Rejoice

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God.

Meditation Thought: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live…May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:33-34)

I rejoice in the Lord, for the Lord first rejoiced in me: He conceived me in love, brought me into existence in love, sustains me in love; He shows me the way to live: by love.

I do not always perceive his works as a loving ministry to me. Nevertheless, His thoughts, His actions (even inaction in allowing me to learn by ‘logical consequences’) and His words are all based on love. Words which seem harsh to me are to turn me away from harmful pursuits – they are not intended to wound me.

So long as I sing to the Lord and rejoice in Him, I am recognizing Him as loving; I am grateful to Him for His care; I am following the path which is best for me in every way.

If I seek to meditate to please Him, then I am thinking thoughts which are life-enhancing; I am in an attitude of listening to His whispered ‘secrets for success’.

If I carry God-inspired thoughts in my head, have God-inspired love in my heart, do God-inspired acts with my body, and have God’s Spirit enveloping my spirit by my faith that this is so – then nothing shall be impossible to me, because nothing is impossible to God and He is in control of my mind, my heart, my body and my spirit. When God controls all of these, then my emotions will fall into line with the other areas of my life, sooner or later. That completes the ‘new creature in Christ’ – the baby grown into maturity: no longer demanding, rebellious, arrogant, brash – but reflecting the character of the Father: loving, giving, righteous, forgiving, wise and adhering to the principles of the highest order of the best that life, spiritual and physical, can offer.

The rains may come
And winds may blow.
I tremble not, nor fear.
I am sheltered,
Secure inside
My Father’s house.
To be here,
Where peace, and light, and love
Bring joy unto my soul
Is the birthing of a grateful heart,
And life transformed.
I look upon the chaos
Beyond my safe abode,
And give thanks
To Him who brought me here.
Praising my Father for sending One to rescue,
That I may dwell in ‘the shadow of the Most High’ –
For His shadow
Tells me He is here with me;
I am safe; I am happy, and at peace.
For I am home,
The place where love gladdens me,
Where the rains and winds cannot reach;
Where I am nourished, rested, and become content.
I put the restless striving behind,
Knowing that the world beyond this home
Seeks to use me, abuse me,
Though it beckoned me by promises
of my independence – freedom from the confines of my home.
The world became my prison,
And I a slave,
To forces evil,
And dwelling in dark places.
Then He came, opening the door to the prison,
Bringing light and freedom to return home.
It is not the home I left –
Not the stifling, cramped place I’d seen –
But glowing now with the light of truth,
the beauty of wisdom,
the graciousness of love perceived:
As spacious as I could desire,
For I need only space enough
To do my Father’s will,
Living in His shadow,
And knowing his love.

Listen to Him

But I cannot be as Jesus with the mere desire, nor with my own determination, nor my own strength. I need the Holy Spirit to be the added dimension:

Meditation Thought: “…a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)

And so today, the soft voice of the Spirit says to our spirit: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

I must seek to know Jesus that I may know my Father, and thus know who I am as his child.

I would be as Jesus: seeking the will of the father, doing good – and being alert and energetic and helpful and joyful while expressing myself through the flesh.

But I cannot be as Jesus with the mere desire, nor with my own determination, nor my own strength. I need the Holy Spirit to be the added dimension: it is the Holy Spirit which made Jesus more than a man, more than a prophet or a doer of good. And so Jesus passed to me the inheritance of the Spirit, if I but receive it.

The power and energy of the kingdom is released when I allow the Spirit to control my human desires and human activities.

And then the results are as effective and as visible in the world as if a voice proclaimed to all who know me: “It is not she, but Christ whom you have seen doing these works. ‘In Him I am well pleased; listen to him.'”

An Open Door

Ask, seek, knock: you will learn, you will find, you will have the barrier removed – the door opened – to the kingdom.

Meditation Thought: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

Your physical existence and your physical environment are your artistic tools with which to express your physical life.

You have understood rightly the spiritual affecting the physical – but you have not understood that your choice of living out the physical is reflected directly into the spiritual and eternal.

Though the spiritual precedes the physical, once both exist, the one affects the other.

You have not perceived that the physical is as necessary as it actually is. If you get enthused about expressing yourself through the physical as an act which looses and binds in the spiritual, you will accomplish more visible results in your life.

You like to contemplate and dream – fine. But do not overuse time in this manner.

To use energy to improve physical manifestations is not an inferior occupation: it is merely another expression of your life to complement the intellectual and spiritual aspects.

Therefore, when through circumstances and the prompting of he Spirit you are led to be aware of physical needs or desirable physical deeds – do them – gladly, enthusiastically, competently. The quality of performance is reflected in the spiritual realm as surely as the quality of your spiritual life is reflected in your physical life.

You must be as willing to express one as the other, depending upon the requirements of the moment.

The “keys of the kingdom” are the principles upon which creation – in my image, as pure and holy, as creative and lovely, as peace and harmony, as wholeness and unity – is based.

Wherever you bring filth onto being purified, sacrilege into holiness, inertia into creativity, ugliness into loveliness, strife into peace, discord into harmony, fragmentation into wholeness, and friction into unity, you are using the keys of the kingdom to open it wide, to bring the fragmentation – the separation – of spiritual and physical into unity. You combine the kingdom and the earth, as the original combination was conceived and came into existence. You return to the innocence and purity of life without sin. This is the reflection of the Father; this is the imitation of the Son; this is life as it was intended to be: by choice, not by demand.

You do not understand much of what exists, either physically or spiritually, but you do know that there are expressions in both areas, you do know that you are capable – intended, to be fully expressed in both.

Ask, seek, knock: you will learn, you will find, you will have the barrier removed – the door opened – to the kingdom.

You have asked where the keys may be found, you have sought them – and you have found them – in the Word, in the Spirit and in the physical.

Now walk through the open door, as you insert the keys and turn them through the measure of faith I have given you being used: in the spiritual through worship and prayer – in the physical through constant proper use and improvement.

Truly, what you bind and loose on earth shall be bound and loosed in heaven.

In the binding and the loosing shall be the creation of a “new heaven and a new earth” – fitting together, enhancing one another, becoming a whole out of fragmentation.

Hidden Treasure

You cannot find hidden treasure unless you make effort to dig – until you till the field which is your responsibility.

Meditation Thought: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

You cannot find hidden treasure unless you make effort to dig – until you till the field which is your responsibility.

If you are lazy, allowing the field to lie untended, you never find the hidden treasure.

There is treasure in every person’s field – if they work the ground, doing the job assigned them, they shall find it. And once they find it, their life shall be transformed. They were poor – and now are rich. They were ordinary – and now are extraordinary. They can have a complete change of lifestyle.

They can choose to use the treasure to enhance their life and other lives, or they can leave it lie, hoarded, but making no more difference than before finding it. This is what happens when God is perceived, but not obeyed, when the Spirit whispers, but is ignored, when Jesus is known historically but not experientially.

You have found treasure in your field. And you shall have it grow and grow the more you put it to use, particularly to aid others. When discipline is difficult, when emotionally you are sad, when circumstances seem discouraging – those are the times to work diligently, knowing that the day will come that is the interest-bearing time of the treasure: you will see visible results of investing your treasure to help others; you benefit, as have they.

This works in the material realm – believe that is works in the spiritual realm. Your joy shall be great if you believe and if you act upon that belief.

Rescued and Restored

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when one is transformed by the nurturing Light?

Meditation Thought: “There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.” (Job 24:13) “I am the light of the world: whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

All who stumble in the dark, and who rebel against the dark, thus seeking the light, despite all obstacles, despite all errors in the direction of movement, shall find the light.

The light is difficult to be found only for a little while – only for the time necessary to: soften a hardened heart, tame a rebellious will, open up a closed mind, teach a foolish one wisdom, cleanse a sin-stained past, and to make real the promise within the conception of the one who seeks light. That is, to make the vision of light so intense that there is no doubt that the light exists and that the one who seeks it will find it.

And when the light dawns, when it is seen in reality, just as it was seen in the vision, then is a totally new life possible.

Consider the contrast of living in a totally dark prison – and of living on the mountaintop, where vistas are seen in every direction: where light enables abundant growth, and nourishes all living things – where light reveals the truth of all which is under it.

This contrast is the comparison of life in the flesh without the Light of the Spirit within and living with the Spirit within.

The one living in the dark confines of prison may, by the description of the vistas coming from the mountaintop, be able to conceive somewhat of the life lived on a mountaintop – but cannot truly understand nor feel the reality of that life.

Only as the prisoner is brave enough to grope for the key offered, and to grope for the lock, and to make effort to fit the key in the lock, to turn it, and to walk out of that confining place to blink in the light, and to adjust to it, can he begin to know experientially the total ‘new creature’ life in a ‘new’ environment (the mountaintop kingdom). The joy of realization of what he has left and what he is experiencing is almost unbearably sweet, almost unbelievably exciting, almost impossible to comprehend.

But the ‘almost’ is not the same as ‘definitely’. This is our cause for leaping in the ecstasy of thanksgiving! This is our power to live a new mountaintop life! This is the knowledge that the words which described the mountaintop life, and thus led us to find the key to release us to this life, were not exaggerated words, but even those words were not adequate to describe the truth, to describe the quality of the light, or the quality of life lived within that revealing light.

When we allow our minds, our emotions, our bodies, our spirits, to flow freely, to go freely over all this wonderful new terrain, we dance with delight of constant new discoveries of beauty, wisdom, truth – of love encountered along the way! Of Love accompanying us along the way.

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when the tiny emaciated prisoner is transformed by the nurturing Light into the grand, ‘filled-out’ figure: a strong, wise, willing, and eager new creature which is the reflection of the Creator of all he surveys and encounters, which is the container of the inherited wealth of the Creator, and which is the authority of the Creator expressed into the world covered by Light.

This ‘new creature’ did not evolve by chance, or by self – but by being transferred from prison to freedom.

One came to offer release – and the prisoner chose to seek a new place when the opportunity “knocked at the prison door”.

The ‘Rescuer’ comes in many forms – at many times – trying, always trying, to convince the prisoner that the escape from prison will lead to a better place.

There is no law which is broken when the prisoner ‘escapes’, no punishment for his leaving prison: the ‘law’ that sentenced him to prison was the confining of his spirit in a body which gives expression to his freedom of choice.

But the ‘law’ is his law: the ‘law’ is subject to his interpretation of that law: thus it cannot be ‘broken’ by him, thus causing him harm. It can only be perceived by him, and acted upon by him.

The moment he realizes that he has authority over the law, and he tells the Rescuer of the moment to give him the key to the prison door, and he takes authority over all who would try to tell him that their interpretation of the law is more authoritative than his, thus keeping him in prison – then not only is the prisoner rescued, he is restored to his rightful prominence as being one in authority.

He is not the highest authority on the mountaintop nor over the prison, but he is privileged, he is endowed with wisdom, he is endowed with authority, he is endowed with power, he is given knowledge. The key words are ‘endowed with ‘ and ‘given’: so long as he recognizes to whom he owes allegiance and all that is given to him, he is in a great position and leads a fulfilled, exciting and abundant life.

Change the Course of History

This is why 12 men could change the course of history…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” Romans 14:17

He who is righteous in attitude, who promotes peace, and who works in joy through the power of the Holy Spirit, shall enter into the kingdom of God who is in heaven and shall abide therein while at the same time abiding in the flesh. The time will come when flesh is shed and still there is abiding in the kingdom, but to abide in the kingdom it is not necessary to shed the flesh.

This is the message of the crucifixion – though it appears that the message is to reassure of life after shedding the body, its key message is that the Power which can bring a spirit to be expressed in bodily form is the same Power which also is able to reverse the process; that is, the body is to be expressed spiritually. This is the basis and meaning of all commandments which have been taught by Jesus.

Those who sought God before the life of Jesus were seeking for this knowledge, finding it to various degrees – but once Jesus lived in the flesh it became possible to know God intimately, and to dwell with Him personally while still in the body with full knowledge of this fact. This is why 12 men could change the course of history even when their Leader was not longer in the flesh – they had no earthly power: no political authority, no wealth, no ‘family connections’ – only the sure knowledge that God had come to dwell with them, to show His love, and to empower them to do His works. And they did, Despite all kinds of obstacles and persecutions, they followed their Jesus dwelling within them in the form of the Holy Spirit as surely and as devotedly as they had followed Him in the flesh.

And their example is clear to us. They not only wrought great change in history, but recorded the process of how they did it so clearly that we have no difficulty in understanding the process or imitating it, if we so chose.

There are ‘miracles’ changing the course of history wherever a loyal heart follows Christ, doing the Father’s works, expressing the Father’s love, carrying on in the tradition of those who knew Jesus in the flesh – and knew Him just as intimately in the Spirit.

A Tide, River, Iceberg and Prism

In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them.

Back in 1974, when Mom first started her journals, she had several ‘images’ in her prayer and meditation time that helped her see some of the ways God works in our lives:

Like a Tide: In our lives we cannot continually give treasures of ourselves without returning for periods of renewal to receive these treasures in order that we might share them. (Just as the tide goes out and collects shells, etc., then brings them to the shore.)

Like a River: Our lives alternate periods of a flurry of activity and periods of involvement in harassing situations, and if we will just flow along, accepting that as time moves on, we will come to a wide, shallow, peaceful place in the river of our lives, it all has perspective.

Like an Iceberg: The part of us that others see is only the part above the water. Underneath is what is supporting that above – and the stronger the underneath part, the more steady will be the top as it is buffeted by the wind (circumstances of our lives). The  lower part is strengthened through faith and obedience to God.

Like a Prism: As a prism focuses a beam of light into separate colors, so God sends His power through His believers (who act as the focusing prism) – using their prayers for others to send the solution for the particular need. In this concept it would seem logical that the more people praying for an individual the more ‘rays’ would be concentrated on the one in need, perhaps explaining the effectiveness of group prayer.