Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On healing prayer and ministry -

"Sometimes our wounds may be thorns of blessing that we misconstrue?"  }:-

Last night my wife, daughter-in-law and I attended a healing prayer meeting.  We love that believers understand that all the gifts of the Kingdom are present in our time, (because of course, the Kingdom IS indeed present!)  We have personally witnessed physical healings, the immediate kind and the longer term kind, but I must confess it is the beautiful inner healing that comes through forgiveness and repentance that moves me to tears of JOY.  Although I must also confess it was nice to see my wife's TMJ (jaw) issue healed last night!  };-)

My personal issue with the healing ministries is the tendency to make a "show" of something that is so beautiful and intimate between the Lover of our soul and us.  Those who truly practice healing prayer effectively do so in utter humility and the knowledge that it is the Spirit of God that heals.  Which brings me to the subject of this "moosage", that our wounds are too often misconstrued, and in a holy contradiction are actually meant as blessings from our Father who knows best, (not always, but often.)  The Apostle Paul himself referred to the "thorn in my side" that the LORD allowed to remain as a blessing and not a curse.  "My Grace is sufficient for you."  Far too often we are too quick to desire physical healing when God has something of far greater, eternal importance for us, (again, not always, but often).  This is where much prayer (the listening kind in silence and solitude) is of greatest importance.  The ancient fathers and mothers knew this well, and practiced it.  We in this time would do well to seek such wisdom and healing, instead of the "fast food", give it to me now Western solutions to all our perceived needs.

I also personally believe that Jesus's greatest concern is always for "inner healing", healing of the heart and soul.  Medicine has shown that stress manifests itself in humans and all Creation in destructive ways.  Heart disease, cancer, gastro-intestinal, mental illness, etc. all have origins in spiritual and emotional stress.  So, often inner healing (and prayer focused there) will lead to physical healing.  Now it's true we won't often see the miraculous, instantaneous healings of many of the "celebrity healers", but the transformation is no less miraculous and has eternal benefits to the one healed thusly.

Do Patti and I practice healing prayer as part of our "ministry"?  Well yes of course, but probably not in the same way as many others, including the "celebrity healers".  Our lives in Christ and this ministry we choose to call "Anam Cara" (soul care & soul friends) is modeled after the lifestyle Jesus chose for himself when he walked this earth.  The pattern is simple; intimate time spent with our Father in silence and solitude, intimate time with others discussing life and God's Word, and applying it all to daily life, then after this preparation, encouragement and accountability we go out into the world to proclaim the Good News, to heal, and to baptize in the Name of the Holy Trinity, Three in One; Father, Son & Spirit.  Healing often comes simply because we are present as Christ's Love and Light, we don't have to speak special incantations or do anything in particular to witness the Spirit's work in others.

As I often remind other disciples I meet with, it's all about abiding in Christ, (John 15), or as mentor Eugene Peterson puts it, "a long obedience in the same direction" toward our true Home in God, and continually immersed in His "unforced rhythms of Grace".  Indeed, we may also carry wounds and scars from our own experiences of living in this broken world with broken people, (including our own family and loved ones), but the Lover of our soul has promised that He will "work for the good in all things" and bring blessing, growth and transformation out of trials and suffering.  "Fear not.  In this world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world."

For me in a deeply personal and intimate way, this is the ministry of the "wounded healer" that another beloved mentor, Henri Nouwen, lived and wrote about.  I am grateful and content in this season for I am more often caught up in the Kingdom than in the world.  We are all on this Journey together, though our experiences and ministries may look different along the way, mutual encouragement, support and accountability are our shared blessings as we travel.

anonemoose monk 💔~💜 }:-

#agnessanford #williamvaswig

Reflecting Glory -

"But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."  [Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:48]

The Sermon on the Mount, as found in Matthew chapters 5-7 and elsewhere, is a collection of Jesus's foundational teachings.  It is the true heart of Christianity itself, the movement of God that His Christ came to start as one of us.  Chapter 5 of Matthew's gospel contains the Beatitudes (Blessings) that gives us a picture of what our lives should like as faithful followers (disciples) of Jesus.  That chapter also ends with the astonishing statement above, "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."  Yes, an impossibility for us humans in this life, but Jesus was always pointing to His Father and the Kingdom wherein such impossibilities become possible.  Our challenge then is to surrender and submit to God's transformation by His Spirit in us.  This is the "long obedience in the same direction" as Eugene Peterson calls it.  It is taking on the "easy yoke and Light burden" of Christ for our lives, walking this journey in His "unforced rhythms of grace", (Peterson again).

The Apostle Paul, "caught up in the Spirit", spoke this Truth in a letter to those in the Church at Corinth, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." [ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT)]

Further, John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" as he referred to himself, writes these things in his Revelation that Christ gave him before his death:

Revelation 21:22-27 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

And finally this:

Revelation 22:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

As with many things of God, this all seems very mysterious, and I admit I had much difficulty grasping these Truths in my younger years.  My own faith journey led me down many paths until I finally returned to the One Narrow Way, the Good Red Road of Christ.  It is Jesus Himself, the Christ of God, fully human and fully God, Who is our own Revelation as well.  Therein the Great Mystery revealed; the Creator of all things is also the intimate Lover of our soul, our true HOPE and eternal salvation.

Immersed in Glory we cannot help but reflect it, reflect God.

}:- anonemoose monk 💔~💜

"The LORD God loves them all."

This morning as I awoke God placed two of my Brothers are my heart.  Both are struggling in their own "dark night of the soul", so I pray Philippians 4:4-9 on their behalf, as well as Ephesians 6:10-18 (I put the armour of God on them both.)

Then out back on the porch the Creator and Lover of all souls speaks His reassurance to me that all is well and LOVE ("He") will attaineth all things; fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, all things new.

First assurance comes in the beautiful sunrise and activity of nature as I sit in wonder with a grateful heart.  Then out of my thanksgiving He speaks divine, ultimate Truth, further assurance.

"All things I have created in LOVE.  Regardless of the condition of their being; of humanity's heart, mind and soul, my LOVE for them does not change.  You my child may see the different religions, creeds, races, even the sins of all mankind, but I only see My children whom I love and desire to redeem, restore and recreate.  My prophet Jeremiah is still correct in his words, 'I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.'  Indeed I will do as I said and the prophets wrote."

Then the Spirit affirmed a deep Truth I have come to know and embrace personally.  Humanity sees with a divided mind, dualism, but God is One.  Therefore, all things, including those "made in Our image" are One.  The mystery of oneness, of relatedness is held in the One Relationship at the Center of all things.  Mankind's great problem since its own creation has been this dualism that sees differences rather than unity.

If you will allow me, I beg forbearance in trying to explain the inclusivity of Jesus, the Christ of God, despite the seeming exclusivity of the religion called Christianity.  This one man named Jesus of Nazareth, also called the Son of God and Son of Man, did not come to establish a religion of man.  Instead, in the Great Mystery that is "God", the Godman Himself came to fulfill all that the laws and prophets of man that had and have been trying to speak of this since God first spoke to man.

This is not about religion; all those systems of belief and unbelief of man, but about an intimate relationship with the Lover of our souls, the Creator of all things including us, the Sovereign Almighty Authority "Who" is also the Relationship at the Center and divine, ultimate, infinite LOVE.  This Relationship supersedes, transcends all religions and kingdoms of man.  The truths (LOVE's Truths) contained in all those religions, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, Christianity, Hebrew and more, even atheism when it speaks of love, those truths are retained and are contained within the Relationship.  Once again we see unity, not differences.  (Oh that broken humanity could see and embrace this unity.  Instead, we have leaders who lead by proclaiming differences, promoting disunity!)

The mystery of being separate but one is found in the Relationship at the Center of all, divine LOVE, God.  In the unconditional love exhibited in the Godhead we humans find our own identity as one; individuals but also together.  Ultimate need for love is fulfilled, comes to us from the Lover of our soul and frees us to love others sacrificially.

This then is the Truth I deeply desire to proclaim with my words and my life, only by Grace, Lord make it so.  Amen.  }:- ❤️





" I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."  [Jesus, the Christ of God, praying for all humanity -cited in the gospel of John contained in the Holy Bible.]