Pretty little lies

What do I know.
I know that because of Jesus, because a brother I didnt know I had saw me, loved me and then sacrificed himself for me so that I could come home.
I could leave the dark, desolate, alone lands and come home.
There would be no repercussions, no remembering who I was before I was home.
It would be dark… and then light.
It is impossible to go back surely.  Once adopted.. ?
Satan seems to try and hang “old” stuff on you. To draw you down a path that looks like it leads to those nether lands, but it dosent actually exist any more.  Right?  All that “before stuff” is gone, incinerated.  In the power of a love that has no darkness at all.
So what is it that we fall into…? Maybe forgetting.  We forget.
We get caught up in the mad whirl of things and forget.. but why.
Why does the mad whirl of things cause us to forget?
Maybe because the mad whirl of things is not made up of our counter culture, our surreal society.
The mad whirl of things is made up of all that we were taken out of.  All those things that keep society going without the God who made us.
So it is geared to make us forget.. it does not change who we are or remove who we are, it just makes us forget.
The forgetting means our heart is not protected, it is not guarded and we become weak and feeble as Satan drapes us with lies.
Lies that become like mud as we walk, lies that catch at our ankles and trip us up.
Lies that have no grip on the shoulders of a guarded heart.
Lies that burn up as soon as they touch the most outer extremity of our hearing, when our heart is guarded.
Lies about our past failures,
Lies about who we are,
Lies about how we look.
Lies that can appear as truth.
Lies that keep us small and in the dirt.
Lies that hold us on the milk.
Lies that keep us in old truth, afraid of the new.
Lies that prevent us becoming.
Guard your heart, Beloved of God.
Remind yourself daily, who you truly are.
Polish those words written on your heart
Dont let the dust of worry and fear settle over that which is etched there,
causing you to forget.
Guard your heart, Beloved of God.

Leaning into Love

There is such a simplicity in this journey, isn’t there? Because it is all about Love. A leaning into, a falling into a Love that defies any of the explanations, managings or “doings” that the overuse of the word has placed on it. As I ponder our journey into this Love, again I am brought back to the bride that He is calling out and causing to stand on this earth. We are a chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a spectacular bride without spot or wrinkle. Not because we have done anything to arrive at such splendour but because he has loved us, furiously loved us. And as we have turned into this love, as we would into the wind, we have caught his gaze and begun to see ourselves as he sees us.

It seems to me that I lived unloved because one day I would truly know what it was to be loved.   Because one day I would find this. Union with the God who utterly and totally loves me as he loves himself, this Godhead of union That we are inextricably joined with because someone made a way. Now there is no separation, none, nothing !

Leaning into love.  Leaning into the vast solid presence of a beloved Father. Pain does not disappear!  Why?

Well, because Life happens.  Daily.

AH but this vast solid presence of a Father who loves me? That makes the difference. I am beloved. Life is a journey, a walk on the wild side, from birth to death. Choices! Everywhere.. You are born screaming and the human journey of breathing in and breathing  out through this jungle of emotions is a journey of screamings . Gloriously happy to achingly sad. To remove one is to remove all and give a lie to freedom in those choices  But through it all He is our solid constant. He does not change, he holds us, if we let him He stares into the abyss with us. He sits in the mud of depression with us. He laughs with delight with us. IF WE LET HIM BE PRESENT FOR US, And hide no longer.

I wonder that we see a “Christian” culture of entitlement in “church”. Where, as long as we think we can name it and claim it, gab it and grab it,and that God should prevent something happening because WE know best; he will remain an idol “enemy”, an external god of the big stick, instead of our friend and our beloved. When we embrace that HE is God.  That he allows in his wisdom that which he could easily prevent with his power. When we embrace this whole life journey filled with joy AND pain, with him as our companion and guide and mentor and Father and friend and lover and utter beloved, embraced utterly and in union. Then, whether the waves are calm or stormy, he is our helmsman. He is our anchor, our collaborator, he is the one we scream with joy or pain with. Then we will be content in all circumstances… When we make him a foreign god, an “enemy” instead of our friend. When we hold him at bay instead of embracing him. When we hold life at bay instead of embracing it.  When we hide instead of running with our head thrown back and mouth wide open tasting the rain. We become a tiny portion of who we were called to be. A tiny little piece of our glorious life as it was meant to be. This glorious mess, this glorious overgrown mess.

Why?

Mostly because I did not allow him to be utterly embraced in all of it. I tried to hide from him as they did in the garden. Instead of being gloriously naked and unashamed. He in me and I in Him – Union.

Thank GOD that this is a journey, a wild ocean and not a stagnant pond. And this is that journey, that journey into Him where we experience life IN HIM And HE experiences LIFE in us It is no longer I who live, but CHRIST who lives in me. THAT is life, experienced in ALL its fullness.

Fear is not the final word

A couple of things happened this week (yes it is only Tuesday!) which ticked all my “enneagram” #5 boxes. I found myself withdrawing into my safe place again, my protected, safe, introverted space where only carefully vetted people and circumstances penetrate.
It didnt feel like fear, it felt like this wider space that I know God has called me into was too exhausting, too time consuming and just too much effort when my physical circumstances are so hard right now. I had all the excuses stacked up in my head.. I’m exhasuted Lord, I’m in pain Lord, I’m working Lord, I, I, I, I… just feel safer here right now, thank you Lord but no thanks.
Then I read Terry Hershey’s “Sabbath moment” early this morning. He pulls no punches and captures totally where my heart is at, even if my head is elsewhere.
He says:

“Is it possible to live from wholehearted vulnerability?”
“Fear says, “I’ll make you safe.”
Love says, “You are safe.”
But here’s the deal: If you live from the heart, it may (or will) hurt. You may be misunderstood. You may be called crazy. People will shake their heads (or, like Hachi, pat you on the head) and remind you, “He’s not coming back.”
It doesn’t matter who we are, there are times when we are certain that we are not enough. What we say is not enough. The work we do is not enough.How long we wait is not enough.
Even so, I want to know in my heart–like Hachi, like Jacob–that fear is not the final word. ”

You need to read his whole Sabbath Moment to get the context http://www.terryhershey.com/fear-is-not-the-final-word/

In this very uncomfortable place, this zone of no comfort, this place where vulnerability is all you have and yet because it is such an anathema to others you receive judgment as having an agenda or … well actually I don’t know what the or’s are.
Wholehearted vulnerability receives a pat on the back, it has become a buzz word, a tag to add to your facebook or twitter feed, but don’t live it… whatever you do don’t live it.. because it’s a broken place, and like the homeless person on the street, people will pass you by averting their eyes.
BUT… I realise my heart loves this place, I quite like being that homeless person, there is freedom in not having to wear the trappings of my old protected self, encased in an identity that people feel safe with, are not uncomfortable dealing with.
So what to do, do I stay with what my heart knows, what my heart KNOWS or do I crawl back into the other space for a while just for a bit of respite? Although that is my head space, it really is a no brainer, I KNOW whom I have believed 2Ti 1:12 …. “Still I am not ashamed, for I know Him Whom I have believed and am convinced of, and I am utterly persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed to Him until that day. ”
So, the climb goes on.

Counting the cost Luke 14 25 -35

I love testimonies. Of how our walk began with this beloved Saviour. Mine began back in 1976, in a little back water country then called Rhodesia. It really did blow my 14 year old world apart, because suddenly I was loved. I had 3 weeks of literally walking on air, of breathing heaven and then the rubber hit the road. Here is Jesus outlining the cost of following him. There were huge crowds with him, drawn and attracted by his external works. I wonder if this is rather him highlighting an internal sacrifice which could of course lead to external sacrifice but that it is first an internal thing. His 2 greatest commandments are first and 2nd Love God and Love your neighbour, both internal unseen but then expressed externally in works. The work of God in us is first and foremost an internal work of love. I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live but not I, but CHRIST, That crucifixion is the death of self, the death of the old way of walking, those things that gave us Love, Acceptance, worth and security, those places we went to to feel better about ourselves. He is our place of home now, when the source was restored and we received that free gift of righteousness, we no longer need to plug into those fleshly things, for our Love, acceptance, worth and security, we are now plugged back into the true source of life. This daily dying to self begins with that internal work of knowing it is no longer I who live, the self life, the old man, the fleshly way of surviving in this world, but it is CHRIST who lives in me, it is his work, his doing. That for me has been the true cost, realising that it is not my strengths that are my glory, but my weaknesses because only then can his strength be made perfect. We think it is easy to see flesh, because it looks mean, it looks unkind, it looks selfish, however it doesn’t matter how good, kind, nice I am because if that also comes out of self effort, so from flesh then they are just as much “sin” as any of the obvious “bad” flesh. I exhausted myself being good,kind, nice, helpful because as a good Christian that is what I was supposed to be/do. It took me years to realise that I was still working out of the old man, that there was nothing “I” could do to live the good Christian life, it was impossible. It is only as I saw this, and experienced the revelation of my death so that Christ could LIVE in me, that I saw it was all about Him living his life through me, as me, not my effort to be the “good Christian”. That counting the cost is, for me, that internal dying of self, that all the externals count as dung compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing him.