forest path

forest path

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quiet Please


Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for me. Actually it is quite a few days before Christmas as I start to write this and it may be weeks after before I finish. I have many things on my mind. It has been many months since I have tried to put thoughts down on virtual paper.  So I will try to be concise and clear, though please forgive me if I fail. Much of this I write to myself in an attempt to clear the cob-webbed jumble from my cognitive attic.
 Obedience is a crucial thing in our lives, from little ones we are taught to obey our parents and elders. If we don’t obey or listen to Mom or Dad then we suffer a consequence for our excursion to the dark side. If we don’t obey the speed limit we can end up with a ticket or worse lose our life or take someone else’s.  As Christians we are instructed to obey God.  Yet I find myself distracted and swept away to something else. I tend to lose my focus and then have a hard time regaining it again. Sometimes I think I am afflicted with spiritual A.D.D.
Obey means to hear actively, do you hear God?  There is an action to the word or concept of obedience. Do you take the time to listen? What if God is speaking to you and you aren’t listening? What have you missed? Is it like the proverbial tree falling in the forest making noise question?  Another question I have had for a long time. What if God is speaking and I’m trying to listen but not hearing?
 Where does the desire to listen the come from? It originates from the seed of love which has germinated in our spiritual hearts toward God. It is part of the package that comes with total surrender to Christ’s gift of love toward us. And the time spent with him one on one, day by day, year upon year. Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God when they were in the Garden of Eden. They walked and talked with God as they strolled through the garden enjoying the different scents and floral perfumes which danced and floated through that heavenly air. God was in the house. They were focused on their benefactor and nothing else until they were distracted and quit listening.
 It seems we repeat the same mistake on a daily basis. We replaced the closeness and walks from the Garden of Eden for something much worse. We have allowed the things around us to set the stage in our lives and predicate what will be given our attention.
 Who told you were naked?
 We have allowed the things of this world to rob us of our walks and closeness. Our focus is constantly assailed by things so innocent “it’s ok to take a bite of the fruit you won’t die” and some so complacent.
 We fight this with discipline.
 DISCIPLINE is taking the reins and controlling the runaway carriage. I am in control I will do what has to be done. It is Re-ESTABLISHING OUR FOCUS. We take the first step and rely on the Holy Spirit to bolster and help us succeed. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
 PRIORITIES are the ladder of order which is strung together via primacy and by DISCIPLINE.
The discipline is exercised to set priorities and the time is set aside to listen. The more time spent listening, praying, the clearer we hear the voice of the shepherd.  In the silence we strengthen and hone our recognition of the Shepherds voice. But it becomes more than that, it is something that we should be practicing as an active listening, searching for what God is saying even in the noise of the day.
I will end this for now .
 2 Peter 5-9 using The Message translation
 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet; no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

Peace be to you,
Bro.James

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freedom


      One of the beautiful things about meandering is there is no set time to be any place in particular. As I was sitting in our glider in the yard I watched a blue jay fly around the yard. Stopping by to check out the closeness of our cat Tippy and to let him know in no uncertain terms he was being watched. Then off to the next tree, then the next and so on. As I watched a thought struck me. The bluejay was exhibiting total freedom within its domain.
The idea of freedom is not a manmade fabrication of great thinkers or focus groups. It is part of the creation we see around us. It is woven into the tapestry of creation. Why?  I believe it is because God who is the Creator acted freely when he/she created our world.
It was a conscience decision to create us and the world around us. There was no coercive force which pushed God to create the world or us. God is free therefore we are free because we are created in the image of God.
I have more to say about this but it is late till we meet again
Shalom
 Bro. James

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fresh Springs

The upwelling of fresh springs underneath the surface brings sustenance and renewal.  Quietly it brings life and refreshing to those within its’ sphere.
I have often thought this also should be the way of the Christian sojourner quietly bringing life to those within their sphere.  
Stagnant water stinks and has the stench of death around it.  Stagnant water eventually dries up in the heat of the summer sun.
Unfortunately, this is the way of many. When the heat from the trials and temptations come they evaporate, sometimes without even a remembrance they were there.
  Those living in the upwelling of fresh springs of the Holy Spirit may fade a bit in the enemies scorching heat. They do not dry up they persist and continue to spawn life carrying refreshment for those downstream. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Journey


As I traversed the desert of my soul, at first all I saw was its harshness and death. Its starkness and emptiness were striking and unnerving. 
The air was constricting and heavy,pulling away life and energy.
It was our Golgotha the place of testing.
 After crossing through to the seemingly unending side with the marks of the desert suffering on my body I looked back to see what I had been through.
I was expecting to see all the pain, misery, trials, tribulations, betrayals, failures, disappointments, judgments and criticisms instead I saw a beautiful lush garden. 
Where had the desert gone?
As I stood in disbelief and wonder the fragrance from the Rose of Sharon wafted in my nose carried by the winds of the Spirit. It was sweet and full bodied even palatable. The air was alive with life. I could feel healing mixed with the air as it wrapped around my body, the marks of suffering immediately disappeared and my skin was as new soft, vibrant and incorruptible. There was no place for death.
 I walked the garden path further and the beauty was so indescribable that there are no earthly words to speak that convey the wholeness and completeness. I walked deeper into the garden
I could feel the vibrancy and fullness increase. .As I came around the corner I stopped and stood in absolute dumbstruck awe. Completely gobsmacked!
  I was struck by the total encapsulation of purity and energy of the triune God...It dropped me to the ground like a hammer blow... I could not look up, I could not stand, it was to overpowering.
 As I lay there my body vibrated from the energy and purity ... I could see the time that has past, what was before Adam and what has come since Adam. I began to cry openly deep heaving sobs.....  oh how this world has been marred by sin; our eyes have not seen the whole of it, nor do we understand the breadth and depth of it.  As I lay there watching the timeline pass in front of me my sobs turned to tears of joy and thanks I saw God's grace released through time. 
Thank you God for your grace which reinstated and heals us.
Blessed Triune God, keep us ever mindful of what lay ahead, lift our eyes heavenward and forward when we encounter everyday trial and temptations. How we love you and your ways.
We desire to be so full of your Holy Spirit completely saturate us that we drip with your holiness and fragrance. Come fill us Holy Spirit!
 . Season our words so  they may bring life and healing to those the wild goose brings us to . Help us to bring into this world your lush garden of life.
 Keep our eyes on the Christ that has given us life hope and meaning. Keep us pure in our love for you and each other. Help us remember we are the victor by your wholly magnificent grace, the enemy and his minions are under our feet.
To God is the Glory, blessed be the King of Kings hear the cry of our hearts Lord and gracious God.    Amen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hidden


 Sometimes everything is nothing, conversely, sometimes nothing is everything.

As I sat praying one evening I saw a picture of a cocoon on a tree branch.
I replied what is this Lord? The Spirit said to me, what seems as nothing in the natural eye is actually a great work seen in the eye of God, and only to us on the hour of emergence.