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!'

Some thoughts on the meaning of Justice, according to Perfect Love..it's all about Reconciliation and Relationship!

It's wonderful to think of God's justice as reconciliation (being forgiven freely and seeing relationship restored without any of your effort required - GRACE), instead of the human definition of justice, which is more retribution (getting what you deserve, having to make payment for what you did wrong, having to earn good payment by doing things right- LAW)!

Julian of Norwich made an interesting statement in her book, The Revelations of Divine Love... She said that in all her talks with God, in all the words she heard from Him, He never once mentioned hell..I found that wonderful and it gives me hope that all will be with God!  Some call this ultimate reconciliation, I believe.  I love this idea of ultimate reconciliation..it's like the ultimate grace, taking grace to its logical and perfect conclusion!  I love how it is all about restored relationship, not performance/payment for sin!  It love how it is all about friendship, not being in a 'court of law!' It makes everything a family matter, not a court matter.  I love that!  At the heart of the universe is not a stern Judge in a courtroom with a gavel but a smiling Daddy by a warm hearth with outstretched arms!

I have heard that the Orthodox Church sees salvation as reconciliation, renewal of relationship, more than a forensic/legal "payment for sin" type of thing, and that their idea of justice is more reconciliation than retribution (which seems to be the main idea of the Western Church..) I really like that idea, and it makes sense to me to think of God in more relational terms rather than legal/courtroom terms.  He is my Papa and good Papas forgive their kids without needing a 'payment' first.  So wouldn't the Best Papa of all do the same, and much more!?  He would go farther and actually bless us even when we did wrong, would give us presents and throw us parties!  Sounds just like the father in the prodigal son story!

It gives me such hope to think of all being safe at home with Papa one day, of Jesus bringing to fruition a true reconciliation of Papa with all His confused little ones, who have been wandering around far from home (distanced in their minds only, for God is always with us, how wonderful!), bringing them all safely home to sit on His lap and enjoy parties in His beautiful palace forever! 

I know that Christians have many different views on what happens after this life in eternity..I am coming more and more to see that my Papa is such a wonderful Dad that He wouldn't bear to have any of His kids out in the cold, that He wouldn't rest till He had them all safely home in His embrace and care..I truly believe Love Wins, as a recent book of the same title says..and the way Julian of Norwich said that God never spoke to her of hell..it makes me think we have interpreted some things wrong and that there isn't a hell like I was always taught..I love to think that we all go straight into the arms of God forever..after all, Jesus came to save the lost and I believe He is successful in His mission, right down to the last little lamb..I do believe that the good Shepherd will have us all back safely in the fold in the end!  I don't have it all worked out in my mind, don't understand every Bible passage (I feel like a little child in my understanding and know I have been and could still be wrong about so many things)..but He really impressed upon me in this last year that He is LOVE and Love never hurts anyone, Love will make everything okay in the end for everyone, Love couldn't bear to have it any other way!

He really is perfect love, wow!

He is Love, and love always forgives, love always embraces, love doesn't hold anything against another, love doesn't judge or point out faults, love doesn't shame or condemn, love doesn't demand payment for wrongs, in fact love sees only the good in people, love doesn't see sin, love sees us all as innocent children and love truly understands why we have done the hurtful things we've done, all because of pain and confusion and lies we've encountered during our lives..love understands and love has infinite compassion for us..love doesn't reject us because of our confusion and pain..love heals our pain, love frees us by giving us the truth, love shows us we are worth something, that we are truly innocent and good because we are made in the image of a good God, love shows us we have a home, a place of belonging, and it's with our Dad, who has always loved us and will never stop doing so, with a love that is not passive but active, a love that goes out and finds us wherever we have wandered and carries us home, just like a little lost lamb on the shoulders of the shepherd!

Love tells me in my heart that everything is going to be okay, that all shall be well, that no matter what, it's okay and it will be ultimately and eternally okay!  Love has us all in His arms and He isn't letting go!  Love won't drop us or throw us away!  Love won't desert us in our hour of need or in our hour of error!  Love understands us, Love has compassion on us, Love has nothing but kindness for us, nothing but good, nothing but blessing! 

It truly warms my heart to begin to understand Love's idea of justice and how it's been about family love and relationship, not rules and punishments, all along!  Love's idea of "justice" is making everything "all right" and setting everything back into alignment, harmony, and good relations..in other words, bringing it all back to being one big happy family again!  His way of setting things right is about putting back the broken parts into wholeness, healing the hurts, restoring the ones who've felt they were too far gone to come home again, embracing the lonely, bringing everyone back to being a child again, safe, warm, happy, innocent, loved, accepted, HOME!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quotes on God's Love from Julian of Norwich

I have recently been enjoying reading a book by Julian of Norwich called The Revelation of Divine Love, and I just wanted to share some wonderful and comforting quotes from the book..to see God as perfect Love just makes things so simple and beautiful..since the Beautiful One at the heart of it all is Pure, Strong, Unconditional, Unending Love, then everything will be okay..all IS well and all SHALL BE well!  Love has us and won't let us go, Love will make everything alright!

 

Julian of Norwich quotes 

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
“The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”
“He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.”
“God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.”
“Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.”
“And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
“See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?”
“...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, 'You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well', as if he said, 'Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.”
“...the goodness of God is the highest object of prayer and it reaches down to our lowest need.”

“Grace transforms our failings full of dread into abundant, endless comfort … our failings full of shame into a noble, glorious rising … our dying full of sorrow into holy, blissful life. …."
“And He that made man for love, by the same love He would restore man to the same bliss, and overpassing; and like as we were like-made to the Trinity in our first making, our Maker would that we should be like Jesus Christ, Our Saviour, in heaven without end, by the virtue of our again-making.”

from The Revelation of Divine Love

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Glorious Good News

The good news we are meant to share is that God loves us and is looking out for us no matter what, and that nothing we do, even killing His Son, could ever drive Him from our side! 

A message that God is love and nothing else, love and nothing BUT love!  And that He's got us all in His hand and is bringing us safely through everything, that everything really will turn out fine for all the whole universe! 

Sometimes people make it all about how bad we are and how angry God is, all about sin and payment and wrath, when really it's all about LOVE.  Love only sees the best, only sees us as pure little children!  Love bears all things we could possibly do, Love believes in us no matter what, Love endures to the end of all our misguided acts, and Love never fails us!  Love loves us when we can't love ourselves and keeps on saying that we are innocent and 'don't know what we're doing' no matter what we do!  Wow!

His mind just isn't on sin or punishment at all, is it?  For He has never seen us as anything but innocent!   Love just doesn't see or think or dwell on sin - Love thinks no evil!  Love thinks no evil of US!  Love thinks only good and beautiful thoughts of us, thoughts of compassion and care, thoughts of blessing and peace, thoughts of giving us the future we hope for..Love thinks of us as "my beloved children, in whom I am well-pleased!"

And He would never harm us..He would never hurt or wound His dear little children..That is the FARTHEST thing from the mind of a good father; on the contrary, a good father is wanting to PROTECT his child at all costs! 

The good news isn't God is going to get you if you don't shape up but that Daddy will never 'get' you, that He is instead always protecting you and will never let anything fatally, eternally, happen to you to damage you in any way! 

Salvation..means saving..rescuing..preserving..protecting..

Daddy will protect us, save us, rescue us from whatever mess happens..

I feel I can hear Him saying to us, like the best father would (and of course, He IS the best!):  "Don't worry, little one...I'm holding you, I'm protecting you..I will always be there for you, I will always save you.."

This is, to me, the message of the gospel, the good news of great joy which is for all people, the message of peace from God towards all on earth, and of God's good will toward mankind!

"I WILL ALWAYS SAVE YOU!"

He's got us in His arms and won't let us go..wow!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nothing has to come..we are in eternity now!

I just read a wonderful quote I wanted to share here with all of you, my wonderful online friends!  I don't know anything about the author of this quote, but I love what he says about the eternal reality we are in right now!

"It is eternity now,
I am in the midst of it.
It is about me in the sunshine;
I am in it as the butterfly
   in the light-laden air.
Nothing has to come;
It is now,
Now is eternity;
Now is the immortal life."

Richard Jefferies, in The Story of My Heart


Wow!  I love that!  The phrase that just sticks out to me over and over is that idea that "nothing has to come."  We are not needing to get something  -  we are in eternity right now, wow!  And in this eternity within our hearts, nothing can ever be lost or destroyed, nothing can ever die or be ruined..In that place all is beauty, all is laughter, all is light...We are always children there, living in carefree abandon and joy! 

Complete, okay, full, safe, loved, perfect...nothing has to come...everything is already perfect...one with God, living in eternity, carrying eternity around inside our chest, wow!  As we say here in South Carolina, 'nothing could be finer!' 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"No despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.."

I love this quote from Thomas Merton about all of us being part of God's dance!  I can let go of trying to understand it all and just get carried along by the Dancer and enjoy the Dance!  Life is so precious, so beautiful..something to treasure and savor, not analyze and categorize.  Life is meant to be lived, a Gift is meant to be enjoyed, a Dance is meant to be danced!  I love the carefree abandon of the Grace Dance we are all caught up in, whether we are aware of it fully or not..yet when the light of Grace breaks like dawn upon our hearts, how wonderful to let go of our works and thoughts and struggles and just watch ourselves flow with the Dancer in HIs beautiful Dance!  It's always so playful and light with Him, all earthbound heaviness somehow rising in the lilting buoyant arms of the Dancer as He holds us, swings us high, laughs with great laughter like bells ringing, and twirls us around in LOVE!
Here is Merton's wonderful quote to savor:
"What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what he Himself takes most seriously. At any rate, the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance. We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Bashō we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash--at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
"For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.
"Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance."
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wonderful Quotes on Our True Self

I love these uplifting quotes on our True Self that I recently read in a devotional by Richard Rohr, and so I wanted to share them here.  It is such a comfort and joy to know that our True Self at our deepest core is Spirit of His Spirit!  Christ in us, making us who we are, Christ in us, the hope of glory - glory already in us, one day to be fully revealed!

"I have the immense joy of being [hu]man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now [that] I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun. . . [This realization] was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time....We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time."
Thomas Merton


"At the center of our being is a point ... which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, ... which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point ... is the pure glory of God in us. . . . It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely."  
Richard Rohr

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Can I Love and Forgive Myself?

I'm posting this as something I wrote in response to the question:  "How can I love and forgive myself?  What do we do when we don't see that change that we hope to see, and have trouble loving and forgiving ourselves for our messups?  Here are some of my thoughts, for this is something I have struggled with so much throughout the years..

I know this may sound crazy, but one thing that really seemed to be a turning point for me was when God showed me that all will be well for all people, that ultimately all will be with Him in heaven. This happened during a time of personal crisis when both my dad and grandma were very ill (and my grandma passed away)..God just spoke to me within in such a deep and wordless way, letting me experience eternity somehow.  I can't explain it.  But I just knew that everything was okay and that everything will be okay for everybody. It was like a glimpse of heaven.  I can't explain it!  But it was a very powerful thing and went along with some things God was teaching me about His true character and about how He sees people, about our true character or nature.

I know a lot of people don't believe that everyone will be with God eventually, and I was brought up to believe in a eternal conscious torment in a literal fiery hell...but I really believe that the God I've experienced has shown me otherwise.  Once I experienced this from God, this inner knowing that everything will be okay ultimately for me and for all people, it was like I could finally relax.  I could finally trust God, trust His love for me, and somehow that opened me up to love myself.  Because I was seeing that we are all His children, all created by Him, loved by Him, and yes we've wandered from Him in our thoughts and deeds, forgotten the Father who gave us birth, but He'll bring all of us back to enjoying our place of belonging in His arms..we're all His kids, always were, always will be...and just like any good Daddy, He wouldn't ever turn His back on His children, wouldn't ever be happy till all were safely home with Him enjoying life in His palace!

And this is the other big thing for me - since we're all from God, we're all good deep down, not bad..we are all in His image of love and goodness..we're good-natured, naturally kind and loving..our deep down character as God created us is love, since we are children of Mr. Love Himself and take after our dad!  We've just forgotten where we came from, forgotten who our Father is and thus forgotten who we are.  We've been so confused, 'alienated in our minds' from the truth, not being able to enjoy the relationship with Him that was always ours for the enjoying.  But Jesus came to dispel the lies, to free us from them, most of them caused by religion, and set us free by showing us the truth - that He sees us all innocent, and even when we do the most heinous acts (like killing God's own Son for instance!) He just says, "They don't know what they're doing."  We're His good little ones, He sees no wrong in us, and there's no wrong in Him, no angry or vindictive or punishing side, just pure love.  Love that brings everybody home.

It makes everything so wonderful and has helped me so much!  But that is just my story.  And that's only part of my journey.  Also, everybody has their own journey and I don't know what means God will use to bring you to rest.  But I do know He will take care of you.  And that it doesn't matter what you do, or if you ever change, or even if you are ever able to consistently love yourself all the time I just know it is okay, we can let ourselves off the hook, we are not our thoughts or actions..we are who we are deep down, in our spirit which is one with God's Spirit..we are His pure innocent good children constantly under His loving care!  Everything is okay, and everything will ultimately be okay!  I just know that is true now, I can't explain how but it has made a big, big difference for me.

I feel like we are all on a wonderful journey together!  Wonderful too that there is nowhere to go on this journey, it's simply a journey of discovery as we discover where we already are - in Christ, and He in us! 


One thing I do want to add is that in the past I've had the idea that if I just believed in grace right or loved myself enough, I'd see my actions all line up with godliness, overcome my hangups, and have victory.  But now I see that is performance thinking I am having.  I want to not think about performance at all, not worry about change at all!  Sure some things about me would be good to change.  But that really isn't my concern.  My eyes are to just be on Christ and I am to just enjoy life knowing all is well, that all is complete and I am fine.  Change is the business of the Spirit.  My business is just basking in His love!  Being a branch is so easy, I love it! It has nothing to do with religion, change, performance, getting better, or getting some victory.  It's not about finally 'getting there' spiritually.  The whole point is we are already there, lol!  What a relief! 

It's like I've been shown that I can separate my actions, thoughts and feelings from my real and true Self..that my mind and body aren't my true Self, my true Self is Spirit, which is my core and the deepest part about me. This core needs no improvement.  This core does nothing wrong, just IS LOVE!  This core is one with God, is Spirit of His Spirit, one Spirit!  I can thus see my acts and thoughts to be the products of mind and body, which to me are like the house that the real Me lives in, or the machine I use to operate in this visible world.  I don't have to get mad at the mind and body, just see it isn't really ME and love and sympathize with it as it reacts to things in this world based on whatever input its received, whether the input is truth and loving experiences or whether the input has been pain, rejection, lies, or performance teaching.  This has freed me so much.  It has helped me see how I can say I'm perfect and everything is all right, even if the outer shell/outer life looks like an absolute mess, lol!  The goal has changed somehow.  The goal isn't to get the outside to 'look right and act right' all the time.  The goal is now to just enjoy life, to live!  To just BE!  For everything really IS okay deep down, and I can live out of that reality, for that IS what is truly real!!

Someone told me once when I was in the middle of a crisis time, "Just remember, everything is perfect."  It stuck with me so much.  There's nothing wrong with me or my life!  All is well deep down!  That has freed me so much to be able to give myself a break and be able to talk to my mind/body so kindly and say these words:

"Hey, it's okay you just blew it.  I love you and I'll stick with you.  I understand why you acted that way.  You've had a lot of hurts in your past and heard a lot of religious lies.  I care about you and just want you to know I"m here for you and accept you as you are.  You are safe and you are known and you are loved.  I love you just the way you are!"

I love being able to say this to myself, to my hurting mind, for the first time ever!

So these are some of my thoughts on letting go of wanting change and just being able to love myself..

And I want to say that if you believe differently, hey, that is great and I am respectful of everyone's beliefs.   I hope I have not offended anyone by what I have written here.  These are just expressions of where I am in my understanding right now and I could be wrong.  I want everyone to know how much I love and respect and honor you all, whatever your thoughts and beliefs are!  We are one in Him and filled with His love, and all the differences of opinion fade into nothing in the light of His Presence in us!  Sending love to one and all from Sparrow!

On finally being able to love myself..

How do we get to the point of really letting go of performance thoughts and being able to love and forgive ourselves?  How do we get to the point where we stop seeking change and are finally okay with ourselves and find that life is okay?

Well, I don't have many answers, and as the years go by, I have more questions than answers!

And yet, as the years go by, I find it is okay to have questions and I am more okay with having them and not having to know all the answers...lol..

But back to the question of how do we get to the point where we really 'get' grace and see it make a difference in our lives, stop struggling and start loving ourselves and living by grace?

First, I don't think there's any goal to reach for really.  We are already fine.

But we don't see that sometimes and we live in heartache.  I've been there, been there for years, for decades really!

But God shows us the truth!  He brings our hearts to rest.  "The Spirit led them and brought them to rest."

To be honest, what brought me such relief was going through the valley of my grandmother's passing away.  God just held me through it all and it was like He showed me eternity, let me experience eternity, deep within with Him.  I can't explain it, but after that I just knew everything was okay and everything will ultimately and finally be okay, and I was able to rest and be.  I just disconnected from all mental thoughts and struggles about grace and law and religion and love and just lived my life.  I talked to God if I wanted to and didn't talk to Him if I didn't feel like it.  I just lived.  And there was such healing in that!  But it was something God did, by grace.  I didn't make it happen.  It happened to me. God happened!  And I believe He is happening to you and will bring you the peace you desire and the love for yourself, the forgiveness of yourself that you desire. 

I have struggled with loving and forgiving myself.  But somehow I love myself!  I think when God just brought me through that valley with my grandma's passing into eternity, it was just me and Him and I was outside of religious thoughts, and I found myself in the real world, not the fake one of religion.  I was my real Self.  Innocent and simple and with God.  And I could look onto my mind, my thoughts and feelings and feel the pain of that 'self' and know it wasn't the real, deep Me.  And I could see it as the hurting little child it was.  My poor mind just got beaten down by religion for so many years, I have such pity on my mind and its thoughts.  When I react poorly or irritably, I can know that is because I was told I was 'bad' for so many years, I was told God was 'bad' (not in so many words, but you know what I mean, I was told He was watching my behavior and would punish me if I messed up, so He seemed fearful and angry and 'bad')..all my crazy thoughts and behaviors come from those past lies of believing I wasn't loved or even lovable.  I can pity my poor mind that was brain-washed like that, I can hold my little thought-and-feeling self and rock that little one back and forth and comfort her in her fears and anguish.  I can tell her it's okay, that I love her and that everything is all right, she is okay, she is innocent, she is loved, she is not alone, she'll never be abandoned or forgotten or hurt.  She is safe.  She is home.  Our hearts need to hear that message, don't they? It helps me just to say it to my mental self, just to tell myself it's okay and I love you and I won't leave you.  That's God word to me and that's my word to me, to my mind.  My real self is Spirit and my real self talks to my mind and calms it down.  I am not my thoughts and feelings.  I am spirit/Spirit.  I am eternally okay.  And I can love myself, the one that thinks and feels and goofs up.  And I can just let that little one just BE, let her make mistakes, rant and rave, cry and howl or laugh and dance, let her live.  She won't ever 'act perfectly' or 'think perfectly' as long as she exists in this world with her set of memories, past experiences, outside influences, etc.  But that is fine.  Life here is messy, turbulent, crazy.  Yet it is crazy wonderful!  It is precious and great and beautiful and wild!  It is worth that pain for all the glory that is being revealed right here in the midst of this time and space world, this place where heaven keeps bursting through the cracks of matter and glowing from beneath our skins!

Heaven is touching earth from within us.  There is an infinite spring of love within us.  An infinite Being of love.  We are part of Him, and He is part of us.  Relationship. Union. Belonging. Fellowship without trying to fellowship.  Love without trying to Love.

Wow!  We can just live, just be, just enjoy life for once!

Life is precious, Love is precious, God is precious, WE are precious!

Thank You, Papa!

I love life, I love You, I love others and I love myself!

Jesus Came to Shatter the Lie of Religion

He came to shatter the lie of religion and He did it by His loving act on the cross, calling us innocents when we aimed our worst behavior at Him, calling us beloved and bringing us with Him into a new kind of living where the illusion of religion doesn't exist, only love.

Reality is what He brought our confused minds into!  We had been mentally living in illusions and He woke us up to reality - we are loved, we are innocents, we are God's children, we are part of Love Himself and Christ is in us, in us, IN us!

We are Spirit, not flesh!

There's eternity in our hearts, always has been, always will be!

We are IN Him, and therefore safe, always have been, always will be!

We are good little children of God, good and not bad, for God 'made man just' not unjust!

We are vindicated, proven to be in the right, exonerated, proved innocent, proven to be beloved of the Father Himself, His very own children, with His Life coursing through us, with His very Being as our core, His own Spirit as our spirit, the Tree of Life within us, within us!

We take one bite of that delicious Spirit within us and we just LIVE that life that has always been us, we just ARE the people we always have been, we just EXUDE the God-life that's always been in us, as us..

This is Eternal Life, just to know and experience Him within, where He's always been, as the deepest part of us, an infinite sea of Love that has always been at our core!

To swim in that sea of Love and Life and BEing and Grace..
To float in those liquid arms of Love, to be buoyed up by that current of Grace..
To just BE is so rich and wild and free because to BE, to LIVE is Christ, and to die is simply to gain infinitely more experience of that which is already true within - we are alive in Him, and He is alive in us..
This is the true life, life eternal, rich and and boundless and free!

We are Outside of Religion..We are Inside of Grace..and Everything is Perfect..

I don't know much, but I do know that nothing is wrong with us or our lives.  There is not some magical thing we need to finally 'do' or think or some hurdle in understanding we need to finally get over and then we'll be different and better and changed.  We are fine right now.  Right now we are complete.  Right now we are perfect!  This is a relief to me.

Outside of religion, there are no demands.  No standards to measure up to.  No judgments on us.  We are outside of religion.  We are always in the realm of grace, for that's really and truly the only REALITY there is!  Grace was always reality, religion was the illusion, the lie!

There are always things I may need to change about my behavior.  But there is nothing wrong with me as a person!  Isn't this wonderful?  I am so tired of trying to improve and change and get to the next level.  I am so tired of wondering when grace will finally 'work' for me and I'll be victorious and 'better.'  But what if grace has been working all along?  What if I'm already perfect and have been all along?  Haha, it is such a sweet relief! 

I have seen myself as needing to overcome something bad within me, some bad nature or whatever..but what if all along I've been good?  What if I have only needed to realize this, and then I can enjoy living?

Let's separate ourselves from our thoughts.  We are not our thoughts or feelings.  We are not our body or mind.  Those are like computers that work for us, taking in data and putting out responses, based on whatever is stored in the memory and based on neural pathways set up in the mental system through years of experiences.  But that is not ME, that is not YOU, we are spirit..always were and always will be.  We are beautiful and holy and perfect and complete children of God with perfect and loving natures.  We never had a bad thought, never did a bad deed. We are pure LOVE, just like our Father in whose image we were made and from whom we came forth.  We have always been pure love. 

There has never been a law upon us.  There has always been love upon us, understanding and sweetness and light.  We ARE light!  WE ARE understanding and love and kindness!  Made out of Love, we ARE Love! We proceed from our Father like branches from a vine and have the same nature, same character, same beauty and splendor and grace in us!  We are part of God and therefore can't be bad, don't need changing or improving,  are perfect and lovely and good.  

We can turn around and love our mind, our feelings, our thoughts.  We can love our body when it does wrong things, based on years of living in fear and religious thoughts.  We can sympathize with the mind even if it continues having the wrong thoughts.  Even if the mind and body keep on playing out the same dumb ideas and actions, borne from years of believing lies and putting ourselves down as 'evil sinners that deserve punishment'..we can sympathize and take pity on our poor minds that have been so confused by religion, that have been taught performance-based acceptance or no acceptance at all..that have been fed a picture of God that is so two-faced it would drive anyone mad, a god who is called 'Love' but hates those who cross him, is constantly judging and criticizing, and vindictively punishes anyone who does not come up to an impossible standard.  No wonder we have problems with believing in unconditional love!!  Anybody would!  Especially those of us raised in the church!  We can just hold and love and caress our poor distraught minds because they have been put through so much! 

The best thing we can do is get away from religion, as far as we can, as much as we can.  And just be.  Just let ourselves be.  We are just where we are meant to be with God.  We aren't needing to change.  We aren't needing to believe more.  We don't have to wish for some future day when we'll be okay.  We ARE okay.  Now.  Always have been.  Always will be.

God will speak to us, is speaking to us.  God has been in us all along.  There is a secret place in us so full of beauty and light it would take one's breath away to just glance at it sideways!  There is an infinite ocean of love and beauty within us, and it is heaven in us, God in us, the Spirit in us, our true Self!  We are in touch with God always.  We are part of God, a wave on the ocean of the Eternal, rising and falling in sync with His great breath, looking out on the world through His eyes, one in Spirit with Him, one heart with THE Heart of Love that beats for this world in complete, utter, beautiful, terrific GRACE!

Even if we don't get over that bad habit, that addiction, that fear.  Even if we never seem to love ourselves enough.  Even if we can't understand grace, or God, or earthly relationships, or how our own minds tick.  Even if we blow it, never 'amount to something' in this world, never make an earthly friend, never 'produce' anything down here.  No matter what, everything is perfect.  Everything is okay!  We are home, we are part of the infinite Love that made the universe, that beats within us, that never has let us go and never will because we are part of His very own heart, part of His sweet gentle breath, part of His own Being of Life! 

We can't be anywhere else but in Him and can't be anyone else but His own children. Religion can try to tell us otherwise but we know we're just not part of that.  It was all a lie and is now exposed as the illusion it was.  We have always been in Grace, part of Grace, living in Grace, exuding Grace, supported by Grace, carried along by Grace, even BEING GRACE!  We can't be anything else BUT the gracious, loving, good and perfect onces God made us to be as part of His very own Self, His kids, proceeding forth from the Father, His beloved children in whom He is well pleased, for as Jesus is, so are we in this world!  We are 'little Christs' and have in Christ the picture of ourselves.  The cross and empty tomb stand as testaments to the fact of God's love for us, proving forever that we really ARE His beloved children in whom He is well-pleased, with whom and in whom He is pleased to dwell, on whom His favor rests, innocent ones who 'don't know what we are doing,' justified (exonerated, proved innocent, proved to be in the right) against any charge made by religion about us at all!!  The alienation was in our mind but never in reality.  Union was always reality.  Law was the lie.  Grace was always the truth.  He proved it to us at the cross by grace and He shows it to us in real time by grace.

When it comes right down to it, God loves us.  He loves us into rest.  He loves us into experiencing His love.  He loves us into loving ourselves.  He loves us into healing.  He loves us into waking up from the nightmare of religion.  He loves us into experiencing the reality of life in His garden of grace.  He does it all.  It's all grace and always was.  Grace has always been carrying us along, getting us to whatever experiences of God we need, bringing us through whatever life throws at us, pulling us through to the other side, bringing us safely home at the end. Everything is deeply okay, and everything will be ultimately okay.  God makes sure of it.  We are safe and always were.  He just IS Himself in us and we know it and all is well.  All is well!  Every day is an adventure, every day is a precious gift, to be enjoyed, savored, relished, celebrated!  We are free to enjoy life.  We are free to finally just LIVE it!  Life is so precious.  People are so precious.  God is so precious and wonderful.  This is the life, this is grace!

Friday, June 5, 2015

What Jesus Is Saying to Us Through the "Washing of the Disciples Feet"

Jesus washed the disciples feet..what was He saying through that act of servanthood and humility?  I love what my friend Woolly hears Him saying to us in that act:

“You might not understand what I’m doing now, but you will, you’ll get it yet. See, a person’s feet get dirty from the journey that they are on, but not the rest of him/her. By what I’m doing here on this Earth, living and dying for you, I’m going to show you that you are already clean and that you’ll only get dirty from the journey that you’re on.
While you’re on your journey through this world you’ll feel pretty dirty on the outside, all of those outside bits, the bits that are outside of your heart, outside of that special place where we already are One. Those bits that are subject to the troubles of this world, your faults, your failings and how you feel because of your circumstances or upbringing or religion or culture, all of the things which are put upon you by forces outside of your control, they’ll all make you feel unclean, but you’ll come back to me and I’ll make you clean once again.
I want you to go and live and whenever you get dirty, go and find me in each other and let them clean you up once again, let them remind you of who you really are deep down underneath all the layers, all of the dirt. If you can, go and find me in a still place and remember who you are, who I say you are. And don’t worry, I’ll see you again, one day all the layers will fall away once again and you’ll plainly see that there was nothing to fear all along the way.”

Isn't this such a relief to know?  The dirt and grime we see, that makes us feel we are so dirty, is only outer muck and unrelated to the treasure we truly are beneath.  Through it all, we've never been anything but clean and holy deep down.  Jesus knew that all along, and He makes sure we know it, too.  To realize this in the ultimate way is to truly know that "There was nothing to fear all along the way.."  :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Carried Along In His River of Grace And Love!

Here are two wonderful quotes from Richard Rohr that I found recently, from his book "Everything Belongs:"

“Faith does not need to push the river precisely because it is able to trust that there is a river. …the river is flowing; we are in it. The river is God’s providential love – so do not be afraid.”


"Everything belongs; God uses everything. There are no dead ends. There is no wasted energy. Everything is recycled. Sin history and salvation history are two sides of one coin. When you "get" forgiveness, you get it. We use the phrase "falling in love." I think forgiveness is almost the same thing. It's a mystery we fall into: the mystery is God. God forgives all things for being imperfect, broken and poor. The people who know God well- the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God - always meet a lover, not a dictator. God is a lover who receives and forgives everything."

Richard Rohr
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