Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Redefining vs Rejecting

I would just like to point everyone over to a post on Jeff McQuilkin's blog, which I have read a few times.  Jeff has some very real blogging going on concerning his journey with the Lord, outside of the institution. He has some great insight into the nature of the ongoing work of the Lord to take us into a redefining process (as he calls it), into real genuine authentic fellowship with Christ and with others.   

Jeff says leaving the institution is not in many cases 'rejecting the church' or 'rejecting Christ'. It is instead rejecting the form of expression in this world that has and is modeled.  He says that the way we do church is just one of many things that needs careful redefining.  Quote: 

"So many things have been modeled wrongly, misinterpreted, and manipulated, and so look nothing like what Jesus intended. It's right and natural for us to de-construct and re-think. But in the process, I think it's important for us to differentiate between re-defining and rejecting. If there is something we've taken for granted that truly has no merit, either in Scripture or in practice, then naturally we should reject it. But we must be careful not to alter the principles of Scripture in re-thinking our methods. Lots of what we are re-thinking does not need to be rejected, but rather re-defined. If we do not mind this concept, we may end up rejecting things we should have kept, and in so doing, maybe years down the line, we will have re-invented a form of church that is just as broken and flawed as the institutions we left. And then our descendents will eventually have to fight through the same kind of de-construction we did."

I think his writing is objective and very well balanced :) .  For those of us who are, together with Him and each other, in continual process of re-defining and gaining momentum in that onward direction,...  having brothers and sisters to share with on this level, .. it's very encouraging.  We are mutually helping each other see more clearly  the direction and steps ahead of us as they come into view.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Ground Zero

Trying to process this journey of truly discovering what it means to follow Christ as He leads me... I am thinking that there is a continual reshaping necessary in all of our hearts, to grasp and to hold on to Christ.

I am thankful for that work, that is so necessary, if we are to live in this world with Hope, and with Joy. Once we have tasted of His goodness, we know that there is nothing at all, nothing that can compare or satisfy us or even come near what we experience through a simple love relationship with Him. A relationship where we are in process of continually being restored and filled with His Spirit.

People who are thrill seekers, once they accomplish or reach a goal, then on they go to the next one and the next one. Always I guess looking for the next "high". But with Christ, there is no higher mountain to climb. There is nothing beyond who He is and who He is in us and through us. He is all in all. And He has come to make a way for us to live in Him and to receive a continual manifestation of the full measure of who He is.

We can let go of all our religious goals and seminars and book reading, to learn techniques and so on and so forth. Because it's simply not about us!

The answer is and always will be Christ in us (the Hope of Glory) Christ is All in All. There is none like Him.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just How Exactly Does One "Lose Their Religion" ??

Quite  a question, I know ...  I don't have the answer other than to say this.  I used to think it's a letting go gradually.  A letting go of the various factors that perpetuate religious motivation behaviours and thinking.  Now I think in it's entirety there does come a point where you either let it all go, or you stay connected to it, and maintain that connection for whatever reasons:  fear, uncertainty, lack of clarity, not sure.

The idea of letting go of one's religion I am thinking this morning, really at it's very core, means we no longer hold on to this idea that we somehow have to prove ourselves to others.  Prove ourselves to God, prove what we believe, and prove why we believe it.  We no longer see any value whatsoever in perpetuating this attitude.  This idea of proving ourselves exists in so many believers, denominations and religions (my denomination is better than yours, more right than yours, my religion is better than yours, more right than yours and so on).  To prove why I am right and why you are 'wrong'.    

Wouldn't a better way to win someone to Christ be through the love and conviction of His Spirit, without  condemnation? I mean if it's really the Spirit of God, isn't this how He works? I mean through genuine love and genuine care for a person ?  With no religious motive or agenda other than that thru and building relationship with them, their hearts would be forever won and freely given to Christ ??   Isn't that the opposite of the way the religious and institutional mindset operates.   Why do we have to go always on the attack against another?  Why can't love just win ?  For us all ?  Why do we have to prove ourselves or Christ to others ?  We are valued highly and loved and forever won to Him.  Once we make that connection, it has to and will deeply change how we view all others around us.  

I want to illustrate this a bit further.  I was having supper with two good friends.  One 'born again' and 'saved'.  The other friend is simply very hungry, very open, very searching, really searching.  Interestingly, the 'born again' friend is very closed and  very rigid in her thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.  She has grown even moreso as the years have passed.  You know it is really hard to have conversation that is of value, edifying fellowship, with Christians such as this.  I have tried so often.  You just sit there while they go on an on about what they know, how much they know, why they know it, etccc.  I sit there thinking Lord this sounds all so foreign to my heart.  Anyhow, the other friend is very easy going, caring, compassionate, loving.  The born again friend even told us both as we were sitting there, "I am not really compassionate (oh well)"  But it was said like, it's quite fine to be that way, and to say this as a Christian. 

So here I am, with two friends I love, sharing a meal together, but it's like I could really see why so many people are not really interested in "church stuff".   It's because of what it all represents to them.  They are often sadly correct in their evaluation too.   Not only does it all sound hypocritical, but their presentation can come off as very condescending and judgmental.  It's not that their message is necessarily wrong, message being Christ is the only way to the Father.  He is the Only Way.  It's that they are not able to convey that message in such a way where the 'hearer'  can truly open up and  receive it and see the Cross as a message of love for them.  Instead they would rather, "be right".    In fact, what happens, is the opposite, the hearer will close right down and this is what happened in this situation.  My hungry spiritually friend closed right down when the 'born again' friend began to just "tell" her she was right and why she was right , so on so on.   

So what I wanted to say in this post, is that if I look back on this journey of letting go of religion I have to say that so many times initially I wanted to try to fit the two together.  The two mindsets.  I wanted to have hope that somehow there was a way to adapt these two together.  Into One.  The new found freedom in Christ that was away from religion,  I wanted to try to attach the religious mindset to it in some fashion.  But now I see that as not really possible. By it's very nature and at it's core, it comes off as simply condescending and judgmental.  The way I prefer to be won to Him and win others to Him  is through His love, poured out and seen in and through others.  Love winning.  

What I have come to conclude sadly is not only do these two mindsets not 'fit' together in any fashion, but that the longer one holds on to, or maintains this religious mindset, (which is built on lies) they will become just more and more ineffective in demonstrating the true nature and love of God that was in the Cross.  They just continue to be held captive by instead by this religious mindset.  Though their message is often correct and true, what they reflect predominantly is the nature of their religion.  So even though the message is right, the reflection to others is something totally different.  I think people pick up first and foremost on the nature before they can hear the message.   If one continues to hold on to this mindset eventually it just continues to take ahold of them in an even deeper way.    

Thursday, April 24, 2008

God's love reaching to where it needs to be

I just wanted to share something with you, it might be a bit hard to explain, but I want to give it a good go! so bear with me please.

I have been truly experiencing God's transformation by His love. The difference from where I have been before, to where I am now, is that it's His love right in the very midst. Right down where it needs to be. Where it needs to go. It's deeper than what I have known. His love way beyond a religious sense. His love more real than anything. His love going right where it needs to go.

I think the main reason I personally struggled for a long time to understand His love was that in many ways, I was always filtering His love through my particular religious filter. Instead of seeing His love and experiencing His love for what it truly is, I was trying instead to see it through a filter of what I understood or perceived it to be. Until that filter was destroyed, my perception of His love was very limited & would only go so far. (not far enough) With a religious filter in place, it was a very small portion of how deep and how wide it truly is and can be. Does that make sense?

To try to explain it a bit further, (or confuse you, I hope not) I will give you an example. I was talking over a health concern with my daughter tonight, and the religious side of me wanted to think all kinds of things. Crazy I know : ) The religious side of me wanted to look at the situation in a different way, in a religious way, that, had I not picked up on it, I would have completely missed out on the heart of God right then and there in that moment. In fact my daughter helped me to see that I was veering off in a religious direction. She with God's Spirit re-directed me to where God's love and heart indeed was, and wanted to go. Religion always makes us so hard and so stiff, whereas the Spirit and God's love together makes us soft, opened, and responsive. Religion can easily be explained and rationalized as proper and as true, but the heart of God and His love takes us on such a different and deeper journey. A journey of a love dependency upon Him ...

WE have all been in painful situations or difficult moments let's say, and someone rattles off a scripture. I have rattled off my share of scripture! : ) The intent may be well meaning, but overall, it comes off often as nothing but religious. Religious and sadly missing the heart of God and the opportunity that's right there, to convey His heart to another. When we hurt or we struggle, we often know exactly what the scriptures say, don't we? Sometimes this helps us, and sometimes it doesn't. What we really need most of all is care, concern, peace, love, gentleness ...to get us through it delicately so that we will come out of it, knowing He has been with us and manifested Himself deeply to us. It's true religion looks @ the end product but God looks at the process and wants to be life to us, in the process of getting us from where we are to where He wants us to be. Yes, He is interested in the end result, but just if not more interested in the process, and how we are going to perceive Him know Him experience Him live in Him as we get where we are to where we need to be. To me that is the true love of the Father.

*Yes He will work it all out for good* (Romans 8) But above all, what I have tried to say here is that God's unfailing love is what He wants to minister to His people, right here, right now. Perhaps we might think we need to be somewhere other than what God is really saying. Let's find Him to be all that we need right where we are at. In this very moment. The great failure I see is to ignore the very real heart of God in the midst of what is happening, to instead quote scripture, be right, be smart, whatever. God never takes anything lightly that concerns His children. He cares very much for each of us and wants to be right there with us, as our Father.

God's love, reaching to where it truly needs to be!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jesus' Idea of Leadership, called to be quiet if necessary!

Jesus idea of leadership in the Body of Christ is called a "gift".  It comes from within, from Christ.  It's not something we provide, but it's  Christ who gives gifts to His people.  

I know we have all heard this before, but I mean, really think about it for a second.  Gifts are the one thing that are deposited within the Body of Christ, within all.   All are recipients of a gift, and all are gifted.  If it's a gift then, and it's for sure not something we can take credit for, then just how is it that we could ever think more highly of a certain one gift over another? I mean really?  But it's obvious that this is done in "church".   Why is that ?  Jesus warned us to not take titles for fear that this would happen.  We simply should never identify ourselves by a particular gift.  How foolish.  We are identified by whether or not we have the mark of His Spirit.  Rest assured,  if the gift is truly there, if the gift is at work, then we don't need a title explaining/proclaiming it nor do we need advertising of any sort.  (It just seems all so very foolish.) If the gift is truly there, alive and evident, people will know it  ! already!  and people will sense it! already ! No need to let them know beforehand.  They will know it's there, not because they are so smart, but because they too are gifted, and Christ bears witness and He is faithful!  

Because all are gifted there is no boss.  (Except Christ, He is the Shepherd)  We need to not only let Jesus live in His people but express Himself in His people as the Boss wants to.    WE need to be quiet and move out of the way if necessary for this to happen.  Move over and let Jesus be the Shepherd of His people.

Have you ever noticed how when a Shepherd tends his sheep, He does so by sitting quietly by the wayside, making sure they are grazing, making sure they are safe.  Does He lord over them and tell them how to graze every week, week after week?  Does he ?   No, He sits quietly beside them and simply keeps watch over them as they all graze together.  He quietly moves them along.   This is Jesus. 

We are not to be identified by our gifts.  We not to be called by titles.   How foolish to give titles to what is a gift.  Gifts are beautiful in His people yes they are,  and necessary, but it does not mean we need job titles, job descriptions, positions, bosses, decision makers in the body of Christ.  We simply need each gift and we need to move aside and let Christ live in each other.  We need to stop doing this, seriously, using titles and job descriptions ...

And furthermore, how terrible  it is to use what is  supposed to be a gift  to control or manipulate another.  There isn't a gift from above that gives another the right to do so in the Body of Christ.   No man has the right to put on a title and do such things to another.  Also we shouldn't  feel threatened by one another's gifts neither but the opposite:  we should instead treasure the gift in another and serve one another in such a way so as  another's gift can be fully and completely expressed.

Let's live in Him  and have the courage to live in Him freely, without manipulating and exalting one another in any fashion.  Let's even  learn even how to be quiet if necessary so that Jesus can truly live as He desires in each and every one of His people.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Deep ... ?

Your love is deep
Your love is high
Your love is long
Your love is wide

Deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this worldly place
Longer than this road I travel
Wider than the gap You filled

Who shall separate us
Who shall separate us from Your love
Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us from Your love

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Balanced Process of Christ's work in our lives

My husband and I have been doing some remodeling. We have been working relentlessly to remodel a room that has been neglected in our house for over the past few years. It is a room that we have used to home school for six years (thus far). Not only home school, but we have somehow managed to squeeze in there all sorts of other activities: lots of discussions, lots of prayer times together, generally making decisions, deep thinking, family meetings. We have talked through so many situations, all in this little tiny area. Not that it looks so beautiful :) but nevertheless, it's so inviting! It seems any time there has arisen any crisis of any sort, off we go, into that little unkept room, with that big old comfy couch, to sort it all out, or at least to try to sort it all out and simply move forward into the direction that we feel God is taking us, and leading us through.

Now I know that couch doesn't look pretty. Neither does the room in all it's messiness. You might not like to own it, yourself ! and hey ! I can certainly understand that. (Yes that is a photo of the couch that's in it that we own. Pretty remarkable isn't it !) As you can see it is all marked up with permanent marker scribblings :) It's even got some deep rips and tears in it that might be indicative of all the struggles, tears, and trials that we have faced together and walked through. Why, it is even missing fabric and cushioning here and there as you can see. Yes, I know it doesn't sound nor look very pretty, but, ok - this is real life we are talking about. The kids have all sorts of comments, signatures, and drawings on there from their friends over the years. They know just exactly where everything a friend has ever wrote on there is located. They've memorized what's been said, the location, and how big the letters were and even if they were mispelt. It's like a permanent guest book, so to speak, but one that you actually sit on! LOL! Kids and friends through the years have delighted in it! To be able to put their own personal notes, signatures and sacrcastic remarks, or whatever, yet cherished artwork for sure, never to be erased. (Do you know what joy there is for a child to be able to actually write on furniture, and leave their own very unique mark on it so to speak!?) We have sorted out so many things cramped up in that little tiny room on that old ugly comfy couch! Why we have even had 'church' in there with friends \ o / if there is such a thing as 'having church' but you know what I mean ...

Now we are trying to get this wallpaper off the walls, and I can tell you, getting down to the bare walls underneath it all, well that is something else. Let's just say, it has been very tedious. But how delightful it is to see the walls appearing out from underneath that old ragged wallpaper.

But the point I am trying to make is not profound but it is one that is very exciting! God is so good! He is always at work, speaking to us kindly, entreating us in the process of building, rebuilding, tearing down. Yet ever carefully getting rid of things in our life that will continue to make life and continued growth  impossible. The process of peeling away that old wallpaper is very tedious, yet in the end after it is removed and the wall comes through, it is undamaged and much more beautiful in that process. It's a shadow of the process that He is committed to in each of our lives. It is very unique to us all, even just as that old couch is.

At times he just wants for us to sit down on the couch and relate to Him and pour out our hearts to Him. Love Him and enjoy Him and receive and give Him away His life to others.

At other times there is work to be done in all of us. This because part of being able to continue to live in that place of life -  will require us to "tear down the old , remove the ragged edges and roughness" that exists in us all and simply comes our way as we live our life out in a fallen world, broken and wounded by sin.

God has come to us through Jesus Christ and He is helping us to do that. He is helping us all to achieve the right balance of the old and the new. He has called us and chosen us and promised to be with us as we continue to build and maintain what He has given us and He is continuing to renew and restore His Son in us !

In this season of our life it seems we have little bit of both going on. We have the beautiful couch to continue to sit on, but at the same time, we are working on a different area, the walls at the moment. It's all a beautiful picture really of Christ's deep love and onward motion of His creation uniquely towards us and deeply involved in all our hearts!

At times it may not look appealing to another, yes that's true, or like anything at all that another would even want to pursue and build in their lives (like our old couch) But then that is all ok as well and we have to all be settled on the gentle truth that Christ is supreme and able in one and all to complete and get after what it is He is searching out in our hearts. We have to be like the wind and let Him go where He needs to , even when it doesn't make sense and even when others think we have lost it ! But ultimately, Christ's value in each individual goes beyond our temporal thinking and mindset. And certainly it's value goes well beyond what another can understand.

But even as we see the wall's come through and their beauty appearing in their bareness,we are seeing this with the ugly couch still sitting there, to be enjoyed~ the process of Christ's formation in us is also very continual and ongoing, with lots of comfort and peace to us in the midst of the change He brings. It's al unique yet the one crucial factor that I see at work is the process is not to remain static ! It is like the wind that we become, always blowing. Anticipating the direction but free enough to go where He says go. So it's in this place that truly, we can't but help to overflow in joy and in constant deep anticipation and appreciation of what change has come, what growth has come, and is yet to occur! It will be brought into focus, not only into our own lives, but it's for all to see! Only Christ can weave this fabric uniquely and beautifully that is an accurate deep representation of who He is!

Moving Like the Wind vs Being a Brick !

I think the real secret and value of truly living freely in Christ and being like the wind is to avoid being like a "brick".  When I say 'be like a brick' I mean avoiding the desire (that is in all of us) to not genuinely move forward in a place of giving and receiving life.  To move forward in the sense of truly investing of ourselves, time, energy, effort, all  in a real relational way with another.  For the intent of only one thing: to simply build relationship.  I mean to not get stuck and remain stuck in "forms" or "ways" of living relationally, or "ways" of giving to others.  It's not about forms.  Form Vs. really digging in and really investing in another's life, one by one by one.  That's truly giving one's life away.  It's not  ever about giving away simulatenously to hundreds  of people.  Not ever.  It's about one by one.    This is what is  genuine and valuable in terms of God's Kingdom.  With no agenda really,  no motive, no ministry statement, other than to simply build and to pursue life with others ! Now that is radical !  With the sole intent that Christ being conveyed, that Christ be formed  through relationship.  In a simple way.  In the heart and centre of  relationship.  

How this is achieved, it can be costly and not all will value this, nor entertain it.  Do I truly want to give of myself this way and be like the wind blowing where it will?  There is an uncertainty in it and a vulnerability also. Always it  is costly to lay down forms and methods  to acknowledge our dependence on them as an impediment to what Christ would want or be directing for us.  It is costly to evaluate where we are all at in that.  It is painful to yield to Christ in this area and to deny ourselves of  structure in our lives that hinders us relationally, particularly if it's all we know and have ever known, and particularily if the form required enormous time, effort and energy.  Sometimes people give their whole life to forms but fail on the simple aspect of being completely vulnerable to another and open to being relational in a meaningful way to another.  It's hard to lay down what we feel we are pursuing and what we are believing to be life giving, whatever it may be,  and  acknowledge that it is truly impeding us in this area. 

We all need to admit where we are lacking in these areas if we want to continue to truly grow. Otherwise we will just continue to become entrenched in the forms that are present in  our lives and by denying their existence, we just become more and more religious and defensive of anything that seeks to disturb or disrupt that form in our life.

It takes time and courage  to really step back and evaluate if what we are giving is indeed of ourselves, or are we yet  building and maintaining a deepening structure as a reliance.  If true relationship with another is  our one goal,  above all others,  then we are going to often be giving ourselves away to someone else, in the hope that other's will come to value and realize  Christ in a way that is liberating.  We face being rejected and deeply misunderstood in this place. Especially if others are not really wanting relationship but form and structure instead.  They may start out on this journey but somewhere along the line we all get stuck and we all might want to pull back or even go back to being a brick.  Especially when we begin to tread on ground that we don't necessarily  want to acknowledge our failures in all of that.  So we need to be aware of that for each other and even sensitive to that.

Dependance on structure, form, doctrines, whatever; in the end means not nuturing the skills necessary in our lives to be relational with another.  Many of us for whatever reason prefer not to become vulnerable with another and not to get past the barriers - to truly become of one heart and of one mind.  Of ourse we need to be one with Christ in this way before we can ever hope to build that with another in His Kingdom.

Let's forsake all the impediments of religion and busyness in all our everyday lives to truly invest and truly build in another.  Let's be like the wind and not a brick !

Thursday, April 10, 2008

that Christ be formed from within

I am going through some things at the moment where I am encouraged, yet also struggling. It's interesting to me how one can learn to move like "fluid" with the Spirit in that place, without resisting let's say, but letting trust and love weave, work and carry us. I do not see things from a spiritual perspective the way I used to, in a religious sense. I am learning to see that God has created all things and that He is continually operating to move us closer into the realm of living abundantly and peacefully in Him. Oneness. He wants every care and concern that we face to rest on His shoulders. I see things delicate, as in the sense of the weaving of the Spirit in our midst, in our heart, that there is a pureness in all of that that becomes formed within us like pure silver.

I have been standing back lately as I see the degree of depth of Christ formed in my oldest daughter. I see a foundation in her that is solid and sure: it amazes me. That I as her parent can observe Christ's nature and character formed so much in her! That I can simply continue to speak into her life encouragement, hope and know that she is sustained by Him and operating thru His Spirit .. that she has a relationship with Jesus that is more real than any other and is the foundation on which she is living her life. As she deals with trials, uncertainties, as she tries to understand what direction to pursue for her life.

In myself let's say at this moment I do not see such a great depth but I see more of a struggle. A struggle to continually rely on Him and not get lost in my own emotion of to stay rigid and not in a state of life, moving, relying and living completely in Him. I think that we are meant to have certain seasons in our life , that somehow they take on a slightly different feel to us but they all work towards the completely permanent and deep residence of His Spirit each and everyday.

Even as He laid down His life, He has set us free to live in a place of rest yet constant growth and movement in Him. Underneath it all there is constant purpose that is being worked out in us, and more and more we get glimpses of it , of the freedom and of the overwhelming joy that we feel because we belong to Him !

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Continuing in Hope: Life in the Holy Spirit

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)

To continue onward in the message of hope, continual hope, I would like to encourage myself and you about the Holy Spirit's breath. How important it is to have in us this power. It's encouraging to think this power is in us!! In you, in me, this gentle breeze blowing. This is for those who need it, the Holy Spirit comes to help to us all, to comfort us and to teach us, but it's not a reward !! It's power is not available for those who are more spiritual than others: or those who are in certain 'positions' in the body of Christ, it's for all - it's a gift that God has given us, each of us. Breath of God, given freely to us, sent to help all.

The way He works is different as this verse says, different in you and different in me. Those who say He only works and only moves in a certain way don't understand this. As in let's say, denominational principles, meetings. He is continually there for us. However, we simply can't identify how exactly the winds blow, or from what direction it comes from. It's not a formula, but sadly man often has thought that they could formulate the direction and strength of this wind from God. But seriously, can you "catch the wind" ? Can u "catch the fire" ? Just attend charismatic meetings and you will soon realize that their meetings are all similar - as if the wind is always blowing from the same direction I guess :) Typically at the end of the meetings. :) I have even seen others "blow" that wind towards their audience LOL. They feel they have "caught" the wind and understood how and where the wind is blowing, from what direction . Just how exactly do we "catch the spirit, or catch the fire?" You mean we can catch the wind? As I discover who He is and Him in me and Him in you, I realize that it is He that has captured me and embraced me. But I understand less how this has occurred and what has made this reality continually possible in my life.

People who say and demand that God's Holy Spirit work only in a certain way, almost methodical in a sense, simply haven't grasped this. I haven't grasped it either I must say (I haven't caught the wind) but I am willing to yield to Him, yield my heart to Him, yield my sin to Him, and as we do, we are able to the live in the deepening discovery that the "wind blows where it will". I am delighted that it is God who is in the wind ! It's not me! Let's not limit God to one another and try to explain to others the way exactly that the wind blows, for the wind blows where it wishes. God is not after our understanding of spiritual matters, He is simply after our heart.

Hey, did u ever hear the saying, 'so and so is chasing after the wind' ? What they are saying is that there is a sense of futility in what they are doing and the effort they are making. That there is not really any hope that they will eventually capture the wind so to speak and succeed in their efforts :)

God understands our need moment by moment. More than we do. He is interested in us and wants to come, oh how He wants to come, and breathe upon us and help us! He understands that we get discouraged and that we get heavy laden. But the only way to truly live is to live through His breath in us, in these moments . Paul said to the believers in Acts 19, "Have you received the Holy Spirit?" He was concerned for these believers and wonderful how Paul recognized that though they were believers, he was concerned in the sense that they hadn't received the Holy Spirit. He understood that without the Spirit all they would be able to rely on was their understanding of the scriptures, their understanding of what it meant to be spiritual and free in Him. Their understanding as ours is, is often rules, principles and traditions. Paul knew this all to well that there was no real life in that. They needed to be transformed deep from within to instead rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. They needed to have the Spirit guide them in the hope that they would grow up in God's grace and power. Paul wanted and relied on that for himself to simply be led by the Spirit. He did not rely on his teaching methods or his formulas to accomplish this. He saw this as an obstacle actually. He knew this was the one factor, "have you received the Spirit, necessary and from within, (it was not an external) He loved and cared deeply, and out of that place he wanted to encourage these sincere believers also. I often see my role in the body of Christ in a simple manner: as a nurturer in the sense that the Holy Spirit in myself, nurturing me, and so I simply want to nurture others to partake also of His presence within: onward in Christ.

So we encourage each other daily in the Spirit of God. It's not difficult to do if it's the reality that we are living in. We are freed up from relying on methods to simply instead yield to God. As we rely on Him, Him in each other, His power is effectually working, raising us up. We don't seek to do it for each other for we have understood or should I say we haven't yet understood the process, but nevertheless the wind is blowing still, and blowing where it will. As we can't see the direction it is coming from neither can we determine just where exactly it is travelling to. We hope in Him continually !

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Aftermath .. of Holy Hand Grenade Warfare

Thought I would post just a few paragraphs on the aftereffect of Holy Hand Grenade type Warfare 'mentality'.   This because I have walked beside a few of the injured or should I say devasted,  I have  saw first hand the incredible pain and result of this type of ministry.

The aftermath of this type of warfare that persons fall prey to is anything but a place of hope, restoration, healing, mercy. When a hurting /devastated person finds themself caught up in this type of combat, the result is not only a continued lack of hope, (a deferred hope), but disillusionment and a sense of deeper despair and separation from God. Their pain and wounds continue to frighten them and torment them. They continue to lose whatever self-esteem they have as they sink deeper into a very dark pit of which they have no ability to get out of. Discouragement. Eventually they lose all hope that they might get out of that pit. They just continue to live life shattered basically - in all these little fragments and remain unable to find their way. They give up, they lose their hope. It's called existing (I guess).


I have walked alongside sisters who have had their faith completely shattered and broken, being in the line of fire so to speak. They have went to those whom should be speaking hope to them and like a first aid attendant, offer some precious ointment to them in their wounded state. Nurturing. But this is sadly not the experience of all. 

It's amazing how deep and painful life can get for some.  How far away one can travel from the true heart, mercy love and compassion of our God, and yet think they are sent by God, as an able minister of the gospel.  Survival for those who end up on these battlefields becomes nothing more than a painful existence they succumb to.   They ultimately detest themselves and what they feel they are forced to endure. They detest God, the one whom they have turned to and desired to know and love in the midst of their pain. They turned to God in their deep brokenness, and became vulnerable towards him, (do you know how much courage that takes) But the result is that the understanding given thru these so called 'ministers' was that God was not really interested in their suffering. They believe instead that God continued to berate them and be annoyed with their sense of failure and inability to get "life" together. It's a tragedy (can't find a more meaningful word but that will have to do) but it's a tragedy what is done in the name of God to others.

To describe it therefore as a combat zone or a battlefield seems appropriate.

first aid : HOPE

What I think we all need to have IS hope, to be offered hope continually in our lives.

We have so much hope when we truly know Him. The only way we can offer another HOPE is to have it nestled in our hearts :-) I have said it before in my posts  and in my chatter to others, and yet say it again:  the one thing that we ALL continually need to receive and give is hope. It needs to be a constant. In the psalms David often talks about his abiding hope in the Lord. (Check it out; David waited continually for God's hope: And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope [is] in thee. ps 39)

Along with hope, we need to be nurturers, we need to wash each others wounds and gently and carefully wait on the Lord, hear the Lord's heart and compassion in these moments. WE won't understand their pain completely, but that's ok. Nurture someone's faith wherever it's at. Give them a little spec of hope.

We need to be like Him and ask Him, Lord help us to be like you! We don't want to fail to possess the fullness of who He is, and why He came. The fullness of the hope that He has dispersed in our hearts: because He lives and Has come to us in our brokenness . To heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free.

Once we truly grab a hold of the heart of God, we see people so differently. No matter what condition they find themself in. We see them thru His eyes of hope and our faith soars, knowing that He has come and He is faithful! Him in the midst of the battle fields of life (yes those even impacted by the Holy Hand grenade launchers).

Our hope continually gives us tremendous opportunity to express and speak into one another's lives (perhaps listen more than speak, just as important ) Listening gives us a chance to get our hearts set on the deep hope that is before us. Before them. But in any event, true hope that has come from Him and found it's way into our lives like a ray of sunshine in the midst of forty days and nights of rain!

Hope will find a way to be expressed. This is a part of the true life of Christ and His character, His likeness, when He is living deeply in His people and reaching out from that place to another.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Holy Hand Grenades

This is really worth listening to, folks ! It's called the Doctrine Police.


Some good points, such as the following:

-we are always wrong , and the doctrine police are sent to correct you!

-trying to defend yourself just gives them the necessary ammunition they need to continue to be the doctrine police!

-we have no control over how exactly we are going to be heard or interpreted

- doctrine police accept a view of God that is devoid and very different from the one Jesus showed us of gentleness, love, humility and brokenness

-what they do to people in actuality (tho maybe they are right on a theological level and will tell u over and over how right they are and how wrong u are) they are very hurtful and devastating to those who are broken and heavy laden with their sin, this because they are unable to express the love, compassion and kindness of God

- when there is that sense of attack coming from the doctrine police, what they really need to do is look around them and see if there is actually even any sheep at all gathered around them (lol)

-what they really want is an audience to convince them over and over how great they are and how wrong we are lol. (it's called having an agenda so they can win the argument)

-loving someone is living and speaking the truth without trying to convince anyone ( ie manipulating someone) this should all be done in the context of love and tenderness without provoking one's defensiveness

- I agree with him when he says the "need" to convince is one of the greatest deterrent to spreading the life and love of Jesus in the world ....


:-) Love in His heart