Saturday, June 25, 2016

What Follows AFTER

After night, day
After winter, spring
After rain, sun
After dormancy, life

After cold, warmth
After ebbtide, high
After waning moon, full
After drought, replenishing

After bitterness, hope
After ruin, mercy
After agony, compassion
After anger, release

After fear, security
After failure, grace
After turmoil, peace
After sorrow, joy

After endings, beginnings
After death, life
After time, eternity
After everything, LOVE!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Innocent Babes

We're innocent babes in His arms!

Even though humans have been confused since eating from that ole' law (knowledge of good and evil) tree, the image of God hasn't been erased from us, and there is still that core of good humanity, worthy of dignity and love, deep within us, that 'something' within us that longs for God and longs to do good, 'delights in His will,' loves beauty and truth and naturally reaches for light, knows instinctively that we are meant to love and seeks love, seeks to find kindness and seeks to be kind, seeks understanding and seeks to be understanding, seeks good and seeks to do good.  An innocence deep down within us all.  I just can't look at the face of a newborn baby and think that baby is bad or even half bad - I can only feel delight, rapture and joy at the miracle of this newborn human, innocent and sweet!  When I look in the face of a newborn baby, all I can see is innocence, beauty, purity and goodness. 

I know our minds became confused and we were 'separated and enemies of God in our minds, doing wicked works,' but how wonderful that that was only in our minds!  We were never really separated, never really enemies of God - our minds thought so through law thinking, dividing things into good and bad, seeing ourselves as bad and thus separate from the good God - but I don't believe that we really ever changed from being those basically good, decent humans that God made, one with Him deep down, for 'He is the spirit in man' as Job says - He's our core, it's His Spirit that gives us life and is in us at the core of our humanity!  His Spirit, His good nature, His image, His imprint, His DNA of Love within us all! 

Isn't it wonderful that Christ is revealed IN us, that the Spirit bubbles up and overflows from deep WITHIN us!  Jesus didn't come to put good into us but to let it out!  There was goodness inside us all along!  It gets me excited to think I have always been good deep down, not evil, bad, dirty or sinful in nature!  It's only that my mind didn't see this, lies poisoned me and took me captive to vain, law thinking and evil thoughts about myself, seeing myself as bad, and others too.  This caused all kinds of problems and made me act so contrary to my true nature of goodness and love as God's creation.  But Jesus came to be the truth that sets us free, sets our minds free!!!

He freed our minds to see our goodness, see that we have the imprint of God within, setting us free to really live as the children of God, the Spiritual beings we always were.  Our latent goodness, our latent "God-ness" can pour forth, and out of our innermost being flows rivers of living water (the Holy, Pure, Good Spirit that's always been there inside) because we're not seeing ourselves as bad anymore but embracing our true identity, believing the good news, seeing ourselves as sons and daughters of the Father of Love who have that same character of Love!

I believe the image of God is still in each person and is worthy of respect and affirmation.  I believe that image is still there underneath the misunderstandings and confusions, law-thinking and law-breakings.  We're still His creation, all of us are his offspring/children, as Paul said.  Those who believe have had the blinders of the mind removed, have had clarity restored, and can really enjoy that relationship with Papa that is the birthright of all His human babies.  But I do believe every person is good, just like their Dad, deep down where it counts, as seen in the innocence of babies and children.

This has really been wonderful to ponder and think about!  I am still learning about all this and may be wrong about things, but these are my thoughts right now.  I really believe we are all 'good eggs' and Jesus came to redeem that goodness in men - to bring it to light.

He redeemed us!  I read a great definition of redemption recently.  It basically said that when something loses its sense of value and that sense of value is restored, it's been redeemed. I think that is what He did for us - He restored to us our sense of value, showed us we're worthy, valuable, good. 

He justified us.  What does that mean?  To justify means to prove somebody is in the right.  To prove their innocence.  To prove they are 'not guilty.'  To uphold and demonstrate and show forth their righteousness, that they are a just person.  A good person!  That they didn't do wrong!  Christ came to vindicate and justify us in our own eyes - to prove us righteous and good.  Humanity put itself on trial through our 'law thinking' and God gave the verdict, proclaimed us good and 'just' by the cross, for even when we did our worst and killed His Son, Jesus was saying 'they don't know what they are doing' and calling us innocent deep down! Wow!

He justified the ungodly by proving us worth dying for and still good at the core, still God's offspring with a right to the palace!  Satan had captured our minds and made us believe lies about ourselves, that we were bad and dirty and separate from good/God.  Jesus came and showed us the truth of our belovedness and goodness and belonging in God's family, His truth setting our captive minds free!  We thought we were orphans, He showed us we were sons and daughters of the one true God, His very own creation, in His good image of Love!  He's always seen us as His good little ones, it was our eyes that needed to be opened to this. 

The enemy could never change who we were deep in our core humanity. 

He could never change our paternity! 

We have always been in the image of our Father.

And that image has always been 'very good!'

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Good Little Ones

Everyone is a "good egg" -

Our basic humanity is good, made in His good image.

Everybody wants to be loved and to love.

Deep down our motives are pure and innocent.

We're all sweet, open, good little children inside.

We're lovely little ones, the ones we were as toddlers!

We're little bitty children, needing love and being naturally open and loving.

We look to others and listen to many other voices and outside experiences to find out if we have worth and are okay and safe..but there is ONE VOICE that outweighs them all, and when we hear that Voice saying we're okay, even wonderful, and that everything is okay, even wonderful, and that everything will work out okay, even wonderful, then we really start to relax and believe it.  We are grounded, we are centered, we are anchored, for we truly are experiencing Reality - Real Life - His Life in us!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Grace - Strongest When We Are at Our Weakest!

Grace comes into its own in weakness, isn't that wonderful?  It works the MOST magically and powerfully when we are bitter, angry, in turmoil, doubting, at our lowest and worst.   It always, ALWAYS flows in us and works its magic most noticeably, strongly and wonderfully JUST at those times when we are 'awfullest' - to others and to ourselves!

Grace is sufficient at all times for us..for His power is made perfect - comes into its own - in weakness..our weakness, failures, bravado, deceitfulness, cowardice, rage and angst!

And we don't have to get rid of confusions, doubts, or 'constrictions' in order to receive grace or get it to flow to us or through us...that's a condition, and there are NO conditions on grace!  Grace itself gets rids of any barriers or constrictions in our thinking or beliefs WITHOUT our help!

Grace is always inside us, flowing in and through and upon and over and out of us..we don't have to do anything to get grace to come or work in our lives..grace ALWAYS comes to us, is ALWAYS with us, and is ALWAYS working in our lives, and Grace ALWAYS wins out in the end over any angst, fear, bitterness, failure, defeat, addiction, pain or turmoil.

Grace us always 'flowing like a river,' always flowing in, to and through us!

Love is with us, Love is living in us..

Love always wins, Grace always prevails!

Everything belongs..

"For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are ALL things.
To Him be the glory forevermore!"        Rom. 11:36

I have been thinking, how does this creation, this big world of humanity and everything else, look to God, from His perspective?

He doesn't see anything as 'away' from Him, since He is everywhere present and intimate with every atom, every photon, every pain, every joy, every moment, every thought, for every person! 

He doesn't see just the present; the past, present and future all exist in His NOW.  So He doesn't see us in process, unfinished, messed up, confused, or however else we may feel.  He sees us complete and whole, seeing the end from the beginning.  Really, for Him, have we every been anything BUT complete, whole, beautiful, pure and sweet?  :)

Having such understanding of all our past experience and of all our thought processes today and of all the future fulfillment that awaits us, how could He see us as unacceptable, as 'wrong' or evil?  We see sin, right and wrong, good and bad - God only sees His little children who don't know any better, who don't understand how much He loves them yet, who 'don't know what they are doing,' as Christ said on the cross

He is the great LOVE that embraces, undergirds, generates, supports and is the utter end of ALL things, so nothing going on in our lives is a surprise to Him, unacceptable to Him, or repugnant to Him.  We are never repugnant to God!  Nothing in us is unacceptable, nothing we do or say is 'not allowed' - He is big enough, understanding enough, strong enough, loving enough, to hold all our confusions, mistakes, doubts, fears, stumblings, and frailties.  He remembers what we are.  He made us out of Himself.  His own Spirit supports our life.  He is moving us to the perfect happy ending.  Nothing has ever been in doubt.  We have been safe all along, only we didn't know it! 

Thinking like this, I realize I have never been separated from Him, never been alone, never really been 'lost' - not to Him, for hasn't HE been with me, known where I was, breathed every breath of mine within me, all along?!   I was never alienated from Him -  only in my mind, as Col. 1 tells me!  He reveals Christ WITHIN us, not outside trying to get in..we see this and the Spirit flows forth from WITHIN our innermost being, where He has been all along!

Everything belongs.  Nothing is actually separated from Him.  Nothing is cast away or rejected.  No part of us is cast away or rejected!

We can never do or say or think anything that will take us out of Him, out of His love, out of His grace.

For there IS no place outside of Him, outside of His love, outside of His grace!

He is so big that He contains it all, so loving that in Him everything fits together and belongs, through the perfection of Christ. 

He is all, and is in all.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  The oneness of God always contains, embraces, holds, connects, shelters, supports, accepts all things!

We are floating in the ocean of HIM!  We are wrapped up in His eternal arms!  We are boats built by Him, sailing down His river, to His sea, blown by His breeze, coming to the ultimate harbor that is HIM!  We are safely enveloped in His loving presence and acceptance, that delicious, refreshing, unconditional loving acceptance that is called GRACE!


Everything belongs.

  Nothing is unacceptable,

    'not allowed,' out of sync

      or wrong or 'bad.'

Everything belongs.

   Everything and everyone is home,

      so nothing is lost or 'away.'

Everything is part of Him,

   so nothing is separated
 
      or needing to 'get' to Him.

Noone is a 'them' -

   We are all His offspring.

       He is with us all, for us all,

          and reveals Himself IN us all!

Everyone is His offspring, His child..

Everyone is beloved, accepted..

Everyone is in His presence, home..

Thank you Jesus for coming to set us free in our minds, free from the lies we believed of separation, judgment, and fear.  Thank You for vindicating us by the cross, thank You for redeeming us - restoring our sense of worth and value and goodness!  Thank You for calling us innocents, for showing us we are all 'good eggs' after all!  Thank You for not being ashamed to call us your brothers (and sisters)!  Thank You for showing us we belong and need not be ashamed!  Thank You for letting  us know You are here within us and always have been, our dearest friend, closer than a brother, closer than a heartbeat.   Thank You for assuring us that everything is okay, and everything will ultimately be okay!  Now we can rest against our Father's bosom again, without any fear of harm.  For we KNOW He is love and nothing else!  Love does no harm..Our Papa is good to ALL and His compassion is over ALL His creation!  Wow, we are so safe in those arms of love! Thank You for showing us that, for bringing grace to light through the good news!  Thank You so much for GRACE!

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!
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