Perfect!

April 16, 2009

“Knowing is loving.” If God truly knows me, God actually loves me. The old Testament is clear that truly to “know” somebody is to love her or him, For God, knowing is the language of intimacy rather than intimidation. God is love because God knows us. This divine knowing is the eternal antidote for depression and melancholy. We are known and loved. We are not alone-hence, we need not be lonely.   –Cliff H., BoldGrace.com

The following words are in response to 

this post at BoldGrace.com  (please click here before proceeding)

Cliff, our precious friend, you have finally, ultimately, and gracefully surrendered to the affectionate embrace of Abba Father. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting you or enjoying a personal conversation with you – I feel very much like I have nonetheless. Had the opportunity presented itself for us to meet I’m sure it would have felt like reconnecting with an old friend from long ago. That’s how it was when my wife and I enjoyed breakfast with our BG friend ‘Geo’ a few weeks back. 

The words you have shared on BoldGrace.com have impacted me greatly these past several months. Often I had to mull them over quite a while to appreciate them… some of them I probably am still sifting through but undoubtedly you came into my life at the PERFECT time! It is my understanding that you embraced the true Gospel message at the expense of  your very career as a minister. Then came true freedom! I myself have been on paid administrative staff with a local church for 18 years and volunteer staff for nearly a decade prior to that. In the past two years my wife and I began to receive and trust the simple message of Christ ALONE being our righteousness and, low and behold, all of our previous reference points in life began to change radically, but one thing became certain — true peace, knowing we are loved much!

I am presently in a wonderful state of transition, having been laid off weeks ago due to this economy. The beginnings of this transition coincided with some posts you composed at BG regarding your employment at a local hospital. Reading your posts (such as this one) brought me much freedom as I began to consider what might be in store for me career wise.

For my wife and I, knowing the true Good News and that we are affectionately and unconditionally loved is radically changing our world view. Having the true riches means everything to us. A job that is ‘right for us’ is no longer such an issue; having an opportunity to be where Daddy wants us is what excites us.

As I write this I am preparing for an interview as the janitor/caretaker at a local facility. My resume is also in the hands of several other potential employers who could offer me a position that would be much more ‘compatible’ with my administrative / creative  skills and background, not to mention the payscale; however the job I’m most hopeful for is this janitor opportunity where I know I would be face to face with countless people who are incredibly precious to Father and they may not be aware until they are affectionately loved and valued by someone who cares. Thank you, Cliff, for demonstrating this reality in your life. 

To Cliff’s dear family and all his BG friends around the world who will be greatly missing him, my wife and I are holding you close before God in our hearts during this time . Thank you for letting me ramble on about how Cliff’s PERFECT faith has deeply affected me!


I think I’m going out of my head (and into my heart)

April 13, 2009

These words by Wayne Jacobsen in his latest post ‘Questions Questions Questions’ at LifeStream.org are most appropriate to me…

If we’re really looking to follow Jesus, would he allow us to be deceived by a false grace? If we ask the Father for bread, will he let us pick up a stone instead?

So many brothers and sisters I know get paralyzed when they haven’t figured out answers to every question, about something they sense him leading them to do, or even just believing that the Gospel of grace, is simply that. What if we trusted Jesus to sort out our questions in the going, rather than having them all answered before we head out?

Wayne hits a nail on the head and goes on to explain how our innermost being is already geared to respond to the unconditional love and unmerited favor He has lavished on each of us — it’s our heads that get in the way demanding answers to every possible question and then leaving us paralyzed with fear and indecision instead of responding to His love. That’s what religion does. It assuages our need for answers in neat little bite sized chunks that satisfies our rational self while ignoring and even smothering our relational and true self. The problem is we have to keep running back for more bites to remain satisfied.

Getting what’s in our hearts into our head is a process that Holy Spirit is able and willing to do when we relinquish control and relax into the invitation of relationship already taking place among Father, Son, and Spirit. Where we once found ourselves having to believe to receive, now we can freely receive His affectionate love which leads us to believe! I have a close friend & brother who points out that “believing is the indication of dependence on God while knowing is the indication of independence”. As we find ourselves at home in His love, abiding in Him, we will trust that the Great I AM is the Answer to any and all questions.

Never before have I and my family faced times more difficult than these recent months. It would be safe to say that over the past nearly two years my family has experienced more challenges in relationships, finances, and health than we have in the previous decade or more. And yet, we are finding ourselves realizing more genuiness in our walk with God and each other. We are enjoying deeper and more lasting peace, hope, and ability to receive and express Father’s affectionate love in our relationships with Him, one another, and those in our path on a daily basis. 

This is a result of a major shift in our life focus that we began to recognize was taking place a year or so ago. Everything we thought we knew about God, the Bible, Christianity / the Church / its mission, ministry, morality, etc. began to seem irrelevant compared to our inner inclination to truly know God. We found ourselves being invited beyond the clinical repitition of religion – beyond the performance-driven mindsets of having to please God – and into His loving embrace. This reality of living by the law of love is becoming just as real as the law of gravity. And just like a gravitational pull, we find ourselves continually drawn toward Him in gradual but constant motion, independent of any effort on our part!