. My wife rented three movies, Doubt, August Rush, and Changeling. I also watched the TV movie, Defiance. All spoke to me to the depths of my being.

We have all adapted and adopted a false singularity because of being born sinners establishing an alternate identity, one rooted in lies, or as Morpheus said to Neo, "The Matrix (aka religion) is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." (What truth)? " That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind."

Apart from direct revelation from God the Father there is at best an insidious entity disguised and operating as me and you - the person we think we actually are. Because of sin and shame that have almost totally assimilated us we exist or go through the motions of living people, much like dead men walking.

I love the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He could have done the whole thing from the get-go but for some reason he invited humans into this miraculous event. First he told the people to remove the stone covering Lazarus' grave. After commanding Lazarus to come forth, he then instructed the people to loose him from his grave clothes.

Those of us who have similarly been raised from the dead are, in my opinion, much like Lazarus, walking around with the clothing that had formerly been our identity. Grave clothes are suited for the realm of the dead, not for the living. There have been so many tags and labels we have given ourselves, along with other people in our life, that have defined who we believe we truly are. It is my contention that the Father, working in the lives of my siblings throughout the earth, is using the very circumstances and situations we are finding ourselves in to remove our invisible grave clothes - which keeps us alienated from the truth of Whose we are!

Here is a quote from a book my wife just finished (which I hope likewise to read) The Elegance of the Hedgehog which spoke life to me: "They didn't recognize me," I say. I come to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk, completely flabbergasted. "They didn't recognize me," I repeat. He stops in turn, my hand still on his arm. "It is because they have never seen you," he says. "I would recognize you anywhere."

Who we are is undefinable apart from a revelation of Whose we are, period. One follows the other; the order is not reversible. He recognizes the real me, the real you anywhere. When we catch a glimpse of Whose we are, the grave clothes of sin and shame are loosed and we are free to become, essentially, ourselves. All of creation is standing on tiptoe with baited breath longing to see the manifest sons of God being called forth.