Sunday, March 13, 2016

Aslan's Country, the Really Real World!

C.S. Lewis certainly has a wonderful way of describing the joys of heaven..here are some of my thoughts after enjoying his descriptions of 'Aslan's Country' in The Last Battle:

The time bound self is just that, so time bound, just rising and falling like a wave on the sea, the sea always still in the depth, always the same no matter what momentary surface wave appears or disappears in so short a time..we are so simply all of us part of God the Timeless one (Eternal)! 

The 'self' that thinks and breathes and acts and feels here on earth is like a little shadow/doppelganger of the Real Self that always IS underneath in the infinite expanses of God/the Spiritual Realm!  The temporal self is about as solid as a mirror's image is compared to the real scene..whatever we 'are' here is but a faint echo of the True Us existing always outside of time in 'Aslan's country' - the Really Real World where we are all enjoying unity with one another and with God outside of time and space!  Wow! 

Time and space will eventually all fold inward and find themselves freed outward into the infinity of Love, of God, of the Really Real!  And all that we had 'lost' in this world  - whether friends, loved ones, homes, childhood joys, innocence, happiness, or love - will be found to have always been safely there at home; we will find ourselves to have always been there safely at home, in His garden, on His lap, actually part of Him as ever we were, are and shall be!
 
What is there to be really, ultimately afraid of when that is our beginning, our present upholding/foundation, and our ultimate guaranteed end (guaranteed because there all time exists in the Now of eternity/God and thus the end has already come and just IS)!

Friday, January 22, 2016

God Loves us with ALL His heart, soul, mind and strength..He loves us as Himself..Wow!

We are receiving some lovely snowfall today and so I thought I might include a beautiful snow scene with today's ponderings (we ended up with 6 lovely inches of snow, almost a 'blizzard' here in the balmy southern US!):

Sun Through Winter Tree Branches - Free High Resolution Photo












A Quote from Richard Rohr:

The God Jesus incarnates and embodies is not a distant God that must be placated. Jesus' God is not sitting on some throne demanding worship and throwing down thunderbolts like Zeus. Jesus never said, "Worship me"; he said, "Follow me." He asks us to imitate him in his own journey of full incarnation. To do so, he gives us the two great commandments: 1) Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28). In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus shows us that our "neighbor" even includes our "enemy" (Luke 10:29-37)."

My thoughts:

I just noticed or felt something as I read this..God invites us to love with unconditional, perfect love..THAT is exactly how HE loves..how HE loves US!  God loves us with His whole heart, His whole soul, with all of His mind, and with all of His strength..with all that He is..He loves us as Himself..He loves those who call themselves His enemies, He blesses them/us, and does good to those who hate Him and spitefully use Him (misunderstanding His true nature).  
Wow!   He loves the hurting and wounded people, loves the littlest and the least, loves the ones others have forgotten, even loves the one we try most to forget and deny - our own needy, helpless, hurting and hurtful selves!  He loves the part of us that is wounded and little and lashing out in fear and bitterness, the one who has forgotten how to love, forgotten what it ever felt like to be loved..that is the one He loves, the one we think is our 'true inner selfish self'...when in reality it is only the hurting and confused and tormented mind, not our real true spirit self at all..that real and true spirit self is part of God, one with God, and therefore always perfectly lovable and loving!  
We love with an infinite, unconditional love because that is Who we came from and are part of, that is how we were always loved and always will be loved, that is the swaddling blanket we are eternally wrapped in, that is the core of our existence, that is the hub of our universe and the center upon which all of time and eternity is grounded..that LOVE is WHO WE ARE, Who we came from, and Where we are going to be forever! 

God loves us with all He is..HE loves the part of ourselves that we may call 'enemy,' the part we are ashamed of and may despise or try to hide..He loves all of us, every part of us, in sunshine and shadow, waking or sleeping, rising or falling, living or dying..HE loves us and holds us and that is the ground of our whole lives.   
The center.  
The truth that makes everything okay somehow.  
We are loved like a prodigal who is thrown a party instead of being punished, loved like a happy child swung round and round by a wonderful, doting Dad, loved like a little toddler who is safe in His Papa's arms, loved like a baby nestled against its mother's warm bosom, loved like someone who has just arrived safely home after a long journey and finds everything just as it was remembered..the longing is over, the search is ended, we were home all along, safe all along, in His arms all along.  Was there ever any other place we could actually be?  No, never.  HE is everywhere we go.  HE went with us into every dark alley.  HE was always there inside us.  HE carried us all along.  HE is the Home we were looking for all along, and all along we were at Home in Him..SAFE.  BELOVED.  HOME!

I love this Loving Papa who never lets go, who loves with such an unconditional and gracious love!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

HE (Love) is The Heart of All Things - Good Tidings of Great Comfort and Joy to All!

Isn't it wonderful how God has revealed His Son IN us!  Paul talked about that, how God revealed His Son in him..what a wonderful and blessed mystery the good news is, the good news of great joy to all people, the good news of God with us, of Christ in us!  What a hope (expectation) of glory that is, glory that breaks forth like dawn right now and keeps on growing brighter and brighter to an eternal daylight that shines for ever and ever, in us!  That wholeness that is God has always been within us, and it's glowing forth, lighting the whole universe as it goes forth!  That beautiful joy and peace and love that is God, His very Spirit of grace and love, has always been in us as our very spirit, and He's pouring forth in rivers of living water from within us, watering the whole parched world as He goes!  What a beautiful thing it is to find God in us and have the ultimate peace and joy that is HIM dwelling right inside us at all times, carrying us along, being our ultimate reality, a Wholeness within us all, upholding all, infusing all!

I was reading a devotional this morning by Richard Rohr, and he wrote about about the reality of "a fundamental wholeness at the heart of everything."

Wonderfully, I dreamed about this last night! In my dream I was going over this idea, that there is wholeness and joy and peace (GOD!) at the heart of all things.  In my dream I was pondering how we can simply be honest about how we are feeling and thinking, don't have to 'do' anything or 'become' anything but can simply BE, and that God shows us the joy at the heart of all things, for He is the center, and we are living life from the Center even as our minds are unaware of it for a time. We come to the bottom of our selves by simply being ourselves in stillness, come to the bottom of our life, of our pain, of our confusion, of our thoughts and feelings, and we find God there, Life there, Joy there, Love there, beneath the surface, at the bottom of all things, for He is our core, and everything is existing upon the foundation that is Him/Love/Joy!  In the quiet at the depth of our souls, God IS!  There at the depths where all is still, where all simply IS, there is a Presence, a Loving Presence wrapping us in peace and acceptance, and we are part of that Presence - we find that Presence that is Love Himself, God Himself, God in us, Emmanuel truly in us, as us, as our core!  

And seeing this, experiencing this Love in the depths of us, our minds and senses experience Life from the Center, experience the heart of all things, the wholeness and joy and peace and love that has always been there and always will be.  For underneath are the everlasting arms - the whole world, all our lives, existence itself, each of us personally, has always been in His hands, literally in Him, and actually grows forth from Him and is part of Him, as branches grow on the vibrant grapevine!  We have always been one with that stillness and part of that stillness.  Our minds just weren't always aware of the fact that we are part of God, thus we are love beings, we are solidly built on wholeness and made of peace, all is well with us and all is complete!  

This shows the ultimate acceptance too, for since we are Love Himself at the core, part of Love and beings of Love, we have perfect love towards our confused minds and ALL our confused thoughts, feelings and actions have always been and always are accepted.  We are thus purveyors of and enjoyers of the deepest acceptance!  Our Spirits ARE 'Accepting Love' and our minds and bodies are always received that Accepting Love!  Finding out we are really part of Love Himself and therefore complete and perfect, whole and holy, peaceful and joyful, accepting and loving, our minds experience the deepest acceptance there is!  We know in our minds that God accepts us, that we are actually perfect accepting love ourselves, and that we accept ourselves!  We are part of and also experience the deepest love - and in it, the deepest peace, the deepest wholeness, the deepest security, the deepest acceptance!

We have always been in this, have always actually BEEN this at the core, this Peace and Love that is God.  We can't get out of Him and have never been away from Him.  He shows us this.   We experience it.  Plunged beneath the surface by the swirls of life, we experience simply BEING and it's His Being that we find we are experiencing and are part of!  We don't have to do anything to get to God, we just ARE part of Him.  Wow!  We are simply being ourselves at all times, and lo and behold, that is God's being Himself in us!  We can never stop being ourselves, can never stop being at all, and..that's God!  HE is the heart of us, our core, our deepest self, our very being!  We are being God in this human form at every moment!  We have always been God in a body, that's what humans are!  Made in His image, branches on the vine of God..His Spirit animating flesh matter as a human!  

HE has always been our heart, and is the heart of ALL things, ALL history, ALL existence, ALL life, ALL reality, ALL comes from Him, exists in Him, and returns to Him.  

The Spirit returns to God who gave it!  Everything rises and must converge!  All streams flow to the sea..and even more fundamentally, all raindrops from the sky that are now in rivulets return to their source as the water flowing into the sea evaporates into the clouds!  We are cloud people.  We are sea people.  We are part of Him like drops in the ocean.  The ripples always calm down to stillness.  The sea is always calm at the depths.  Still and quiet and serene.  That is who we are!  We are the stillness at the bottom of the sea, the cloud that floats through the sky, the light that shines in the darkness no matter what! 

 Just by being, by doing nothing, just simply being, we discover that joy is at the heart of all things, that everything is perfect, that we are safe, that we are loved, that all is accepted, that we are whole, that God is Love and is the deepest part of us!  

Peace is the eternal pillow upon which all human existence rests.  It is the everflowing stream within, an infinite and bottomless spring that never dries up, the fountain from which we ourselves spring and also draw our life from.  It is the solid, strong, fundamental basic material we are made of, the deepest part of us that makes us WHO we ARE.  

Peace is our center.  God is our center.  And all is well!  It always has been and always will be, and just by simply being, we experience the peace at the heart of all things, the peace we are part of, the Peaceful One who is our core, the Peace we are!

Peace to you all this Christmas, tidings of comfort and joy knowing that HE and His Love are at the heart of all things!  Emmanuel, God with us, Love with and in us, the foundation stone upon which all of us are built..Christ Himself showing us in the ultimate way that Love is at the core, that we are accepted, that we are held, that we are whole, that we are secure...that 'God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel!' 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Oneness, Yet Twoness - the Beautiful Mystery of Our Union With God

Wonderful to think of being one with God yet still unique persons who can have relationship with God..the same substance as God and yet children of God found in our Father always..from Him and through Him and to Him are all things..we exist in Him and are part of Him..our whole existence is wrapped up in Him, our beings contained by and one in substance with Him..what a safe life!  What a wonder to know we're always at home and are so connected with Him and so much a part of Him that there is no difference between us in substance and nature!  Wow!  God is my nature, I have the mind of Christ, we are His body..wow!  Oneness and all the safety and joy that entails..and yet Twoness, all the joys of a real relationship of two beings! Two united as one, One with offspring growing forth from Him and so relating as Two!  Like branches on the Vine, Children in the Womb, Drops in the Ocean!  Operating as two in some way, yet One within, where we are ONE SPIRIT!  One, not two!

I love this quote from a Richard Rohr devotional that celebrates our connectedness with God:

"Dame Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-1416) has this deep sense of the organic union between the soul and God. Hers is still an optimistic worldview. In Chapter 54 of Revelations of Divine Love, Julian writes, "So greatly ought we to rejoice that God dwells within us, and more greatly ought we to rejoice that our soul dwells in God. . . . In fact I saw no difference between God and my substance. [Wow!] But as it were we were all one. And still my understanding accepted that our substance is in God." That is to say, God is God, and our substance is a creature in that God. This is why she's still considered orthodox. Julian is fascinated with that absolute unity, and yet she maintains the I-Thou relationship of the two. [3] We are one and not two, and yet we are two and not one! Think about that."  (Richard Rohr)

We see this oneness and just know it's true, our natural state of being, our "indigenous nature," as Rohr says, as we "pray from within," that is, from the Spirit!!  Seeing with our true Spirit eyes, we see we are part of Him and can't be separated..that would be like trying to separate our DNA from "us"..it is just part of our makeup and can't be separated out..wow!  We are part of God, He is our very substance, we are made of Him...we came forth from Him and return to Him, exist in Him as part of Him always.  We are found in God and in God alone can we be found.  Where can we go from His presence?  Nowhere, for He is in us, as us!  He is the deepest part of us, making us who we are! 

And yet in all the oneness there is a distinct set of beings who are in relationship!  We look out from His eyes yet look through our eyes, whether blue or brown or hazel green..we feel with His heart yet it's our heart that beats within our chest, in calm beats or rapid thumps!  We speak from the Spirit within who prays in and through and for us, yet it is our words that go to the Father's ears!  We are one with Him yet we can relate to Him, talk to Him and hear His response..we are one with Love and ARE Love in the deepest sense, yet we can still BE loved, feel His love for us and respond back in love to Him!   

Isn't it wonderful how we are in union with Him, isn't it wonderful, this mystery of being, of just being a human, a body somehow in union with God, His Spirit in our flesh and bones!  And what a Grace Moment when God reveals Christ in us - IN US!  Not outside us, wanting to get in, but inside, wanting us to just let Him on out!  Haha!  Isn't it wonderful?  He was there all along, we just needed to see.  Faith is simply the seeing of this reality with our Spirit eyes. 

What a wonderful thing this oneness with God really is!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

God Carries Us

God carries us!

God carries me!  

God carries you!

That's the message of grace to my ears..that whatever you do or have done, wherever you go or have been, whoever you are or have become, it doesn't matter, because no matter what, God carries you..

God carries you along..He carries you in sickness and in pain..He carries you in hurt and confusion..He carries you in doubt and anxiety..He carries you in terror and loneliness..He carries you in rage and bitterness..

No matter what, you are never too 'bad' for Him..He carries you no matter what you do or think or believe!

He carries you through it all..He carries you in want and need..He carries you in happiness and in calamity, in peace and in turmoil..in good times and bad..He carries you, takes care of you, won't drop you..He continues working out His very good love plan, no matter how rotten or crappy you act sometimes..no matter whether you talk to Him or turn your back on Him, no matter whether you are acting like a saint or royally messing up..

No matter what, He's got you, He's carrying you, He's taking care of everything, He won't let go of you!

No matter what, He's carrying you..that means the destination is assured..you will arrive safely home no matter what (after all, grace a says you're already there inside, in spirit, and in fact you never left)!  Grace says God carries you, through all of life, through all the trials, through all the suffering, through all the tears, through all the joys and sorrows, through it all, God carries you, and He won't let you down, won't leave, won't desert or abandon you..

He carries you and He will get you through anything, He will make it all work out right in the end, He will bring you to a happy ending, for sure, guaranteed, easy-peasy, without a doubt..

God carries you..He has started your life, He maintains and moves along your life, He will bring your life right where He wants it to go, to a good end..a happy ending!  

You never did have to carry yourself or your life..this life was never 'all up to you,' was never in your hands to 'make or break.'  That's law, anyways, and HE has always been Grace!  He has always had your life in His hand, always had the end safely wrapped up from the beginning. You could never have messed this up!  You have never been in any real danger.  You have always been SAFE in His arms.  This God has been our Home for all eternity, from all eternity TO all eternity!  From everlasting to everlasting He is our God, the God who carries us, who daily bears our burdens, who believes all good things about us, who never lets us down, who is faithful and true even if we are not, who never fails even when we fail!  

So what if we fail!  When we fall, we fall right into His strong arms, for underneath us are the everlasting arms, holding us up no matter what!  It's like falling on an escalator - whether you stand or fall, you still keep on going up, up, up!  It was never up to us to fail or succeed, or even believe or doubt - it was always up to God, who shows mercy, compassion, heartfelt love and kindness that never ends but is new every morning, surer than sunrise!  It was always all about Him, and HE never quits, never gives in, never fails..He is the Love that lasts forever, goes on without end!  If it were up to us, things would be in doubt..but since it is up to God, it's DONE!  Love never fails!  Love is always there to catch us, hold us, bring us through anything..Love always will always carry us through!

Mr. Love ALWAYS carried you, and He ALWAYS WILL!

Papa carries us, no matter what!  That is real security..that is true Grace!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

God's Word of Grace to Us

God's beautiful word of Grace to us, otherwise known as the gospel, opens our eyes to the truth of Christ in us..what relief floods our soul as we find that we already have what we were seeking - God, relationship with God, nearness to God, union with God, safety, eternal security, love and acceptance, a Home, belonging, peace and joy, good will from God to us!!  We are already Home inside, already safe, already His very own dear child..already connected, delighted in, embraced, cherished, taken care of, free, okay..everything is okay, all is well, all is eternally WELL for us!  

That is the good news of the gospel!  That is the best news in the universe!  That is the truth of the ages!  

We are in God, His children, He is in us, and nothing can change that!  Christ came to prove that even our worst act - murdering God's Son - cannot take us from God's heart or take Him from our lives!  He came to prove that even when we were doing our worst deed of killing God's Son, God was still calling us innocent!  Christ came to prove that we are innocent, righteous little children in God's eyes, His dear little babies, the delight of His heart!  

In His eyes we can literally 'do no wrong,' for He knows that the things we did (and still do) are out of fear and confusion and pain, and so Christ can honestly state, 'they don't know what they are doing.'  He remembers we are dust, knows our frame, is a good Parent..good parents don't hold it against their babies when they act out..good parents see beyond the tantrums to the hurting child that is acting out because of fear, hunger, loneliness, discomfort, need or pain.  

Our Papa is so good!  He always looked beyond our fault and saw our need of Love!  He always saw our heart was good, we were just scared and felt alone in the world.  He sent Jesus to draw us up in a big bear hug of Love!  And Jesus' cross did just that, drawing all men to Him, embracing the world with a Love Hug.  And He rose to give us such a fresh start, wiping away all the pain of our misdeeds, literally erasing the crime we committed!  (Murder?  What murder?  Where is the evidence of the crime? Where is the dead body?  It's gone!!)  Haha, He 'made death work backward,' as C. S. Lewis says, erased our sin, restored the feeling of innocence!  Isn't He wonderful!  He takes away the sting, the pain, the shame..cleanses our conscience!  We can stop beating ourselves up, because God knew that our hearts were good and that we were only acting out of pain and fear and confusion from religious lies we were told..He knew we were innocent inside and He proved it to us, justified us, vindicated us before the accuser, putting down every voice of accusation that might rise within us!  (Yes, His babies are really good, good-natured, sweet and loving, for they take after their good, loving Papa, of course!)  And He wiped away our 'crime' by erasing what we did, raising up the One we killed!  Daddy took care of everything, Daddy made it all better!  

Now we can go on with our Papa in this beautiful Edenic love existence, enjoying life as we walk on through it all with Him, just reveling in all the Love He pours out, able to talk to Him at any time, free to just BE ourselves in union with Him, enjoying a life of true peace and joy in His presence, knowing all is well and all WILL end up well!  Aaahh, deep sigh!  

We've been searching for this fountain of life and love all our lives, and we've finally found out it's been within us all along!  Christ in you, the hope of glory..the mystery revealed - we are just like Christ, we are little Christs, God in human bodies, flesh encasing Spirit, one Spirit within, part of God, having a true River of Life flowing out of us!!  Heaven was within us all along, part of us, and us part of it/Him..the wonderful place we've been longing for with that deep down ache inside..was God Himself, found to be within us all along, found to be our very core, our very nature, our very spirit/Spirit, the seed and root from which we sprang forth!  I carry God around wherever I go, for deep within me God carries me wherever He goes!  

What a wonderful God who is in us (and we in Him - beautiful union) and what a wonderful gospel!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Seen in a Garden...

Here's a lovely a photo taken by my daughter..recently we were walking in a local public garden and I saw this and asked her to take a picture of it..and just wanted to share it here with you all...what a wonderful grace thought to share with the world!


Sometimes it's hard to believe how wonderful, good, beautiful, sweet and amazing we are, isn't it?  It has been for me.  I had heard for so long what a sinful and terrible person I was, had so much shame and self-hatred going through my mind.  Yet all along God was whispering to me how beautiful and good and perfect I was and am!  I think of the cross and how it proved, not only His love for us, but also our innocence and perfection before Him.  He justified us not in His eyes so much as in our own eyes!  He vindicated us, proved our worth and purity and belovedness and righteousness!  The stamp of our innocence was the resurrection, verifying that we truly were and are righteous and holy in His sight, without flaw, blameless, perfect and beloved, His very own darling children in whom He is well-pleased!

What a relief to find out we are good, innocent little ones!

What a relief to find out we are wonderful and even magnificent!

What a relief to find out we are created in His holy image of LOVE!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and a Little About Me

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Just wanted to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you, my dear friends who stop by this little blog...

You have all encouraged and supported me over the years with your helpful comments, sharing, friendship, warm fellowship, wonderful thoughts and insights, and kindness..

Sending out a big hug to each of you and prayers for a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and yours!

I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a little about myself, something I don't do too often, just to give a little window into my world right now and share it with you, my dear friends who read this blog..

I go by Sparrow online, but my real name is Nancy.  I live in South Carolina, in the southern United States, in an adorable little town with two traffic lights, a couple of restaurants, a post office, library, two grocery stores and a school. And a beautiful little park where you can sit by the river that runs through town and watch the leaves on the trees as they flutter in the wind..I love living in this tiny town, and we are near enough to bigger towns to have all we need, yet it's so nice to withdraw to this quiet town every day and be 'away from the rush' of the busy city.

We live on a little place in the country about 10 minutes from our town.  There are houses around, yet it's quiet and peaceful.  We have a couple of acres, with a little wood in back for us to roam around and play in. In the woods there is a tire swing, trampoline, and homemade fort (built by our neighbor) that the kids have used over the years.  There is also a trail where I walk either alone or with my daughter and just let the cares fall away in the quiet woods.  I love the woods and grew up on a farm with woods, so walking in the woods has always been a de-stresser for me.  So that's a real blessing for me, to have some woods to walk in here at our little home place.

We live within sight of the mountains and only a couple of hours from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a favorite vacation spot for us.  We also live about 4 hours from the Charleston area and the coast, and so we love to go to the beach for vacation too.  If I can figure out better how to share photos I take here on my blog, I want to share some pictures from a recent trip. Maybe my husband or teen daughter can help me!

My dear hubby and I have 4 great kids, from elementary age through high school.  We have 3 girls and a boy and they are a great blessing to us.  Each one is so different and so interesting and so wonderful!  We're delighted with who they are and they bring much joy to us.  Our youngest is our miracle child - she has a complex heart defect and had 3 surgeries in her infancy and early childhood to repair her heart enough so that it can function well.  She is doing great and we are so thankful to God for her health!

My parents live 30 minutes away on the farm I grew up on.  My brother lives in the home.  They are both struggling with dementia and we have helpers come in for many hours a day to take care of them.  My mom also has diabetes and my dad has Parkinson's disease.  They are fragile but stable right now.  I am so thankful for every day I have with them, every smile I receive from them.  Every day with them is precious and I appreciate any prayers you think of to pray for them and my brother as he does a lot of care-giving and watching over them, with the nursing aides there to help.

My hubby's family is scattered all over the country so we don't get to see them much.  They are hispanic (from El Salvador and the Basque region of Spain - our last name is a Basque name), so all my kids look hispanic except for the youngest, who looks more like anglo-saxon me!  My ancestors originally came from a little town called Gourock, Scotland - I hope I spelled that right.  And also some from other places in England.  That's all I can think of from our family background.

My dear husband is my true best friend and really funny in a quiet, reserved way.  He loves puns, loves music, can play the guitar beautifully, speaks Spanish, is willing to eat my poor cooking!  He works with computers, which is great for me, because I tend to 'break' computers a lot, haha! As for me, I majored in Chemistry in college, mainly because both my parents did, but my real love has always been writing, I think.  And nature - I love being out in nature and feel so much happier and alive and free when I'm outdoors. Right now I am a stay at home wife and mom and we homeschool our kids. 

What are my days like?  My days are filled with things like writing in my journal, helping my son with algebra (if I can remember it myself, haha), talking with my oldest teen about how all people are going to heaven (it's so enjoyable to have deep talks with my teen daughter as she has many neat insights!), reading aloud an Astrid Lindgren book to my youngest daughter, walking in the woods with my quiet middle daughter, cleaning up a little (or not! I'm a bad housekeeper!), birdwatching a bit with the kids, reading in my free time, making dinner for the family, and watching a favorite TV show (like Star Trek) with my hubby.  Our life is slow and peaceful, just the way I like it.  Sometimes the kids have outside classes at the library or get-togethers with friends.  Often we run errands or check out new books to read from the library.   We visit my parents once a week and run by an organic-type grocery to get some good foods. 

What do we 'do' for church?  It's been challenging to find a church where I hear as much grace teaching as I'd like, but that's okay because we can stay home and worship or go online for teaching or just be with God on our own and not feel we have to 'do' something on Sunday that is programmed, you know?  On Sundays we may stay home and my hubby may share with us from the Bible, or we may watch a church online, or even go to a little church up the street where the pastor talks about grace (a real treat it was to find this little church and hear the pastor talking about how much God loves us unconditionally!  He said that people are afraid they'll hear condemnation from God, when really He just wants to say He loves us!  I wish I would hear that in every church I went to, don't you?)  I do find that I fare better emotionally and spiritually if I stay out of the traditional Christianity/church arena. It helps me stay out of dualism/legal ways of thinking.  But that's just me and where I am right now.  And there are many wonderful grace teachers and churches out there, especially online.  I feel we should go where we are nourished and just watch what our feelings are inside and do what brings the most peace and least stress and tension and fear, don't you think?

What grace teaching do I like right now?   I get most of my nourishment straight from God or through a Richard Rohr devotional I read sometimes online.  I probably have about 100 grace books, and for a while I was really into reading a lot about grace, but now I seem to be in a different season.  I can read a little bit, and just soak in that for a while, but I just can't handle too much reading and thinking right now.  I find myself not wanting to read so much but just wanting to enjoy life, knowing God's alongside me in the journey.  I find I don't need to have all the answers.  There are many things I don't know, and for the first time, that seems to be okay, lol!  There's just this deep down knowing that everything is okay, and I just want to soak in that right now and not think too hard.  Does that make any sense?

So we are a quiet family and feel very thankful for all the blessings of family life God has given us, so thankful for our kids and for the health of our youngest, so thankful to be alive and see the sunrise and just go through the day together with God and then rest our heads on a warm pillow!  Life is good and our Papa is so good!

And that is about it for our quiet little lives!

I hope I haven't bored you all!  I just feel that usually I feel reticent sharing about myself, and I realized that I really wanted to share some about me and my life for all of you dear friends so we can get to know each other better.

If any of you would like to share about yourself, your life, your family, your vocation, your hobbies, where you live, etc, please do!  I'd love to get to know you better.  We're all one happy family here on my little blog, aren't we?

Once again, I thank all of you for being the friends and kind people you are.  You all embody grace and it's so beautiful to get to 'meet' all of you wonderful friends here online!

Happy Thanksgiving, with lots of love from
Sparrow


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Peaceful..by Eric Champion

Here's a wonderful old song I loved back in the day..my hubby played it this morning as one of the wake up songs he blasts through the house on the weekend to wake us all up with music, lol..it brought back great memories!  I tried to find the lyrics online but couldn't..I love how it says that no matter what storms are swirling around, deep inside we're peaceful..what a wonderful peace we have inside with God, floating in His sea of love and grace and peace within, His very Spirit within us one with our spirit- ONE Spirit, beyond all explanation!  What a beautiful place to have inside, what a beautiful ONE to live out from every day and every moment!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Eternal Moment

The Eternal Moment - All is Clear and God IS, Love IS, Beauty IS, Eternity IS! 


bluepueblo:

Moonlit Garden Gate, Provence, France
photo via bonnie

 (photo from splenderosa.blogspot.com)

I came across this passage in the wonderful children's fantasy by E. Nesbit, The Enchanted Castle.  At this point in the story, a moonbeam shines on a certain stone in the garden of the enchanted castle and the enchantment is broken; everything is seen clearly once again.  The passage described so beautifully that eternal NOW moment with God where we experience Him and everything is so clear, so perfect, so beautiful..like you are seeing to the heart of all that is and finding HIM there, knowing that truly, all is well!  Nesbit says it so well:

"The moonbeam slants more and more; now it touches the far end of the stone, now it draws nearer and nearer to the middle of it, now at last it touches the very heart and center of that central stone. 

And then it is as though a spring were touched, a fountain of light released. 

Everything changes. Or, rather, everything is revealed. 

There are no more secrets. 

The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. 

Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here. 

Time is not; into this instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing. 

It is a moment, and it is eternity. 

It is the center of the universe and it is the universe itself. 

The eternal light rests on and illuminates the eternal heart of things."


from The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

God's Body, God's Beloved...Thoughts on Oneness

"In a letter to a man who had lost his young son to polio, Albert Einstein writes, "A human being is part of the whole called by us 'the universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind."  Richard Rohr
I love this statement by Einstein about humanity's main striving - that it is the striving to overcome this delusion of separation.  The separation was never real, but we believed or felt it was.  It was real only in our minds.  As Paul says, we were 'separated in our minds' but never in reality!  I believe we all have a longing to feel connected, feel belonging, feel one with others, with God..it's the longing to be loved, the longing for family, for home, for security, for oneness.  We can feel separated from all that and thus strive so hard to 'find' or experience/feel it.  I know I have spent most of my life, and most of my Christian experience, searching for and trying to overcome that false sense of separation, trying to achieve that experience/state of oneness with God and so find relief and rest for my soul.
Richard Rohr says the universe is the body of God.  People want to know they are one with something bigger than themselves.  They say they want to be one with the universe or may say 'the universe showed me..thank the universe'.  But what they/we really want is to be one, not with the material body of God so much (the universe) but with the spirit of God in that universe (the Person!).  We want a soul connection of love, not just a feeling of connection with matter.  We want a personal relationship with a real Someone who cares about us, holds us, talks to us, loves us.  We want a Friend!  When we see we, as creatures of the universe, are all part of God's body, we realize we already have that connection within and we rest, we relax, the searching ends.  We were never separate from Life, Love, or God's Person.  We are part of Him.  We are God's body.  And our spirits are part of His Spirit!  In fact they are/it is ONE SPIRIT!  We have always been just One, exhibited in many forms and facets..many branches, yet all one tree!  The tree of Life is God and it is us, too, for we are part of Him..what a relief!  This is true rest for the confused mind and soul!
So we are God's body and that's great to be one with the universe, all people and things in creation being God's body.  When we meet a person, hug our pet, hold a beautiful flower, watch the waves of the sea, we are meeting God in His manifestation as matter.  That is special and wonderful!   Yet even better to me is that we are part of His Spirit deep down, having a real relationship with a real Person, connected on the spiritual level and the personal, relational level, friends with God, children of God, God's beloved! 

And maybe what Richard Rohr is hinting at is that in the final analysis, matter and spirit merge and everything is really made up of the spirit of God, just manifesting in different forms, whether energy signatures (such as sounds or light) or touchable material objects.  All is really part of God's being.  Matter is just Spirit in another form, just like everything is made of atoms, which turn out to be described at the fundamental level as neither solely matter nor solely energy but somehow BOTH.  All melding at the most basic level into the oneness that is God.  Everything made of this wonderfulness, which is turning out to be God Himself!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Ocean of Grace


All is well.
Just remember,
Everything is perfect.
Nothing can go wrong
In this beautiful place,
This ocean of Grace.
You are part of it.
You are in it.
It is in you!

How wonderful that this Ocean of Grace, of Luminous Buoyant Love, is a Living and Personal Friend, a Very Special Someone - God Himself!  Our very own Dad!  In Him who is PURE LOVE we live, and move, and have our being.  Wow!  Cradled in these Oceanic Arms of Grace, our whole lives are swaddled tenderly in the One who is Perfect Love!  THAT is eternal security, THAT is eternal life, to BE in Him who is pure kindness, to know Him as He truly IS at all times - LOVE.  We rest on those endless waves of grace, lulled to sleep by the gently rocking, caressing Sea of Love Himself.  We sink into His depths and experience a peace and restfulness that is truly unfathomable!  We are at Home here in this Ocean of Grace called God!

The Floating Garden

The Floating Garden

My life is a garden
Mysterious
Beautiful
Perfect
A hidden garden
Secret
Special
Invigorating
A floating garden
Buoyant
Carefree
Delightful
An island garden
Floating in the Sea of Grace
Part of His Being
Carried by Currents of Love
I am in a garden
And there is a garden in me
A place of refreshment and ease
Beloved and Lovely
Peaceful and at Peace
Whole and Holy
Homey and Home

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sparrow, what are your thoughts on universalism?

I want to share something with you, my readers and friends,  in order to be fully honest with you, and so you will know where I stand. 

I have been asked what my view is on universalism and have been asked if I am now leaning towards that, and how I came to the place I'm at right now.  So this post is to hopefully answer that question:

Over the course of the last year, in going through some really hard times in my family with sickness, hospitalization, loss of a family member, I have come through some deep experiences with God and just experienced His presence in such a powerful way, and experiencing the eternal reality in a vivid and life-altering way, it is like God just impressed upon me very strongly that everything is okay deep down in the ultimate sense and that everything will be okay in the eternal sense, for me, for my family, for everyone.  Having this experience of God and of spiritual reality, almost like experiencing a taste of heaven and seeing how the heavenly realm and really God Himself just underlies and holds up all things in the universe, and that since He is perfect and pure love, love is behind and beneath the surface of everything, it just grounded me in a deep way and brought a rest to me, a deep sense of knowing that all is well and all will be well, for everyone..that it's all going to work out okay for everyone in the end..I now don't think anyone will be in hell eternally but that all will end up in heaven eternally.


I know that many consider this heresy and I did for many years, too!  But this is where I am on my journey.  I don't take my change in beliefs lightly, in fact I struggled with such ideas for quite a while and was afraid to believe such things, afraid God would be angry with me, eventually hoping this was so but afraid it wasn't true, then relieved when God assured me it IS true!  Now my experience is a personal one, not something that could be scientifically verified, not something that necessarily will hold water with other people..but it is real for me, it is true in my life, it has brought me such peace and relief.  It has brought an end, finally, to the searching and seeking I've been through all my Christian life, searching for a place of real REST in the arms of God, searching for a way to be able to really, really, TRUST Him ...I have found that through experiencing Him so deeply in that troubling time of family crisis. 

Before, I wasn't able to fully, completely trust Him, because there was a hesitance in my mind, a fear of someone who would allow some  to suffer in hell in eternal torment..it was like there was a dark side to this 'god' that would do such a thing, and I couldn't fully relax, rest in Him, or trust Him because He didn't feel completely, totally 'safe.'  Even after coming to understand Grace, which took away many fears and helped me see Him as love, there was still something struggling to rest completely and fully.  There was somehow still a hidden fear of wrath, a fear He might turn on me...for God seemed willing to reject some and allow them to suffer eternal torment in a place he made called hell...hell remained in my belief system, and as long as it was there, so was my fear!  This was truly the cause of my problems with distrust, with my fear of God, with my inability to rest, with my endless seeking for relief from some undiagnosed angst, but I didn't know it was the cause or root of these problems until God impressed upon me the depth and scope of His grace and love and His assurance that 'all will be well' for all people!  And then I immediately began to rest, to trust, to relax in Him!  The weight of that hidden, nameless, deep fear fell off!  It's so wonderful because now I can really believe Him to be all LOVE, because I know He won't leave anyone out in the cold, He will bring all the people He made, all humanity, for we are all His offspring, home to Him in the end! 

Everything will be okay, for me and for all people..He will get us home no matter what..it isn't up to us but up to Him..therefore we are truly safe, all of us!  He's got the whole world in His hands and we can't fall out, there is not even a place to fall out to, for all of the universe is IN Him, there is no OUT!  What a relief!  Hell dissolves, it never was real, the hell was in our minds as we were only separated from Him in our minds - in other words, we thought we were separated, but it was an illusion, a lie! We never were separated!  All of creation exists by Him, through Him, in Him.  For from Him, and through Him and to Him are ALL things!  Unto Him ALL flesh shall come!  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, and He completed the work the Father gave Him to do!  He reconciled all things to Himself, and all flesh shall see it together, the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, all nations will come to Him, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, for He is the spirit in man, He is pleased to reveal Christ IN us, and the spirit RETURNS to God who gave it!

I don't know how, don't have a clue what some Bible verses mean, don't have it all worked out in my mind, I just know that I know that all will be well for everybody and that grace means something so much deeper than I ever imagined, it really means He will bless us, keep us, love us, save us, no matter what, all of us, bring every last little lamb home no matter what!  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (for we were lost in our thoughts of loneliness and fear, confused by lies of separation and abandonment) and now I see He truly accomplished His mission and will bring every person home, and that was never in doubt! 

There is so much I don't understand, but this is where I am at right now and where I feel God Himself led me.  It is just my personal experience and I am not asking or demanding that anyone else believe this, not trying to push my ideas on anyone, I hope!  I respect anyone else's belief and I have definitely believed other things for most of my life!  But this is where I feel God has brought me.  I have been relieved and encouraged to find that there are evangelical Christians who believe that all will one day end up in heaven.  This has encouraged me.  But it wasn't through reading books of others that I came to believe this, but simply through a deep experience of God as pure love and grace in time of crisis.  I will never be the same.  It was like a near death experience, coming at the same time as a dear family member was passing into heaven.  I look back on that time now and in my memory, it is just flooded with the light and warmth of heaven. I can't explain it! But anyway, that is where I am at and I feel I need to be honest and share that. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Taking "God Is Love" to its Logical Conclusion..We're Safe in His Arms Forever!

For most of my life I have said "God is Love," yet the image I've held of Him has been anything BUT Love!  But He impressed on me so much this past year that He is love, real love, unconditional love..and He impressed on me what that really means..not through words or books or teachings but just through experiencing Him as Pure Love in my time of need! 

And the God I experienced is noone to be afraid of at all..He is a Love that is so all-embracing, so warm and friendly, so joyous and strong and good..a Love that sees us all as perfect, just like a proud parent with a little child! 

We are His little babes and He wouldn't let anything harm us or keep us from His embrace..and He wouldn't do anything to hurt us in any way..He never has a 'mean face' towards us..never has an unkind word..He takes care of us and always will..He will always hold us, always keep us safe, always carry us, always make sure we are warm, happy, and contented in His house..no matter what! 

Little children mess up all the time - so what?  The best parent understands that child, their limited understanding, their times of hunger, tiredness, and pain and how all that affects the child's mood and actions.  Parents understand that little children need understanding and compassion, and that hugs and acceptance are the most powerful things of all..

And no matter what the child does, that good parent will never disown the child, never throw that little one out in the cold, never turn away from that baby!  Just imagining a little helpless toddler or baby left out in a cold, snowy alley-way makes me feel so awful, for it's against the basic parental instinct of "protection and care for the baby at all costs!"  And if I, a simple human mother, could feel that way, imagine how much more strongly that parental instinct runs through the veins of our Perfect Heavenly Dad! 

He sees us all as His little ones, babies in His lap, and He is protecting us at all costs!  There never was a question of being in true danger IN ANY WAY!  He has always had us safe in His arms and always will!  Daddy's got us and we're safe forever..forever and ever!  There has never been a question of 'going' any other place but into His arms forever - in fact, when I think about it I see that we've never been any other place and there's no other place we COULD be at all, for this whole universe rests in His arms!  There is no other place to be but in His arms..how safe we all are!  I really see that now! 

It makes so much sense for me just to see God as the Best Parent and see that is what any parent would want and do for their child..to hold that child safe forever...and that nothing the child did could ever change that...so how MUCH MORE will God do for us, His offspring..'for we are all His offspring!'
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14