Pride and Humility

Your chain is hollow

It only comes out on days you seek to impress, deluding yourself with the bait that it’s time to shine. It sits clasped around your neck for that audience you aren’t frightened that will snatch it, yet with sick indulgence you show it off. Bolstering your entire image on that shiny accoutrement of false glory.

“Look at me” you shout in your mind, lifting your head for a moment only to, full of fright check that it’s still there.

They will see me. Then they will know, and I will show them.

Never considering what lies closed on your neck is akin to shackles, and the bondage of imprisonment therein. Only a generation away, cultures tasted that fear beyond what we could ever know. Fleeing for their lives from whips and chains, so desperate to show everyone we’ve arrived, we’d do almost anything; maybe even sell our soul. To sign on that dotted line of a vehicle lease and financial bondage of that “whip”, persuaded by salespeople and ourselves to turn the means of our glorified imprisonment into vanity for our adornment. A glass display case for all the world to see us in.

Humility is something that needs to be understood before it is truly considered.

 

With pride I wore a chain of humility.

Encouragement flowed from my mouth, my heart moved by the Spirit spoke life to many in my path. The more I sought His presence, His word, would an increasing frequency of need present itself, manifested in this light that came out of nowhere through me into those dark places.

Yet my faculties were pitted against something that was beyond myself, and unaware I yielded not to it, but favoured my participation ever so slightly. Later to revisit some pithy argument pitted in the brash meekness of sharing my heart, coasting on the fumes of the truth it resonated; Amidst a creeping ritual of self-gratification, assuming the role of star defense attorney. Yet the space surrounding my pleas, the airwaves of transmission and the very breath I exuded eminanted from that source that never raised a hand in His own defence.

 

Inaccurately depicted as a divine right adrenaline shot in military muscle, vehemently defending the sanctity of life and cultural agenda known as familiar home and truth. For my entire life I either ignored, rebelled against, or blindly agreed with those violent acts of the ancient Israelites swaying between vilifying and praising God’s seemingly unloving hand that cursed the fig tree out of its season. In my ignorance, I judged and resented the selective favour over the tribes of Israel. Succumbing finally to a fearful respect of the anointed and the hedge of protection that surrounded them: Did I really know that Spirit that led them into temptation, difficulties and conflict, and His intention not to hinder but to test them, cultivating this character that only the most loving parent would? Had I studied the history of those armies and cities that were obliterated, that they had stood in the tribe’s path and were bend on their destruction? Into danger, the verge of death and final ruin, would the Father be glorified in this terrible process. And somewhere deep down there was this disdain and even slight distrust in a being that would relish in their destruction and pain, not knowing that those horrific tragedies were birthed in their rebellion, in their incessant devotion to these hollow satanic gods. That He wept, watching them burn their own young, not in humble servitude, but in fully giving in to that darkness and the indulgent, flesh serving promise of power and self aggrandizement; And that the story that defended God’s position was not a plea for His defence or an oppositional conflicting pride to profess His supremacy. Love in justice can be difficult to swallow.

Looking at a cultural and political movement that defined the path of a race, eluding the encroaching destruction pitted against them, from thousands of kilometres and thousands of years away, would I be somehow able to ascertain all those endless factors, ultimately failing to allow myself to see what that glory meant?

 

Throughout my life, in my relationships I would ignore those reflections of that light but for a moment, blinders up as I indulged in the glory of His creation. Even knowing the leap of His Spirit inside me, touching that infinite surplus of love the flowed from that spring I had modestly drank of hesitatingly. Yet it burst out in moments inexplicable, like millions of rivulets in dry ground culminating in a torrent of waterfall, violently majestic and frightening in magnitude.

Dumbfounded at my own limitations of perception, this defiance would rise in me against the ignorance I met; sometimes in leadership, not necessarily misguided but only if in correction, breaking against my pride in unanticipated moments. My participation in the body of Christ was but merely that of a spectator who lingered near the fire exit in case of emergency, to be opened as a means of egress at the very moment of conviction. I would in fear, alert others to my truly bi-partisan sense of belonging, hidden from myself in the pride of leading other minds I sought to impress by my independently rebellious spirit; Warranting somehow my own deceptive defection from submissive allegiance. As I questioned the menu in mockingly ignorant pride, my uninformed palate only ridiculed that which I had yet tasted for fear of the unknown.

Yet even in my obstinate unacceptance, this secret rebellion dragged my guilt back to church, granting the indulgence to relish the back row perspective.

I was in agreement with that identity shift from accepted and redeemed to a reluctant attendee, to one that has seated himself with the scoffers. Who relinquishes that part of himself that yearns so desperately to be forgiven and delivered from sin, who might fear the members of that body, for his sisters in fellowship as attractions, returning to this predatory mindset. All too quickly the rogue sheep could become a stubborn goat, possibly a wolf amongst those he could love so much more in Christ. With lecherous pride, the sin compounds not in the dance of entertaining the possibility and its sobering refutation in the presence of the Lord, but in that mental doorway of attainment opened by the enemy, where my mind’s eye is pulled from the glory it was basking in.

 

How poorly are we equipped in and of our own faculties to carry that awareness to the minute insidious mutated cells that we tend and hedge off in prideful seclusion from the identity we think we have. These rations of poison far deeply linger to pop up in opportune time. The mind, sectioned off into compartments of thoughts and desires: Where an area of ambition or self-aggrandizement, of lust or consumption, of gluttony or the indulgence of the senses; could infinitely the possibilities unravel. In the back of one of these sections can lie the very place where we are deceived into agreement, willingly setting aside an allotment of one of those areas for our own. It isn’t unreasonable in a sea of discourse that builds us up in goal-setting, in self- actualization, and personal self-attainment that we deem ourselves to be the stewards of the alleys of our mind. All the while distracted by facades of edifices, never considering those parcels in the back of the garage. The same pride that delineates a portion of that capacity not to be placed down at the foot of the cross, comes from a hope in our own strength. That portion is reliant, not upon His bounty of provision, but in the same spirit that allocates a reserve of that area of the mind to be held in trust for your own dispensation.

The enemy wants to take your testimony away from you, because he has abandoned the possibility of his own. One hand barely expects to maintain its grip on the Father’s guiding hand, knowing in your heart somewhere He has provided without ceasing. Yet we hope one hand does not know what the other is doing, and not in charity, giving or the ministry in the power of His love, of all His creativity, or in the power to make nothing from something. Didn’t He already do that in your life? Solidifying that disconnect, we willingly allow interruption in our hearts as we reach away, losing our grip with Him to touch the forbidden fruit. The same electricity that flows from one hand through your heart to the generosity of that outpouring in your other hand: oppositionally could then, allow this same interruption through your heart, akin to a moment of electrocution. As it flows into the hand that should not have touched that current, and only in the path through the other hand, can it stop the motion of our heart altogether. This interruption, where truth is contorted ever so slightly, and where we have acquiesced to that deception, attaches itself like a parasite to truth. And in our infection we forget the count of so many blessings and become accomplices to the crime, conspirators against our own testimony. Yielding to the spirit means breaking all association or ourselves from what we are to become in false agreement.

 

In the Father’s presence, in the surety of our salvation, can we somehow become calloused with experience, that fine line of knowing who we are in Him can too easily move into a spanning of time in our identity. And looking at what we have done and where we have come from, forgetting for a moment the fellowship we have in His suffering. Where “I will go before you” leaves us all in this place of poverty, needing so desperately Jesus’ redeeming blood; How easily we can replace the magnitude of this with an expectation provision that compel us to run ahead with the pride of life in our step. Ever catching up to the pace of our peers and contemporaries, our ministries are stunted in grotesque boasting, assimilating into the culture of self-glorification and admonishment of our own selected highlight reel. Hopefully so as to sell others and ultimately ourselves to the status that indeed, we have arrived.

 

The biggest roadblock to that pride lies deep in our unavoidably humbling brokenness, our reduction to a level where yet again we can hear His voice above the clamour of our own; Louder than everything else, even the flattery of our own humility. What impossibility of a burden it is to be so alive, and encounter leadership that asks us to examine ourselves. Pitting our hope on his promise against the promise of His provisions, searching to find incomplete moments in our story. To be held against Him in ransom according to our timing, to our schedule. In exchange it would be fair to only relinquish a part of our promise from Him as well. Pride takes license in us to withhold part of our salvation, and rely on the footing and standing of our experience. We then can look with disdain at those too religious, for we know that down in the back of the garage, indeed there is something hidden. And then, in the den of iniquity amongst the unsaved, we again judge those stuck in the mire of sin from the pride of our own piety, and our religious attendance in church services as a ritualized inflated opinion of ourselves.

 

And in the absence of fellowship, of accountability and the challenge it demands; we can only be spectators who participate not out of partnership and submission to authority. Like covert operations, we sit amongst our brothers and sisters in the seat of scoffers, taking gems of life as tools for our own petty survival. For our own to have, rather than those we were meant to give them to, robbing ourselves of fully understanding what they were really meant for.

And here lies the dilemma of our position: We hear it’s better to give than to receive but everything in our heart devises allocation for our kingdom, not His. We listen to a roll call where the last shall be first, yet will climb over the fallen in our path to further our cause. And there we find ourselves, finally, as self-made, supreme judges of other men’s ministries searching for words to be offended in scrutiny to find aversion in. How easily we seek to find the differences in opinion to distance ourselves from each other, defining ourselves only in the separations of opinion we stand on so firmly.

 

Pride returns often unexpected, lingering in our lives. Like body odour, often only a distasteful by-product of hard work. Yet it’s lingering scent does the opposite of provoking that intimacy and acceptance. To be accepted, sought elsewhere than the Father’s love; is an ongoing desire unchecked.

What is the result of not being noticed or appreciated as expected: But disappointment that vilifies our perhaps false conceptions of people’s true hearts and intentions. Perhaps they were snobs for not taking an interest as you would hope to expect.

Sitting in the back, staring at the back of those heads who show more commitment and dedication:

”let them go ahead” you say; ”it’s their pride to be noticed”

Yet like that shy person who only felt they had no interest in you, and felt defined by your fear: our misjudgment flows downhill from the fragility of self doubt.

Both of you do not bother, yet you were the one who noticed and did nothing to interrupt and act against the gathering of heavy offence.

Maybe they smell? We ask. Maybe we do

How easy is it to forget that we never noticed a smell at all in the sweet aroma of the Father’s embrace.

 

Part 2: If X then Y

Cross out every inventive thought at its inception. Every candle that flickers in the suffocation of darkness to let it quickly envelop, surrounding to to close in on your reach with the comfort of its weighted restricting embrace.

Stimulate yourself artificially and seemingly instinctively as you call yourself out in action, your blood pulsates for some destination ahead and the courage that your identity stands upon.  Only to just then regain your focus on the uncertain potential of a lack of doom for a brief moment.

Even quicker than the sudden exhilaration in the surprisingly tremendous hope in potential in idea/s are the words uttered strangled, wrenching the call to action from ever having been in our vocabulary as some foreign language indiscernible to the void.

Against what wall of uncertainty would we hold our destiny hostage?

How much would the outcome of our hopes be subject to the whims and integrity of others?

“Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being”                                                                                                                                                                                            Jean Jacques Rousseau

 

IF is the biggest word in the English Language

With the same blind ambition we approach the unknown; running towards what is new, sensational, exciting.  Like children that IF can be a myriad of hopes and paths that all hopefully lead to a better place.

The IF of a child could be represented in a diagonal line with the unlimited aspiration of what they could still do, yet to be confronted with the joy of learning or debilitating failure to accompany any venture. These same areas are the limitations as adults by which we define ourselves in our ability to do well, enjoy the attempt, or flounder and retract. You can ask a child to draw a house and without formal training  of perspective they illustrate the feeling of a room, collapsed and exploded, with walls laid out like a kit to be assembled. The rooms exaggerated or shrunk in size, coloured often by the feeling a space evokes rather than its descriptive features.  All of this is correct in accordance with their perspective, until they have seen enough standardized drawings or have been somehow taught that what they see and feel is incorrect or irrelevant.

A child can picture themselves as an astronaut travelling through space, without any doubt or fear from past failures to choke the limitations of what they can imagine.  Without knowledge and training, they have yet to anticipate the lack of oxygen, heat, or the threat of gamma rays and asteroids.

IF can be the word for the ambitious that so many further hopes and dreams hinge upon.  It is used to move forward in the execution of our plans, is it glossed over while being a crucial component. Still necessary yet not the reward inherent in our pursuit.

Conversely, IF is a fail safe for finding a means to instantaneously discredit, debunk, nullify or talk ourselves out of any idea no matter how feasible or unattainable. The IF that falls down on our yoke out of a murky cloud of past experiences and let downs, cuts the cord of infant hopes before their first breath of air.  Hesitating to blow life into the gross, blood covered mouth of almost destined failure or perhaps knowledge, it cripples our spirit yet is safer to preserve our ego to turn away and give up.  Then we can continue to bask on the shores of contemplation, limiting ourselves to the only momentary bliss of potential ideas that will never see fruition. We use this as an escape from the charge of determined dedication to a cause, and the uncomfortable refinement of character this necessitates to finish. Instead, drifting  from one brief possibility to the next, we can erase the potential detail of our legacy in pursuit only of what’s next.  That crutch of speculation we use to carry ourselves can eventually bind itself to our person; An unshakable attachment that catches on every microscopic wrinkle in the road, to stop the momentum of innovation dead in its tracks.

Identify with the personality that puts the IF in their pocket and runs toward that goal, and try not to look too hard at how drastically the other’s IF of negativity seem to fall directly in front of your boundless stride like an iron curtain.  That IF that cripples knows no sunlit horizon of hope.  It does not carry the unknown thing to yet be solved in the strength of thrilling possibility.

The unknown is merely a crack in the sidewalk that goes down forever.  Therein is a dark hole that sits in the middle of every hope’s path, casting an illusion that to grasp at what lay ahead of us will cause that very thing to collapse.  But there is no perceived value in what lies beneath. Every nutrient, calorie or delicious flavour seems unsavory and almost poisonous.

If then becomes a rebuttal to all our future aspirations, and funny that is is referred to as the Devil’s Advocate.

The Advocatus Diaboli (Latin for Devil’s Advocate) is the popular name for a former official position within the Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith: one who “argued against the canonization (sainthood) of a candidate in order to uncover any character flaws or misrepresentation of the evidence favoring canonization”.[1]

In common parlance, the term devil’s advocate describes someone who, given a certain point of view, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with (or simply an alternative position from the accepted norm), for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further. Despite being ancient, this idiomatic expression is one of the most popular present-day English idioms used to express the concept of arguing against something without actually being committed to the contrary view.[2]

Part 2 to follow

 

Bless

C3 Fall 2018 Conference / Carlu

I was given a sword yesterday.

For the longest time I’ve held on to this recurring vision of an almost visible circle of swirling light in the palm of my right hand. Decades ago, I had the idea to do a stick-and -poke tattoo of a fish on that area.  Considering that our hands are designed to perform and execute actions, and that so much potential life and death comes out of the energy we grasp, take with us and choose to hold on to.

As my faith grows stronger or when I had returned to sin, I could feel a sense of that ball of fire shrinking or growing from a fizzling point of light that cannot be extinguished into the size of a grapefruit. As if my ability to encourage, to command healing, to cast off bondages and bring deliverance seemed to be reflected in the state of that ball of fire in the moment.

I asked a question at the front of an altar call in the Carlu auditorium. How big had it grown? Searching to sense within myself how close I had come to the creator’s presence; and how much in step my recent walk had gained me access to this power.

But he showed me in the midst of tears that I could then feel something in my hand much greater than a beach ball, but it’s size was only limited by my mind. It’s capacity to grow was restricted once it got to a size my head could take in.  I put my arm down from worship surprised and disappointed momentarily at myself, but was immediately then shown that when I am not focusing on it coming out of me, when the power is not something I allow myself to feel any boost of ego over, it could grow further.

Even with my arm relaxed at my side and my hand facing behind me, he showed me that size of power is bigger than a beach ball. It can fill this auditorium’s capacity of 1200, but it’s even bigger than that.  It’s bigger than the seven floors, basement shopping concourse and subway system beneath. Only when I’m not considering its size or trying to define it, it can grow through the sewers, beyond the runoff of the metropolis, the bones and graves of its ancestors, below tectonic plates. It goes all the way to the other size and further than that.

It’s a weird duality where by removing the confines of my limited imagination redefines what magnitude means to me.  A memory of my marraige honeymoon, looking at a mountain looming above us in the distance, as my wife and I stood on top of a lookout point on top of a mountain in Switzerland. Beyond that lie the depths of the waters both my parents crossed on their way to North America decades ago. His magnitude is bigger than all of  that.

Walking into this conference, I had a plan the following weekend to trade a truck I have for a motorcycle with someone I met online. Unaware of it, I brought that in my heart going in and found it standing in the way of that channel God intended to occupy and flow out of.  Standing at the front, considering this sphere of fire and light in my hand that could be bigger than the world he clearly told me this:

“in any and every moment we can only do one thing at a time, and any possible thing can be utilized for his kingdom.”

Considering how the limitations of energy, mental focus, laziness, or the modern multi-faceted preoccupations of the mind can delude us from remembering to consider this. Then when we move to an act of worship, the concept can feel so far away from where we see ourselves to be.  But there, wherever we stand, no matter what we are doing or where we are at, we are standing on fertile ground.

I asked him well then: What’s in my left hand?  And immediately I was struck with the vision of a sword, sharp and gleaming. In my hand it towered above my head but did not waver or feel heavy.  In fact, grasping it for some reason filled my blood, muscles and bones with strength running up my arm. He then told me:

With this sword you will cut demons off your brother and sister.

 

x

A letter to a farmer

I know nothing of your pain or discomfort.
And I have no comprehension as to what challenges you’ve had to face in life, or how unjust that feels. How one date in the calendar can have so much tragedy surrounding it, like some ominous omen that is destined to return.  A farming accident that resulted in life-altering paralysis  is an obstacle I have never seen handled with such grace and optimism

The purpose of this letter is not to tell you how you should think about all these things or lead you to some place in your heart where I wish you to be. It is my inspiration and intends not to convince, beg, or implore you.  All I can do is share my heart with you and pray it falls in fertile soil.

I never got to know you too well. Besides exchanging pleasantries at family gatherings and our brief exchanges, I know very little about you. What I have ascertained through unintentional observation is how positive and kindhearted of a man you are.

Your wife has always been a dynamic, strong willed, straight forward cousin that has never been unkind to me and had loved everyone around me, without fail. And watching how she has further maintained and grew more into that loving, heart forward person is a testament to the good fruit your family tree has brought out in her.
Thinking back, it has actually astounded me to see how two people who have in many ways seen and experienced unfair hands get dealt to them and those they love, somehow maintained to be so positive, to the point of being almost expected; and managed to shed this light of love into the hearts of those in their midst.

I have never been present to see or do work alongside you. Yet for some reason I’ve always felt the impression that you are a person who is not afraid of challenge or hard work. That in difficulties in life changes, you have found strength and maintained your integrity of character no matter what.

Although this letter has been highly speculative, I do feel impressed to tell you what I do know.

To begin with: God did not give you any of these obstacles. Look around you to the many things you feel gratitude, joy and happiness in your lives.  While the light of the inexplicable, of what could falsely be attributed to serendipity or luck are so dim and far away, facing the seemingly impossible and hardest challenge of your lives; It may be so difficult to be thankful for those things you have been blessed by.  All of the people and their gestures, moments and their pleasure, things and their reward were gifts specifically intended just for you. And that flicker of your heart leaping has a greater force against the despair of darkness that you or I will ever fully know to understand. Hold on to that and don’t let it slip out of your heart as you step forward into the future. Consider your words and remember that light inside of you.

Whether you believe, are aware or have considered this, I am writing to you to tell you something very important. Perhaps even crucial for the road ahead.
That other force of despair, sadness, brokenness, and depression is an enemy. It can destroy you and everything around you. It brings more sickness, injury, pain and debilitation. And its objective is none of these things, but only to snuff out that flicker of light inside.

In the midst of obstacles I do feel an incredible calling to encourage you. Not to profess a solution to a situation I know nothing of, but to speak to the power you do have. No matter where you are and what you are are going through at this moment, you have to power to choose who will win the war over your heart. You will have the choice of what master you will serve in your mind. You have the capacity to remember that the words you speak will manifest themselves, that you can even relinquish the unstoppable force of what your tongue calls into your future.  Choose carefully who you give that power to. That hideous strength that tells you everything you don’t need to be hearing, that tries to tear hope out of your heart and abdicates defeat is begging and pleading to convince you into agreement. It presents these options as certainties from so called experts, to you as if they know everything. As if they know how good God can truly be. As if that darkness that latches on to the horrible parts of our lives to corrupt our hearts is somehow greater than that little flicker of light. Even if it seems like it’s dark everywhere, that light can illuminate even the furthest crevice and destroy all darkness in its path.
That wall of absolute impossibility in front of you can be blown down with one tiny breath of God’s love for you.

I’ve sat in the hospital and been lied to by specialists who go home to their families and friends and are just doing their best. But do they know how immediate, how glorious, how unstoppable that power of God’s love is? How his light can overcome what obstacles we have and somehow illogically destroy that destruction that tries to overtake us?
Wherever you are right now in this moment, hopefully reading this, holding on to each other, I’m asking you:
Please do not give up

His abundance is always more than we expect or imagine. His love is immeasurable and bigger than any thing in our way. He can even take something so certainly terrible and even painful, remove all its power and take your hand into his infinite love.
Just look at your lives as an example. How many people do you love and care for? Do you have to divide or subtract your feelings for one person to care for two more?
Now please, go ahead and apply that equation to the evil and pain in our lives and consider the capacity of he who feels your pain, who knows your suffering, and has more power than anything on earth.

Find that place inside you where he isn’t. It may not be obvious but it is always where injury and unhappiness lies.  Where the seed of regret or disappointment lives.  I am not expecting you to praise God for those terrible feelings, because they are actually a betrayal to your personally designed identity in him.  Just search out where those bad place are in your heart. Because not too far away are so many wonderful things to thank him for.
There you disarm the enemy and even what seemingly strong power he seems to have. The roaring lion who has lost the ability to hunt, and tries only to intimidate. Ignore the darkness in the light of your father. Who will never leave you. Who will never forsake you. Who will never give you a stone when you ask for bread.  Hold on to that love in your heart. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

> All my love

Letter to a Rapper as a Young Man

33 was a big year for some people

I want to first thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for using your gift and following the drive to create.

Holler at your boy if you know somebody.

Only recently I caught your track “XXXX XX”, full of anguish and fear I have felt, honest with so many burdens that have plagued me as well. As an artist, I know how it feels to be trapped under the scrutiny of others, and even more within the confines of yourself. Looking at everyone who are pretending not to be transfixed on each other’s highlight reel, your hands can feel so incapable in comparison, yet every beat of your heart pumps blood that boils enraged as your life force cries out in resistance to the clutches of death and hopelessness. Not ever knowing the level of notoriety you have experienced, I truly have no idea what your path has been like, and I in no way am writing this to judge or disrespect you.

There’s a war going on inside no man is safe from.
When the world tries to hold you back and you fight to strive and achieve, that thing that is actively trying to stop you is very real. Every ounce of energy it has is totally premeditated to make you question your worth, your uniqueness, your purpose. It can make you hate the skin you live in, the hands that take action, the shape of the container of your soul. It tries its best to convince you to agree that your identity is comprised of the glaring summation of past experiences, limitations and mess-ups. And in this place you may be at times swayed into agreement that who you truly are inside is just a piece of flesh full of desire and gumption, carrying the manageable weight of those burdening faults and shortcomings. Therein plants the seed of that sick insatiable appetite of self-pleasure, directing all the glorious indulgences the world has to offer for your consumption.
Does this consumption provide a greater enjoyment than responsible stewardship would?

Take a flower and pluck it out to enjoy its beauty on a shelf inside closed doors. Less work than planting it. Only there for your enjoyment, one day you suddenly realize its too dead to look at anymore and it is discarded.

I know somebody.
Who you may think isn’t your boy but you may have already known a bit about him. Maybe he was mentioned were you dwelt before. He may not seem to be in the way, but then you may some day find yourself questioning your character. Wondering what moves you’ve made, asking yourself if things could have gone different at times. One day it sort of comes out of nowhere and you find yourself looking in the mirror, and are you in agreement with anything that tells you that you are not loved? Not accepted before and after anything you have done? Not a King, designed with Love to rule over your world?
Ask yourself then who your boy is and whether you are actively in agreement with him.

I know somebody.
He has your back no matter what. He knows suffering and has been there with you in your lowest, worst moments; Not with the eyes of judgment but of pity. He doesn’t need your friendship or compliance for his own ends but will never take anything from you if you give it to him. If you ask him for bread, he cannot give you a stone. He will never leave you, even if you walk million miles in the wrong direction you will never walk alone. He will never forsake you, even if your ends and friends are all gone, no matter if you denied him, or where ashamed of him or not.

He has no intention to try to convince you whether you need to be down or not. He walks with you.
A true friends is someone you can not see for the longest time and still feel that connection to. Facing away from him, buried head first in the garbation of false pleasure and self-importance, there he stands in the room with you. Those impenetrable wedges that stand in the way between you and others are so frail and brushed aside by his loving hands. Those festering wounds from the past you’ve neurotically picked at, returned to to make sure the scars are still the same; Only to remind yourself of that sickening pain way down inside, that fills you with fear. Yet quietly he in a still small voice encourages you.
“never mind that”

You have already been perfectly and uniquely designed by an illogically generous, and tirelessly passionate authorship that has so little to do with what what your finite imagination can perceive. These glimpses where exercising your gifts and talents has brought you into the place you’re in could be considered evidence of just some of your innate fantastic capacities.

But there is so much more
I know somebody who is going to push you to go further that you think you can go. Who will stand next to you when the world has given up on you. He will watch you burdened down, weak and defeated at times in an empty house under construction and be that voice that tells you to pick up your self and stand to your feet. He’ll show you that shiv buried deep inside and give you just barely enough strength to pull it out. It burns your hand with pain to hold it out in his light, but by his strength, you will stab it violently into a massive wall of rock in your path to grasp and climb with so you can be that person that makes a way for others to get over.
And when you do, you’ll wonder for a second at how you could even, and wonder where this courage could come from. But you might already know what made it possible. Because you and I were both there. We kicked him when he fell, we spat on his loving face, for all the hate and pain the world laid on us when we just couldn’t deal. He took all that and so much more, spreading his arms out in a loving act of what man’s eyes perceive to be defeat; and he still does it to this day whether you or I like it or not. Smiling, full of love, today he says to you:
Just walk a little with me for a while

Bless up M

PS: Don’t ask me if I never shared the proof of God to people. Cause so many times I certainly didn’t.
You want to see faith? It’s actually up to you. It will flow out of your hand when you heal somebody. It will become a sword in your hand that you cut down demons with to liberate your brother. Walk back into that place the enemy put a wedge and watch the darkness scatter. I only know this feeling as a wave that resonates from inside me, creating an immediate emotional effect and a rush in my soul.
So go ahead, wander around in the desert at what should have been an 18 day hike. Angry and on your way somewhere, working as hard as you can to find the truth inside yourself. But the missing piece is not in you to find, it already is in your design and you know it to be true.

How to Ride a Motorcycle

In the process of getting your Ontario M2 Motorcycle License, a good preparatory course can be found through the good people at www.mtohp.com

What I gleaned from this course seemed applicable to more than just the art of riding a motorcycle properly.  Take what you can from it.

How to Ride a Motorcycle

1.   Look where you want to go

The rider must rely of such a small area of surface contact that they must be constantly aware of every flaw in the road.  Rocks, oil spills, nooks, crannies, and the most banal patch of gravel can ultimately be the minute difference between life and death.

Conversely, it is far too distracting for the rider to focus too much on what is right in front of the bike.  What will separate the safe from dangerous rider is not found in the small flaws in the path.  The rider must maintain awareness of the obstacles, prepared for the upcoming moment where they must change position or prepare themselves, and never look back.

The safe rider has paid consideration to all the hazards, but directs their gaze to the road ahead.  Amidst traffic, areas where heightened awareness demands even greater attention, and especially — the turn.  The most important application of looking where you are going is when you need to change direction.

Rolling into a curve is the most dangerous moment and the highest incidence of single vehicle motorcycle accidents.  If you don’t turn your head to point to where you need to go, you can end up paying too much attention to the hazards beneath you, or the guardrail.  You can very quickly and far too easily end up where you don’t want to be.

This action, however simple in theory, does require a tremendous amount of decisiveness, focus, and trust. Always keeping a direct intention for the vision of the path ahead.  That guardrail is always there, behind something and knowing where it is is far different than scrutinizing its threat.  The road ahead may have more obstacles, but poses a lesser imminent risk, and it is where our head must face.

 

2.  Stay within the path

We live in a world where interruptions and sudden changes seem to be taking place more often than not.  Our minds are becoming increasingly trained to retain shorter attention spans amidst all the changes we must keep up with.  A tremendous part of the peace attained in riding comes through having less opportunities for distracted thought and vision.

The rider is faced with infinite choices and moments where they must be able to execute what their instincts know to be true.  Safety demands an ability to trust that still small voice of reason, and put behind your mind the infinite possibilities of doubt.

If the rider has already seen where to go and taken a path, getting through everything in the way demands staying on it. In varying terrain, amidst traffic, and around obstacles, even if suddenly you realize you’re going the wrong way; You must stay on the path.  No panic moves, last minute whims, or second guessing yourself.  Staying on that narrow line is most paramount to your survival.

Discernment and wisdom affords the decision the most accurate and real tense of where our actions will take us.  Knowing where you are going is the first step. Choosing between opportunity and abundance or greed and impatience will be manifested in the destination we reach.

 

3.  Do it quickly

Sometimes an opening presents itself in our path and we are drawn to it, not out of fear or desperation but because we somehow know were are just supposed to go that way.  This innate purpose doesn’t always fit into a preconceived agenda or extensive list of to-dos.  It is for here and now and must be done without hesitation.

To be expedient about the execution of the action is often the only way in can be done in the amount of time we have to get through that opening.  More often than not, to wait and retrace ourselves ends up wasting time, and can even be dangerous.  In a moment miracles happen and lives are changed, and it is deceptive to try to convince ourselves we have the luxury of time to go about it otherwise.

 

4. Don’t follow the experts at their speed

We can find people around us we gravitate towards as role models, their likable qualities and gifts can fill us with a child like openness to their guidance and ways.  This desire to glean what we find admirable in others can also find a desperation inside of us to keep up.  Though these leaders, do we see ourselves building and encouraging others. Their refined talent shines through the mire of frustratingly difficult situations and can make that impossible challenge seem effortless.

We can follow behind too eagerly unaware of the ease we feel, which is riding on the wake of their submitted mind. They have practiced, trained, or grown enough to not have to overthink the otherwise perplexing.  Their steadfastness of purpose can’t always be carbon copied or transplanted.  Trying to unsuccessfully be a part of keeping up with or following too close can result in your ego having a surprise, or worse: disaster.

Humility enables the rider to fall back and follow the example, not exceed their abilities and deceive themselves that they are in the same place that their leaders are in. On the tip of your mind may be the next idea not for its value but your hunger for validation and to be heard.  And while you expound to the greatest exaggeration of what you already know is a pearl of wisdom you will not receive, to be tread upon and passed by.

 

5. Most accidents with others happen at intersections

The gyroscopic effect of two wheels in motion push the motorcycle into a straight line.. The rider can begin to bask in the consistency of the movement, which ends at the intersection.  The inevitable crossing of paths with others travelling in a different direction leaves many variables possible that can immediately stop where you are going, and perhaps forever.

The other often does not see you because of size. All of one’s concentration and focus seems almost inconsequential in light of the self-absorption of others.  We must anticipate that not vindictively, they may interrupt, get in the way, or hurt us.

Knowing that they are approaching or suddently amidst others who aren’t on the same path, the experienced rider anticipates the possibility that someone is about to get in their way.  The trained eye sees the other and makes their presence known to help claim their space and direction.  All the while they are subconsciously preparing themselves mentally to manoeuvre around challenging situations ahead.  This is a fine art where timing, self control, restraint, and emotional strength come together to enable a heightened consciousness to prepare for the inevitable.

 

6. Don’t back down

With every fear behind you and a firm grip on your destined path, you must envision the direction you are heading  and allow yourself to go there.  No mental preparation will compensate for the sudden momentary pressure that an infinite number of situations will demand.  Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is looking at you and suddenly a place of doubt and fear can rise up from inside of you.  If you allow it.

It is far too easy to forget that fear is a choice we give into and is often based on some untrue belief we have accepted about ourselves lying deep inside our identity.  If we have not acutely allowed ourselves to be vulnerable in our definition of who we are, it becomes increasingly difficult to allow wisdom and truth to fill into those broken parts of ourselves.  Those hidden wounds we have held onto for so long and have made up this false identity will then resurface in these times of pressure in some form of fear.

Don’t back down.

Finding the pain illuminates the grotesque and untenable. To allow that painful place to be brought out into the light disables our own perception of shame.  That thing that we hold in secret as some terrible burden the world can’t know about will mutate and infect our very being, and internalized will be manifested as some flaw we accept to be true and unshakable about ourselves.

Perfect love casts out all fear.  Fear of exposing an ugly secret. Fear of being seen as something other than what you have hidden. Fear of having discarded that scar with nothing in its place. Fear of then being expected to rewrite the definition of who you are. To truly know who you are supposed to be, and where you must go, and how you must then live; That place of fear must be attacked and destroyed in the light.

David ran towards Goliath.

Broken Language

I never liked worship.  Those pew books, read along verses, overhead projected words felt like communicating to God with subtitles. Too self conscious of myself and hyper aware of those around me to secede from false apprehension, I turned against the wave of emotion. The visible demonstrations of the spirit disturbed my rush into the Lord’s love.

Experienced specifically by being affected by the very thing I may never fully comprehend;  in that strength and how overwhelming it can be, and yet for some so impossible to get to amidst a sea of immeasurable obstacles.

The first time I gave into the Holy Spirit the presence of the lord coming on brought my emotions into this disorder. This challenged me, unable to anticipate the end that wasn’t there to close the door to my expectation of potential experience.  That same charade of worship was what broke me. The words of glory caused the greatest tension of my flesh possible, as my physical container stretched to fit as much of God’s love it could contain, bursting at the seams to push out what tears I had to offer him.

This intensity and simplicity shows us how true Love is unashamed, confident, visionary

When the horde of screaming men chant you on as if their lives depend on it and it still feels like you’ve got to give, God’s yoke is there. One hundred times heavier than anything in your path.  And for some reason, you can’t put it down. The hunger in your belly and the pain in your flesh dissolving into the wave of joy that further engulfs your design as you drown your carnality in that filling. They all need you not to give up more than even you do.

This is what we were made for.

Centre Court

Attended the C3 Leadership Conference in Barrie, On  21/6/18

We were asked to pray, and wait. Then write a letter from God to us.

We were to write it without tremendous deliberation and to read it later on. The act of re-reading what I had written to myself was amidst 11 others, carrying a 4′ cross of lumber from station to station. There, one at a time we were given the opportunity to share what contents from the letter we felt comfortable to.

My inspiration came to me in worship. I looked down at the floor of the gymnasium all the seating had been set up in. And I happened to be sitting directly in the centre of it.

 

Centre Court

You are seated right in the middle of where the struggle of competing forces begin their engagement. In an almost immediate moment, one side will be favoured over another. The greatest opportunity for victory begins right here.

Breakaway does not depend on waiting for others to validate your gift or vision. In that moment the victor can only win by not looking back. Breaking away from all hindrances, like woven cords of iron with hooks deeply buried within your own muscle fibers and bones.

Break away from everything you think you know about rehabilitation and the time you give yourself to slowly heal where those tendrils and resistances must come out.  The pain of their removal does not correspondingly equate to how lengthy you hope to hold on to what lies have become mutated parts of your identity.

They don’t have to be perfect flesh before the armor of God is put on, as if we are expected to become blameless before we can expect God to protect us from our own imperfections. The armor goes on and those rusty woven cords of metal twisted into our flesh fizzle up like worms in the sun and crumble into tiny little pieces, dust blowing away. Only then can we count on that protection as we step forward.

Never forget centre court. Everything can seem to happen in the twinkling of an eye and the wrong team can gain ground the minute we look too much to our own surroundings, others or simply off of the very prize we must take and run. Running as fast as your life depended on it.

 

x

Wellness Defined

He has shown you,  O Man

what is good; And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?

(Micah 6:6)

My God

A term used in moments of awe, of desperate loss for words, at the horror of unreasonable atrocity. We encounter the fantastic, the tragic and the indescribable taking in of what is not possible to mentally process. Perhaps all that one has the capacity to utter when feebly searching to establish how, or the understanding of a why that gives us a cause to blame. Before our callous and final rationalization that grows this sternness we can then hold on to so tightly, desperately to protect ourselves from the wave of emotion overtaking what foothold we have. The ground under our feet quivers ever so slightly enough to give a glimpse of how it could suddenly all fall out from under our feet. And where will we go?

Outside of a rational, logical decision devised in the mind is a plain seemingly undefined path that we may not understand to have a premeditated narrative. We vainly make up the substance that completes all areas of our unknowns with a self awareness and false sense of trust in the generalization that somehow we will do it. Deep down we hold on to the hope that our faculties, wit, charm, magnetism or luck will fill all the voids in the road ahead. As if we can base our cumulative past experiences on an assurance that thus far it has all somehow worked out. We place our feeble hope in this and what may be a momentary perspective on the path behind, eager to find its retelling in the most favorable light. It has worked so far.

What if the path My God has for me is not for anyone else? The walk My God will have with me has obstacles and challenges intentionally allowed for the individual refinement of my character? All the best intended guidance, wisdom and direction helps place the pieces of My God’s personal puzzle that I am to put together. But no one except for me will see all the pieces take shape and form his image of what I look like.

With so much dissidence over what someone else’s expectation of My God means to their experience, ours although intended to be rich with connection and unity is broken over the petty attempts to declare definition of truth in the most general sense. We focus on the basic framework to abruptly block the infinitely detailed, intricate vibrant radiance of what could be our most beautiful possible experience.

My God.

Spoken in tears of joy to the fantastic unexpected revelation of that relentless abundance. Our eyes maybe focused off the base rule where the separation of division from our own identity, fading amidst the blinding light of incomprehensible Love that renders us speechless. The awe at the effortless gesture against what seemed impossible, transformed in abundant grace.