Wowwwwww!

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We fight so much over the bible and whether what we believe is correct or incorrect.

We fight so much over the wonderful gift we have been given.

We fight over this so much we create it a problem.

We then attack each other with “love” because of this problem we have created.

And in the process make “love” a problem too.

And we waste so much.

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Cruising Facebook as you do I came across this video.

It has overlaid slushy music.  It has the “inspirational” tag.  

Yet the ordinary extraordinary ordinary human being at the heart of this video …

This ordinary human being who never mentions the bible or God or all that stuff we fight about …

That we make a problem …

That we can’t forgive …

… … … 

One word:

Wowwwwww!

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(see what you think)

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Thanks –

paulfg

 

Become childlike

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Just like anything in the bible – I can ask of that statement many questions:  what age is “childlike” … what culture … what social demographic … what educational level … what time and place … does ALL THAT apply to me or not … ?

And isn’t that the main reason we interrogate the bible:  Does that apply to me or can I ignore it?

Become childlike.

If my definition of “childlike” is of a spoiled brat always wanting and manipulating others to get their own way – then I think I am missing something profound.

Likewise, if my definition of “all that” requires the evidence and correctness to allow myself to be instructed to comply – I am missing something profound and simple and commonsense.

Like Love. 

Without condition.

Become childlike.

Is the essence of something simple.

Something beyond “innocence” – beyond “youth” – beyond “education” – beyond “naivety”.   Beyond all those “conditions” we surround ourselves with (as barriers to the perceived vulnerability of Love without Condition being childlike).

But isn’t “childlike” to have no vulnerability – to be unsurrounded (by all the stuff we surround ourselves with)?

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I am prone to facial spots.

A teenage affliction – not a “six-decader” affliction.  It marks me out(!!) – colleagues and family and friends … their eyes are irresistibly drawn to look/glance/away.

We mature grown-ups cannot help but be drawn to impediment and/or difference.

But it isn’t the glance.

It is the absence of anything but the glance.

And in the absence are the conditions:

I mustn’t mention this or I’ll be seen to be rude.  I’ll ignore this impediment and/or difference and pretend I haven’t noticed.  We’ll continue as if there is no impediment and/or difference – even though we both know there is.

Childlike?

Children don’t even notice or if they do they ask, “What’s that?”  And I answer – it’s a spot.  And they say “Oh.”  And that’s the end of it.  The impediment and/or difference is no longer even visible to them.

It no longer registers.

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Isn’t that what we all seek from love?

The unconditional de-registering to all the impediments and/or differences we all carry through life?   Our scars, weaknesses, preferences, blemishes, strengths that become liabilities, good stuff that becomes tarnished through living, bad stuff that becomes our self-defence responses –

Isn’t Love someone who doesn’t register any of that stuff to see the real me inside?

Like a child.

A child doesn’t register if I am rich or poor, handsome or ugly, competent or fearful, bigoted or inclusive, gay or hetero, religious or atheist … But a child knows if I am happy or sad, angry or calm, ill or healthy, connecting or withdrawn, fun or boring … And THOSE “registers” are immediate AND immediately reversible …

Because in the moment is what I am.

Nor is that connection tarnished in them as in our accumulated “baggage of living”.

Children are blind to so much we are not.

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So too the bible.

Bible-blind is not to dismiss the bible – but to embrace the bible in the moment.  Is not to find a counter argument.  Is not to research what is correct and what is not.  Is not to find what I must do – what I can avoid doing – what I must defend as incorrect – what I must defend as correct.  That is not the bible-blind I am becoming.   The bible-blind I am becoming is to see Love always.   To see imagery – poetry – parables – religion doing what religion must – and not let it register over and above Love.

And I have come to think that we are all bible-blind …  like this –

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“I am biblically AND scripturally correct!”

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Is also bible-blind.

Just a grown-up educated qualified institutionally correct conditional blindness to Love.

And whichever blindness we choose or allow – we will find the “evidence” and “fact” and “truth” and “correctness” in the same bible.

Because just as Love does not instruct but invites and desires – so too the bible.

Just as You have seen it written but I say … ” 

Just as in every moment we have a choice to allow or to disallow.

To Love with condition (which ain’t Love) or without (which is).

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Become childlike.

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Isn’t that the same as …

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“The greatest of these is … “?

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The perfect time to walk the walk and talk the talk

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Hey Jesus, will you be attending tomorrow’s media focus meeting?  We have a few issues needing your input.  No biggie if you can’t – we are well-versed (guffaw!) in what needs to be done – but might be nice if you showed your face to the troops on the ground … the personal touch always makes a difference.

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Here in the UK we are in the middle of the latest election campaign.  All the main parties are making all the usual pledges and plans and “promises”.  All of which may or may not be acted upon come the result and the future “plans, pledges and promises” once the dust settles.

I remember the amazement when Trump acted upon the pre-election rhetoric of “The Wall”.  WOW!  A politician who’s actually doing what he said he would do!  Revolutionary!

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And that other conversation – if Jesus was around today would he be using social media to get the message out?  Would he – like Trump – spend his evenings/early mornings not in prayer, but in twitting.  Firing out policy and process to a global audience well-trained to salivate at each bunch of limited characters.  An audience trained to applaud or puke.  But whatever your response – we’re all are in awe of “the reach”!  The numbers.  The size of the audience.  The absence of anonymity.  Of our inability to ignore the man and his pronouncements.

God would had to have had some of that (we say with envy)!

Make disciples of all nations?

Jesus would have done that in a heartbeat if we had twitter back then!  Imagine all the Insta feeds!  All those “little children” pics and storyline!  That would have got the message out ….  Instead of the dusty peeps we would have the techno peeps!  All heads-down with micro-targeting!  Bringing the message in just the right way to just the right people!  Just like pyramid-selling … One disciple makes XXX believers … XXX believers make XX disciples … makes XXXX believers … makes XXX disciples makes …

Numbers are so much easier to work with than all that “campaign-trail-anecdotal-stuff” (we call the Gospels today).

I am not so convinced Jesus would have.

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My reasoning?

If the Son of God picked the perfect time to walk the walk, talk the talk, and be The Man amongst his creations … why then? Why not now?

Why NOT hold back the eternity of infinity for another 2000 years – a mere drop in the ocean of time that is eternity?  Why then when even “reading and writing” was a biggie … when even carrier pigeons hadn’t been invented … when civil rights – human rights – were not on the agenda … when social housing and social equality – inclusion and inclusivity – were not even a pipe-dream …

Why THEN?

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If that was the perfect time – then I accept that was the perfect time.

Which implies big numbers … big data … global reach … all that “Great Commission” logistics “stuff” run by money even today … perhaps that is not “it”.

Perhaps it’s not “how many I bring” to Him.  Perhaps it’s something else.

Perhaps it’s all about me – who I am – what I am – who I have become – who I can become – who I choose to be – what I choose to be.  Perhaps my one insignificant drop in this vast ocean of humanity (over all eternity) does matter.

Perhaps I am the reason for all of this.

Not in what I tweet, not in what I preach, not in how many I bring (or don’t) … but in MY journey – MY choices – MY decisions – MY relationships – MY living and MY loving.

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Because the “campaign trail” notes (we call the Gospels) that I read are not about global reach – but about those who sought-out (rather than those who were sought-after).

So I question whether Jesus today would reach for his smartphone in the dead of night and fire off some “global reach” message.  I think we would find him as we journeyed our own lives one day at a time – one bumping into one someone at a time.  And come to think about …

That’s pretty much how it still happens today.

(isn’t it?)

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eyes on God

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There are times I am caught and held in the moment of a word, a scent, a sound …

This post caught me – moved me one way with sadness and then another with joy. Even today it seems we have to break free of reading the bible right. Maybe especially today.

And it is moments like this post which remind me we keep on doing it to each other! And I have no idea why.

Thank you Rebekah!

Paul
((hugs))

My Beautiful One

My sister is home from the hospital now. They gave her some medicine to be on for a while. I asked her if she cared if I wrote on my blog that she was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She said, “No, I don’t mind. This is reality, know what I’m sayin?”

Yes, I do. I know what she’s saying.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible used to be the one about Peter walking on water. I say “used to be” because that was before all these voices out there got me so self-conscious about seeing yourself instead of Jesus in the pages of the Bible.

I felt like I related a lot to Peter. He seemed to be the one to get himself in situations.  He was eager, but misguided. Determined, but lacking. One minute he tells the Lord to depart from him, and yet another time…

View original post 98 more words

Being number #1

Jesus had a connection with children. We would be suspicious of that today I think.

Avery is a growing child. The daughter of someone I love like a sister. Avery writes with clarity and simplicity. It reminds me of me before I made everything complicated. And then spent the following decades unpicking it all to reclaim clarity and simplicity. I think that’s what Jesus sees in children – clarity and simplicity. It makes “the greatest of these” easy-peasy.

So Avery, with Melissa’s permission and oversight, if you want to join the (mostly absent) Church Set Free list of authors – please let me know and I will make it happen.

I think Jesus was on to something 🙂

Thank you Avery.

Meditations for Kids

Hi I am Avery, Melissa’s other daughter. I would like to share with you about kindness and your part in the world.

I think everyone can show kindness. A lot of people find it hard to show it. For most people it is hard because they either have stress, anger or just are not in the right mood. Well just so you know, everyone feels the same way at times. We are all human beings with feelings. Just because you are in a bad mood does not mean you still can’t show kindness. Actually showing kindness puts you in a better mood. Let’s say you are mad at someone, after if you apologize and be kinder to that person it puts you and them in a better mood. It is a win-win! You don’t always have to be perfect though, everyone makes mistakes,. You just have to try your best…

View original post 288 more words

It’s just no one can see it anymore

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Over at justmebeingcurious today …

“Love conquers death.  Love conquers a hard-heart.  Love’s the first and last thing we each know – whether by love’s presence OR by love’s absence.”

As we say at Church Set Free: Love is always the answer.

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“When were you last at confession?  When were you last at church?  When did you last read the bible?  When did you last pray to God the Father?  When did you last give?  When did you last … “

As we say in church.

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This Sunday, why not spend a few minutes with

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Dearly beloved …

As we gather here today …

 

 

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Thank you,

Paul

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What is a disciple?

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“Was being saved a good thing, Paul?

At the time – yes. It connected me with something bigger.  It connected me with something eternal. It connected me with …

“It” – you use the word “it”. Is that all this is?

Is that all I am – “it”?

At the time no – but since … yes.”

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What is a disciple?

I was taught that once I was saved I could be many things one of which was to be a disciple.

I was taught that I was a follower, a replicator, an evangelist (in the true sense of the word), someone in touch with their unique spiritual gifts … an apprentice mini-me Jesus.  Never to attain the perfection of the real thing – but on a lifelong journey to come as close as I could.  It all sounded so terribly complicated, so much like work, so much like a group activity – a community of disciples all …

“Discipling”.

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“And now?

And now you are you and I am me – and I Am describes it all – and Love IS the greatest of all – and this is all so simple – if I allow. 

I am no different.  Just free to be me without all the self-imposed fitting-in-constraints of both culture AND religion.

And what of the future and getting to heaven?

What of it?”

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And now I find it less about community and more about one day at a time – one moment at a time – one now merging with forever – merging this world with something bigger – merging me with all – about (perhaps) heaven … right now … right here … no complication required … no work required …

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“And what about life after being saved?

No different than anything else.  Being saved becomes another it.

Because I am who I am every moment.

If I allow.”

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See the full post at:

On being saved and life thereafter

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