Saturday, March 28, 2015

Robbie Seay Band - Lament





We've seen mothers bury sons
and we're begging you to come, oh

the broken fill our towns
and the hopeless shout aloud, oh

We cannot wait
we cannot wait
oh, we cannot wait

when the poor are thrown aside
the sick are left to die, oh

We need your grace, oh God
your grace, oh God
we need your grace

We cannot wait, oh God
(on) your grace, oh God
we need your grace

You are here, your kingdom come
rescue us from all we've done
help us move and be the love
save us now from all we've done
we've seen mothers bury sons
we are begging you to come
we are begging you to come
oh, God, come

You are here, your kingdom come
rescue us from all we've done
help us move and be the love
save us now from all we've done
we've seen mothers bury sons
we've seen mothers bury sons
we are begging you to come
oh, God, come

We need your grace, oh God
your grace, oh God
we need your grace

and we cannot wait, oh God
your grace, oh God
we need your grace



Awaken Us to Rest

Our pursuit has arrived at this? This reckless chase is over for me!  I have expended energy of a thousand worlds, a thousand lives, and look at me now,  Father.  We are what we are.  This path has taken us to the end of ourselves. Will you awaken us all to rest?

We have become divine machines. We are now driven to manipulate the very DNA that you created.  Have you tied yourself to this direction of evil intent? The Witnesses see it, heads bowed. Without the Breath what will we become?

How long can we await the animation from your divine hand? You're standing before the grand easel of humanity. You're draw all lines, curves, colors, shades and bring all depth and dimension to the soul's blank canvas.

Will you draw us anew?

Who of us can wait like this?  Who of us can become nothing, detached and sitting as your abandoned field? Who will wait for the seed?

"Let it be to me according to your word."

What is your word, O Father, in these desperate days? Is your word that the earthly will bear the image of the heavenly? You have sown this corrupt, perishable, weak vessel that it might be raised in power. This is your word!

You look through these eyes to see our violence and pain.  Hills and valleys of brokenness strewn across the landscape of our heaven and hell.  Have you not already endured this once for us all? We broke your body with our own hands. Look at our violence again covering the earth, Father!  It is standing at our door to swallow up your sons and daughters!

Who I am to stand here and speak to you like this? But it was you who brought me forth as I am, and I can not keep silent, especially when this season of sin and heartache continues with no apparent end. 

Awaken us to who we are. We are your little lambs, though ravenous beasts stalk about. Awaken us all out of this nightmare of violence to enter into your mysterious rest and peace.

Will the Planter not plant his seed, which inevitably pushes through from darkness into light. Push us through the soil of our illusions and into the heavens and your glorious light.

We are all the virgin soul awaiting Love's visitation.  Will you come into the chamber and find us waiting behind this veil? Pull back this veil once more, our Lover! Yes, we are waiting with all those who don't know you are come. 

Bring us all to our end for that is the new beginning for us all. 

Detach us from everything we've clung to, so that in our detachment we realize our attachment to all things.

Make us lie down.

Awaken us to rest, Our Father

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What If?

What if the work God had for you to do was all about less, and not more?

What if it didn’t matter how much impact we could make on others, and what mattered instead was our own capacity to be impacted?

What if we allowed the things we reject in one another to be what draws us together?

What if the ideal order so many desire is disorder to God and opposed to faith.

What if we were so secure in whom and what we are, and what we have been created to do on this earth, that nothing could shake us from our mission to love one another?

What if God said “Don’t change.”?

What if God gave you the opportunity to change one thing, and only one thing? Would you let Him choose, or would you want to choose what you could change?

What if God gave you the opportunity to influence two people in your life? Would you let Him choose who they were, or would you prefer to choose them yourself?

What if everything you were doing in His name was impeding the work He had for you to do?

What if it were God’s will for you to stay at home and mind your own business?

What if it were God’s will for you to leave everything you have worked for and go away?

What if it were God’s will for you to never know what God’s will was, just so he could see what you would do with your time?

What if it turned out that being right didn't count? What if winning didn't count?

What if the things you fixed about yourself were the things God was planning to use?

What if your perfect life knocked the handle off the door to your heart?

What if God doesn't believe in money?

What if the thing God loved about you most was the thing you hated the most about yourself?

What if God got to decide what was the best of you?

What if you found out God was perfectly happy with your life just the way it is?

Who gets to choose your best, most abundant life - you or God?
 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grace vs. The Economy of Self

A homeless man in San Franciso
"The true gospel of grace is not attractive because it tells you to stop proving yourself, stop showing off your trophies, stop competing with your neighbors, stop validating yourself to men by humbling yourself before God and become another one of God's sons or daughters. It is the forsaking of the ideal order purported to bring us fulfillment and it is the following of  Christ Jesus by faith, which is unstable, uncertain and possesses no constancy.  It is socially intolerable for you to put away your dreams and aspirations of greatness, lower yourself to identify with the humble and poor,  and by faith see where this takes you."

Joel and Victoria O'Steen Estate
Kids love their toys, games, competitions and trophies.  Kids are supposed to grow up to be loving neighbors. But kids who never grow into adults, they continue to buy more expensive toys, compete with each other by buying into the success and career narrative, and show-off their trophies with conspicuous consumption.  The problem with material trophies is that they were gained at the expense of another human being, who was undoubtedly exploited so that big kids could validate themselves to their friends and prove themselves worthy consumers, not loving neighbors.  I am not going to get into the discussion about how selfish we've become because I know and you know that we seek our own interest first. If you don't believe what I write here, when you get your next pay cheque closely examine what your first instinct is after cashing it. I assure you that it will be to provide for yourself, not others. Welcome to the economy of self.

North American consumers have become spoiled children. How else do you explain the excessive consumption and then the throwing away of sometimes rarely used material goods, just to get the latest material good wanted to fill the inner man-made desire.   We have lost sight of the billions of people on this planet who are struggling to survive, while we become the targets of corporations including Big Pharma who sells us chemicals to lessen the pain of anxiety so we can get back to work and be better consumers. 

Our anxiety is rooted in self-centeredness. We have cashed in to the false self, which does not actually exist and is completely an illusion. We tend to complain because we can't mimic  or live like  celebrity kings.  I'm writing this to tell you that we already live like kings and the king we claim to love is one who humbled himself, not exalted himself above others. Jesus was the Son of God but avoided any display of entitlement. For God's sake, he walked around with dirty feet, no chariot and his disciples were the hick fisherman of his region. Sinners, drunks, mentally ill, locally despised Romans and Samaritans,  and whores, too. So much for cultural flare, observing social mores(morality) and observing the religious structures of the day.

 Man's Ideal Order Renounced in Jesus Christ

Jesus was a poor Nazarene, who lowered himself to identify with the lowest and common, not the cultural, religious and political elite. No one would ever claim Jesus to be a moralist because he was anything but. This statements appears intolerable to most Christians today,  but Jesus would have undoubtedly been considered immoral by the religion and ruling culture of the day. Why? He was a fringe-dwelling, subversive, social more` denying Nazarene.

God lived through Jesus Christ, not as a wealthy entitled big-shot, but a poor, humble backwater Nazarene. He did this because of man's perverted desire to have an ideal order, which can and never will be attained.  Our obsession with ideal order spans all cultures, religious and political structures.  What is ideal order?

It's that tendency in us all to seek an order according to our own minds, not the mind of Christ.
The problem with it, as Jesus saw it, were the exceptions like the poor, handicapped, mentally ill, unfortunate, exploited, the sinners who couldn't stop sinning and become good moral citizens in the order, those who refused to participate or cooperate with those who determined what the ideal structures should be, not to mention "wild nature' that is a variable far beyond our control.  Human beings a love a world that is stable, certain and constant.  Good luck with this obsession but the universe, especially quantum, has a mysterious plan in place to defy you. What is this plan?  Mystery. 

Human beings want stablilty, certainty and constancy but in our attempts to bring these forth, we err by excluding. This is the elephant in the room, especially in religion.

Jesus came to sit with those on the margins who were unable to find stability, certainties or constancy in the systems that idealists and elitists forcefully implement through war, violence rooted in self-will. Jesus loves the exceptions and I believe his life and words display that for us.

 I'm sorry to tell you that he rejected the notion of a political, social religious order as promoted by those in power.  It is power that must be exercised to maintain that order that so destroys people's lives  He instead implemented the notion that his Father was now present to those who weren't ideal.  Jesus often said "You've heard that it was said, but I tell you..."  Words of a revolutionary but his revolution was not about changing the political world around him by force or violence,  but radical displays of love for the minds and the hearts steeped in traditions, the exploited exceptions of the social (dis)order, those broken by the ideal order that pretends to save. Power never saves. Love, diminution and weakness within the ideal order is our salvation. 

A serious Christian must avoid violence and any subversive actions against those governing us because they have been appointed by God to rule us.  Christians should also avoid political office, but that is another (radical) post.

I'm sorry to tell you that religious, political and cultural leaders did not accept him then and they will not accept his life in you now.  Jesus is grace and truth, not order that exploits those who are disordered. You need to think about that for a while because such an idea obliterates the idea that the gospel will ever be socially tolerable and, to me, seems to detonate the prosperity message.

The gospel of grace is not attractive because it tells you to stop proving yourself, stop showing off your trophies, stop competing with your neighbors, stop validating yourself to men by humbling yourself before God and become another one of God's sons or daughters. It is the forsaking of the ideal order purported to bring us fulfillment and it is the following of  Christ Jesus by faith, which is unstable, uncertain and possesses no constancy.  It is socially intolerable for you to put away your dreams and aspirations of greatness, lower yourself to identify with the humble and poor,  and by faith see where it takes you.The scriptures indicate that those who do this will not be great here, but are already the greatest in the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world.

Don't we believe that this is what Jesus meant when he said "follow me."  Be like me and give yourself by faith to God.  Our family business is not climbing career ladders, validating ourselves to ourselves or our neighbors,  finding security in the systems of this world, though we are constantly seduced to pursue them.  Grace, faith and love is more about the poor and the food bank than it is about being a a consumer who is tired and enslaved to get more money in the bank. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Only When, Only Then

When our passion and obsession for things, prominence, and validation of self is overtaken by a far greater passion poured out in an expression of loving deeds for life and people around us, only then will life begin to have any meaning or significance apart from this gnawing sense of an unfulfilled self.  We err when we look to a future of fulfillment or promote a narrative of rewards and punishment. Fulfillment is now and this is the shift humanity has to make or WE will continue wandering in our incurable anxiety, which is the illusory shell game of the false self.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shadow


I am in the Shadow
On the margins of your normal
Outside of what is proper and good
Here I sit
With mouth closed
Heart and mind open

Mystery is my breath
Uncertainty my sustenance
Humbled and pressed by this illusion
Of those perpetually searching
Never finding
Hearing but never hearing
While I am barricaded from resolution
Unable to allay this programmed anxiety

The tragedy is not those in the shadow
But those who love and require
Their version of order
Over any compassion
Toward exception

For now
I will remain in the shadow
Where Mystery abides
With no certainties
And I am diminution of light


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pure Grace

Pure Grace animating human flesh is socially intolerable and repulsive to the default mind rooted in this meritocracy we are subjected to.  The Lamb nature was, is and always will be crucified by religion at the place of the skull. Live out pure grace in every way you can, and I assure you that you will end up at a place like Golgotha. You will also inevitably encounter humanity's obsession to justify themselves and to sacrifice the gift of pure freedom in exchange for self-righteousness. We live entrenched in the gift and counter-gift mentality.   We love exchanging presents because it is easier than simply receiving.  We have built a complex system of pay and be paid, and you will either pay to be justified or you will become the payment to a system that is fundamentally perpetuated by an obsession with self-justification, not divine justification.