Friday, January 30, 2009

A Good Question

I think this guy (whose name is Dan Stone) asks a very good question. Or should I say perhaps, he answers a good question. Let me explain.

I happened by his site tonight and these words caught my attention:

What would it be like if Paul's phrase, "Christ in you, the hope of glory," were a daily reality in our lives? Is it even possible? Is there anything we can do to make it happen?

There's nothing we can do, for it is already a finished fact! If we read John's Gospel, we find that Christ really has become one with the Christian. There is therefore a certain quality of life that He imparted to us, a life which spontaneously flows out to touch the lives of others. This life is quite different from what I had heard about for so many years of my life. For twenty-three years I was the one doing the doing. And I was doing for God. I hoped that what I was doing pleased God. I hoped that what I was doing honored Eventually the Holy Spirit, who is our only teacher, impressed upon my inner being that because God is the real Doer, there really wasn't anything a Christian could do for God but be available.

Until the Christian life comes as spontaneously as being lost once did, you don't know Christ operating as you. The Old Testament prophets knew that. They knew God didn't want the blood of bulls and goats, but a contrite heart. He said He would give them a new heart, that the Law would be written not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tables of the heart; and that no one would need a teacher, because all would be taught of the Lord arid. all would know the Lord.

Can Christ be trusted in union with you and me to live that life? I can now say yes. I couldn't always say yes, because I looked like a bad risk. I looked wishy-washy. I looked hot and cold, in and out, up and down. I couldn't say yes until I wore myself out trying, because I was a God-lover; and I thought that's what I was supposed to do for God. You probably are a God-lover too.

full article here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Lang Gang

this is my family last summer, having a chocolate fondue and
discussing our upcoming trip to hamilton.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is Our Motive Love ?

1 ¶ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I believe that His love is at the very centre of who He is. His loved, rooted within us, expressing itself bountifully in all that we are and are yet to become.

It seems that unfortunately man at times (including myself) has sought to try to separate His Love from His Truth.

Thankfully, I have learned, and am learning, that there is no value in terms of spiritual life & union with Him, when that is done - because God is love. Yes God is Truth but He said Himself that He is love, ... therefore Love is at the very centre of His Truth, expressed to us and in us.

I think it's a peculiar thing that roaming around the internet on forums and blogs, we see often that those who are the most passionate about doctrines and theology, can be the ones who seem to love the least. Even if I can and often do agree with their doctrines, (doctrine which is often very correct) the lack of love displayed by them, as described above in 1Cor 13 shows how easy it can be to be doctrinally correct in a religious sense, but to at the same time be devoid of the pure love of God.

I would even take it one step further than that. It seems often they are in an 'attack' mode, a 'crushing' mode. They fail to see what spirit they are truly of. It's a very selfish thing to lash out and attack people - people who we do not know anything about in many cases. We can know so very little of their heart, where they've been, what trials and mountains they have had to climb. Yet in a very selfish and self righteous way, without any humility, we would rather make assumptions.

Reading these verses this morning, I just feel so challenged in my walk with Him. What kind of a great love - that never fails, that endures all things.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Externals vs the Inner Life of Christ

Looking back over my walk with Jesus, I just saw something today about myself.

Its my thought that there seems to be two groups of people following after Jesus. We all are at one time or another - in either of these groups.

There are those who are - or were - constantly interested mainly in the externals of following Jesus (such as the miracles, & the many external aspects of being a Christian, when -where - how - etc, - the blessings of perhaps being a Christian and how to obtain them, whatever externals they value .)

... and then there are those who are primarily interested in the internal life of Christ (Christ in you or more precisely: the union that we have with Christ ) more so than they are in the externals, though they would have at one time or another been external. Perhaps a better way to say this would be that they have graduated from being primarily externally focused to being mainly aware of the internal or inner life within or union they have with Christ, and the transformation that is taking place.

Now I have to say that I learned very quickly the externals of religion. They are very easy to obtain, and I was very easily able to find many people who would instruct me exactly on what those externals were. But the interesting thing was, most of these people including myself at one time, were not really interesting in fellowship around Christ, just fellowship around all the externals.

But graduating to internal or inner life was not so easy to grasp.Because of all the focus on the externals for one thing. But once you become of aware of the internal, you are less comfortable with all the externals because the Holy Spirit is working within you and you are very often 'uncomfortable' because you find the externals shallow compared to Christ in you. I still tried to go along with all the externals/external focus and remain in that place, but the problem was I had to pretend that everything was fine & dandy with the inner life, (because of all the externals) but in reality it was a desperate struggle at most times. And no one else (either had any struggles ) or else they weren't aware of it.

For myself, I have to say as of now, I have so little interest in the externals. I am more interested in the internal life of Christ, in myself, and in others. It is what I look for and love to find in someone else. The hunger for Christ and the beautiful presence of His Spirit deep inside of them. You know, someone softly broken over their sin and wanting so much to be transformed and changed from the inside out. But as far as the externals in my life go (or lack of interest in them) I believe and hope that if the inner life of Christ is transforming me, then the externals will correspond and change. As the Spirit works it all out from the inside.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Friend Dale's First Post to my Bog ! (on the Bride of Christ)

The new Jerusalem is his bride and eternal companion -Jerusalem being the chosen one of Israel. Jesus called the natural Jerusalem and said this

Lu 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Isn't He issuing the same call today to His spiritual Jerusalem. Are you seeking the safety of His wing? Will a chick survive amongst the wolves without this protection of the divine wing? I hope our response will be that we “would” come to his safety behind His shield of faith. So I have delved a little more into this relationship between Christ and His true bride. Please eat the hay and spit out any sticks that you find.

The Holy Spirit through Paul points out a “great mystery” in Ephesians 5. This is the message of Christs eternal love. His choice for eternal union. His love lavished upon the ones who will take a hold of all of His love to be and yield to His tender touch. This is Christ and his “real” church. If Jesus is truly the second adam then this too is the second eve. The one that he died for. No wonder the first instruction for husbands is to love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave His life for her. This eve will overcome where the first eve failed because she is truly abiding in the truth Himself. This eve will over come because she is a doer of the word and not a hearer only. This Eve will overcome because she has truly died to all that she is and has taken on His nature in all things. This is true union -to come into line with the heart of another. Trust is built with those you love. True faith works and operates from the source of the one you love. Lasting faith comes from knowing everlasting love. That is why He has promised never to leave us or forsake us -to implant an everlasting trust in us as a response to that love. Even that response of faith in us is His faith -so there is nothing of ourselves and all of Him -least any man should boast. So that in the end all things will be summed up in Him.

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

All of the animals were created male and female and had their counterpart. But Adam had none. Surely Adam knew this and longed for his companion and very close friend. When Jesus dies for the joy set before Him He endured the cross despising the shame -so that His bride could come forth. Adam was put into a deep sleep. It is in a place of rest that brides are formed. When we strive to enter the rest then wonderful things will come forth as we cease from our labours and enter His. Adams bride came from within him. Jesus (the second adam) bride will come from in Him. All we are as His bride will come from Him. His Wisdom, His love, His spotlessness and His radiance.

There is a wonderful star configuration on the Australian flag (yeah I am an Aussie). It is the copy of a constellation of stars that we can see in the southern hemisphere. It is called the southern cross and we have those five stars on our flag. They show the five wounds of Christ. There are also two pointing stars but I will not talk about them today. These five stars show clearly the wounds in his hands -the one through his feet and the crown on His head. But the smallest star and yet probably the most important (isn't that God! -the last shall be first) is what I call the painless wound of Christ. After all the pain the second Adam has a wound in His side while in the deep sleep of death. Does that sound familiar? Was the first Adam put into a deep sleep? The FIRST thing that happens after him dying for His beloved is the revealing of the things closest to His heart! The water and blood (another message entirely) that flowed came from his peritoneal cavity revealing His heart for his those he died for. His heart poured forth. Five is the number of grace. While his heart broke for the sins of those who nailed Him there -the fifth wound was painless (after death). As the first eve was brought forth from the wound in Adams side you too are born of the water and blood and things that come from close to His heart. This second overcoming Eve is to be formed from things closest to His heart. Why have so many missed that Jesus died for His woman? What really is the spiritual longing in His heart revealed in John 17 ? This is a great mystery. Arise new Eve from the depths of His heart and shine with the radiance of His righteousness and Glory. I ask you -are the following words a prayer for His new Eve? Will you abide in Him?

John 17: 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

His love to all -from Dale

Recall What God Remembers

"I remember . . . the kindness of thy youth." Jeremiah 2:2

Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me? Am I full of the little things that cheer His heart over me, or am I whimpering because things are going hardly with me? There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what God prizes. It is a great thing to think that Jesus Christ has need of me - "Give Me to drink." How much kindness have I shown Him this past week? Have I been kind to His reputation in my life?

God is saying to His people - You are not in love with Me now, but I remember the time when you were - "I remember . . . the love of thine espousals." Am I as full of the extravagance of love to Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He find me recalling the time when I did not care for anything but Himself? Am I there now, or have I become wise over loving Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no account of where I go? or am I watching for the respect due to me; weighing how much service I ought to give?

If, as I recall what God remembers about me, I find He is not what He used to be to me, let it produce shame and humiliation, because that shame will bring the godly sorrow that works repentance.

(Oswald Ch)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting There

It's seems things have been up and down for me as I still am in recovery mode. I am certain I am not the most pleasant to be 'around' these days, especially when I start to get taken up with worries and concerns over the state of my recovery process. I find myself easily wandering off into 'possible scenarios' of 'what ifs' and 'complications' due only to one thing: the primary reason being that I am a nurse. Every little setback, no matter how small or big it is, causes a shift as I immediately feel the 'nurse' inside of me kick into overdrive as I begin to theorize & put a nursing process / plan into gear.

Thankfully Father hasn't let me meander in that place too very long. I asked my husband just this morning hesitantly, "Am I sounding paranoid?" Thankfully he responded to me gently, but honestly & graciously with his response being "a little". I think I am just a little vulnerable these days, and apparently Father knows that quite well, as well as my husband, children, and friends. Everyone has been so very patient with me. I would like to think that I too could be so gracious. I think of the compassion Jesus had and has over the multitudes who were sick, invalid, somewhere perhaps in a state of recovery, (or perhaps they weren't even yet in recovery), but whatever their particular problem was and wherever they found themself, I am truly convinced that His heart never failed to be moved deeply and compassionately towards their entire well being, no matter what had befallen them.

Maureen's post got me thinking this morning of Jesus. (If you haven't read it yet, you may want to pop over there & check it out, thanks Maureen). Jesus truly is the very center of our life, and wherever we are, He is getting us closer to Him. It's been a very good thing that He has chosen to strip ever so gently the layers away that have clouded this Truth (Himself) within us. Much like an onion, layer by delicate layer, the process is always ongoing. It's so amazing and He is the joy, our joy giver and the One who has invited us to share the very love that He and the Father share. That is what it's all about. That's what is happening to me through my recovery. He's reminding me over and over again that He is the centre of me. He lives in me. It's His wonderful pleasure to be a part of us, bringing us back to this Truth all the time. Loving us in our day to day ups, downs, circumstances.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Take Possession of our Hearts Lord

Why do I feel simple sharing and partaking is so important? Because deep within us, what we all truly long for in other human beings is Christ. Being honest about this and willing to see this is good because it's then and only then that we can be truly motivated in the right direction: to begin to experience what Christ has already prepared for us and supplied for us, which is Christ.

We can throw away the weight of whatever else is offered up to us and spit it out. We can be vulnerable and honest about the simplicity of Christ in our lives with others. What great joy that brings to be available on that very simple honest level to one another. We are looking for Him! It's all about Christ. That is the good news entirely (that Christ is all in all) and that is what is truly great about being His Child and a member one of another in His Kingdom.

Even as experiencing Christ in this simple way is so exciting and refreshing, I am absolutely aware that this is only possible through our steadfastness in relationship with Him. On that note I will post something which I read today that stood out to me:
"Can it be true, as so many maintain, that there is no time for communion with God? Is not the most important matter for which we must find time, fellowship with God, in which we may experience His love and His power? Give God time, I beseech you. . . . Dear child of God, it is of little use to speak of the deeper, more abundant life of Christ as our life, if we do not daily, above all things, take time for intercourse with our Father in heaven. The life and love and holiness of God cannot be ours amidst the distractions and temptations of the world, unless we give God time to reveal Himself to us and to take possession of our hearts."

– Andrew Murray

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who Wants to Share?

I have been in the process of recuperating from minor surgery, but thankfully I am moving right along. My hope is that I will continue to have much patience with myself as I continue to allow my body time to mend and do what it has to do ! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. It's all beyond what we can understand, God has provided for us as His Children in so many ways. He's ever good. When we are healing physically we can truly appreciate the wonder and marvel at our beings and our Creator.

Just a quick thought to throw out there beyond all that. Do you remember when you were a young-in? Okay I know it's going back a few years (for myself) but I remember being taught at an early age the importance of sharing with others. It was a difficult concept as a child to grasp. It just didn't seem to be something that would come naturally, and fair enough, many children never did manage to integrate that concept very well. However, the children that seemed to be the most fun & have the most fun were the carefree ones who shared well. They played together extremely well and were so free and full of life and contentment! My observation is that this concept has a spiritual aspect to it in our relationship with others as well.

I was praying and thinking this morning of my walk with Him and of course, the walk I have had alongside of others. I was aware that there was and is one thing that I now value highly. That is meeting and enjoying time with others who want to SHARE CHRIST with me, and likewise, want me also to SHARE CHRIST with them. It's what I am looking for. Free flow both ways, relationship based upon mutual love of Christ and appreciation of Christ in His people. The sharing concept. I have to say in retrospect, that these time of child-like interactions and sharing were not easily found amid the clamor of religious striving for performance perfection and recognition.

I have at times found relationship with others that could be brought to that simplicity, of sharing Christ. Even as my mother had to patiently teach me to share and I had to learn the joy of sharing, Father has had to strip away from me that which has opposed simple relationship with others in me. (He's still at work on that one). But I am getting there. It is and always has been what I desire and look for. It's a hunger within that is so deep that just as it's disappointing to meet those who can't and don't want to share - at the same time - that same deep hunger will not be denied. So we continue onward in search of someone 'Who Wants to Share'. Who has learned the joy and contentment for their soul at that place.

Sadly, there were many times, looking back, that I could not find this and adapted and conformed instead and denied that which I truly hungered for. Christ was definitely in all of that, letting that hunger grow and deepen during that time.

Who Wants to Share ?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Shoe Size

I have done this, and I see many people doing this, but now it makes me shudder. It goes something like this:

Many people (and I include myself first and foremost on this one) have said things to the effect --
'Ok I am about to tell you something that has rarely been preached before...'

Translation: There is something deep, new and profound that God is showing that has somehow escaped and rarely (if ever) been grasped before by saints. Makes me shudder now.

I think of the giants having gone well before me, and how big their footsteps truly were. Of the faith they had in Christ, faith that would not be defeated, even in the face of torture, death. How they were literally swallowed up on the face of this world by cruel, evil people - people determined to destroy them and what they represented. The fact that they literally would rather die than live not for Christ glares at me in the mirror. How they yet were not defeated no matter what,despite a lack of food and necessities that we take for granted everyday. They gave all that they possibly could give in their love of Christ and love of mankind, for what? To truly demonstrate the love of God in not only word but most importantly here, ACTION: the gospel to a dying world. I don't know about you, but their footsteps are so much bigger than my little ones!

There were so many saints that went before all of us, that were so ALIVE in Christ, so FULL of the Holy Spirit. YES I truly admire their faith. But, I realize instead, that there has probably been much preached and much lived out BY THEM- that I, .. that I ... have never fully realized. It's the other away around I think.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Outrageously Loved

This is amazing, the words in this clip :

"The Lord says that there is nothing you can do that would make Him love you more."

"There is also nothing you can do that would make Him love you less."

"He loves you because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you."

"Because that is what He is like"

"It is His nature to love, and you will always be the beloved"

"His love is unchanging, He loves you 100 percent, and He won't love you any better
when you become better."

"He loves you l00 percent and even if you have no plans to become better, He will still love you anyway because He loves you, because that's the way He is"

"And even if you don't want to change he will love you 100 percent"

"Even if you have no plans to walk with him, that's his nature he loves all the way, all the time"

"His love is unchanging but what will change is your abiliity to receive my love says the Lord"

"Open you heart says the Lord, and you will receive more of my love than you have ever experienced before"

"Give your obstacles to Him ..."

Inheritance - Graham Cooke

The Waiting Room

Just wanted to update you here (on my right arm).

I had a neurologist appointment yesterday and he concluded that the nerve conduction and muscular strength in my right arm was fine. My nerve conduction tests on my forearm were just slightly below normal. He said I am in great health. So I am rejoicing in that this morning, that he found nothing neurologically wrong. I have some other upcoming tests, including an MRI scheudled for late January.

The highlight though was being in the waiting room. I just have to tell you about these two little kidd'os. I had the joy of watching a little girl (3) and her brother (5) frolicking and playing under the waiting room table. They found such fun, hiding under there, and flipping and flopping around with their legs around each other, and giggling in their silly craziness. They were the absolute cutest. I am smiling here just thinking of those two and their antics under that table. They eagerly talked with me about how old they were - and wanted to tell me if they could read yet (as I was trying to read a magazine but I easily gave that up) wanting instead to enjoy them - how many books they had at home - when their birthdays were - they just loved to play together, and have fun with each other. Their laughter together was so beautiful. The little girl said a bad word so the big brother replies to tell her 'that's a bad word'. Then he tells her , 'Your getting on my nerves' (but he says it in a darn cute big brother way) to the which she replies, 'what is nerves?" He gives her this long detailed explanation of what 'nerves' are as only a five year old can do. LOL!

Every once in a while their grandma had to tell them, 'Shhh there's sick people in here'. Everyone walking by the room just had to stop at the door and talk to these two cuties, who would tell the stoppers by as they were leaving - "Merry Christmas". LOL! It was such a joy, I would have loved to stay there for many hours and watch these two, because just being there, their joy and happiness was so contagious to my own heart.

I am sure that is how Father looks down on us. He wants us to be joyful and happy and to just enjoy life. He's in control. It's ok to crawl on the floor under the table LOL. Sometimes we so easily lose sight (don't we) of how great a wonder was in the Father's heart for us, and (still is), and that His love has rescued us from everything. His love should truly release us completely from all our worries and concerns. So that we can truly be genuine, sincere people, just like these two little one's were. So we can extend from within our hearts, to others, love, and joy just as these two little ones did to me!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Letting Love Win

Letting Love Win

Christ kept looking to the Father and He kept choosing the Love that He shared and gave to the Father, as His constant motivation to endure what He endured.

When I thought of this today, I was thanking the Father for the Son, the wonderful love of our Saviour, who was able to give everything because He continued to love. It was His love that overcame what He endured for you & I. His love for you, His love for me, His love for all. I know we have all heard this repeatedly but I doubt that I have understood how deep His love truly is.

But within our hearts, Christ lives, Christ lives, not as a doctrine or theology, but as a person, as a person He lives in us. I am coming to understand this more and more, that it is the person of Christ that lives in me. Because of this, I too can overcome my circumstances in the same way. And let Love Win!

Loving Just One... then you can Love Many

Yesterday I became aware of a situation in a friend's life that needs our love, prayer and attention. His name is Mike, and he is going through very difficult times right now. He is not only physically unwell, but living with his elderly mother, trying to support her with his very limited pension, but there are other difficult and extreme factors involved as well. They are in dire financial and spiritual need. Please, I would ask each of you reading this, to pray for Mike & his family. I was in contact with others via email concerning this situation, and this morning I received this answer;

Hi Ruth.
thanks for telling me about brother mike and his family. Christ our Lord and our God and Saviour, Our true friend and brother who worships the father even as we sing our praises to him also. Jesus told us how that our father seeks those who will worship him in spirit and in truth. And that our love for others would be even greater, our great apostle Paul told us to love not only in words but in deeds and in truth. Even Jesus told us a new commandment I leave with you, to love one another.
The gospel about God's kingdom that even now we live in is so simple.. it is based on love.. love for God in Christ and for our neighbor. our master spoke of his kingdom and said to be blessed in his kingdom.. then to give when asked.. all that really matters in our church meetings and theologies and doctrines is, "Are we impacted by God, have we met him? did he get a hold of us?" If we have realized his love for us then we can, not only be free from the devil and this world of darkness, but also even from our selves..lay down our lives for others for God so that we might gain our selves or gain more of the eternal life in Christ in our spirits, so that we will be set free and find our selves deepin Christ in life & in the spirit .. into his kingdom of light and out of darkness or self centeredness and into Christ our God . who is our true source and supply.. in him we are blessed with all of heaven that even now this beats in our hearts. if we can love just one then we can love many.. Jesus asked peter 3 times do you love me .. peter said yes lord you know all things that i do.. jesus then told peter.. feed my sheep

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gratefulness, Contentment & Peace in HIM

Hello everyone and of course Happy New Year!

I was being reflective last night, thinking back over the year and feeling much gratefulness rise up in my heart over God's goodness to me.

My hope is that this warm gratefulness would continue to find it's way deep in my heart, and in yours too.

Along with being grateful is a sense of contentment in Him, knowing that Father has been with me, never leaving me. Ultimately He is truly taking us from where we are to where we need to be, the direction and plan's for our lives are all in place. This brings great peace to me as well as for those I know and love. We are all where we are. The good news seems to be that Father is loving us deeply and working in us and through His plan which includes a continuing marveling at the depth of His grace.

I hope to find myself this year caught up deeper in this attitude of gratefulness and contentment.

And thank you to each of you for the smiles and lovely imprints that you have left
in my heart.