The “desert” has its purposes…
Ponderable… From Slave-ation to Salvation.
The “desert” has its purposes…
Ponderable… From Slave-ation to Salvation.
AN INVITATION TO ALL WHO LOVE JESUS TO FAST & PRAY!
Fasting Through The Frenzy
Sunday 12/11/2016 – Thursday 1/19/2017
As 2016 draws to a close, we face not only the stresses of the “holly daze”, but also find ourselves in one of the most challenging times in the history of our world. With that in mind, we at Fellowship at the Crossroad invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join with us, wherever you are, to reverse the trend by drawing closer to the Lord, as He draws near to us – by Fasting Through The Frenzy. This will be a time of 40 days of focused fasting, prayer, and repentance – in accordance with 2 Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 58:5-14, and Matthew 6:16-18. We ask that you read and pray over these scriptures as you embark upon this time.
We realize that not everyone can go into a “full fast” for 40 days. So we are asking you to carefully, prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit as to what degree it is reasonable for you to fast at this very pivotal time. For example, we are having 2 light meals per day eliminating all “meats and sweets”.
Some may choose to participate only for a day during this time period. Some may want to “fast” from the Internet or some other interest for specific periods of time. Fasting is not always about food and drink. Do what will work for you that will allow you to draw closer to the heart of our Savior. What’s important is that – by participating in this time of fasting, prayer, and repentance – it opens the opportunity for you to withdraw more fully from the world and its cares, and to come closer to our Heavenly Father through our Lord Jesus. It is a time set apart and prioritized where we can listen to His Still Small Voice, heed Him, seek His will for our lives, and intercede for our loved ones, the body of Christ, and for the souls of this fallen and lost world. And especially ask for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us!
You do not even need to “sign up” publicly, unless you wish to – as a sign of commitment to this undertaking. This can be done in the quiet of your own home. God is Love! So we hope that you will join us, right where you are, in seeking to know Him better than ever, as these challenging days unfold.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of our Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit bless you abundantly according to His loving will, during this time and always.
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This time of year matches the mood of so many of us – often because there are “loud voices” calling on us to look to the right and to the left, that only want us to notice and be afraid of or depressed about the darkness … But that is not the only thing to look at!
Interested in some new but very ancient options? Read more here:
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Sometimes the voyage overtakes us,
casting us beyond our will
upon a far away and unknown shore,
where we find upon arriving,
it is a pleasant place and more.
Yet all too soon arrives a day
when we must, with the winds and tides,
once more cast off and sail away.
Many the twists and turns of life
along this labyrinthine flow,
where we would yearn to fly,
yet Something Deeper whispers to our heart,
You shall not go, you shall not go.
For there is much more here
you’re meant to see, to understand, to know.
There are times, even during my favorite time of year (around November 1 through January 6), when I have all I can do to hold it together emotionally. I know how important it is to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in every circumstance. Yet the picture comes to mind of a soul out of breath, and out of energy entirely, exhausted, dutifully climbing up some impossible and treacherous hill one more time. Yet he does not know why he is obliged to do so, and is weary beyond belief at this seemingly meaningless task. Yet here it is. And here am I. That soul depicted in imagination symbolizes me!
At such times I must cling to this: “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23 NASB). All I can do in such moments – those moments which teach me what a sacrifice of thanksgiving really means – is to rely on His promise which is attached to this verse – that it is through this that we actually come to “see” salvation.
It may be that some hidden stronghold of the flesh is being consumed by the divine fire of Grace through the Holy Spirit. That’s what animal flesh does when it is sacrificed. It is consumed with fervent heat. And this is why it must be divinely accomplished by Grace. We do not comprehend what is being done, yet we are aware that it is being done.
At such moments we become keenly aware that we have nothing to offer God – except the needy bag of impossibility and complexity that we have become in our fallen state. Yes, “just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me” becomes the theme. Even when we have walked with the Lord for many years, the work of being restored as a son of God brings us to moments of fiery Grace – where the fire of Divine Love must once again do its work! And there’s nothing for it but to surrender ourselves to it, “show up for work”. Not yours. His! And “burn, burn, burn, like a ring of fire!
It’s easy to rejoice and offer thanks when things are going my way. But what about when they aren’t? It’s so much more tempting to go into “cuss and fuss” mode than it is to even inwardly (if I cannot manage it verbally) say, “I don’t know what You are up to or why You call upon me to pass through this route. But by faith I acknowledge that Your Good is driving all Your work within me, and I will offer You a sacrifice of praise – in spite of my feelings – to acknowledge that my Heavenly Father knows best, and I acknowledge that Your plans for me are plans for my wellbeing and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.” (See Jeremiah 29:11)
For this truth I give thanks!
P. S. At times like these, when we’re “weary, feelin’ small, when tears are in your eyes” … the Holy Spirit comes in on the wings of a song like this one, a Bridge Over Troubled Water. Even when He seems to take us apart, at the end of the day He “takes our part”.
Originally published on my website:
Water rights versus privatization? Nothing new under the sun. Maybe what’s “under the sun” reflects our spiritual reality – experientially cut off from the well of our innermost being by private interests who tell us we cannot, that we must go through them for ablutions and solutions. But why? Whose doing would this be? Lets’ explore this a bit, and see if we can find a way back to our “water source” belonging to the children of God.
Jesus, speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life… But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:14, 23, 24)
Jesus, speaking to “the Jews”: “Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that (*see below) believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:34,37-39)
David’s affirmation concerning his personal experience with God: “…He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul…” (Psalm 23:2b,3a)
What was Jesus “standing for” and “crying out” about here among “the Jews” – the religious identifying themselves as God’s chosen, and what was He saying, when He told them, “where I am, thither ye cannot come”? I would submit that He was pointing to a personal and direct inner experience with God, for their relationship with God was a distant one, relying on the middlemen of priesthood and priestcraft. Jesus however taught and exemplified the direct path to the Lord through an interior Way (for all – in these cases both Samaritans and Jews!) instead of approaching God through obedience to ritual formulations, traditions, and dogmatic belief systems. He was identifying that inner well – the“spiritual water rights” of every human soul without exception! Therefore, since their reliance was on outer forms, and His Way points to the interior path, “where He was going” they could not come!
These outer ways in fact were and still are more like the stones and dirt clogging up the well of Grace that springs up from within. So the question is, how do we access this river of living water within?
The simplest way of clearing the stones and dirt is that of “meditation”. This means simply sitting intentionally in the Stillness and Silence – showing up intentionally for the work of Grace, which itself clears away the rubbish since it it from the omnipotent Source. Jesus is identifying Himself with this all powerful inner well.
Meditation is the way to a clear head, not an empty head. The above simple practice is a great place to begin. Some find it helpful to write, to journal the conversation or insights between the soul and the Supernal One in whom we live, move, and have our being. It is here that one dares to think “original thoughts” and receive needed input and direction – not governed by religion, politics, emotional reactions, fear, anxiety, TV, talking heads, the news, pop culture, books (as informative as those may be), or the opinions of others.
Meditation is the place for the inner being to go skinny dipping spiritually. There are no costumes, pretenses, or props here – just you and the Deep Blue, the soul and God functionally one. David sang, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1,2) Perhaps we yearn, but have become so parched for lack of imbibing Him that we don’t even notice the yearning!
Oh, that we would come to Him continually asking, as the woman at the well! “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?’ “ (John 4:10,11)
The Living Water proceeds from the throne of God, the Fountainhead of all that is. (Revelation 22:1 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”) Yet in the foregoing verses, Jesus connects that with the idea that there is a tributary within our innermost being, where the River of Life bubbles up inside us! This is where we need to go to receive what is pure and clear. Here we become “new creations”.
When we practice daily contact (prayer, meditation, contemplation…) with our Heavenly Father, life imparting spiritual waters well up within us – bringing not only the flow of greater awareness, or consciousness of the Mind of Christ, but imparting the necessary Grace from God which alone can cleanse, heal, restore, and set us free. This is the Primal and Supernal Source of all creativity, illumination, inspiration, intuition, and imagination.
No one has to search far and wide for this, nor will it come from the “right” church or political affiliation or the right rituals or even beliefs. These sacred “water rights” belong to every human soul! The holy river in each and every one is accessible within the interior, the innermost being! Jesus shows us how: “ But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6). This simple approach can connect us immediately, intentionally, and consciously to the Supernal One in Whom we already live, move, and have our being!
Dogma (religion’s favorite pastime) and programs (politics’ favorite pastime) are some forms of group think used to supplant the water rights within us all, with their distractions and confused beliefs and misunderstandings based in the finite human mind. Hence the need to connect with the Infinite Mind of God (God is Love!) where the answers and the ideas we need already exist.
Few proclaim this simple message: Since you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is your right as a child of God to daily and continually access the needed Fountain of Grace by going within your innermost being to the interior Fountainhead! Here it is your right to commune with your Heavenly Father, to be made whole again, to imbibe the unlimited, life-transforming Waters of Grace, Wisdom, and Truth. Jesus Himself lived, exemplified, and taught this approach to the presence of Our Father, unlimited Source of all Being.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) See also Isaiah 55:1-3.
*”believeth on, or believeth in”: from the Greek εἰς (eis / ice) meaning “of one mind”.
If you’d like to explore spiritual water rights further, here are other references:
Originally published on my website: