Archive | May 2015

Psalm 25:15

Psalm Twentyfive Verse Fifteen

If ever there were a time for rising to higher perspectives, for putting on the Mind of Christ, for overcoming by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11), that time is now.

I would offer that one of the ways to do this, which personally I find very useful and helpful, is to use the most ancient truths from Scripture, such as seen here in Psalm 25:15 or other Scripture promises or truths, and combine it with an artistic rendering. I love making these electronically. “Something old, something new…” come together as an expression that certainly brings inner peace to the artist, but also hopefully blesses the beholder.

Making art is a way I have personally found to be a means of meditating on the Word of God in a rather focused yet relaxed way, as it blends with color. It is like being a brush in God’s hand, where He is once more making things with light, as it was in the beginning.

I’m mostly sharing from a personal perspective here today, as an artist. This practice of intentionally making art as a way of connecting to God and to truth seems to facilitate the mind as it rises out of cares, fears, circumstances, and the nebulous sense of dread that seems to have seized our little blue green planet and its people these days.  I find that I can understand current events and acknowledge them, without sticking my head in the sand and pretending something is not happening, while still – through the truth of the written word – enter into a prayerful state while creating art. It becomes affirmation, worship, and the acknowledgement that God is still in charge – in spite of “evidence” to the contrary.

So, dear reader, I’m hoping you will be blessed with this artistic offering and the heart felt blessing that is sent along with it, especially on this Monday. May it not be merely a mundane Monday for us all, but enriched with the Presence, refreshing, wisdom, and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, as we turn to the One Who can pluck our feet out of the net.

Until next time,

Only a Messenger

Roomers Afoot

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!!” (Isaiah 52:7) (Publisheth: bears witness, proclaims)

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” (Mark 6:11)

Lately my attention has been drawn to the subject of feet in Scripture, so I began to ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. I’ve always felt that a part of my work on this particular Assignment Earth is to find some way to build a bridge between the “house” of traditional organized religion and the “path” of christian mystical experience. I have first of all had to resolve this within myself, as the tabernacle of His Presence (if I may be so presumptuous).

This Great Work I surrender to God, for unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. God, Who is Immortal Eternal Infinite Holy Spirit, alone is sufficient to the task of joining to Himself we who are mortal finite and frankly unholy (not whole but one with His intention to restore us to that wholeness, that Fullness).

What was brought to mind was the early Charismatic Renewal days (circa 1970s), with this matter of feet and houses. The organized churches are essentially about theology and things of the mind and head and “belief”. Mystical experience is of the heart. The ideal is the blend of the two, andI think the goal of being integrated (whole-ness, integrity, holy-ness, a return to being one with the Fullness of God). That is how I see the gospel as being made real in life, in and through us. That is why this great “latter rain” has been poured out through the Holy Spirit upon the seed of God, so we will grow up to become what He intends for us as His sons.

The above verse from Mark was a directive given by Jesus as He sent out the Twelve to preach repentance, cast out demons, and heal the sick. They were to go into any welcoming house that would receive them. His words here concerned the houses that would not receive them. They were to shake off the dust of their feet as a testimony against those who would not allow them to come in, who would not welcome them or their message and work.

Theology, which is of the head, is the “house” that rejects the mystical experience of the heart. I can recall back in the Charismatic days a parallel experience. Those of us who were having the beautiful, living experience of the Holy Spirit were at best shelved by the organized churches many of us attended. We had gone to those “houses” to share the beauty of what the Lord was doing in our lives. The response: ignore them and they will go away. There was nowhere to lay our heads, just like our Lord Jesus. At worst we were labelled heretics and called the devil. No room at the inn for the roomers who were afoot.

What Jesus is showing His disciples here is that with such “houses” we are to shake off the dust of our feet against them. So what do dusty feet have to do with this?

In those times, washing of the feet of guests was a functional and loving ritual when a guest entered a house. It is symbolic of being received in a welcoming manner. It allows the guest to walk barefoot, clean, and comfortable within the house and to enjoy its amenities in an honorable fashion, to be part of the conversation in that house.

So to leave the house with dirty feet means that you have not even been allowed to come in with the Message! You are not welcome! Consequently you have no choice but to shake off the dust collected on your arduous journey in the world as a testimony against them, and you move on to the next.

This symbolizes to the heavens that they refused to receive those who come in the name of the Lord, with the testimony of the living Christ ablaze in their hearts. Heads that are too big refuse to open up to the heart, to embrace the Mind of Christ which is radical servanthood and humility and unconditional love with no yardsticks of judgement. This is the house that refuses to open the door let alone to wash your feet. In other words the door is not answered when Jesus calls, and the feet of His messengers go unwashed and dusty, receiving no place in that house.

So there is no choice for us but to keep moving, to “…Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works.” (Revelation 18:4-6)

The Twelve entered into the houses to offer deliverance from evil and the Way of salvation. They came to set free – with verifiable signs of God’s holy authority. They came with the same purpose as Jesus Christ – to destroy the works of the devil. When the houses reject this, their fate is sealed, and the “sign” of their decision is this shaking off the dust of the feet, since they welcomed not the Lord’s “feet” bearing His message and His power through the Holy Spirit. This is serious business, when the head refuses the heart by refusing to wash its feet – those who represent Him Who stands at the door and knocks. Such feet the prophet Isaiah calls beautiful!

Hence the many of us who are the unchurched Christian mystics, often find greater receptivity and fellowship among the people of the world who seek Truth. We may have left the organized churches, but not the Faith of Jesus Christ.

(P.S. Regarding “dust”: “So long as the egos are obscured in the activities of the lower mind, they are unable to apprehend the higher qualities which are the expression of the Love and Wisdom Nature within. Dust being free from water, signifies a state of ignorance, absence of truth (water), which is the original state of mind (man).” – From Dictionary of Scripture and Myth, by G.S. Gaskell)

Hearing Him Alone

“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. There is only one true liberty–the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right. Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you? With patience and with gentleness.” – From Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest.

How many of us know someone who likes to pass out free advice, you know – the type who is for example the unmarried spinster (is that word politically correct?) who likes to counsel people about their marriage when no one is asking, or the type who has ten cats and considers that as “experience” about how to raise your children?

Willie What?

These are certainly humorous anecdotal stereotypes, but c’mon – admit it, most of us actually know someone vey similar to this. Certainly this snippet from Chambers’ well known work addresses this sort of unsolicited advice.

It also speaks well to the unsolicited advice for others about what we “think” they ought do in a given situation, which often can come from a desire to control disguised as concern, or to even undermine someone toward whom one covertly feels jealousy, which is not at all helpful. It’s good to listen, and then “check in with your insides” before becoming the self appointed shrink to a friend who may only want someone to listen to them, rather than fix them or their issues.

And God help us if we have not examined ourselves thoroughly enough to realize that we ourselves may be doing this! So it can come from either direction – either you’re receiving unsolicited advice, or dishing it out.

We all have these people in our lives that provide a lot of input that we aren’t looking for, especially when we approach life from the view of Jesus as our exemplar in all matters – He says (Jn 5:19,20): “… Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”

He encourages us to not only ask for wisdom, but see ourselves as one with the Father in Him. That, in fact was His final prayer. “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.” (John 17:21)

It is through the application of Grace through the Holy Spirit that this oneness manifests, until Christ be formed in us (see Galatians 4: 19) Then we move through life as Jesus did, as one with the Father, being about the Father’s business, as ambassadors of the kingdom that is not of this world.

In this putting on of the Mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8), we no longer feel obligated to dispense unsolicited advice about what someone “should do” per our own agendas. In this state of mind, there are no personal agendas! Neither do we feel obligated to act upon the unsolicited advice of anyone else, but merely respond in a quiet and kindly manner – even when they are becoming adamant that they know what we must do – “I’ll pray about that and see what my Heavenly Father says.”

Daily Divine Service Held Here

Patience & Love

Each moment, each day
is a gift from Above.
Shall I live it in worry,
or patience and love?
Shall I live in the Present,
perceiving God’s face,
receiving His goodness,
His kindness, His grace?
My body His temple
of pure holy light,
from which He would shine
through the stormy dark night
To light up a world
that must know He is real,
and if I allow Him,
through me He would heal.
For this He has fashioned,
restored me as one
to bear His own likeness,
to shine as His Sun!

 

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 21

Wise Ways

“A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.” (Proverbs 21:16)

“Thus says the LORD, Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Fascinating

After a somewhat lengthy hiatus, it’s time to visit Proverbs once more, specifically choosing from the next stop, chapter 21, especially given the temperaments of the times, which – shall we say – “inspired” the artwork included with this post which I think will fit the idea here pretty well.

It’s almost nauseating to peruse many a conversation thread in electronic social networking today, and discover just how many people have so little respect for holy scripture, yet seem to think that they can spout off any foul thing they want to, hurling insults at those who love and respect it. Why?

Maybe because the perception is that this is what “freedom of speech” looks like: nobody is going to tell me what I can say or how I ought to say it. This is America and I’m going to say what I want.”

Such times resemble this: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

So rude and crass has our society become that there is little acceptance of personal responsibility for what anyone says to another, or even the sense or feeling that, “Wow, I wouldn’t want someone to insult what is sacred to me, so maybe I ought not approach another (especially someone I don’t even know!) in that manner just because I have a case of ‘screen rage’.” (If anything is thought of as sacred anymore, that is…) That’s like road rage – the perception that it’s OK to curse, or yell at, or insult someone just because you are encased in something the size of a Sherman Tank, so you feel safe. The other person cannot reach through your computer screen or the windshield of your big SUV to strangle you, so it must be OK. Not!

I have known a number of these individuals in “real life”, a few older, and a few not so old, even in their teens, who scorn and shun the Bible and openly renounce it, although they have never actually read it. It would seem to me that they might be at least curious about it – enough to open up a copy and find out for themselves – even if simply from the perspective of a good whodunit, or as something controversial that you might want to check out.

At any rate it puzzles me that this has come to pass… Who reads even the literary classics anymore? Who seeks to explore the Perennial Wisdom – much of which is included in the Proverbs and other wisdom literature? Who is seeking knowledge and understanding and the highest and most beautiful things? Where is the hunger and thirst after the way of understanding? What is it that motivates people to wander from it, if indeed they ever knew what it was in the first place?

We keep hearing about this “great awakening” which was supposed to be happening beginning in 2012. Yet can anyone define what that looks like, except that the movement seems to consist of advancing absorption in the “self”, rather than self being reckoned crucified and raised up on high in Christ and living from that perspective? If so, to what is humanity awakening – with each going his own way, rather than the Lord’s way of understanding, along the ancient paths He laid down for us so very long ago?

And what will it take to get someone interested in the Way of Life bestowed by Christ Jesus, the one Light – “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”? (John 1:9)

Perhaps, first off, it will mean that those who shun the ancient paths of understanding may have to learn firsthand that in the sowing of seeds of disrespect, mockery, and rebellion, the result means essentially “crop failure” – a place among the spiritually dead. It always amounts to the idea that what we sow, we reap: smack people around enough with the verbal or written two-by-four, and sooner or later the “cosmic two-by-four” will find its way to you.

Whether we shun the way of understanding, walk away from it, or “stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it”, what is sown shall be reaped. “Ignore-ance” is no excuse for the law, as it is written not on tablets of stone but in human hearts, and into the very fabric of the creation itself.

Secondly, therefore, this being the case, as I am not a finished work, it may also behoove me to pray fervently to the Holy Spirit, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51:10-13)

So perhaps it may be that “they” won’t open the Bible because they haven’t seen in God’s people what they claim it reveals. This must change first. First our own walk must match our talk. The above Psalm is a good prayer with which to start.

It is difficult thing to admit one’s own part in it, but nonetheless, let it begin with me.

In The Beginning

Behold the bud in spring –

a flower that knows no bounds,

spun of first light, begotten of the Word,

between the black night stars,

and the frozen ground,

changeling child emerging into life,

morphing ever from the blossom then to fruit to seed,

promise of all that is to be.

We are alike, sweet blossom,

I and thee!

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?

“…Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

I keep hearing this question being asked these days: how should we respond to the times we live in? What shall we do? How shall we live? In praying about that, the following is what came to me in the wee hours of the morning. It seems a very much obvious path, but sometimes do we not miss the elephant in the room?

Let us first be reminded of some basics.

There may be many “world teachers”, but there is only one Savior and LORD Jesus Christ – the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved. Do not be deceived by the religions of the world, or by the many forms of idolatrous substitute traditions of men, set up by false systems that have long prevailed, or the new ones on the scene, claiming to come in the name of Christ. Pray for discernment continually, for the deceptions are subtle.

This one Savior and LORD Jesus is the Word made flesh, by Whom was made all that is made, the same Who was in God, with God, and Who was, is, and always will be God. This is the same Who pours out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh, that they may come to the knowledge of Him, which is eternal life. He reveals Himself to all who sincerely desire Him, who continually ask, seek and knock.

In this One we live, move, and have our being. In this One we have been crucified, dead, buried, resurrected and ascended on high – to reign with Him and in Him at the Father’s right hand – above all principalities, powers, and every other name that is named. This is an exceeding high and victorious place, and the gift of Grace extended to all! Do not be afraid to see and affirm yourself in Him. This is something that must not be denied, for it is your truth!

It is at this name of Jesus that every knee must bow – of things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth. Every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is LORD!

Many cry out, “How shall I approach and deal with the complexities and conspiracies that seem to be coalescing and culminating in these times?”

First of all, let the foregoing understanding of Who Jesus is and who you are in Him be your confession, proclamation, testimony, and affirmation. Meditate upon its implications for your life. Then pray continually for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit for yourself and upon all who dwell on earth – the likes of which is equal to the task, and which has never before been seen. For nothing short of divine intervention will be equal to the task. Know that He that is within you is greater than He that is in the world, and remember that His purpose is to destroy the works of the evil one, so that all creation might be set free!

Pray continually for the Holy Spirit, offer thanks and gratitude in every circumstance, and abide continually in the praise of the LORD.

The Holy Spirit is promised to those who persistently ask. The Father will not give a counterfeit! He will not give a stone to one who cries out for whatever bread he needs to sustain him on his journey and in his mission! He grants manifold Wisdom to anyone who will ask, seek, and knock without doubting. As it is said, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” Therefore, ask and keep on asking, that you may receive whatever discernment, wisdom, counsel, direction, or Good you may require. The LORD does not wish you to fail in your reason for being here, and He does wish to reveal your mission to you in no uncertain terms, and to bring your Soul safely home.

Stay in the Holy Scriptures which are always revealing Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning to you, and the specific applications you need for your own part in this great unfolding. For it is promised that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind all the teachings of Jesus, AND will lead you into ALL truth! This promise is guaranteed by God to all who will come to Him in receptivity and abide in Him, for He desires for all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Act upon His invitation. Absorb yourself in it, and be absorbed in Him and He in you. Then you will have the answers you seek as to how to proceed and to approach the turbulent times in which you find yourself.