The Earth Experience — Now Available on PS4

life is a video gameSometimes I feel like life here on Earth is like a video game. When you overcome one obstacle, another one takes its place. And if the obstacle is too big, you can be busted back several levels and have to struggle through some of the same stuff again.

It is fun reaching new levels, though. When you do, just like in a game, there’s all this new stuff to see along with the new things to overcome.

I don’t feel like I’m close to a new level, though.

A few days ago, someone tried to provoke me by calling me an assortment of unflattering names. It felt like a little demon sailed through the air with each word, like a succession of witches on broomsticks. I felt weighted down all day. Sage helped me. He told me I was the most awesome mom ever, and what mom doesn’t live to hear a compliment like that? A couple of the demons lost their grip and fell screaming to the ground. Then his friend told me how much he appreciated something I had done for him last summer. Another one bit the dust, having been poisoned by the surge of blessing I got from this kid.

There’s still a couple hanging out, it seems. One of them is fairly indistinct — an almost translucent gray figure hanging around me like a cloak that could almost go undetected. That is, if I wasn’t hip to the spiritual nature of depressive episodes.

It feels like I had reached a life force of 12,300 in the game of life and got busted down to 8,000 for not having had the skill to cast off the hurt before it dug its greedy claws into my soul in its attempt to plant a seed of bitterness in my heart.

I can’t emphasize it enough. Spiritual attack is real. Paradoxically, however, the key to overcoming it is not focusing on it. It’s much better to choose to focus on stuff you’re grateful for. Then the stuff clinging to you will feel nauseated and go away.

It feels like gratitude builds up your life force, helping you to increase your points so that the next time you get blasted, you’ll have a bit of a cushion.

The thing is, though, the more you play the game, the more skilled you get. There’s always something to learn, even when you make a mistake you’ve made in the past. I’m trying to summon gratitude for each lesson, even when I’m struggling through a level that has a fog of hopelessness along the path that I must strive to see through.

Putting ideas into practice is hard. It’s easy to lay around and whine or indulge in feelings of sadness, but that just has us repeating the same level again ad infinitum, doesn’t it?

Feeling super-glad the the source the game is plugged into never runs out of power. :-)

Note: If you doubt the power of words, I challenge you to watch this most excellent documentary.

Loving Enemies

love your enemies

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

This sounds like a nice enough Bible verse, right? Not really. If we fully recognize what Paul is saying here, and put it into practice, it will be one of the most difficult things we ever do.

If you have a stronghold in your life, you are enslaved to whatever it is that has power over you. For many people, the strongholds are things like anger and a desire for revenge. I think these feelings reside in every human soul. It is normal to have them, but once we decide to follow Jesus, it’s time to take out these strongmen and crush them.

I was reading and wish so very much that people would just GET IT. Whenever someone suggests that we should love our enemies to the point of embracing non-violence, you always get people coming out of the woodwork who say things like, “What if someone breaks into your house and tries to kill your child?”

I can understand this. Here’s the thing, though. First of all, the Holy Spirit is immensely powerful and can give us the wisdom in that moment to fix the situation. I love how Antoinette Huff handled this school shooter. Second, if the person DID kill your family, remember that Jesus destroyed death:

…it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10

In other words, Jesus put the lie to death. We are immortal souls! God has the whole thing under control. No worries.

Think of life as a dream you’re having. So what if you or someone else wakes up a little bit before you had set your alarm clock to go off? Not that big of a deal, really. I know this sounds flippant, but keep in mind that I am not 100 percent certain that my older son is alive. This knowledge keeps me SANE.

So we don’t have to hate or kill our enemies and continue the cycle that the satan would like to see perpetuated. I refuse to participate.

Of course, it’s easy to sit here and talk about unlikely circumstances or wars that I am at a personal distance from. It’s another thing altogether to talk about REAL enemies — the people in our everyday lives who slander us, provoke us and do other things that make us feel like a spiritual knife is entering our heart. Our normal instinct is to STRIKE BACK, or at the very least, engage in a good complaining session about the person.

But Paul says to take captive EVERY THOUGHT and bring it into obedience to Christ. So that means that if I choose to complain to my husband about someone who has hurt my feelings, denigrating them, that I am NOT being obedient to Christ. Yikes.

So what to do? I refuse to give myself a pass on the grounds that I am “only human” because I’m really trying to transcend my current level of consciousness.

The way that I take such thoughts captive is to implement Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:44, which says to “pray for those who persecute you.” So, whenever I am tormented by a yukky thought about another person, the only thing to do really is to pray for them. And boy do I not want to do that. But you know what? When I force myself to do so, I feel a wonderful peace. And if the thoughts return the next day, I do it again!

I don’t pray that the person will see the error of their ways or anything like that. What I pray is that the person will be most richly blessed and experience God’s joy, peace and love in their lives. In other words, what I want for myself. And you know what? I get what I pray as if I had prayed those words for me rather than the person I have struggled with!

This stuff is really really hard. And it’s not fun to do. And I don’t do it as much as I should. Some thoughts manage to get through in spite of my efforts to kick them back into the darkness. But it’s a journey that I want to undertake. I hate the darkness and don’t want any part of it, really.

The knowledge of God is that we are one, and how we treat our brothers and sisters is how we treat ourselves. I want NOTHING to come between me and this knowledge.

What Are We Swimming in — Polluted Water or Living Water?

God's cleansing waterI had this dream over a week ago, and I had to let it percolate for a while to let its meaning sink in. I had fallen asleep after reading a passage in Luke about the kingdom of God and asking God to help me understand it. Much confusion has arisen because of this passage, and no wonder. It is not a piece of cake to understand at first glance, that is for sure!

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there! Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”

So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

So at 4:44, I woke up to the sound of my cats fighting. Biddlesworth and Gordon regularly fight right before bed, but they’ve usually settled down by the middle of the night. When I woke up, this intense dream had just ended and was fresh in my mind.

In my dream, I was at the beach. People at the beach started getting sick, mainly with cramps in their legs. I thought they were just out of shape, but then I got a cramp as well. The next morning, I started talking to a friend about how perhaps there were chemicals in the water from surrounding manufacturing plants. We walked down to the beach, and floating in the water was a large test strip in a long vial that showed that the water had dangerous levels of several harmful elements.

I thanked God for sending us the capsule and we went to find the company whose name was on the top of the vial. We didn’t get very far. In the first building we passed through, some controlling administrator-type people took the vial from us and hid it in the plumbing of the bathroom. We managed to get it back somehow, though, and ended up taking it to the city manager, who oversaw the lifeguards whose job it was to protect the people swimming in the water.

The lifeguards were simply appalled. The test results showed that the water had been polluted for some time, and they hadn’t known to warn the people. They quickly painted signs with the color red to warn people that the water was polluted. All the while, the evil folks from the prior building were working to destroy the vial and somehow obscure the truth, continuing to lie to the people about the poison in the water.

Eventually, everything turned out pretty much okay, with a plan being set up to regularly monitor the water. Or so it seemed. Then the dream switched into some drama about the lifeguards trying to get out of the building on time. They were running down flights of stairs with piles of clothing, TVs and other things that merely slowed their progress, endangering their lives. Something intense was about to happen in that building, and destruction was near.

Once they were at the bottom, everyone started to relax. We went into a room that had at least 40 huge water mains that needed to be turned on. It was time to turn on this fresh water and let it flow. The amount of fresh water that would flow through this building was enormous. However, the motor that would pump the water out was temporarily malfunctioning. One girl (a lifeguard?) became impatient and went ahead and left the building, even though if the pump started working, she’d be washed away.

Finally, the pump started up, and water started to flow, faster and faster, more and more. The girl began to run. Her flight was slow because of a little dog she had with her that was holding her back. She kept pausing to wait for it, even though the water was coming. When the water finally came in all its power, it was terrible. It knocked down trees like matchsticks and swept them, cars and other debris down the street. It collapsed the hill the girl had run screaming down and she surely died. There was a lot of chaos as everything was swept away. This is when I woke up.

After giving it some thought, it seems that the water coming from the building with the lifeguards is God’s cleansing water. It washes away poison and cleans away the crap in our lives — and culture, if we — the lifeguards — turn it on. And the Church — people who love God — has perhaps been remiss in maintaining the engine that allows God’s love to flow through us. Once you decide to turn it on, there is no turning back. It will transform your life and sweep away the old you. You can’t hang on to your attachments. It will transform the lives of others.

I think this is what Jesus may mean by his words above about the Kingdom of God. These words have been interpreted to mean that some people will vanish into thin air when Jesus comes down out of the sky. While anything at all is possible, I don’t think this is correct. Jesus — the Christ-consciousness of truth, love and peace — can come into our lives like lightening at any moment. When it does, your self will die and be carted away to the garbage even though a person right next to you is perfectly happy living their old life. Meanwhile, you find yourself living in God’s Kingdom — here on earth in that other dimension that is accessible through love and God’s grace.

When Christ is revealed to us, all the eating, drinking, buying, selling, etc. becomes less important. It is “destroyed” by the light of His revelation that what is important is God’s true light — this world is but an illusion.

I have such a desire to see people recognize the poison in this world. We are having public shootings on almost a daily basis, and if that is not one barometer of a poisoned society, I don’t know what is. I pray that God’s cleansing water come enter the life of all and wash away what is not true.

If you are reading this and you do not identify as Christian, please don’t be offended. I believe God’s Kingdom is available to all, regardless of creed. Christ’s consciousness is for all who seek the light of God and Truth, even when it is called something else.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Infinite Reality, Spiritual Sin and Illusion: Sage’s Dream

in my fathers house there are many mansionsWhen I was pregnant with my youngest, my mother told me that I should call him Emmanuel, “Christ is with us.” I ended up naming him Sage, of course, but the name my mom chose would have been even more accurate. When Sage woke up this morning and told me his dream, I truly felt that Christ was with me, illuminating my mind to the nature of reality that I always question so very much. The words coming out of my son’s mouth were simply beautiful.

In his dream, he was with an instructor who had a bunch of young folks with him. The instructor led them all to an infinite hallway, and gave them instructions.

“You’ve got this one lifetime to learn everything you can. We’ll meet up again in 70 or 80 years,” he said. “Don’t get lost. If you get lost in your reality, you’ll get stuck until you die.”

In the hallway were many other hallways branching off. Within those hallways were individual rooms. Within these rooms were more infinitely long hallways, and so on.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

Some of the people had fun visiting other people’s realities and even becoming part of them. Others were frightened by the entire experience and decided not to participate. They just sat there.

Eventually, the instructor came back and offered the group the opportunity to either rest for a while in an astoundingly peaceful place called the “break room” that was simultaneously everything and nothing, or to go to another place for another period of time. The trip to the break room or yet another world of infinite realities is what we call “dying.”

When the instructor said not to get lost in your reality, what he meant was for us not to get caught up in ego and fear. For example, not to worry about what other people think, or whether or not we live in a “safe” neighborhood or have enough money for retirement. Getting caught up in these things stops the spiritual growth we were put here to experience.

You can go INTO your own reality, or you can go OUT into truth, considering everything that could possibly be. Realize that everything we see is an illusion and we can avoid going inward into a reality in which the argument we had with our mother is important, for example. To go into truth, is simply focusing on helping others and being kind. In other words, LOVE.

The instructor warned not to get stuck in a personal reality in which one thinks they have risen spiritually as far as they can go — in other words, believing one is Godlike and has nothing left to learn. This reality leads to spiritual stagnation and death, he said. When I heard this, I immediately thought of spiritual pride, and Sage confirmed that is what the instructor was referring to.

You can get other people lost in your own reality. This is a spiritual sin. Think of someone who ropes another person into an unhealthy belief system, subsequently blinding that person to the ultimate truth of his existence.

The dream continued.

Sage went to another world. In this world, he met our deceased cat Varmint. He hung out with her, and on their journey, they ran into some people with a meat grinder. These people were throwing plants, animals and people haphazardly into the meat grinder. They tried to grab Varmint, but Sage grabbed her and saved her. They left, and Varmint found a nice comfy couch to lie down on. Then her spirit arose from her, and it was one of an old lady. (I hooted at this, because Varmint always acted like an old lady.) Then the spirit changed into a young woman, who thanked Sage from rescuing her from that body, which was now represented as a metal prison of sorts. She told him that he rescued her by caring for her and loving her.

The meat grinder people, says Sage, are greedy world controllers — brainwashers, manipulators, power lusters. Think governmental and corporate control.

The whole point of it all, says Sage, is that we are here to learn, and we rise by helping others. Everything else is an illusion.

The entire time he was telling me his dream, it resonated with me so much. I felt my spirit saying, “YES!!!”

I think about the Beast in John’s Revelation, and I can see it being the meat grinder in Sage’s dream. Regarding the spirit being let out of the prison, I think of Jesus’ words about “setting the captives free.” There was so much spiritual truth here, and as I talked to my son, I felt as though I was talking to an old, old person with a very clear mind. I asked him questions and he answered them as though he were a direct channel to the divine.

I just told Sage about my sense of him being an open channel while talking to me about the dream, and he agreed. He said, “I still am. Ask me questions while you still can. Work that soul!” :-) Love it.

Life is cool. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

A Perfectionist, Unprepared Bride

let your light shine before men

“Let your light shine before men.”

I just woke up from the most convicting dream.

It started with an explosion of a mountainous building where some beasts of some sort had been living. Somehow they wreaked havoc, although they had been living dormant in that space for a while. These alligator-like creatures had names, and I knew them.

But the main part of the dream consisted of getting ready for a wedding — my wedding. First of all, I was decorating the hall. I was going to use my art, and I began to frantically paint more paintings, as the ones I had weren’t good enough. I soon realized that with the wedding only an hour or so away, I wasn’t going to have time to paint all new paintings, so I had to use the ones I had, which I realized were perfectly adequate.

A porter at the hotel the wedding was at warned me that I should go to my room and get ready, as otherwise I would be late.

With less than an hour left before the wedding, I decided that I needed to wash my hair. I then took my time agonizing over which undergarments to wear. I worried about my weight and got out the scale. The porter came to my door and instructed me to leave immediately, as the reservation at the hall where the banquet was to be held was about to run out.

I put on my wedding dress, which looked like something Cinderella would wear in Disney’s “Parade of Lights.” While the dress fit perfectly, it felt uncomfortable and awkward. Nevertheless, I left the hotel room and walked to the banquet hall where the wedding was to be held.

Other hotel guests were already beginning to sit down and eat, as the reservation had pretty much expired. My guests were able to eat, but they had nowhere to sit. There was also not a space to have the ceremony, since the place was now filled with people who were not invited to the wedding.

I walked up some stairs where there was a space on the landing that overlooked the people at the banquet. There was only a thin, low railing protecting me from the empty space behind me, and that made me nervous. I backed away a couple of steps from the abyss.

I don’t remember the bridegroom from my dream, but he was there, and we got married.

After the wedding, a man came up to me and asked if I knew the names of the beasts who had caused destruction in the city earlier that evening. I told him, and he gave me a large amount of money — more than enough to pay off my credit card debt and live life to the fullest.

After I woke up, I thought about it for a while. This dream makes sense to me on so many levels.

I am a perfectionist. I never feel good enough. A classic example of this has to do with my art. I always feel that I should learn another technique, use a different medium, or something, so that it is “good enough.” I have some sweet friends who tell me that my art is already “good enough,” but I have a difficult time believing them.

This way of thinking also carries over to my knowledge of Christ. I tend to believe that I don’t know enough to really do anything. That I might mislead people. That I don’t know enough of the Bible. That I’m not sacrificial or committed enough to count myself as an effective follower of Jesus.

The irony is that it is this very way of thinking that makes me ineffective, both at art and as a Jesus-follower. The dream clearly showed me that I need to show my light now, not after I’ve learned enough theology, for example. To continue to agonize over not knowing enough is to cause people to miss out on the banquet, and in my case, ironically miss being prepared for the bridegroom.

I do know what’s up. I know the names of the beasts of destruction, and that’s good, but isn’t enough. I’ve got to let my light shine no matter how uncomfortable it feels. That dress was made for me. I need to learn how to wear it with grace and confidence. And the only way to do that is to put it on.

We Are All Mentally Ill

we're all delusional
It’s easy to get a diagnosis of mental illness today, especially with the release of the American Psychiatric Association’s new manual, the DSM 5, which pretty much labels all human behavior as maladjusted. The DSM 5 has been subject to massive criticism because of this, but the thing is, maybe this manual gets closer to the truth than those of us who maintain that most people are sane.

The fact is, we are all suffering from a massive delusion. Collectively, we seem to be under the impression that violence is a solution to violence, for example. We have taken this idea to such an extreme that we are willing to risk the annihilation of the entire species (and several others, certainly) because of this belief.

We’re very quick to label mass shooters and someone who drowns her baby as crazy, and rightly so, but what about the rest of us? How are we any different? Going into a school and shooting fewer than 40 people is small change when compared to the carnage that our culture endorses on a regular basis.

We do psychological and theological flips to justify our behavior. After all, we reason, they might get us first if we don’t do something. They might take away our freedom. They might hurt us, somehow. They.

Earlier today I was trying to figure out what, exactly, the message of the Kingdom of God was that Jesus preached. I think I finally figured out just a bit of it. I think this is what Jesus was basically saying:

I’m the Messiah.

I will transform this earth.

You will be born again into the Kingdom.

I will transform your mind.

Do not sin. (Do not commit acts that are unloving, exploitative and dehumanizing.)

I am what God looks like.

The message of the Kingdom has been lost today. Jesus didn’t go around preaching that he had risen from the dead and was a sacrifice for our sins. He showed us how to be born again — transformed into a being that transcends the cycle of violence and retribution.

You hear a lot of stuff in church about accepting Jesus as Lord. What does this mean? I don’t think it is supposed to mean that we should think, “Well, okay, I’ll believe what you say so I can avoid pain later on.”

No way. Jesus as Lord means that we treat him as our Lord. A Lord is someone you respect and obey. You follow his rules.

So if Jesus is my Lord, that means I must obey the Sermon on the Mount, for example.

If Jesus is my Lord, then I will be a peacemaker. I will be light. I will set aside anger and judgement. I will love my neighbor. I will not put my perceived material or sexual needs above treating others with love. I will pray for my enemies.

And this, right here, is the cure for our collective mental illness. We don’t have to be crazy people who bomb those who don’t agree with us, threaten us or have resources we’d like to have. We don’t have to have violence in our personal lives, either. This is a delusion, and Jesus showed us how to overcome it. He showed us how to be. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard, either. We just have to decide to do it instead of searching for a magical formula that will somehow grant us eternity or blessings without growth.

He Answered the Phone

Bob Goff Love Does

I cannot recommend this read highly enough.

I’ve really been enjoying the weather these past few days. My younger son and I have been lying out in the sun while the dog gets muddy in the creek. I’ve been reading Bob Goff’s wonderful tome Love Does to him. It has mud splatters all of the pages now from the dog racing around wildly from the joy of being free to play in the creek.

I saw that Goff had put his number in the back of the book with an invitation to call him if anyone wanted to talk about ideas. I took him up on it.

I told my son, who was laying on the ground toying with a piece of grass, “I wonder what will happen if I call this number?”

No way did I ever think he was going to answer the phone. I thought perhaps there’d be an answering machine with a friendly invitation to leave a message about the idea I liked the best. Something like that. But no, he answered. One the first ring, no less, with a jolly, “Hello, this is Bob!”

So I asked him about his Bible Doing groups. He told me how the idea was to spend less time agreeing with what Jesus said and more time doing it. I agreed. He told me that his group had been together for a few years and that they didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about doing things, but went and actually did stuff.

When the call ended, I was all excited. I told my son, “I just talked to the author of this awesome book!” Keep in mind that for a writer, getting to chat with a New York Times bestselling author is a bit like a normal person getting hang out with Brad Pitt for a while.

My kid just looked at me and kinda rolled his eyes.

I’m excited though. A few other people are on board with this idea, and instead of meeting at my house on Mondays, we’re going to meet at Java Jacks at 6:30. Maybe we’ll move it to living rooms after people are comfortable with one another.

I can’t wait to see how Jesus will pour out of our lives.

How to Be a Shaman

how to be a shaman
My older son is a shaman. Note that I am not pleased by this. I’d rather that he be, oh, a human rights lawyer or an organic farmer. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to choose.

He didn’t become a shaman all by himself. He was offered free training all around the world. He learned about herbs and witchcraft in Portland, Oregon. He got training in yoga and meditation in Crestone, Colorado and Fairfield, Iowa. Eventually he went to Columbia and Peru, where he received even more education, learning how to use hallucinaginic plants to access the spirit world.

All of this was completely free. As far as I know, he never paid a cent to learn any of this stuff. These days, he teaches other people how to meditate and do magick.

The people who taught him knew how to make disciples. He told me about people who had built extremely low-cost meditation centers using their own hands and community to complete the work. He described extraordinarily welcoming communities. At this point, he makes very little income, yet manages to continue to travel the world due to the hospitality of those he encounters.

I do not see most Christians making the effort to teach others the way of Jesus that I saw these other folks expend to teach my son these other things.

Do we use our hands and energy to build churches where all are welcome? Not so much in America. No, we take out mortgages and fund-raise money right out of the hands of the poor so that we can purchase better sound equipment.

Do we freely raise up leaders who will themselves go and make disciples of Jesus? Nope, not usually. Our Christian leaders — the ones we tend to respect the most — go to expensive seminaries, going into debt and ransoming their ability to heed the call of Christ to minister to the poor, to give as has freely be given.

I thought that perhaps I was being a bit cynical, that there were indeed seminaries that offered free or at least extremely affordable tuition. I typed “free seminary” into Google and got a paid result from Liberty University — an establishment that is not only not free of charge, but that charges more for an online education than many bricks and mortar universities. To have come up in the paid search results, they needed to have purchased those keywords — “free seminary.” They lied.

I saw one website that offered online information for free, but otherwise, nada. That’s okay, because leaders should be raised up out of the local church or by the Holy Spirit, or so I believe.

Is not charging to learn the word of God a bit like (or a lot like) doing business in the temple?

My anger at our culture knows no bounds today. Christian schools? Why do they charge tuition? If these folks truly believe that the unsaved are bound for hell, why are teachers not donating their time, living in concrete block houses with well-water and candles to devote their lives to educating our children and making disciples?

No, instead, we have enclaves of Christians who segregate themselves from the larger world. Who must have a certain amount of money to be in the club.

I am enraged.

Is this what Jesus wanted? Really??

I admire the heck out of people who go to live in third world conditions to care for AIDS patients, educate children and spread the gospel. Why don’t we do that here? What is it about living in the United States that blinds us to what is important?

I know that we have food banks, homeless shelters and other programs. But we need more than that. We need a massive shift where we refuse to allow any child in our community to grow up without experiencing the love of Jesus, for example.

So what am I doing? I am at a bit of a loss, to tell you the truth. This is a feeling that makes me feel uncomfortably hypocritical. I am looking for a group of people to do what author and Christ-follower Bob Goff calls “Bible Doing” as opposed to “Bible Study,” or what Goff uncharitably calls “stalking Jesus.”

I’m hoping that the support of like-minded people will help us all to break free of the tiny paradigm in which we view our lives and possibilities. It will be on Monday nights at 6:30 in my living room, if you’re interested.

Not Knowing

I don’t like not knowing things. If I have a problem I don’t know the answer to, I Google it. This worked very well when I discovered that banana peel would work to rid my younger son of warts when nothing the doctors did was at all effective. Lately, though, I’ve found myself doing bizarre things like Googling “why the voices my child hears are always mean.”

Trust me, Google does not have the answers to these sort of questions.

I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m searching under the bed, looking inside cabinets, dumping out my purse — searching for my joy. I am a person who finds a measure of security in having information, and there are some situations that no amount of human knowledge can touch. This bothers me. Becoming a snowflake is difficult.

There are so many things we just don’t know. This verse comes to mind:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

uncertainty god universeWe are like the blind men arguing about the elephant. Remember? One guy is holding the elephant’s tail, and swears up and down that the elephant is a skinny, sorta hairy creature — somewhat like a rope. Another has a hold of one of the elephant’s legs, and vehemently disagrees. The elephant, he says, is like a tree trunk. And so on.

I think we have less knowledge of God and how the universe works than these deluded guys did of the elephant. But most people tend to think like me. They like to have the facts so they can feel secure. So they grab onto what they think they know and defend it relentlessly, refusing to consider what other information — mysteries — might exist.

When I took my younger son to the psychiatrist, the good doctor asked to speak to me alone. Once the door was closed, he scooted his chair closer to mine, fixed his eyes fiercely on mine and said, “Now do you believe me? This is real. He needs to take the medicine.”

But what he thinks is real and what I think are real are two different things. The truth, though, likely lies somewhere in the middle.

I intend to keep searching for it.

Proverbs for New Years Resolutions: Sayings You Don’t Hear From the Pulpit

The challenges I’ve been facing in my life lately have been anything but subtle. With both of my sons going through hell, it has been difficult to focus on anything else. If a crazed murderer is using an ax to break through your front door, you don’t really worry about whether or not there are roaches in the kitchen. Or bats in your chimney. Or even an entire family of mice setting up residence among your favorite woolens (this happened).

With my younger son in the hospital, though, I’ve had plenty of time to think. And from time to time, my thoughts have turned to my career.

Laziness proverbs

Fur Elise is prospering despite her laziness.

I’m realizing — as are most people around me — that I have a ridiculously difficult time focusing on one project for any length of time. I also am struggling with organization. I know that if I could simply focus and get myself organized, I’d likely triple my income. Lack of focus and organization are the “little foxes” that are wreaking havoc in more subtle ways, just like the mice who ate holes in my wool coat when it was packed away for the summer. You don’t have to have a disaster in your life for the devil to do his work.

I’ve been reading the Book of Proverbs lately, and some of them struck a bit close to home.

If your resolution is to get out of bed when the alarm clock goes off, consider this one. I love the imagery!

As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.
Proverbs 26:14

Here’s a good one if you’ve decided it’s time to stop overspending and pay down the credit cards:

He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
Proverbs 12:11

To quit talking and start doing, tack this one on the refrigerator.

In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23

This last one — ouch! I am an idea person who has the seeds for many crops but who dislikes putting her hand to the till. This year, that is going to change. I am blessed to have people in my life who recognize this destructive tendency of mine and who will hold me accountable.

And I’ll keep repeating 2 Timothy 1:7.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Important note for interested parties: My younger son gets out of the hospital tomorrow, praise the Lord! I have also heard from my older son!