Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Patriotic Eyes

I wrote this many years ago and, noticing it was Memorial Day in the US,  I dusted it off. Although we choose to remember the valour and brave actions of those lost and the heartbreak that brought to families, we should be more aware of the bigger picture and the reality of all those affected. Of course, I've never fought in a war, so may not be qualified to write this, but after all I have seen and read, and what my heart says, I think it stands.

And what of our future;
Glories of war, past and present,
Lies and myths float on the phosphorous clouds
Inhaled by Red, Yellow, Black...
We have fought with patriotic eyes, 
   As have they!
Who can see death without tears?
How many knew the reasons?
   Innocent, ignorant, martyrs.

A dawn's early mist drifts and carries fatigue, 
Echoes of shellfire - 
   Scarred earth - 
      A child's terror,
Nightmare vision and Godless chills
And prickling hackles
Making beds for propaganda - patronising, patriots,

At the setting of the sun
And in the morning
We will grieve them, 
Lest we remember.

Monday, 28 May 2012

We Are One

When a heart slows, beating into the mist
When footsteps disconnect, reality bleeding
Eyes tunnel
Voices funnel
The overload begins, the mind retreats
Neurons firing in slowmo

Curling foetal, dreams warmth embracing
Clawing rest, wresting the peace
It will come, it floats through
It curls and folds
It draws and caresses 
It speaks

Can't fight it
Process light it
Fuse ignite it
Oils flowing, warming
Flames passion, intimate touch
Breathe and whisper

We are here, we are one
We sleep and dream, live and scream
We shout our love through the mist
The overload retreats
And we rest in the afterglow
We are one
We are

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Relationship 101

I think I've got it all sussed now.

Its all very simple really. It comes down to why God created us. After much thoughtful contemplation - well about 40 years worth really, and some of it not very thoughtful (but that's another story), I've realised He created us to have a relationship with Him.

That may not sound overly profound as such, but the implications are huge. For starters, what sort of relationship, and how do we get it? 

Well, the bible talks about intimacy, I mean, look at Song of Solomon - that's really intimate. But when I look at the big picture, I can see it comes down to our complete union/oneness with him. 

Everything we know about love and Jesus and Holy Spirit and Father all centres around an intimate relationship. But here's where it gets interesting. I can't have an intimate relationship with anyone if we don't communicate. Its a two way thing - intimacy from both partners, transparency, trust, unconditional love for and from both sides - otherwise it isn't a relationship.

Many christians and spiritual people in general, will talk about our unity/oneness with God and enjoy him in nature and seeing his heart in everything all around them including other people. And this is true, its a good thing, a great thing! But is it relationship? Do we talk to Him, hear Him, like any other lover talks with their beloved. Yes, its that sort of intimacy He created us for! Not a pseudo-pantheistic oneness with the universe, although its part of the picture. I'm talking about real conversations, whether hearing voices or hearing with our hearts. I'm not talking about reading the bible or christian books or listening to teachings. 

This is the real deal - 

"Yes, I know God, we chat away all the time, He's so interesting and we talk about  everything...", 
"I was talking to God the other day about my son's sore foot, and He reckoned it will be OK if he rests it...", 
"We were discussing what I thought about this book yesterday and He said it was basically OK but some of the stuff was just the guy projecting his own issues...", 
"We went for a walk this morning and He just kept telling me how much He loved me, even all the stuff I hate about myself, well, He just cut through all that and I got overwhelmed..." 

That's the sort of real.

In the end its the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter how we get there. It doesn't matter what doctrines we believe. It doesn't matter what process or rituals. It doesn't matter if you are baptised, spirit filled, have said the sinners prayer or even 'given your life to Jesus'. That was all taken care of a couple of thousand years ago. 

He just wants to live with us, to be our lover/partner/father/mother/brother/sister. When we are in that place, all our "issues" just fall away, without even trying. In the presence of that level of intimacy and being engulfed in that much love, we just "are". Nothing else matters.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Things what I've been thunking

Well, here goes...

Christianity doesn't work.

I mean, on so many levels, it just doesn't work.

Oh, I know all the theology and doctrines - done hundreds of seminars, been to bible college, read I don't know how many books and sat through zillions of sermons. So I get it, I understand it. But in terms of being the solution to life the universe and everything - it just doesn't work!

But here it is, stay with me...

Its the fruit that reveals the truth. I have to look at the fruit of "christendom" and, well, its just not there. Yes, there's many arguments about spiritual truth going out to all mankind and what is happening "in the spirit", got all that. But I'm talking about real fruit. Fruit that "feeds" the world on every level - love, joy and peace.

Look at the history of the church. It's produced more hatred, bigotry, racism, political strife, wars, genocide than any other culture on this planet. Lets look at the state of the church now. There have never been more denominations, cults etc, all claiming to have "the truth". Never more division, fighting, slander. The list of failures would fill a book!

So what's the problem? Many of course, say that scripture is always open to abuse - we all know that, and it never changes anything.
So I ask bigger questions, and a lot of people are asking these questions. What if the universal truths contained in the scriptures are far more encompassing than we imagined. That we have limited truth to a particular culture and mindset that it was never meant to be? We have desperately tried for 2000 years to make it all fit, and we are no closer, probably further away, than we have ever been.

So what are the "universal truths"?

The most important one is Love. The bible says it, nearly all other cultures say it, and, more than anything, our hearts say it!

Perhaps the next would be the nature of man. The bible, most cultures, and our hearts say that we are basically stuffed and are forever trying to embrace the one most important truth - Love.

Maybe we could then say that the solution to this dilemma can only be found in God, that no amount of struggling and striving can solve the problem. And perhaps the whole idea of "Christ" as personified in Jesus, is THE solution to life the universe and everything. I'm not talking about our narrow, bigoted, dogmatic traditional perspective. I mean the universal truth of what Christ did - big enough to redeem all of mankind with a plan that is so way beyond a narrow christian viewpoint that we are only just beginning to grasp little bits of it.

And maybe who and what Jesus is and did is so mindbogglingly powerful that its too big to be contained in one book and controlled by one group of people.

Perhaps the last universal truth that underpins all the others, is that God created us for intimacy with Him. I'm not talking about being "one with nature" (although that's pretty cool) and denying our pains and struggles to embrace some vague pie-in-the-sky ideal. I'm talking about knowing God, like I know my best friend. Not just feeling good about God and appreciating Him in everything and loving everyone because it feels good. I mean KNOWING Him, talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying. All the reality of this life with Him, INSIDE us - intrinsically bound together in heart and mind like lovers.

So is the bible the sole source of truth? I don't think so. What about our hearts? Far more than we think! What about Jesus? The timeless act of Jesus the Christ, before the foundation of the world, outside of time, gave us free access to intimacy with Him who created us - every single person past, present and future.

What about morality, evil, deception, ethics... intimacy takes care of ALL that stuff. The more I look at that, the more real it becomes. Intimacy with He who made us is the only solution. It bypasses every law/tradition/principle/sin/evil/religion - everything! It takes us straight to the heart of all things, where all love, joy and peace originates.

So does christianity "work"? No! All that works in any sense, is acknowledging what Christ has done and walking into deep personal union with God. Nothing more and nothing less.

This is full of generalisations and I know there are many questions that need detailed answers. But I put it out there to challenge and ask those questions and dig deep for real answers. And I've left a lot of comments open ended for your entertainment. God doesn't mind, lets really use those brains and hearts he gave us.

Monday, 7 May 2012

The wind in my heart

From my lofty little tower high up in the interwebs, gazing across the seas of Blogdom and the little islands of the Facebookians, I see crazy weather. Seas tossed by wild winds, thousands of ships being thrown around in all directions.

But in all this mess, I also see the common factor - the wind! It all seems to be coming from the same direction. Some boats are frantically tacking across the wind to get where they want to go; others sinking, desperately bailing; even some engaged in futile attempts to head into the wind; and some just letting themselves be blown along, sails ripped and torn; and a handful carefully navigating the treacherous conditions with tightly trimmed sails, breakneck speeds in unison with the wind, hanging on for life.

Each boat is completely preoccupied with its own survival, some even to the point of ramming others out of the way, completely indifferent to the consequences of their actions.

But still the wind blows, relentless. Slowly, some on each boat look out and notice that everyone is actually heading in the same direction, that they will all eventually end up at the same place if they just let it blow and go with the flow, and maybe instead of fighting it, they could make the most of it and go for the ride of their lives.

No matter what the boats look like and who is manning them, they are subject to the wind. It blows where it will.

The wind is Love. Nothing escapes it. Nothing resists it. It will take all of us to where it chooses as surely as light dispels the dark.

The wind in my heart!

Friday, 4 May 2012

More on The Word...

Well here's where I'm probably going to go up a rung or two in the heresy ladder!

I have been having ongoing discussions with a friend about many issues relating to grace, leading into the ideas around Ultimate Reconciliation. Although we have agreed to disagree, I thought I might share my final communication by way of relating my current stance - my theology as of this week, next week may be different, lol!! I've mentioned many of the points in previous posts and blogs, but this sort of came out as a summary...

After all our discussion I realise I don't view scripture as the word of God. Jesus is, has always been and will always be the Word of God. Scripture is scripture, nothing more and nothing less. It is subject to the Holy Spirit. It is a collection of letters and documents written by men like you and I, full of the same emotions, fears, and joys. It is full of errors, contradictions and emotions.

But here's the thing. It is exactly what God wanted, for then and now. It describes God's heart, man's heart, their interactions, adventures, loves and hates, the whole gamut of of who we are and our relationship with him. If he had laid out a totally unambiguous user manual, then there would be no heart to heart search, no longing for truth that drives us to him, instead of a book. The bible is invaluable, because it leads us to him, its NOT him. This is where the intellectual/scholar thing turns to custard on every level. He can never be expressed through a book, and never wanted to be. His wonderful grace as expressed through the new covenant, caused us to be totally reliant upon Holy Spirit in us and to trust him in everyone else. Yes there is the Law, which was for the Jews, and the wonderful passionate poetry of Psalms, and the Prophets, all so beneficial to our walk with Him! But they are not Him, nor are they to be taken as literal truths. He is soooo much bigger!

Paul had amazing revelations and expressed brilliant truths, but he was all over the place too, often contradicting himself and throwing in his personal opinions. With all his letters we only see his side of the story, we can only assume what he is responding to. But that's fine, because God wants us to listen to Holy Spirit first. Its scary because we have to trust him, something not many people are even willing to consider, saying its license to do whatever we want, but of course it isn't, that's absurd. Its license to find our union with him free from sin/law/religion, and He's more than happy to take the risk that we'll blow it.

I've been looking at the Preterist viewpoint. Not saying I totally agree with it, but there is so much that is obviously right. And its the same with many other ideas - if we get stuck in our paradigms we spiral into fundamentalist dogma that leads to bondage, not freedom, and completely cuts across our ability to have pure intimacy with God.

The kingdom and the gospel, the work of Jesus and the love of God are so much bigger than we ever imagined or could be explained in a few words penned by fragile humans like us, that God had to present it in all its warts and shortcomings. But we still bury our heads in the words thinking that truth lies there, when its in front of us and in us right now, the words of scripture confirming what is in our hearts.

Jesus was the fulfilment and the end of the law, he had to be familiar with every last bit of it so he could complete his "mission". Yes, scripture is beneficial, but it isn't the source of all truth. Its is totally inspired by God, but not because its indisputable truth, but for the opposite reason - it causes us to turn to him for truth and clarity and to make sense of life. We have been taught to worship the bible rather than Him, and the implications of that are huge.

Our journey with God is meant to be totally unique to each of us, enabled by the finished work of Jesus when he died and resurrected. The scriptures are a wonderful guide to that unique journey, but they will never supersede our unity with the fullness of God right now, and the amazing intimacy that brings every moment of our lives!