Saturday, July 31, 2010

Justice

The assault on life, anyone’s life, is an assault on personal justice.  Since we have been created in the image of our Father, we are heirs of the rights that come with His Life.  Life has rights.  The right of the conceived child is to live.  The inherited needs of life are items such as breath, food, nurture, protection, affection and so on…  They are inherited rights.  We have a right to breath, eat, be nurtured and protected and feel affection.  
God is alive.  He also has rights.  When Adam departed from dependancy on the Life of God, He cut God’s jugular vein.  Adam denied God the right to govern and inhabit creation in one subjective decision.  Adam and the human generations have repeated this severing act over and over again.  We do not give God His basic rights to breath and eat, commune among us…  .experience protection of His honor, nurture from abiding and the affections of the human races that He fashioned lovingly with His own hands.  We are not just towards God’s Life.
However, this is the story of God towards us, “For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does he withhold…” Psalm 84:11.  God is not a withholder of justice.  “The works of his hands are faithful and just…” Psalm 11:7.  “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed,” Psalm 103:6.  God does not withhold the rights of Life because they are equal to the rights of His own life.  God created the human life in His image and therefore it inherits the preciousness of God’s own Life.  
The violation of human life is a violation against God.  Our personal justice is tied to the heart of God’s own justice.  In Scripture, God tells us not to withhold justice from one another.  “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” Proverbs 3:27.  God binds us to a standard.  We have been given God’s life and are expected to honor that Life in all of its human forms.  We bless human life with air and food, nurture and protection, friendship and affection, when it is in our power to give it.  By doing this, we make a statement about our concern for the Life of God.  “To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.  And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them,” Luke 6:29.  We give justice in the same measure that God would desire justice be given to us.  Although the human container may not respond as a vessel of honor, we are still required to honor the image of God that is present in them.  
This includes our own bodies and souls.  We are each Divine image-bearers.  To violate our lives or the lives of others is to violate God.  When we do justice towards humanity, we are doing justice towards God Himself!  Cain violated the life of God in Abel.  His God-given blood still speaks of the injustice.  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cain Wanted...

Cain did not give up his rights.  He supposed he had a right to sacrifice his own way.  He chose what seemed right in his own eyes… .concerning many things…
Cain wanted to decide who should be allowed to breathe.  He approached Abel casually as his brother rested under the oak.  Somewhere he had been caught up in a suggestion: Maybe God loved Abel better.  And that deceiving argument simmered throughout Cain’s thoughts and feelings until it boiled hard under his skin.  
Cain could not accept the thoughts of God anymore.  Cain wanted to do things his way.  Cain did not want to respond to conscience.  He did not want to admit, through the sacrifice of a life, that man owed anything to God.  He did not want to feel the shame of his deficient human condition.  He did not want his own offering spurned in the light of his brother’s acceptance.  Cain refused to be made a fool by Abel’s humility and faith.  Abel stood like a Divine Law in the foreground…. .a Divine Law that Cain did not want in his presence any more. 
The seeds of anger were planted that day and blood would be spilt.  God’s blood in a human body.  The knife glided swiftly through Abel’s jugular vein.  If Cain couldn’t have his way, he would take someone else’s.  And Abel’s blood still speaks of the injustice.
Cain moved the first boundary outside of Eden.  He chose to govern the existence of his brother’s life.  An Adversary was free to roam in Cain’s thoughts.  There was nothing to stop the onslaught of suggestions since mankind had opened the door to influence in government.  God’s thoughts and words concerning Life were added to the pile of considerations but they were not necessarily heeded at the moment of decision.  “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.  The question did not make sense.  Life was a keeper of Life.  But Cain had new knowledge; knowledge of other suggestions and accusations against God’s original design… .good and evil judgments.  And he had chosen to make his decision based on those other voices.  Death reigned over Abel’s body and Cain’s heart.  The boundaries of Divine Life have been usurped and manipulated ever since.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Wisdom of God

I’ll say it again: God never formed a curse, never directed a command, and never wrote a law outside of salvation….
The way to the Tree of Life was blocked by beings too powerful to overcome.  The human race was denied access to eternity.  We were positionally underneath, below, downward.  We were placed under the burden of curses, commands and laws.  We were meant to feel our defeat.  On purpose, we were oppressed by heavy forces.    The long trudge upward would be full of thorns and thistles, pain and labor and it would offer very little earthly reward.  The tedious act of sacrificing animals would remind us of our broken oath to God day after day after day.  Everywhere we turned our eyes, signs of our fallenness, brokenness, failure and dying dispostion.  This was and is the wisdom of God!
“I lift my eyes up to the hills.  From where does my help come?” Psalm 121:1.  
Someone, the Wisest of all Someone’s, had to stop us dead in our tracks.  With a mind full of good and evil judgments and a heart prone to serve the welfare of self, we were armed and dangerous; vulnerable nomads ready to defend our ground with weaponry.  We were capable of doing what we pleased and enjoying it.  We were prone to run fast and hard from our God-given conscience.  So God made it difficult for us to survive in sincere hope that we would look up…
“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:2.  
The human race bends low under the pressure.  It tends to look in all places for comfort and deliverance.  It fears conscience and running to God.  The human race fears giving up it’s right to make subjective choices in favor of self.  We may keep our right to good and evil choices and with that, we may keep the curses, the commands and the law.  
Or, we may give up our rights and receive salvation!
“I lift my eyes up to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:1-2.  O Lord, I lift my eyes to you and my load is lifted!  “Help us, O God of our salvation,” Psalm 79:9.  I am saved from serving my own welfare when I turn my eyes to you!  “To you I lift my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!  Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy on us,” Psalm 123:1-2.
The curse on our survival, the commands to do what is right at all times, the law to pronounce our judgment… .all these were given to force us to look up.  We cannot survive and do what is right and avert judgment.  We cannot.  It’s impossible.  We will have to lay our burden down, look up and seek mercy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Restrictions

He leaned heavily against the bark of a large twisted oak and allowed the shade to cool the sweat on his brow.  He had spent a long day leading his sheep to lush valley pasture.  As he closed his eyes and drank in the scent of spring his mind flittered away to memories of paradise.  It was almost as though he had once been there.  But the ache of his limbs and the smell of his sweat returned him to reality.  Abel had been born on the other side.  His father, Adam, had chosen to pursue a rugged independent existence.  Just like a teenage son who hated the family of his birth and set out into the world to make his own way, do his own thing ….a prodigal.  Adam had violated God’s heart.  He had violated God’s life.  He had cut his own cord.  And now Abel, along with all of the following generations, was thrown out into the world to live in his own strength.  
But what an amazing God this was!  He had already intervened.  Abel was taught to make a sacrifice.  By doing this, man’s rebellion against God’s life could be forgotten.  God would not be angry about the violation.  God would pursue man out in this pagan, foreign landscape in every generation.  
Abel sighed.  Surviving in the world was a lot of work and his own weak flesh cried out for some personal relief and gratification.  Very often, he wanted to do his own thing too.  Curse the ground and call it a day.  But the ground had already been cursed and Abel had to work it.  What a blessing.  His busyness with survival left him little time to gratify his flesh.  
God never formed a curse, never directed a command, and never wrote a law outside of salvation.  His heart has always been to save us from death.  Ever since Adam sinned, death has ruled in the human conscience.  We are very overthrown by our awareness of what should die.  In God’s desire to save us from death, He tripped our feet many times over.  A curse kept us busy battling the womb and the ground so that we wouldn’t battle with each other.  A command kept us pursuing a conquest against true enemies so that we wouldn’t conquest our neighbor.  A law kept us fearful of our own judgment so that we wouldn’t judge the flesh of another.  God was trying to save us from death.
 Once upon a time, while feasting on the Tree of Life, we did not need restrictions.  But we opted to take the curses, the commands and the laws so we could have the opportunity to make our own decisions.  The truest hope of our Creator was that we will return to Him and His Life… .and taste and see His goodness.   

Monday, July 26, 2010

Death Reigns

Laws of Life had been established from God’s first interaction with earthen things.  But mankind opposed God’s first establishment and set off to pursue independent designs.  Laws of Death were set into motion as humanity began to move around God’s original boundaries of preservation.  We would no longer obey the rules that governed Life.  We would become fully occupied with the preservation of self rather than preserving the sanctity of creation through God’s good perspective and wisdom.
“For if many died through one man’s trespass…” Romans 5:15.  “For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation,” Romans 5:16.  “If because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man…” Romans 5:17.  “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners…” Romans 5:19.    
Since God’s Laws of Life would no longer inhabit the human heart, death was given the upper hand.  We began dying from the moment our conscience was not covered with the Everlasting Life of our Divine Creator.  Although His Laws of Life still operated in the earthen atmosphere, they did not govern the human conscience.  We were separated from Divine Life.  The generations to follow Adam inherited this dying disposition…  
Our human weakness minus the power of Divine Life equals a fading and failing existence.  As we fade and fail, we are diminished in our mentalities to the animalistic pursuit of survival.  We must preserve our self nature from the judgments that threaten our existance.  The choices of God and the choices of man would pose an enemy to our survival.  So death reigns over the human conscience because we must manipulate and kill to survive.  This is the full and final consequence of our rebellious independence.  We become sinners because we inherit from our lineage the degrading task of carving an existence out of the dying souls around us.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Uncommon Cocoon

A ray of hope danced unnoticed upon the dry grey fortress

The gaps were filled and closed tightly
Golden features of curled wings cramped against the inner walls
Lidded eyes and the world was gone temporarily
Adam where are you?
Wild birds aggressed the morning with inspiration of song
The closet withheld its vanities
A mortal pulled tight his consciousness too soon
And lassoed the climax of bravery
Adam where are you?
Small samples of shell, frail, floated to the ground
The prisoner embraced his partitions
Hands, wings, all limbs into splendid shields of muscle and color
Surrounding a soul on a mission
Adam where are you?
Full grown, of age, an ancient masterpiece of flittering grace
Cowering in an uncommonly old cocoon
The winter scolds him for his sins while he avoids a true confession
Fateful hours in a darkly hidden room
Adam where are you?
The comas of seasonal lose, the magic spells of shifting the blame
The convenience of numbing sensitivity
The world out there and he in here where wonder and responsibility languish
And cold hearts conquer productivity
Adam where are you?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Self-Conscious

It was instantaneous.  Swiftly a deep awareness of self swept over the human conscience.  Very suddenly, there was a need for protective gear and weaponry.  The eyes of self darted to and fro seeking a hiding place.  Self consciously, the Human sought refuge and the Human sought to avert the eyes of subjectivity.  How frightening to be seen with your clothes off.  Even God could not be trusted.  The Human no longer lived in the assurance of His perfect and fair judgments.  God may be as subjective as we.  So the Human sought refuge and the human sought to avert the eyes of subjectivity….
It is 6:45 AM as I write this blog.  When I have finished writing, I will engage my morning routine.  I will don a covering this morning.  I will form my hair, enhance my face and captivate my body in the best material way possible.  I will adjust my appearance to manipulate your visual experience.  I want you to see me a certain way.  I may even employ attitudes, ideas and intellect to present myself in a particular light.  Today, you may meet me or a replica of what I want you to see.  All because, as an average Human, I have become conscious of self.
Survival takes our breath away.  In this subjective world, we have to be extremely concerned about thought, opinions and judgments of others.  Our eyes have been redirected to inspect self rather than gazing upon the Holy One.  We are individuals concerned with preserving our image.  We have become individual preservationalists and survivalists.  “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes,” Judges 21:25.  It seems right, upon inspection of self, to protect myself against the many opinions of others…. .against the very judgments of God, even if that means turning all eyes towards the flesh and blood of another.  He caused this!  No, she caused this!  “The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate’,” Genesis 3:13.
Averting the eyes.  It is our great occupation in a fallen, subjective world.  Since I am conscious of my own vulnerability to fail, to fade and to die, I must desperately pursue survival.  I must struggle to avert your eyes and the eyes of God from my fallen nature.  There must be another human in the terrain on whom I can call attention.  The eyes of God and man.  There must be someone else I can expose and someone else I can blame.  
As I write this blog I think, what will be my occupation today?  We are, all of us, created the same as on that first Genesis day.  “…Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return…” Job 1:21.   Nothing has really changed except our eyes, our consciousness of self.  Will I merely survive in my self-consciousness or will I thrive in a consciousness of the Holy One?  Naked and unashamed?  Happy He sees and knows me?  Letting the Life of God support my failure, my fading and my dying?  Or will I defend, with sword and spear, this vulnerable flesh at the cost of another life?  Any life?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adam, Where Are You?

“But the Lord God called to the man and said, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:9.  
Adam, where are you?  Why have you suddenly taken up hiding?  Adam tucked his body deeper into the folds of an out-of-this-world sized hosta.  He felt the edge of the cold steel blade rested against his bear back side.  An unfamiliar object, slightly uncomfortable, but seemingly necessary.  If all else fails, he’ll drive it into the soul of the nearest human.   
“And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself’,” Genesis 3:10.   My weak condition is fully exposed, he thought, and I am vulnerable.  All of his deceptability… .all of his personal incompleteness… .exposed to the eyes of someone’s judgment.
  “Who told you that you were naked?” Genesis 3:11.  How did you become conscious of your lack?  Conscious of your frailty and ability to die?  “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:11.  I had to give you a free choice, God thought, but I just wanted to keep you safe.  
Adam clutched the dagger closer.  There was nothing to protect him from accusation.  If accused, he would be discovered as an imposter.  Only a weak human and half a human at that.  He wasn’t the great and mighty keeper of the garden.  He wasn’t the protector of living things.  He could be taken advantage of by that woman!   Maybe his vulnerability wasn’t the issue!  Maybe that woman had intense deceptive powers!  She should take responsibility for his failure!  And the dagger was lifted to cut, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate,” Genesis 3:12.  He was right, wasn’t he?  She was easily faulted too.  Eve was a sinner. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Choices

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.  So when the woman saw the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate,”  Genesis 3:4-6
We have only choices.
“For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened…” Genesis 3:5.  Eve was promised better eyesight if she took the suggestion of a Liar.  She was lured by the promise of a clearer perspective.  There was some truth in the lie.  She did perceive her deficiency and nakedness as she had never before.  She perceived the deficiencies and nakedness of others as she had never before.  Her new knowledge only provided her the authority to make judgments on her own, but no ability to make right judgments.  She and her generational ancestors would grope for rightness or righteousness.  They would make guesses about right and wrong.  They would choose based on feeling and desire.  They lacked the eyes to see things the way they really were and make decisions based on their experiential knowledge of the Divine.  
In Luke 4, even Jesus’ perspective is challenged by the Adversary, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread,” Luke 4:3.  Jesus, are you sure your Father told you the truth?  Did He form you as the Son of God?  Why don’t you test it?  Make some supernatural bread.  Jesus Christ had to make a right decision when confronted by a Seraph and a Tree as well.  Would He depend on the Father or His own judgment?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What If?

Have you ever sat alone in your room and asked yourself the “What ifs?”  What if I had gotten that college degree?  What if I had married someone else?  What if I had the opportunities others have?  What if I had been born into a different family?  I am certain that you have.  I know that I have.  Then we really can’t be too hard on Eve, can we?  The Gardens of Life are always interrupted by merely a suggestion.  “What if?  Maybe?  Are you sure?  Can you be absolutely certain of His love for you?”  It seems like an important question.   
God and humanity had a good thing.  Sweet fellowship.  Humanity was given freedom in the matter.  God did not desire humanity to remain unless he wanted to.  God wanted the whole arrangement to be of the heart.   He was less interested in dutifully obedient subjects and much more interested in friends who desired and longed for His friendship.
Imagine that you are God for a moment.  I doubt that you have ever had to stretch your imagination so much!  But just try to imagine that you are the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present Creator.  And You want to have friends!  You want to have beneficiaries of Your qualities and wealth who enjoy Your company.  You are fully aware that no one can govern the universe as You do.  Anyone else would miserably fail.  After all, You formed it.  But You have no desire to be a distant and demanding Deity.  You want to share the joy of giving Your qualities and wealth and also enjoy the creations You give them to.  You have a sincere dilemma.  As God, You are frightening!  You are large and in charge.  There are obvious reasons why Your creatures might approach You out of duty rather than desire.  The only possible remedy would be to give them a sincere choice.  You will first give them the gift of a created sphere to govern.  You will give them all of the required abilities to govern.  Then You will daily visit them and enjoy their company while teaching them Your own way of government.  This will go on forever.  In this You, as God, will have friends who submit to Your way of governing the sphere that You have made.  Lastly, You will always give them the option of governing without You.  They are not forced to do this with You.  However, sadly, there are obvious consequences to dismissing the Creator from ruling Creation.  Humanity did not create it and therefore is not fully sufficient to rule it without the Divine Heart.  In denying the Creator as governor, they are denying His Spiritual Heart.  Their own hearts would rule.  Their own hearts would become the god.  And this would leave room for much subjective judgment.  Obviously, as God, You would not want to see this happen, nevertheless, You are obligated by Your own wisdom and justice to create the option.  So, You provide an edible opportunity….
  A Tree.  A growing entity that produced a possibility.  It advertised an appearance of health but had no Life – much like a human government would be.  However it was an option.  And, although the Biblical account does not give us all of the details, I am sure that the Man and the Woman were informed of the option.  They knew that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil offered an opportunity for self-government.  What they did not know was this thing called Death.  They did not know what it looked like, felt like, smelled like and tasted like.  What if they could govern themselves, exist without a need for Deity, be wise as this visiting Creator, and not die?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eve

From that very first moment in Eden, when a deceitful usurper took note of Eve’s oblivion to the sickly sweet taste of sin and unrelenting hand of death, our world became free range for an enemy's thoughts and our afterthoughts.  Eve stood in front of that fatal decision with nothing to cover her but her skin and an incredible sense of Divine security.  All of her first experiences were with God.  Creator God met her in Ad’am and called her out from him.  Every hidden, curved, reproductive and beautifully sensual portion of the earthen human was removed and presented to the outer elements.  The one became two so that the two could be one.  She was made for love.  Two lovers in paradise.  Her nakedness was equivalent to her experience.  She would not be mishandled or misused but would receive appropriate, pure, Divinely ordained affections and attentions.  This was her full knowledge and experience.  
You see, God’s government was perfect for Eve.  His government ensured that Her quality would not become a little too high or a little too low.  She would be a quality Human loved by a Divine Deity.  They would be close and personal.  Her environment would bring Her enjoyment and protection.  No one’s perception would take advantage of Her because all perceptions were subject to the Divine Heart.  The Divine perspective caused Her to be naked and unashamed.  She was not bound by the restrictions that come with a million objective perspectives.  She did not need to hide Herself from the unwanted eyes of self-governed hearts.  She was covered by the Divine Heart and lived within His government.  Transcendent.  Free.
The slithering apparatus that took center stage that day was very familiar with the transcendent life Adam and Eve lived.  His suggestions would not be flippant they would be pointed.  “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” Genesis 3:2.  His jaw froze in a position near to his chest giving the appearance of a double chin and leaving his lower lip slightly protruding downward.  His head was cocked forward to one side and his eyes fixated on hers, brow tightly squeezed, carefully expressing an annoyed disbelief in her ridiculous interpretation of obviously incorrect facts.  Eve retorted mechanically while feeling for the first time that her knowledge of God and environment might be woefully lacking.  A strange feeling of inadequacy began to penetrate her invisible barrier of security.  “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5.  God knows this?  
The Seraph tucked his hands stoically into the folds of iridescent feathers.  Invocations of panic and possibility filled the atmosphere.  Eve missed the glint of mischief in the Seraphs eye.  She was unconscious of the spell with which he had adjusted the very longings of her heart.  She was lost in the provocation of desire for that soft skinned, deep reddish purple opportunity to know the mind of God.  “God knows that when you eat it….”   God knows this?  And He hadn’t told me?  Is He keeping something from me?  Suggestions began to circle her emotions like buzzards.  After several spherical passes, she was noonday prey.  A door flew open.  A Seraph’s eyes danced with deadly hunger.  And an emotionally tangled woman only suckled on its momentary sweetness while passionately offering her husband a bite.  The doorbell rang.  The sharp blade of a guillotine fell.  The curtains of heaven pulled closed.  And Adam and Eve stood in the creeping grey clatter of devils, nervous, naked and alone. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exposure

The way of this world is to uncover our bare, open, naked vulnerability.  “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher this woman has been caught in the act of adultery’,” John 8:3-4.  It seeks to expose our failure and lust.  This world lures us into obeying our subjectiveness and becoming a degraded human.  “They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin.  They entice unsteady souls…” 2 Peter 2:14.  Yes, this world seeks to exploit our separation from the Life of God.  And we feel shame and we do everything we can not to feel it; to run from the Source of Life because when we are near it our degraded flesh is obvious to all.  But when we are far away from Life we just look like everyone else.  No one needs to know the lowliness of our condition…
“Not many days later the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.  And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.  And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything,” Luke 15:13-16.
You see the way of this world is exposure, and indeed God does not interfere.  Subjective humans far from His Life need to return home for a covering.  We must become sick of the way of this world.  We must come to understand that our flesh was created good and designed frail and in need of His protective command.  We need the ruling perspective of the King.
No, it is true, figs leaves will not do.  I want sincerely to know and be known.  I must go home.  There is a place where knowing and being known is not subject to the eyes of good and evil.  There are judgments that encounter my nakedness and choose to cover me.  The Heart of the Holy One has nothing to do with the good and evil options of mankind. It exists far outside of our dilemma.  If I truly wish to know and be known, I must go here, to the Heart of the Holy One….  “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  And he began to teach them many things,” Mark 6:34.  There is a place where I am seen.  A place where I am known and taught lovingly to know.  There is a place, not of this world, where my flesh can go for a covering…
“And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them,” Genesis 3:21.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

And They Knew Shame

When I looked at you, my subjective judgments wandered into places they should not go.  Shame.  I felt ashamed.  I was suddenly struck with a consciousness of both the good and the evil I could do you… .and this was not my position to occupy.  I am not authorized to go there.  Since when did I think myself so well off that I could benefit your vulnerability somehow?  O vanity!  And since when did I think myself so victimized that I could take from you what was yours?  O anxiety!  I am ashamed.  My own nakedness testifies to truth; the very truth that I see your nakedness and I am most likely thinking the very same subjective thoughts that you do when you see me…
So we cover.  And in this world, yes, we should.  There are parts and places where other minds should not wander subjectively.  There are places you and I are not authorized to go.  I am not speaking merely of physical things.  I am speaking of the many good and evil options we are now conscious of when another individual’s life stands before us in any way open and bare: intellectually, emotionally, physically… .vulnerably.  When presented with another human life, we can see them subjectively or we may see them through the eyes of God.  We make choices, nonetheless, from one of these two sources.
  Shame is the direct result of this subjective experience.  We perceive, with eyes wide open, the plethora of choices available to vulnerable flesh.  Be there any conscience within us at all, we blush.  It was never intended that you and I know the possibilities, both good and evil.  We were not meant to rule this way.  It was intended that I know and experience you only through the eyes of God.  My choices concerning your flesh would have been based on His Life-giving judgments.  
According to the Gospel, by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are provided an opportunity to leave subjectiveness behind.  We may see once again through the eyes of holiness.  We may perceive humanity through His eyes.  Our judgments of the flesh are not our judgments at all.  We receive His judgments and feel no shame.  Our eyesight has become clean.  We lack the good and evil powers of subjective eyesight and experience.  We see not how we may stroke our vanities or soothe our anxieties by use of another’s vulnerability.   We trust in the eyesight and judgment of God for their sake.  All who wait for and trust in God’s judgments, as the Scriptures say, will never be put to shame.  “To you O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.  Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous,” Psalm 25:1-3.
O Lord God, Who sees all mankind, I will wait for Your judgments.  I will not make my own.  I submit to Your Eyes.  I trust in Your eyesight of me and of the vulnerable creatures about me.  You are right in all Your judgments in a way that I could never be.  For my own sake and for the sake of others, I lift my eyes to You, I present my whole person to You and I present their person to You.  You will see and judge us justly.  No one who trusts in Your perspective will ever experience the shame of seeing and knowing others, or being seen and known by others, through the eyes of good and evil choices.  You cover us O God!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fig Leaves

To know and be known: the hope of us creatures.  To deeply know and to be deeply known.  In all of our trying to escape, in all of our hiding, in all of our grasping we are unable to deny the abiding pain that comes with not knowing and never being known.  Each human desires a witness to their lives and another life to witness.  It is the great attraction of friendship, romance and marriage.  
Why must I take my clothes off?  Couldn’t I be known just as well under yards and yards of intellectual, emotional and physical fabric?  Why do the deepest relationships require every part of my person?  There is war inside.  This war rages against my great desire to know and be known.  I want you to know me but not know me.  I am aware of you and your subjective experience in this world.  I know that you make decisions each and every day about flesh and blood.  You make choices about how to treat and make use of the people that populate your days.  Are you trustworthy?  Could I expose my heart, desires, fears, troubles… .my deepest and dearest parts and be certain that you will not take any advantage of my vulnerability?
We are not stupid.  Humans know what humans think, say and do.  We are aware of the ways of mankind because we know ourselves.  We know the tendencies of our own flesh.  Our great desire is to reveal ourselves to one another, to God and man, but our greatest fear is what will happen when we do.  
It has not always been this way.  There was a time when we stood in the presence of God and man “naked and.. .not ashamed,” Genesis 2:25.   God ruled the thoughts, words and ways of mankind.  Our judgments of another’s heart and flesh were not subjective.  We perceived as God perceived.  Our concern was for the welfare of another’s being, not what we could usurp and obtain from their vulnerable humanity.  But that changed… “…and they knew that they were naked,” Genesis 3:6.
“And they sewed fig leaves…” Genesis 3:7.  Naturally.  Yes.  Of course.  Who wouldn’t?!  There you are standing fully exposed.  It’s no problem until the eyes of another discover your nakedness.  Suddenly you are aware of their thoughts, what they could possibly say or do… .their subjective judgments… .and you know that you must cover, quickly!
But now, I ask, how will you be fully known and how will you fully know?  There must be a grand reconciliation of our vulnerability and our judgments.  Fig leaves will not do.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Naked

“Come home with me,” he prayed.  There was a soft and gentle quiver in his eyes.  She lingered on it and wondered.  Would she be returning to a former pain?  “I ask your forgiveness, Livnah,” he paused, searching her face for signs of acceptance.  Livnah blushed and fingered nervously through her hair.  “Iyra” she lifted her eyes to the west, “Let’s talk.  Walk with me?”
 It begins as a beautiful story of restored lovers. You will find it in Judges 19 and 20.   A man of the tribe of Levi has a wife who leaves him and goes to her father’s house.   They are separated for four months.  We don’t know all of the circumstances surrounding their separation, but we do know that he pursues her  and when he comes to her at her father’s house, he speaks kindly to her.  He is seeking reconciliation.  
The husband and wife remain at her father’s home for several days to celebrate the reunion.  Then they leave for home.  And we, the readers, have every hope, every expectation that this story will retain its romanic renewal.  Old pains will be forgotten and the reconciliation will complete its perfect work.  But, the story never gets that far…
On their way home the Levite and his wife choose to stay overnight in a town in the territory of Benjamin.  They entrust a good nights sleep to the inn and its keeper.  During the night, a band of Israelite men ask the innkeeper to give them his male Levite guest so that they may sexually abuse him.  The innkeeper gives the men his guest’s wife instead.   They abuse her all night and she dies on the doorstep of the house.  Her husband discovers her lifeless body in the morning.  It sounds too much like something you would see on the present day 6 o’clock news.  In his fury, the husband divides her body parts and mails them to the leaders of the tribes of Israel.  He wants justice.  The men of Israel rise up and completely destroy this Benjamite town.  Gruesome… .horrific… .and yet true.   Unspeakable assault and injustice towards one Levite husband and wife.  And the destruction of a Benjamite town.
We should take note that “In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes,” Judges 21:25.  There was no one to rule perspective.  No one to determine the treatment of our vulnerability, our openness.  No king to discern what was right or wrong, good or evil.  No king to rule the treatment of nakedness.  You are naked.  I am naked.  Our eyes are opened and everybody knows.  But only the King knows how to rule on behalf of our nakedness.  We need the discernment of the King.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Subjective

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes,” Judges 21:25.
Subjective judgment.  To decide what seems right to do or wrong to do, what is good and what is evil, based on our personal feelings, taste or opinion.  Just dwell for a moment on the far-reaching and catastrophic ends this could produce.  I don’t think any one of us would readily admit that we have such pure feelings, impeccable taste and unbiased opinions that we should be elected to judge once and for all of mankind what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.  I believe that we have at least enough conscience to realize that we should not truly be god over mankind, despite the fact that we sometimes act it.  
“There is a way that seems right to man but its end is the way of death,” Proverbs 14:12.  
Sad, but true: We still play gods although we know we ought not to.  We still make subjective choices.  And we still make subjective choices for others.  We still judge by our own feelings, taste and opinion.  And we are judged by another’s feelings, tastes and opinions.  We rely so heavily and faithfully upon our own powers of discernment.  After all, who needs discernment from outside of themselves when they can see so well?  “…your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5.  The sweet, saving promise of a liar.  You will see better!  You will be able to discern good and evil, right and wrong on your own, just like God does… .without a need for God.
For thousands of years now, this subjective human judgment has been governing the existence of individuals and societies separated from the perspective of God.  Whole cultures have made choices that determined the course of history based on what seemed right to think or do in their own perception… 
Have you noticed that we are dying?  In the end, our powers have only lead us into death.  Do you suppose that collectively, as a majority, we have discerned wrong most of the time?   Yes, I think so.  I believe our powers were not so good; not so faithful.  I believe we needed God’s eyes and the wisdom of the Creator ruling in the heart of man.  We needed a King to rule perspective instead of relying on our own.  
Who rules your powers of discernment?  To whom do you subject your judgments?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good and Evil

Back in the Garden... .there was a second tree known as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Although Divine Life is by nature conscious of both Good and Evil, it is not governed by that knowledge.  Divine Life is governed by a consciousness of Life.  It does what is best for the highest quality and purity of Life. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil offered the human race an opportunity to govern existence by their personal judgments.  Humanity would decide for itself what it supposed to be beneficial for Life.  Although humanity was incapable of making the best possible choices for the benefit of Life on its own, that’s what it set out to do.  By eating from this Tree, humanity would declare its independence in judgment.  In other words, they would make choices without dependence on God’s perception or evaluation.  Where God called something “light” we could choose to call it “dark”.  Where God called something “evil” we could choose to call it “good”.  Judgment of absolutely anything would be subject to our own limited personal perception and evaluation.
 The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not provide us with any new information.  Humanity already possessed an inner aversion to evil and an inner attraction to good.  God had opened our eyes to the preservation and encouragement of what was good and pure in His own eyes.  A knowledge of Life provided by the edification of the Tree of Life would govern our decisions concerning all of creation.  God ruled creation through us!  This changed when we ate the fruit of a forbidden source.  Our eyes were opened to a new form of government.  The serpent promised Eve, “…when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5.  The serpent did not lie.  Upon eating the fruit, humanity’s eyes were opened to the various good and evil choices.  And humanity was subjected to his and her own perceptions.  No longer would a Divine perspective be available.  We were left alone in our own little worlds to govern and make choices.  It sounded like freedom: “…you will be like God…”, but it turned out to be a sentence of death: “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked,” Genesis 3:7.
Tell me, just how expert are you at determining what is good and what is evil based on your own perspective of what lies bare and open before you?  How well do things turn out when you are left to subjectively judge what should be done with your own or another’s “nakedness”?  I believe that history has only proved that we are in need of a higher perspective than our own to judge what is good and what is evil.  We need the creator and giver of Life to govern its existence, its nakedness….

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Real Life

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good steward of God’s varied grace,” 1 Peter 4:10.  That’s it?!  Seriously?!  I was forgiven, redeemed, restored, exalted, lifted to the right hand of Christ, given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, and empowered by the Holy Spirit so that I could experience the graces of God to…. .serve another?
We pause now for a deep moment of sobriety….
Yes, I answer, the Eden experience was one of joyfully serving the other.  This, we are told, is real Life!  
The idea of a natural conscience is that we really see, hear, know and understand the other person because God has inhabited us with His perspective.  Therefore, we are empowered by His grace to respond to their need, to love them, to respect their quality design.  We are not seeking our own pleasure anymore.  We aren’t anticipating opportunities to use them.  In our fallenness, we were only conscious of these pleasures and opportunities.  Wrongly, we supposed that extracting the most pleasure and capturing every opportunity to make use of another’s personal resource was Life.  But we were mistaken.  When we were found by God and we accepted His invitation to be Governed by His right perspective, we became empowered to see, hear, know and understand the other.  We discovered that graces where poured out on the inside and we could apply these to serve the needs of the other.  This is Real Life!  
“Let love be genuine… .Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor… serve the Lord... .Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality… .Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be conceited…. .If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all… .’If you enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…’,” Romans 12:9-20.  This is Real Life!
By the Government and Authority, by the Goodness and Grace, according to the Gifts and Consciousness of God, I love to love you!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mystical?

Life.  Something about the word, when speaking religiously that is, seems to conjure up ideas of transcendence and other worldly experience.  Mystical, right?  Something outside of our sensible existence.  We want to live forever in this state of, well, unconsciousness I think.  This grand condition of ignorance to anything bad or ugly.  An eternal happy heaven where angels sing in glorious pitch and harmony and fireflies dance on wisps of serenity.  Ahhhh, Yes, sounds blissful.  
Perhaps that is a definition of life.  Perhaps we are meant to be unconscious of the bad and ugly and eternally happy.  But perhaps those elements are to be enjoyed within the awakened consciousness to flesh and blood and its Divine Creator.  Life, I tell you, is natural and sometimes raw.  More so than we may want.  Caring for life involves training, development, daily responsibilities, feeding, clothing, listening, watching, attentiveness, etc…  To return to consciousness is to participate with life’s realities.  I don’t necessarily speak of the realities that have come upon us due to the entrance of sin and the fallenness of creation.  We are still in the Garden.  We are addressing Life in its original form and function.  A state of being in which we were fully conscious.  In the Garden, life required all of these natural forms and functions, and it still does….
The presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer is a return to consciousness.  We are given the ability to see, hear, touch, taste, understand, and respond just as the Creator would when encountering creation.  The Holy Spirit returns us to the Tree of Life.  We get to eat, internalize and experience consciousness.  It’s easy.  It’s enjoyable.  It’s eternally practical.  And it enables you and I to be as He is in creation.  Our eyes, ears, hands, mouth, our whole heart and being, are empowered with Divine perspective and we begin to move about within the rawness of everyday experience and be as He is.  We do what He does.  We are fully aware of the life He created.  And we are aware of it according to His Heart and Being.
The bad and the ugly really have no place here.  And we are feasting on pleasures and joys - eternally happy.  But it’s not a mystified existence.  Our consciousness of God makes a very personal and practical vessel of us.  More so than the word “practical” is meant to mean.  How so?  We are offering reality to the human race.  Practically, they need Divine perspective.  They need a new Government thriving on the inside.  A Government that renews them day by day into a people who respond practically towards creation.  Things like, giving generously of their time and wealth, things like, thanking God daily for the human lives they share company with, things like, taking pleasure in caring for the needs of others.  Raw duties.  And beautifully conscious ones as well.  Wouldn’t you say that this is a return to conscience?  Loving real life as God does?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Natural Conscience

God did not leave our first parents guessing about government forms and consequences of following each.  He was clear.  He planted two examples right before their eyes.  There were two trees in the Garden of Eden that represented two perspectives or two different forms of government….  
The first tree was the Tree of Life.  Life.  The word says it all.  It probably means something a little different than what first comes to mind.  Life does not describe our daily grind.  Nor does it merely refer to the fact that you and I are breathing.  The word Life describes that quality form and function that God created of the human vessel.  And it describes the eternal quantity of our creation.  We were created fully alive forever.  
I admit that I cannot describe this.  Not really.  There was a naturalness to living, as God designed it, that I am only coming to know by His Holy Spirit.  However, I can tell you that to be alive, I mean really alive, as a human, is to be conscious of God.  This I know.  To be alive is to know and be known by God.  To know God is also to know humanity.  It is to have my eyes wide open, my ears tuned to the sound, my hands in surrender and service, my lips expressive in gratitude… .these are Life.  And surely they are only an attempt at description.  What I do know, is that Life is conscious of and responsive towards Life.  There is a Living Rule.  The Tree of Life offered internalization of that Living Rule - a Government of God on the inside.  We could not know Life and respond to Life without the Government of God.  
Humanity has been endued with a natural conscience.  After all, God breathed our eternal substance.  That long ago breathe enables the human generations to continue and carry a conviction about the form and function of Life.  However, the generations, within themselves, do not understand this conviction.  There is no knowledge of the God of this lingering breathe.  Our own human design has baffled us and this conviction works against our personal plans.  According to our knowledge, if we are to continue as a race, we must suppress this conviction.  Romans 1:18 tells us that this is exactly what we do.  The conviction is suppressed so that we may go about our plans according to what we think is best.  We rule by our perspectives, not God’s.  This has been the majority choice over the human generations, but it’s not the way God designed us to live…
That original Tree grew fruit to be enjoyed and internalized by the human generations for eternity.  The Tree of Life would forever feed our internal conscience, our lingering breathe, our deep conviction that Life should rule Life; that God should have full jurisdiction over Living.  Humanity would have possessed a natural conscience of the boundaries and qualities of Life simply by eating of the knowledge of God.  We would have known and been known!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lone Ranger

What is your vision of “The Fall”?  I have heard it described this way: Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  It’s not that this is altogether wrong.  But, to me, it doesn’t paint quite the right picture.  Certainly, they chose not to obey God’s command.  But I would like to paint a portrait that strikes a little deeper at the heart of the matter….
When Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, scripture says, “…then the eyes of both were opened...,” Genesis 3:5.  Their perception of existence was changed.  They had then chosen to exist by their own rule of government.  Namely, they would decide for themselves what was good and what was evil.  The boundaries could be moved around based on their individual judgment.  Each man would rule his own existence.  From that moment on, mankind’s perception and consciousness of Life was totally different.  Suddenly the things that had once been graceful, pure and fruitful instead aroused them to all sorts of desire, both Evil and Good.  “…And they knew that they were naked,” Genesis 3:5.  Each man or woman became a government in and of him or herself.  They would choose how to use the individuals and resources around them to their own personal benefit.  Natural boundaries were not sufficient anymore because mankind had new knowledge of how to move those boundaries.  Suddenly, they felt their vulnerability to each man’s personal perception.  The body could be used for other things than chaste enjoyment, the thought life could be manipulated by suggestions and imaginations, spiritual life and religious tradition could be usurped and challenged by any spiritual entity or idea.
Divine Life would no longer govern the human conscience.  Boundaries would not be acknowledged as a Living rule.  Man had to be immediately expelled from Eden and driven away from that first Life-giving Tree.  He knew too much.  God could not allow a self-governing man or women to live forever.  Too much damage could be done.  Curses were inevitable.  Without difficulty in survival, mankind had too much time and resource to devise evil.  So God cursed their work and wombs with hard labor.  It would be difficult and time consuming to be who they were made to be.  The new consciousness of Good and Evil things set our hearts on a dead run in the opposite direction of God.  We would, with a growing awareness of this new power, discover the multitude of ways in which we could manipulate our own destiny as well as the destiny of others.  “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned ….yet death reigned from Adam ….even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam,” Romans 5:12-13.  Death reigned.  Everybody was conscious of death’s power.  That consciousness of death would govern the decisions of man from then on.
The tragedy of Eden cannot merely be described as an act of disobedience.  Nor can its consequence merely be described as separation from God.  As if this were not bad enough.  A drama unfolded in a matter of minutes that redirected the whole perspective of the universe.  Humanity became a separate governing force in the atmosphere.  Humanity became a lone ranger.  God became an abandoned lover in just one moment.  He became an aggressor against the human tide.  Our Creator had to prove to us that He was working for our good.  He had to fight for our attention and even beg for our affection.  We became guarded and untrusting towards His purpose.  God and man were divided by suggestion and accusation.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Free Human

Adam and Eve were invited to eat.  “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden….” Genesis 2:16.  There was only one tree they could not eat of; but of every other tree, they could freely eat.  This was more than an opportunity to enjoy sweet juices tickling the taste buds.  They were given, everyday, the opportunity to choose.  They were not forced to dwell with God and receive His influence.  They were not forced to participate in His Government.  They could choose another.  They could choose themselves.
The Creator was the only proper Governor for the creation.  His heart was tightly tied to it’s survival.  His Word sustained it and renewed it’s life.  The existence of Adam and Eve was dependent upon the reverberations of His Living Word.  They needed His Government for eternal form and exalted function.  Very simply, without God’s ruling Word within the personality of humanity, humanity would die.  The Creator’s Government was a necessity.
But God honored the human’s independence.  Divinity respected the nature of the man and woman He had created.  He acknowledged their freedom to choose.  He had not made them lowly and subordinate.  He had endued them with His own image and like adults, they could make responsible choices.  God was and always has been respectful of the quality vessels He has made of us.  We have faculties exalted of design.  Although heart broken due to our choices, Divinity never oversteps His boundary.  It is our right to choose.  We may eat of any tree.  He can’t stop us from choosing Death but He will give us every opportunity to choose Life.
So now I ask you, what is the great temptation to break free of this Government that requires of the human Divine dependency and also gives him or her personal independence?  What are we running from?  Why such a hurry to get away from a Deity that dignifies us so?  We will get no such sustenance and no such honor anywhere else….
Could it simply be that we are deceived about His intentions?  That we are convinced to believe a Liar promising freedom?  A freedom that we already essentially possess by nature of our human quality?  Could it be that we have been talked into pursuing reliable sustenance despite the fact that sustenance was breathed into our nature?  Have we really just been told not to believe His Word!?  His good evaluation?  His government that gives to us Life and freedom?  I assure you that there are a lot of ideas floating upon the airwaves about whom you should depend on and how independent you should be.  God is the One who will cause you to grow up in the right way with a healthy balance of dependency and independence.  But there are a lot of suggestions about other sources.  You are a big possibility.  A bundle of potential. …for just about anything.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Eden... .Again

We walk here on Holy Ground.  We tread waters that are deep and mysterious.  We enter the arena of the first Human love affair.  We enter an atmosphere.  A safe place.  A safe relationship.  God and Humanity.  Man and Woman.  Natural boundaries allow all things to grow safely here.  The environment is heavy with nurture.  All things are common and yet not all things are the same.
It is here that God raised up the Ad’am from the dust and breathed His own essence into it.  It is here that God watched the Ad’am walk about the safe environment and name all of the creatures therein.  This was a good place.  It is here that God loved the Ad’am as He loved Himself.  It is here that God blessed Humanity with all that was within Himself.  The One God expressed Himself in a multitude of colors, sounds, sights and sensations.  His red caught fire the sunset.  His blue blanketed the limitations of the sky.  His yellow enchanted the pores of intersecting branches, bathing the soil with nutrients.  His green collected favor under creaturely noses.  His Majesty captured the panorama.  His whistle commanded the prairies and gathered their offspring.   His roar satisfied the galactic spaces.  The deep darkness and constellations had their answer:  God was in Eden and God was round about it as well.  The One God had expressed Himself.  And He was in love with that expression.  He surrounded it.  He lived in it.  He walked and talked and governed it with a pure heart.
Eden was a safe place.
Eden was also good economy.  Divinity had endued creation, including the Man and Woman, with the ability to reproduce their kind.  All that was needed for the fullness of Life was freely given to creation.  We can all testify to this.  Powerful and complicated civilizations have been built from merely the basics of created things.  All the Humans had to do was tend it. ….watch over it, pay attention, adjust as needed and enjoy it.  
Eden was an arena of challenge and creativity.  God did not disrespect the Humans by offering them a life of boredom.  He gave them the tools and the freedom and respected their abilities by giving them a command, “be fruitful and multiply”Don’t sit around, basking in sunlight all day, eating too much fruit and becoming lazy!  Expand, subdue the wildness, move out, create, reproduce, and show this good Earth that you are its viceroy!   This Life that Divinity offered was a Life of constant growth and mountain moving.  And God, in His goodness, made the Human capable and made Eden a Garden of challenges and possibilities, both beautiful and strong.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Eden

Eden is not just a fairy tale.  Nor is it a mythical explanation of mankind's current condition.  It is not religious folklore.  It is not a doctrine.  It is not merely an environment that was witness to "the Fall".  It is a place.  A real place.  Where God and Man and Woman shared genuine company.  Let's go there.....
The footsteps of Divinity passed lightly over the soft soil.  Freshly misted blades of grass fainted and bowed under His generous caress.    He paused to enjoy a star fruit and gather a whiff of narcissus.   This was His favorite time of the day.  An hour or two or three of conversation with the humans of Eden.  Sometimes they would carry on long into the starry night.  It was good communion.  And He was always fascinated by the variety of productions and enjoyments the humans would conceive of in one day.  He listened eagerly to their daily stories and gloried in their achievements.  They were incredibly capable.  Divinities heart pressed in closer with every day and conversation.  He watched for signs of deeper fellowship and opportunities for trust.  He paid attention to the development of their hearts.  For surely He intended to entrust them with so much more.  He wanted them to participate in all of His work and wisdom.  
Divinity approached Ad’ams Pool.  He could see The Man waving enthusiastically from the other side.  The Woman sat among the palms basking in a stream of setting sunlight.  He was happy to see them and as always, relieved to know they had again today chosen Life.  They would stay in His Garden reliant upon His Wisdom.  They wouldn’t take their Earthen inheritance and try to go at this alone.  Good.   God loved humanity and did not want to be parted from them.  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not a Fairy Tale

No, this is not a fairy tale.  We are not weaving a magical tale of potions, dragons, castles and kings.  It appears to have some of those elements.  But our story, that is the story of Divinity and Dust, is simply the breathtaking communion of love we are able to consciously share for eternity.  It is the story of reality… .but not as this world sees it.  A reality filled with awe and wonder upon discovery that what was lost has been found, what was relationally broken and shattered has been reconciled, what was fallen has been redeemed and restored to it’s original brilliancy.  Although this world may not see it, hear it, or believe it, we, the sons and daughters of the Most High, have stepped into consciousness, communion, and engagement.  
We live in Eden.  Not an imagined fairy land.  No, God is with us and He is revealed to us.  Our hearts are stirred when He speaks.  Our eyes are drawn to discover Him.  We live as partakers of His perspective, delighting in His council.  “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.  My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises,” Psalm 119:147, 148.  It’s our right and pleasure to be joined to God at all times!
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high; I cannot contain it.  Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:1-7.  God is conscious and engaged!  Divinity is expertly attentive to our dust.  Not a moment of our lives passes without His deep interest.  God wants to walk with you.  Every moment.  Everyday.  He wants to know everything.  Like a lovesick spouse.  Like a fearless defender.  Like a dotting father or mother.  
He has paid a high price to bring you close once again.  To know and be known by you.  Relating to God, with all of its conflict and communion, is our Happily Ever After.  I am happy to know and be known by God.  Thank you God that my eyes have been opened and my ears hear and my heart understands this returning to the story of Divinity and Dust.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Without Ceasing

“…pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  Be honest.  You failed this week.  You did not stay on your knees 24/7!  The exhortation given by Paul to the Thessalonian church seems to be a daunting religious task.  After all, who can pray endlessly?  Who can spend every waking and sleeping moment on their knees uttering prayers?  It is beyond our faculty and certainly not what Paul was exhorting the Thessalonians to do!
David teaches us the meaning.  A man who had no scruples with endless knee-bending.  “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice,” Psalm 55:17.   To “pray without ceasing” is to bring every thought, every complaint, every hope, every emotion, every doubt, every sadness, every joy, every demand, every desire, every success, every failure, every fear, every trouble, every need, every gift… .everything, to God.  And, at all times.  David bent the knees of his heart before God at all times and presented everything.
Stop.  Listen. Consider.  He or she is your spouse and they bring everything to you.  Not to someone else.  Just you.  They want to hear your thoughts on the matter.  They are interested in your perspective.  They respect your council.  They do nothing without your agreement.  How do you feel?  Honored?  Respected?  Special?  I’m sure you do.  This is the lesson Paul and David are teaching us: to bring everything, at all times, to God.  To hear His thoughts, discover His perspective, receive His council and do nothing without His agreement.  Everything.  Without ceasing.  
We can be so quick to seek sources that seem to meet our needs much quicker, appease our demands, fulfill our desires, indulge our complaints, engage our hopes and celebrate our joys.  And God, He who loves us, becomes the spectator.   He is not so honored, not so respected, not so special in our worlds.  Sigh.
I rally your heart today to be conscious and engaged.  To ceaselessly seek He who loves you as the preeminent source of your life.  To ceaselessly depend on His perspective and council.  To be so devoted that you will not move without His agreement.  Awake!  He waits to know and be known by you.  To be your only source, your only God, your spouse, your only governmental authority!
“To you I lift my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!  Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God…” Psalm 123:1-2.  We depend on Your heart, O God!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Are You Awake Today?

If you are reading this right now, you may suppose that you are.  Consider the question again: Are you awake today?  Awake… .to cease from sleep, to regain consciousness, to engage in activity again.  There is a lull, I presume.  A strength sapping lure.  A power that renders the Human fading and failing.  The Human of form and function wains, it dies away for lack of nutrition.  The dependent Human has independently chosen to eat insufficient foods.  We are not ceasing to sleep, regaining consciousness or engaging in activity.  As a race of Humans, we are fighting to survive.
Are you AWAKE?  Are you conscious and engaged?
Do you see what He sees, feel what He feels?  Have you let His heart govern you?   
“Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up…” Isaiah 51:17.  We are not of those who fade and fail.  “Awake, awake, put on your strength…” Isaiah 52:1.  We are not those who die away.  We are not those who slumber about seeking sustenance.  We do not lull half-blind through deserted places refusing the Word of the Lord.  We are those with eyes wide open.  Those who know the way to the Tree of His Eternal Life.  We are those who enjoy His Abiding.  We are those who eat, drink and are strengthened….
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law,” Psalm 119:18.  “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,” Proverbs 22:17.  We are those who humble ourselves and ask to experience the goodness of His Government.  We ask to experience the goodness of a food, a Word, that by all measure of our reasoning seems to mean the death of ourselves.  We ask and He answers and we are not disappointed.  We humbly eat His Governmental Word.  We receive the directives of His good command.  And therefore, we are conscious and engaged!  We see and experience things as they really are.  We are awake… .for eternity!  We are awakened by His command day after day!
  

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