Monday, November 17, 2014

How can He wait?

How can He wait? How can the Lord delay coming to be with us, how can He stand to put off cleansing this earth of cruelty and murder and every evil thing and come and dance with us? 

If He had done it from the very beginning, we wouldn't be the multitude of multiverses we are now, but if the Father hadn't specified the day and the hour, and if the Son hadn't fully committed Himself to obedience, I don't know how He could hold Himself back. It is His very nature, love, and He wants to be found and seen and rejoiced and danced and loved with us. How can we hardly wait?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wright on rapture and rascally belief

This makes the second video I've seen where Wright alludes to our care or stewardship of the Earth as it is now having some sort of direct relation to Jesus' return and direct rule as King. It's as if he thinks that we should spiff things up a bit now so as to somehow impress our soon coming King, and perhaps He will give us some sort of civic appointment in his divine Kingdom. I'm not sure if Wright is enjoining this behaviour because he thinks believers will be vying for the post of Dog Catcher or 1000 year tenured seats on the city council, or he's giving a gentle sop to the Gaian Save the Earth movement. 

I agree with his point that eternity is not spent on a cloud in the mystic heavens. Scriptures are quite plain that God has created materiality as a good thing and He intends to reign over it with His family forever, particularly evidenced by His eternal union with creation in the person of Jesus, who is the divine Word in the flesh. However, the way Jesus cleanses this planet and installs His rule is miraculous and without our personal contributions at every turn - the waters of the earth are made clean from a fountain that springs from His throne in Jerusalem, disease is cured from the leaves of particular trees that are not yet in evidence, and evil people are rounded up and separated at His judgement alone. There is no evidence that believers redeem the world in any way, although believers are given positions to rule directly under His appointment and methodology - after Jesus has established His authority directly Himself.

I will also say this about the  "evangelical" tradition of eternity in the sweet bye and bye, forever singing praises to God in the company of the faithful. Evangelicalism in America (and that is the strain Wright likes to dig at - those common, unlearned, unwashed masses) grew up from the 19th century poor who had no one to call upon for help other than God. For a people who could see no farther than this year's harvest or past the losses of business downturns and family taken by disease, it was comfort enough to know that the troubles of this life would be overcome by the joy in the Presence of God for all eternity. Details about resurrections and kingdoms could not be bothered with when faith in God's promises was its own miracle in the presence of this troubled life.  That Wright and the green movement alike can enjoin "care" for the planet is a 21st century First World concern, and can easily be overturned wholesale should famine, drought, pestilence, and plague return to the West.

All is not lost, however, as to our treatment of Earth should you be feeling God does not care about it all. The whole of our behaviour on this planet falls under the mandate of stewardship given to Adam in the garden of Eden. Although he lived for only a time in that garden, his stewardship appointment was worldwide and for all his descendents. We are not in service to the Earth, but we have been directed to cultivate and replenish the planet in service to God. We draw from the Earth for our physical needs, but we also maintain and reshape it so that the whole of it might become an abundant garden, more filled with life of every kind that it might ever have been had it been left to progress without us. The idea that humans are a pestilence upon the planet is a direct accusation that God's authority (and His appointed representatives of His authority - humans who walk in obedience to Him,)  is Itself the prime source of degradation and woe. Leave it to the devil to call good evil, the truth a lie, and the cultivation of life death, and so appoint himself as ruler. Some things never change. 

[Note: the other video]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A shake and a wave goodbye

A long planned for miracle got off without a hitch yesterday. No weddings, just a big pickup of household items by Habitat Restore. I get a tax write off and a bunch of people are going to find some Great furniture for sale this weekend. In the haul were two gorgeous cherry bookcases I had built when I finally started to have enough money to decorate, four Couristan and Karistan rugs that Mother always swore were my inheritance and she just LOVED, and a little white metal porch table of my sister's.

That little table was the Only personal item left in her room after she died. She had gotten rid of everything else she could, literally wiping herself out before she killed herself. I could tell you tales for hours about the histories and meanings of some of the things that have gone out of my house, but the point is that they are going out of me as well. There have been car loads of books to Friends of the Library, dozens of large plastic storage boxes to charities all over the city, so many office and art supplies donated to a school that the office lady had fear in her eyes that I was bringing in yet another cart full, and there will be more given yet. 

I only give good, useful things, the trash is thrown away. Sometimes, for some of us, the most difficult thing is distinguishing between the use of the things for others and how it's used in us. We blink at all that stuff with our fuzzy blue eyes and see how that's really a fine carpet and how maybe we could taking up sewing with some of those twenty five crates of fabric, and with the same glance we are consciously and determinedly Not looking at how those things are not a part of who we are or where we want to be. The illusion of value coats every surface, after all, look at how much it cost and we may never have the chance to own something like that again, but grief and lost affections are the intoxicating perfume they release, every whiff a trigger of memory and a flashback of what could have been. With every load that I've given away, I've felt - physically sensed - the things being lifted out and carried away from me. 

Now, I'm not so foolish as to think that I can alter who I am by refining my possessions, but when I woke up this morning my back felt like it had been to the chiropractor. Knots and tension released all the way to my tailbone and the stress in my muscles properly aligned so I could carry my own weight lightly once again.  Happy fall mornings call for happy dance music, so I dialed up a bunch of music to bake by, especially my new theme song Shake It Off.

I decided I was not a whole wheat person, even tho I'm supposed to like it, so I've thrown out the whole wheat bread I made last weak and have my soft buttermilk bread in the oven. There is much to be done and it's a glorious, colorful, sunshiny day to do it in. 

Up in the music queue came For Good.  Although I would have loved to be haunted by my sister after she died, there was never a moment where I felt her presence again. She and I were battle buddies in the trench war that was our family, and I was devastated. As I sang in the kitchen this morning, somehow she and I sang that song to each other. It was only a moment, completely unexpected and never to be longed for again, but two friends with only joy and love and peace and pride at having been sisters, no burdens to carry anymore.

For Good

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes the sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore

Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Last time on this road

"Gonna burn my map, I'm tired of travelin', I've been more miles than I know..."

I've been plowing thru Pia Mellody, thankful I was excited enough to order CDs of lectures she did some years ago about codependence and various things that it screws up. She's much more interesting to listen to that way, she is livelier and younger and has some funny stories to tell that help me relate. Six down, ordered eight more, that should be enough to meditate on for a few weeks.

Have you ever noticed how getting free is exhilarating AND exhausting? I mean, I learn some new stuff, discover things I had no idea were happening, get relieved that now I know what foolishness I've been caught up in - and then I have to take a nap and just black out for a couple of hours. It's not unlike the healing process my leg is doing - I get a little progress and discover I have a bit more strength, walk a little longer and a little farther for a couple of days, then my leg says, "Nope. We sittin' this one out." And it's swelling and pain for a day or two, then... "Hey, let's do Walmart AND go walk the track this morning!" 

Nothing is happening according to plan, but it is progressing. That's why I enjoyed finding that song above by accident yesterday. I'm a big time map reader and route planner. I've always got a list and and a plan about how things are going to work, if I just work it hard enough, if I can just catch myself and the universe at the right moment and make it all work out until I get where I want to go! Well, not only has that never actually worked more than a few months at a time, but the methodology itself is a symptom of codependence and maybe an addiction or two. 

"Seen a lot of days at a highway's pace, and they take their toll on me.
There's a lot of things I've left behind I might have never seen.
Gonna burn my map, I'm tired of traveling,
I've been more miles than I know.
I'm feeling happy and I'm feeling sad
It's my last time on the road."

At the beginning of this past week I heard this song from the Booth Brothers bubbling up in my spirit as I woke one morning. I didn't know the song well enough to know what the lyrics were and I had to search thru the songs I had to find which one it was, but when I did I was almost frightened me that I already had a song hidden away that spoke to recovery. I can't stress this enough - the more I require relief and salvation from the Lord, the more He gives it. That's His name, it is the very thing He wants to be known for all over the world - Jesus, Yeshua, God is my salvation. 


Jim Brady

We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of
Made mistakes along the way
Walked the path of least resistance
Traveled roads that led to shame
But there’s no need to be held captive
Beneath the weight that blame can bring
Just pour your heart out to the Savior
He alone can break the chains

There is freedom and forgiveness
There is peace and sweet relief
Grace and mercy now are waiting
When you bow at Jesus’ feet

So bring your cares and every burden
Lay them down and walk away
Say “Goodbye” to all that haunts you
Leave your guilt to yesterday
Hope will dawn with each tomorrow
The grip of fear will lose its hold
Defined no longer by your failures
You’ll find strength in letting go

There is freedom and forgiveness
There is peace and sweet relief
Grace and mercy now are waiting
When you bow at Jesus’ feet



Jim Brady

We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of
Made mistakes along the way
Walked the path of least resistance
Traveled roads that led to shame
But there’s no need to be held captive
Beneath the weight that blame can bring
Just pour your heart out to the Savior
He alone can break the chains

There is freedom and forgiveness
There is peace and sweet relief
Grace and mercy now are waiting
When you bow at Jesus’ feet

So bring your cares and every burden
Lay them down and walk away
Say “Goodbye” to all that haunts you
Leave your guilt to yesterday
Hope will dawn with each tomorrow
The grip of fear will lose its hold
Defined no longer by your failures
You’ll find strength in letting go

There is freedom and forgiveness
There is peace and sweet relief
Grace and mercy now are waiting
When you bow at Jesus’ feet
- See more at:

So, in the spirit of happy and freedom, here's a link to a concert the Nashville Bluegrass Band did Durham, NC in 1996. It's high quality and it will make your body move in that strange rhythm and light that is mountain bluegrass music, just let it shoot thru your veins and rewire your brain. Ain't nothin' like what those high creeks can brew.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

"The track passes between the buildings and soon you come to Jacobs Ladder indicated by a National Trust Sign. It derived its name from one Jacob Marshall who farmed in Edale in the 1700s and cut steps in the hillside to make it easier to climb. The steps are now “manicured” stone ones. Climb these."

When the experienced say, "go this way," I've learned to listen, mostly because I'm kinda old and really tired of all the late hours and wasted time I've spent thrashing it out for myself. That doesn't mean it's the easy way, but it's the way that'll get me there for certain. My time keeps getting shorter, I want to get there before my time is gone.

"There’s a line from an old spiritual which says, Sometimes I up, sometimes I’m down, sometimes I’m almost on the ground…..but see what the end shall be.  And this is what the Lord is doing here: he is showing us what the end shall be. There is a cross to get through, but there is glory on the other side.

The text (Matthew 17) says – Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.  Now we often pass over this fact, that they had to climb that mountain. And the climb was no easy task. Any one who has been to the sight of Tabor knows what high mountain it is. The climb was almost 2000 feet, high and steep. It may have taken the better part of a day and probably had its dangers. Once at the top it is like looking from an airplane window out on the Jezreel Valley."

I thought I'd throw in a shot of Mt Tabor in spring, just to show it ain't all tears and woe.

I broke my leg six weeks ago. Enforced bed rest and confinement at home has let my ADD brain follow it's complicated process thru to completion on a number of things. I haven't been off from work for this length of time in about 35 years, and although the leg issues have taken up quite a bit of my attention, it is a blessing to finish up question after question that usually gets lost in the busyness that is normal work and home daily life. If ever you've seen a piled up, cluttered desk top, then you know what the inside of my head feels like. I put something down to come back to it, then I can't see it when I come back, so I don't finish dealing with it, I just go with whatever shows up next. The mess just never ends. 

In any case,  I've settled into a routine where I dig into the resources until I hit that "oh, my God" moment of identification and have to stop until I've reviewed all the memories, experienced all the emotions again in the light of the truth, and talked to my self and talked to God about it several times. It takes all that before I can settle down and place that element back into history, making it the past again. I'd like to put some sort of geo-fencing on the types and behaviours for the future, something that would light up in my mental Google glasses and trigger Siri to say, "Warning! Do you want to go down this road again?" 

This morning I came across some vintage Pia Mellody here and here. In the first, she mentions briefly the difficulty codependents have in knowing who they are. We are so attuned to taking care of others and conforming to someone else's needs and expectations that we just draw a blank when someone asks, "What do you want? What are you passionate about?" It's true, and I can't explain to you how it's true. So much of what is on my list of things to do are what I should do, not what makes me happy. Her solution for discovering what makes us happy, and by inference who we are, is so simple and easy and obvious - to people who grew up experiencing it, not so much to some of the rest of us.

Her great idea? Try things you are drawn to, see if you actually like it, and if you don't, do something else. I don't want to go into the details or history of how that didn't happen in our house growing up, but hearing her say that somehow frees something in me to not worry about choosing the perfect, acceptable outcome from the very beginning. I can try one thing, and if I don't like it all that much, I can do something else. 

Sounds too simple and how can anyone be that dumb, eh, smartypants?

Here's a long quote from someone who didn't understand codependents until she learned it from the inside. 

"I saw people who were hostile; they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again. They were that angry because anyone who had tolerated what they had would be that angry.
   They were controlling because everything around and inside them was out of control. Always, the dam of their lives and the lives of those around them threatened to burst and spew harmful consequences on everyone. And nobody but them seemed to notice or care.
   I saw people who manipulated because manipulation appeared to be the only way to get anything done. I worked with people who were indirect because the systems they lived in seemed incapable of tolerating honesty.
   I worked with people who thought they were going crazy because they had believed so many lies they didn't know what reality was.
   I saw people who had gotten so absorbed in other people's problems they didn't have time to identify or solve their own. These were people who had cared so deeply, and often destructively, about other people that they had forgotten how to care about themselves. The codependents felt responsible for so much because the people around them felt responsible for so little; they were just taking up the slack.
   I saw hurting, confused people who needed comfort, understanding, and information. ... I saw victims struggling desperately to gain some kind of power over their perpetrators. They learned from me, and I learned from them.
   Soon, I began to subscribe to some new beliefs about codependency. Codependents aren't crazier or sicker than alcoholics. But, they hurt as much or more. They haven't cornered the market on agony, but they have gone through their pain without the anesthetizing effects of alcohol or other drugs, or the other high states achieved by people with compulsive disorders. And the pain that comes from loving someone who's in trouble can be profound.
   "The chemically dependent partner numbs the feelings and the non-abuser is doubled over in pain - relieved only by anger and occasional fantasies, " wrote Janet Geringer Woititz in an article from the book Co-Dependency, An Emerging Issue.
   Codependents are that way sober because they went through what they did sober.
   No wonder codependents are so crazy. Who wouldn't be, after living with the people they've lived with?"

I've been walking, well, hobbling for a whole week now, still flat footed, still fighting sensitivity, heat, and constant agitation along the bone where I'm the proud new owner of a steel plate and nine screws. I wanted to be walking laps by now, but it's either wait for my leg to tell me what it's ready for or try to force it and be forced back into bed rest until the pain retreats. It's like that healing a wounded soul as well. I can tell a little difference day by day, I get a little stronger and my expectations change. I may always walk having been wounded, but I'm getting better all the time.

 Romans 8:12-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.
We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

"No" is a complete sentence

Have just discovered Darlene Lancer via YouTube, and she hits so many nails on the head she sounds like a pneumatic nail gun. (Ever heard roofers rapid fire those shingles on?) Anyway, that's a link to the first video that so impressed me. Now, I'm reading her Codependency for Dummies book and have  Conquering Shame and Codependency waiting in the wings.

She also has a website and blog, if you'd rather read a little first.

And, since blog posts go better with illustrations, here's a picture of the fabric I'm using in the kitchen. I've searched for nine months for something to brighten up a decor that is threatening to become too dark, always trying to use cream or white variations to "bring in the light."  As it turns out, the most vivid and brilliant colors shine out of darkness.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It registers

Lowell George - Heartache

Just heard this for the first time this morning, the last song on his last album. "Heartache, find another place to be. I'm tired of being your best friend. Look to another for your companion, and when you do, my pain will end." 

I'm not sad today, I'm finding my way out of decades of confusion, but I still understand the confusion, and the decades. It just never ends when you want it to. I'm not ready to turn around and try to reach back into Heartache and call for the next person to come out, maybe I'll never be the right person to do that, but I think, and I even hope, that I will always remember Heartache. My prayer might even be that I will always carry a bruised place in my own heart, one that hums along in mercy and tears when I hear that pain moaning in someone else's voice.

Years ago I got my finger stuck in a belt loader. The other people with me didn't understand what was happening, but I got it stopped and out in time before it ate up my hand. It had worn the skin off and having to fight it both horrified me and scared me half to death. That loader was moved and we had a different one when I went out to that job again. Months later, the loaders were switched again. Although no one mentioned the change, my hand recognized the feel of it the instant I took hold of it, the frequency of the engine vibration was unique. The pain shot thru my hand again and the terror shot thru my heart. I came off that loader before my brain could register I was even in motion.

I guess this little post is just an encouragement to carry mercy and pity with you always, for once you were That Guy, and only by the grace of God you are no more. Which guy? The one who vibrates at the frequency that makes you shriek in pain and horror. He's still being churned up by instruments that would destroy the whole world if left to run unhindered, and you recognize the frequency. Remember to share your light and fire with him, not on him, and maybe leave a bit of room for him to get away from what is eating him up for a little while. It might be the space and time he needs to get free. The moment between freedom and complete destruction is just so very quick.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Battle of Chesme

That's a very famous painting of the Battle of Chesme, "fought on the night of July 56, 1770 between a Russian squadron under the command of Count Aleksei Grigoryievich Orlov and an Ottoman fleet under Hassan Bey at Chesme bay on the western Anatolian Mediterranean coast." Fought and won by the Russians six years before we ever declared our Independence in these United States. "The strategic result for Russia was command of the sea in the Aegean during the remainder of its war with the Ottoman Empire. When a peace treaty was signed at Küçük Kaynarca in 1774, the Ottoman Empire recognized Russian claims to represent Christian interests in the empire."

Some things were decided long before we ever came along, and Christians in America need to keep that in mind. American exceptionalism is a wonderful thing, it is true, but we tend to magnify it past our real responsibilities, as well as the power and history of other nations and peoples to act in their interests.  I say that after years of listening to quite a bit of exhortation to pray about world events, particularly at this season in God's time. We should pray, we don't ask nearly enough of Him and we don't lean on Him nearly enough, but that does NOT make us responsible for everything that happens.

We are a dysfunctional people, overstimulated and overworked, no matter how much we try to put the "fun" into it all. Because we can do so much, we think we should be doing so much more - and we all have a list tucked away somewhere with all those things on it. I've actually taken to hanging great big lists of things that need to be done on the walls in my house renovation effort. For every room, right down to the half bath, there's a list of things that need finishing to get finished, but after looking at all the details it's no wonder I haven't - I need a work crew for two weeks to get it all done!

Revelation: vision + ability x strength ≠ responsibility

Even though I can see what needs doing, and I'm able to do or hire done every job, DOES NOT mean I am able to respond and accomplish the vision. It's about learning one's limits, we all see farther than we can grasp, not because we aren't smart or talented or hard working, but because time is against us. There isn't enough time to comprehend it all in our seeing or working or praying. Americans have a very hard time with this, we have done So Much already, we want to do more.

In some things, we never could, so we should cut ourselves some slack. I'm reading Grandchildren of Alcoholics: Another Generation of Co-Dependency as a break from another book where I have to make lists and dredge up personal history. I started out underlining things, but had to give that up as I would end up highlighting most of every page. It's good stuff, I'm the sort of person that I can get out of a mental trap if I know it's there, so it's releasing me from all sorts of triggers I've never been able to figure out. 

Reading it is also making the point that all sorts of battles were being fought and bargains made long before I came along, I was just conformed to the patterns already set. My release is not to make things right or repair the family bonds, it's only to change my own thinking, expectations, and behaviours. History is heavily against me in trying to change it all, my own time is short for what I might accomplish in my self, so that I get anything done in a day or a week is really an accomplishment - although it may be that no one but me and the Lord ever appreciate that.

The painting above was not chosen for illustration, it's the image on a jewelry pendant made from a Russian stamp featuring that painting. I bought it two years ago, one of several, the others given away as gifts. This one I liked for myself because of so many allusions in it to things I was praying about, then and since. I found it again this week and finally strung it on a chain. It's resting near my heart, the prayers continue to rest before the Lord, the answers still unknown by me, but perhaps the responses were set in motion long before I ever asked. The very best I can do is wait and accept them as they come. It's very, very hard.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Da beginin'

That little lolcat is on to something big. Nuffing will ever change unless you can see the nuffing that needs change. Fifty something years thinking some things were not, other things were sumfing else, and taking comfort in a few things that actually were really big problems.

Like being tough, tough enough to go without and go it alone. Some really funky point of view changes going on - like thinking maybe I need someone who can read right thru the defensive smiles and defusive understatements and know what all that really means. And care.

Still have nuffing  - but nao I can see it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time out of mind

(This post is actually from some months ago, but it ended up in the draft bin. So here it is now, instead.)

I found this article absolutely Fascinating, for two reasons. One, the 80 millisecond lag interested me because it seems that lights always take much longer to go off than that for me. That is to say, when I flip the switch that turns off the light, it looks like it takes almost a full second for the light to "run out." I couldn't imagine what the electrical excuse could possibly be for it, but it's probably just my brain. There are all sorts of implications in this article for people whose brains have a lag between one part and another, and for people (like me) who have especially high thresholds for attention spans and focus.

The second aspect, yet the trigger that brought me into the article, was the idea that things happen, but our brains lag until they've Formed the perception of it. As a Christian, I've always looked for some kind of analogy to explain to people how one "hears" God, because the word "hear" is so very audible, but the experience is pretty much guaranteed not to be. That is, God doesn't talk in your ear, he talks to your spirit, but the experience is not subjective - he is not you, he has his own words to say and, for the most part, they are not what you expected or particularly wanted to hear.

The analogy I've come up with is that when you "hear" him, it's the immediacy and the echo of someone who's just spoken. You know, like when someone at the next desk tells another friend, "Our English test has been moved up to this afternoon." Wait! What??? You were doing your own thing but the echo of those words are stamped very clearly in your mind. Or perhaps an announcement comes over the loudspeaker at Walmart, "Will the party meeting Darcy Milbanks please come to the Service Counter to pick up Mr. Milbanks." You may not be meeting anyone as you browse the cereal aisle, but the words catch your imagination a moment later as you recall, "Darcy Milbanks. That's a bit unusual for around here. I wonder what that's all about."

The voice of God is something like that. I'm not hearing it audibly, but I'm perceiving it as if the words still hung in the air between us. 

There's a second aspect to the voice of God that is ALWAYS true: He never disagrees with Himself. He will never say anything or ask you to do anything that doesn't line up with scripture. Count on it.

Now that you know that He always agrees with the Bible, you want to know where the best place is to hear Him? The scriptures. Just go read them. Read them so you are familiar with all of them. Don't worry about understanding them all, just read them all until you know all the stories really well, can recognise when someone is quoting the New Testament or the Old Testament straight away and (this is when you know you are starting to know the sound of his voice) you know when someone is misquoting the Bible. When you know someone has inserted words that aren't there, or has left out the the big context of a scripture so they can bend the truth and whine about their pet peeve instead, then you know you are beginning to recognise God's voice.

I heard someone make a great analogy once about knowing the scriptures and hearing the voice of God out of them, and it really is true. Imagine you had a little wireless teletype machine, one that you could use to send messages back and forth by radio, but the only messages you could receive would be the ones you had letters for. So if you only had five letters of the alphabet on your machine, you could make out short little words and do some little abbreviations of some others, and you could get some kind of information going back and forth.

Well, imagine if you got five more letters of the alphabet on your teletype message machine, what an explosion of information you'd have in your ability to send and receive message traffic! It's the same way with the voice of God, He is going to talk to you first out of the Word. The message of salvation is the same as it's been since that first day Jesus came out of the grave, and that's the first thing God is trying to get over to you. After that, He's trying to talk to you thru all the other things He put in those scriptures - and if you will go add those to your receiver, He can talk to you out of them, just like adding alphabet keys to your typewriter.

The Holy Spirit is your teacher and He is present with you always, and will never leave you. You don't have to go to every church in town or graduate seminary or hire a tutor to teach you about God. Read the scriptures, talk about what you are reading with your Father God, and let the Holy Spirit instruct you from the inside out.  If you are listening to Him, don't be rehearsing all the time what you used to think, just observe what's going on in the Bible and follow along with what He is saying in there. You'll learn if you LISTEN.

 (Don't worry, worryworts, the Holy Spirit always leads us to be in the company of fellow believers. Remember that in the scriptures?)