Dusting off the Stories of what God has Done

God is always the same and what he did once he would do again.  God is not a respecter of persons and what he would do for one he would do for any.  These two statement encourage the hope and possibility of what God did once for someone else, he would do for me.  In saying that, something he did twenty years ago for me, he can do for you now.  So I’m walking down the memory lane of life as it is always the front page of who God still is today.  Take anything as hope of what can do for you.

  1.  I trusted God with my love life and he brought me the most amazing husband any woman could ever dream of.  As I’m writing this he is charging my cell phone for me and asking if I have water because he was going to refill it for me as I’m sitting in bed on a Saturday typing this about him.
  2.  I’ve never made over $10,000 a year in my entire adult life yet God has financed sending me to 23 different countries over the course of my life. For whatever reason, the way my heart is wired is that I feel most romanced by God when he sends me to travel somewhere. I know I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to do anything without him sending me.
  3.   I’ve screwed up, meaning I’ve failed at something he’s asked me to do, and yet he’s never fired me, punished me, abandoned me or quit being kind to me.  Because of this I really realized the grace of God is truly a gift.  It is not earned.
  4.   God redeemed the ending of my family when we were younger.  My parents separated and both happily remarried.  My siblings are all risking love in some measure in their life.  This sometimes requires the greatest courage.  I am proud for the measure they continue to risk being known and loved despite how we’ve seen it can possibly end up.
  5.   God has given me peace.  In different seasons of life due to different things I have different measures of peace but in all of life I have a strong underlying trust in God that always imparts to me a steadfastness that I feel all the time.  Like I’m being held, or embraced, or hugged and I feel safe and sturdy.  I love God for imparting this feeling to me on an ongoing basis.
  6.   I realized through frequency to get over myself, my understanding, my ways, control, anything I would hold on to for fear or security.  From plans to stuff, he really does take care of everything and often, when I let him, way better than I could ever put things together.  Like I really am blind and dumb compared to all he sees and knows.  It is wisdom to trust him, let him lead, and put everything in his hands.
  7.   Unity, relationships, connection, obedience, service, humility, love, faith, truth, these things really are the majors in life and everything else is truly unimportant and meaningless in comparison.
  8.   I really feel like my death is in God’s hands as much as my birth was. I didn’t control my birth, God did.  In the same way, I don’t think anything is random and he knows all of the days of my life and will work out the plans and dreams he has for sending me here in the first place.
  9.   I don’t fear death in any way.  Almost daily I feel the fragility of this realm of life and time.  It is such a thin veil and my true self is timeless and in an always state.  I do not want to miss what he wants to show me and teach me and also truly enjoy the day with him as this is me loving to be alive with him.  This is living.
  10.   I feel humbled by God’s goodness and love.  I definitely don’t deserve any of it, but he shows me that I’m worthy because he says I am.  Who am I to disagree?!   😉
  11.   I thought I was going to go into tangible stories about specifics God had done for me–
  12.   Oh-my father’s transplant was an answer to prayer-he met my husband and is still alive!
  13.   And also my grandfather’s life was spared in a time where he was being killed by being given the wrong medication in the hospital but the error was found out and he became himself again to pass in peace at a later time.
  14.   Also I was filled with the holy spirit, a tangible experience in my body that overcame me that I still feel today and a way I interact with God directly spirit to spirit rather than just mind to mind, early morning alone in a gymnasium in a Lutheran church!
  15.   I received God’s forgiveness and being made right with God through what Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf on the cross, making a way for me to stand blameless and confident before God because he has made me his family and his friend.
  16.   I thought I was going to write more specific stories like the ones above, but it appears God is an active living miracle in my life.  I am so grateful to have the ability to see and breathe and feel and taste and express myself and sit in peace and have freedom.  I am so thankful to share life with my husband and spend the passing of time in his company.

These are a few thoughts that come to mind when thinking about what God has done for me in my life.  May it be an encouragement and blessing to you.  Oh yeah – don’t waste your time overly concerning yourself with what other people think of you.  It is not your responsibility nor does it matter beyond your upright heart before the father.  Acceptance or praise of man is not the bread that that gives life but rather the word of God.  Blessings!

What Has Happened the Last Four Years in the Body of Christ in the U.S.??

Okay, this piece may not resonate with everyone but it hopeful resonates with someone.  So you’re a person who loves God with all your heart.  If that has been the overwhelming cry of your heart for the past few decades some of us have been taken on a wild ride.  Let me review in a tiny synopsis a general progression one could observe in the body of Christ before I make my point.  Early 1500’s reformation of the concept of earned placement in heaven through the church – Martin Luther.  1700’s evangelism had the wind of heaven behind it on a number of people abroad and in America – Johnathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley, etc.  Mid-nineteen hundreds we have healing and miraculous through Billy Graham, Smith Wigglesworth, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts, etc.  1980’s Kansas City Prophets with a new normal being establish in hearing from God. 1990’s we have Toronto Outpouring that really redirected the lives of Apostles like Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, etc.  In late 2000’s we have Lakeland and IHOP in glory and presence and miracles and grace with Todd Bentley and Mike Bickle and others.  Then in the early 2010’s it was the seven mountains, going out, taking position, reigning and influencing.

We’re now in the late 2010’s.  WHAT NOW?!?  What is God doing?!?  How are we growing??  What are we learning??

I know for the last four years in particular there are SO MANY people surrounding me that were the crazy-on-fire-for God type a decade ago that now look drastically different.  But I don’t want there to be misunderstanding and so I write.  Let me start off by saying I don’t see the devil.  What I mean by this is that God is not in some cataclysmic warfare against an almost equal opponent in the sky.  God has no enemy that provides any sort of threat and is writing a love story and an expression of himself that we get to be gloriously wrapped up in.  Moving on.

I don’t see the drying up (on a corporate level) of the last jumping-around-in-the-river-season as human failure, performance blunder, and now the body of Christ is supposed to get back on the work-up-the-glory-treadmill to try and conjure up some past experience so that we can roll around and go back to where we were.  I think that those crazy corporate times ended large-scale because they were meant to.  There was purpose accomplished in them and now we are moving on with new experience and fuller understanding.  There was no mistake, no failure, or “drying up.”  When I say moving on, I’m not saying abandoning anything or that anything was wrong.  On the contrary, we’re learning, we are moving on to the greater.

Let me summarize some things for you.  The last for years has brought so much tumult to so many people riding the top of the waves of the last season and has left some people not recognizing the glory saturating their lives now but I see and want to share.  I know a number of people who have been shaken to the core.  Literally the thing that is most important to them was destroyed, has ended, was taken away, or has changed to the point where even we ourselves at our core are hardly recognizable to ourselves.  I too am included in this group.

Unfortunately, (but it was not unfortunate because there was purpose in the experience), I spent so much time thinking I was broken.  After way too many attempts to fix myself with old tools without success the unknown and unrecognizability continued.  I met with a group of people I know intimately this past weekend and asked so many inquisitive questions.  I almost universally have found people in the same position as I: the way we used to operate in certain gifts operate that way no longer, the certain relationships I grew up in operate that way no longer, health or body do not operate how they used to any longer, that person I loved is alive no longer, how I viewed reality before didn’t cut it and I had to change, the entire life I’ve known up until this point looks so different.

So if you in the body of Christ are out there wondering why this growing hurts so much, or why those relationships ended, or why you were allowed to be disappointed or fail there, or why you feel like you aren’t really experiencing Christianity as you once knew it, IT’S BECAUSE CHRISTIANITY IS CHANGING.  Let me clarify; CHRIST ISNT CHANGING, WE ARE.  Especially in the lives who literally would abandon everything for God’s will in any moment of their lives.

I used to say that the latest thing God was doing was family— strong, firm, and free— which is partially true, and a glorious expression of God himself, but incomplete as far as an explanation of what I see going on around me.  So many people are in marriages, raising babies, working hard for them, but there were always those that are not, and how does that fit I used to ask.

Yes we are in a season where we are operating with the creator inside us all and living our dreams but there is more.  Things that the body of Christ are learning in any season have already been true in every season, we’re just learning through experience now more fully.

So many people I know and love are going through their days entirely unobservable as “Christians” to their own eyes, hearts, or to others in outward culture or ritual.  BUT.  But I am wholly excited for God in the NOW.  Productivity has stopped on so many other levels so that that which has always been important to God is what remains.  There really is no separation of heaven from earth.  They are one and the same place.  God is not in some ethereal distance place, or movement, or teaching, HE IS YOU.  God is not in some sign or doctrine or CHURCH.  GOD IS YOU.  There is taking place a complete melding of holy and secular.  YOUR WHOLE LIFE IS HOLY.

God wants each of us to see that the only thing that matters to him is our connection with him, not our PERFORMANCE FOR HIM.  He really doesn’t need us in the way we think he does.  Us being ourselves is the most powerful and clearest expression of himself.  Even though you don’t see all those Christian practices, even if you don’t feel all those holy spirit power feelings, even though you don’t influence people the way you used to, even though you don’t have those relationships you used to, YOU ARE NO LESS POWERFUL.  YOU ARE NO LESS HOLY.  Your communion with God is no less complete.

God gave us rivers and signs and glory and then transitioned out corporately on a wide scale because he wants us to look in another direction with him.  Quit looking for him in the past signs, experiences, and external stuff.  One of the leaders I’ve worked with that I respect the most listened to people when they came up to him about healings and deliverances that happened in his meetings but never gave them a further mention or time or attention.  He remained entirely unimpressed with SIGNS because everything is about Christ, the person they’re pointing to here, now, inside of us.

So many have moved away from religious people, structures, places, or experiences because it was exposed that their foundation was something other than love and we can’t tolerate that anymore.

Family is included in this concept because LOVE is the only binding force between any family unit.  It is the purpose of shared life.  There’s no ulterior motives and so family as a structure remains and thrives, even through the messes that happen within them.

God is in the moment, this moment, the conversation, this conversation, in the now, and here.  So much of the glory of Christian culture is fading away.  Christ is in no way fading away, the culture we’ve created around him that does fade is NOT HIM.  Language, doctrines, titles, hierarchies, separation, exclusion, condescension, none of them have been missed by me now that they’re gone.  DO YOU REALIZE SOME CHRISTAINS NOW LOOK LIKE SECULAR PEOPLE BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT WAS RELIGIOUSLY DEAD IS NOW GONE FROM THEIR LIVES?

What if ONLY LOVE REMAINS??  What if all those glory experiences, all those hours in prayer, all those encounters of love, all those hard times, our identity being shaken to the core, all those structures, all that revelation, were meant to build this one thing in us; our ability and capacity to love one another.  To love our families.  To Love ourselves.  And everything else was a circumstancial tool to that end of being unconditional love.  And not in the fluffy performance sense but the gritty steadfast kind that people are changed by, including ourselves.

I believe God is reducing the glory of everything that is not love.  If something, anything in life, religious or not, is rooted in anything other than love it has lost its taste in our lives.  And ANYTHING, whether religious or not, that is ROOTED AND GROUNDED in LOVE is breathes fresh air into our spirits in this season.

Love isn’t some vague idea, it is practical connection between ANY two human beings or any human being and God.  This is the boiled down essence of everything that is the person of God and his kingdom.  Everything God does is in the purpose of building or preserving that.  If anything remains in our life for any reason–religious or not (especially religious ideas and concepts fostering any amount of rejection)-that actually threatens connection, it is moving counter to the kingdom of God and the living expression of love itself; heaven on earth.

This is just a view from my slice of the pie.  Hope this encourages someone.  Peace.

 

 

Hope

Hope is something set on the horizon.  It’s where the light comes from in ones life.  Hope actually facilitates happiness, just as the opposite–fear–suffocates the joy out of our lives.  Hope gives tomorrow and today purpose, therefore adding joy and a pleasingness to life.

In heaven here on earth, hope is a commodity, a tangible thing.  You carry hope, you give hope, you share hope.

Others are hopeless.  This is not the truth nor is it necessary in any ones life.  But fears generated from past experiences have quenched hope.

God is the god of impossible and he specializes in making a way for his children when we literally can see no way.  Even when it seems like all is lost, there is always hope.

Your failures, your mistakes, your weaknesses are nothing against the relentless waves of the reality of hope that is real.

Hope is the “You Can.” “You Will.” and the “You are Able.” of every area of your life.

Awakening hope is something that heaven loves to do on earth through everyone tapped into the life of God.

I know I have a lot of friends that major in Hope.  In living and broadcasting this light shed abroad in dark places.  People from all over the world read this website, what do you have to share with my other readers about hope?

Family

Happy family standing on the beach at the sunset time. Parents hold in the hands inscription "Family". Concept of happy family.

Intro

In my mind family and the trinity are the same expression.  God himself lives in community.  Three in one.  The individuals within God, the trinity, are separate persons yet one. They have individual expression, purpose, function, and yet are one. They move separately yet are one. How God relates to himself, or how the trinity relates to one another is the self-sustaining heaven humanity gets to partake of. Everything is satisfied within God himself, yet he invited us to experience the glory of his nature. And not only to experience it, but embody it through him indwelling within us. I no longer live, yet Christ in me.

Living Heartbeat

Family. Let’s start with marriage. God said let man and woman be made in my image. Himself, not fully expressed in man, or woman, but their functioning together. God could have made us asexual able to regenerate ourselves but he didn’t. He purposed for two genders to live their lives together, living it through him, by him, and in him, as two separate beings functioning as one. He said I have made you one flesh. Of course wedding partners don’t become Siamese twins but they are one person, one flesh, not a trinity but a binity?  And then comes the third element, children.

We are never called to be one with are children, but one a larger scale we are called to be one as Christ’s body. We are all called to be one. How do we all become one? How do we become one with our spouse? Our children?  We become one with Holy Spirit.  Well you already are one with Holy Spirit as he lives inside of you and your spirit is one with his, but when we become one with him, we become one with someone who is already one with that other person, whether it be your child, your spouse, whomever. Fear in our relationships doesn’t lead us to love others well, Holy Spirit does. And often loving others well often begins with healthy love for ourself.

This might have gotten a little confusing but we don’t become one in family by forcing it. Any family with a teenager has probably seen that doesn’t work, but God is one with his children, he knows them, he knows you. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Everyone wants to be accepted somewhere. These wants and desires have their origins in the innate purpose of family. If the church is ever to become one with each other, it is not a matter of church membership. It is a matter of holy spirit living. But this post isn’t my church post, this is my family post, but perhaps, just perhaps the function and purpose of the two are the same.

In the absence of family, or even with a healthy one, God is family to us. The trinity is our eternal family, always has been, always will be.  Our natural families merely reveals his expressions. He is our mother, he was our mother’s love to us in our lives, that was him loving you. God is our brother, our friend, our counselor, our husband, our leader. He is all those things and so much more. He is the love you are experiencing every day through the people around you. It is him. He is that love. He is actively in love with you through your family, or those who play that role for you in your life.

Why Not?

So if family is created to be so wonderful and amazing and heaven on earth, why is it so often not?  I’m not even referring to mine specifically, just in general it seems so many hard things can come our way through family itself, the very thing meant to be a blessing to us.  Whether you feel misunderstood, neglected, abused, or abandoned, you are worth far more than any negative thing a family member believes about you.  In fact you are a blessing to your family.  God can give you love for your family with healthy boundaries even if they don’t have them.

You can not change people and others actions and words are out of your control.  But you have the power to fully control your thoughts, actions, and words and when the opportunity arises, you can love.  You can think and speak blessing.  You can ask questions and listen.  You can celebrate and you can serve.  You may not be able to make others love you but you can celebrate them just as they are still fully possessing the full value of Christ’s sacrifice.

Interdependent Beauty

I know that my husband embodies Christ to me. And God wants me to get that. He wants me to connect that reality to my mind even beyond my heart. He wants us to be interdependent and needing one another. He wants life to be enjoyed being shared. This can also happen through community outside of the conventional family structure. The same healthy exchange of love is still lived, witnessed, and experienced through friendship and covenant amongst people outside of traditional marriage roles. But that’s still family. It still embodies the destiny and purpose of family.

Summary

The family entity embodies the presence of God. It can be heaven on earth as God lives through and in the participating people. We are not slaves or zombies, we get to live the fullest expression of ourselves in complete freedom and that reveals him as we get to love others and share life with them in all its ups and downs. A family living in the strength of love reveals the exchange that has eternally existed within the Godhead.

The kindness in your tone towards your husband reveals him, the empathy you show towards your wife reveals him, the joy you share your children reveals him. Heaven is community living in healthy love. No self-destructive or other-destructive behaviors. This is where things are headed. Loving people loving people. Family is meant to be the canvas that reveals a servant lover, a humble savior, a faithful friend. Healthy family is the breeding ground for courage.

Family is a safe place to fail. Without faithfulness beyond failure, it is not love and you can catch up on that in my other piece called LOVE.   This piece on family may expand later but this is all I have for now.  Moving along.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love