Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blanket's Creek

It's been a long time since I've ridden my mountain bike, but today I was struck by how my mind goes into a very quiet place when I ride. Thoughts come and go, but the flow of the trail and of my attention to each tiny adjustment of my body and my bike, keeps me in a place that is very like a meditation the entire time. I rode for an hour and a half at Blanket's Creek trails, rode every inch of trail, and I hardly ever felt the need to come up for air. Things came into my mind, asked for my attention, and I let them go with the very next breath, the next rotation of the pedals, the next banked turn. The focus of my mind and body was so pleasant, the air so cool, the light so clear filtering through the leaves, I never wanted it to end. They've made some really nice improvements to the trail out there, built up the banks on the switchbacks on the VanMichaels loop so that you can scream around them like a BMX track. It's like a playground for big kids. So grateful for Fun!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Did You Hear Thunder?

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

I believe that we always hear the voice of God; often we ignore what we hear; sometimes we think we hear just the noise of our own thoughts,  and it doesn't make any sense to us, but He is always there, in us, faithfully speaking truth, imparting Life.

The goal of this journey I walk with people is not to fix them, it is to lead them into intimacy with Jesus. A beautiful side effect of learning to listen for his voice speaking in our hearts is that our day to day thoughts and feelings are radically changed, and so our behavior is changed as well.

When we bump into Jesus, we can’t help being changed by him. His presence, his personality, his grace, his lovingkindness, his words of reassurance, comfort and delight over us: all these are incredibly powerful if we will let go of ourselves and experience him for a moment. Each facet of who he is transforms our hearts.

When he walked the earth in flesh and blood as a man, people followed Jesus out of sheer delight. He is a pure joy to be around. Even though he was always saying impossible things like “Be Ye perfect as God is perfect”, or extreme things like, “sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come follow me”, people still wanted to be around him all the time. He is always trying to wake us up to our true poverty and invite us to come receive from him. I’m sure people back then didn’t understand, and we don't either, but that doesn’t matter, we want this LIFE he is offering.

 Whenever people give him even the briefest of chances to speak into their hearts, we find joy bubbling up, joy even to tears, and release of emotions, and false beliefs that may have been festering for years.

Take this woman I recently met with. We have been meeting for about 9 months now, and I have seen incredible changes in her heart and mind, and in her demeanor, and it has all happened because she learned (I’d like to say I taught her, but I didn’t really) that Jesus speaks in her heart, every day, every moment, and she can be with him in her thoughts any time she wants to. Although her story is a very tough one, full of betrayal, abandonment and lies, she has learned to look at it all differently because of God's interpretation of her life.

As we sat down for a mentoring session the other day, I pulled out a Taylor Johnson personality test she took 9 months ago, and another one that she just took a week or so ago. This test is a self-report designed to show what is going on inside a person’s emotions on a deep level, sometimes even deeper than they themselves are aware. It can be quite revealing. On several key markers she has seen incredible transformation, so I thought it was time to celebrate together. Her levels of depression and anxiety, since learning to listen to Jesus, have gone from very high, to quite normal and healthy levels  Her level of emotional expressiveness has gone from extremely inhibited to much more expressive and responsive. One of the most significant markers, subjectivity (which measures the tendency to be caught up in emotion and self-absorbed) has come way down as she learns to see things from the far broader and more balanced perspective of Jesus. Finally, after walking through forgiveness, we have seen her level of hostility drop as she becomes much more tolerant and understanding of herself and others. Her view of herself is far more positive as well; she is learning to rest in the grace of God and not in her own performance. None of the circumstances of her life have changed, but her inner world has been changed by simply spending time listening and enjoying the presence of Jesus.

Now, I’m not saying that measurements like this test are the way God looks at us, or the way He wants us to look at ourselves, but it can be very encouraging to be able to see the change in the way a person feels, thinks and acts put down in paper on a graph! There is a metric of celebration present here, yet the transformation that Jesus has worked is beyond any measurement or chart. It is a change in the spirit that is ineluctably working its way out into our daily lives. Learning to tune into what He is doing, as this woman has done, is simply a wonderful catalyst to witnessing the change as it happens.

I see changes like this in people every day, even in the course of just an hour of talking, or a few minutes of prayer time with Jesus.

Before Jesus went to the cross, He stood before a crowd and asked the Father to glorify His name. The Father replied, presumably in a voice audible to all who stood by “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” But the crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

The same is true for all of us. We may be tempted to write off the miracle of Jesus speaking into our hearts as nothing but our own thoughts. Someone standing by might say something that amounts to the dismissal of “did you hear thunder?” But together with Jesus, you and I have a chance to witness and celebrate the miracle. Because we're with Jesus in this process, we can hear the voice of the Father saying to each of us “This is my beloved, on whom my favor rests” and so much more . . . as He reveals His amazing love to us.

I praise God for your participation in the message of the good news with me.


The first cold morning of fall: A Sunday Morning Bicycle Ride

Sope Creek from the Bridge
first light 55deg.
Paper Mill Loop 25miles.

The long descent on Murdoch rd
the sun glancing into my eyes through the trees,
across the stream and around
the most delightfully banked curve
rolling past the meadow where
a flock of geese wander
and two foals nibble the dewy grass.

Bishop's lake Rd is newly paved
so the rollers are a smooth black ribbon
stretched out across the dells and hollows
where mists rise and dance across the water
toward the sky in whisps caught by the morning light blinding me each time I turn my head to look,
too bright to enjoy, to beautiful to ignore.

Climbing the hill due east toward the catholic church
I ride directly into the rising sun,
the field of my vision fully obscured
by the blinding light
and I shiver to know the cars behind
cannot see my form
standing on the pedals
to propel me up the hill,
their windshields like my glasses
a complete whiteout.

Little Willeo dips and rolls and finally
climbs up the long hill to Johnsons Ferry Rd.
On an empty stretch of Woodlawn
I sit up for the first time
pedaling with no hands, like a kid again,
and eat a granola bar
out of my jersey pocket.

On the descent of Paper Mill toward sope creek
I scream in delight as I feel the bike accelerate
up over 40 mph
and then the electric shock of adrenaline
pulses through every cell of my body
on the sharp curve where I think for just a moment
"I could go down, this pavement could be wet with the dew"
but I cannot brake now already committed to the line I've chosen,
knowing the brakes will only send me careening
into or over the guard rail and the creek below.

But then the thought is reigned in
as I bring my mind back to the breath
and the body resumes it's gentle rhythmic pulse.

A brief pause on the bridge above the rocks
and then the labor of the long climb up out of the ravine.
Now I'm feeling the pain in my legs.
It's a short ride this morning but already
I'm tempted by demoralizing thoughts,
slower than usual, feeling old, just going
to get slower as the years go on,
but no, return to the breath,
enjoy this moment now, live it to the full
whether you are going full out
or holding back because you're just not there today.

Still, finish as strong as you can on the climb up Holly Springs,
not a very long ride, but still a good one, a kind of rolling meditation
that gave my mind and body a break from the mundane
making the rest of the day a little more magical
in the glow of chemicals my body happily produces
as it rebuilds muscle fibers.

My wife and children's faces look a little sweeter
after this time, the warm house inviting in the morning light
the smell of coffee brewing welcomes me in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Flow of Life

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' John 7:38

The flow of the Holy Spirit is the Love of God poured out in us (Romans 5:5), for us, and through us. This has been my focus over the past years of family life and ministry.  

Knowing Jesus face to face 2 Cor. 3:18, in each moment of my life, this is the joyful privilege and practice I teach to those I lead in Him.  

Together we are aware of the deceptions and bankruptcy of the flesh and it's formulas for success, but we will not be distracted or displaced from our awareness of the Love of God fully revealed to us in Jesus.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63

Stop for a moment to feel yourself breathing, and listen to the words He has spoken in your heart, words of peace (John 14:26) words of life. Take the time to experience your own breathing as you rest in Jesus. Are you becoming aware that each breath is a gift of life from God to you? In His eyes we are "those who breathe because I give my gift of Life to them".  

The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6.  

Awaken to the life and peace that well up in your mind, that flow, as you allow yourself to feel gratitude for the gift of
life, of your next breath. You are being breathed by God Himself. In Him we live and move and have our being. In us He lives and moves and has His being. What a beautiful partnership, what an amazing dance.

Jesus breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit.

Release yourself into the flow of God's Spirit through you. This breath is life to your body, this spirit is living water to your soul, this awareness is clarity and truth for your mind.

His Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:16

By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am. Ps. 23:2-3

Who are you? You belong to God in Jesus. His life is your life now. You are fully identified in Him. Let your focus be the experience and expression of His Love.

Accept the challenge of abiding in Him moment by moment, resting in the awareness of His Presence as you live your life, pursue your dreams, do your work, love your friends and serve your family.

In Jesus you experience all the tenderness of God towards you, and from His life you may share that tenderness with all.

Receive the feedback that His word in your heart constantly provides. "You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased." His voice is your source of life and peace.

Allow His delight in you to guide you through your moments. Rejoice in the unending favor of His love.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guest Post: Denise Yaun

The following is a writing from Denise's pen when she simply allowed herself to listen to what Jesus was saying to her heart. It is part of an exercise that we participated in as part of our last Thursday Night Live meeting. The meditation begins with the words "Lord I know that you love me, and that you speak to me out of your love . . ." and the voice is Jesus.

His Flow In Me

I flow in your thoughts, your mind, your world, around and around you celebrating my love for you. 

I flow in your writing, baking, gardening, talking, breathing, living. 

I flow in your anger, misunderstanding, softly serenading your wounded heart. 

I flow in my rejoicing that you are mine and I am yours. 

I flow in your quietness, the stillness of morning as you sit on your sofa writing to me. 

I flow in your comings and goings, trips to the store, errands to run. 

You may lose sight of me  on your mission to do as much as you can, but it is my flow that slows you down, tires you, causes you to sit down and rest, questioning me why your energy is depleted. 

I flow when you feel stuck, dissatisfied, annoyed with the circumstances of life. 

My flow carries you forward when you feel like you’ve taken two steps back. 

My flow radiates, permeates your entire being. 

My flow keeps you with me.

Denise Yaun

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sacred Flow

Come join us Thursday August 30 from 6:30-9:30pm as we continue a conversation about flow. Think about the areas of life where you experience deep concentration and focused attention, and those areas where you feel distracted and out of it. God is interested in being a part of every aspect of our lives. He teaches us the value of focus, challenge and feedback as we learn to flow from His life in us.

"Sacred flow realizes a life in which we learn to live, move, and simply be absorbed in the rhythm and flow of God's Spirit. Putting rhythm and flow together in light of everyday Christian spirituality, rhythm describes our life's general everyday movement, while flow occurs when we dive into life's more challenging activities or circumstances. We experience rhythm with God when we attune to his love while engaging in commonplace activities like lazy strolls, hanging out with family, eating dinner, texting a friend, brushing our teeth, checking email, walking the dog, vegging out, driving to work, sleeping, playing with our kids, etc. We find genuine enjoyment in these activities when we give them our full attention, rather than treating them like mundane activities or menacing duties. They seamlessly become part of our rhythm with God.

Flow is movement in the midst of more intense activity or challenge like busy days at the office, intense days at play, demanding service projects, challenging hobbies, fitness training, competing in a competition, deep conversation, etc.

In sacred flow, ebb and flow becomes rhythm and flow as we, cognizant of God's love, engage in less demanding and more demanding activities, dive in and pull back, speed up and slow down."

excerpt from Sacred Flow: Discovering Life in the Divine Current by Artie Sposaro

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Bourne Identity


The Jesus Identity

(a journal entry written in 2007)

Over the past few months I have seen a series of movies based on the Jason Bourne books. This man, by his own choice, was stripped of his identity, of his memory, of his old self ,and trained to be a ruthless killer, ruthlessly obedient to an organization, a government, a cause.

Now he wants to go back. He doesn’t want to be a killer any more, he wants to escape his new identity and remember who he was before he was brainwashed into being Jason Bourne. He does not want to kill, and yet it is what he does automatically, instinctively, seemingly without thought or intention, because this is what he has been trained to do. And now he must fight his way back to a place where he can unlearn who he has been made to be.

Is there not something here that I must learn from Jesus?

I had an old IN Adam identity. But it was never my true intended identity. I was made in the image of God, and so my real name, and my true nature, only He knows. I know now that I must go to Him to find it out.

But I too, like Jason Bourne, have found myself awake and alive in a false identity that IS NOT ME. I will call it the flesh, since it is not me, and yet I seem as hopelessly linked to it as I am to my own body. I cannot seem to remember who I was made to be. I know that it is not this flesh, but I have not yet discovered, or remembered, WHO I really AM.

Along comes Jesus, and He offers me His cross. This cross is the place, He says, where you go free from the old identity: the brainwashed self. This is the place where the ruthless killer goes to die. In Jesus, on His cross, my flesh is dealt with through crucifixion, and in His resurrection I am raised and I am given that New Identity that I was always intended to have, my Child of God self. (John 1:12-13)

The identity that was forced on me at birth, in Adam, was a son of disobedience, a child of wrath, (Eph. 2:1-3) and yet as I grew up into this world system, I chose to live out of this identity. I chose to be brainwashed in Adam. It was all that I knew, because it was what I was trained to do. Even though I received Jesus into my heart at only 6 years old and was granted a death of my old self, and resurrection life in a new identity, I still learned to play by this worlds’ rules, to survive as best I knew how, without enjoying or accessing the life of Christ I already had in me.

In my first six years, I learned to operate out of the fleshly identity, to move effortlessly through life wounding those around me as I went, for my own protection and benefit. Just as Jason Bourne would, without a thought, break a policeman’s arm and render him unconscious to subdue him to his purpose and his will, I too, in Adam, learned to wound and parry and defend myself from rejection and hurt directed at me by those in Adam around me. Like him, I was desperate to survive, and so I did what I had to do: a ruthless killer in the flesh.

Even after age six when I received a new identity in Jesus, I did not know that I had everything I needed inside me already: a spiritual Source of healing and life and protection and strength that makes all my fleshly efforts to protect myself and meet my needs irrelevant. Even though I was a Child of God now, with a new identity in Jesus, I acted out the part I had been trained to play by the world, the flesh and the devil. I guess that “spirit that was at work in the sons of disobedience”(eph. 2:1) trained me too well in those first six years before I came to know Jesus, and I kept following the initial training program, like Jason Bourne. I kept on walking after the flesh, protecting myself to meet my own needs, and expending myself in effort after effort on an endless quest to discover who I was, to gain significance, worth, an identity. Like Jason Bourne, I did not like it one bit, and so I understood that bitter smirk of desperation and determination he wore on his face through every movie.

But now, after allowing me 30 plus years of walking in that old identity, of plan after plan laid down to finally prove who I was and get to the bottom of this mystery of life, Jesus has finally awakened me to my new identity in Him, and I find that it is a GIFT, not a plan, not an accomplishment of mine, not even a martial arts self defense move. I have been this new person, yet I did not know it. I have, from the day of my salvation, always had this Child of God spirit living in me, joined to His Spirit, but I did not know it.

I wanted to know it, but my old programming in the flesh told me that it was impossible, too good to be true, a pipe dream (it still does tell me this). “God can’t be that good, He’s not that generous. He must be like the people that you have known, demanding, incredibly high expectations, and no help for it. The world doesn’t operate on Grace (a gift system), it operates on the law of my behavior. If I can get it right, then everything will be allright. If I can’t, then . . . all hell breaks loose.” And the vicious world around me still whispers that “life is hard, and you have to try hard or you’ll be destroyed. You have to live like Jason Bourne, in a desperate plight, always running, always protecting yourself, always scheming.”

But God has revealed something different to my heart, through His Word, and his words whispered gently into my innermost being.

“It is the Spirit who GIVES life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” John 6:63

Can this be true? Ask yourself. Is Real Life, life as God lives it (ZOE)  a gift and not the result of my own effort?

I used to think that God would never show me what He had in mind when He created me.

"No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 cor. 2:9

I wondered if I could ever love Him enough, and I thought I had to be content with this mystery of never knowing.
But then a friend told me to read the next verse. “10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

Now I believe that He has already revealed everything that I need to know, in my heart, in my Spirit, and that He will unfold it to me as I need to know. He will reveal my new identity, and yours, as we go “for we have the mind of Christ.”

Perhaps the first thing He reveals is that my love can never be enough, because it can only be a response to Him, who IS LOVE. (1 John 4:10)

It is good to know that I am not like Jason Bourne anymore. I’m not a man, living alone and uncertain of who I am, constantly haunted  by memories of what I have done and dogged by assassins who would kill me to fulfill their purposes. I am now the Beloved of God. I have received complete forgiveness for all that I have ever done, or will ever do. I no longer have to live in guilt. I am free. I no longer have to react out of my old training. It is no longer kill or be killed for me. I know who I am, and I’m receiving new insight, and new orders to obey from a Lord who loves me deeply and not only has my ear (those little ear buds are a dead give away aren’t they?) but has my heart in his hands. (Ezek 36:26ff).

In fact, according to God, I now have a totally new identity in HIS SON. I have the Jesus Identity. I am His and He is mine.  I have become a member of his body, able to work perfectly as He directs. moving flawlessly, effortlessly as His very life expressed in this world. I thank God that I can discover that my role is not kill or be killed, but love my enemies and bless those who persecute me. Though to the flesh this seems impossible, with my new Identity, it is the only natural thing to do. Now He is my righteousness, my wisdom, and my redemption. (1 Cor:1:30) and so, like Paul, I can say that I’m “a special agent for God, in Christ Jesus.” (eph. 1:1 Message) Unlike Jason Bourne, I’m not trapped in the web of a hopelessly corrupt government program called Treadstone, I’m part of a special task force that God has appointed to make the life of His Son known in this world, and I rejoice in following the impulse of His Love in me

14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:14-21).

Did you know that you died with Jesus on the cross? I believe that this is what Paul is saying here about your identity as a believer. Do you know that your death made possible the coming of a new resurrected life in you? So, do you regard yourself or your fellow believers according to the flesh any longer? I hope not. Rejoice with me, for if you have received Jesus and all that He has done for you, you are a new creation. You have a new Identity, and I do to. Because He became sin (v.21) we have become the Righteousness of God in Him. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe that God did what He said He did on the Cross, and you’ll just have to go on trying to live out the Bourne Identity in Adam. I’m done with that though, because even though it can seem exciting for a while to be always on the run, always trying hard to make it work, it wears you out, and in the end it hurts too much. God is calling us to something so much better, a life filled with joy. I’m ready to live this Jesus Identity. I hope that you are too.

Wednesday nov. 14. 07

Monday, June 25, 2012


Your belief about yourself
defines your life.
It motivates your behavior.

If you believe you are a saint, righteous to the core
you will act like one.

If you believe you are a sinner
locked in bondage
you will act out of that bondage.

If you believe you are a free person
you will act free
and acts of love and life, that connect you to others, will flow from you
rather than acts that lead to death and separation.

If you believe you are rejected by God
you will reject all those around you
and will reject yourself and even God.
 If you believe the truth
that you are accepted, fully, completely
then acceptance and love will flow from you to all.

If you believe you are all on your own
independent, and that it is all up to you
you will live your life in frustration
exhausted and hopeless of ever succeeding.
But if you believe that you live
in dependence on the One who gave you breath
then you will be able to rest
no matter how hard your are working
because you will know that your life
flows from a source that is beyond your control
and thankfully beyond your ability to supply
or exhaust.

So forget about the counterfeit, the deception, the lie, the false self
and look in the mirror of God’s love to discover the real thing.
You are the real thing
Look at this person you have become in Christ
and you will live out your true destiny.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Breath of Life

I don’t know how to capture even a glimpse of all that I have been sensing and thinking about breathing this month. I have searched the scriptures, sought God’s face, and discovered some of what He has to teach me through the contemplation of this simple thing called breathing. It is not a deliberate act at all, but a process that goes on with or without my attention to it. When we do pay attention, He can bring us to a place of peace and resting and trust that is very profound.

What other process that goes on in our body can we become so consciously aware of if we choose? We rely on our heart beating to survive, but we can barely feel our heartbeat or alter it's rhythm if we try. We rely on a host of other processes, but we cannot be aware of them as we can the breath. The breath is both autonomic, automatic, and yet somewhat within our control. We can hold our breath, breathe deep or shallow when we are relaxed or anxious. We cannot do these things with our heartbeat, or digestion, or anything else. And yet this breathing goes on and on without our attention as well. We cannot stop it, and we did not start it. It is intimately tied to our thinking and feeling, which we also can influence or control to some extent, and yet cannot ever completely control either.

When I do pay attention to my breathing, I find that a peace comes over my heart and mind which I cannot fully explain. I read this verse: Romans 8:6, "the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace", and I see that the word breath and the word spirit are not distinguishable in the original language: Pneuma. In some mysterious way I have to say that when I set my mind on my breathing, I do experience life and peace. I know also that I have experienced the mind set on the flesh, and especially on pain in the body and worry, fear and anger in the soul, as death. I am by no means saying that breathing is all there is to the spirit, but I am suggesting that our physical act of breathing which brings life to the body is inextricably linked to the spirit of life that God imparts. this can be seen throughout scripture again and again.
Job 33:4
[It is] the Spirit of God that made me [which has stirred me up], and the breath of the Almighty that gives me life [which inspires me].
I believe that on some level it really is far more simple than I could ask or imagine. Spirit really is breath. This spirit that He has imparted to me  really is as close and “tangible” and real as my breathing. I know that we set our minds on that which is unseen, but that is just it. Breath is unseen, as is wind, as is air, and yet it, or perhaps rather He, this Spirit of God, sustains all life on our planet.

"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
(Jesus speaking to Nicodemus: John 3:8)

Is there more to God and me than this movement of gasses in and out of my lungs, or across the miles of atmosphere? Of course there is. For one, there is fire, and light, and energy in a dimension beyond this physical one that I behold, beyond all of this there is A Person. But perhaps breath is a sign of the hem of His garment that fills the temple of this body here on earth.

When Jesus breathed on the disciples during his first moment back with them after being resurrected, He said, "receive the Holy Spirit." Just as He did in the beginning with Adam, He breathed on them, into them, and they became alive in a way that they had never known before. Maybe this was life as Adam and Eve lived it before they fell, or maybe it is life as we had never seen it before, Zoe life in God’s Spirit. I don’t understand, but I do stand in awe of what He has done.

So now, when I breathe, and become aware of my breath throughout the day, either in a quiet moment of meditation, in a moment of conversation with a friend, or while I’m huffing and puffing up a hill on my bicycle, I have a new sense of being connected to Jesus in this breath. I have a new sense of my dependence of Him, of resting in Him, with each and every breath.

What is my spirit but this awareness that lies at peace beneath all my thoughts and feelings, resting in Christ? What is this awareness but the consciousness that He brings to light by the power of His Breath as He imparts life to me. To be aware like this is to be gently loved and held by the Spirit Himself. To be aware like this is to come to my center in being breathed by Him, and to know that all is well because no matter what happens to this body, and this soul (that which breathes), the Spirit is the author of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. 

Even though one day this body will rest in peace beneath the dirt, the breath will go on because I am one with Him who breathes all things into existence. Now that is real rest. So take a deep breath, and know that you are loved into existence by One who holds you in the palm of His almighty hand, who breathes with you in each breath. And know that even after you take your last breath, He will remain with you, holding onto you into another kingdom that has no end.

read a meditation for breathing

Monday, June 18, 2012

Breathe: The gift of Life

A Meditation

With each Breath
to be aware
of the gift of life
you are offered in this moment.

Yah-weh, breathe in, breathe out
Father of Lights, gives this perfect gift
the breath
so now
at first
become aware
of the Sea of Air that surrounds you
a gift of Grace
pushing its way
into your lungs
with each breath.

Allow God to speak to you
Listen to His voice
with each breath you breathe

My Little One
I love you
let this breath be a sign
of my Love for you
Rest in Me in this breath
and this one . . .
and this one . . .

I chose the moment of your first breath
and I will decide
when you will breathe your last
and be gathered to your people.

Receive each breath
between your first and last
as a gift of my Presence in you.
I am the Spirit of Life
the breath of Life
the wind of God.

I blow where I will
and no one can control my choice.
And so it is with you.
I breathe you
in and out
and no one can say
where My Breath will lead you.

So rest 
as I pour life into you
moment by moment
breath by breath
thought after thought
flowing through you
in an exchange
of life for life.

I am Jesus, breath of life
Every breath you take
you take in Me

Ride the wave of this breath
it is a wave of mercy, gently swelling
a wave of love, gently receding

See My Face as I give you this breath.
I breathe on my disciples and I say
Receive the Spirit.

Breathe in
ride the wave of my Grace 
with your whole body breathing
Breathe out
feel the motion of my Love
falling on the shore of your heart
so gentle, so subtle,
you hardly notice
just beneath your conscious awareness
until now.

Now you are made more fully aware
of my Presence
in each Breath
of your dependence
as I breathe you into existence
with each impulse of your body
to take air in
and push it out.

Let My Love swell and break
and recede, wave after wave
on the edge of your awareness.

Sit with Me
enjoy the silence
enjoy your own breathing
feel the breath entering your body
and leaving your body
be still with Me
and know that I am God
I am for you
with this breath
and this one

all you need
the breath of Life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Life with Kids

Owen with "steve" the cat.

You know you played hard when you fall asleep like this

Washing Dad's Car. They're Helpful!


Leif and Chippy the Chipmunk. Thank you MyMy

Their first green smoothie. A handful of spinach carefully masked.

The Outdoor Pool at the YMCA!

Owen Chilling "I cold"

Running the Gauntlet of the Mushroom!

I can't believe we have access to such a nice pool!

Sword Fights

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You are Light in the Lord

Thursday Night Live
May 31, 6:30-9:30 pm
Community, Connection,

This month our jumping off point will be LIGHT. "now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light." (Eph. 5:8). We will discover together what this verse means to our Identity, not by way of performance or requirement, but realization of our proper place as members of Christ's body.

All are welcome. Please call 770.690.0433 or email charles@gmint.org to let is know if you plan to attend. Come enjoy this opportunity to be yourself. Requested donation: $10

"The Light of the Gospel is intense, it has no respect for darkness.....As such, it can be either astoundingly beautiful or extremely and personally offensive. If we have built and clothed ourselves with any sort of glory (reputation) on the branches of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, the Gospel will confront that reputation with the full weight of Truth in revealing it's hypocrisy and ...falseness, and it will strip the leaves off, leaving one naked without that 'reputation'....
The awesome beauty of the Gospel is that it does not leave one standing naked without covering, because that same Light that reveals the false reputation, also covers us with the true reputation of Man.........
How does Light both reveal and cover ?
Light reveals or uncovers lies, however, it also enables discovery of who we really are by revealing our true selves hidden deep inside us, where we see that His reputation (glory, opinion) is also ours, and the knowledge of this glory comes without effort, because this same Light that reveals the false coverings, also reveals the True kernel within....and the knowledge of this True kernel, this 'being' which we are, is what allows us to stand naked and unashamed, clothed only in the Light that bathes us with the glorious Truth of His good estimate and opinion of who we are...like Him..." 
Colin Lagerwall

You are light in the Lord
Walk as children of light. (Eph 5:8)

Do you see what it is like to be a spiritual body? 
You are light. 
You have been afraid 
(of sickness, of suffering, of death, of weakness, of failure) 
because you were identifying yourself with the physical body. 
You feel dejected because you lost something 
that you thought was your only source of life, 
but that is to see yourself only as a physical being. 

When you see yourself transfigured in Me, 
you can see that in fact you are a being of light. 
The body is just dust. 
All Flesh is grass, and it will die and pass away. 
It is beautifully shaped dust, exquisitely formed and held together
by My skill and power,
but It will age and be subject to sickness 
your whole life on earth. 

But when you see yourself as light, 
when your eye (perspective) is light, 
your whole body will be filled with light 
and you will see yourself as I see you, 
filled with the energy of My spirit, 
fully alive forever with no death in sight. 

You are a source of energy and love and power, 
because you are in me now. I am light. 
Walk in the light and the darkness cannot define you. 
Do not let the darkness, or the pain and suffering of the body, 
define you, 
instead step outside of that with Me and see yourself as Light. 

In my light you see light, and you can see that you yourself are light, 
because you are identified with me. 
You shine like a star in this world of darkness.
Luke 11: 33 “ No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34  The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

You become what you behold.
Look on Jesus, on the glorious identity you have in Him, and your whole body is filled with light, is filled with that glory (2 Cor 3:18), just as Adam and Eve were when they still knew who they were in the garden: so free and focused in their spiritual connection to Father that they had no problem being nude; they were clothed in the glory of His love for them, too busy displaying that glory in their translucent selves to try to cover up with fig leaves. Look to Jesus as the visible sign of your new identity, with a healthy eye of desire, and you will discover that you are light in Him, just as Jesus was revealed to be when he was transfigured on the mountain before the disciples.

"It would appear that before sin and death entered, the couple lived in an acute awareness of the spirit dimension--so much so that they were hardly aware of their bodies except as the vehicles of their spirits. It would seem that the glory of the life of God shone through their bodies, clothing them in glorious light, much as it did Jesus in His transfiguration" (Malcolm Smith The Power of the Blood Covenant 34).

Look on sin, as if Christ did not remove it, which is a deception, and you remain full of darkness, in your own perception of yourself. You remain mired in lies and destructive thoughts, covered in the shame that you feel for yourself (shame that God has removed) and covering up everything you think you are because you believe that no one could love you.

Someone could, and does love you more than you know.

The spirit is capable of bathing all of you in the light of God’s love,
filling your whole body with light.
Now, as then, he says to us, you are light in Me, walk as a child of light.
He has placed us on the lampstand, to display His glory
so that those who  enter in may see by the light of His face.

The light of Christ shines in your eyes when you look to Him to know your true glory, doxa, His opinion of you. and the light illumines your whole body, and shines for those around to see the manifestation of God’s life in you.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Learning to Breathe in the Light

Lord, the longer I look into the lens of my heart, in response to the pain of my existence, the more I see Your love. I don’t understand how this works, but I see it clearly. Suffering brings knowledge of belovedness, it just is that way. Oh that I could enjoy a pain free life, but that is not to be. In the midst of the pain I find You in the midst of me, and that is a good thing.

what is there to do but breathe in the breath of God
and breath out the pain and the anger and the hate
that this world stirs up in the dusty room of my soul
and then to breathe in again, all the love and life that You are pouring into me.

Every move I make I make in you
You make me move Jesus
Every breath I take I breathe in You

Waves of mercy, waves of Grace, everywhere I look I see Your Face
Your Love has captured me, Oh my God this love how can it be?

somedays it seems that almost every breath is an agony, literally
Agon – battle, struggle, trial, duress, travail.

Over the past week, not every breath has been agony, but any one that I paid attention to was more struggle than I wanted to endure at the moment. If I let go, breathed deeply from my diaphragm, and trusted that I would be able to breathe again without coughing violently, I experienced a kind of peace, a release of the muscles that had spasmed, and a lightening of that hot nerve pain in my lungs and chest.

Charles, feel the light in it’s vibration through you.
I am the light.
You are now a member of the Light.
You are Light in Me.

Light [is] sown for the righteous, And for the upright of heart -- joy. Psalm 97:11

Feel the joy of My presence resonate through your whole being Charles
Rejoice and give thanks in Me, for all things are brought to completion
in the radiance of my Love.
And so you are brought to fullness in My love.
Each day, each night, each breath you breathe
you have a chance to experience the fullness of my Love more completely.
you have another moment to glory in My opinion of you.

I will that every man shall be saved
and come to the realization of the truth.
I am the truth, I am the Word of the good news of God’s love revealed from Heaven for My creation.
and I have reconciled the world to Myself through my cross.

Experience right now the joy of your salvation
and know that you are safe in Me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Enter In As a Little Child

Just a few thoughts about what God has been teaching my heart as I have been praying, listening and reading. Perhaps we will pick up some of these threads in our next time together for
Thursday Night Live at Grace Minitries International
at our Marietta office:
April 26, 6:30-9:30. 

 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

The deepest desire of your new child like heart is and always will be to know God in a face to face relationship, and to see how He delights in you. That desire is fulfilled in Jesus.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Cor 4:6.

In knowing Him even as He fully knows you (1 Cor 13:12), you experience your true Identity fully revealed.

Jesus speaks these words into my heart as I look at my own children. Charles, your sons Leif and Owen look into your eyes to see how much you love them. Looking, they learn about themselves and who they are. In the same way you look into My eyes to learn who you are:


Mark 10:13-16

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”

During one of the deepest moments I have had with Jesus in prayer,  He showed me myself as a little child during a traumatic time that I had experienced long ago. I was caught in the middle of a fight and I didn't know what to do. He pulled me away from a violent scene and took my face in his hands, holding my attention so that I had to look into His eyes. He looked into my eyes and told me clearly how much He loved me.

The baby eaglet understands what it is by watching the parent, they learn their identity, to hunt, to fly, to soar, by watching mom and dad.
See this article for another believer’s thoughts on imprinting and our faith journey.

The story of the ugly duckling has a deep truth embedded in it: we learn both our false identity and our false concept of God by watching the people around us and how they respond to us. The swan believes it is ugly because it is not like those around him, until he discovers who he truly is by looking into the mirror of the water, and being surrounded by those who reveal his true identity, his fellow swans.

If our parents could have demonstrated love to us as faithfully as they wanted to, we may have believed that we were lovable. If they unwittingly rejected us, even while trying their best to love, we receive another message about ourselves: that we are unlovable. The same holds true with our concept of God: we often see Him through the lens of our troubled and rejective experiences. The treatment we receive from our fellow human beings molds our concept of what God must be like. We believe that He is primarily an angry judge, because anger and judgment are often the primary modes of relating that we have experienced in our lives.  If other people mistreat or abuse us, then subconsciously or consciously we believe that God is an abuser, and perhaps that we are worthless and deserve the abuse. So we abuse ourselves and the people around us because the only worth we see in human beings is worthlessness.  If our parents spoil us in an effort to get us to love them, this manipulation causes us to see God through the lens of our own self-centeredness and entitlement. We become the privileged religious brats and God becomes our personal assistant and vending machine in the sky, another hopeless distortion that causes us to treat the people around us like dirt, or like things to be manipulated (through enabling their addictions) to get the love we need from them. We may mask these deeply held emotional beliefs with nice looking theology and people pleasing on the surface, but deep down there often lurks an ugly lie-twisted vision of God, ourselves and other people.

The Spirit of truth tears the mask off our false concepts of God and reveals Him to be the perfect loving Father. Like a man slicing through a seemingly endless jungle of overgrown weeds with a machete, the Spirit lovingly cuts through all our distortions and reveals the loving face of the Father who waits on high to show us compassion and mercy (Isaiah 30:18). Through Jesus, who is the perfect image of our Father, we see the eyes of love that mold us and transform us into understanding our new perfect and lovable identity.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:17.18.

In Jesus, gazing into His Face as we seek His Face, we are imprinted with the joy of our newfound perfection and for the first time ever we begin to see who He created us to be. Now because of His work, we see who we really are: Beloved Children, inheritors with Christ, partakers of the Divine Nature. Like little children, we look into His face asking the simple question, Daddy do you love me? Daddy who am I? Who do I belong to? And without needing to say a word because He is the Word, those eyes of perfectly intense love and compassion teach us that we are Beloved, delighted in forever. We are His cherished Children, dreamed up before time began for the purpose of being loved by Him.

Numbers 6:25
      The Lord bless you and keep you.
The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you
The Lord lift his countenance upon you (HE SMILES) and bring you peace.

Those eyes of love, radiating a smile of divine delight, transform us because they transform our perception of who we are, into the children we were meant to be, and cause us to feel the peace of resting in his presence, basking in His glory, sun bathing in His Love light, marinating in Grace.

What a far cry this is from the religious distortions we carried all our lives, and what a relief it is to lay down the heavy burden of that deception and finally accept ourselves as completely as He accepts us. What a sigh of relief. More, what a cry of exultation flies from our upturned faces as we see the love in His eyes towards us.

Where we had always feared to see a harsh rebuke, a word of destructive wrath, we find the ultimate self-giving sacrifice of love outpoured on the cross, and life renewed beyond hope in the resurrection, perfect communion realized in heavenly places as we are seated, where He is, in the bosom of the Father. How we worship in the light of the revelation of this amazing Person and our special place within His Love.

The fear of the Lord may be the beginning of Wisdom, but it is not the end or goal of wisdom. Knowing His Love is the fulfillment of all wisdom. 1 John 4:18. Perfect Love drives out all fear, because fear involves punishment, and we are so identified with Him in this world that He chose to demonstrate that He would sooner sacrifice Himself (on the cross) than ever let us experience the full consequence of our deception and disobedience.

How can we be afraid of a God so loving that He laid down His life so that He could have a perfect love relationship with us? The answer is simple, we believe a lie about God based on our experiences and what we have been taught by religion, instead of believing what He says about Himself though His Word in the depths of our hearts.

I invite you to celebrate with me the Love of God perfectly manifested in Jesus risen from the dead, displayed to free all of us from the power of sin and death, and bring us into the embrace of our Father. He is now our new Identity; in Him we see our true design unveiled, and our hearts rejoice because we know that we have been identified with Him. Every thing that is true of Him is now true of us. In Him we are all seated in Heavenly places, and that means that we get to enjoy the intimacy with Our Father that we were all designed for. Amazing Grace is a powerful Embrace. His Grace is the Power and Love of God manifested in our hearts so that we can know Him, Enjoy Him and delight in Him forever. His love has been poured out into our hearts through the spirit of His Son who lives in us and testifies with our spirits that we are His children (Rom 5:5;8:16). This Spirit pays close attention to our every thought, our every need, our every desire, and translates them all, beyond our understanding, into a deep and fulfilling communion with the Creator of the Universe.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10 ESV)

Thank you so much for your faithful participation with me in revealing this message to everyone who needs to hear and enjoy the benefits of knowing Jesus intimately.

Yours In Christ,