Celtic Dream

IMG_7072-Edit
Standard

A sea of movement
blinded by the fog before my eyes.
You can’t succeed with endless tries.
Lift the veil of discovery
break the back of prideful ways.

The drum plays on..
Its intricacy
Its impossible delicacy.

A balance unkempt
The living rhythm
Deceive the deceiver.

Thrice the truth be told
when the cock crows, you’ll fold

Enter into the cairn dead
Hear what others have said
Pass into the other world
Enter the living once more.

Sunwise circles entwine my mind
Endless knots revile and bind.
Thoughts go unheeded
You may get cheated…

Or win a life you never knew.

 

Originally Written September/October 1997

Glimpses of Eden

IMG_6788-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit
Standard

Browsing news this morning via Google News, the title of one particular article caught my eye.  Between Godliness and Godlessness seems to be a book promo of “Waking Up” by Sam Harris.  It echoes the cry of our culture that says “I want spirituality without religion, without God”.

The question is then asked: Which comes first, the faith or the feeling of transcendence?

While my thoughts are more than likely coming from a place that is immediately discounted as a preconceived ideology that I’ve grown up with and been brainwashed into, it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to bring a bit of reason to the discussion.

The feeling of transcendence comes first.

You probably didn’t see that coming did you?

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. – Romans 1:20

The fact that one can have this feeling that is described as transcendant in the first place, to be beyond oneself, seems to be an argument for God rather than against.  While the Bible seems to counter that this is a perception of God’s eternal power and divine nature, Harris would rather you believe that this feeling of “Beyond oneself” actually comes from within and has even titled his book Waking Up as if to suggest that anyone who believes in a divine God is asleep.

To me it seems that the argument echoes something from the Bible.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:4-5

Culture doesn’t want God, but needs one anyway.

See if this feeling of “beyond oneself” comes from within, then I am not really beyond anything, but more likely beside myself.  Yes, there is a huge hunger for this line of thinking.  People, given free will, desire freedom of thought albeit rebelling against boundaries only succeed at anarchy of the mind.

The Inclusive Gospel

Unknown
Standard

It’s easy to find hot-button issues.  Homosexuality, drinking, abortion, Mark Driscoll, porn, Michael Brown, Israel, religion… the list could go on forever.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that people are milking a lot of these issues for personal gain.  Let’s just say for a moment that everyone at the same time came to one unified conclusion on just one of these topics, what would happen to the internet?  It would probably implode.  Certainly the financial security of some well known bloggers and individuals would begin to crumble.  So it’s understandable when someone begins to influence anyone about any particular standpoint, they are instantly targeted by either side of the argument.

So the most dangerous position in the world is the one that seems to definitively answer any argument.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  – John 14:6

So, while the Jews of the time period were arguing about what laws need to be followed to please God and making money in the courtyard selling sacrifices, Jesus answered it simply.

No wonder He was crucified.  He threatened their way of life.  He disrupted the status quo.  Then, He opened the door for whosoever to please God.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Jesus didn’t come to keep people from God, He came to give us an open door to the Holy of Holies where we could come into the presence of God.  The only problem is that nobody wants to recognize that in order to reap the benefits of this grand invitation is that receiving the Love of God is a prerequisite.  The only way to receive love is to give love.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

Image Credit: Lightstock

 

 

The Perfect Distraction

000000_IMG_8153
Standard

I recently read this quote from one of my favorite authors.

“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”

C.S. Lewis – The Weight of Glory

Often I fool myself into thinking that certain conditions determine the success I will have at any given objective in life and especially so for those who believe themselves Christians.  It is akin to saying that in order to better pray more regularly I must have a softer pillow on which to kneel.  This is cushy, comfortable Christianity that is rather mainstream at the moment and probably the furthest thing from the person of Jesus Christ that you could find.  It is probably my greatest temptation as a Follower of Christ.

So why is it such a temptation?

I like to do things well… or else not do them at all.  Call it perfectionism or “honoring God with the best I have to offer” or simply pride, if I am working on an outreach project or even putting together a sermon or lesson for church I will not rest till I feel it is perfect.  Truth be told, I could usually have done ten times more if I had simply let go and let God take my imperfect gift and use it.  However, I think this is where it hits the corporate church squarely in the eye and why so many churches do not grow anymore.  The excuses are “we don’t have the money” or “we don’t have the dynamic pastor” but the truth is that they believe the success of the endeavor falls on them, rather than on God.

I think this quote from G.K. Chesterton says it very clearly “If a thing’s worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”

Finding Rest

IMG_0884
Standard

I don’t like to work in vain.  I don’t think anyone really likes to.  There are some people who can work you to death if you let them.  They will find projects upon projects of different things to put you to task with and even pepper you with compliments and praise along the way.  As a “confirmation junkie” I will admit that I thrive off the praise of others at times.  The people who can suffer most are my family.  God indeed gave us a day that he commanded to take as a day of rest.  Do you take your day of rest each week or do you use it to work on other projects for other people, build your personal business projects?

When you don’t obey God’s command to keep the Sabbath holy, it’s simply vanity rather than Godliness or a righteous work ethic.

Confession.  This week, I didn’t.  Not by choice or by blatant desire.  But simply by being too busy and getting into too many projects.  Yeah, it’s one of the big ten too.

Exodus 20:8-11
English Standard Version (ESV)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God says “Let’s go for a walk”

IMG_0390
Standard

My dog, Dugal loves walks.  He is obedient on a leash and pretty much will stay with you.  If I take him off the leash and try to walk with him, he gets distracted easily.  My son, Aidan is somewhere between the two extremes.  He gets distracted easily.  He will walk just a little behind me or just in front of me weaving back and forth.  He is also a bit of a chatterbox.  His mind wanders constantly about while he wonders about everything he sees.

A walk together is not just about getting from one place to another.  It’s about being with someone.

Even if you are in completely different worlds, on a walk, you are at least going the same direction for a few moments and have something in common.  It is the most basic part of getting to know someone.  Walking with them.  Getting in step with them and matching their stride.  It is discipleship 101.  For couples who are struggling in their marriage, go for a walk together.  For parents who are struggling with their kids, go for a walk.

God says “Let’s go for a walk”.