Turning Point

In times of turmoil,
You are there to help the toil.
For don’t let these opportunities spoil in fear that you won’t succeed here.
God has a plan for those that seek His face;
However this journey is set at His pace,
And you must learn to trust and have patience,
even in the darkness of uncertainty of this race.

Peace in Pain

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The ease sets in.
The suddenness of the cold breeze fails to produce the usual sensation of dizziness.
Calamity and chaos produce the undercurrent of the waves that surround—
Yet, paradoxically, serenity internally abounds.
For those with ears to hear recognize the trumpet’s sound
Brazenly playing in the background.
This is where peace is found,
Knowing the one who is worthy of the crown,
Ignoring the deception of what the world renowns.
Relinquishing delusions of helping others from their own choosing,
Has surrendered my will and my fate at the feet of your gate.

God & Money

One general objection I have with some of the messages within the Christian faith is selective emphasis—that is, emphasizing certain verses of scriptures over others—in addition to selection bias: omitting certain verses from scripture.

Recently, there has been one verse that continually keeps coming into my life: “‘No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money’” (Matthew 6:24, NLT). While I had heard this verse in messages before, it was infrequent and rarely the center of any serious analysis; however, in my personal life, I recently had felt a great sense of comfort not merely by reading this verse in isolation, but in its complete context, spanning Matthew 6:19-34. It was through the added context of Jesus’ words that I truly understood what was being said in verse 24; moreover, the context and rich examples that Jesus uses provided me with the comfort, guidance, and reassurance of faith that I needed.

In our world, especially in American culture, materialism, work, production, and success are all encultured into you; moreover, they are blended up and somehow attached to your self-worth. As Jefferson Bethke writes (playing off Descartes’ famous words), “America’s mantra is, ‘I produce, therefore I am.’” It seems that our lives somehow have become intertwined with what it is that we produce or can show others. This goes hand-in-hand with our media-driven culture—however, let us return to scripture.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.’” Here, is a clear verse illustrating that we are called to produce fruit, but what kind of fruit? Well, John 15:15 says, “lasting fruit” or “fruit that will remain.” And, how do we accomplish such a task? We do so by following Jesus’ command: “‘Don’t store up treasures here on earth…Store your treasures in heaven.’” (Matthew 6:20-21, NLV).

So, why is this all so important? The issue comes back to what is being emphasized. As Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 say, “‘where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NIV). This is a matter of our hearts and, thus, is of remarkable relevance; moreover, it is regarding how our relationship to the material world should be, which is of paramount importance in the current culture in which we live.

Unfortunately, this message seems to not receive as much attention as it deserves—in fact, the attention it has received by some leaders within the Christian faith has been to emphasize the opposite point, and conflate the idea that inner works can be manifested materially. I will speak more on this in my next post as I discuss the emergence and growth of the prosperity gospel.

Carefree Incongruity

A constant pretense always engaged in a reality that’s counterfeit
And filled with frivolities that disguise themselves as serious beliefs.
Mesmerize me, and I’ll ignore the bleed.
Let those that are chosen to lead continue to be the ones to fill our needs.
Never question whether you’re free, for you’ve been given more than you see.
Shall this fallacy of relative privation squash all doubts and questions regarding my salvation?
Is it worth just accepting what the majority tells you is the correct story;
Or, is there an essence inside that refuses to hide in the face of intolerance?

God and Order

Our world is ruled by disorder. Ask a physicist why time is perceived as flowing in a direction and they will say it is due to entropy, which merely is a scientific way of saying disorder.

The universe is increasing in disorder (entropy), thus time appears to flow in the direction of past to future. In the past, there was less entropy and, therefore, more order. In the future, there is an increasing amount of disorder.

Take this from a cognitive perspective for a second. Your past is comprised of events that happened. They feel more concrete and solidly grounded in existence, because we know (or believe ourselves to know) that these certain events did in fact occur. Now, go the opposite direction and think towards the future. The future is ruled by probability. Thinking of the future from the present is like running probability simulations of what is likely, or possible, to happen in our lives.

The real question becomes: Why was there order to begin with?

In the opening lines of the Bible, it gives rise to the notion that, before there was light, there was a great void, formless and dark. In this primordial state, we find a state of complete individualization — even all the particles are in isolation, as to have yet formed a connective bond to one another.

It is this initial bond that fulfills the verse of “‘Let there be Light'” (Genesis 1:3).

A non-Biblical analogy is the science of your brain. Think to that first neural connection forming in a burst of energy. This initial burst of life cannot be understood, nor meaningfully explained. And, even if we somehow could meaningfully describe life itself, it would encapsulate all the words that have ever used to describe life. It would be all that ever was. Regardless of the mechanism of how, the result was that your brain formed neural connections and has continued to do so throughout your life forming neural networks.

 

Guide My Soul

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” – Proverbs 23:7

Lord, please forgive my heart for ingesting so much evil under the claim of righteous indignation. It is not my call to rid this world of evil, but to have faith and to grow in my relationship with You. I have drifted from the way of You by being consumed in the politics of this world and letting my heart overflow with arguments, defenses, justifications and distractions. All of which serve to distract me from consuming myself with You — in the form of Love, Beauty and Grace. Such words are only given meaning through the Word made flesh Christ Jesus.

Redirect my path and prune me of the compulsion to look at the entertainment, to be consumed by half-truths and meaningless distractions. Lord Almighty, shield me from the business and trivialities of this life. Grant me serenity  through asylum in your garden. Let me visit the eternal springs and be overtaken by the ripples of calmness that resonate within my spirit. Instruct my hands to open up from their tense clasp onto reality and worldly knowledge and direct my gaze upon you and your fathomless nature.

You are the mystery which should consume me. Nothing of this world will last; so, too, will be the fate of me, if I let this world overtake me.

Lord,
Guard my heart;
Guide my mind;
Gild my soul.

Missing The Point

If religious laws and piety produce nothing more than judgement and elitism, then they are not from the spirit but rather the ego. They are societal parameters to regulate appropriate decorum determined by individuals crudely attempting to construct their ideal reality.

Aspects of the true spirit will produce fruit that manifests in forms of love, freedom and peace, not judgement, rigidity and angst. No man made laws, institutions or religious righteousness will bring you to God, but they certainly can distance you.

When you find your religious perspective is one from a high vantage, you should reevaluate what it is that you believe and what it is that you want from others. We are all equal in the eyes of God. We are all imperfect in our own ways, and to judge others for their specific imperfections, only deepens our own. And, deepening our own imperfections, deepens the chasm that divides us from God’s absolute perfection.

We should shift our eyes from societal things and the eqoic mind which feeds off of comparison and judgement, and instead turn inwards to gaze upon ourselves. Not from the point of view of judgement, but simply from the perspective of an impassive observer.

We should focus more on who we are and what we are becoming in relation to the absolute source that is God, and less about the faults of others in an attempt to falsely build ourselves up.

Tuning Your Frequency

Use your eye to peer into the river of consciousness and pick out from the floating debris only the fruit that is in likeness to Goodness, only which that is alive and illustrates the living, only something that is rejoicing in the divine dance that is an eternal self-sustain cycle of life, ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning, moving – but going nowhere – creating only the energy potential waiting to be harnessed and creatively used by the individual receiver.  We hook into this energy potential, but there is a password. And the password is Love.

You will not be granted entrance by mere semantic utterances of words, but rather by the heart itself. The gate will not open and allow access to the totality of potential that lies behind it, if not the heart is truly in likeness to the true password. . . and the password is Christ. True selfless living, strength, bravery, truth and conviction. He is the greatest of all time. The greatest because of his meekness, blessed because of his servitude and wonderful because of his presence and semblance of God. He was a vessel and a receiver so in tuned with the frequency of God that there was no difference between the source and the receiver: they walked step by step, stride for stride.

We too can live such a life. We too can become the perfect tuning fork to the frequency of God. The challenge is the tuning doesn’t stay long. We are constantly facing resistance on a daily basis. We  much constantly be flexible and adaptable to maintain such a standard of upkeep that we may be able to resonant such a magnificent frequency.

Leap of Faith

We separate ourselves from Christ by emphasizing his divinity and undermining his humanity. Instead of seeking to imitate him, we are actually avoiding him by alienating ourselves from him.

We choose this because it is easier than wrestling with the paradox that is Jesus: man and God, meek carpenter and savior of the world, blameless but convicted. We struggle with gray areas, and we are hardwired for dualistic – black and white – thinking.

We logic our way into believing in God instead of surrendering our way to having faith in God. The former is a test of memory, facts, evidence and proofs, while the latter is one of pure intuition – fear and trembling in the face of the reality of what existence is truly about.