Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Drying Up Process

December 30th.
Oswald Chambers
"AND EVERY VIRTUE WE POSSESS"
"All my fresh springs shall be in Thee." Psalm 87:7 (P.B.V.)

Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He re-makes the whole man on the inside. "Put on the new man," i.e., see that your natural human life puts on the garb that is in keeping with the new life. The life God plants in us develops its own virtues, not the virtues of Adam but of Jesus Christ. Watch how God will wither up your confidence in natural virtues after sanctification, and in any power you have, until you learn to draw your life from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus. Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience!

The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but remnants of what God created man to be. We will cling to the natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us into contact with the life of Jesus Christ which can never be described in terms of the natural virtues. It is the saddest thing to see people in the service of God depending on that which the grace of God never gave them, depending on what they have by the accident of heredity. God does not build up our natural virtues and transfigure them, because our natural virtues can never come anywhere near what Jesus Christ wants. No natural love, no natural patience, no natural purity can ever come up to His demands. But as we bring every bit of our bodily life into harmony with the new life which God has put in us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.

"And every virtue we possess
Is His alone."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trials

Lately, Father is constantly at work in me, creating within me needs through situations which I find myself in - where He is the answer; where I need Him to help me get His perspective of simple faith and peaceful trust in Him. He has the answer, the only answer, because He is the answer. He is always the answer.

Often it seems it's things going on with the children. God is so faithful. Now what is happening is I have noticed a sudden loss of strength in my right arm. Though I am still fine and capable to use my arm, I have significant loss in my arm when I lift anything heavy & there is pain associated with the movement. It has been investigated preliminarily and the only negative result found was a low potassium blood level. I would appreciate your prayers for me ! I have another doctor visit scheduled this Monday. It seems the last few months have been one consecutive trial after another - one is resolved, then quickly another appears. I am sure you can relate. Still in all I am very thankful for so much and trust God will continue to keep my heart where it needs to be.

When I think back to the last few weeks, and what He has been doing is allowing circumstances and situations in my life, that, though they trouble me and are definitely trials for me, I am truly convinced that they are there for the purpose of God getting me closer to Him; (as I said in the previous post of Wanting More) and deeply aware of His divine presence / love over all my life.

When I am in a trial and struggling, it brings me peace knowing that God is in control. It seems ironic that we mankind, can actually think we are in control, but we do. We all do. Realizing I am not or never have been in control always stretches me and causes me to just release to Him the factors in my life that really, when I have His perspective, I do not have control over anyway.

Though this seems simple to grasp in our minds, in reality it is a struggle in our hearts & in our relationships because of human nature. Unfortunately religious practices have definitely reinforced the idea that humanity can maintain control over our lives in respect to God.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Wanting More

Just a quick update.

The past few weeks have been very busy, which included a trip to Peterborough to meet Maureen (once again - I hope there are many more) followed by a whirlwind trip to Hamilton to pick up Angie, then home. Thank God for a safe, first-time-I-have-ever-drove-through-Toronto trip (and for great traveling companions!) Maureen was my compass and I don't think I could have done that without her: )

I am enjoying a SO quieter season right now. I was thinking this morning about the miracle of the fish and loaves. There was so much left over, wasn't there? There was as much as they could have really ever wanted :) and isn't it the same for us? There is as much as we want of Christ. There is still more, and more, and more.

Even as the people present at that miracle didn't at all realize that they could have actually had more - this has in much the same way happened to me. I have become very complacent in my heart and in my relationship with Christ. I am now realizing that there is so much more. God is awakening my heart to this truth ever so gently. I simply want to have more, and God has impressed it deeply upon my heart that there is definitely more of Him, and this, my friends, is exactly what I am after these days.




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Break Time!

HI guys!

I think it's about time, I too, take a short break from blogging. This actually has been my second blog.

I want to get back to just enjoying my relationship with Father, including enjoying time spent in his Word with Him. And seeking out the fellowship that He has for me with others.

I have been finding recently that blogging has become another distraction, or a 'thing', a 'ritual' that I feel like I 'have to be doing' 'producing'. Daily if possible :)).

'A ritual to keep up with'. Which means it has become more about me than I realized, and most importantly, I have returned back to what I thought I was actually free from (light bulb experience here:)) .

I think we can be on the same track of religion, which -- though we say we have left -- still we are there -- if we think that God wants to speak through
US day after day after day, to the multitudes. This is basically the same scenario as pastors sunday pulpit.
The only difference is perhaps they are in a building and we are on the 'internet'. But lately I am not seeing that as a difference, but a similarity. So I think I will just listen out there and get quiet again.

Though we have, or say we have, experienced change in certain areas, it's easy for me to see personally that the church mentality still exists and wants to operate and it will certainly use the 'blogging' mode as part of that, to take me back there.

love Ruth

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jewel's Gone





Hi everyone, I just wanted to tell you that my golden retriever died today.

We will all miss her. I remember before we bought her, we talked about whether we should get another dog for a while because our previous dog had died quite few years before that. Eventually we called & found a place nearby where there were golden retriever puppies for sale.

So off we all went to look at all the pups. When I first saw the Mom, she was so proper and beautiful. She was just sitting there all astute and regal looking. Why I actually chose Jewel was because of the demeanour of the mom. I thought wow I would like a pup like that!

The father of the brood was this handsome rugged beauty named Simba. He was just lovely too. He bounded across the yard in search of a long stick that he could quickly bring and deposit at our feet for a game of toss and fetch. He captured our hearts as well. He followed us everywhere we went around the property and eventually deposited himself with a huge thump at our feet while we talked to the owners. That wasn't the first thump we heard. There were several other 'thumps' as his huge tail swept across the floor and thumped up and down in joy to be right there amongst us.
Looking at the brood there were only two females remaining and we quickly decided on one (Jewel). She was only a few weeks old but she would be all ours by the time she was eight weeks old.

How long those eight weeks were! We kept watching the calendar in delight watching the days and weeks slowly pass by. WE kept laughing at the stories of Simba and how his tail was so big and noisy with all those thumps. We imagined Jewel being like her mom with a little bit of her dad thrown in & the anticipation was oh so great. When the day arrived to pick her up off the kids went with Ian to retrieve her, taking with them an old hockey coat of Ian's (to wrap her in) as well as a squeaky toy of some sort (I think it was a stuffed animal actually to carry the scent of the mom with Jewel.) Before long they had returned to the house with this beautiful pup all wrapped up in this great big coat with great big smiles on there faces, ear to ear. Every moment was spent loving her.




The terrors of having a pup as well as delights unfolded within the next several weeks. Delights such as dressing her up as a ballerina even. Back and forth to the adjacent field trying to train her (she quickly caught on). Before long we had purchased many items. I remember how she used to cry at night, the only way she would stop was to curl up on top of my husband's feet.

She turned into a real princess just like her mother. She had the same regal demeanour all the time and soon became properly behaved. As the years went by she began to grey a bit. One of the highlights of owning her was when our neighbors moved in and much to our delight they had a beautiful breeding stud named FALCO. He was also handsome and very big, a white retriever. It was always in our mind to 'introduce' him to Jewel because of course we wanted Jewel to have pups. Jewel was so regal and Falco was such a stud LOL. So finally the topic came up casually and much to our delight our neighbors were equally excited at the prospect of Jewel & Falco 'meeting' and having some babies.

Well it took a few visits before things happened, but within weeks we have on our hands seven golden retriever puppies. They were as you can imagine more delightful than any kid could hope for (or parents). Jewel decided to have the puppies very quickly and without any sort of problems. She was the mom we all knew she would be. She nursed them all fine with one pup we named Fatty who completely seemed to grow the quickest! Hours and hours were spent sitting in lawn chairs gazing at the pup's, watching them nurse, then fat bellies so hard to carry on such short legs, almost touching the ground, bums swaying back and forth! Visitors, family, everyone came to contribute to the oohing and awwing of watching them in tug or wars and rip roaring fights amongst the siblings. (Who would win? ) It was more fun than kid's hearts could hold back then.

As they grew, Jewel grew tired of the constant nursing and began to wean them, but they would follow her in circles as she denied them her milk. In came the bags of puppy chow as we mushed it all up and encouraged them to go for the other food. We eventually sold all the pups with Fatty hanging around the longest due to his size and parting with him was hard and tears were shed but the new owner promised we could visit, and sent pictures and stories of what a great family pet her turned out to be.


We kept one pup, named Diamond, who bounced around her Mom and kept her Mom on her toes and eventually often annoyed with her behaviour. So now Jewel is gone and we have all these great memories as a family of loving her and being so excited for having her, seeing her pups born. We will all miss her so much. It's especially hard for my daughter in university in Hamilton as she never got to really say goodbye to Jewel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nathanael's heart ....

43 ¶ The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Jesus saw Nathanel's heart. Even though he was skeptical, Jesus saw his heart, Jesus saw that there was no pretense, hypocrisy in this man's heart and that he sincerely wanted Truth. And even though there was skepticism, Phillip just said to him basically, "Come and see for yourself!" Notice he did not try to convince Nathanael, but instead
simply invited him to come to know Jesus for himself.

It has been my experience that people, all people, want to know that God is real. We certainly cannot convince them of this Truth, though religion has certainly given it a good go over the years. But there is no use trying to convince anyone that God is alive and on the throne. Their heart has to be open. Then God can convince, just as He convinced us, and when God does the convincing, all skepticism evaporates as we truly see Him as King of Kings, Lord of Lords. For who He is.

The fig tree symbolized the place of rest, or a place of meditating where God's spirit was working, a place where Nathanel's heart had became opened to the Truth & only Jesus knew this (
when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee). **Notice it wasn't in the temple as was the custom of the religion of the day. It seems it was in his own private place that the work of God was opening up his heart. God is so acquainted with us, he knows us intimately.

As soon as Nathanael turned toward Jesus with this heart, how quickly & easily he was able to overcome his skepticism. It seemed to literally evaporate! He was seeking the real deal, the real thing. He was seeking a type of a genuine relationship with the Lord. Jesus knew that ! It was a great reward, for Jesus immediately spoke to him.

Our relationship with the Lord is one that must touch our heart constantly and deeply. It's transforming within, His Spirit. We are always thinking about and pondering deep things in our heart - the more we know and continue in this direction, the more our heart becomes anchored in Christ. It is all about the heart and less about the self. We must be willing to sweep away all that denies us of the type of relationship where His greatness is demonstrated; deny ourselves of the temptation instead to lift self up. May He become all in all in us and through us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When We Know


(I am not feeling well today, so for all who aren't familiar with my previous & earlier posts, here is one)

" I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice [and] my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon [him] as long as I live. "
(Psalm 116 :1,2)

When we are in a "difficult" place of sorts, it's good to know and be assured that God has heard the "voice of our supplications". We can wait on the Lord. Wait and also know that even though so many of us get into difficult seasons and trials come with the Lord, we know we have hope - hope because He hears our voice, hope because He hears our cries.

We don't have to worry - for God is listening, He will not leave us nor forsake us because we have done some wrong things, he doesn't require perfection in us only an honest heart. As we deal openly with the Lord of the issues in our heart, we can be persuaded like Paul who said God would keep that which was committed unto Him.

When we know that we have given Him all,
When we know that we have given Him our life,
When we know that we have given Him our heart,
When we know that we have given Him our trials,
When we know that we have given Him our families,
When we know that we have given Him our friends,
When we know that we have given Him our mistakes,
When we know that we have given Him our regrets,
When we know that we have given Him our future,

God is on the throne of our lives !

The wounds that we experience in our union with Christ are simply reminders that we are His and we belong to Him. They help our faith to deepen and remind us of the journey we are on .. Paul said he bore on his body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. Out of all these places, we drink, and drink, and drink, of the well of salvation in us. This is how we really make a difference, God is getting us through and giving us the courage we need to experience Him in deeper and deeper ways.

God is the only one who can help us to understand why we go through what we go through. He's really the only one who can explain to us the meaning of all things, and what it is that He is after in us. To be Christlike, to know without a doubt God will bring us through everything, through every false accusation. He'll bring us through all, and then we will truly know that God has been with us, and we have walked with Him on an incredible journey.

So many people will challenge us by saying such things as:

"Has God really walked with you?"
"Has God really been there with you ?"
"Has God really heard you?"

We can say yes, yes, yes, He has! And more! Yes He has heard us, and yes He is merciful. His mercy in fact, has preserved me through all things and dealt even bountifully with me. We walk with Him, and as we do, we bear in us the very marks of that journey. God will not forsake us. In fact, there comes a confidence that will always say,
I love the Lord because He has heard the voice of my supplications....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quotes on the Mystery of Suffering

As I was cleaning out my old email, I came across these insightful words, which were posted on Andrew's Storm's Website a while ago. They are the words of a fellow journeyman.

SHOULD I ONLY TAKE THE SWEET FROM THE HAND OF GOD AND NOT THE BITTER?

THE MESSAGE WE CARRY IN AND THROUGH OUR LIVES IS A MESSAGE OF OVER COMING.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU RIGHTEOUSNESS - PEACE - AND JOY

THIS IS FORGED INTO OUR BEING AS WE LET THE SUFFERING, TRIALS OF LIFE DO THEIR PERFECT WORK

IT IS BY TRIBULATION THAT PATIENCE DOES ITS WORK TO PRODUCE FRUIT.

BUT LET IT DO ITS PERFECT WORK , THERE IS A DEPTH IN GOD WHO ALONE KNOWS THIS PROCESS FOR EACH OF US

IN THAT DAY WHEN THE LORD REVEALS US AS JEWELS WE WILL SEE THE MYSTERY OF SUFFERING IN ALL ITS WONDER.

JESUS FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM, ENDURED THE GREATEST OF SUFFERING THE WORLD WILL EVER KNOW, YET HE ALLOWS US TO BE PARTAKERS OF THIS SUFFERING.

EACH ONE OF US ARE BEING MADE INTO HIS LIKENESS IF WE ARE WILLING TO SUBMIT TO HIS LOVE AND WILL.

EACH A BEAUTIFUL JEWEL FORGED IN THE EARTH AND PLACED IN THE TEMPLE MADE WITH OUT HANDS.

THE CHURCH IS THE LIGHT OF TRUTH = IF WE CAN'T ACCEPT THE CROSS IN OUR LIVES, THEN WHERE LIES THE HOPE FOR THE WORLD?

REMEMBER THE NEW JERUSALEM , THE CITY OF GOD DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN IS MADE UP OF SUCH LIVING STONES, AND THE GATE OF THAT CITY ( IT'S ENTRANCE) IS SOLID PEARL.

A PEARL IS SYMBOLIC OF SUFFERING-- SO LET US WITH JOY LOOK AHEAD OF SUFFERING TO THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING IN CHRIST JESUS AND WALK JOYOUSLY THROUGH THOSE GATES.

posted by Ruth at 7:13 PM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Process vs Christ

I was wondering what to post on lately as I seem a bit stalled, (which is okay) but one thing that I thought I could post on is about the change that I have noticed since leaving the institution (2002) directly related to my own relationship with Christ. The biggest freedom I have experienced is that I have no interest at all in the religious process(es) to achieve anything, to be anything, or do anything. I am simply completely content to have and enjoy my relationship with Him. It is not defined by any process. It is defined instead by the living Christ who lives in me. Christ is a person and not a process.

In retrospect, I noticed that there is a continual preoccupation within the camp of religion with the
process. It seems everything according to religion is defined by the 'process' necessary to get where ever one needs to go. Whether it's to get wealthy, get healthy, successful, happy, or even figure out what God's will is, it seems there is a formula that is available that one can access that will guarantee the result one is seeking. Unfortunately this bypasses the central Truth that Christ lives in us, that He is with us, caring deeply at every level & step along the way, from simply where we are - to where He wants to take us.

I believe and am thankful that God in Christ wanted to interrupt this nonsense in my own life because He simply wanted me to be completely fulfilled in Christ alone & that His Son would reign in the deepest part of my heart. That I would just rely on Him. To take away the preoccupation with all the necessary do's, don'ts process so that I can truly relax and look at Christ.

This of course does not happen in one day, or one moment, but it is a constant inclination of the heart towards Him that He brings slowly, repeatedly, day upon day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friends

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Jesus calls you & I friends! Jesus pouring all the riches of Himself into His friends!! Wow,
all the riches of what the Father had shown Him and given Him, are now given unto His friends.

What riches did Christ have? What were some of those riches?

Think about Christ's relationship with the Father. The depth. The love. The intimacy. The sharing. The communication. He brings us into that. Think about the very act of Christ pouring the riches of His own relationship with His Father, now out to His friends, to you , to I .

I have had close rich relationships with others. I know how careful I am in bringing a friend into that. To share that, to be a part of that. Or, on the other hand, to be invited into that with others. Someone who will share the love, share the closeness, share the uniqueness & joy of that friendship.

Unfortunately for us all, we can easily forget that Christ has called us friends & brought us into this intimate place with He and the Father. Especially when circumstances and situations trouble and arise, and I allow them to define me. I fret & fail to draw out of the friendship forged within me of Christ & my union with he and the Father. I am reminded this morning that there is continual harmony with Christ, He is my foundation as He is yours. He has built us, built our foundation, which is sure! An intimate foundation of shared love of the pure joy of having a relationship with Him, sustaining us & guiding us through our situations. Christ has poured into you & I, His friends, the very foundation for a continuous friendship through the operation of the grace of God at all times. May doubt quickly evaporate as we grab hold of this truth, as His riches operate and become evident through all things, to God be the glory for what He has done through His Son!

"May His love pour out of us, may we all have a deeper awareness of the greatness Lord in that you have called us friends, in that you have given us the riches of the friendship which you and the Father shared. May we be transformed by this. Renewing our mind against the constant
battle of vanity self centredness & purposeless living, I pray in Jesus name. amen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Having His Heartbeat

I have always wanted to be around people who really love Jesus. You can tell when you have met or found someone such as that, who deeply loves Him, because when you are with them, He is who they want to talk about. I personally have been so blessed to meet so many people such as that. They are all unique & different in some ways, but so similar and deep in their love & passion for Christ. Their eyes glimmer & light up as they share their love & passion for Him freely with you. Words are not even necessary, you can actually feel it when you are with them! Experiencing the deep exchange of life on the inside that Christ brings so generously one can't help but share that life (His heart) with others.

What a great heart He has given His people, the body of Christ. It's His heart. Paul had His heart & he understood that it was Christ's heart beating inside of him, and to Paul that was everything. He would not ever consider carelessly hurting a sister or brother in Christ because He had Christ's heart. I have seen people, and I, myself, have carelessly wounded others without fully realizing and taking into consideration, that not only is Christ in me, but Christ is also living in them. Should we/ I offend & wound the very heart of God in others so carelessly?

I think along those lines, church isn't something we figure out, it's a heart. I mean, it's simple. It's His heart. If you have His heart, fully & completely, we are joined to Him. And His great Heart is joining us to others. We can see the 'church' a product of His heart joining us to others.
We are one of another not because of religious persuasions, denominational perspectives but simply because of His heart.

have a great day !

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christians Confess

I just wanted to point you over to this website called Christians Confess.

These are heart felt, sincere comments from people out there in cyberspace who have had time to reflect on some of the attitudes prevalent in the camp of Christianity. People who have really taken the time to truly consider exactly and honestly what their actions and attitudes might be saying to others. Especially those who don't quite think the same way as they do, believe the same way as they do, or the exact same doctrines as they do.

It really is worthwhile to read through the comments, they are helpful in considering our own actions and attitudes, that might need some fine tuning here and there (me).
I think the process of dealing with the self-righteous nature within us all is definitely an ongoing one; something we, who truly want to partake of His grace, and beyond that, bountifully extend that to others, should be so careful to deal with.

thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

R & R- His Way

R & R. Rest & Receive. That is what Father has called us to. That is what the Father is laying on my heart. Rest and Receive. Just come to Him. Stop striving and receive from Him. Oh why do I need to constantly learn this? Over so many things how quickly I start striving & trying to work things out. Christ doesn't want it to be that way - He wants us to come instead to Him and receive.

He can touch every kind of situation with Christ. Stop striving and just rest & receive from Christ. He is the supply. Hasn't He been my supply ? (Yes, He has) Father is deeply committed to us all. He will use 'all things' to the end that Christ is formed within. It's amazing that God has given us such abundant life (R&R) through Jesus Christ!


What I hear Father saying to me over and over is to simply "come" to Him. He has called me & chosen me, and He is the one who is working within the character of His Son. I cannot produce this, only Christ can. Knock knock on my thick head. : ) why do I always think I can? I can find a million things that beset my day and that need my attention, and even though I know that my heart is set on Him, I find myself still striving. I need to have some R & R, and simply trust He is working in me - what He wants worked out of me.

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Short Video

Recipe ?




Question:

If you were going to write or create a recipe for the ingredients of 'a church' or for 'the church' what would you include as the ingredients necessary to do so & why? What would they be? (Or to word it differently, what do you feel would be some of the ingredients present or NOT present in that gathering). Trying to make this simple : 0 )

For myself I think a freedom in sharing and love of the Word,
openness amongst all,
honesty and genuine love & interest in one another,
love, love of Truth,
mutual respect,
mutual sharing,
lots of hope & encouragement for one another,
loving generous leadership,
very giving hearts to all - including those in any need or difficulty,
community in the sense of sharing life and giving life to each other
sensitivity to one another's pain & the need to work through and process that as a personal thing

I think I could go on and on here : ) I guess I have just had lotzz of time to think about it.

I would like to see His love as the main goal, the expression of that & the work of His love constantly and gently moving all in the direction of yielding more to the Father (the Father's will expressed as a group). And that desire ( for His will ) would be expressed in our lives as a result of His love restoring our hearts and gaining a deepening expression. But not something we work to make happen, or 'set out to do'. Instead the exchange taking place because His love has captured us, His love is doing it. Father's love settling within and dispelling our fears.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Vital Process vs Vital Wound ?

Looking back on my journey in retrospect I see the primary objective within religion seemed to be to teach doctrine. To teach 'correct' doctrine. To create and facilitate an ongoing process that would ensure meaningful discipleship growth. The traditional mindset revolves around the belief that this method assures and exists for the purpose of creating disciples. They believe that this steady 'supply' from the 'pulpit' is vital. A sacred necessary means of facilitating onward growth, uninterrupted and constant union between Christ and those receiving said doctrine.

Notice I said '
vital'. The word vital can mean two things: on the one hand it can pertain to life, but on the other hand it can pertain to death. As in vital processes vs. vital wounds. Keeping that in mind, please rest assured that I am not saying that there is no value in doctrine or teaching, of course there is, but it seems to me that there is an error in saying that it is completely vital. (The only guarantee in using this method is that you will primarily create self righteous people who are very religious (and proud) which would therefore be classified not as a vital process but a vital wound. )

The only
vital part of our union with Him is Christ Himself - He is the one who is initiating our union with Him, and bringing us into union with the Father. It's Christ in us who is doing all. He is bringing, He is keeping, He is doing all within all. It's grace that brings us, grace that maintains & grace that keeps us in Him. He alone is vital, and the vital part of the Union - only Christ can unite us and produce Himself in us.

I have always felt that religion seemed to downplay the oneness & perfectness of our union with Him (the
vital part). If we really believe it is all Him, then He alone is the vital supply. If we are joined to His very life, then He is vital. If he is living and breathing in us, then He is vital. If He is the Truth, then He is vital. I think that Paul understood this because it seems to me he did not spend his time investigating the errors of his previous religious experience(s) ie the vital wound, but rather understood that His purpose now was to manifest and share the life of Christ. (VITAL process) The process is not so much as to unravel the errors of the environment (investigate the vital wound) as it is to investigate Christ, the only vital portion necessary to sustain and maintain life giving environment.

I am, as many of you my friends in blog land are, witnesses to this reality - that Christ, the union with Him that He has created and is living in us and between us - is giving us life and constantly expressing Himself in a way that illuminates our being, showing one another that Christ lives and breathes & shares life with us. Christ in us, He testifies of Himself and declares that He is sufficient in us ! He is keeping us as we forsake the '
vital wound', proof He alone is Vital, sufficient and formed in us.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Formation of Christ Within

Thinking about my journey outside the confines of tradition and religion, I am just beginning to understand now that the deep purpose of God in taking me out of the IC was, simply put, that Christ would "continue" to be formed within.

The part of us that is Christ, His Spirit in us, desires once began, to continue forming Christ within, shaping us into a purer and stronger reflection of Him day by day. I am coming to the conclusion that this process, the ongoing formation of Christ, is what is actually side-tracked and this is accomplished primarily by giving ourselves over to becoming religious minded. This process seems gradual as it works in us, so gradual in fact that we don't really see it working. We are blinded to it because of the fact that so many absorb this thinking. We see it all around us.

Often we will navigate out of the confines of our religion & denomination in search of Christ elsewhere in others. Religion gradually is evident in our endeavours, behaviours, thinking, etc. so that before long, we have embraced the idea of being 'religious & self righteous' over being formed into Christ, into His likeness deep within. The purpose of religion therefore IMHO is to fatally interrupt and halt the formation process of Christ in us.

He has chosen us as vessels that will truly contain and engage in this ongoing process with Him. He accomplishes this in us as we offer ourselves to Him, yield and receive grace within us for the purpose ONLY, to form Christ and manifest Him.

Buildings, attendance, programs, theology degrees, seminars, ministry positions, leadership endeavours, all this cannot produce Christ. Only Christ can form Christ within.

In fact as many of us have learned in hindsight, they can rail road this process by keeping us very preoccupied and busy; and contrary to Christ. We are alive through Christ, nothing else. Years of relying on teaching, preaching, praise group meetings, group study, educational methods and practises that would thereby assure or guarantee of spiritual growth have only left us bewildered and disappointed.

Perhaps it is true to say in hindsight that spiritual growth does occur within these contexts. BUT the question to be asked is what kind of spiritual growth ? Religious spiritual growth, or the formation of Christ within ? Is Christ being formed?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christ In His Body

Since I left the institutional church scene back in 2002, I have been on quite a journey. I remember those early months, right after leaving, how exciting it was, sitting every morning, long into the hours of late - morning, on my porch drinking 'x' numbers of coffee, and talking to Jesus. The difficult part was over, I had chosen to leave despite the warnings of this one and that one. With that behind me, I was now free to totally love Jesus the way that I knew I wanted to. It was so exciting to venture out of the institutional mindset and behaviours, and begin to discover the freedom and joy of Christ alone! Oh the security and peace. Thinking back, it was such a wonderful season in my life, of enjoying deepening intimacy and union with Him. Trust in Him was continually growing, and I was really being freed up from religious thinking, much of which had primarily stopped my growth in Him by squelching my desire & devotion for Him only.

What I have also found as I have progressed is a deepening desire to know and appreciate the lovely body of Christ ! I want so much to love Him and love His people the way He does; I want that always to be growing in me! I believe I see the beauty of His reflection in others in ways I never would have, had I stayed in that mindset ! He is so beautiful in His people! I value & appreciate His presence in others. In the institution, beauty is often valued instead concerning the system, how well it is working and performing etc.

I have been so delighted to find members of the body of Christ all over the place. It's like a treasure hunt, and as you persevere, you soon, with delight, find the beauty of that treasure suddenly here and there. You can't help but be in total absolute awe of the beauty of Christ in others when that happens Often unexpectedly! Lovely, He is. Lovely especially in others who have courageously ventured out of the safety, comfort and confines of religion, and without restraint and unreservedly, knowing they have begun to open up their heart and just completely give themselves to Christ. That is the beauty, really. The beauty is in the act within the heart, of just yielding & giving oneself so completely to Christ, on such a deep level, one that goes beyond religion, to just surrendering all to Him, this is truly breath-taking.

So when we as brothers and sisters in Christ find each other out there - somewhere on this journey, a journey of the heart - and suddenly behold that beauty of Christ, deep within and beating in another's heart, we can't help but be deeply moved and grateful at that discovery. Our Spirit's groan and leap within in such true joy. We see with humility and tears that being a part of His Body is a deep privilege, to share within the context of another's love and devotion to Christ.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Established Heart


(Th purpose and work of Grace is to establish our heart )

"He Establishes Our Heart"

By Arthur J Licursi

1 Thes. 3:13 To the end he may stablish (Greek, sterizo, turned resolutely) your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.


The most changeable thing about us is our heart - which is principally our soul, with our mind saying "I think...thus and such, our emotions saying "I feel..." and our will, saying "I want...". It’s all about us. According to our natural birth our heart is changeable but always bent toward our self. Instead of having an established heart, all we Christians begin with having a changeable, a movable heart; moved by self-interested thoughts, emotions, and desires.

We need our heart to become solidly established, one that is always bent toward God, not a heart that is changeable and fleeting.


Our heart may be changeable not only in relation to other people, but even in our relationship with the Lord. Yet, God is the faithful and unchanging One; He never changes. His love and grace are always bent toward us. We are the ones who are changeable; we are changeable in our heart. For this reason, Paul was concerned that the hearts of the new believers at Thessalonica would be set, built up, and established by the Lord.

Although we need our heart to be established, we are not able to do this ourselves. Only the Lord can establish our heart. Therefore, we need Him to cause our heart to be solidly established and built up. We receive the mercy and grace from the Lord as He orders the happenings, circumstances and situations of our lives, so that we may be brought to yield to Him… to give Him the permission to establish our heart. Most of us have prayed at one time or another, “Lord, I want to give you my life; make me a holy person.” Upon hearing such a prayer He is working on our behalf to fulfill that God-given desire. Recognizing our free will; He awaited our permission before He works within us to bend our will and do the establishing. When our heart has been established, resolutely turned to Him, it is then changed; it is bent toward being blameless before God.

As always, even this “establishing” is the work of God's grace in our lives. Philip. 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 1 Thes. 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. And of this we may be confident. Philip. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"My Energizing Power"

O My child, I have waited long for your coming.
My eyes have grown weary with watching,
And My heart heavy with longing for you.
For I have said, “Rest in Me, “ but you have striven.
I have said, “Stand still,” but you have continued to run.
I have called, but you have been listening to human voices.

Turn to Me.
You do not need to do more. For you will find your quest ended.
Then you will see how futile has been all the struggle.
Like the sinner who misses the gift of saving grace
Through absorption in good works,
So you, My child, have missed My sweet reality
In your frantic efforts to please Me.

As Martha in her desire to minister to Me forfeited
My nearness,
So you have done.
My child, I have need of nothing. I desire only your love.
Give me this first always, and whatsoever service may follow,
You will then do with light feet and a heart set free.
Abandon to Me your whole being,
And I will then work in and through you in such a way
That even as I am using you,
You shall simultaneously experience My energizing power,
So that in the very process of giving,
You will in very truth receive even beyond what you give,
And will in each instance emerge richer and stronger.

There is no loss when you serve Me thus.
For when your life is wholly lost in My life, there is never
Anything but gain.
As the prophet of old exclaimed,
“They go from strength to strength” (Ps. 84:7)
Only sin works death and loss. Righteousness works life and health.

So come first to Me.
Yes, come until the stream of your life
Is swallowed up in the ocean of My fullness.
Then you will go, and you will give,
And in your giving you will never know lack,
The Lord is your shepherd; you shall not want
(see Psalm 23:1).
For the Kingdom of God is righteousness and peace
And joy in the Holy Spirit. (see Rom 14:17)

Frances J. Roberts

This I Know, God is for Me

I am reminded that within all, within Ruth, there is a notion that questions the aspect of suffering in our lives. "Why, if this is God coming to me and why if this is God speaking to me, why does there have to be so much suffering out there? Why Father, does there have to be suffering for me? Or for someone I love? Why, if it is God, would I or another have to suffer?" I admit I often ask this even when I think I understand the answer. I still ask the question. Suffering can be so intense and when we or another is suffering it hurts. We make our cry to the Father and our tears fall for Father truly knows that we need to ask this question.

One reason we ask is we so often see God through the screen or lens of our own longings and desires. Longings and desires that are so deeply set within-set within all, that it's only through Christ's power coming to us that we could ever hope to be free of them and see them for what they are. We easily prefer to view things and gravitate toward - not only people with the same 'views' that fit our lens- but certainly toward messages and truths out there that will 'fit our view', fulfill this view by appealing to our sense of entitlement in life and our particular forms of self righteousness that we have embraced. ie what we have predetermined should be. Self fulfillment I think it's called.

The good news is that God does come to us, He does offer us Truth and fellowship with Him that would include
sufferings, include being rejected of others, include talking of the deep work of the Cross within our sufferings. Jesus offers us intimacy and unity with Him that only comes and is worked deeper as we commune with Him on this level of truth. Through our suffering. Through careful examination of all inner attitudes that would oppose growth in our character ultimately.


Psalm 6:9

David said
"This I know, God is for me."

And for you & I we can say
"This I know, God is for me. "

Jesus prayed for us all that our faith would be continually strengthened. He prayed that we would have courage to travel onward and unravel every misconception and wrong notion within. And that as we courageously do so, that in turn, we would be a strength to someone else. It's not complicated or difficult to understand how the Body of Christ works.

May the Father give courage to be moving forward, NOT in living out a fulfillment of self, but instead a fulfillment of Christ. We cannot live and serve both. It's one or the other. Truly it's only Him that can satisfy and we long for Him on a level that is deeper than we know and He will take us there as we give up our own sense of entitlement, even to ourselves. "Be merciful unto me, O God be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge ... "

Lord, let our hearts not grow weary. Come to each of us Lord as we ask the question of why does there have to be suffering in our lives, or in another's life. And Father, as we not only ask the question, give us also courage to hear the answer. Help us Lord to experience you in the depth that comes as we cast aside our own version of preconceived notions and desires that would strive against total dependance, deepening trust and devotion to you. "

(Oz's thoughts on suffering --> here )



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Malcolm Smith: The Gospel


The Gospel is the call to rest, to receive the free, undeserved gift that God has given us in Christ. There is nothing man can do to earn salvation from his past, or his present acceptance and walk with God. It is, from beginning to end, the grace of God, which can only be received by faith.

The body of truth that proclaims the revelation of God is called the Good News. News, by definition, is the announcement of something that has happened, not a list of things that must be done! All that must be done for a man to live in perfect union with God has been accomplished by Jesus in His death and resurrection.

The heart of the Christian life is to stand in wonder before His love and say, "Thank You!"

The Gospel is not a call to do something, but the announcement that all is done in the One Who stood for all.

The Christian life is not living in our own strength and resources, but from the infinite Christ Who lives within those who believe. All human strength will come to an end sooner or later, leaving each of us with charred, burned out life. But His strength knows no end!

We have one function in life: to be the manifestors of His life to the world. Only when we are living His life are we truly living our own! This is the reason for our creation.

We realize that He is not only the past tense Savior from sin, but also the One Who now lives within us in the present tense, our life and breath. Christianity is not a formula, but the Person of Jesus Himself.

Never think that Christianity is a matter of adjusting behavior, but rather, of letting Christ live through us in His strength and power.

(Malcolm Smith)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Still Looking, Still Longing, Still Searching

I was thinking of Mary this morning. Looking for Jesus' body at the tomb, still looking, still longing, still searching for Him. This while the other disciples had went home again, but she alone remained. Her question was, "where have you laid him, tell me, I will take (his body) away." (John 20:15)

Oh that we would all have this kind of passion within us for Jesus. Even when others turn away for whatever reason, in pursuit often of ambition and self, or a Jesus that only tells people maybe what they want to hear, oh that within us instead our hearts would burn even stronger for Jesus at that moment, just as her's did. Even if it means to be misunderstood and to be alone as she was - the thought of denying our hearts the love that was ours , that it would be even stronger within.

She found Him didn't she. She found Him in a gardener no less. So many would have never recognized Him in the form He chose to appear in. Just an ordinary gardener, but she recognized Him, she recognized His voice as He called her name. Jesus knew the longing within her, the searching that would not be denied. Oh how she wanted Jesus and would find Him. He would not disappoint her.

We look for Him in the same way. WE see Him in forms which we never expect Him to appear but nevertheless we see Him and recognize Him because of the longing within. Others might miss Him but we shall be looking, we shall be searching, we shall be longing after Him. For we know we shall find Him we know we will hear His voice.




Friday, October 31, 2008

Heart Longings

Everything we ever longed for is found in Christ! There is such an intense longing placed within all mankind for intimacy with their Saviour (Christ). God so loves and cherishes His creation, He longs for us to know His love and to find the love that we were all created to experience.

After we come to know Him, we go from "image to image" and 'glory to glory' ! The sooner we all can come to the realization that no human reasonings can offer us this depth of intimacy and sharing, the better.

I really want to spend my days and years to come ALL in pursuit of Christ. Have you ever heard that song, if tomorrow never comes? I don't know if tomorrow will come, I don't know what it will be like, but I do know that TODAY I can hear His voice, share love with Him, be loved and cherished by Him, growing in the intimacy of oneness with Him.

What should we do with the Cross? What should we do with the one true fact, that Christ longs for us, to a degree we don't understand: that we have within us, all of us , a longing to be satisfied by Him? He sent Christ to fully & completely satisfy us, he does this as he opens our hearts, cleanses us, and we receive forgiveness. He keeps the door of our hearts opened, knowing that intimacy is meant to be expressed continually between us. That is love, that is intimacy. The longing within is so deep as is the love, that the intimacy is expressed continually.

Will we fill this need and longing within us with Christ? or in the pursuit of other things that will fade away and leave us more empty inside than ever. Satisfying us briefly, superficially, but not deeply, in our deepest most being.

There is one thing we can count on - all things will pass away, but Love, His Love, will last forever.


1 ¶ The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
2 ¶ Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.
4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
7 ¶ Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents.
9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
12 ¶ While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
13 A bundle of myrrh is my well beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes.
16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
17 The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Salvation is a Person, not a Thing

Because I come from a Christian background where salvation is limited to the notion of a simple one-time prayer, or a decision made when you walk down front, or raise your hand to agree with the speaker’s summation of the Gospel, it can be quite easy for me to lose site of the real meaning of the Gospel. The Gospel is a person, not a moment, or a thing.

It is the continual grace bestowed on me through the work done in and through the Person of Christ.

Salvation is not a detached gift of God in some gracious and miraculous way bestowed upon man.

Salvation is Christ, and to experience salvation is to experience Christ. It is not the experience of something, but of someone.


The Bible does not teach that Christ has salvation and dispenses it like a benevolent master giving gifts to his servants who obey him. Christ is our salvation and gives Himself to us as our salvation. He is our life; He is our strength; He is our peace; He is our joy; He is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.”

—George W. Peters, A Biblical Theology of Missions (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), 65

Living for Others !

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

'None of us liveth to himself.'
Romans 14:7

Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible for other souls spiritually before God? For instance, if I allow any private deflection from God in my life, everyone about me suffers. We "sit together in heavenly places." "Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it." When once you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your crowd will suffer. "But," you say, "who is sufficient for these things if you erect a standard like that?" "Our sufficiency is of God," and of Him alone.

"Ye shall be My witnesses." How many of us are willing to spend every ounce of nervous energy, of mental, moral and spiritual energy we have for Jesus Christ? That is the meaning of a witness in God's sense of the word. It takes time, be patient with yourself. God has left us on the earth - what for? To be saved and sanctified? No, to be at it for Him. Am I willing to be broken bread and poured out wine for Him? To be spoilt for this age, for this life, to be spoilt from every standpoint but one - saving as I can disciple men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. My life as a worker is the way I say "thank you" to God for His unspeakable salvation. Remember it is quite possible for any one of us to be flung out as reprobate silver - ". . . lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

(Oswald Chambers)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Father's Hugs

Just looking at this picture was like, oooh, that soothes my heart and soul!

How does it make you feel !?

(Maureen, it reminded me of the picture on your blog you put up recently)

found the picture here if you want to check it out .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Continuing on In Knowing Christ

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.
2 Cor. 5:16

The relationship that the disciples once had with Jesus, of knowing Christ in the flesh, was changed, forever changed, by the Holy Spirit. By the wind and power of the Holy Spirit. I would think that as Paul spoke to the church, and tried to convey this truth to them, that they would have found this difficult to understand. Jesus understood that there were many things inexplainable until the Holy Spirit would come - there were many things He could or would have said to them but He knew it wouldn't make any sense til the Spirit of Truth would come and explain it to them (John 16:13)

Knowing Jesus as I do, I am coming to understand that the best relationship that I could ever have with Him is one that is by the Spirit.

That is why Jesus said:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7)

Jesus said that it was a very good thing that He go, { for He wanted to go } so that we, together with all saints, might know Him by the Spirit and develop our spiritual 'seeing' of Him.

He spoke of a spiritual vision, a 'seeing of Him', that was necessary to have within us, to encounter and experience relationship with Him. Knowing with certainty that the Kingdom of God is within us.

This despite the fact that we cannot see Him in the natural, we cannot touch Him in the natural, nor hear Him in the natural.

A relationship based upon the Spirit of Christ, connects us to Him, and to each other!

Thank you Jesus for the gift given unto us by the Holy Spirit !

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Should We Be Content in the Boat?

Religion has always taught many the 'need to get out of the boat' so to speak and walk on water. You know, do something miraculous and supernatural, like Peter did, .. er .. I mean attempted to do. Not much has ever been said perhaps about the others, who stayed behind in the boat and only watched as Peter stepped out of the boat and subsequently failed. All in the boat had feared as Jesus came toward them (walking on water) but Jesus soon spoke to them, calmed their fears by saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Matt. 14:27

Perhaps Peter, unlike the others, was not content to stay in the boat after receiving Jesus' words and comfort. Jesus words were spoken to all. But in the end, it wasn't faith that drove Peter out of the boat because Jesus eventually said to him, "O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?" (fear) Perhaps, after all we have been taught on this, we should consider the other side of this story: consider those disciples who were willing to stay in the boat, willing to receive the comfort and words of Jesus vs Peter's lack of faith.

Often, our first religious inclinations, as honorable as they can appear to be, to ourselves and to others .. if we are truly honest and sincere, they can be traced back to fears and insecurities that linger within all! Linger in all their strengths and passions - yet subtely masquerade as faith!

I think back to so much of what I was taught and often compelled - by not only myself, but others as well - of what I needed to be doing, needed to be thinking, exercising faith, etcc. and see it as clearly a lack of faith and instead rooted in insecurity & fear.

Now that I am settled down in the boat, (gasp lol) and no longer compelled as deeply as I once was towards these things, I find it truly much easier to continuously receive Jesus' comfort and words to my very own heart. Experience His love & enjoy confidence in Him, in His ability to sustain and provide for me.

At the same time, I often see others struggling over and over again, struggling in their fears and doubts, thereby driven to try to do so many things, reflective of walking on the water. I see them struggle and pray above all that they would find rest and peace from this battle deep within. That they might gain Christ, deep within, for truly He speaks to all, He is all we need and will ever need. And become the peaceful influence He desires us to be. A resting place for His Spirit. He provides for all as we simply learn to be content and keep our eyes on Him. Eyes on who He is and the wonderful provision He has given and laid out before us. He will certainly see us through every storm, and every rough current that we face or see on the horizon.

Oh, the peace of God that surpasses our understanding! Now that is truly miraculous~!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More on Marblez Once Again

Ok. Continuing on the topic of marbles in the mouth, so tonight what happened was I stopped over at my best friends' place, and right out of the blue she started asking me all kinds of God questions. I mean, you know, the real ones. I mean changing the subject, interrupting, and wanting to talk about God. About reading the Bible, about what to read in the Bible for starters, and what Christians should and shouldn't do... sigh...

When she got to the 'how do you become born again question', well it seemed like I was having quite a good old time with some more marblez rolling around in my mouth. I mean, like the good Christian that I am, (cough) I had learned long ago how to answer it from a religious perspective, but NOW, how do I explain it from the Spiritual reality of Christ in one's life? I mean it is all spiritual. Explain something spiritual ?! whoa, what !? Explain Christ so that she can grab hold of it, the Spirit can quicken it and bring meaning and guidance to her (for only He knows what she is asking and what glasses she is seeing her questions to me thru). Clearly, only He can bring spiritual life.

What if I said too much or perhaps not enough, or worse than that, what if I confused hereven more (marbles). Oh Holy Spirit, what do I say? Can't I just follow the religious script on this one? I mean marbles anyone? lol

Is it just me? I don't think so. Right off the bat what I really wanted to do was roll off the scripted answer page. "how to lead someone to Christ" page 59. It reminded me of a time when my middle daughter came to me in tears worried about her salvation and need for forgiveness. I mean she was crying. Oh what to say, oh what to do. Did I do the right thing ? I said to my daughter, 'Honey go kneel by your bed, He will speak to you, tell Him what your feeling right now, speak to Him and He will listen. He will give you reassurance as you bring this all to Him and talk to Him." (No I did not lead her in the sinner's prayer but I was tempted to) smile. He has a plan, He always has a plan. Thank you Jesus.

In this situation with my friend, thankfully, I also quickly recalled to mind how utterly confused I myself was 13 plus years ago when I first tried to understand the whole born again experience. What is it ? How does it work ? What do I need to do ? Con-fu-sing!!

Nicodemus said , "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (John 3:4)

Clearly we are all like Nicodemus in our lifetime as we ponder this very same question. Perhaps we should remember this for we all just like him at one time. All of us do not understand Jesus and the truth about the new birth. Add on top of this or in the mix the incredible confusion of churchianity and their 'messages' (*&^:#@) to their adherents week after week. Therefore, we are not only confused & incapable of understanding the new birth, we are blinded to the wonder of it all by many things.

I didn't have a clue back then of the amazing life that is available, that I could have a relationship with Him unlike any other - where I am cherished by Him. All we/I could compare or call to mind is dead old religion as well as kooky way out there Christians I met here and there perhaps. Come to find out, it was nothing like that ! We have no idea how beautiful it truly truly is, and can become with Christ. We all need to be BORN AGAIN and made completely new to find this reality in our lives.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Notice how there are two births being described here. There is the fleshly one, then there is the spiritual one. There is a deliberate distinction here between these two. )

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

This gives me peace because I now realize sitting here that even though I couldn't explain the spiritual process of being born again (ie just as I can't explain the wind, where it comes from, where it goes) I could however explain the spiritual life and reality of Christ, Christ living in us, changing us from the inside out.

Just like the wind. We don't know where it comes from either, or where it goes, and we certainly can't describe it other than when we see the effect of it around us, blowing softly through the trees.

Right now I am thankful for the fact that the Holy Spirit is blowing in her direction. I am not sure how he is doing it, but He is. Definitely He is. I see the effects of the wind (spirit) blowing in her life.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rolling Marbles

I couldn't help but laugh as I read the post from Barb at Former Leader's Journal.

I have felt the same way as her and thought often with amusement about the words I used to say
and how they now feel so 'strange' . She describes them as marbles in her mouth.

for example,

"how was church today?"

"worship was so amazing today"

"the message was so powerful today"

"what time is church at"

"where do you go to church"

"the annointing was so strong today"

lol

I am sure there's more.

More marbles.

Forgiveness Quotes

Which quote is your favorite???

Quotes:

Know all and you will pardon all. --Thomas A’Kempis

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies
--Voltaire

A mature Christian has capacity to absorb the offenses and weaknesses of others, not just demand they perform up to the code of ideals. --Stephen Crosby

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.—Unknown

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. --Cherie Carter-Scott

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.--George Herbert

Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die.—Unknown

A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit. --Hannah More

Forgiveness means that you've decided not to let it keep festering inside even if it only comes up once in awhile. --Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past. --Unknown

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. --William A. Ward

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. --Lewis B. Smedes

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. --William Blake:

Forgiveness is . . . accepting God's sovereign use of people and situations to strip you of self importance, and humiliate your self love. --Martha Kilpatrick

Without deep humility, true forgiveness is impossible…and will never happen. --Martha Kilpatrick

Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. --Anonymous

Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury. --E. H. Chapin

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?-- Abraham Lincoln

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.-- Josh Billings

Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much.-- Oscar Wilde

To err is human; to forgive, divine.-- Alexander Pope

Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another. --Jean Paul Richter

The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. --William Blake

Yes, this is what good is: to forgive evil. There is no other good. --Antonio Porchia

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. --Robert Quillen

Forgiveness is the final form of love. --Reinhold Niebuhr

One forgives to the degree that one loves. --Francois de La Rochefoucauld

'Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive. --John Sheffield

Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. --H. Jackson Brown

We are all on a life long journey and the core of its meaning, the terrible demand of its centrality is forgiving and being forgiven. --Martha Kilpatrick

Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life. --George MacDonald

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sweet prayer to you Father

Father , I pray you would help us to be mindful of you, of your heart, your love, your kindness and graciousness.

We can chit chat about so many things (me) but Father you hear us , you long for us to close the door and love you , and let everything that would weigh us down evaporate as we feel your love and presence wash over us.

Nothing is more important than listening.. listening to you and hearing clearly your heart that soothes us, that cares for us... that is RIGHT there, opening up for us a deep satisfying DRINK right down inside of us.

thank you Father for transforming us everyday. thank you Father that we can lean on you, and lean on our brothers and sisters and know that we are but fellow travellers discovering the delight you have always in us.

Help us to share the full joy that you have given us with others. We want to be a delight to others and be a soothing balm to others Lord.

Thank you Father for giving us a life with you - a life with your Son - you have truly made and continue to make all things new.

Lord dwell in us and between us, richly. Enrich and empower us as brightly shining instruments radiating with your love, light and truth ... each and every day !

amen

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prepare to Stand, not prepare to Survive

Having just finished a weekend of celebrations for Thanksgiving here in Canada, I have been thinking along the lines of "preparations". So much time, money, planning, and effort goes into 'preparing' for this day. Preparing/preparations for so much, whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, our future - whatever - it occupies and preoccupies our thoughts and our lives.

In the present state of economic instability & chaos, (some economists say that we are experiencing what they have labelled an 'economic tsunami'), you hear alot these days concerning what can be done & the necessary preparations: for example for coming food shortages, for environmental changes and disasters looming on the horizon, for fuel shortages hurricane predictions, economic recession, etc.

There are radio and television analysts, as well as politicians, who eagerly clamor & examine these issues with determination and resolve that they will lead the people towards the necessary changes & preparations. Their promise is if we will but 'prepare' ourselves for these days ahead, we will be able to 'save ourselves' and escape tribulations and devastation, economic woes, and collapse of pensions, uncertainties pertaining to our futures. Also, I have seen many interesting websites of which it seems their main goal is to 'warn and prepare people' for calamities; to provide various items for emergency scenarios. There is an array of various inventions that are available for purchase, said to be useful (according to their literature) to protect against various catastrophes, to aid 'preparedness' for all manner of necessities; power shortages, nuclear attack, and on and on it goes.

But I got to thinking. Whoa, wait a second. What does the Bible teach? First of all, imagine the energy that would be necessary & could be expended towards these preparations as well. Would there ever be an end to it? Imagine how all consuming this preoccupation could quickly become, and take hold of someone; it could become an all-consuming need, driven by & thriving on fear, on the hope of being able to fully 'prepare' oneself and store up' for the days of trouble just around the corner.

But if I look at the Bible, the message isn't 'prepare to survive'. It's prepare to stand! Our hope is in Him. Has He changed? Is He the same yesterday, today and forevermore? The world wants to survive but we know God has great things in store for those who love Him! He wants us to stand on the solid Rock of His Son and declare our God is forever and eternal! God would have us know that He is with us, He is faithful, and so we must prepare ourselves to STAND! Spend time in His presence and allow God's power through His Holy Spirit to search us, to prepare within us a sanctuary. He's our stronghold .

So, instead of being preoccupied (though it's tempting) with trying to prepare for calamities that we are told are looming, or prepare for the unknown and going into survival mode, let's all joyfully welcome more of the Holy Spirit who wants to stir up the faith that is within us that we may stand! What a treasure in our earthen vessels! That we might stand before Him! God said that we can come boldly before Him (with joy in our hearts) "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:6

I am convinced that those who have went before us, through the centuries, faced their own chaos and economic catastrophes. What were there preparations? WEll, certainly first of all they recognized that they no longer fought against human beings. This was completely finished with the New Covenant. They recognized their struggle was against principalities in the heavenlies.

Imagine telling Corrie TenBoom to save up and make preparations ! I think it's so encouraging to think about them and their faith. And how much they loved God and devoted themselves entirely to the Lord. They thrived not because they made preparations for all manner of catastrophies, (that did come upon them). Jesus said and I truly believe they survived with a great witness to the keeping power of God because they prepared to stand before God! They took God's Word into their hearts and sowed precious seed in the hearts of even and most importantly, their worst enemies. They were empowered to stand, to withstand the most cruel and harsh, degrading human conditions on the earth so powerfully, with a fierce love of Christ that would not at any cost be denied. They withstood as it says in Ephesians all evil principalities & rulers because they clothed themselves in His armor. As all others who have been so courageous and withstood every form of evil had done so before us. Eph. 6:10-18

10 ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Christ in You

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27. Christ joined to you, not Christ by Himself. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

So the central secret of all history is the union of the creature and the Creator, not just the Creator, certainly not just the creature, but the union. We’ve found the whole meaning of life in time and life in eternity when we’ve found that. It’s probably beyond intelligible apprehension by the finite mind, as well as beyond intelligible description. Probably our minds cannot completely compass this infinite glory, but thank God our hearts can experience it, and they do.

And to some extent our minds can compass it—union. We’ve got to think around that. We know that that’s life, for that is what eternal life is. There is only one eternal life, of course, God or Christ, but God is Three. God is Three dwelling in Each Other. So original life is not one Person, or still less one thing, it’s Three living People living in each other and proceeding out from Each Other in their several offices.

(Norman Grubb)

Two Things

I was challenged this morning when I read in Colossians 1 Paul's words :

"Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which ye have] to all the saints"

Paul had heard about these Christians and was firstly, thanking God, and also praying for them.
Why ? Because he had heard two things, which he was thankful for.
He had heard:

1. of their faith in Christ Jesus

2. of their
love of all the saints.

Two Things.

It's important to understand that faith must be in Jesus Christ. That's the starting point and no amount of reasoning can do away with this. WE must be ever so careful of this.

I was sent a link (thanks Maureen) which I read, and they seemed to conclude that faith doesn't necessarily have to be in Christ alone, quotes:

"Even if we think Christ - as the divine Logos - is the way to God, that doesn't mean that you have to become a Christian to find Him."

"
Once they know his name, some people will then be able to connect that name with the Truth that has been in them all along." ?yikes (further in colossians it seems to say, "and you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled". In order to become reconciled, they needed to understand how estranged and alienated they truly were. Not that truth has been in them all along. (yikes). Truth can only become a part of us through Christ. He is the one who makes us new and the old 'me' pass away. To be alienated means to be separated from or estranged from. The only way to not be alienated and an enemy is to understand our need for His redemption because of our lost condition. Knowing Christ truly is not understanding or appreciating truth that has been in us all along, but understanding our own NEED to be forgiven and reconciled and that apart from Christ's mercy and forgiveness we cannot be restored and become His reflection. )

"
I KNOW in my heart of hearts that it is to that light that every one of us will return.. call it Jesus or God or Allah or Goddess or Krishna.. it doesn't matter.. It is the place that we come from and it is the place that we return to heal and whole once again."

**the implication in this article is that there are many ways to know the Light, the Truth, and even though they may disagree on the name or way to the Light, they are still the same. There is alot of talk about feelings, experiences, and statements like 'in Love and in the Light' .. yes, feelings and experiences are fine but they can also deceive us all and lead each of us astray very quickly

Please stay faithful to Him. Yes, it is Jesus.

Love Him.

Love the Saints.