Archive | March 2013

A House of Cards

HOC3

God’s Thoughts to Me

A promise from God is not a challenge to man to assist God in bringing the promise to pass, despite the abominable religious cliches that say, “God helps those who help themselves; “Do your best and God will do the rest (James Fowler, The Galatians Series).

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and DO NOT let yourself be burdened again in a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1, NIV).

The Spirit of Freedom

HOC1

I used to be a master in the art of persuasion. In fact, I did the daughters of Eve proud! The saying goes that practice makes perfect.

So, through practice and practice and some more practice, I perfected my skill in trying to convince my husband to do things my way, or why he needed to buy me another necessary trinket I did not need.

Using my womanly wiles was, after all, an integral part of my spirited womanhood. My husband though, called it manipulation and nagging.

Why do men always get it wrong? I nearly caused my dear husband to become an attic dweller.

HOC9

I used to be just as bad as the Judaizers who caused the poor Paul premature grey hair when they manipulated the foolish Galatians by perverting the sweet gospel of grace.

They were shearing the sheep for their own gain, dampening the beautiful Spirit of freedom the Galatian Christians enjoyed in our Lord Jesus.

image

They came like a thief in the night after Paul left, convincing them that Paul’s gospel was true and right, but they also needed to keep the old Judaic religious laws. These Mosaic law-abiding Jews drooled over circumcision.

Paul was not friendly in his attack on these guys and suggested they rather go and castrate themselves, if they were so obsessed with a foreskin, and leave the Galatian Christians alone.

HOC5

He didn’t mince words when he showed them the futility of reverting back to the spirit of law by building a religious house of cards.

In his letter he once and for all demolished the misconception that grace and law were bedfellows.

HOC8

He made it crystal clear that their fence-sitting caused them to be cut off from Christ, cut of from grace. They had to choose!

Studying the letter to the Galatians , I was surprised by a very interesting point. I was taught that the Arab nations, especially the Muslims, were the descendants of Ishmael and the Jews were the descendants of Isaac.

i have found this to be untrue! Paul told the Galatians that holding on to their Judaic religion,  and all religion through the ages, caused them to be children, descendants, of Hagar the bondswoman.

On the other hand; all the people who trust our Pappa God alone to save them through His grace, are the children, descendants, of Sarah, the free woman, the woman who never went into labour. Allow me to explain.

Looking at the human race, we see that even Abraham had the tendency to help our Pappa fulfilling His promises.

When the infertile Sarah nagged him to have a child by her Egyptian maid, Hagar, the poor man capitulated! I suppose Bedouin tents did not have attics!

HOC8a

It was quite an acceptable and moral practise in their culture. Ishmael was born as a result and we found Abraham pleading with his Father to accept Ishmael as his promised heir. All, of course, to no avail.

When we look at the two women and their sons, we see that they represent the two covenants. Hagar and Ishmael represent the covenant of Law, mans effort to fulfill God’s promises.

Sarah and Isaac stand for the covenant of grace, God doing what He does well, fulfilling His promises without human interference.

HOC4

Paul explained that the Covenant of the Mosaic Law, “… came from Mount Sinai, bearing children who are slaves; she is Hagar (Galatians 4:24)”.

Yet, the Judaizers were convinced they were the descendants of Sarah. Actually they boasted in their heritage of being descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through their genealogical heritage and law-observance.

But Paul turned their whole theory upside down and with a little huffing and puffing, blew their religious house of cards away.

HOC2

Paul also dropped a bomb in my religious belief system, for I was convinced that trying to do my best in assisting my Pappa to redeem me from my captivity to the kingdom of darkness, made me the proud owner of the honorary title “Descendant of Abraham”.

Not so! All my trying, striving and coniving helping our Pappa to save His world and myself, only resulted in me being captured by the spirit of bondage.

I was a slave, a descendant of Hagar and Ishmael, wallowing in the mud of self.

HOC6

Only by entering through the narrow gate, our Lord Jesus, into the freedom of His resurrected life, do we become heirs of the promises our heavenly Father made to Abraham and His descendant, our Lord Jesus, who lives in us through His Spirit (Galatians 3:16).

Dear Ones, let us search our hearts, asking our Pappa to eradicate any traces of the spirit of Hagar and Ishmael still lurking in the recesses of our minds and the murky corners of our hearts!

Let us ask Him to lead us out of the bondage to law-observance and self-effort into the freedom of His grace.. His forgiveness … His love … His mercy. Come, let us allow Him to usher us into His Kingdom of Light … into the joy of His Loving Embrace.

Much love XX

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

Advertisements

Spitting in The Face of God

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

And they struck Him on the head with a reed stick, spit on Him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified (Mark 15:19-20, NLT).

Jesus said,  “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34, NLT).

A Spitting Generation

image

The Amazing Race sported a challenge during an episode in Argentina where the contestants had to dress up a lama by putting a blanket across its back and a scarf around its neck.

It was easier said than done and a few of the teams were blessed with a glob of lama spit in the face. One team used common sense though.

image

They wooed a lama with tender, endearing words and won its heart and trust completely with their flattery. She was as tame as a little lamb and allowed them to finish the task without any hassles.

The human race can also be like a bunch of spitting lamas. Looking at what the Roman soldiers did to our Lord Jesus just before they crucified Him, we don’t realize that, often, in our ignorance, we do this ourselves.

image

Their humiliation of our King was made even worse by putting a purple robe around Him, mocking Jesus’ claim to be the King of the Jews.

They mocked His nobility even further by falling down on their knees, making a spectacle of paying Him homage and worship.

Yet, our Lord only asked His Pappa to forgive them for He knew they were totally ignorant of their folly.

image

There is another kind of spitting in the face of our Lord Jesus, a kind, to be honest, I used to be well trained in!

This kind is much more dangerous and even deadly in its subtlety! This is the “grace +” kind of mentality that seems to be part of the DNA structure of the human race.

In his book, In Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer remarked that Christianity today is miles wide, but only a few inches deep. In the same work he observed,

“When religion said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself … We must strip down to the essentials (and they will be found to be a blessed few)”.

image

Good adivce we will all do well to heed. But it took me a long time to understand how to untangle the complexity of my selfish ways to save myself.

I was an expert in adding a lot of rules and things to the simplicity and purity of our Pappa’s grace.

I found it impossible to understand the working of grace and know now that my mind was still veiled with the thick veil of religion.

image

All those times I was trying to create a hybrid gospel of grace + law, I was unwittingly spitting in the face of our Lord.

I was adding and adding and adding to the simplicity of Jesus … adding to the wonder of, “Christ in me, my hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

image

Every time I tried to add rules like Bible reading, praying, doing good deeds, being kind to the poor and so forth, I was also spitting in the face of our Lord Jesus. I was nullifying the finished work of Christ and was deaf to His cry, “It is finished (John 19:30)”.

These actions are not wrong in itself, but they do become a formidable foe once we make them a requisite condition for salvation.

image

But our Pappa only heard our Lord Jesus’ plea of forgiveness for He knew I was oblivious to this fallacy. He was well aware of my distrustful lama heart.

He gently drew me to Himself by whispering gentle kind words to my heart. He waited until I trusted Him enough to willingly allow Him to cover me with the purple robe of His righteousness. He adorned my neck with the beauty of His grace … His mercy and compassion.

image

He used another kind of spit mixed with the beauty of His forgiveness … His love … His mercy. He cured my spiritual blindness … He destroyed the veil that blinded the eyes of my heart.

He showed me that all I really needed was just Himself and stripped me of all the extras. He enveloped me in His grace and cherished me tenderly in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

Forget to Remember

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things (Phillipians 3:8, NIV).

Remember to Forget

In 1969 the Bee Gees recorded the beautiful ballad, Don’t Forget to Remember Me, a song written by Barry and Maurice Gibb. An endearing love song, asking love to be remembered forever.

image

I know of another guy who wrote a letter in the first century AD to the Christians in Phillipi about refusing to remember his former way of life as the creme de la creme of his religious society, Judaism.

He was a murderer and in his zeal to protect his religion and eradicate the deserters to Christianity from the face of the earth, he was once on his way to clean the city of Damascus of those treacherous vermin.

image

Oblivious to the fact that he was persecuting the Lord of Heaven Himself, he met the Man he was trying to annihilate.

He was whisked away to the Kingdom of our risen King, His Majesty, Lord Jesus. When he returned, he was forever a changed man.

image

Then, once there was a lady who desperately tried not to remember her abusive past.

She desperately tried to escape the ghosts of physical neglect, verbal and emotional abuse. The goriest, most monstrous of them all was the perpetrator of spiritual abuse.

She was mortally wounded by these monsters and had a festering wound in her heart that tried to kill her slowly but surely, poisoning the little life she helplessly clung on to.

image

Her heart battled fiercely, trying to forgive the ones who had commited these crimes against her, but she couldn’t find any reserves to overcome.

She fought hard against the foe of self-condemnation and guilt about all the things she had done, trying to lessen the crippling pain in her heart.

Then the Light of Heaven stepped down into the darkness of her soul, reminding her to remember her vulnerability … reminding her that in Him nothing could separate her from His love.

image

His forgiveness … His love … His life flooded her heart, healed all the wounded emotions  and overflowed to those who were indebted to her.

A new day dawned and her life was filled with the glorious rays of the Son.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

Lady Laodicea vs Lady Ekklesia

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

You say,”I am rich, I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:17,NLT).

I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin (Hosea 12:8, NIV).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … Blessed are the meek, for they will inheit the earth (Matthew 5:3-5, NIV).

Metamorphosis

image

A while ago a friend of mine, Michael Clark, watched a documentary on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

The documentary featured a scientist conducting an MRI scan on a cocoon while it went through the process of metamorphosis.

During the transformation, the worm completely dissolved and nothing of the original pupa remained.

The whole chrysalis was turned into a sort of worm soup with only a few left-over cells remaining, transforming this gooey mass into a beautiful butterfly.

image

During the time of John’s Revelation from our Lord Jesus, we find the Lady Laodicea, the church at Laodicea, a lady sorely in need of such a complete metamorphosis.

She lived in the city that was formerly known as Diospolis, the City of Zeus. In the third century AD the name was changed by Antiochus to Laodicea after his wife, Laodice.

At that time Laodicea was a major, important trade and banking centre of the region and the people, as a result, became quite rich (James Fowler, The Revelation Series).

image

Laodicean Ruins

Religion was alive and well in the city. There was a beautiful temple of Zeus and a medical school that developed a “Phrygian powder” that was used as an eye salve.

The Lady Laodicea was self-sufficient and very proud. She boasted in her physical and material riches and claimed to be in need of nothing.

image

She seemed totally unaware of our Lord’s advise,

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven … Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19-21)”.

She paid scant attention to the One who really was the Source of everything … the One who called her wretched, miserable, blind, poor and naked.

image

She was neither hot nor cold in her love towards her heavenly Bridegroom. Yet, not chilled enough to the point of apostatizing.

This proud lady lacked spiritual dicernment, ignorant of the truth that spiritual riches, spiritual clothing, spiritual eyesight can only be found in Him who is Truth (Colossians 2:3).

Once upon a time, I related very well to this lady. I was dressed beautifully in the purple robes of religious riches.

My neck was adorned with the necklace of diamond-like “gifts of the Holy Spirit” and around my wrists, golden bracelets jingled in tongues.

image

I proudly pranced like a peacock, delighting in all my wealth of spiritual snobbery, thinking myself quite advanced and favored by our Pappa, higher up the ladder into heaven than others. I was oblivious to the fact that this was the stairway to hell.

Yet, I was poor and wretched, naked to the core of my being, but I didn’t know it.

I blindly followed the world and joyfully participated in building all sorts of golden calves at the foot of Mount Sinai, instead of going up Mount Zion to meet my Lord and feast on His glory.

image

Instead of being blessed, as I thought I was, a gnawing hunger in my heart told another story; one of a lady who was cursed in her self-righteousness and her pride.

My soul was tormented by an acute loneliness; yet I was in the company of many lost souls in the same predicament.

And my heart cried out to the only One who had the power and authority to seek and save the lost.

image

I could faintly hear our Lord’s gentle invitation to buy gold from Him that has been purified by fire, white garments to cover my nakedness as well as ointment for my spiritual blindness (Revelation 3:18).

Our Pappa took pity on me and on the spinning-wheel of suffering, He spinned a silky cocoon of His love and clothed my nakedness.

What happened there in complete secrecy between my King and I, is so holy, that, forever, it will stay a sweet, precious secret between two hearts.

image

Sufficient to say, He took all of my old self, dissolved it into worm soup, clothed me in a beautiful robe of butterfly wings and released me into the freedom of the eternal life of our Lord Jesus.

I emerged as a beautiful butterfly with wings glorious like an angel’s.

He brought me to the cleft in the rock at Mount Zion where I could stand before Him, poor in spirit, and humble in heart to receive the inheritance … to receive Him.

There, in Him, I could stand with an unveiled face, delighting myself in His glory.

image

He redeemed me from the ugliness of my proud, haughty self and replaced it with the humble, gentle beauty of our Lord Jesus.

He clothed me in the white robe of His righteousness … He transformed me into His Lady Ekklesia.

Much love xx

Mia

Michael’s blog can be found here

image

Linking-up with
image
image
image

Feeding on the Fodder of Law

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

But-“When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy”(Titus 3:4-5a,NLT).

Jesus replied,”You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being (Matthew 16:17, NLT).

Kisses from Heaven

image

There was a time when I would listen to sermons on this costly gem of spiritual truth. The person preaching would sincerely use all his charisma and skills on the art of debate, trying to convince me of this truth.

Yet, I would walk away with a heart yearning and longing for the wonder called God … a heart filled with more spiritual hunger and thirst than before. I thought myself to be quite dull and slow of understanding.

image

I was like a sheep sitting at the banquet table of our Pappa in heaven, but I was not fed. Actually, my heart was starving of spiritual hunger and I didn’t know why!

And the hungrier I became, the more fervent my religious endeavours would become which, in the end, left me with only spiritual anorexia.

I hated myself for my detestable life and my inability to live a life worthy of our Heavenly Father.

image

I was roaming the fields of the law of self-effort, eating only fodder and grass with the beasts like Daniel’s King Nebuchadnezzar.

But our Pappa saw His girl, heard the cries of her heart and paid attention to her silent tears. He knew I needed to see myself through His eyes to enable me to realize that I also was part of the crown of His creation.

When I was able to realize my value and worth to Him, I could finally stop striving to earn His love. He freely gave me the gift of His marvelous grace to dare to love myself.

Our Lord Jesus revealed to me the answer to my dilemma through His words to Simon Peter (Matthew 16:17).

image

When Paul wrote this letter to Titus, the first Christians had all experienced the love and kindness of our Lord personally, each one for himself and I was desperately trying to ride on the back of their revelation from heaven.

Now, this of course is a useless, futile endeavour if ever there was one. I was rich beyond imagination as far as the good and righteous deeds, according to my mind, were concerned.

Yet, I had no chance of entering the Kingdom of heaven on the back of another. Neither did my religious self-efforts opened its door.

image

As our Lord told His diciples after His discourse with the rich young man,

“In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25)”.

Obviously He was referring to the rich young man staking his claim to heaven on his impeccable law observance.

image

He was spiritually rich and self-sufficient. So our Lord made the mountain of self-effort a lot steeper by asking him to go and sell all he owned and challenged him to climb it! And he definitely did not have the feet of a mountain goat!

Just like Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, I had to come to the end of myself to stop relying on myself (2 Corinthians 1:9).

I had to LEARN to rely on my Pappa and to ask HIM to reveal His kindness and love to me personally like He did to the early Christians … I had to ask Him to save me from myself.

image

He revealed to me a Person … our sweet generous Lord Jesus.

He was not in the least bothered by any man-made doctrines or interested in any theological discourse that only feeds the spirit of division as we have seen all through the 2000 years after our Lord’s sojourn on earth.

In fact, referring again to Paul’s letter to Titus, we see that Paul warned him,

image

“Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time (Titus 3:9).

I am convinced that Paul meant all religious law observance, no matter under what denominational umbrella or efforts to earn our Pappa’s generous smile of love and redemption.

I was totally unable to reach to heaven to bring our God down to earth. There was no need to; in fact, it only hindered our Pappa to reveal Himself to me, for law and grace do not mix. Never have and never will!

imageBut I didn’t know it! Yet, my ignorance posed no problems for our Pappa.

Through our Lord Jesus, He stepped down from heaven and personally revealed to my heart the kindness … the love … the wonder … the goodness … the beauty that is God.

He stepped down from heaven and revealed Himself to me personally to embrace me with the glory and warmth of His smile … to envelop me in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

The Rest of The Have Nots

image

God’s Thought’s to Me

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way” (Matthew 11:25-26, NLT).

The Childlike

image

There was a time when I was a potbellied, gluttonous religious snob. The repertoire of my snobbishness consisted of a mountainous rubble heap of useless knowledge and education about the Scriptures.

Oh, and I had nearly all the current religious conventions and newest gimmicks under my belt.

I looked down my snobbish nose at the have nots, the uneducated, the ignorant, the prostitutes who annointed our Lord Jesus’ feet with their tears and the detestable tax collectors climbing trees to catch a glimpse of their Lord.

image

The childlike who were open and honest to recognize and perceive their spiritual ignorance and need to run into the open Arms of their Pappa God and receive the rest our Lord promised.

I was marching to the beat of all the newest prophets doing the religious rounds and their innovations, but I could never find that much coveted rest.

image

When I was thrown to the proverbial ground like Paul by a gentle voice from heaven, I heard no condemnation, no rebuke, no hatred or I-told-you-so. My Pappa knew I didn’t know what I was doing.

No, I heard the gentle invitation of our Lord Jesus to come to Him for He knew I was so incredibly heavily burdened and yoked beyond my ability to endure with the ways of the world. He offered me His yoke of love, grace, mercy and compassion.

image

He offered me His life, His soft and easy yoke, His rest. Like a mother, He gathered me into His arms and fed me with pure spiritual milk as I learned to rest at His breast, cuddled in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

I am grateful to link-up again with a wonderful bunch of ladies at Five Minute Friday. Join us at

image

Also with Sandra
image

A Monster called Fear

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey (Matthew 25:15, NIV).

The Gift of Grace

image

I am well acquainted with a monster called Fear. Like a giant octupus, this species has not only eight, but seventy-times-seven tentacles.

Each one reached deep into the remote corners of my heart, suffocating the last bit of life, breath and hope of the little one hiding from the world.

image

The Master Creator also equipped us with the common-sense-kind-of-fear to enable us to survive in a world lost in chaos and darkness … a world without a father’s hand to guide, steer and love her.

The check-the-traffic-before-you-cross-the-street kind, the don’t-do-handstands-on-the-edge-of-a-high-cliff kind of common sense, the kind my oldest son lacks completely.

My Fearless Son

My Fearless Son

Murder, rape and abuse are the order of the day. But there is another kind of invisible rape … spiritual rape! In my opinion, the worst kind, with the perpetrators usually the “authorities” responsible for the care of our souls.

Blaise Pascal once wrote,”Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction”. I am a victim of this truth!

image

Fm/CFS researchers report that it takes up to 4-5 years to diagnose a person with this disabling disease. I was no exception and I’m well aware of the stigma attached to this illness. We are labelled as lazy hypochondriacs who do not have all their marbles.

But even worse, was the treatment I recieved from the religious community. When I became ill and was diagnosed with that between-your-ears disease, I went to see my pastor and his wife, urgently needing help to get rid of this nonsense in my mind.

The Sunday before my visit, he preached a sermon on the talents. According to him, the talents were the Gospel we needed to spread. You can just put two and two together and see where the poor soul who buried his talent underground was doomed to go!!

image

I was devastated and angry at our Pappa and my visit to the pastor nailed my suspicions on its head. For before I could say much, they diagnosed this illness as the result of not serving in the church ministries.

My Pappa God, in my mind, was a cruel, uncaring slavemaster kind of fellow, demanding the impossible or if I didn’t perform,  sending me to hell. Quite a catch 22 situation.

At that time, when this cruel thing happened, I believed my heart was raped and to my mind, my Pappa was the rapist. Didn’t He see how very, very ill I was? I could barely take care of my myself or my family. Now I had to spread the gospel and serve in church; otherwise, I only had a one-way ticket to the hot place.

image

To make a long story short, I spent hours spreading the gospel and tried to do as much as possible for whoever had a need I could fulfill. I recall experiencing my family as a burden, standing in my way to serve this God who had His knife in for me.

Until the day arrived I became bedridden for a long time. All the fear, stress and hard work caused this illness to become much worse.

That was when I seriously started seeking my Pappa and trying to understand the Scriptures. I was unable to read the parable of the talents without getting a panic attack!

image

But our Pappa owns all the time in the world and patiently taught me the true meaning of the talents. I discovered the work of Mr James Fowler, an excellent Bible teacher, and his explanation of the parable brought light and love to my heart.

The talents our Pappa dispenses is the costly grace gift of our Lord Jesus Himself. Two of the servants who received the talents, were guys with open hearts to receive the availability of Pappa’s grace.

Through their grace-filled endeavours, they expanded and multiplied their initial supply and received grace upon grace upon grace. They functioned the way humans are designed to live and were led into the joy of their Pappa.

The other servant was like the religious Scribes and Pharisees who viewed our Pappa as an exacting, tyrannical bookkeeper; fearing the day of the Divine Audit.

image

This poor soul would not even allow for the slightest operation of grace, but rather buried his portion in the false security offered by doctrines, creeds, rituals, morality, church attendance, etc.

The followers of this false security can only dig up the archaelogical remnants and theological tenets. They become master hoarders of religion and bury the Gospel of Grace deep underground.

image

Oh, the freedom our Pappa brought to my heart when He revealed to me the truth of His master plan of redemption, “God saved you by His grace. and you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).”

He showed me that just like Adam and Eve, I was deceived by the serpent’s lie, which told me that I could be like my Pappa, able to save myself through all my religious efforts.

He was not in the least offended by my terrible accusations against Him. In fact, He told me that  He also would not have served a monstrous deity such as the one I had painted in my mind.

image

He enabled my feeble heart to receive His grace, mercy and compassion in abundance;  new every morning, and allowed me all the time I needed to heal while resting in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image