The Blessing is Hidden in the Courage

Let this day be your full realitylet the power of this moment penetrate the attention of your heart.

Untangle from the race of expectations, anxieties, and fears that drive the MainStage reality surrounding you, and step into the timeless space of here/now.

Like the Titanic – unwittingly peeling towards icebergs in the mist – our preoccupation with future destinations often prevents us from being aware in the moment, the one we are breathing right now – the only life we actually ever have.

Un-board the ship.

Just. Jump.

Settle into life and all it’s vigorous intensity.  Resolve to find the beauty in all of it, even while determining to follow the trail of promise that often remains so hidden under lies; there is tension between rest now and the pursuit of promise.  However, as you begin to embrace the tension (rather than resist it), you will find more of everything your heart is longing for.

Step away from the world’s way of doing things; don’t settle for the same old grooves that you’ve grown up in… a new world awaits you that cannot be reached by the old trails.  Every time a question arises in your mind, work with it, don’t shove it away:

{Why is this the way it is?  Why do I do this every day?  Is there another way?}

In every way that you can embrace courage on this course, you will be refilled double for your tenacity.

The blessing is hidden in the courage; the courage is hidden in your heart, inside the presence of God.

Cultivate a rhythm of life that flows with the joy and delight of being present in God’s Spirit here and now.  Leave ample time for the rhythms of grace to woo you and teach you.  Lay idle at times, reflect, let the children be bored, lay down the maps of your worldly plans, and just be awhile.  Be together with your spouse, with your children more than you ever thought you could be.  Take more time-off from the grid, risk everything once-in-a-while, dump your reputation at the alter of humility and try something bold.  Move in your inspiration, drop the “shoulds” from your vocabulary. Entertain possibilities that scare you.  Run out in the snow with your bare feet.  Laugh at the days to come, and get away from every method or strategy that promises anything less than the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is within you.  {If all we did was meditate on this mystery for a year in would not be wasted time; we would be unrecognizable to our current selves.  Come, enter in!}

Today, it is time to be alive!

Eden Inside

There is a peace that passes all understanding.

It is not found on the plane of polarizing opposites that claw for ground daily on the religious, political, and cultural terrain before us. Our rage, fear, conviction, and guilt do nothing to move us into this greater freedom that Jesus spoke of.

There is a realm outside of the verbal and physical battles of this world that is solidly grounded in the soil of Eden where all power, all peace, and all love is perfectly expressed.

As I am learning to enter the sanctuary of rest within myself, I am finding a peace, a freedom, and a confidence that is the very nature of the Kingdom, entirely different from the “kingdom of this world”.

As I meditate on God’s omnipotence, at home inside of me, sustaining and upholding every cell, every pulse, a peace begins to emerge that is the seed of greater faith.

Something is stirring.

What was impossible through my mental might, concentrated will, zealous activism, religious intensity, and physical or spiritual disciplines has become possible as I have found a radical new kind of rest in God alone.

This is where radical provision is, where healing and wholeness, joy and safety are found, this is where eternal life is the ever present reality.

There is no fear in this place.  None.

And that changes everything.

There are layers and dimensions to this growing awareness that are changing my view of much that I’ve ‘known’, and I am amazed to be finding freedom in places where I didn’t even know I was in bondage.

Just beginning to explore Eden on the inside is turning my life upside down… in the best way possible! This has nothing to do with religious expression, tiresome doctrines, endless debates about what is right and what is wrong, whose church is better, or whose lifestyle is more sanctified; it has everything to do with freedom and life abundantly, in the power of God’s most Holy Spirit that has called us His dwelling place!  

Life and Passion

Out of ten births (each one a miracle), two have stood out as my favourite; the two where Ben delivered the baby before the midwife arrived. One of them was my easiest labour, and the other, one of my most difficult.

But, each time, it was just the two of us, together, in our dimly lit bedroom, communicating, making eye contact, touching, knowing, committed, crying, laughing, completing a work of Divine mystery together.

They were my favourite births because Ben and I were alone, consummating a masterpiece that began in privacy and intimacy and love nine months earlier in the same space… just the two of us, now three, Divinely connected by the spark of the Holy Spirit that breathes through passion and power, and makes us into more.

In reflecting on children, life and fertility, it has become increasingly clear that the culture has separated the vehicle of sexual intimacy from it’s ultimate intention: procreation. The world strains for physical pleasure/connectivity, while divorcing the naturally designed outcome of that passion: life, and life abundantly!

Only recently, I realized that the opposite is also true.  Gone is the small bubble of intimacy at birth – a la Adam and Eve.  The world has made pregnancy, delivery and birth a mechanical, medicalized, spectator-sport-for-experts, and gone is the natural intimacy that is inherent in the whole birthing process.

When a labouring woman is constantly observed, prodded, checked, and talked to, during a time where she needs privacy and focus and peace, fear is increasingly invited into the labour room. The whole process that began so intimately and beautifully at conception, without the help of a coach (!), seems it must end in exposure and a sort of floundering victimhood.

“…labour is an incredible opportunity for couples to connect with one another…. It is time to honour the true continuum of sexuality and sensuality that actually conceived your child to begin with… [it is possible to] experience birth as pleasurable and sensual. Ina May Gaskin says, ‘The energy that gets the baby in, gets the baby out.’” (-Dayna Martin)

New life is intrinsically connected to passion. God’s passion created us, and our passion continues the work!  What a mighty invitation to expect more and enjoy more of what was intended to be beautiful and intimate from beginning to end.

{There is not a hint of condemnation in these words… for all sorts of reasons, women experience a spectrum of birthing realities.  This is merely a reflection on a direction I believe that we can hope for, even if our own experiences haven’t played out this way.  This is the way of faith, after all: always moving deeper into awareness of God’s eternal goodness!}

Garden Within

When I silence,
The pressing noise
Of the quivering world
That impedes my mind with
Turbulence

I find a place,
Of peace
Where no man can touch
But only God can reach,
Garden of my heart.

The Holy centre
Of the Kingdom come
Hidden in me!
He abides within,
And I in Him.

The secret garden
Of His love
Awaits, like Eden.
Divine invitation
to ultimate freedom.

There I find,
resounding stillness
That fills my bones with hope
And opens my eyes
To eternity within, eternity in Him.

Light of the World

Today, we celebrate the Light of the world.

The good news is not just that Jesus came way back then, but that God is with us now!  God is in us! 

His power has pierced our darkness.

In this present moment, we have the opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and see there the Light of Love shining forth; each person, each child is a facet of God’s glory on the earth, not to be missed, but to be seen.

Look at your people today, and see them: see the Light of God inside of them, and revel in the abundance of so much beauty, so much love, so much power in your midst.  This is where the joy is to be found: it is when we still our minds from the incessant noise and simply rest in thankfulness for what is right in our midst.

Let’s dwell there longer together… this will change the world.  

Making Home

Many desire to make money,
Tease out a strategy,
Shape up a plan,
Build an empire.

But, who will make a home?

Who will carve out a
Place for the heart,
To rest secure
From a glutted world?

It is possible to shine,
To build facades of glitter,
Page after page,
Post after post of posing.

But, who will kneel for the child?

Who will lend their body
To the making of a life,
To find there a place to exchange
one’s own for something more?

The Grind suggests that constant
Effort, strain, pressure, and force
Are the only ways to gain traction
In ways that matter.

But, who will rest in the moment?

Who will learn to abide
And be a dwelling for others
To touch the mundane that is
Guilded with all that is Divine?