“What is Life”?

What is life? Is it not as a vapor that appears for a short time only to vanish away?

Here but for only as a moment, as man measures time. Do we not get stuck in and hung up on the temporal? I conclude that most of us do so to some extent.

That extent can become the measuring rod for what we call life; and can end up defining life for us. However, God is Eternal in nature. He states that we are created in His likeness.

Why do we not see through His eyes of Eternal perspective naturally? Is it simply because we do not allow ourselves to be truly born again by His Spirit; born of both water and Spirit?

I seemed to have lost the ability to think in complexity or detail. I must keep all my thinking quite basic and simple or I get lost in process of life and can not arrive at a place of making a decision for a next step. I wait and pray. I have pondered what to write. I have waited for a deeper message from God. There seems to be no deeper message than the simple Gospel; which is my conclusion.

Why has much of the world made life so complex? Simple and basic seem to hold little value for many in this day. Does one have to muster up an expression of uniqueness to be heard, seen or acknowledged as someone having something of value to offer to their world? Why does that matter so much? We forget so readily that “in Christ” we all hold the same intrinsic value. Is Jesus’ sacrificial work on the Cross no longer enough that we readily dismiss it to assume way of making a life for our self that is self centered or inward focus oriented? Why allow someone else to define who I am? I am who God says that I am.

Contemporary thinking seems to elude my understanding at times. Is it possible to lose one’s mind’s ability to function in contemporary conventionality? Yes, I conclude; sometimes this may be so. Is that a good thing? It depends on the reason for the question. Sometimes God’s call eludes our defining of it.

What happens when my thinking no longer meshes with what comprises the here and now that I see with my eyes and how I feel about such? It is then when the surrounding becomes so overwhelming that I simply must close my eyes and sit in silence. It is then when there is nothing to do but be still and then the Words of God can become so very clear.

As I listen now to old Gospel songs and hymns their message is so clear, concise, and to the point. Yet the world has moved on in the greater sense. The message of such music composition no longer deliverers to the soul of many it’s original message. Why is this? These lyrics are ever so clear that I wonder how can anyone miss their message? Why do we always have to seek some new thing? Sometimes I gloss over in what becomes too familiar. It loses meaning. I sense that the church has been infiltrated by and for the greater sense, a religious spirit. Has such pervaded our thinking over many years of time and rocked us to sleep unto the Eternal perspective that should by nature, direct in the spirit of a child of God?

Heaven calls to me in this moment more than ever and it is not a place one goes to. Heaven can be already present if one is “in Christ”. Heaven can be, I believe a state of being and not necessarily a destination. Jesus’ work on the Cross is full and complete and lacking nothing. Heaven must be introduced into wherever we are in life and into whatever place we may find ourselves in. Yet “there” conflict can arise.

Why does so much of the world find itself so far from what God defines as Heaven? Heaven feels so natural to me at this moment and it is as though now it beckons me to come and merge. The Spirit and the bride do say “come” indeed.

What happens when one dies to this world in order to embrace “Heaven” that God’s Word addresses? Is this “going home? Is there “a letting go” process so that one may return “home”? The functionality of the mind can pose many questions when it’s integrity becomes compromised; be it due to disease or the need to be transformed rather than continuing to conform. Then walking by the Spirit is the only way through. Therein one comes into the peace that passes all understanding when it feels like I’m losing all then becomes one of “gaining all” as in the Presence of the Lord is true liberty discovered.

If one is truly born again from above or “in Christ” they are Eternal in spirit and never really die. They merely leave the body at some point. To leave an aging and suffering body’s constraints is immense relief is it not? So why is so much effort spent to “achieve” the worldly goods within this life? Why can’t we be and remain in a perspective of Eternity in walking out life; where a sense of nothingness can be engulfed in a fullness? When death is arrested then one is truly free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

Life begins in the Presence of Jesus and there all else gains reason to matter and remain. In Him all is made new. So then, what holds significance and preeminence with you and I?

I hope that what I have stated here today amidst my questionings, applies in some way. It is the first prompting I have received to resume writing. I hope to continue as long as have capacity within me to express what I sense is being asked of me; a day at a time.

“Behold a Great Mystery”

What perhaps is the greatest mystery to us in relationships?
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the creation story taken out of Genesis 1 we pick up at verse 26 where it was declared “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. So as we look into the face of another we are beholding the very image of God or if not then what? Contemplate this, and then ask yourself why it might be that we could perceive otherwise? There are perhaps two elements at work in opposition to one another; one temporal and the other Eternal? One being flesh and blood, the other Spirit. When a marriage breaks up it seems this likely begins with the couple failing to recognize one another being the express image of God to one another. Did the marriage commence from being based on such expressed image or did they simply marry one another’s attracting qualities? It is so imperative to be in love with Jesus first and foremost before you can truly love another person fully and behold in their face the face of your First Love. May you and I choose Eternity over the temporal in every decision in life especially when it comes to relationships.

At the cross Jesus restored God’s original creation plan in full. We simply have to believe and act upon it fully with our lives. Such transformation is the next move of God through those who will act in belief and trust. “A remnant that becomes pregnant with the Promise”. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
(1 Corinthians 15:45-49) Be the express image of that which we truly and fully are!

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over all His creation. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” And now God sees the same that He always has since the Cross. May we take on the same Eternal sight and perspective. Being fully in the image in which you were created is a sight to behold and to set one’s sight on.

“This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32) ESV)

“All that You ever asked For”

You never asked me to be or do anything
But bring my heart to You, O my King.
There, may You rule and reign for all time,
What shall I say, what I shall bring?
I need not reach unto the sky for my heart to sing,
To obtain the things that neither man nor money can bring.
So why do I try and continually seek after signs of such thing?

All that You ever asked for, was my heart
My heart, losing its intricacies of life,
Embracing all of You; that’s all that really matters.
So why do I keep distant from such a real fine place to start?
In all simplicity tis’ my only real part.
Believing I have to rise to some greater art
When You never said I had to step
Upon broken rungs of by my own resign,
In hopes that something new they might offer to design.

You never asked me to complete the journey
All by myself, finding all I need without the complimentary help.
So why do I try to ascend unto the sky,
While there is a helpmeet standing ready by my side?
Oh, You never asked me to be a stand-alone.
To face the struggles all on my own,
So why do I try to obtain that which in You, is already mine?

When all that You ever asked for was my heart,
My heart, back to its childlike simplicity
Losing all the complexity I have gained along the way.
Seems like at times such a mighty task
Why do I feel I have to reach for the sky before I ask?
Believing I have to rise to something greater first
When All I ever needed has been the all the time.
These broken rungs cannot hold nor serve me any longer.
Seems it is time to release and let them go.
On new stepping stones I now choose to go.
Answers to many questions on this side of the picture
Are not mine at this time to know in point or juncture.

Because all they do is take my eyes off of You.
Help me forget the truth of what does not matter.
Beholding through the glass darkly through the eyes of grace,
From glory unto glory I shall embrace fully, then see face to face.

Silver and gold be not the harmony of such exchange.
Things of this world cannot arrange such basis and beauty,
Of such as I have and freely bring, as I have freely received.
Without money or price, exceeds a priceless treasure,
At greatest of cost by the Cross,
Purchased, renewed by the Saviour.
Richest of gain to receive, the letting go of what was lost.

All that You ever wanted was my heart
My heart; its intricacies fade into simplicity.
Life as a vapor, appears for a short time, soon to eclipse away.
A life transcends in child-like savor as there is only but today.
There is nothing to distress or dismay any longer,
Hope and faith arises as the best yet ever unfolds just yonder!

“And I share with you A Great Mystery”

Have you ever had God speak to you by trying to show you a solution to an apparent dilemma in your life? It may be addressing something or a situation in your life that is seemingly holding you back from taking that “one mere step” that would place you in the zone of “uncomfortable”. This may lead you to say “God, I just don’t know; I just have never attempted anything like this before. I have never ventured there. I feel more comfortable simply going with what I know I can do based upon what I have already done before”. The “risk factor” can strike fear into our “thinking out process” can it not?

Today I am bringing you into a story I am currently walking out; which is the divine story for which God has already written the script. I will attempt to as the natural storyteller that I am, to illustrate from my life something God wishes to illustrate to those desiring to follow out exploring what God calls “a great mystery”. This mystery pertains to Christ and His church and His recipe for this relationship. This is a story of intimate radical love. Yet it begins in a setting of doing business or the commerce of life. It begins with building a foundation of practical and sound wisdom centered in and from the heart of God. Until I began to write this piece today, I did not know to where I was to venture.

May I begin by illustrating from such an example where God has presented me with an invitation into an opportunity that seems to be of divine appointment. It appears that He has brought together circumstances and connections that require my exploration simply by faith that as I step into where vital pieces seem to be missing, believing that God can and will meet and fill those empty places with divine compliment which is to come from another person. I have been given repeated scriptural references to proceed and yet will I dare to simply take God at His Word? You see it is an “unknown” until I take the steps. This pertains to a business relationship potential where I am to take gifting and talent that God has placed within me which I have previously used in the market place in other ways in life. God has a new recipe for which my skill set and expertise offer key ingredients. The other person is in similar straights, over maxed in trying to achieve success with their expertise. So I and this other person met in a class we enrolled in months ago and now there seems to be an “intersection” forming which is awaiting “appointing action”.

I creatively write mainly around a focus of the home environment atmosphere and that of community and the enhancement thereof; as in bringing the two together. As a natural storyteller, I help bring people and their dreams together. Utilizing my talents and skills in an artistic flair for interior and exterior design, I serve as a unique expression to bridge the home with the market place. I elect to not go into much detail on this now. This is where I have begun to copy write to align people with their dreams of expression. I have a knack for bringing the mundane into beauty in practical but unusual expressions; an artist with an uncanny imagination to capture what people envision and to come up with a means to cater to their hopes and aspirations. I meet them, observe and assimilate their aspirations into a mosaic. I assimilate the history of the conduit through which a particular portion of the fulfillment of their dream is united with them in material form. This can be a piece of real estate or it can be another point of intersecting destination. Each contains it’s story which is matched to the client’s story in the making. I help to unite people with their dreams tangibly. What surmounts to a higher skill set in formation is being given definition through this story. I’ll introduce you to the other characters as we proceed.

So God is asking me to take the “conventional” of what I know into something “unconventional” in His unique design. So I find myself on a set of scales with the wisdom of God on one side and the “comforting going with what I know” on the other. I am at a “tipping point”. The wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man. How many of us are at such a place right now?

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men”. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

“For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” (1 Corinthians 3:19)

So what discoveries need to be made here? There are four basic points I wish to cover. Today we will merely touch upon the first; which is the basis for humility.

First, we learn that truth is the basis for humility. It is easy for us to think we are better than we really are. It is also easy for us to conclude we are not good enough or don’t have what it takes. So we continually reciprocate the same old same, over again throughout life, constantly rotating in and out of failure and success yet never advancing. What does this illustrate? An absence of a standard of truth.
Arrogance is a distorted view of oneself and of reality; humility is seeing matters as they really are. What is God’s prescription here? It is, I believe to expose and to expound a mystery. In its broadest terms, a mystery is that truth which mortal men would never have imagined and which they are unable and unwilling to believe, even when it is revealed to them.

I conclude that God’s mysteries have four stages. So in order that we may give these adequate exploration I will leave off here today on this point. Yes, I will leave you hinged upon a mystery in hopes you will be back and wish to stay with me on this. This is a process without a timetable. It seems God is giving me this story that He wants shared; perhaps a greater story never yet told in this way. I am discovering and growing into a better version of myself as hopefully you will as well, as we proceed. I plan to take take this adventure in short daily dices so patience be with the process. Today’s piece has been merely a segway introduction into where are headed; so I’ll see you here next time.

“Boundary Lines that Limit Faith”

It seems that after about a week of time of time I am beginning to see some light at the end of a tunnel. A tunnel of uncertainty and one of simply waiting upon God for clarity to come. I stated in my last post “Transitioning Into True Transformation”, that there seems to be unfolding, a newly defined ministry by the mercies of God, through my current set of circumstances that I have not been able to fully see, let alone understand. Yet I do not lose heart. While it may seem that I am losing ground through the looking glass of my known perceptions, truly I am gaining new ground upon the precipice of new lands in frontier unknown to me. It does not fit inside any box of the familiar. There is no cookie cutter or mold by which to craft it. God is doing a new thing. I am merely saying “yes” as I step into a totally new and unknown frontier for me. I came across a post made by Frank Damazio a few days ago which states “Push the boundary lines that limit faith. Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” This made me stop and ponder a few observations.

I always am and always shall be pushing on the limits of my level of faith. Those limits never leave me feeling comfortable. There is never a place in which I can arrive at and feel that I have “attained”. There shall always be “a next step” to take that will be calling me into “the uncomfortable”. Something I will have to contend and fight for. Faith is continually on the rise as the heat of the fire of God is increasing. Are you perhaps as well right sensing that you are fighting for unknown territory in your life right now? You “will” step into that as you realize that you are not in bondage. You are free! And why do I say that? Because “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

It is religious thinking that holds us back. We can become enslaved in a religious spirit and not even be aware of it. God is not distant and humanity does not need to “do anything” to draw His attention toward us. Christ’s love already totally fulfilled us in every sense at the Cross. There is nothing missing or lacking. Jesus already died to erase all of what we may perceive to be “in our way”. Whatever it is that we may be hanging on to, has already forgiven and paid for in Jesus’ name!

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. (John 10:10) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14) Jesus speaks here of greater works beyond what we believe to be possible to come through us.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV)
He has already deposited gifting and talent within us that are beyond our own capabilities. So have you or I put any such on the shelf simply because we could not see any way through to proceed with it? I know I can say I have and I choose to pick it back up once again and dare to believe God for what I may feel is impossible. Saying “I don’t know how” is not something I can sit in any longer.

So what calls me forward in a bold act of faith? For me it is a matter of the measure of love behind that act. It is not based in ‘what is in it for me”, but rather to what degree am I compelled out of love to move toward that unknown, to touch the heart and life of another because “the love of Christ” compels me beyond my own desire?

I am not “needing to be loved” in order “to love”. I am infinitely loved and the ones I am drawn to, carry the same intrinsic value as I. My “unknown” does not need to meet anyone’s approval or measure up to anyone’s standard. It is God’s business, not mine. It is not I who seeks to be consulted; but rather it is ‘Christ in me” the hope of glory, who comforts all their affliction, and so that you or I may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) My ongoing rise and fall tempest with my physical health on stormy seas interspersed with calm havens are nothing more than equipping for what lies ahead. Therein is increase so that others may also enter into that increase in their lives.

Therein I lose the fear of being humiliated, being despised, suffering rebukes or correction, being subjected to false statements, being forgotten, being ridiculed, being wronged or of being suspected. It is not about me, but rather it about about esteeming others’ above my own needs. I am fully met in the fullness of Jesus. It may not always feel as such and I may not be able to physically see “yet” much of anything, however perfect love casts out all fear.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18 ESV)

Will you believe with me that that next person your or my life touches, the one we pray for, and our next act of worship will “tip the scales” to shake the ground of circumstance by releasing the power and presence of the One we carry within? Will we choose to walk in a radical love and live a radical life?

Transitioning into True Transformation

I find myself at a truly pivotal moment in life where I am having to take a true assessment of what it actually means for me to fully answer the call of God, to present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is my spiritual worship. I am not to be “conformed” to this world’s, or society’s standards, or mindful perceptions thereof, but rather I am be “transformed” by the renewal of my mind, that by testing therein I may discern what is the will of God, what is the good and acceptable and perfect expression of my life reflecting fully conformity to the the death of my Lord Jesus Christ which He already fulfilled on the cross.

Everything thing by which I have defined “who I am” is being taken to the cross. There is much being put to death at this moment so that I may come fully into life perhaps unrecognizable as to “who I have been”. So I may not be writing as frequently, as life as “I have known it”, is being eclipsed. I will do what I can to continue to journal my progression, however I cannot say how that will show up. I am being moved into experiencing new places, with new people, and new parameters in which how, where, and with whom I do life shows up much differently.

Therefore, having a newly defined ministry unfolding by the mercy of God, I do not lose heart. It does not fit inside any box. There is no cookie cutter or mold by which to craft it. God is doing a new thing. I am merely saying “yes” as I step into a totally new and unknown frontier for me. I adhere to a radical presentation of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfiltered, unadulterated, as I believe God is calling out and raising up an end time church that will be fully true in every sense to the radiant presence and character of our Lord Jesus Christ. A people of God that will fully declare with their lives that we are to be as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(1 Peter 2:9) God has always preserved such a remnant, kept in store, throughout all of history, I believe for this hour.

Even if this gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we are to proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6 ESV)

However having this treasure in an earthly vessel of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. I may afflicted in many a way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body experiencing the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in my body and hence life. May such in my life seek to reflect this. For as one who lives in flesh is being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in this mortal flesh. So that death may be at work in me, but life rising forth in those that bear witness unto transformation.

Choosing to let go of the perception of life from solely the five senses and no longer rest in what is able to be physically seen and felt, may we take on the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So may we do not lose heart. As the outer self is wasting away, the inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an “eternal weight of glory” beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
That we may see and taste fully of the goodness of God. To so experience such, that “this” is what we sow into life in every breathing moment.

May I, by the grace of Jesus be freed from “the desire of” the following;
Being loved by others
Being promoted in life
Being honored
Being praised
Being preferred over any other
Being consulted

May I by the grace of Jesus be freed from the following:
The desire of being approved
From the fear of being humiliated
From the fear of being despised
From the fear of suffering rebukes
From the fear of being subjected to false statements
From the fear of being forgotten
From the fear of being ridiculed
From the fear of being wronged
From the fear of being suspected.

May the needs of others may be esteemed above what I feel that I need from life.
What I feel I need from life I will solely ask of God alone and from Him alone arrive at the fulfillment and satisfaction thereof.

There is but one name under heaven by which man may be freed from such and his name is Jesus.

My focus is to go after the 1 in 99; just as Jesus did and to forsake all else in order to attain the finishing of this race of life with fullness of joy, in knowing I have run well faithfully unto the very end, with a servant’s heart. My reason for living being “a harvest” that bears an eternal weight of glory “or knowing the goodness of the Father’s heart” to the extent this overshadows all the temporal in life. Wherein “what matters” is of “Eternal nature”.

I lay down at the foot of the Cross, “my own burdens” which are not mine to carry. Jesus already fulfilled such. That is why He came. May we no longer remain the same; but rather choose to fully bear “His Name”.

“The Higher Calling”

In recent days in an ever increasing pronounced way, I sense that God is calling us to believe and trust Him for a measure of faith that will lift us up beyond where and how we have ever experienced life before. A new frontier, new lands where none of us have ever gone before or even ventured.

This being beyond our self realized concept of who we “think that we are”. A place where our “being right” no longer matters, where we can just let that fall aside and run off us like water from a ducks back. Where trivial things no longer hold importance and where our highest priority becomes that of esteeming our brothers and sisters needs, which include all who cross our path, to be above the importance of our own. Where we focus on truly loving and caring for one another genuinely. It is being who “God” says that we are.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

As sons and daughters of the most high God, under the reign of Christ, God sees only one race; sharing one inheritance.

A priesthood of royal descent purchased by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. A called out people to intercede for and serve all peoples. We come not to be served, but seek and and help restore that which is lost.
“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; and you will raise up the age old foundations; and you will be called repairer of the breach; the restorer of streets in which to dwell. (Isaiah 58:12)

Rebuild the broken households and families. Restore the structured unity in our neighborhoods and community and in the doing of business therein. Restore the values that most of society has let go of, abandoned or no longer embrace and adhere to. Where as men in our community we help uphold the single moms in common decent measures to encourage their healing and restoration. And wherein as men being better men as a result raising a higher standard as the protectors and uplifting of the well being of those God has placed in our sphere of influence and thus care and responsibility. Then our streets will be once again a place of peace and safety where true community is nurtured. I sense you get where I am going with this and are beginning to get a picture of a people with a hope and a future.

A people who possess and carry the very presence of God where ever we are and life takes us. Proclaiming and emanating His excellence; the character of Christ. Because we have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

Here is where I have chosen to set my sights. Consider the one who calls you who also will do it. You merely have to say “yes”. Only believe and step out and up into may be a stretch beyond your comfort zones. Do it anyway because you are destined for something much greater than where you stand right now.