Sunday, May 31, 2009

Absorbed Into The Whole....

I was pondering all of this the other day.  Thinking about how some believe God created us...individual extensions of experience the material world in a way he could not experience it in the spirit.  Sort of living vicariously through us.  I've heard Lynn Hiles say that when he dies he can imagine God high fiving him and saying, "Man I had a hoot in your body."  So then, if that was the whole purpose in making experience this temporal realm, what's to stop him from sucking us back into himself, obliterating our individual consciousness, personalities etc?

I was thinking of this on my way to the gym last night.  Getting a little pissed actually at the selfishness of that plan (if in fact, that was the plan...but becoming more convinced that it was the longer I thought about it)....mind spinning....saying to myself that I wish there was a way to find the truth...and even sort of asking God, in my thoughts to provide an answer. (as in "so what do you have to say for yourself about this?) and like a flash, a thought popped into my head.  "Would you do that to your children?" I am always reluctant to say "God spoke to me" but I think he did.  The thought did not seem to originate with me. 

And when I ponder these (scary) issues and what if's....remembering that God, in scripture, reveals himself as Father (or mother...parent) does help.  Of course we do not have the power to obliterate our children...suck them back into ourselves....but would we, even if we could?  Don't we celebrate their individuality, the wonder of what our kids are growing into....becoming.  The nuances of their characters and personalities?  I don't understand how, after we leave these bodies and brains behind...we can think and maintain our individuality.  These bodies seem like the containers that keep everything inside/together but perhaps a brain is only necessary while spirit is housed in flesh?  Following is a quote I came upon years ago...but never really had the opportunity to use it.  Trouble is, I'm not sure if it calms my fears...or gives me more to worry about? 

Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear, but it does not cease to exist. We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen, will be made evident to others from the love which he imparts to us.
Sadhu Sundar Singh

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's Left?

There really is just too much to think about and ponder…geeez….

Sometimes I grow weary of pondering. Enough already!!! Let me think about something else for a change…okay, God?

Well, I have to admit that the other day when Keith and I went to see Terminator/Salvation” I was really into the movie…thought of little else. It had me on the edge of my seat…kind of living vicariously through the characters on the screen. Keith will sometimes remind me, "It's just a movie...those are just actors" Even though I am not much of an action movie fan, I got hooked on the Terminator series way back when I watched the first one, when Sarah Conner was just an innocent little thing. Same with the Matrix.

But for the most part, I am pondering this spiritual stuff until my head hurts!!! Maybe too much….but I don’t seem to have a choice but to ponder.

On EU they are discussing something I really do not like to think about. It actually scares the crap out of me. They are discussing who/what we aren’t…and when we figure out what we aren’t…well, then….what’s left? Is there a me? An “I”?? Is Cindi a figment of my egos imagination?

In times past, that was the bone I had to pick with Preston Eby. His writings seemed to declare that God was trying to kill off Cindi…get rid of her…nasty fleshly thing that she is. And my fear then is my fear now. What’s left?

Brian from The Beautiful Heresy blog posted about a book he is reading s "No Death, No Fear” written by Thich Nhat Hanh'.  He shared some of his thoughts about parts of the book.

There is a bunch of "I am not" thinking that frankly leaves me wondering what I am.  I am not my body (cool).  I am not my mind.  I am not my thoughts.  I am not my emotions.

Annie said the following:

ego wants to survive at all costs.  i actually do believe that something of our personality is retained in whatever the next realm is, only because i believe God takes such delight in the individual facets of himself that he has fashioned.

Yes…I like that…retaining my individual facets somehow comingled with the whole. Otherwise what is the use? What is the purpose? It seems almost a cruel joke on God’s part to suck us back into some big God blob. To me it is the same as death. 

Brian sums it up by saying:

 But, as far as being "comforted" that I am not annihilated because I never really was a "self", I don't really find that any more comforting than I was born and I die and I am no more.

Yep….the God blob view is way too close to the “Life’s a bitch and then you die” school of thought.

More to come....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quotes by Rumi (translated by Shahram Shiva

There was a post on The Now2 in which someone mentioned Scott Morrison and a web site called open mind open heart. Scott Morrison passed away, although I don't know the circumstances. The website is from yesteryear and is no longer online. I tried to find out more info on google...but didn't have much luck.  I did end up at a site called All Spirits. From there, I ended up at a web site with some of Rumi's poems and quotes translated by Shiva.  Following are some of the quotes...and maybe a comment or two from the "peanut gallery" ( :)

Love came,
and became like blood in my body.
It rushed through my veins and
encircled my heart.
Everywhere I looked,
I saw one thing.
Love's name written
on my limbs,
on my left palm,
on my forehead,
on the back of my neck,
on my right big toe…
Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.


This reminds me of another quote I came upon on yet another cool website called Gaia...(which was the subject of an "interesting web site" post) This following quote is by a man who goes by the name of Mr. Prophet.  He said:

Our physical bodies, though powerful are merely facades. They are clothing for our spirit.


Mr. Prophet

There is that spiritual being on a human journey thought again. We are not merely  human beings on a spiritual journey.  Eckhart talks about feeling the inner body.  The energy field/life force/spirit of God/ light that lights every man who comes into the world.  The in him we live and move and have our being.  The thought seems to be that the body is a shell, a tent, an earthen vessel, a glove.  It is hard to comprehend we are not our bodies...we've grown so used to living in them.  They seem to be the container that keeps it all together.  Like a pitcher that holds water.  Take away the pitcher, what becomes of the water?  


By day I praised you
and never knew it.
By night I stayed with you
and never knew it.
I always thought that
I was me--but no,
I was you
and never knew it.


Now this is where it gets confusing to me.  I kind of get it yet at the same time, I don't..

Is this true? 

I was you and never knew it?


Last night
I lost my grip on reality
and welcomed insanity.
saw me and said,
I showed up.
Wipe your tears
and be silent.

I said, O Love
I am frightened,
but it's not you.
Love said to me,
there is nothing that is not me.
be silent.

I will whisper secrets in your ear
just nod yes
and be silent.


I will whisper secrets in your ear?  The still small voice.  Be still and know that I am God.  Just another way of saying that. 


Didn't I tell you
not to go to that place?
It is me, who is your intimate friend.
In this imaginary plain of non-existence,
I am your spring of eternal life.
Even if you lose yourself in wrath
for a hundred thousand years,
at the end you will discover,
it is me, who is the culmination of your dreams.

Didn't I tell you
not to be satisfied with the veil of this world?
I am the master illusionist,
it is me, who is the welcoming banner at the gate of your contentment.

Didn't I tell you?
I am an ocean, you are a fish;
do not go to the dry land,
it is me, who is your comforting body of water.

Didn't I tell you
not to fall in this trap like a blind bird?
I am your wings, I am the strength in your wings,
I am the wind keeping you in flight.

Didn't I tell you
that they will kidnap you from the path?
They will steal your warmth,
and take your devotion away.
I am your fire, I am your heartbeat,
I am the life in your breath.

Didn't I tell you?
They will accuse you of all the wrongdoings,
they will call you ugly names,
they will make you forget
it is me, who is the source of your happiness.

Didn't I tell you?
Wonder not, how your life will turn out,
how you will ever get your world in order,
it is me, who is your omnipresent creator.
If your are a guiding torch of the heart,
know the path to that house.
If you are a person of God, know this,
It is me, who is the chief of the village of your life.

This reminds me of people...Christians and otherwise....who trade in their relationship with the spirit in order to fit into a man made organization like the church.  It doesn't have to be a traditional kind of thing either.  Not too long ago, I posted on the controversy that was ignited when Carlton Pearson was named senior minister of a New Thought mega church in Chicago.  Fundies of a different flavor...but fundies none the less. 

So there you have it...the latest musings from the peanut gallery....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interesting Website - Gaia

I happened upon Gaia in the search results from a query typed into google (how else :) I think I was looking for quotes about a certain topic...which has long since been forgotten...or perhaps turned into a blog post.  I'm not sure which.  But there are lots of quotes on Gaia.  There are 8000 or so spiritual quotes from a very diverse group.  Quotes seem to encapsulate profound truths in a most succinct manner. 

But Gaia is more than just quotes.  It is a community.  Similar to facebook, perhaps?  Similar to the Wisefire (UR) community. There are journals and blogs, forums, questions and answers, videos...lots of videos.  The site has kind of a "green" feel to it.  There seems to be a concern for ecology and the world we inhabit.

I've poked around a bit on the website and plan to poke around a bit more.  I haven't joined the community, but I may.  I've definitely bookmarked the site so I can use the quote section as a resource.  The quotes are sorted by author or topic. 

Check it out if you are so inclined....



Gleanings From a Trip To Lowe's - 3

OMG, is she STILL droning on about that stupid trip to Lowe’s and the Concordant Version of the Psalms???!!!

Just one more. For now anyway.

I have to say that I think it is totally cool how reading a verse in an unfamiliar translation peels another layer off the onion of spiritual understanding…brings out yet another facet of the scriptural diamond. Just three Psalms from the Concordant Version brought all kinds of thoughts to my awareness. Cool. Really cool.

So…Psalm 90:13 says:

Make us rejoice according to the days you humbled us, the years we have seen evil.

That brings to mind another verse I have always liked…..

Joel 2:25

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

So, just to be clear what we are talking about here, I looked up all these critters on Google Images.  Not a pretty sight....

                                       The Cankerworm









The Caterpillar


                                              The Palmerworm










Before I say anything else...let me just say...


I can see all three of these things squished on a sidewalk.

I am sure one could find all kinds of spiritual implications in the habits and life cycle of these worms. Someday, I may research it further...but for now, just seeing them in living color is enough to make me realize I don't want them munching on my new petunias.

And scripture makes it quite clear that between the three of them, they could cause a lot of damage.  Another version of scripture refers to them as  

The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust.

Actually Joel 1:4 describes it this way:

What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten.

So, it seems there is all kinds of devastation left behind afterwards....yet the promise is there.  I will restore to you the years the locust hath eaten....



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gleanings From A Trip To Lowe's - 2

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing the boat by not being more involved with church…specifically the YOUTH at the church…..specifically MY YOUTH at the church. As in Emily.

She is very, very involved with the church. Never misses Sunday service, no matter how late she was up the night before….nor how busy she is. She still goes to church. Most of her social life revolves around the youth group. She is best buds with all the leaders. Her dad’s next door neighbor is very, very into the youth. She is involved in the “tutoring” program at the church. “Involved” is a gross understatement. Even the word tutor is misleading. She goes way above and way beyond anything you would ever expect a tutor to do. Mentor might be a better description…although even that falls far short.

She and her husband have been mentoring the same boy all through his high school years. He is from the area of town they call “Little Philly”….and he belongs to the group of people whom the town unaffectionately refer to as “the influx.” The blacks from Philadelphia.

She has been surrogate mom to this kid for the past four years. Buys his clothes, pays for his cell phone…supports all his sports activities. When the basketball team was in the play offs she and her husband went to all the play off games….hours and hours away. I don't know all the details of his home life...other than....he needs a mentor....a friend....a surrogate mom.  He is graduating this year and going away to college. She has been assigned another boy to mentor. Lucky kid.

When Emily is staying with her dad, she spends a lot of time at Mrs. G’s house. Emily babysits her kids (a three year old and a newborn) and goes there for help with homework etc. Sometimes she takes the three year old to the park. They have become good friends. I am glad for their friendship. Their bond is the kind of friendship that has helped to keep Emily on the straight and narrow. I am also refering to other friendships she shares with all the dedicated, adult (but still young enough to be cool) youth leaders. They truly "put their money where their mouth is" when it comes to their involvement with the youth of the church (and youth "not of the church" too)  I often wonder how Beth’s life might have taken a different turn if she had stay involved with the youth group…instead of choosing her friends from the “dark side.”

So sometimes, when I consider people like Mrs. G. I get these pangs of guilt. I am not involved with the church…do not go to Wednesday night festivities (dinner and small groups) I only make it to Sunday services once or twice a month. This translates to “I am a bad mom.”

And I I really making the best use of my”free time” surfing the internet for "paydirt" .....those diamonds in dung heaps I occasionally happen upon which bless me and others?  Do the online fellowships... several message boards and the yahoo groups where I participate equal the value of face to face relationships?  And what about writing here, on this blog? Does it matter?  I wonder.

So the following two verses struck me as I was reading the Concordant Version of Psalm 90…..

Psalm 90:12

So make us know how to assign our days

That we may come to a heart of wisdom. Concordant

(NLT) Teach us to make the most of our time,
so that we may grow in wisdom.


Let the pleasantness of Yahweh our Elohim be over us

Do establish the work of our hands for us

Yea, the work of our hands do establish it. Concordant

(Amplified) And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands--yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.

That is going to be my new prayer. My mantra. Lord, make me know how to assign my days that I may come to a heart of wisdom…..establish the work of my hands…..

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gleanings From a Trip to Lowe's....

We made our annual trek yesterday morning….to purchase the summer flowers.....for the whiskey barrel, for the planters by the mailbox (tricky getting anything to do well there because they bake in the blistering sun all day long) a few other assorted planters and some hanging baskets for a couple of hooks located here and there, high and low.

At Keith's urging I finally got around to buying a fuschia.  I've always loved fuschias...ever since I first marveled at their intricate, delicate bell shaped flowers during my two summer stint working for my dad at his nursery and greenhouse.  I just never actually purchase one.  This year we did...along with nearly $110 of other summer annuals.  This summer, a fuschia is hanging out on the back porch.

After our flowers were purchased and loaded in the van, I rolled down the windows and waited outside while Keith went into Lowe’s to buy a few other items. While I waited, I read a bit from the book I grabbed in the shelf on my way out the door. It was the Concordant Version of the Psalms.

Interesting translation.

I am going to share a few of the snippets from a few of the Psalms I read. Nothing profound….just some stuff that interested me…and that will hopefully interest any readers.

Okay…here goes.

Throughout several of the Psalms I read, there was an odd word used…. benignity (and benign) I know this was the Concordant Version….Similar to the Young’s or Rotherham’s Emphasized translation. The word combinations in these versions just don't flow off the tongue like regular speech…..but still. The word benign not only makes me think of a tumor (as in malignant or benign) it also conjures up words like inept, ineffective etc. Perhaps that is just my personal misunderstanding of the word??? So, I looked it up on Wordsmyth. Definition follows…..

Part of Speech adjective

Pronunciation bE nain

Definition 1. of a kind or gentle nature.

Crossref. Syn. kind , gentle , benevolent

Definition 2. favorable or beneficial.

Example a benign climate for people with asthma.

Crossref. Syn. beneficial

It goes on to give the medical definition of benign know..non malignant tumor...etc..

So there you have it, I learned something while sitting with the petunias in the Lowe’s parking lot…

Some of the verses that use this (still seemingly) odd word…..

Psalm 89

1)Of the beningnity of Yaweh will I sing for the eon.

Doesn’t quite have that melodic “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever” ring to it, does it? (I will sing, I will sing…..)

Another verse…..same Psalm….

2) For I have said Eonian benignity shall be built; You shall establish your faithfulness in the heavens themselves.

In King James lingo that is…..

For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens

These are just two examples.  It is throughout the Psalms in this translation. 

And what does the Strong's have to say???


H2617 checed kheh'-sed

from H2616;

kindness; by implication (towards God) piety: rarely (by opposition) reproof,

or (subject.) beauty:--favour, good deed(-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-)

kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

Something there that also piques the interest….

Why amongst all the other definitions like favour, good deed, kindly, mercy… we find reproach and wicked thing included?

Hmmmmm. This post is already too long. So I will end it here. Any ideas?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Emily's Poem...

My daughter, Emily, not quite (but soon to be) 16 wrote this poem.  There are others at her site...a blog called Be Creative.  It's a private blog...and even I (probably most of all "I" being her mom and all) don't have the link.  She read a few of the poems to me yesterday afternoon and I was struck by the depth of thought coming out of someone so young.  Maybe I am just partial because she is my daughter but I thought this was a very good exploration of some of the questions we, as finite human beings, with a limited perspective, ponder. 

It's so weird to comprehend the complexity of a concept stating that
Life can begin in the same place a life has ended

Quick can you vision the sight of the elderly lady surrounded by family, with the outline of her life outlined in the deep lines of her face

And as her long lived life fades into a long lived afternoon
Of sharing memories and crying on the shoulder of the other

And quick another day is no where to be found as this long afternoon
fades into a young couple, awaiting the miracle after nine months of awaiting a miracle

The young father paces the hallway preparing for best case scenario careful not to scare
his quick to panic wife, as he assesses every worst case scenario inside his tired mind

What happens when the long lived lady gets to live even longer and the never lived baby barely gets his first breath, We can't fill our brains with the what if, what then

But when the what if turns into a what now, and a few with better faith, and a few broken hearts
We cannot just blow this off as the circle of life, because the circle of life took a U-turn

And turned straight into a figure eight, and when the baby never takes one breath,
and the old lady gets one to many

The figure eight of life, turns into a scribble on the paper of an eight year old,
that will never learn to color inside the lines,

And the thought sometimes passes his parents thoughts would it of been better if he didn't make it out of the nicu, and you gasp as if you never would of thought the exact same sin

We can't make ourselves mad over lives lived to long, and lives never lived at all because,
the first time you hold a baby in your arms you can't deny the scribble of life dealt a few miracles

I can remember the first time I sat down with a life long battle with good and evil,
and listened to war stories, nodding and crying as if I were there, fighting along with him

I will never forget as long as I live, when I saw that beautiful baby boy smile for the first time,
and when the miracle of a little girl first discovered those toes waving around, belonged to her

The circle of life keeps itself going one day at a time, and as this day is ending,
and my hand gets tired, I am finally realizing,

I cannot predict life, and pretend it goes in an even circle, but I can feel lucky,
I have received a pretty good deal, because this life can be cruel,

And as the long lived life goes into it's final day, and the newborn miracle is breathing on his own, this life is starting to form a circle, and the earth keeps spinning

Friday, May 22, 2009

More on Stillness....

Today, I came across something that is kind of a continuation of yesterday's post ...the "Be still and know that I am God" part.  It is from a yahoo group called The Now2 where I am (for the most part) a silent member. It is an eclectic group…named in honor of Eckhart’s book, The Power of Now. I think I’ve mentioned it in other posts here on this blog. They discuss lots of topics that address awakening…more or less from a non-Christian perspective. Not anti…just non. Christianity is not often discussed there.

Once, when I posted something about the Bible, someone replied kind of dissing the Bible as a war mongering, bigoted book, filled with evil and atrocities. I guess that sums it up IF you read it from a purely literal and carnal understanding. Keith is fond of saying the the Bible is written for the spiritual man. I agree.

Anyway, today I read a post from the group that included an excerpt from Eckhart’s Stillness Speaks. In my last post Eckhart wrote (and I copied and pasted) the following…

"Be still," meaning go to that place where the mind is no longer operating. You are just conscious without thinking. And that is the level where the eternal resides.

In today’s excerpt (copied and pasted) he says:

The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking.
The equivalent of external silence is inner stillness.

Makes sense....

Silence is helpful, but you don't need it in order to find stillness.
Even when there is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise.

Okay…that’s good to know.  The lawn mower is chugging away outside the patio door. The neighbor’s little yappy dog is…yapping. So you can find stillness even when it is noisy? Silence is just a perk. Or is it????

Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence.
How? By dropping your inner resistance to the noise,
by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you into that realm of inner peace that is stillness.
Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is -
no matter what form it takes - you are still, you are at peace.

Okay…so the neighbor’s yappy little dog is actually doing me a favor? It is helping me achieve inner peace by giving me the opportunity to drop my resistance to the barking...barking, which I feel compelled to note, goes on all the time. To the "someone should go down there and tell them to shut their dog up" point.  It conjures up all kinds of thoughts about the neighbor.  He is rude.  He is thoughtless.  What right does he have to let his dog disturb my quiet?  Etc. etc. etc.  Haven't gotten around to dropping the inner resistance part.  Not sure that I will anytime soon. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Look What I Found...

While sitting here at the library...killing time until I pick up Beth, I found the following post....written a couple of weeks ago. Even though it is "Mother's Day specific", I am going to post it anyway.

With my morning cup of coffee this morning, I poked through some files I have saved on my computer. We were at my mom's...visiting for mother's day...and she somehow manages to live her day to day life without internet access....heck....without a computer!!!

(Side note here....
It is not that she is so connected with the Source that she has no need of technology like cell phones and touched on in yesterday's post.....but simply because she is afraid of technology...sees no need for it...and realizes it would distract her from her main pastime, which is fretting and worrying)

So while everyone else but me was still asleep (ever the early riser) I was revisiting stuff I have saved on my computer. You don't expect me to start my day without laying hands on a keyboard do you?? So anyway, I was looking over the transcripts from the Oprah/Eckhart webinar that took place last year....springish.. I read through the transcript from part one...and saved snippets that captured my attention. I found some gems of wisdom therein. Eckhart was talking about the quote from the OT....

"Be still and know that I am God."

It contains the entire wisdom of religion in those few words. "Be still," meaning go to that place where the mind is no longer operating. You are just conscious without thinking. And that is the level where the eternal resides. So the eternal, the formless, the spirit, is the essence of every human being. No matter how insane or conflict-ridden it may seem to appear on the surface, within every human being, that remains untouched. There's nothing that anybody could have done to you or nothing that you could have done to others to destroy that.

And yet, what we see with our eyes seems to declare that there are some human beings who, from our perspecitve, are evil...who do not have that essence. On EU there is a discussion going about "evil" in the world...broaching on the ponderings of whether this world is an illusion or not. If anything is, or can be evil. Too much to ponder in the scope of this post....

Still More About Dwelling in the Secret Place.....

Think of Him all the time before you act, while you are engaged in activity, and after activity.

The above quote is found in the excerpt that I posted a few days Yogando... in one of the posts about dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High. It reminded me of several quotes I came across a while back that express a similar thought.

Another one by Yogananda:

There cannot be any excuse for not thinking of God. Day and night, rolling in the background of your mind, God! God! God!…Whether you are washing dishes or digging a ditch or working in an office or a garden—whatever you may be doing— inwardly say, `Lord Manifest to me! You are right here. You are in the sun. You are in the grass. You are in the water. You are in this room. You are in my heart.' (Paramahansa Yogananda, `God First, A Retreatant's Pocket Companion')

“Rolling in the background of your mind. I like that....sort of “pray without ceasing”

...every moment you can snatch away from your duties, take your mind within: "Are you there, my Lord? Am I in tune with You?" You can tell when you are in attunement with God; you feel His instant response. Eventually your awareness of Him becomes continuous, an unbroken connection with His indwelling presence. It is like a radio; you can turn the volume up or turn it down very low while keeping it on the same station. Similarly, when we get busy with external duties, we can turn the radio of our inner attention down, but still have it tuned to God.
(Daya Mata, `Self-Realization' magazine)

There is that radio station thing again...and how it relates to the Kingdom of God. I've posted about it here...we've talked about it on EU. The Christ mind is the tuner...and while, as the quote above states, the volume might be turned down low, we can always stay connected to the Source.

On EU yesterday, Deb posted about an upcoming family event that would take her to Tangier Island (in the Chesapeake Bay) There is no cell phone service on the cars....and where she was staying there was no lickety split broadband internet connection. It was dial up. Ugh. It seems, however, that God spoke to her via the daily devotional that she receives...daily....from Neale Walsch (Conversations With God claim to fame) It said:

… doesn't matter if you can't get a cell phone signal or Wi-Fi where you are. You are always connected to Source.

I'm not kidding about this. I'm serious. Wherever you are, wherever you go, you are always connected to Divine Wisdom, Divine Intelligence, and Divine Love.

And indeed we are. So it matters not how many bars are showing on our cell phone...nor whether there is a Dunkin' Donuts with free wifi nearby, we can always “be connected” to our our Father.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Interesting Website.....A Wilderness Voice in Search of a City....

I came upon this web site....somehow. Can't remember for sure how or when but I noted that it has a plethora of writings...mostly traditional, yet, there is much of the new, in the old when pondering the Christ within. I found the writing about the Antichrist by Joseph Salmon on this site. If I remember correctly, I wrote several posts based on that writing not too long ago.  So anyway, this site qualifies for inclusion in my "interesting web site" category (a new and budding addition to this blog :)  

Again...some of the writings are from "fathers in the faith."Guys like T Austin Sparks, Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee, Tozer.  But I also noticed one written by Wayne Jacobson called Why House Church Isn't The Answer.   The owners of the site....two guys named George Davis and Michael Clark have written many of the articles on the site. I have not had a chance to read any...but some of the titles seem really interesting.  Check it out if you have the time and the inclination....

A Wilderness Voice in Search of a City....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More on the Secret Place...

The other night I had to pick Beth up from work so Em and and I hit the Border's book store. We had about an hour to kill. She went to the teen section and I headed right to the Psychology section to finish reading the section of Yogananda's writing about dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High.

Behind the kind or unkind voice of everyone he hears the truthful voice of the infinite. Behind the wise or helter skelter will of everyone he hears perceives the constancy of the will of God. Behind all human loves he feels the supreme love of God. What a wonderful existence, when all of God’s disguises are cast off and the devotee is face to face with the infinite, in blissful oneness of Divine communion.

Be always intoxicated with the Divine, with the wave of your consciousness ever at rest on the bosom of the Eternal Sea. When one is kicking and splashing about in the water, there is little consciousness of the ocean itself, but of the struggle. But when one lets go and relaxes, the body floats, it feels in its buoyancy the whole sea lapping around it.

That is the way the calm devotee feels God, with the whole universe of Divine Happiness rocking gently beneath his consciousness. God’s kingdom is within you; He is within you. Just behind your perceptions, just behind your thought, just behind your feelings, He is.

Every grain of food you eat, every breath you take is God. You are not living by food or oxygen, but by the Cosmic Word of God. All powers of mind and action you use are borrowed from God. Think of Him all the time before you act, while you are engaged in activity, and after activity. In fulfilling your duty to man, remember foremost your duty to God, without whose delegated power no duties are possible. Feel him behind your senses of sigh, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Feel his energy in the arms and legs and feet. Feel him as life in each exhalation and inhalation. Feel his power in your will; His wisdom in your brain; His love in your heart. Wherever God’s presence is consciously felt, mortal ignorance melts away.

Those who are wise never miss their daily engagement with God.

Keith and I are in Ontario this weekend visiting his family and old friends who comprised his life before I snatched him away to the states. Computer time is sporadic and somewhat limited...but more thoughts spurred on from these thoughts....tomorrow....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Carlton Pearson Shakes Up Another Denomination...

I am a silent member of a list called Interfaith Christians.  Someone posted the link to an article about Carlton Pearson.

It seems he has been selected as a senior minister at a mega church in Chicago, the 6,000-member Christ Universal Church. It is a New Thought church.  Whatever that means.  We are leaving for Ontario this morning so there is not much googling time. I'll have to leave you on your own if you want to find out more about the denomination. The article describes New Thought as

a metaphysical interpretation of the Bible and focuses on healing, meditation and thinking positive thoughts to improve one's life.

So while the church professes "new" thought...what they are displaying is something very old.  They are fundamentalists.  Say the word fundamentalist and Jerry Fallwell's face appears in our mind's eye.  "Christian" is one of the first words that come to mind.  Jerry Fallwell..along with Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, etc. etc. (and not just any Christian the eyes of many...a Christian who is a special kind of stupid) The opposing members of this "new" thought movement are simply fundamentalists clinging to a different fundamental.  But it still reeks of exclusion and smugness. 

I really like Carlton this treatment of him...AGAIN...pisses me off.  It just goes to show, however, that even something that proclaims to be "new" may not necessarily be new afterall. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

He who dwells in the secret place of the most high....

Sometimes, when I am to and fro-ing Beth to work, I hang out a while at the Borders bookstore at the mall. I think I wrote about some of my experiences there in a blog post not too long ago.

The last time I was there, right next to the Christian section…where the Psychology books reside, I found a really cool two volume, hard back set of books by Paramahansa Yogananda called The Second Coming of Christ The Resurrection of the Christ Within You.

The following description is from Amazon:

In this unprecedented masterwork of inspiration, Paramahansa Yogananda takes the reader on a profoundly enriching journey through the four Gospels. Verse by verse, he illumines the universal path to oneness with God taught by Jesus to his immediate disciples but obscured through centuries of misinterpretation: "how to become like Christ, how to resurrect the Eternal Christ within one's self."

Never before available in its entirety, this landmark work by one of the most revered spiritual teachers of our time transcends divisive sectarianism to reveal a unifying harmony underlying all true religions. A groundbreaking synthesis of East and West, it imparts the life-transforming realization that each of us can experience for ourselves the promised Second Coming -- awakening of the all-fulfilling Divine Consciousness latent within our souls.

Yogananda said, "In titling this work The Second Coming of Christ, I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and, after imparting a universal path to God's kingdom, was crucified and resurrected; his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What is necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one's own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ Consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true Second Coming."

And the link that connects this book with the gist of the post from yesterday? Well, I came upon a section in volume 2 that talked about the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God WITHIN you….the secret place of the most high….

One who finds within himself the Secret Place of the Most High” becomes suffused with supreme happiness and divine security. Whether he is mixing with friends or sleeping or working, he keeps that place only for God. With his consciousness centered in the Lord, he finds Maya’s concentric veils suddenly lifting; in joy the devotee sees God playing hide and seek with him in the blossoms and the stars shining with a stronger Light and the sky smiling with the infinite. When his eyes are spiritually opened the devotee beholds peering at him through the eyes of everyone, the eyes of the Infinite. From the Second Coming of Christ Vol 2 Page 1188

There was more…and I was writing as fast as I could…but I ran out of time and had to go…but the next time I go back I will finish reading that section and share it here.

The point, however, is that the place of supreme happiness and divine security is found in the Secret Place of the Most High.

Preston Eby often refers to it as the Inner Sanctum….and according to Eby wondrous things can be found in that sanctum….

            It is true that Christ stands outside the church systems of man, knocking, that he who hears may open the door.  That is the sense of the meaning of Christ’s message in its corporate application.  There is, however, a further and deeper sense in this message on the individual and personal level.  The Christ who knocks at the door of our individual heart is on the inside of each of us, in our spirit!  There is a pure realm within man, an inner sanctum, an eternal dimension — the Holiest of all.  Christ is in our spirit, and though we hear His voice as part of the corporate body of Christ, yet, is it not from Christ within our spirit that His voice comes to us?  You see, my beloved, Christ is in our spirit, knocking on the door of our soul!  He is in our spirit, knocking on the door of our body!  He is saying, “If any (outer) man hear my voice, and open the door, I will not only be joined to your spirit and be one with you in spirit, but I will come into your soul and sup with you there, I will come into your soul and be fused with your soul; I will come into your body and sup with you there, I will come into your body and be fused with your body, and you will know in the totality of your being the fullness of my perfection, wisdom, power, life, and incorruptibility!”  From the Candlestick to the Throne Part 62

Floyd Watson from Stones of Fire says:

” Now we must find again our source of life…IT IS WITHIN where we find the garden of Life our peace, our joy, our strength, our happiness and our true life. It’s called the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God…the inner sanctum….the Secret Place of the Most High…an eternal dimension…the Garden of Life…The Christ within, The Presence, The Stillness….

And he who dwells therein…who lives out of his Christ nature…will know no fear.

I’m hopeful that someday the Princess of the Worst Case Scenario (and her mother the Queen) will relinquish the throne to abide in the Kingdom of God….under the shadow of the Almighty, Abba Father…in perfect Love where there is no fear.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Serpent Becomes a Dragon...

annie posted this to EU recently…...

Fear can manifest only because of a belief in separation. As long as you are something apart from God you will experience, in one form or another, fear. It is subtle and hidden like a poisonous serpent coiled in the grass, liable to strike at any time--at the most unguarded moment, when least expected.

Its only power is given to it by thought, and it can be swollen by thought from a serpent into a dragon. All thoughts of evil are like toy balloons in that they are enlarged until finally the capacity is overtaxed and they burst. Sooner or later a fear will explode itself, however much or little damage it has done. Walter Lanyon

to which I replied….

Oh, yeah' been there, done that.  So many things can grow to epic, horrifying proportions in our minds.  I am the "what if princess" mom is the queen. Imagining the worst case scenario is second nature for her and she so graciously passed the worry gene on to me. I often have to talk myself out of the ever escalating “what if’ scenarios.

But I am not alone….because lo and behold a few others on the list also fessed up to being in the royal family of worrier/fretters right along with me.

I know that perfect love casts out fear. I know that “fear not” is sprinkled throughout scripture. I know that Jesus overcame the world….but sometimes it is hard to “be of good cheer”…to not be afraid…to keep things in perspective.

About fear, Eckhart says…..

The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now.

Although the body is very intelligent, it cannot tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought. It reacts to every thought as if it were a reality. It doesn’t know it is just a thought. To the body, a worrisome thought means, “I am in danger,” and it responds accordingly, even though you may be lying in a warm and comfortable bed at night. The heart beats faster, muscles contract, breathing becomes rapid. There is a buildup of energy, but since the danger is only a mental fiction, the energy has no outlet. Part of it is fed back to the mind and generates even more anxious thought. The rest of the energy turns toxic and interferes with the harmonious functioning of the body.

The voice in the head tells a story that the body believes in and reacts to. Those reactions are the emotions. The emotions, in turn, feed energy back to the thoughts that created the emotion in the first place. This is the vicious circle between unexamined thoughts and emotions, giving rise to emotional thinking and emotional story-making.


The ego cannot distinguish between a situation and its interpretation of and reaction to that situation.

Hmmmmmm….okay…..back to the Bible….what does it say about fear…. besides fear not?

clip_image002God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

clip_image002[1]In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
--Psalm 56:11

clip_image002[2]For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
--II Timothy 1:7

Sounds encouraging…..

And what did Jesus say?

clip_image002[3]Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
(John 14:27)

And where oh where do we find this peace Jesus talks about????

Perhaps we find it in the “secret place of the most high” from Psalm 91…..under the shadow of the almighty…..”

The christ within?

More tomorrow…..

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Invisible Work?

Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don't mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.

I think it was Debra who posted this to EU.  It is part of a Mother's Day poem and goes on to celebrate the "invisible work" of mothers...and earthworms...bees....white owls and poets...

Some of it "waxes a bit poetic" and my mind can't quite grasp the concepts she is trying to get across. Some of it...the snippet above...I can relate to. It rings all too true....

Anyone with a passion for something can well understand the unbelievable effort it takes to live the life that goes on between the passion...between being able to do that which one is passionate about..and that, which some days bores one to tears. 

"Real work"....the daily grind...and while for me the real work emulates the passion there is no heart there, no interest, no wonder. I sit in front of a computer most of the day finding the right words to sum up the discussion at the latest meeting where I was minute taker. Long, meticulous reports. And then there is the data entry.  Work of the devil for sure.  Mind numbing, repetitive, over and over again words that I don't give a crap about. All the watching the clock...counting the hours until I can leave that computer screen....and get to this one. 

But sometimes the mundane takes its toll...and after toying with words all day long (and charts and power point presentations..and excel spreadsheets...and the never ending data entry) my mind slows down to a crawl... sort of like the proverbial midwinter molasses. My friend daniel mentioned the cement mixer churning away in his head..and I can relate to 5 am with more thoughts and ideas and "storylines" than I can keep track of.  But most days by 5 pm it has slowed way down to a weak vibration.  Today is one of those days.  Barely a hum. 

Eckhart says that there are 3 sane solutions to the "no thanks, I'de rather not" unpleasantries of life both major and minor.  Change it, totally accept it (and make peace with it)...or walk away. (paraphrased)

Sometimes easier said than done......

Monday, May 11, 2009

Of Course Jesus Knew...

Jesus knew — knew — that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look..."
~J.D. Salinger

As I was pondering the above quote, most of the scriptures I came across were found in the book of John..the gospel that deals more with the mystery of Christ...than the history of his acts.

Yes, Jesus did know about the kingdom within us and he spent most of his ministry trying to convey it to minds and hearts that were not ready to hear the truth he was proclaiming.

He even proclaimed it to the Pharisees!!!

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods John 10:34 NIV

or as The Message translates it:

Jesus said, "I'm only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, 'I tell you—you are gods.' If God called your ancestors 'gods'—and Scripture doesn't lie—why do you yell, 'Blasphemer! Blasphemer!' at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?

And then again in Luke.....

  Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20-21NIV

That's pretty plain, don't you think?

Don't you know that you are gods??? The Kingdom is WITHIN it is within me....

And even those closest to him just didn't seem to get it....

You know the way to the place where I am going."

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" John 14:4-5

Oh come on Thomas...get a clue....listen attention!!!!

And Jesus tried again....

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:10-12

And more assurance....

17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The NAS declares that they will make their "abode" with him...

a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode

metaph. of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers

And more much plainer could he say it?

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:14-15 ESV

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one,even as we are one. John 17:9

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

John 17:20-26


Friday, May 8, 2009

More about what Jesus showed us.....

More on what Jesus showed us about living in the kingdom of God here and now by a man whose writings I came across for the first time just a few months ago. Floyd Watson. His website is called Stones of Fire. He has quite a few writings on his website….and several audio messages available on Sigler’s Kingdom Ministries site.  He had many more writings planned...and you will find some of the buttons lead to a blank page. It makes me wonder what he might have said on some of those topics (like Meditation and The Mystery of Godliness....and others) if he had gotten the opportunity.  I'm sure though...being "there" (in that other realm) he would not choose to come back to this one.....

The writing I am quoting from is a letter, written by Floyd to his children, when their grandfather (his dad) died. It is one of those ironies of life that not all that long after Floyd also passed into the next realm. He died unexpectedly after recovering from a stroke and other health problems.

Now he knows first hand “of what he speaks”

That’s why Jesus came …to be the pattern for our lives. How to love, how to show mercy, patience, kindness, forgiveness and live in a realm of peace. Religion has painted a picture that’s all wrong…making it heaven or hell… but we know you can have either NOW in this life. It’s the attitude of the heart. God lives within every man for He made all in His likeness and image and while most still walk in the dream world (or Matrix) some are beginning to awaken to find this life….The “I AM” of our BE-ing.

We are His offspring and are beginning to act like Him and walk like Him and only do the things we see Him do….Remember Jesus said, “I only come to reveal the Father.”

Floyd's writings are very Tolle-ish...but from a more Christian perspective. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What Jesus Showed Us

Following is another quote from Andrew Murray’s writing, “The Kingdom of God Is Within You”

What was the object of Christ’s coming from Heaven? It was to show us the possibility and blessedness of being a man with God living His life in Him. We teach children by means of pictures and models. When God’s Son became man, He lived a perfect human life – “made like us in all things” – and told us it was by the power of the Father dwelling in Him. “I do nothing of Myself – the Father in Me doeth the work.” Here is no question of abstract thought or deep theology – here is a true man, sleeping, hungering, wearied, tempted, weeping, suffering like ourselves, telling us that the Father dwells in Him, and that this is the secret of His perfect blessed life. He felt it all just as we feel it, but He could do and bear all because the Father was in Him. He showed us how a man can live, and how He would enable us to live.

Murray says that Jesus could do and bear all things because the Father was in Him. Hmmmmm. Was it that the Father was in Him or was it that He KNEW the Father was in Him and He lived out of that reality? Jesus told the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was within them. That does not sound past tense or future tense. It sounds kind of in the now, don’t you think? The kingdom of God is within you. You just need to realize it?

There is a saying that Keith used as his signature for a while…. "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey”

So, if spirit is our true essence, where did that spirit come from? Did God make us out of nothing or did God make us out of himself. And if we came from him, then isn’t the Father in us too? Hasn’t the Father always been in us? Wasn’t the Father in them? Weren’t they too spiritual beings on a human journey…all from the same source…all from the Father?

I am not claiming to know the answers…but I certainly have no problem coming up with the questions…

And one more question. What is stopping us from living in the realm/mindset/state of being that Jesus lived in? Following a quote from Preston Eby….Part Four Of The Kingdom Of God

“The realm of the new birth is the realm of sonship.  It is the realm where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived and moved and had His being.  Not that He was born again, for He had never sinned nor died and needed not the regeneration of ordinary men.  But He lived and moved  in the REALM OF SONSHIP full and complete.  He lived and moved  in the REALM OF THE KINGDOM and opened up the way for us to enter in.  As Moses led Israel to Kadesh Barnea where they could actually see the promised land but through unbelief turned back to the wilderness, so Jesus led the whole world to a sort of spiritual Kadesh Barnea where the glory of the Kingdom came into full view only to be lost sight of in a spiritual wilderness in which we have wandered for almost two thousand years.

Hmmmmmmmm…..2000 years is a long time to be lost.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Birth Story Digressions.....

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.

I just rehappened upon this quote….saved in a file on my desktop…along with other snippets, thoughts and blog post stubs. Although this post is a bit of a digression from the current “series” about the antichrist/christ in you…I’ve been merrily digressing all along. That seems to be a given here on Mercy Not Sacrifice. I am always digressing. Sort of my trademark? I think I might digress more often than I stay on topic!!!

But anyway…I am digressing in the midst of digressing. Uh-oh. So…back to the quote. Isn’t that absolutely true? The moment Matthew was born…boom…there I was…a mom. And a leery one at that. I was struck (dumbfounded) by the responsibility. The sheer “now what the hell do I do with him” fears. But what struck me the most was the absolute magnitude of the love I felt for him. I never realized a love like that existed. I was amazed. I am still amazed sometimes by the depth and breadth of a mother’s love. A love that is born right along with her child.

I know God is most often referred to as “Father.” I refer to him as Father because, for me, it just feels right to think of Him as Father. I know God is not one sex or the other….but rather both. So in addition to “Heavenly Father” he is also “Sacred Mother.” I know that the love I have for my kids comes from God. It is a reflection, albeit a dim one, of God’s love for His (Her?) children. Could it be a part of the born again process (for women anyway)…this mother birth, this absolutely new person that never existed before?

I found some quotes about motherhood….

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.  William Makepeace Thackeray

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." ~ Honore' de Balzac

Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Elizabeth Stone

Oh, yeah’, isn’t THAT the truth. No matter how old or big they get, they never stop being your “baby.”

To all the mothers who read here now and then….I wish you a very meaningful, joyous Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Really Cool Birth Parable...

Mom’s love to tell their birth stories. It is sort of a perverse one upmanship. The stories get more graphic the longer the women talk. I’ve been a witness to (and okay…a participant in) many a conversation between women, young and old, going over the tales of their birth experience…detailed descriptions of the birth process, the pain, the blood, the goo….

Matthew was my first baby….born in Davenport, Iowa. Born through a process that was long...very long...and hurt like hell!!!  I remember reading once that the pain of childbirth registers about as high on the richter scale of discomfort as an amputated limb. Ouch. Yes, I think that is probably an accurate assessment of labor and delivery… least my experience with my big headed 9½ pound, strapping baby boy.

So anyway….preggo with baby number 2…Beth….I lived in a new state….and had a new doctor (obviously) It was a podunky area and when I found out I was pregnant with Beth, I had two hospitals and two OB doctors to choose from. Both in different directions, both about 45 minutes away from where I lived. I picked one of the two (eeny meeny miney moe) for no other reason than the fact that the drive was more scenic. He was a nice enough doctor…and I would have been content to stay with him except….

….. sometime between the time I got pregnant and the time I was 8 months along, the other hospital…the one I didn’t pick….opened a brand new birthplace. We drove there to take a look. It was really nice…majorly progressive for the area….and I decided that was where I wanted to have Beth. I would get to stay in the same room for the whole shebang. There was a pull out couch for Dad…and brother to sleep on if they wanted to. It was clean…decorated very spiffy….as compared to the other hospital which was decorated…like a hospital. An old hospital.

But in order to change hospitals, I had to change doctors…and I had to get my medical records…..and I didn’t want to tell the truth. I was a chicken. I didn’t want to hurt the doctor’s feelings (like that was going to happen)….so I lied. I told him my husband had been transferred and we had to move out of state…quickly….could I get my records…quickly. I was 8 months pregnant after all and had no time to waste finding a new doctor in the new location. He did something doctors just don’t do often (are they even allowed to??) He handed the records over to me. He put the manilla envelope in my hot little hand…and I was delighted to find that the records from Matt’s birth were included.

I read them three times. Maybe more. And my birth story…the one I told when I was with other women….well….it was all true….legit. Stuck in transition for a couple hours….pushed for 2 ½….the ripping, the tearing, the stitches….all documented in an official record of his birth…signed by the doctor and everything!!! Top that ladies!!!!

Talk about digressing….but you know how long winded we can be when we launch into those….”you think that was bad” stories about giving birth. But this brings me to the

original point of my post…a most unusual birth story. Actually a parable about a birth story of two twins…Jack and Jill. It was in Preston Eby’s Kingdom of God series. It follows, without further comment, below…..

Imagine the unborn twins Jack and Jill debating whether there is life after the womb. Their small, dark world has been unusually active lately, and both Jack and Jill realize that their days in the womb are numbered. But while Jill argues that there is much more to existence than their life in the womb, Jack refuses to believe in something he has never seen. Then suddenly their world begins to collapse. They feel a tug, intense pressure. There is pain for the first time ever. Jack holds on; Jill slips. Her head is pushed harder and harder into a dark tunnel. There is pain, more pressure. It's happening, thinks Jack, this is the end. And while he holds on for dear life, he sees a piercing light and hears Jill's final cry. Then silence. But while Jack weeps for his sister, Jill lies safely in the arms of her mother. She has been welcomed into a new family and a whole new world—a world of dazzling light, vast distances, and great opportunities. And Jill wishes she could tell Jack that there is indeed life beyond the womb and that it's better than anything imaginable. But she can't, Jack will have to see for himself. IT IS BIRTH THAT BRINGS THE NEW IDENTITY AND THE NEW WORLD.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Kingdom Seed.....

Paul Mueller said:

“The Kingdom of God has been planted as a seed in the fertile garden of the hearts of His people. And His Kingdom has been growing in the hearts of His people ever since. His Kingdom began in His faithful sons as a word or seed that sprouts in the ground. The Kingdom seed is the very life of Christ that was planted within us. As a seed in the natural soil sprouts or explodes by its inherent life, so the seed of the Christ within us has burst forth with His life to manifest the fruit of the Kingdom of God. The seed is Christ, the Word of God and the word of His Kingdom. When we receive that seed/word, and it grows within us, the Kingdom of God will grow, and indeed has grown, to become the greatest tree on earth so that the birds of the air will find lodging in it. That seed/word within us has sprouted, bursting forth by the Life of Christ to manifest first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear, until its abundant fruit shall fill the whole earth.

Hmmmm....speaking of seeds....Keith recently planted grass seed. There were lots of bare spots all over the front yard. The main suspects....and high on Keith's most wanted list are a group of little varmints known as voles.


They are actually cute little critters...if they were not so destructive. They have become “squatters” on our property and have been busy burrowing and digging for the past couple of years now....much to the chagrin and utter annoyance of Keith. They even seem to know where our yard ends and the neighbors' yards begin because they seem to quit tunneling when they reach the boundaries of our property. Keith has spooned some kind of poison into their holes....and he has set traps...trying to entice them with peanut butter, molasses and oats. They are not interested....preferring the bulbs we planted a year or so ago repair some of the damage, Keith used some kind of grass seed concoction that contains grass seeds mixed with some kind of....stuff....that forms almost a “liquid cardboard.” The point is to protect the grass seed from drying out....from blowing away....from becoming a snack for a robin who happens by. It needs watered every day...several times a day because the liquid cardboard stuff cannot completely dry out.

When I watered it today, I noticed that the grass was sprouting up through. Just a few whispy blades but the seeds have sprouted. They are growing.

So what does this have to do with the Paul Mueller quote? Well, there is the reference to a seed....a seed planted....a seed bursting forth. In the case of the seeds in the front yard, they will become full grown blades of grass....because they are GRASS seeds. However, the seeds planted in our hearts, are Kingdom seeds....and from them....will burst forth the Kingdom!!!!

Paul goes on to say:

So also does the word/seed of Christ and His Kingdom grow within us, and of itself, to bring forth a Kingdom plant identical with the original seed. We cannot see its growth, but it is growing nevertheless. As long as we are feeding on Christ, nothing can stop the growth of the Kingdom seed within us. By virtue of the nature and life of the original seed planted within us, Christ must grow up within us to come forth with the same Life that He is. That is the law of natural seed-life! But the original seed grows within us by the power of the greater law and life of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

Yep...sometimes we cannot see much Kingdom growth evidenced in our lives....but rest assured that the seed is growing....and it will continue to grow until it transforms us into the exact image and likeness of Christ.

Yes, I know that does often seem like a real stretch. The seed of the kingdom dwells within me? Are you sure??

Paul goes on to say:

So it is that the Lord sows the word of His Kingdom into the hearts of His elect, enabling them to bring forth Kingdom fruit. The seed-word of His Kingdom sown in our hearts will bring forth the fruit of transformed lives.

And so slowly but surely

….....he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More On the Veil....

As sort of a side note/rabbit trail/digression, I came upon something written by Eby, in his series on Revelation..part 83 that intrigued me....not only for the spiritual insights he came right out and declared...but also for the spiritual implications he piqued in me. He talks about a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne called The Minister's Black Veil....

In one of his Twice-Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne describes how a much beloved Puritan minister conceived the weird idea of concealing his face with a veil, and how his people were affected with a sense of painful mystery as he went in and out among them with covered countenance till the end of his days.  The girl to whom he was engaged to be married forsook him; the bride trembled before him when he performed a wedding; children cringed when he walked by them on the road; people whispered as he passed.  One realizes in an instant, as he imagines the scene, how much the confidence and joy of life depend on our beholding one another, literally with open face!  Imagine the change and horror, if one morning every man’s face was covered with a dark veil and impenetrable to his neighbor.  Laughter would cease on earth; who then would have the heart for joy and rejoicing under such a cloud?  None would be able to comfort his friend, for none could estimate his brother’s sorrow!  Neither tears, smiles, joy, pain, sadness, disappointment, appreciation, fear, hatred, or love would ever be discernible!  Conversation would languish, for it would have no visible response.  Love itself would die when every emotion was masked.  The very power of association and the instinct of trust would be destroyed when every man had withdrawn into darkness.  Were there no revelation of the face, personality, and character there would be neither faith nor fellowship possible on earth! 

I googled it....of course....and came upon a wikipedia article about it …..interesting article...interesting story. I followed one of the wikipedia links and read the story.  It occurs to me that the scenario Eby talks about above is not really all that far from what is happening right now as we all hide behind a veil...a mask...either on purpose or because we simply do not know we are "wearing a veil." Many of us (most of us) do not realize there is a treasure hidden behind the veil of our egoic minds...hidden in these earthen vessels. Those of us who have some least in theory, have a hard time REALLY believing it. But as Eby says in his Kingdom of God series:

It is still there within you no matter how weak, sinful, or undone you may feel, or how miserably you may have failed. 

Just like Jesus told the Pharisees....the kingdom of God is within you. It's there. HE's there. Hard to believe, I know...for some of us...but that is where the kingdom dwells. Within.

Eby says that

The Kingdom of God is within you, it is within me, it is within each member of your family, it is within all your relatives, your friends, even within your enemies.  It is within the lowliest citizen of the most backward country, it is within the greatest of the ruling monarchs, presidents, or prime ministers. It is within mankind, it is within every man — even the scribes and Pharisees.  This is the true light “that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”

One of the quotes from the story....

“He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face”

Eby goes on to say that...

With these thoughts in mind we can better understand the vast importance of the revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ!  It is abundantly clear to every spiritual mind that one of the great reasons the world has not found the living Christ is because He has been concealed behind the blinding veil of religion, beneath the restricting façade of tradition, static creeds, lifeless forms, powerless rituals, empty ceremonies, and the corruption of the flesh and the carnality of the natural mind. Nathaniel Hawthorne declares in his story about the minister and his black veil....

“There is an hour to come…when all of us shall cast aside our veils”

And so we shall....

The story can be found in it's entirety along with the other Twice Told Tales of Hawthorne at American Literature.