Greetings people of the universe! Enjoy this song, Just For Now by Imogen Heap as you read. I was recommending it to someone in my dream last night and looked it up first thing this morning.
I had Imogen’s album Speak For Yourself playing in my car for at least three months straight and never tired of it. I bought the album based on one song: Hide and Seek. It was one of those songs that helped me get through hell.
I bonded to a playlist of amazing songs that I found at Jeremy Cowart’s website. I ended up buying many of the albums. Teitur, Denison Witmer, Iron and Wine, Imogen Heap were among the artists in the selection.
Jeremy Cowart is a photographer that had a certain reputation for being in the “cool and beautiful” club. To associate with him increased your chances and mojo for being in the club yourself. So everyone thought. He rode that wave and did his artsy alternative thing quite successfully.
I’ve never been able to do that. I suppose it’s because I refuse to play that game even though I sense there is a part of me trying to play that game. I don’t want to be a con artist or a hypocrite – the meaning of which literaly means “wearing a mask”. I’m going to be myself and yet I have this drive to be a person of influence.
Man’s search for significance, right? You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard Victor Frankel’s book Man’s Search For Meaning come up recently. He teaches logo-therapy which is to attach significance and meaning to your circumstances and suffering. This was how Donald Miller seemed to explain it in a talk he gave at Bethel Church in Redding at a leaders conference November 1st 2018. You go after your dream or goal and upon completing one you go after another immediately lest you fall into the abyss of hopelessness and depression thinking that life is all pointless and meaningless.
And yet, didn’t The Teacher in Ecclesiastes have something to say on that? The one who had it all, learned it all, accomplished every goal, and tried every pleasure? Solomon used his wisdom and position to become the subject of a grand experiment for the benefit of humanity. At the end of it all, he has this to say: It’s all meaningless. A chasing after the wind.
Of course that wasn’t all he said. I do gain a great deal of insight when he sums it all up and says here is the end of the matter:
“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT
I break this down to it’s deeper and more relational meaning. To “Fear God” means to reverentially trust God. “Obey his commands” means to love one another.
I love that word trust. That’s something that makes sense to me. We trust people we love. We trust our parents, spouse, and friends. Trust is the basis of relationship and relationship with the One who is Love means it will have some natural consequences. That Perfect Love that you are now bonded to Perfect Love when you trust Jesus and because of that trust you will be infused with his love for you that will naturally flow out to others. If you don’t love, you don’t know God. If you don’t love, you don’t trust the real Jesus.
I’ve often wondered if I am cursed or something. I think it is probably all in my head, but I’m convinced that people seem to reject and avoid me. I am one of the shunned and I can’t quite figure out why. Maybe I intimidate them? I don’t always know until it’s too late how I’m being perceived by others. If I were to guess it’s because I embrace the fringe Christianity that doesn’t seem to have a place in most churches everywhere?
I embrace the signs and wonders kind of Christian. I love watching the Sid Roth show It’s Supernatural on Youtube (everything except the ads which I skip). I love that all the gifts of the Spirit are available to us today and would like to grow in that. I don’t shy away from the likes of Joshua Mills who apparently often gets covered in gold dust when he preaches, experiences creative and unusual miracles like having a woman’s eyes grow back into their sockets, and teleports to China to pray with some saints there.
I want that. I have asked Joshua Mills to be on my show Sozo Talk Radio. I imagine that he might be the kind of Christian that God has in mind for how all true believers will operate when the Next Great Awakening comes to the church. I want to be ready to receive all that God has for us. To be the new wineskin for the new wine.
Is this why I get shunned? Seriously, someone please tell me, is all this just going on in my head? Do you all really love me and I’m just freaking out over nothing? Is the devil just messing with me?
“And he increased in favor with both God and man.”
This phrase is spoken in Scripture about two people: Samuel and Jesus. I’ve always wondered what that would be like to have both God’s blessing and people’s blessing. To experience your favor dear reader.
Am I at war with myself? Have I somehow declared war on the world?
I was just thinking about that movie War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise. That was an awesome flick wasn’t it? The opening scene shows him working on a crane at the loading dock. This scene was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. I know that because I visited there on vacation once and swam in the ocean. The current was strong and moving sideways along the beach. There were manna rays in the water. I have a photo with my wife under the dock pictured below.
I love swimming. In fact, it was my policy on road trips of the past to stop at every available swimming hole along the way to jump in. By the way there is a really nasty murky one in Oklahoma on the way to Texas that made my swimsuit rot and my skin crawl. Not completely sure it wasn’t a sewage treatment pond.
Back to topic… Aliens.
So what’s your view on aliens? Have you ever seen one? Been abducted and experimented upon? Do you think they might have ships hidden underground ready for deployment and hostile takeover?
Yes, the typical response I get from most Christians is that aliens are demons. Of course I prefer the term extra-terrestrial and I would say the difference between an angel and a demon is determined by one question and one question alone. “Where does their loyalty lie?”
As most of you know this universe and the seemingly infinite other universes are teaming with life. Most exist on, for lack of a better word, other astral planes. (Is there a more “Christian” word for astral planes?) God is super fun and creative isn’t he?
So why don’t people like me? Or am I being deceived by a nefarious extra-terrestrial and in fact you all love me?
Why do I have this cloud of rejection hanging over me? Would you pray for me?
The other day at discipleship class we were supposed to pray about one lie we believe about ourselves that God wants to correct. After 15 minutes of prayer I had nothing but I volunteered to go first anyway. I named some of my familiar lies of the past but after awhile of talking the truth came out.
I believe I am dangerous.
The leader asked me to ask God if I really was dangerous. It’s always best to hear straight from God to set the record straight and root out the lies.
I told them that I wouldn’t want anyone to lose faith because of me. I don’t want to export unhealthy spirituality. I would sooner crawl back into my Gollum cave and spare the world my existence if I was dangerous to anyone.
Questions I ask myself:
Do you have something worth exporting? Would the world be better off having the spirituality you have? Do you want everyone to know and relate to God the same way you do? Can you say with Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ”?
For the most part I can answer with a “Yes”. I really can. But I do have my flaws. I wonder if I am a hireling sometimes. How real is my love? I’m not entirely engaged when it comes to relationships. I think it’s because I can’t quite accept myself. I seem to be under the cloud of self-rejection and self-sabotage and self-centeredness… I’m sensing a theme.
I was surprised to read that Brian Simmons radically altered (drew out the true) meaning of the text of John 15:2 to something quite more positive. Do you remember how this verse goes in most translations? “(God the Father) cuts off every branch that bears no fruit”? Well this was how he rendered it:
“He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.” John 15:2 The Passion Translation
Brian has this explanation: John 15:2 The Greek phrase can also be translated “he takes up [to himself] every fruitless branch.” He doesn’t remove these branches, but he takes them to himself. As the wise and loving farmer, he lifts them up off the ground to enhance their growth. In the context, Christ’s endless love for his disciples on the last night of his life on earth seems to emphasize God’s love even for those who fail and disappoint him. Peter’s denial didn’t bring rejection from Jesus.
BTW… I interviewed Brian Simmons on my Sozo Talk Radio show. I suppose the reason I just took a sharp turn there was because when we reject ourselves, we are contradicting the truth that we are accepted in the Beloved.
I believe this: I am beloved. I’m not going back into my cave though a few might want me to. I’m a city set on a hill. I am a light on its stand for all to see. I will not hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine.
I once wrote a blog called Shine On. It featured a quote from a suspected New Ager. Don’t you just love those dear and beautiful souls who identify with the New Age? Yea, me too.
Of course that’s what Jesus is all about, ushering in a New Age of His Kingdom of Love. I am SO delighted it is a kingdom of love! Aren’t you?
I haven’t always loved too well. Please forgive me for that. I want to love better.