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Facades

Sometimes you have to journey the path of the skeptic, sometimes feel like you’ve lost your faith altogether, in order to find what is true about you.

This stripping away is not really a loss of anything real, but the facade. It often feels like death or tremendous loss. Sometimes it feels freeing. Usually it is a mixture.

The paradox of the grace and mercy of God is that it requires us to see our deepest and darkest brokenness. Now the reality of who you are can meet with the reality of who God is. For when grace touches a soul this deeply they become more real.

Freedom or Indulgence

Grace is not an enabler of weakness. Early in my life, indulgence hijacked freedom’s definition for itself, and convinced me I was on the road to freedom, all while shackled to weakness. Freedom, however, is self-mastery. Freedom is a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual fortitude that enables us to effectively live the life we were meant to. 1 Cor. 6:12 says, “I have a right to do anything, but I will not be mastered by anything.” A picture of freedom.

But as Richard Rohr said, to convince someone enslaved that they are free is difficult, but to convince someone who thinks they are free that they are actually enslaved is even tougher. Often times is takes suffering to wake us up. But it doesn’t have to.

The paradox of freedom is that the way to it is the hard road of self-mastery and discipline. The amount of slavery or freedom we experience is based upon which of the two roads we choose to walk… every day.

Prayer and Love

I often overlook how very present love is because I expect love to show up in a different way. Sitting with my coffee in the quiet morning stills my soul enough to see it. Then the rest of my day consists in remembering what I saw and living into what is real.

I’m learning this is the bulk of what prayer is.

Transformation

The truth is, we are all changing, we are all becoming something different than we currently are. The journey of life makes that inevitable.

A few questions about my primary motivations I am pondering this morning. 
1. Who am I changing for? People or God
2. What am I changing for? Wholeness or success
3. Why am I changing? Conviction or Causes
4. How am I changing? The Spirit or the Flesh
5. Where will my change lead? Home or a Distant Land

Since change is inevitable, it’s good to remind myself to not mix up a positive side effect of change with the end goal and motivator of change.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a pillar in Christian faith. We believe the grace of God forgives immediately, fully, and freely.

Resentment, cold shoulders, vindictiveness, bitterness, refusal of vulnerability, power plays, are all unforgiveness attempting to balance the scales with flawed weights and fallen metrics.

This is why the act of forgiveness requires faith. I need faith that I can work with God toward my own wholeness without a need to balance the hurt dealt to me. I need faith that God’s kingdom of grace and mercy operate with redeemed metrics and perfect weights for the benefit and flourishing of all creation.

Fact or Truth

It is easy to think that something is true because we can prove its factual-ness. But a true thing has an integrity to it, inside and out. When a fact does not elevate to truth, it remains a distant ideology separated from my soul. As Eugene Peterson put it so eloquently:

“The reason many of us do not ardently believe in the gospel is that we have never given it a rigorous testing, thrown our hard questions at it, faced it with our most prickly doubts.”

Destination and Despair

Often times hope is like currency. We budget how much of life’s circumstances we will spend it on. We spend it and give it, scrimp it and save it, but one day we meet a circumstance that requires our last two mites of hope. Then we feel the pennilessness of despair. We have come to our cross to bear.

Sometimes we need to spend our last two mites of faith in an old and insufficient system, mindset, or way of living in order to understand that God has a different set of currency. It is only then that we can hear the call, “Silver and Gold I have none, but what I do have I give freely. In the name of Jesus stand and walk.”

Hope is not a feeling, but is one step beyond despair, in faith, through the Cross to a Resurrection. This is the only way to experience the cross, not as the destination, but as the WAY to rebirth into a new way of being in this world. To practice resurrection.

Wholly holy

“Let your strength be found in the peace you bring with you.” – Paul J. Pastor

Peace is a wholeness of being: mind, soul, and body. It is an integrity of inner and outer life. It is a confident integration of our true self into the world, for its healing. This kind of peace acts as solid rock which we can stand upon.

I can only find this kind of peace within myself. Not that I put it there. It is a gift from God, my original glory and human dignity given at birth. A return home. Those who reclaim their soul back from the shifting sands of public opinion and reaction stand upon their own meekness.

We will have the footing to become peacemakers who help others stand upon the rock of their own wholeness. Together we will inherit the earth because finding our own meekness is participating in its healing.

Faith and Feeling

We traverse this world by using our five senses. It would be natural to attempt to interact with God in the same manner. But God dwells, not on the surface of our life, but deep in our soul, beneath the senses.

We do not traverse this world by sight or senses but faith and instinct. It is when we feel God the least that God has come the closest. For he inhabits our very soul beneath the senses, protecting and preserving us.

Once in a while God’s grace overflows into the realm of our senses and we feel what Ignatius calls a consolation. But it is precisely the grace of God that dulls our senses perception of God so we are not consumed with eternity.