Dust and mud pies

Sometimes when I sit in the mornings, especially after little sleep, I feel grumpy and irritable, my cup of tea doesn’t quite hit the spot. My little “gracespace” starts off being a “grumblespot” or a “facebookspace”, or a “newsoverloadfest”. Or like this morning, I.just.dont.feel.it! The temptation in that to get up and just get on with the day can usually win out, but to be honest, at this particular point in my “journey” I dont have time for that, its a crock of…. .so this morning I hung in there with very little grace to begin with for sure.

I find no beauty in what I read today.
The words do not “pop” and catch my heart
“you shall give him his wages…”
“Children obey your parents..”
These do not hold my attention, speak to me of life,
Talk to me of transformation or give me cause to celebrate our intimacy
Holy Spirit I hear no gentle groan within
I feel no trajectory of up up and away
I am sitting in the dirt with no water to make mud pies
Just dusty, dry, sad, and alone
Ahhh…
But then I feel the sly smile of irony crease upwards
That one sided grin that says “dont be so daft”
There is within, a holy, awe-filled place
That deep aquifer of living water that bubbles up through dry dusty ground
To fill the salt pans and bring back the muddy hollows
It just needs a bit of patience sometimes
A bit of waiting and a whole lot of knowing-that-you-know-nothing seeking
Letting deep call to deep, for
“on the first day you set your heart on understanding and on humbling yourself before your God
Your words were heard..”
On the FIRST day…
Ah Beloved, you have already answered
Its the waiting that softens that dry dusty ground with tears
Its the vulnerable, honest brokenness that allows the water within
to flow without
even when you dont know you are vulnerably, honestly broken
for
If you are not sick you have no need of a doctor
a comforter
a healer
you are enough for yourself.
But you know me, so here I am
O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
Psa 139:2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
Psa 139:3 You searched my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Psa 139:4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
Psa 139:5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
Psa 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Psa 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Psa 139:10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
Psa 139:11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”
Psa 139:12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psa 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
Psa 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
Psa 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Psa 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
Psa 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psa 139:18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

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Sawubona – “I SEE you”

Mar 2:13  And He went out again by the seaside. And all the crowd came to Him, and He taught them.
Mar 2:14  And as He passed on, He saw Levi the son of Alpheus sitting at the tax-office. And He said to him, Follow Me. And he arose and followed Him.
Mar 2:15  And it happened as Jesus reclined in his house, many tax-collectors and sinners also reclined with Jesus and His disciples. For there were many, and they followed Him.
Mar 2:16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with tax-collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, How is it that He eats and drinks with tax-collectors and sinners?
Mar 2:17  When Jesus heard, He said to them, They who are strong have no need of a physician, but the ones who have illness. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
What did you see Lord when you saw Levi. You saw him. “Sawubona”…” I see you”…
You saw a man desperate to be identified and seen and called out. He was a tax collector… he would never have been seen as Levi, he would only have been seen as the dreaded Roman lackey.
Oh goodness then you went to Levis house for dinner!!
The pharisees were so annoyed because you associated with those people. the dregs, the quiet ones, the inconsequential, the less thans. You saw them.
I can hear your “follow me”. You were in the middle of a large crowd, teaching and walking along… yet you saw him, you felt that connection in the midst of all those people and looked up and saw him.
That door opening, that conversation as you looked at Levi.. spirit to spirit.
I can see you motion with your head with a smile on your face.
Levi was poised on his seat, watching you, just itching to get out of his seat.. “shall I”? “No I cant”.. “Shall I…”, he just needed to be seen, and with that “Follow me” he was off.   You knew that and with a smile you gave him freely exactly what he needed because you saw his heart and you loved him.
Then you all went to his house for tea.  You liked doing that.  The pharisees were annoyed!!  Suddenly not part of the clique!
They were used to being the ones with the crowd and being followed and bowed to, and being the IN lot.. but here is Jesus, in the midst of a happy laughing lot of people who are normally passed by and ignored… can you imagine their joy at being seen, at being included, at being loved and brought home for dinner with the man of the hour with power?! He TRUELY saw THEM.
Then I listen to Jessie Duplantis and Kenneth Copeland defending their need for a private jet as there is such a problem being on a normal airline with all  those demons hanging onto us poor folks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdH2DGSXjss
Yet here is Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners! I dont know either of these men so dont want to malign whatever ministry it is that they have, but what I dont believe I will ever see is either of thwm in  crowd of sinners and tax collecters (so many DEMONS) and then calling another over so they can go to his house for tea.
Something else that struck me in this…
Jesus was not restrained by the Pharisees expectations of him. He walked free. This because he was free. I guess this is what Paul was saying about no longer being under the law but how the Law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the Law of sin and death.
While thinking about the concept of God that keeps us small and reduced, I remembered that for me there was a fear that kept me stepping over that line from doubt to trust. Fear that prevents you moving into the true concept of God. It is safer here becaue you can control the outcome. There are rules, laws, religion. You control what is believable or trustable. Staying in the idol concept of God makes him safe and controlable, he will only do what you expect, which is not a great deal. He is still under your control. When you put a box around God, you create a false god because God cannot be boxed. Stepping away from that and putting that god on the pyre takes great courage because now this G-D of the universe, creator and altogether mystery is in control. You do not know what is going to happen because all is possible. He is in control, he is God. That is surrender. The surrender of any illusion of control.
THinking about “MORE”, Asking the false god of your own making for more is like going to one of those ornamental wells in a garden and dropping a bucket expecting water. A waste.
There is no expectations with God, not because he cant deliver but because expectations underline control. I know that he said Greater things than these…. so I dont have expectations any more I just know.. this is what will happen… greater things, rooted and grounded in love things, mountain moving things, and like we love those God puts in front of us today and live in that type of moment, so it is with the greater things, it is not a future expectation but a living it in the moment.
Does God graciously work within our false concepts.. yes I know he does, but like Jesus could not do much in Nazareth when he went home because they had a false concept of him (is this not Jesus the carpenter… etc) who he can be for us, and who we can be in the world is massively diminished until we step out into the wide horizone that is the Kingdom of God.
In the world but no longer of it
Understanding our freedom is key
Woke up so early this morning again 1:30.  wrote the following
What Now?
Greater Things
Do we have an example?
Jesus?  In his time, before his death there was no new covenant.  Paul/Peter/Apostles.
Are they our “at the very least”, or was that experience at that time just for them and all that is left for now is this?
What do I believe
and
There is fear that keeps you stepping over that line fromdoubt to trust.  Fear that prevents you moving into the true concept of God.  It is safer here becaue you can control the outcome.  You control what you believe or trust.  Staying in the idol concept of God makes him safe and controlable, he will only do what you expect, which is nothing nice.  He is still under your control.  Stepping away from that and putting that god on the pyre take great courage because now this G-D of the universe, creator and altogether mystery is in control.
That is surrender.  Asking the false god of your own making for more lis like going to one of those ornamental wells in a garden and dropping a bucket expecting water.
When you put a box around God, you create a false god because God cannot be boxed

Peace

The only place I have truly felt at peace, at home, was sitting on the veranda of one of the rondavels at Skukuza rest camp in the Kruger national park  It was the very early morning, quiet of everything but the chorus of natural life surrounding me.  An intense feeling of utter rightness and rest came upon me.  Of being exactly where my soul wanted to be, and at total peace.  Of having no where to go or to hurry to but being totally present to the utter beauty of that moment, as if it could last forever.  If I die before Jesus comes back, I want my ashes scattered in Kruger, in one of the wildest places where there is no other sound but the bush and its creatures.

I wonder if it is possible in this world to carry that sense of peace, that utter presentness with you, in any and all situations?  Is it only possible for profound moments like that, or can you really walk through your daily mundane, hurryful existence at peace and rest, with a sense of being joined to all that is natural and beautiful and created by the God of infinite beauty and belovedness?

If we are abiding in the vine, and live in a conscious expression of that, would that not be possible?  Did Jesus live like that?

Actually no, I dont see the Garden or the beatings or the cross as  particularly peaceful or restful experiences.  He was absolutely in the moment, but I can’t imagine they were profoundly peaceful or restful times; “My God My God why have you forsaken me?”

Maybe the best we can be is present to the moment, alive to God and present to the moment.  So we never miss those profound moment of Joy, but also never skirt those overwhelming moments of pain or sadness either.  For only then perhaps are we fully human and yet also fully filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph 3)

Beloved

I am alone this morning so
I climb up onto your knee again.
Feeling so vulnerable and cold.
You take me as I am,
With a look of love that undoes me.
My shame and failure wash away
and I find home.
You do not judge my scaredness,
You don’t encroach your compassion,
You hold me without agenda
and let me rest.
No urgency marks your holding,
just a gentle, timeless belovedness,
that seeps deeper into my soul
the longer I stay.

In the jungle that is my day
when the chill starts attacking my bones
the warmth of my belovedness descends again
and cracks the ice the skate of fear is upon.
I know the future is uncertain
I see the past is unregrettable
I have NOW and this moment is mine again and I find myself in You

When we feel we are not quite enough

Sometimes we feel we are not quite enough.  We look at those around that seem to have it all together, that seem better, more spiritual, more fun, more happy, more… well just more!

It happens this incidental looking and comparing, but it is not true, it is not life, it is a lie and we know that so step back and remember the truth.

Paul talks to us about living up to what we have believed, know what we know and live there. That revelation that God has given you, walk in that. Dont eye up those around you and their revelations as if you can live there. You cant. You will die a death a 1000 times trying to live in someone elses knowledge or life.

Cosy up to listen to another’s truth. Hear it, weigh it, taste it, if it brings lights and sounds and fireworks… or just that deep AHA moment, grasp it,  and let it marinate, eat it. It can take a while for that revelation to grow in you and for you to be able to live there, but be patient, God is not finished yet.
That revelation will grow out of YOUR life and YOUR experiences, God knows you uniquely and as you allow the life in the words to move through your being you will find it becoming your revelation, your wisdom, your truth.
You dont need to be anything other than willing to go deeper. Allow our beloved God to take you to places that are out of your comfort zone, allow Him to speak to you with words that maybe dont quite fit your current theories. That maybe dont sound quite like synagogue, as Paul did. He heard Jesus say many things that were contrary to “church”. He really was a Hebrew of Hebrews, and God stopped him and said, hang on a minute there really is MORE and VERY VERY different!.
Yes Paul became blind and was struck down so I guess that helped his willingness! But we have so much more history to go on than Paul. He was writing history.
We know so much more because his truth is there for us to read, We can eat his learnings and wait until the life that he found explodes within us, within our world, within our lived lives.

Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.
Php 3:16 Yet, as to what we have already attained, let us walk in the same standard, let us focus on the same thing.

Not that we have already made it, for of course we haven’t, but because there is so much MORE, we can press on and press in, drawing down deeper into the God of wonder who fills everything in every way. Laying hold of THAT, that one life that we are called to live, being present to it, living IN it, the unique, beautiful, precious space in time that is given to us to possess and make our own. Lay HOLD of that, for this is what He took hold of you for. TO be present in this LIFE with you, Christ in you, filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. CHRIST IN YOU. Let each day be NEW, learning and growing from yesterday but forgetting what is behind, what fell over yesterday, and living fully in today, digging deeper into the ground of His life in you today. Press on, press in, as God calls you higher up and farther in, growing up into the head, walking each day in that which we have already attained, living up to what we have believed and what God has marinated in us.
Dont be robbed of the beauty of your precious life by trying to live and walk another’s journey, each of our steps on the paths of our lives are ours and ours alone. No one else can live them for us, only He can live them in us as we daily become one with him.

Embrace the place where you are at, and press in, draw close so you can hear that still small voice that speaks of Home, for each of us has that unique place in the household of God, in the Bride that we are becoming. It is a place that no one else can fill, so be you and fill it.

The Flag and the Promise

If I know anything at all in this journey, it is that in reality I know nothing. Because it is mystery, but I think I know this, that love is the key. The more I read the more I see this. That the opportunity to love and be loved as he did is the prize, it is the THAT for which Christ called us. Anything else is desert. Of the very little I know, I hope I am beginning to know this.

What do we do when we KNOW we see a city
One built without hands in the distance,
We can glimpse its towers and gates, its windows reflecting in the sun
Yet we are in the desert miles away
Part of us thinks it is a mirage, we rub our eyes and get on with surviving in the desert
But something tugs inside that we cant identify and we look up again and it’s still there,
The child inside is filled with wonder and excitement and yearns to drop everything to be THERE,
but The Adult. she ruthlessly quiets the childs voice, being pinned in the world of sand while furiously digging for water
A desert full of the millions of grains of shoulds and musts and have to do’s.
Of busy busy busy and speed and bustle and occupation.
Then one day we darent look up anymore.
BUT beloved,
There IS a city, whose builder and maker is God
A place of transparency and light and deep calling to deep
Where Love is the beginning and Love is the end
filling everything in between
Love flows like rivers from a throne of brightness and we know as we are known
This City has Love is its rooting and grounding, its habitat, its place of being.
Here we love without judgement without regard for our own self or agenda
Here we LOVE and are LOVED
And are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God
Here Grace saturates the air we breath
and we see each day as coming from the hand of Love, the hand of GOd
Here we see each other through the eyes of the one who inhabits us
The one who calls all of us BELOVED
BE LOVED
For he is the One who IS love
Here we find the rest that was promised and are safe
Here is a Kingdom filled with a body of people and He is the head.
He, the image of the invisible God
He, The firstborn of all creation,
He, whom all things were created in, through and for,
He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
He is the beginning and the first born from the dead
All the fullness of God dwells in Him
Lover, Bridegroom, King.
There is a city, there is!
It is made without hands, and its architect and builder is God.
IT is not a mirage,its a promise, and the flag will take us through the gates