Dream: First Step

As a follow-up to my last post, I want to share a dream I had the very night I posted “Back to the Beginning”. I might be jumping ahead of what God is doing in me here, but I’m excited to see Him work.

Dream: I was preparing something like an omelet on a stove that was on the side of a street – yards and houses around. I had to walk over a mile one way to my house to bring each item needed for this omelet. I kept walking back and forth in preparing this. It was a hard effort. On my way back to the stove, a man came up behind me and supported my shoulders as I walked…I wasn’t at all sure why he’d do that. We were now in a crowd of people walking back to where my stove was. I started to notice I really was tired and did need the support he offered and relaxed a bit.

We arrive back in the area of my stove and people are milling around. I recalled on one of my trips that some people were giving me condemning looks for what I was doing. I also remembered there was one woman who hated what I was making. I reached my stove and realized she had thrown away my omelet. I was so hurt. The man who had been supporting me was trying to help me look for the skillet and we found it in the pile of dirty dishes. Some were upset for me, they offered me a place to sit at a table where they were sitting down to dinner – all out in the open yard areas – I didn’t want to join. I was so made. I started to cry, bowing my head, they all wanted to join hands. I prayed “Lord, I don’t want to hold their hands. I’m so hurt and mad.” When the woman who threw away my omelet started arguing with someone, the lady next to me started crying, I was crying, a man down from her stood up and lifted his hands saying: “Why would you even hear us God, look at us!” We were all disconnected and hurting.

I woke up crying, feeling God’s heart for the issues of the church and her disunity. I also awoke to my part in the disorder/disconnect/disunity: my own unwilling heart to be united, unwillingness to forgive, refusal to join-in and be apart of her, or even care about her.

I can tell you, anger/resentment/forgiveness is the equivalent of having fingers in your ears; it completely blocks your ability to hear God.

  • Forgiveness is going to be the vital first step in our individual journeys to hear God, to be intimate with Him, and to eventually turn the church around and see the great revival we long for. I would ask you, as part of your pursuit of God, bring to Him your hurts, your pain, your rejections, your issues with the Church and ask Him to help you forgive her/them.

I can’t say I’ve arrived at it myself, I can say you won’t feel the people who have hurt you deserve it, I can say your list is probably valid and painful like mine, I can say Father God is agreeing with you that it wasn’t right, I can say you will feel justified in holding onto the offenses…but I can also say, in the revealing there will be healing, and that we (and the church) will never change as long as we hold-onto the offense instead of Him and each other.

I know I will have more to write on this as I, too, walk this out.

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Back to the Beginning

Taking our gifts and leaving
The issues with the body/church, as a whole, seem overwhelming and frankly, hopeless. For years, people have been taking their gifts and walking-out on their own, carrying with them the rejection/hurt/pain, maybe not finding true healing. Or, some won’t even step foot into a church because of the issues inside.  Some like to demonize the church and God himself for the behavior of the people, some like to point fingers, some like to use hurt as their excuse to stop going to church…I’ve been there and see no future in it for me or for the church…so what do you say we seek to know the root and truth of the matter?
So, here’s a truth, I am one who is discouraged and disillusioned with the church in general. Ready to call it quits on church attendance altogether (and having no clue why the Lord would want her [or any of us]; honestly, she can be such a hurtful place to be) I started some online digging about the church/the body and her problems, and see a lot of people feel the same way with the same complaints and hurts. Some opt to leave, few stay, most resign in frustration – opting to sit in apathy – fulfilling our attendance requirement.
I think, from what I see, even though it appears to be a corporate problem, the manifested problems in the church/body as a whole are caused by the spiritual ailments of each of its individually members .
  •  I think it comes down to the individuals within the body.

If we each become the temple of God, the corporate body will become the temple of God. So, instead of looking to others to be that (i.e., Spirituality, Relationship, Growth) for us or somehow enable us to be what we are supposed to be, we each need to take responsibility to become what it is we are looking for in a church body.

There is no doubt we need a radical intervention by God/Holy Spirit!  But I believe it will happen individually, on our knees before Him, in our own submitted hearts. Each little member of the one body being changed, will change the body.
The frequent and consistent argument I saw on whether church attendance is required/or what the early church structure was really like to guide us now – I don’t have the answers, I think distract us from the real issue, and I don’t think will solve anything for us today. But, I see we need to get back to the beginning in: 1) realigning ourselves with what Jesus said our main goal is, and 2) reading/studying the Living, Life Changing, Word of God.
  • Trying to solve the church issues is distracting us from the main goal in our Christian life. Refocusing on the main goal, will solve the issues.

With all that said, here’s the gist:

  • All that we are ever going to be spiritually in this life, individually and corporately, will be realized when we each take responsibility for our own relationship (i.e., Reading the Word/Prayer/Worship/Praise) with God, humble ourselves before Him, and enter into true intimacy with Him. Out into the Body from that place of intimacy will flow rivers of change, fruits of the Spirit evident in each of our hearts/mouths/minds, and will produce a whole new life to the Body.
Then,
“they will know us by our love one for another”.
(Google image found using rights to use and share search)

The Paths of Life

“To tell you my story, is to tell of Him” lyrics: Big Daddy Weave

Have you ever thought that “the valley of the shadow of death” was here and now in this life and that the “still waters” and “green pastures” were afar off? That, that type of goodness was for the other side of this life?

A fresh revelation on this: (Read Ps.23 as I list out what I was shown from what it says.)

The “paths of righteousness” are: varied and are all part of our growth and learning this side of our eternal life. The paths are all going to be part of our life story. Psalm 23 lays out the paths that we will travel in our lifetime. Check this out:

  • They can be: times of refreshing in the green pastures
    • and times of peace beside the still waters
    • or valleys/where death to self resides, pain, difficulties
  • They are paths of:
    • restoration
    • comfort in His provision and protection
    • victory over every enemy
    • blessing instead of defeat
    • anointing to our calling/in our gifts
    • abundance of His Goodness and Mercy
    • righteousness (Us becoming like Christ, and righteous in that they are paths He ordained for us to travel)
  • These paths can make us:
    • feel exposed, fearful
    • question God
    • thrill at His presence and touch
    • laugh, cry, sing, dance, cheer, doubt, believe
    • rest
    • aggitated and scared
  • They are paths that:
    • last all the days of our lives
    • dwell in the house (and heart) of the Lord forever
    • last forever

It’s true the enemy loves to mess with our ride: distorting the view, casting shadows of death, and throwing out road blocks…but they are all just shadows.

But God! The paths are a rollercoaster of excitement personalized and unique to each of us; yet, we will all encounter the same paths. It’s all about the attitude when we’re up in this altitude!

Life with Christ is an amazing adventure; we all get the ups and downs, we all get the thrills and chills, and we all get to the end victoriously…if we just hang-on to Him.

Just keep hanging-on. (In faith {attitude of confidence}, word {what we say lines up with what we say we believe}, and deed {putting action to our belief}.)

Monday Monkey Wisdom

“Not my Monkey, not my Circus”…some practical wisdom for a Monday.

monkey

I think we take too much stress on ourselves about the actions and thoughts of others. Maybe we think the bible said: “It’s up to you to keep the peace with all people all of the time and if you don’t your failing”???

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” NIV

When in actuality it says: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you” = meaning you can only take responsibility for your part of the situation and “If it is possible” says there may be times when it won’t even be possible to be at peace with someone.

It’s good to take time and figure out what is actually your responsibility and what isn’t. Own what is and stop trying to own what isn’t.

 

What Size?

styrofoam-cups-med_6

Everywhere we go to buy food or clothes or whatever-a primary question involved is “What size do you want?” What size are you? How big or small should it be for what I need?

Dreams, thoughts, ideas, plans come in all shapes and sizes, too. Only in the Spirit is “God-Size” an option to consider. A few thoughts on God-sized dreams/plans/visions:

  • They are the “Road Less Traveled By”

Most people lean toward the safe and “normal” life. Afraid or just opting for comfort vs. risk, they avoid the adventure of God-sized dreams/visions/plans.

  • They are Limitlessly large round pegs

God-sized anything is not going to fit into the restrictively small square holes of religion or the acceptable norm of life, but they are infinitely limitless with possibility/potential/opportunity to know God and see God in ways you never would.

It’s where we step outside the realm of what we see and walk into a new world of walking by faith in bigger footprints than we can imagine.

  • Only Jesus can walk you through, support you in the midst of and throughout a God-sized dream/vision/plan

Few people will stand with you; many people will come against it or just walk away from you. A God-sized dream/vision/plan is hard for people to grasp-it’s a revelation given to you and those appointed/anointed to walk with you through it.

  • God-sized is where all the action is

That limitless life of stepping out of the boat, going above and beyond the norm, facing giants head on with just a sling-shot…it is where the battle is, but also where the most amazing Mountaintop views will be.

So, what size cup (life) do you want to “runneth over”?

 

Picture credit: https://www.twofunnygirls.com/Size-Cup-to-Order.html

Tangibility of the Invisible

Recently, I sold my home and seriously down-sized, which means I needed to give away a lot of my household items. Now, I’ll find myself standing in a friend’s home and seeing something from my house there. It’s an odd feeling to see my lamp or something I used to have in my home now residing in someone else’s home/life. I can still see where it used to be in my house. I started thinking about it and wondered if in the Spirit it is like this?!

The bible says when we touch someone’s life in some way we plant seeds…those seeds can be: learned truths that belonged to us and we passed on, faith we passed on, encouragement that provided a light to someone else when they needed it…

In planting a seed, there is a tangible something of the Lord given into their life.

glasses So, if we could wear “spirit glasses” for a day, would we be able to see something of us when we stood in a friend’s house? Would we be able to see those truths, light, faith…we planted in others?
I think so.

Heb 11:24-27
Col. 1:15-16
Rm. 1:20
The bible makes the invisible, visible. It makes clear that this life is so much more than what is seen, that what we see isn’t actually true reality.