A New Beginning

I usually come here with a message I want to share but today I just really wanted to come here and write without knowing what!  There is an exhilaration in living life in the unknown and so a part of adding joy to my day is doing this!

I just want to write that the purpose of life is so much more than what we produce!  Did you know you can have a perfectly wonderful day apart from being productive??  That the moment we leave this earth, all of our to do lists cease and everything we were intending to do never gets done and the earth still spins without us??  There are thousands of people around the world with no job or no career that wake up and exist, some with joy even, and are their lives not still full of value?!?

I would speculate that the purpose of our lives is to experience the exchange of love, either between us and people, or us and God, and hopefully both.  And money, whether it is elusive or we have plenty, only fits into this equation of purpose when used as a tool to experience this LOVE?

We are even good at turning ministry into a work and can lose joy trying to make as many people possible experience this exchange of love!  God’s calling never asked you to set aside your piece of experiencing heaven on earth for the sake of others; we share what we walk in, whether a worker mentality or a son or daughter of God mentality.

Did you know the fastest way to your eternal productivity is to rest in God’s orchestration and providence in your life and be faithful to the people he’s already placed around you in life?!?  Did you know we are not supposed to pour out our soul for the sake of trying to make something happen that God can do so easily on his own and in his own timing?!?

There is grace and joy when heaven is behind the work of your hands, even when enduring hard or difficult obstacles, where there is nothing else you would rather be doing with your time and energy.  Did you know that rest IS powerful?  Did you know that trust IS productive?

No matter how hard Moses tried in the natural he could have NEVER liberated hundreds of thousands of his people from the Egyptian empire, but when God wanted it to happen, Moses participated but God did all the work?  When we trust God for him to accomplish his ideas through us, it always is supernatural beyond our own abilities?  Deliverance wasn’t even in Moses’ mind!

God’s ideas are the best for us to partner with and sometimes it requires a lack of our own understanding of the how or the why or the timing.  This is great!  You are not doing anything wrong, you are trusting for something bigger than your ability to orchestrate the outcome.

Trust and rest in God’s impossible!  May you truly experience the awe of his manifest glory and presence and orchestration in your life.  Peace and blessings!

Prayer

I’m not going to be talking about prayer in groups or at meetings.  Just you and invisible other party.  Welcome to the land of our imaginations.  This wonderful, mysterious, curious place within our minds that absolutely no one else can see.  Sometimes words are the form of communication that is seen or heard in our minds.  There are endless other ways we communicate internally, feelings, physical sensations, pictures, colors, actual scene sequences, actual memories, our skewed memories viewed through feelings, songs, sounds, melodies, listening, waiting, just being, imaginary future conversations or interactions, premonitions, out of body experiences, dreams, waking thoughts, and a plethora I’m sure I have no idea about or haven’t mentioned here.

prayer

All of the above listed experiences communicate something about ourselves and God, back and forth with one another, God experiencing everything our internal spirit experiences, with us.  Immanuel, God with us, not just here on earth, but inside our very selves.  Our spirit is one with God’s spirit.  Everything encompassed in this communion I would consider as “prayer,” others use the terms like meditation or spirituality.

God’s kingdom is gloriously unseen.  It’s not at a place that has GPS coordinates.  This is wonderful, because instead, it is everywhere.  No matter what dirty hole in the earth a person finds themselves in, there God is fully alive within them.  No matter about the people around us or circumstances, there, in all his fullness, is God’s beautiful self abiding in our hearts.  Sometimes we have a harder time remembering this or experiencing it when we get distracted with ourselves, our performance, our strivings, our failures, and we believe lies about ourselves or the God that lives inside of us.  But this never the less, makes all of the above no less true.  The fullness of God lives within you.  How awesome is that!

The first step in prayer is getting past our own religious performance involved with our interaction with God.  God’s kingdom I imagine is a lot more like a children’s outdoor jungle gym than a church service.  Modesty and restraint are not necessarily going to help us here.  I would say the beginning of prayer is basically being completely and 100% honest with this God that lives inside us and this also involves 100% honest with ourselves.  This concept sounds easier than it seems.  Our minds are filled with justifications and self-perceptions that sometimes aren’t true.  But no mind, moving forward.

Honesty with ourselves and God is just the foundation of relationship.  Prayer is simply relationship.  This does not exclude asking things and communicating needs, but involves so much more.  God watches movies with you, rides bikes with you, cooks dinner with you, rides in the car with you.  God lives with us!  I enjoy expressing my feelings and verbalizing my questions and frustrations with God.  When I intentionally chose to share life with him is often when I also get to enjoy his participation in mine.  God will communicate love to however you are open to receiving it.  He will tell you he loves you and he is with you daily.

SPIRITUALITY

Maybe you are more a picture person, or a word person, or feeling person, but when you engage with God in your imagination it may be unseen but it is possibly more real than any relationship you have living in these tents of flesh called bodies.  Engage with God and have fun with him.  He wants to set you free of your fears but he also wants to make you laugh.  He is a gentleman and will not force you to engage with him, but he is looking forward to every moment you do.  Love is the great mystery of our inner world with God, his kingdom of beauty and strength inside of us.  He loves to respond to all that you offer himself of you.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

 

Trust/Rest

I’ve been around the idea of trust for sometime, but I didn’t really begin to think about rest until listening to a series on it maybe seven years ago.  I never realized how powerful rest is.  When we strive and fear and fret, its not only so exhausting, its just simply a less fun way to be alive.  I think it helped me to answer the question, what does trust look like?  It can and often, looks like rest

Our imagination can cause our heart to tighten up and our breath to shorten when we imagine some undesired outcome.  Sometimes this process of fear is actually worse than even what we’re fearing!  Most times, these imaginings never come to fruition and they are nothing more than a haunting illusion.  But the goal of fear in our lives is to cause us to become our own Gods.  This is never in our job description.

The only thing that interrupts this is a living relationship with the one who is God.  When we know he is good and we know he is in our future situations and events as much as he’s in our immediate moment, we will rest in the face of illusions of possible frustrations or disappointments.  I think one of the ways God displays his greatness is actually in the personal details of our lives.  He’s really good at.

20150425092425756

In the kingdom of God, a living relationship with a good father, brother, and friend (just a few of the dimensions of our relationship with God) keeps our heart at rest.  Because we experience his love for us, we believe it, we remember it, and we trust rather than react like someone who is alone and needs to fix/control things when there could be an event or situation outside of our expectations.

In God’s kingdom, peace doesn’t have to be forsaken.  If there is a thought or conversation that threatens it, when you recognize that feeling, it is okay to let go of control, to change or fix something.  It is okay not to figure everything out or why something went wrong.  It is okay not having everything figured out for things to come.  It’s okay.  You’re going to be okay.  You are living loved.  And there is someone very capable with you sharing in your experience who is not worried, not fretting, not far away, and who understands and loves you very much.

Trust/Rest is just one more wonderful attribute of God’s wonderful invisible kingdom.  I have forgotten this in certain situations and events in my life.  I can feel his tangible love even now.  And just recently I have been able to completely let go of things in the past I don’t understand, aren’t fixed, and can’t change.  I can trust/rest God completely with the past as much as we can with illusions of our future.  He really is good and moves on our behalf.  It is a beautiful journey of courage that only love creates: surrender.

4_in_der_wiese_liegen

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

Self-love

Self-love is necessary to the Joy-in-full as given to us in Jesus.  When we realize how we are forgiven by him and we choose to then forgive ourselves of every shortcoming and mistake we perceive we walk in or we’ve made, we begin to have permission to love ourselves again which ushers in inner peace.  Many fears are actually a fear of punishment by God for our transgressions, now or later.  That there is a God who is mad and will inflict suffering upon us for our lack of obedience or performance consistency.  We then, in turn, hold ourselves to inner standards that we perceive God does.  I shouldn’t have done x, y, and z.  I should be doing this.  I should be less like…myself.  And there lies the endless cycle of I’m not good enough as I am.

Christ has come not to change you so he can start to like you, but in fact, reveal to you your value and worth that you yourself cannot destroy, damage, or take away.  God’s kingdom–he–continually speaks dignity, self-worth, value, and significance in who you are, apart from the decisions you’ve made.  You cannot undo your likeness of him.  You are God’s child and he is your father that loves you and is proud of you.  He laughs at my mistakes more than I give myself permission to and he understands our thoughts and motives at this point in our journey more than we understand ourselves.  God gives me far more grace than I give myself and he is challenging me, growing me in consistently loving myself well, despite my perceived shortcomings.


He speaks this way.  “Remember the verse about forgiving other people 70 x 7?  That refers to my way, my nature.”  That he operates like that with us. “Well I want you to forgive yourself the same way. 70 x 7.  Without limit, without measure.  Forgive yourself, rather than accuse yourself.  Let things go and operate within my love that covers and forgives.  Lean into grace.”

He continues with, “Remember that verse about nothing in heaven or earth can separate you from my love?  No angels, no demons, no trial, no suffering?”  “Well I want the love you carry for yourself to be just as indestructible as my love is for you.  That is never waiver or falter.  You have my permission to give yourself approval at all times, rather than disapproval.”


God’s spirit will always guide us into taking care of ourselves, insides and out because he is your creator and has given you this gift of life and he knows its value and how much it is a journey of experience with him that is a gift.  Anything that cuts down, or discourages your personality, your expression, your gifts, your life, your freedom are quite possibly not from your father who delights in you as you.

Mission minded people sometimes think:  I will serve God by loving other people.  But we can only really love people to the capacity we have received God’s love for ourselves.  You count just as much in God’s aim of love upon this earth amongst all of humanity.  That God’s kingdom of peace and joy and love endure and reign within our own hearts.  Permission to love ourselves fully and completely again through the eyes of Christ, this is what I call self-love, agreeing with God that he says we are lovely.

Some believers are quick to expect God’s rebuke but they never hear God’s romance.  We don’t allow ourselves to hear it, because we don’t believe it’s true or because we don’t believe we deserve it.  That’s a lie.  God is in love with you and he wants you to give you permission to love yourself again too.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love