Archive | March 2015


“And he said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise’.” (Luke 23:42,43)

A dying man, crucified for his crime – who can say who this fellow was? Who knows the details or circumstances of his crime? We can only conjecture about it – times were not just hard but oppressive. Did he steal to feed his starving family? We may never know. He did admit that he and the other “malefactor” were justly deserving of their sentence. All that we know from the biblical account is that he only asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. He shows remarkable humility and insight that the other thief did not display.

The interesting feature is that he calls Jesus “Lord”! He seems to have some understanding of who Jesus is. He willingly admits his wrongdoing and then turns to the Lord to ask to be remembered.

And even here in His agony, the Lord promises him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” He shows mercy to the deserving of their sentence, while He Himself – absolutely innocent and undeserving – is torn asunder at the hands of the merciless and mindless political and religious system of His day. What wondrous Love is this?

What I see in this is the need for understanding the higher purposes of suffering allowed in our life, how tribulation works and can be used by the Lord to open us up, to pierce us through to the very heart and core of our being. Does this piercing perhaps open us up to the awareness of the greater reality governed by Infinite Love? Is there no other way for that awareness to happen? Might the mystery of suffering reveal itself to us in spite of and in the midst of our fiery ordeal, as leading to something otherwise gloriously unfathomable?

I have heard that even in nature there are seed pods which require the intense heat of the forest fire, in order to burst them from their pods so that they may be plunged into the ash enriched soil where they spring to life. Without fire they are dormant, dead. It is only through this process that such seeds will awaken, take root, thrive, and bear more seed after their kind. Could it be that to fiery ordeal some are appointed, in human terms?

A baptism of fire may be what it takes to open up the heart-seed of humankind in order to set it free into the likeness of God from Whom we came. Therefore, equipped with this understanding, we do well to avoid popular views which give the impression that God will never allow suffering, but rather instructs us to name, claim, and frame that which renders us beautiful, self indulgent, and rich. Anyone who embraces that needs to understand that s/he has come face to face with the father of lies!

God is God. Whatever He allows in a life is for the reason of that Soul’s highest Good. (See Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12:6) When there are no answers on the human level, we will be inclined to ask Wisdom of the Lord, lay down stubborn self will, and turn to Him in the heart of humility and surrender. The view here is so that we can be emptied of self and filled up with the fulness of Christ. If we are so full of our ego selves, and seeking our own way, that sometimes the fire is necessary to bring about the “Christ-ed” destiny of every human being.

Whatever it takes in each individual case is governed and allowed by the will of our Heavenly Father, administered and applied through the holy Spirit, and assisted by angelic orders as well as the human beings in our life. “… he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

So we need to get it straight – God is still God; we are the created sons of God having the likeness of our Creator-Father restored within us. We are creations, not dictators! The latter thought comes from Lucifer, the father of lies, the usurper, the pretender to the throne of our hearts and lives. So let’s get it out of our heads that we dictate to the Lord!

We are cracked pots, such as are good for nothing and can hold nothing. Such must experience a breaking down, a re-forming, a firing in the kiln, glazing, and firing again! It is through this fiery process on a spiritual and inner level that we are transformed into vessels fit for the Master’s purposes – to reign with Him in glory! This is no automatic happening.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

All we know is that at this point in the narrative, Jesus was there on the cross with that man, ransoming his soul, right along with ours! And He is saying that today, right now, you will be with Me in Paradise.

Paradise was re-opened to all, signified as Jesus died and the great veil in the temple was miraculously torn asunder, to “make visible” once more what was being restored to all through our Lord’s Passion. Today! Here! Now!

All glory, praise and honor to God and to the Lamb, Who has made it so, above in Heaven and on Earth below! Amen.

Unsolicited Advise

A stumbling beggar falls among the thorns;
Lies he bleeding, tangled, and forlorn.

A flitting hummingbird
suggests he stop and smell the roses –
as if this ill conceived advise
his weary plight disposes.

While on the wing a winsome bluebird,
glancing down cries sweetly,
“Sing! Sing! Sing!”
the soul in his dilemma, pained,
knows only sting, sting, sting!

He ponders how such creatures,
borne aloft in flighty fashion,
could not by now have learned
a little more compassion.

“… and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” (Romans 12:15,16)

A fantastic synopsis of this idea – passing off judgment as helpfulness – can be found here:

Am I “In” Trouble? No!

creating trouble

As I declare the truth that I already exist in Christ where there is no trouble, trouble is utterly once and for all cheated and defeated in my life. Trouble has absolutely no power over me, because it does not exist in my reality – for Jesus Christ declared, “It is finished!”

Through Christ my reality is that I already dwell in the almighty Presence of my Heavenly Father, high above all principalities and powers and every name that is named. He – my Elder Brother, the Son Who is Truth – has set me free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

Therefore I am free from trouble or the need to react to it. Here in Christ where I live, move, and have my being, I am free to create what is good, beautiful, and life enhancing, to love unconditionally, and to live fully and abundantly. Here I am free to “grow in Grace” – experiencing as ever present reality more and more of the Divine Love for which I was created. Since this is so, I am always in a safe space of infinite Good!

As I realize and ponder my reality in Christ, ever increasingly the Good that God has for me manifests in me and in my life, and I am free to share fearlessly this Good with others. The more I share of this Good, the more it unfolds in my life, which is characterized by the absence of trouble and the presence of Infinite Love and celestial harmony!

For this understanding I give thanks and rejoice with joyful praise and glory, for the ever present experience of Divine Grace, and I let it be so now and forever, for so it is. Amen.

Scriptures for contemplation:

“…that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6,7)

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Struggle Or Surrender?

Often we hear Christians echoing the idea that we are “struggling” with sin. Could it be that this is because we may be struggling in the flesh, rather than by faith surrendering to and proclaiming to our inner being the truth of the grace of the Holy Spirit’s intervention, as He applies the finished work of Jesus to our inner being?

However, the weapons of our spiritual warfare are, after all, not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds! (See 2 Corinthians 10:4) It is the “sin within” that God Himself deals with – the axe is laid to the root from which “sins” spring forth. This we must eventually understand. Sometimes it takes awhile to get this straightened around in our spiritual comprehension – it’s not about us. It’s about Him. And even this opening of our eyes comes by Grace!

“…Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” (Exodus 14:13) We either see our Salvation, or we continue to struggle. Pause and consider the spiritual meaning here for a moment.

It’s helpful to continue to re–affirm what already IS won in and by Christ Jesus until it becomes an in-the-present reality. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:1) Self is dead. A new creation (that’s you, that’s me!) is alive unto God. Where’s the struggle? Self cannot overcome self. Self is dead! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!! Confirm. Affirm. Abide. Live in what is.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

I think St. John reveals it to us as a NOW matter, the victory already in place: “NOW is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:10,11)

Focus in on that second part – the accuser is overcome with the word of our testimony concerning what already is in Christ Jesus. The struggle is over once the flesh has been surrendered to divine authority and truth, to what has already been done. We overcome by faith, not by flesh. We overcome by surrender to what is, not in struggle with what is not.

Truly, it is finished!

All glory to Christ Jesus in Whom all has been accomplished, in Whom we live, move, and have our being. Amen.

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 20

New Age Memes

“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)

Here’s an example of what the following article will consider as far as New Age memes are concerned: “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

So many similar memes, often attached to colorful photos or art, or which depict some popular talking head in that movement, are spread all over the Internet. I agree with the foregoing statement up to a point. However, it needs to be considered more deeply than at just face value. We need to start thinking instead of singing, “Meme a little meme with me.”

We need to examine what memes are actually designed to do. I had no idea about this until I began to explore what memes are. For that I would refer you to its dictionary definition first of all. “Meme: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. A humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. From “memetic” mēˈmetik, originating from the 1970s, from Greek mimēma ‘that which is imitated,’ on the pattern of gene. Fascinating, eh? For a more in depth read, please see . It may surprise you.

Certainly there is bashing and hatred out there. We all know what it looks like. All anyone has to do is go to a You Tube conversation thread on just about any subject, and what bashing looks like will become quickly evident.

However, there are those of us who can disagree without being disagreeable (although stern expression is considered disagreeable in a soft culture), but it’s not going to take place in a You Tube thread, since it seems that most of the people participating in those have lost their minds and capacity to actually think and reason, and they certainly show complete lack of self control, self respect, or respect for others. Driven by unacknowledged fear, in defensive posturing, they feel obligated to lash out or strike back. Largely they do what the above verse from Proverbs speaks about – proclaiming their own “goodness”. Or so they perceive.

First of all, we live in a politically correct matrix, which quickly labels everything promoting traditional values as bashing, hatred, or some sort of discrimination – especially what has consistently allowed for life and good throughout aeons of history. Perennial Wisdom, or traditional values, is acknowledged by the mature and wise because it works to support life and has been proven as such throughout history. Thinking people will either ignore memes or carefully examine what they may actually be communicating in a more in depth manner.

However, much of the mindset today thumbs its nose at Perennial Wisdom and thinking in favor of simplistic feel-good memes. Anyone who embraces and loves Wisdom, and promotes it, is called a “basher” or a “hater”, whether or not that is so.

What about the possibility of referring to people who think as “thinkers”?

And frankly those of us who represent traditional standards are fed up with being pushed and bullied by the pop culture, which some have come to represent without even knowing it. We keep quiet because we don’t want to be labeled as haters, but it’s becoming evident that we also must stand for our thoughtful promotion of what we love – in the face of being politically incorrect and refusing to acknowledge foolishness, immaturity, and rebellion as the way to live.

All the focus on “what you love” is not going to change the escalating temperature of the fires for the frogs boiling in the pot who don’t even know they’re sitting in it, if said focus is not in the camp of, frankly, godliness! It may have its day, but it is destined to disappear.

What’s trendy and “cool”? How can I fit in and go with the flow? Well, the flow is described in the foregoing paragraph. Personally it’s not where I want to be. It’s not “cool” to come to a full rolling boil and not even realize it. Go ahead, boil in your “bliss”… focusing, promoting what you “love”.

If someone attempts to awaken people to the facts of the corruption unfolding around us, and what could be done to correct it, they are labeled “haters”, or at the very least “negative”. Truth has become negative. Repentance is considered a dirty word. Scripture foretells or describes many such epochs. (Refer to Jude 1) We happen to live in one now.

But here’s the thing: Just because you have been granted the “right” by a corrupt system doesn’t make it right. There are higher laws, written into the Universe by the Supernal Source from which it came. It is that to which you will answer, no matter how much so called “positive focus” you may think you have about what you love and promote. If it is not in sync with the Way of the Supernal Source, your “positive outlook” isn’t going to make the pot in which you boil go away. Only the embrace of what has been honored as Wisdom throughout the ages can do that.

You may embrace New Age memes but they are not Proverbs or Perennial Wisdom long honored, cherished, and promoted by the wise. Here’s my “meme” in response: “Promote life supporting Godliness, instead of bashing it with political correctitude.”

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)


What does it mean to “behold”? Let me see if I can piece together some discoveries concerning that word, which is really an invitation to deeper understanding of our standing in Jesus Christ.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) John the Baptist sees Him as the Messiah, and invites us to also behold Him, to see Him for what He is. That is the beginning of beholding.

The saga unfolds, and… “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” (John 19:5) Pilate sees Him as an enigma and a political conundrum, yet paradoxically echoes John’s invitation to take a really good look.

Behold: It’s from the Greek εἴδω eidō (i’-do), and it means to see (literally or figuratively), by implication to know, be aware, behold, consider, perceive, understand. It’s not just a quick look or taking something for granted. It’s a deeply introspective process of going past the surface story, beyond immediate appearances.

At the beginning of the story, we picture ourselves there by the Jordan. We look up to see the One John asks us to behold… At the other end of His story (and the new beginning of ours), we stand just outside Pilate’s judgement hall, and once more hear the charge, “Behold!”

To behold is not to merely look with the physical eyes, but to understand (by way of contemplating – pondering in our hearts like Mary) our Lord Jesus Christ – until the reality of His identity and work impacts and convinces our mind concerning everything God has offered to us in and through His Son – our new reality, our restoration, our new creation.

What do you and I see, perceive, or understand when we behold Jesus, dear reader? What on earth does Jesus mean to you and me for heaven’s sake?

The Holy Spirit is given in order for us to comprehend deeply what we behold. He teaches us all things – wisdom for the asking. Not an unintelligible dogma, not an obscure doctrine, but clarifies our new reality in Him – the only reality whereby we transcend this one, or the only Name whereby we must be saved. The Holy Spirit gives us insight, helps us behold.

So is it time to take a good look, to behold, and to ponder Him? This is the purpose of Christian “contemplation” and “meditation”, to get to know Him, to behold Him – in Whom we live, move, and have our being. It is not about emptying the mind and creating some sort of void. Nor is it for mere relaxation. No, beholding is contemplating is meditating is to surrender the faculties of the mind, intellect, and will to the understanding brought to light by Jesus Christ. John testifies in his first epistle (5:20) that the Son of God has come to bring us understanding in order to know Him, to be able to come to grips with the fact that we are in Him and what the implications are!

We are reminded by Psalm 1 that for the one who delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates therein day and night, it will mean becoming like a fruitful tree planted by the rivers of (living?) water, and whatever we do shall prosper! Our “meditating” is a beholding, a deep considering and reflection upon, all that God provides for us through our Lord Jesus.

What does this understanding imply for us in terms of the Cross? Paul prays diligently for this comprehension. He says of his calling in God “that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8,9) His prayer is that believers, “being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-29)

His example spurs us on. “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

Our beholding is to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, in order to be filled up to all the fulness of God. That’s the can-do that is in Jesus. A more amazing reality one cannot imagine! We slip out of the domain of emptiness into ultimate fulness and fulfillment – what we were created for and meant to be from the beginning, and that to which we are restored in and through Him.

Jesus final prayer on the night He was betrayed was, “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…” (John 17:24) Spiritually reckoning ourselves with Him, in order to behold His glory! Amazing Grace!

The result? “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Believing is beholding is perceiving is surrendering is becoming. It is all Grace! Jesus Himself invites us, as He asks us to invite Him in, using the same word: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

It doesn’t get any better than this! Glory to the Lamb now and forever. Amen.

Am I Dead Yet?

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

True or false? Without all the tools we have today – especially online Bibles, reference materials, commentaries, many books, and generally easy access to so many resources instantaneously – honest Christian self examination was a more difficult thing for people in the early church, as they had no such luxuries.

This likely may not be all that easy to discern. The disadvantage today is that we can take all of these tools for granted, with the entire matter of our spiritual life becoming merely a theological head trip. It can be easy to walk away from a living relationship with Jesus Christ, and fool ourselves with an intellectual approach as a substitute. Dare we say, in terms of our technological advantages, that to whom much is given much is required?

The Apostle Paul minces no words when it comes to the need to “prove” ourselves. More easy going translations replace the word “prove” with “test”, and the word “reprobate” with the phrase unless you “fail to meet the test”. Somehow that doesn’t pack the wallop that is contained in the good old KJV! It’s too soft, with so much at stake in this world’s apocalyptic time!

In the beginnings of the church, there was no Bible as we know it today, let alone all these versions and translations which have come down through the centuries. How even that made it through the politics of the church-state under Constantine is a marvel.

So what were the “yardsticks” against which the early believer might measure and monitor his spiritual state? Is it really any different for 21st Century Christians?

What Paul seems to emphasize throughout his epistles to these early believers is the cross and what it implies for the life of those who would follow Jesus. Repeatedly in many ways he emphasizes the co-death, burial, resurrection, and our position in Christ in the heavenly places, and what this implies for any who name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then there is also the companionship and infilling with the Holy Spirit as we are converted, transformed, and restored into living manifestations of the sons of God.

“I no longer live!” is the declaration, but “Christ lives in me!” What does that mean?

People are quick to point out, especially these days when traditional morality is regarded by many as politically incorrect, that Jesus did not bring a moral code to the table. Perhaps not directly. However, the transformation He offers through the Cross implies something far more powerful and everlasting – we are made the righteousness of God in Him! That is the faith we live out. It is essentially this: I am dead. Christ lives in and through me.

Therefore a good beginning question for self examination in light of this might be, “Am I dead yet?” The lights are on, so who is home?

We are reckoned dead by the Grace of God through Christ’s passion and resurrection. Self, from which sin arises, is gone! That is to be our faith and our experience. The source of sin was done away with at the Cross. We are new creations!

But, do I live as if this is a fact? Am I dead yet? Is the risen Jesus Christ living in me with no contenders to the throne of my heart and mind? If I am a new creation in Him, then so it is. To them that believe on His name He gives the power to become the sons of God! Does it get any better than that? Does He shine in and through me? Have I surrendered to His Holy Spirit’s direction so that I am about my Father’s business as He was?

These are all questions that we take into the prayer closet with our Lord for self examination. The opinions of men, books, commentaries, and electronic resources are not going to provide the answer. Only a continual one on one with Jesus, as He speaks to our heart while we listen, is going to provided the answer to “Am I dead yet?”. Pray without ceasing, He says! That one on one is as available to us as it was to the illiterate yet saintly Christian in the early church. It may be that we have to toss out the extraneous clutter which gets in the way.

We can declare our mental faith day in and day out, but God doesn’t ask for declarations; He asks for powerful truth-manifesting demonstrations in real time-space. He wishes to make His presence known here and now within us. He isn’t asking for the works of the dead self which we may be inclined to offer, which can come in the form of a lot of head knowledge. He looks for the real time demonstration of the life of His Son in us, shining forth into a very dark world, where Jesus needs to be more real in His people than ever before.

Originally published on my website: