No number other than one

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.

If I do a good job there, I can work outwards from there and bless others.   This site is a personal blog about the things I need to keep telling myself – not too many things.  Just the simple fact that very little is required to make life happy.

As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.  I do this through my passion for prose, free verses and non-factional opinions.  I do this because the dark valleys of life often slide in unannounced.  Nonetheless, as the saying goes, it is still better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

My joy will multiply if these musings ever help anyone that stumbles on them .”

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I believe in connections.  I believe God Soft Hands Jesus moves across these blogs.  I believe my GSHJ invites me to move in connection.

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  A landing page post not written for me.  So why this sense it is of He?  To the “About” page to look behind, to taste the sweat of another on a keyboard far away.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.”

A better place – yes!  But what can I do? I am only me.  No one listens to me.  I can’t change anything or anyone.  Not really.  Not like I see others change lives.  Not like others have changed me.  Ah well … maybe one day …

“As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.”

A long time ago I watched a video.  The speaker was inspirational.  One of those guru type inspirational speakers.  I have seen a few.  I have even met a few.  And I have thought myself changed. The memory is of this speaker painting a picture.  Of approaching the Pearly Gates and being asked in breathless excitement, “How many did you bring me?”  How many saved souls.  How many lives changed.  “How many did you bring me?”

I looked behind me and saw no one.  And as well as inspired I was unworthy.  I brought no one.  Only me.  And here was this speaker.  He would have thousands behind him.  We all should have thousands behind us.  And I saw no one.  Make disciples.  Preach the Good News.  Save souls from an eternity of separation.  Bring thousands.  It is the clarion call I hear again and again.  Revival.  Mission.  Outreach.  Education.  Junior Church.  Mega Church.  Where did you find God this weekend.  When did you last admit you are a Christian.  Why are not at church each Sunday.  Wait until you become a mature Christian.

And I saw no one.

It took several years for GSHJ to get through my thick skull.  He used others.  He took the direct route.  He never gave up on my giving up.  And slowly – bit by bit – I began to hear.

The biggest gift – the best gift – the ONLY gift I can ever bring … is me.  The only “How many did you bring me?” my God Soft Hands Jesus ever wanted was …

One.

And it took me years to get that.  It took me years for me to get the “why”.  And my getting it – my “why” – is mine alone.

But what I hear Him ask is this.

“Tell them I have no number other than one.  Tell them one is all there ever is.  One is all and all is one.  Forget the big numbers.  Forget the worldly measure of “success”.  Forget the inspiration that tastes good in the mouth yet leaves your stomach sick.  Tell them I do not count and never have.  Tell them I never will.  I will never judge thirty years “service” better than none.  I will never applaud headcount other than one to one.  I will never hold higher one who gave more.  For if you give you – there can never be “more”.  Counting is conditions and conditional love.  That is why I only see one.  Unconditional never compares.  Unconditional love always shares.  Love without condition will never count.  Not more than one in one right now.”

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For all those who think “my blog is not enough” …

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

Who is this “name unknown” my GSHJ invited me to … ?  It is –

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AYOKA – Things I should be telling myself

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A sense to connect is yours alone.

All I ask is that you listen and hear without numbers.

That you listen to One.

Thank you –

paulfg

 

But I am no teacher

I am finding that, as a trainee Local Preacher (always capitalise the title), people want to talk to me. For some reason, just being one of the ones “at the front” endows me with something akin to that of a doctor, or a visiting dignitary.  Why is it that being one of the ones at the front “endows me” with anything at all?

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father – the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” “ Matthew 23:1-12

Therefore … BUT!  Therefore … BUT!  Therefore … BUT!

Imagine if Jesus was here today. Would He be saying this … ? Therefore do what Paul teaches you – BUT … See how he is one of the ones at the front – BUT … You have one Father – one Instructor – and Paul is not it.

Today I am prepping a service for tomorrow with my mentor and tutor.  I was sent an email.  There are children present at the service tomorrow – it is unusual to have children present.  So the suggestion is that we  “engage them” – and then we do a grown-up talk for the grown-ups.  That is what teachers do.

But I am no teacher.

I remember being invited to take part in a Sunday School via skype – me in England and the Sunday School in USA.  I remember there was a child sitting next to the Sunday School leader – who had turned the skype camera/laptop on himself (so I was less of a distraction to the group).  And this child was quite happy.  Quite happy to listen.  Quite happy to watch.  Quite happy NOT to be talked down to (sorry – “engaged”) as a child.

I have also watched many wonderful “children’s films” that work for all ages – no need for “one for children and another for adults”.  And I have a resentment in being encouraged to become a trained performer – able to work an audience – able to entertain an audience – able to use “tools” to engage and “connect”.  I always had – and still have – an alternative view: that all I need to do is get out of His way – and let Him do the “performing and engaging” through me.  Because His “tools” are far and away (FAR AND AWAY!) in excess of mine.  He so easily has one-to-one conversations – in the same place – at the same time – with any and all who allow (and all at the same time as I am at the front – allowing Him through me)!  Isn’t that just so …  cool!

But the best discovery of all in this training?

The fellowship of “prepping”!!!!  THAT is where it is at baby!

This afternoon my mentor and I will let God run amok – no “teacher and pupil” – and what He gifts BOTH of us will be far in excess of what He ever could for either of us if we prepped individually.  And that means another certainty tomorrow: no matter who does what tomorrow – we will each have God running amok – which means He will be at the front (looking like the two of us).   And that is really … cool.

And as for the “two audiences” issue I have been asked to think about … ?  I already know.

There will be just one “audience” tomorrow.  It has to be that way.  Because neither my mentor or I can “chat” to everyone (or even 2 x everyone) in every sacred creation’s personal language.  Because if we were to even try … ?

We would just get in everyone’s way.