Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Paper Guide :-)

I’ve noticed for a few weeks now that the paper in my printer wants to argue with the printer on its way out as they’re supposed to be working together on printing jobs.  A few times the discourse was so bad that the paper got jammed and all production stopped.  Since then I’ve run through a couple of new ink cartridges in record time and there still is ink on the corners of the paper where it should not be.  The last straw for me today was the words getting cut off the page.  Well this is just unacceptable and defeats the purpose of printing anything in the first place.  So I studied the page to determine how to approach the printer concerning this problem.  Something inside the printer had shifted with continuous use of this wonderful tool and I needed to find out what and where it was, and if it was something I could fix, or not.

I decided to deal with the most simplest of plastic parts on the machine, first – the paper guide.  I figured since the paper was arguing with the printer about its position, then maybe the paper guide was the key to getting him (paper – “le papier” is male in French) back on track.  But I noticed that even though I made the adjustment and the arguing stopped that two problems still remained – the ink on the corner and the date getting cut off the upper right hand corner.  So I decided to move the paper guide again to hopefully rectify all three problems.  And guess what?  I saw improvement.
Another issue was the plastic piece which supports the paper in an upright position, so as it is pulled/drawn down towards ink and rollers, the paper remains straight and not bent over.  Sometimes, no most of the time it’s the simple things in life that we either take for granted, or choose to ignore which make all the difference in the world to our current success or failure, problems and solutions.  There’s a verse in the scriptures which says “it is the small foxes that spoil the vine”, and another one says “don’t despise the day of small beginnings.”  We can learn so much from small things – “go to the ant” one Proverb says, and learn from its faithfulness and hard working nature.

Many times we say “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and don’t make mountains out of mole hills, and both adages have their purpose and place in and for our lives for a more tranquil experience.  But there does come a time when we need to investigate the small things and when ignoring a mole or lump on one’s body, for example, can indeed become a mountain that cannot be ignored.  For mountains don’t need our help to exist, they can appear all by themselves.  So let’s not ignore the paper guides of our lives, because everything is not always going to be black and white. J   Have a Happy New Year!!


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Take the Roof Off - The Ceiling Is In The Way

“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.  Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.  And He preached the word to them.  Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.  And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.  So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.  He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Mark 2:1-4, 10b-11. [New King James Bible]

Depending on where you’re standing, you will see either a roof or a ceiling.  Depending on where Jesus is standing, you will see an opportunity or a hindrance.  Roofs/ceilings are usually positive things providing coverage and protection for humans and things and property, etc.  In this story the roof/ceiling was doing its job for those inside the house had no problem with it.  Jesus was inside the house with them “under” the ceiling/roof, and He had no problem with it either.  The owner of the house, Peter, had no problem with the roof.  When the four men arrived carrying their paralyzed friend on a normal and spacious day, all would have been well.  But on this day they were faced with too many obstacles i.e. people who were not giving up their space for charity in any way to get their space in the place.  “Sorry chaps.  You should have come earlier, and then you would have gotten a seat.”  These guys would not be denied their much needed audience with Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Healer, the “Raiser-Upper-from-the-dead” Guy.  To the roof!  On Dancer, on Prancer, on Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid . . . Oh no, there is no chimney.  Sometimes it is necessary to think outside-of-the-box to get what you need.  “Let’s create a sky-light for this house.  I hear they’re very popular, especially so windowless rooms can receive light.”

Who we are decides what we can do.  It is not and should not be the other way around.  What I do should not define who I am, for if I change what I do, or if life’s circumstances alter what I’m able to do, then what do I become?  At the end of the day, who am I?  Jesus was always (and always will be) the Son of Almighty God, but many people on their way to learning His identity would define Him by what He did, and said.  This is why the Pharisees had a problem with Him telling this man his sins were forgiven, for since only God could forgive men’s (and women’s) sins, who was Jesus claiming to be?  God?  “Certainly not”! J  (These of course were their surmisings.)

If we are habitually lying the world labels us as “liars”.  But what and who are we if we live a life of telling the truth?  Prudes?  Puritans?  If we kill and murder adults and people on two feet we are murderers.  But if we fight to save those not yet born we are extremists?  Why are positive actions, acts and life-styles given negative labels and connotations just because people make a passionate stand?

When you know who you really are, then you will and can do what you are created to do.  What I do is defined by who I am and who I am is defined by Whose I am.  When I know Whose I am, then I can accept all the positives He has for me.  When I know the true character of the One Whose I am, then I am liberated from what and who my earthly world has shaped me to be and to become, so I may become and be who and what I was created to be.
When Jesus is in the house, no roof or ceiling can keep me from expanding, growing or getting to Him.  No limited world views or culture mores, or religious or legalistic rules and rituals can prevent me from becoming all He has destined me to become, neither from receiving from Him all He plans and desires to give me.  All ceilings have to be removed, all roofs have to be blown off!  Especially those created inside my own mind. :-)

There once was a happy little grasshopper that was doing what grasshoppers do:  hopping along in the green grass minding his own business.  When along came a boy with a box wanting to catch a . . . hmmm grasshopper for show-and-tell in school.  Much to the chagrin of the grasshopper the boy captured him in his transparent prison with a happy grin.  But the grasshopper could not continue along his merry way.  He was trapped.  Days passed before and after show-and-tell and the grasshopper continued hopping inside the box when one day the boy’s father convinced him to set the grasshopper free.  The boy took the grasshopper outside into the yard and removed the top, but the grasshopper just continued hopping inside the box.  He could not understand why the grasshopper would not hop out of the box, but it was because the top of the box had conditioned the grasshopper to the height of the box, for it had become its new ceiling.  Life before the box was one without limitations.  Life in the box changed its perspective making its world smaller than before.

This is what happened to humans in the Garden of Eden – before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they lived a life without limitations except for the fruit being off limits to them.  In God there are no limitations for us to becoming all He has created us to be.  We put the limitations upon ourselves when we take our focus off of Him and put our attention upon ourselves and each other.  We begin to take on the likeness of the one or ones we gaze at and think on the most.  Therefore, since God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient anything or anyone other than Him is a “less than” meaning they have a ceiling on them. J

What should we do if we find ourselves in a limiting situation?  Well I will answer that question with another story.  You can find this one in the Old Testament book of Exodus 13, specifically for this article are verses 31-33.  This is such a good read, “But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”  [New King James Bible] Emphases in italics are theirs, not mine.  (Green font is my idea, for special effects.) J This is important to know for it helps us to understand what they believed about themselves.

The 10 spies had assumed to know how the natives of the land saw them without having yet encountered them.  They had a “navel” view of themselves.  Also, they did not know how powerful they were because they were looking at the giants they could see, forgetting the God Who had delivered them from Pharaoh and his army, which by the way all drowned in the Red Sea, right before their eyes.  There’s nothing wrong with being a grasshopper if you are indeed a grasshopper, because God created them too for a purpose.  The problem is when we take on a grasshopper mentality when we ourselves are giants, and the problem is when we don’t know that the sky is indeed the limit and we instead continue jumping up and down inside a box that either someone else has built around us, or captured us with either mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, or any other –ally.  But to every problem there is a solution whether or not we know yet what (or WHO) it is.  However the answer to all is to focus on Jesus the Christ for He knows just what we need to remove all ceilings and limitations no matter where we find ourselves (inside the box with a fox), or wherever He may be, whether inside the (our) house or outside of the house (or with Three Bears and Goldilocks).  All things are possible with Him.  So go ahead, let Him take the roof off of your circumstances and life, then jump as high, and as far as you can go.

Monday, 19 November 2012


Exactly what is it and how do you know you have it (or have received it) and are extending it to others?  Forgiveness is the releasing of an infraction or offense committed against us – the person.  Forgiving the person for what they have done to hurt, demean, or destroy us.  It doesn’t mean we forget because it’s not possible to forget the death of a loved one caused by another, or a rape, or when one is paying a debt owed by another which takes much time to complete.  It is ever before you.  But to forgive the person means you release yourself from being attached to them in a prison of the negative incident.  They may still have to pay consequences – or not.  They may never turn around and apologize or express remorse for injuring and turning your life upside down, especially if they themselves too have died or are mentally disabled, or just evil.

Forgiveness is more for the forgiver than for the forGIVEE. J  The forgiven.  If we find it difficult to forgive others more than likely we find it difficult to extend forgiveness to ourselves and to accept and receive forgiveness from others.  From God.  We cannot believe that God or others have truly forgiven us, and we apply that same mentality against others when they have offended us.
Whether we realize it or not, we keep ourselves in a perpetual state of trying to pay back or repay someone because of the wrong we’ve done, even if it’s just psychologically or at the subconscious level.  And because we have this expectation of ourselves, we believe others have it of us as well, and thus it is how we roll:  We carry inside of ourselves an expectation of others to eventually and somehow make restitution for the pain they’ve caused, even though we may have said verbally “I forgive you”.  We expect the gods, the environment to turn on this person, not desiring for them to have the better life which we ourselves have been denied because of their choices against us.

We can only forgive to the extent that we have experienced forgiveness as our reality.  When forgiveness has become my truth (and the truth, once it is known, believed and received can and will set me free) then I can give it to others, for now I have something to talk about, something to give.  We can only give what we have, and we can only have what we’ve received, and we can only receive what we’ve been given.  FORgiven. J
Jesus said “he who forgives much is one who has received a lot of forgiveness, and he who forgives little is someone who has not received a lot of forgiveness.”  So it seems in order to be qualified for a lot of forgiveness you must be one who lives on the edge in some way.  This doesn’t mean leading a fast and dangerous life-style on the physical side, but it can mean you are one who is not always careful about what you say about others, what you do with, for or against others.  You just go and come in and through lives like tsunami-Katrina winds, or a bull in a china shop.  You may smile coming and everyone is glad to see you, but sooner than later they realize they wished you had never entered their lives at all. 

Eventually, when your tongue, feet, hands, and habits catch up with you and you look behind to see what a wrecking crew your life has been in the lives of others, if you have a heart, you will want to apologize and ask for forgiveness.  A lot of forgiveness. J  You will also want to first forgive yourself – release yourself from the prison of what you cannot change, but do what you can to make things better for those you’ve hurt (if this is possible) and for those you will meet in the future.

Many of us who have been raised in a tight Christian box were monitored ever so closely that we were not allowed to commit outward acts of sin without quick and harsh consequences.  So because we developed a habit of “not sinning” – not hurting others but pleasing everyone we met – we did not have the need for forgiveness.  Thus we for years did not develop our forgiveness muscles, and when we did commit wrong, we were the first to beat ourselves down to a pulp.  Why?  Because we did not know how to forgive, not even ourselves.  In order to receive forgiveness one must first not only do something wrong, but he/she must know that they’ve committed a wrong.

Without this knowledge people continue hurting and destroying others without a conscience.  However, many know right from wrong, but their consciences are seared to the point where they no longer have any mental or emotional feelings, and thus they can hurt and destroy without a fore- or second thought.  In Paul’s first letter to Timothy he wrote, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, . . .”  I Timothy 4:1&2. [Emphasis mine.]  If you’ve ever burned yourself while ironing you are familiar with the sizzling sound of flesh being fried, not to mention the hot burning pain.  But then the injured place goes through a time of numbness as it heals itself, and if healing occurs in a healthy way, the feeling will return in good time.  But if not, one could say that spot has been cauterized, and it’s as though it has been separated from the rest of the body where feeling remains.

This woman in the midst of men handling Jesus’ feet with perfume, tears and hair was an expert at making men feel good.  Perhaps some of the men in the room were jealous to see her giving to Jesus what they felt belonged to them?  “She never kissed my feet when . . .”  “Humph, that’s the perfume she bought with the cash I paid her and she pours it on His feet?!  The nerve of that . . .”  Hmmm “What have you done for me lately?”  14 verses of the seventh chapter of Luke’s gospel are devoted to this spectacle and the reactions of the witnesses:  Jesus forgiving the gross, horrible, social sins of a woman (of all people for Him to forgive.  Well “they” need it the most, don’t we?  Hmmm).

She breaks a year’s worth of wages from giving her body away to ungrateful men who would not offer her a retirement plan or dental insurance, and they get upset because . . .  But Jesus said to them about themselves, and I summarize – “when I came into your house you didn’t give me any water so I could wash My own feet, you did not greet me at the door with a bisous bisous, and you did not anoint my head with perfumed oil.  But this woman in YOUR house Mr. Simon the Pharisee (Mr. Religious Person, Mr. Holier-than-thou, Mr. Pastor, Mr. Deacon, etc.) has washed My feet with her tears (she put her face and lips on My dirty feet), and wiped them with her own hair (not a wig, but her real hair), and she anointed My feet with fragrant oil.  And by the way, since you disapprove of her so much, how did she get in here, your house Simon, in the first place?  Do you know her Simon?”  And now I quote, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.  Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”  Luke 7:36-50

The Worst Sinners make the best lovers when they truly are transformed by the Lord of love.  Now I’m not saying to go out and live the worst life you can so Jesus can forgive you of 100,000 sins.  Not at all, for you would destroy your life and others for nothing, if you’re reading this message (and if you’re not). J  The point is first of all, we all need forgiveness because we are born in sin after Adam.  Therefore we need to learn and understand what this means and the depth of God’s sacrifice for us on the cross.  When we truly meet this truth and embrace it, and allow it to consume us, we will realize that we have been forgiven much.  John 8:31-32.

However, God has already made provision for our 100,000+ sins (per person, per day, week, month, year, etc.) and He is willing to take the chance on letting us sin again and again until we “get it” and get it good – His love and forgiveness.  And when we finally get it, like this woman, not only will we lavish it back onto Jesus, but we will be able to truly give it to one another.  Real forgiveness cost Jesus His life and soul on the cross and an eternity in hell (oh yes, go find out what that means.  It will blow your unforgiving mind.) so He well knows how difficult it is to be forgiving – to live a life as the forgiven and the forgiving forgiver.  Thus He also knows how important and powerful it is, and that is why He paid the ultimate price to first forgive us of our sins before we were ever born, and before we would ever hear about Him and decide “yes” or “no” to this “Jesus Christ” as Savior and Lord of our lives, and then secondly empower and command us to extend forgiveness to one another.

I did not know the depth of my forgiveness for others until I saw how shallow the pool of forgiveness I was swimming in for, and towards myself.  I’ve been told that it’s best to learn how to swim at the deep end of the pool for after all, one can still drown in just two inches of water and sustain a hefty bump on the head.  Now where's the fun in that?  So, let’s jump in.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Catching Up

I’m trying to catch up with myself. J  Okay, let me explain if I may.  Being ahead of one’s time in some areas of life while being behind schedule in other areas requires one to catch up in order to bring alignment to one’s entire being.  Because I’ve always been a dreamer (I cannot recall a time in my life when I was not dreaming, whether while awake or sleeping) and a visionary I often keep my eyes open for opportunities to move forward, or to create new opportunities in some way.  Your gift will make room for you one writer said.  Proverbs 18:16.  One of the gifts in/for the art of leadership is being an opportunist by creating opportunities, not just seizing them i.e. carpe diem.  But using one’s talents, gifts, insight and foresight to create something which doesn’t yet exist in order to do something that is not yet being done.

Years ago, six years after I began writing songs and lyrics I allowed some special friends to read them as I prepared to record my first album.  After reading only a few, the wife said to me you are before your time.  This current world and environment is not ready for you.  I asked but how can that be?  If I exist now and God created me to be alive now in this generation and dispensation, how can I be before my time?  When am I thus supposed to be?  For a short minute I became afraid that who and what I am would be placed on a back burner and forgotten because what I have to offer is not desired or welcomed.  But then I forged ahead anyway and went into the studio shortly thereafter and recorded my first album Are You Tempted to Turn?  Sure enough, I was before my time.  My then audience was not ready to receive the songs and lyrics I was receiving from God, neither were the musicians out-of-the-box thinkers with the creativity necessary to work with me to interpret those songs and lyrics for that generation.

But how can a person be born before his or her time?  I really don’t know, but in my case I believe my problem was I lived in the future and thus I could see what, and who I could and wanted to be and do, and I put all of my energies and resources into bringing that future into my present.  By doing so I rocked the boat and sang in a different key, and danced and marched to the beat of a different drummer.  I made those around me uncomfortable for my dreams made me too large and heavy for them to support, in more ways than one.  I eventually found myself alone with my dreams, before their time.  Some special sister friends used to call me Josephine the dreamer because I reminded them of another famous dreamer. J  Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him still more.  And he said to them, Listen now and hear, I pray you, this dream that I have dreamed:  And they said one to another, See, here comes this dreamer and master of dreams. (Genesis 37:5, 6, 19) Amplified Bible.

 A few months ago I had a dream J in which a family member booked me a plane ticket but failed to tell me what time the flight was.  On the morning of the flight she drove me to the airport and I asked what time is my flight? And she responded, Oh you have time.  And then she dropped me off and drove away.  I walked into the airport to the desk and handed the lady my ticket for I believed my international flight to be in three hours.  When she looked at the ticket she said your plane leaves now!  I became alarmed for I was missing my flight.  She said it is still on the runway, let’s go!  And we started to take off running, when she suddenly stopped and said wait, I will call the pilot and tell him you are here.  She used her walkie-talkie to call the pilot and then said to me you have time, he will wait for you.  End of dream.
Hmmmm.  When I woke up I let my thoughts rise into conversation with God in this way:  years ago I was before my time, but now I’m about to ‘miss my flight’ because I’m late.  How does one find the balance so he/she is on time’?  

As I often listen to the Lord ministering to my soul, I’ve been learning that one can be ahead of her time in one area of life, behind time in another, and on time in others.  (But God is never late.  He’s always on time and He can redeem time for us.)  For example, being a visionary and a dreamer energizes you to move forward towards the fulfillment of your dreams, and many times if one’s family of origin life is not a warm and affectionate one, the development of one’s character gets pushed to the side while all concentration is placed upon the perfecting of one’s skills, gifts, and talents.  So if per chance you are in the right place at the right time for your talents to be noticed and your career is created and takes off, you may be on time or ahead of your time concerning your gifts and talents, but you are behind schedule mentally, emotionally and interpersonally.  Your people skills, especially those with yourself have not been developed and strengthened, and you can be easily influenced and controlled by the whims, desires, needs and promises of others.  Inside you lack the foundation to stand on your own two feet and not be manipulated by outside forces.

 But I believe that if a person is on schedule in the area of character development she will not be too far behind schedule concerning her purpose in life.  For she would not have found it necessary to hide inside of her dreams to escape present day living.  There would be no need to play catch up for she would be in step with the cadence of the marching band of her life.

Many children today are born with gifts which are quickly noticed by their parents and are erroneously exposed to the world prematurely because they lack the mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity to deal with the pressures of being a celebrity.  And so do their parents.  Some people on the other hand seem to never get that break they need to move forward no matter how long they study and develop.  But the one area where we can never go wrong is the one in healthy, character development.  No matter how early or late we get started, we will always come out ahead when we take the time it takes to improve our characters.  I believe this is the one area in our society that most of us are behind schedule in.  We all have some catching up to do, because the last thing our world needs is another generation of empty-headed, cold-hearted who’s got talent and wants to be a millionaire wannabees J leading us throughout the 21st century down a slippery slope of . . .  Need I say more?

And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten- the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.  And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you.  And My people shall never be put to shame.  (Joel 2:25-26)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Of Dirty Feet and Hair

I’m gonna just dive right in here straight, no chaser, shaken not stirred.  Mary, Lazarus’ sister washed Jesus’ dirty feet with her hair (her glory, her crown) (Revelation 2:10, 3:11, 9:7) (I Corinthians 11:15) in chapter 12 of John’s gospel before Jesus washed the feet of His disciples in chapter 13.  Hmmm.  A woman again steps out first and lays it all on the line for a man – her body, her tears, her reputation, her glory.  Under a man’s dirty feet.  She wore no wigs, or extensions.  It was all her hair.  She wasn’t fake, but she was the real deal.
Dirty feet, crusted with donkey and camel manure, mixed with dirt and dust from how many days?  Okay, how many hours?  Does it really matter?  Dooky is dooky.  Dirt is dirt.  And a woman’s hair is on her head around her face and shoulders.  Mary took the daily stench of walking and being strangers off of Jesus and bore it upon herself, wiping his feet clean with her tears and perfume.  Do you realize how much water she needed to clean His feet?  She did some heavy duty weeping, with her face on His feet.  Have we ever wept like that where a bowl of tears could be collected from our eyes because of . . . love?

I don’t just lay it all down at your feet Jesus – my glory that is:  my (hmm, are they really mine since they all came from Him in the first place?) talents, gifts, anointing, charisma, fortunes, fame, education, beauty, shapely and muscular body, etc.  Those “beautiful” things that I wear on the “top” of my head; Those things that define my personality; Those things which identify me to the world and create around me a fan base who follow . . . me?  Oh Jesus I lay them all down at your feet, but not only that, but I wash your feet with all of my accomplishments, my tears of pain and gratitude for what you’ve done in, for and to me, and the perfume of my life, my praise and worship and adoration because of Who YOU are.

Then Jesus turned around and washed the dirty feet of His disciples, a bunch of judgmental, proud, wealthy, arrogant, selfish, critical, muscular, fishy smelling, educated doctors and lawyers and tax collectors, always sleeping when they should be praying, athletic and competitive writers over flowing with testosterone cowards, Benedict Arnolds, snitches, thieves, backbiters, often wanting to use God’s fire from heaven to burn up people, places and things, MEN.  There were no women in that room in John’s gospel account, and if there were, he on purpose did not bring attention to them.  No, it was a man’s world where Jesus let down His hair before them.  Jesus became vulnerable before them, to and with them.  He took that part of themselves that they hated (and loved) in and about themselves and others, and washed it.  He took that part of themselves that they used to judge and reject others, and themselves, and washed them.  He touched them – man to man with no sexual connotations, no gender identity issues, no, not at all.  Brother to brother, Father to son.  

Jesus ministered to the hurting little boys hidden away inside each of them.  He reached out and touched them where they had been raped, molested, abused, accused and misused, but which had been covered up by their family names, education and professions, their zoot suits and Stacey Addams sandals, their Louis Vuitton man-bags, and Cartier earrings.  Oh what they had so successfully hidden from others with their affluence, attitudes and arrogance, Jesus respected them enough to wait to uncover behind closed doors, by washing their feet.

To touch someone’s feet is a very intimate act but because most of us do not care very well for our own feet, and because most feet are not beautiful and carry a very bad odor, we reject the feet – one of the most sensual parts of the body.  But every single organ in the body can be located in the feet by a trained masseuse, and they can identity internal problems through the feet as well.  Could this also be what Jesus was doing by washing their feet?  Ministering to their internal disorders by touching their feet?  See, we don’t know exactly how many hours He was with them in that room, but we do know that He washed 12, not one or two, but 12 pairs of stinking and dirty MEN’s feet – not women and children.  But cantankerous “You shall not wash my feet” know-it-all men. J

Imagine a women’s hair, nail and foot salon with the fans blowing, chemical fumes, hair hanging and flying around everywhere, children in strollers crying and hungry and chatter chatter chatter, all day long.  You just got back from one didn’t you?  Okay now imagine a men’s barbershop – arguing, politics, religion, young and old, testerone flying, competition, television, news, sports, laughter, profanity, gays and straights, just LOUD.  Well, Jesus had twelve clients that evening and He washed not only their physical feet, but their souls with His love.  This took some time.
Then He told them to do the same for each other.  Hmmm.  When was the last time you washed and massaged someone else’s feet?  Literally?  After much walking, carrying heavy bags and luggage, singing and dancing and preaching on stage, the feet take a licking and have to keep on kicking.  When was the last time you or I reached out in purity and innocence - the Spirit of Jesus’ love (WWJD) and washed and massaged a sister or a brother’s tired feet?  When was the last time someone did this for you?  For me?  Physically?  Spiritually?

Now I don’t expect anyone to wash the feet of others with their hair and not even with the removable kind, but a nice gentle foot soak and massage can do wonders for the soul and body.  Oh, and then to pray for them at the same time.  What a holy moment!  Laying our glory at each other’s feet.  If those of us who say we are disciples of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, would do this to and for each other, egos would die, humility would be birthed and increase in us at such a powerful rate, and so many of us would experience inner healing from our hidden and secret pains.  If the Bible had not told us her name was Mary, I would ask “was her name Rapunzel?”  J

Monday, 18 June 2012

Back From the Future: Coming Full Circle

Recently I asked the Lord what is it time for now?  What’s next?  On a personal level I could hear Him speaking in my heart:  “It’s time to go back to the beginning, back from the future.”  Perhaps when you see that statement you may think it means to return to living in the past or rehashing and rehearsing the past, or maybe trying to bring back the “good ole days”.  (For many people those were not good ole days.)  But anyhoooo, that is not what He meant at all.  I could tell this because I experienced a great sense of anticipation, something I’ve not had for a long time.

Going back from the future means going back to where life began to get off track so you can get back on track.  It doesn’t mean throwing away all the years and life experiences one has accumulated along the way.  But many of us somewhere in life stopped “being” in the “present” and projected ourselves into the future, so we missed a lot of “being” along the way and left behind important clues and tools we need(ed) for our lives now.  Clues to, and tools for fulfilling our purpose in life, so we can enjoy the journey of living in the now.  Because we still have time, God has allowed us to come full circle and “start over again”, but now from an elevated position.  Here is my short unfinished story, and I hope it will inspire those of you who may also find yourselves starting life over again.

I was living “alone” in my bedroom in my parents’ house – alone in and with my thoughts and plans, and life projections, childhood fantasies for an adult life, when it all got interrupted with the needs of life and living in the now.  I heard too much and absorbed and assumed too much adult responsibility for myself, first in my mind, then in my imagination, which carried me away to my first real job search at age 12.  I stopped being a child dreamer and started to become an adult worker before my time.  Even though I still dreamed of the future, now those dreams became filled with “adult stuff” – the need to provide for myself so I would not have to depend upon others.  The American Dream to become rich and wealthy and self-dependent.  I was hit by the “I will” Mac truck.  I was stung by the “I canBee.  I was bitten by the “Me-Myself-and I” snake of “I can do all things through ME who gives me strength.”

Don’t get me wrong, I was not a selfish child or person as an adult, for I had lofty thoughts and plans for our family of eight to become a large corporation of some sort.  I could not believe that God allowed us to all be born and live in that house together without a larger-than-us purpose.  At that time I did not know what we could or would manufacture and distribute, but I knew it would be important to and for the world.  Well, at least for the United States.  That was our world. J  We were a family of athletes, musicians and singers back in the day, but then we all went our own individual ways, to do other things.

I learned early, whether voluntarily or by coercion to give of myself and my resources to many others, whether or not I could afford to do so.  And this fueled my need, drive, and desire to make money – so I would always have enough left over after I had given everything away. J  I knew that in order to continue living that way I would need to become a wealthy person, but I thought I had to do it all.  I did not think there were people in this world who would be willing to help me accomplish something greater than what I could do alone in order to help others.   I thought because I was the one carrying the dream, the vision, therefore I had to do all of the work to bring it to pass.  Even though I knew God was “there”, I still had not seen Him do much in the lives of those I lived with even though they (we) prayed to Him every day.  For after I saw them huddle and plan then get into formation, they punted the ball, threw the ball, caught the ball and ran the ball.  And yes they got tackled more times than you can shake a cheerleader’s pom pom before they could make it to the end zone.  They did everything.  They were my She-roes.  I hardly ever “saw” God do anything.  Sadly, this was and still is for many Christians, the way of their world – “I am I-dependent”.

So now I’ve come full circle.  I’m an adult now living in a foreign country on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.  But I’m alone in my room again, with my thoughts and adult needs staring me in the face.  What will I do this time?  Will I allow the needs of this life to take me on another 20+ year trek around the world off-track of what I was created to be and do, or will I let my dreams lead me this time?  Better yet, will I allow God to lead me by and into the dreams He has for me, but with my eyes open this time?  He’s been dreaming longer than I have and He has a bigger head and a larger turnover rate than I do. J

I’ve been spending some quality time sleeping, I mean dreaming J and I’ve met some interesting people along the way who followed their dreams through hell and high water, and also have made an impact in our world, for good.  I met more men than women, like Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, Solomon, Joseph (the earthly father of Jesus), and some Wise men.  Also Pilate’s wife (I couldn’t get close enough to get her name.  In and out like flint you know.), Paul, and John (he truly understands what it means to be alone with your thoughts and visions). J

All of these . . . dreamers’ (visionaries) lives were changed because they paid attention to God speaking to them in their sleep, and waking moments.  They believed the images God imprinted on their souls were possible for they did not allow the tyranny of the urgent, or the necessities of daily living dictate how they would live.  They lived from another dimension enabling God to manifest His plans not only to them for their own lives, but through them for the positive effecting and affecting of generations to come. 
I never met him personally, but many still living have met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He said “I have a dream . . .” and because he believed his dream was possible, we are living his dream today, all over the world, not just in America.  His dream became the standard for equal rights all over the globe covering all phases of humanity, not just ethnicity.  Steve Jobs said it differently and our way of communicating through the internet will never be the same.  So many in our contemporary times known and unknown to us are living their dreams and some of them are turning our world right side up (with much difficulty too), while others are revealing to us that their dreams are really nightmares, turning our world upside down spinning in the opposite direction on its axis.  God forbid!

Full circle.  Back from the future.  I’m back, starting over again, but this time I won’t let fear – the fears of others becoming my fears (no thank you very much) – dictate how I Won’t live my life.  Some gifts we just need to refuse adamantly and fear is one of them, because fear disables.  Faith and love empower and enable us to live above our needs (not being constricted and controlled by them), by-passing the temptations of greed, to rise above our one-dimensional desires to sit with Christ and see ourselves from His perspective.  A place where all things are possible with God, in the plan and will of God.  (Yes, that place is somewhere over Noah’s rainbow.  Can you say “covenant”?) J  “And He raised us up together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Ephesians 2:6 (Amplified Bible)

Keep dreaming.  Keep seeing.  Keep hoping.  Keep believing.  Go back and get your dreams and ask God to help you make them happen.  Better yet, ask Him to fill you with His dreams for your life.  Because we have today, we still have time.  I still have a dream.  Rinnnng!!!!  It’s time to wake up!