I believe because the bible says so

Beliefs are all.

Beliefs are of the believer and the non-believer is missing out.

We should all be believers – the bible says so – we have the Great Commission to fulfill!

 

When I was one I believed I was the centre of the universe and all were here to serve me.
When I was two I believed I should be the centre of the universe and all should serve me.
When I was three I believed puddles were the best things in the whole world
When I was four I believed I had been abandoned by my parents in a place called school
When I was five I believed football was the best thing in the whole world
When I was six I believed bikes were the best thing in the whole world
When I was seven I believed it was unfair I had to go to bed too early
When I was eight I believed it was unfair that everyone else could do what they wanted
When I was nine I believed I should be able to do what I wanted
When I was ten I believed girls were the scariest creatures in the world
When I was eleven I believed in time travel because I did
When I was twelve I believed that being eighteen was ancient
When I was thirteen I believed I had made it – I was a teenager!
When I was fourteen I believed the world was my oyster: shut tight to keep me out!
When I was fifteen I believed bikes were the best thing in the whole world
When I was sixteen I believed girls were the scariest creatures in the world
When I was seventeen I believed I was nearly an adult
When I was eighteen I believed being an adult wasn’t so different
When I was nineteen I believed girls were the best creatures in the world
When I was twenty I believed rye n dry was the best drink in the whole world
When I was twenty-one I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-two I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-three I believed I knew everything
When I was twenty-four I believed I was the luckiest man ever
When I was twenty-five I believed I was the best father ever
When I was twenty-six I believed I was the worst father ever
When I was twenty-seven I believed the world was full of fools
When I was twenty-eight I believed I was one of them

 

As I have grown older I have come to believe that my beliefs will never stop changing unless I do.

And whether that happens whilst I am “still breathing” – or when I am dead (and not breathing) …

Is my choice.


(just like whether I believe being a “good Christian” is important or not)

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Dust to dust

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.   Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:14-15

“And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  Mark 6:11

“If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  Luke 9:5

“ “  John

 

I don’t know who has it right: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  Because the “dust and shaking” seems to be “having the last word” – without any words at all.

When I “shake the dust off my feet” – I don’t want to make a statement to anyone.

It is to leave “all that” behind me – literally and emotionally.

Because I want to heal.

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We are already connected

Fellowship groups … bible study groups … house groups … Sunday school … groups with one thing at their core: a desire to grow.  To grow … to change … and to journey with others.  Others who will be as vulnerable and as strong as each.  Others who will allow.  Others who will hear.  Others who want to journey.

I have such a group.

I have found myself verbalising with clarity thoughts that were only a confusion before.  I have listened to words I have never heard in church or church groups.  But more than that – I know that when I speak I am being heard by more than just those I see.  For they are hearing their inner voices as they hear my words.  “Inner voices” are part of the conversation.   And as I hear my own inner voice – so their inner voices will resonate with mine – just as mine will with theirs when they speak.

If you have never experienced it, you need a group that has.  Once experienced, it is hard to live without.  Once experienced something changes for ever.

And THAT is why these “groups” (at least for me).  That, for me, is the difference between socialising, fellowship, and discipling.  Discipling (for me) is when “ego isn’t” because “inner voices are”.   A connection of God … love … inner voice … GSHJ … whatever your name and relationship for your inner voice … it is real.

Our group lives in different continents. Physically we have never met.  But my – your – “inner voice” is not bound by geography.  Spiritual connection is not geographic.  We use Skype, a screen, a camera, a microphone, and a headset or speakers (group skype works on computers or laptops – smart phones and tablets, no)

Why this post?

I keep meeting those who struggle, as I do, with “organised religion”.  Those who seek to hear the inner voices of others.  Who seek to connect.  For in that place is power. That place is the power of love.  That is the place of love.  That is the place of change.  And that, for me, is discipling: not change as I imagine or expect change – but change as I cannot imagine and never expect.

And I want to invite you to experience that for yourself.

And you are already connected – you are reading these words and we are reading yours.  And you already have a screen (and you may already have a microphone, camera, headset/speakers, as well as skype).  If you haven’t – skype is free – and the rest is not expensive – ask any teenager.  🙂

But “the kit” is functional.  The kit is “stuff” – the kit is not it.  Connecting with “inner voices” is it – and you already have yours!

So all you need to do is listen to your own inner voice.  Because yours is no different to mine.  Mine seeks connection.  Mine seeks “disciples”.  And yours seeks the same.  I know because I have heard inner voices in others connect with the inner voice in me (and if you don’t know what I mean – ask.  Please – please – ask).

If you have already such a group: spread the word.
If you want a group like this – say so wherever and however you feel guided (and then “listen” because your inner voice will speak).
And if you are scared of “cameras” and being on screen – so are a lot of others (you are not alone).
And if the thought of this makes you nervous – well done.

Connecting has risks – so be picky – be a disciple.  It is a walk of faith.  It is journeying in a place not of geography and not of physical spaces.  It is connecting without distance.

Or why not reblog this post and just tell others you want a group like this.  Or ask others to reblog your reblog and to also say they want this.  Why not all of us get “disorganised discipling” through just connecting with others who want the same.

And the very best bit of all … ?

We are ALL already connected (if we allow).

Feel free to chat – to disagree – to ask – to tell … that is what disciples do!  🙂 

Thank you.

Paul

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A Nickel short and a Day Late

316 words is all this post is. I checked twice. Because in just 316 words, TF brings something profound I rarely hear and see.

We ARE enough!

See what you think 316 words from now …

🙂

Paul

(as always, comments closed here, please add your thoughts under TF’s post – thank you)

Hard Times Ministries

Try as we might, isn’t this really how we come across to other people and in the end we are forced to admit that ‘We are only human’?

And by declaring our humanness we actually build-in an excuse not to be able to perform to perfection.

I have said this time and again:  “Give it all you got and it will be enough.”

Heck:  this may not even be true, but it is enough in terms of what we can do.  The Lord, I believe wants us to give it our all.

Think about:

The times you said too much, yet didn’t really know what to say

The times you really didn’t know what to do

The times when you wish you could have un-done what you did.

The times when all seems insane

The times when you’d wish that God would whisper in your ear for instruction

And the…

View original post 166 more words

I Wish I’d Said That…

[I have found all this to be utterly true. I’ve also found it almost impossible to wrap words around. I didn’t want to weaken the words by trying to restate them. So here they are, for your consideration. — LM]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Exploring the Mystics
with James Finley

Only Love Is Real
Friday, October 13, 2017

Guest writer and CAC faculty member James Finley continues sharing insights from John of the Cross. Take a few moments in the midst of your busy day to slow down, to enter into the quiet, and to read these words from your heart center, without judgment or needing to fully understand with your logical brain.

Just as with Teresa of Ávila’s The Interior Castle, by the very first paragraph of John of the Cross’ Prologue to The Ascent of Mount Carmel you get the sense that the words are coming from some very deep place from inside of him—or really through him—that intimately accesses a deep place in us:

A deeper enlightenment and wider experience than mine is necessary to explain the dark night through which a soul journeys toward that divine light of perfect union with God that is achieved, insofar as possible in this life, through love. The darknesses and trials, spiritual and temporal, that fortunate souls ordinarily undergo on their way to the high state of perfection are so numerous and profound that human science cannot understand them adequately. Nor does experience of them equip one to explain them. [1]

One of the operative principles of love is that love does not rest as long as there is an inequality in love. In seeing the beloved down, the lover is moved to lift the beloved up. John says the infinite love of God will not rest until you are equal to God in love. Even though you would be absolutely nothing without God, God will not rest until you are as much God as God is God. God will not settle for a trace of inequality. In the “dark night of the soul,” we are weaned away from the ego’s finite ideas and feelings about God. We come to know that no idea about God is God. We are also weaned from our ideas about our self as being a finite, separate self apart from God.

Not everyone experiences this kind of union in this life. But in some lives God does not wait until death to begin the consummation through a dark night of the soul. In this nondual state, although I am not God, I am not other than God either. Although I am not you, I am not other than you either. Although I am not the earth, I am not other than the earth either. All things are unexplainably, invincibly one in endless diversity forever.

The awakening of this state on this earth does not mean you are holier than others. Rather, you awaken to how unexplainably holy everybody is. The mystic—that is, the person who is ripe with this love consciousness that’s born in the night—is not more holy but is granted a greater realization of the infinite holiness of the simplest of things.

Then, in some strange way, when you die, nothing will happen, because you’ve already died to the illusion that anything less than love is real; and you are aware that Infinite Love is loving you endlessly and giving itself away as your life.

Gateway to Silence:
Fall deeper into love.

References:

[1] John of the Cross, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Institute of Carmelite Studies Publications: 1991), 114-115.

Adapted from James Finley, Intimacy: The Divine Ambush, discs 1 and 6 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2013), CD, MP3 download.

 

Organised Religion

What is organised religion?  How does one know when one meets organised religion?  Does organised religion come with a sign that says “Organised Religion: enter here”?

I have a confession. This real community of real people connected by WordPress and the internet … I get more “God” here than I have found elsewhere.

In this community I do not know what job you do … what clothes you wear … how big or small your house … how big or small your ego … how high or low on the pecking order.  I know nothing about you – yet I Know You.

I know you because you know me.  And we know each other because we both come with our “spiritual button” exposed.  And because of that I can only connect with your spiritual button – and you can only connect with mine.  And once we have connected in a spiritual place – the rest does not matter.  And if we do not connect in that spiritual place – the rest does not matter (for a different reason).

Imagine a church where that was true.

Where all were all blind to clothes, colour, income, titles, pecking orders, length of service, cliques and clans.  Imagine that place where (because each connected spiritually) the rest did not matter.

Have you been in such a place.  Did it stay that way?  Did you stay that way?

Yet in this internet community I have “met” and connected spiritually with many.  And there are many I would trust with my life.  Who I would trust with my wallet.  Whose eccentricities and foibles – whose humanity and selflessness – I would accept and embrace.

And you might not be “that” really – or not all the time – or not with everyone. But once we each connect our spiritual buttons – the rest does not matter. And I think “that” is what organised religion is not.  And I think that having experienced what organised religion is – I miss what organised religion is not.

I have found in this internet community a church that is “a church”.

Where all walks of life, all lifestyles of living, all loving of lovers – where the anger of dislikes, the passion of anoraks, the tradition of religion, the trendy of non-religion – where the ones disinterested, the ones empowered, the ones disenfranchised, the ones franchised – where all ARE welcome.

I find that this community is “church”.

Where we meet as we are.  Where we are each met as we are.  Where I can change because of you and because of you allowing me.  Where I can be safe because having connected spiritually – the rest simply does not matter.  Where I can be safe because others will see that I am.  I have yet to find another place where that is true (other than family).

Yet this community is ever-changing.  Some come every day, others come and go, others come and then leave.

And the doors are always open – and someone is always here.

If this is not church, then I do not know church at all.

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