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The Last Dance

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Today, when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled (Hebrews 3:15 , NLT).

Introduction

imageToday I have the honor of introducing a dear friend, Rachel Haas. My heart sings to the same tune as hers.

Rachel is the most talented writer I have met in a long time and I wish my introduction could have been accompanied by a drum roll.

Rachel’s blog is the only one my husband follows faithfully. Thank you, Rachel for trusting me with your words and all your patience. You are a special lady.

To visit her, just click on her photo. Over to you, Rachel …

My Bleeding Heart

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I grew up in the right places. I grew up a good Christian girl, the right kind of person with the right kind of friends.

I had a WWJD bracelet and I knew every step to the dance of Christianity.

I was one of “those people,” the kind that got saved before she started kindergarten, who never drank or smoke or partied.

I was a good girl.

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That is, until I started asking questions.

I had no idea what lay on the other side of that door. None. I had never dared even peek outside. They said there was fire and brimstone on the other side.

There were questions there, the kind that belied faith and stripped away the supposed surety I had in the parroted Christianity that I had been embracing since my four-year old lips had formed the Sinner’s Prayer.

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They didn’t realize that I was already asking questions.

They expected me to walk on water.

They placed emulating their picture of Jesus on a pedestal, gesturing grandly in the direction of their Jesus-shaped golden calf.

I had two choices: bow down and embrace the floor, where I belonged or turn around and walk out the door.

And so I stood up, dropped the facade, took my husband’s hand, and together we walked out the door.

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That was step one. It would be another two years before I even considered taking another step. That first motion of foot in front of foot had been frightening enough.

I had thoughts, a whirlwind of questions that churned inside me, but I had no idea what to do with them. So I wrote them down.

Privately, of course, never even dreaming of voicing them where anyone else might happen to catch a glimpse of my tumult. I mentioned it to this friend, or that, and the responses were always the same: be careful. You know better.

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And maybe I did know better. But that wasn’t exactly going to stop me.

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I stopped seeing the sanitized Jesus after that. I’m not sure when it happened, but something had started to break inside me.

There was a damn with water churning and frothing behind it, waiting for the moment when I would pull out my finger and let the levy break.

I had to drown.

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And I had to be the one who said yes.

I went under the water, hair tangled and mud on my feet. I came up drenched and messy. I found myself blinking in a new Light. I discovered a new kind of faith, almost the opposite of what I had been taught growing up.

There was nothing tidy about this Jesus. He was dirty and bloody and human, Word made flesh. I started seeing myself in a new way.

Yes, I have walked away from the name “Christian.” I can’t stomach the taste in my mouth right now. But that’s all it is: a name. Jesus is not defined by the name His children are called by others.

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I am the boy Shasta whispering in the darkness to the Thing unseen, “who are You?”

And the gentle roaring comes back, a whisper on the breeze, a sacred breathing on my face.

“Myself.”

Rachel

P.S. Thank you so much, dear Rachel, for allowing us to accompany you for a while on your walk with Jesus.

Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged me this year and I wish you all a great New Year filled chok-a-blog with Jesus. Thanks for blessing me with  the honor of having you as guests at my blog. You are all so precious and loved.

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

Lady Wisdom

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table (Proverbs 9:1-2, NLT).

Banquet of Grace

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In the year 33 AD the King of Love paid the full blood ransom for the freedom of a dying world who was held captive in the evil clutches of the prince of darkness.

This imposter was a cruel monster who held the keys of death. Bruised, broken and baptized in His own blood, the King gave His Spirit into His Father’s hand.

With His last breath, He broke the curse of sin and death and defeated the foe who held humanity enslaved in the fetters of destruction.

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His last breath exploded delightfully through the universe into grace and forgiveness, twinkling like fairy dust of love, inviting all to the marriage feast of the Lamb.

He reconciled Himself to those He loved with endless love, not counting their sins and transgressions against Him anymore, welcoming all His lost ones back into His loving Embrace.

But like a roaring lion, the dark one disguised himself as an immoral woman … a seductress … a woman called Folly.

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She was flirting with the naive who lacked common sense and wisdom, sitting in the doorway of her house of ill repute.

Her lewd voice was like a hypotonic song, seducing men into her poisonous web.

She was dressed in robes of sensuality and lured them with sly words into her house for a night of passion while leading them to their graves with her caresses.

She has spread her bed with a beautiful blanket of wealth and prosperity. She has perfumed her linen with the deadly religious perfume of myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

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She intoxicated them with the poisonous wine she has mixed from hatred and deceit.

But the beautiful Lady Wisdom raises her voice at the crossroads of every soul, urging all with ears to hear to follow her on the Way of Grace.

She was appointed in ages past before creation to lead the childlike out of this trap of death and darkness into the Kingdom of Light and Love.

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She was the architect at the side of the Creator, His constant delight. She has forever been singing songs of joy over the those He created for His glory.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with the gracious Lisa-Jo and all the wonderful ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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A House of Cards

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Ek Theos

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Gods Thought’s to Me

Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10, NIV).

A Man after God’s own Heart

Psalm 51 is a beautiful prayer of a man who loved his Heavenly Father passionately. Even though King David was overwhelmed by his own sin, he never ran away from his Pappa. He knew the only thing he could do was to return with a broken, contrite spirit . He was convinced that he would not be despised by his Pappa. ET 1 He was far from perfect and he knew it. And God knew too! Yet, He was called a man after God’s own Heart! He even had the honor of having his name recorded in the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11).

A while ago I read of this “hall” being called,”The Hall of Rogues”. Quite descriptive! Part of the reason, I believe, for this honor of being called a man after God’s own heart, was his genuine, passionate love for his Pappa.

After he was confronted by Nathan for his adultery with Bathsheba and consequent murder of Uriah, David was in a bad place … a haunted, dark, forsaken place … a place where no human has been designed and created to live. ET 2 We were created first and foremost to love and enjoy our Creator. Yet, amidst all his sin and even spiritual adultery, King David never for a moment doubted God’s love for him. He didn’t just believe mentally … he knew, literally KNEW, that he was loved unconditionally.

His sin could never cause Pappa to stop loving him, for God is love and He never changes. He loves us, Ek Theos, out of Himself … out of His character of love!

ET 3 For a long time I used to read the MRST, Mia’s Religious Striving Translation. According to this translation, Psalm 51:10 read something along these lines,”Lord, since you have forgiven my sins, please supply ME with unlimited supplies of Your power to create in me a clean heart. Please, make it sort of a double portion of power, for I also need to strive endlessly to achieve a steadfast, quiet spirit”. What a delicious recipe for a disastrous, spiritual catastrophe. ET 4 Unlike King David, I was unable to believe that my Pappa loved me unconditionally even though I tried my utmost. And I told Him so! He had to take control of that “believing” side of my life too and create in me a clean heart infused with faith upon faith upon faith as a free gift.

No amount of trying on my part could produce even an ounce of faith. One thing that I had the common sense to do though, was to be honest with my Pappa and today I realized that honesty was the first few kernels of mustard seed faith.

I cried out to Him, humbly beseeching Him to help my unbelief, for I truly believed. It sounds like a contradiction of terms and in many ways it is. But in Pappa’s economy this is the kind of faith that earns you place in the Hall of Faithless Rogues, the Hebrews’ “Hall of Faith”. ET 6 Yes, His economy is truly different than the world’s and on His stock exchange we can only trade with our brokenness, sin, unbelief and all the rags of our efforts. This is truly a sign of blessedness! Much love xx Mia

Today I have the honor of linking-up with the ladies at Emily Wierenga’s Imperfect Prose. You can join us at http://www.emilywierenga.com/ image

I am joyfully linking-up with Laura and the Ladies at  Faith Filled Friday. Come for a visit at http://www.missionalwomen.com/faith-filled-fridays.html.
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Linking-up with Charlotte and the girls at Spiritual Sundays at http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
Also with dear Barbie and the Weekend Brew at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ .
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And Rich Faith Rising
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The Throne of Grace

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God’s Thoughts to Me

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16, NLT).

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8, NKJV).

Drawing Near or Striving Forward?

The sixteenth century French aristocratic lady, Madame Jean Guyon, remarked centuries ago that prayer alone can bring you into His presence, and keep you there continually.

She wrote in a poem, “There was a period when I chose a time and a place for prayer … but now I seek that constant prayer, in inward stillness…”.

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Hebrews 4:16 always seemed to me like an unobtainable enigma … a secret of the spiritually mature elite … not a place where I can dwell … at the throne of our Heavenly King. It seemed like the dreams that fairy tales were made of.

I strived endlessly to come into His presence … to this Throne of Magic. I believed it was there that our Pappa God would wave His magic wand and make all life’s problems disappear like early morning mist, including the Fm/CFS.

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If it wasn’t for Pappa extending His gracious Hand of mercy, I most propably would still have been striving … totally ignorant of my folly. But common sense prevailed and I realized when it was time to hoist the white flag and decided to investigate the reason for my defeat.

It was not for a lack of trying, just the opposite. I truly desired to live in His presence and I knew it was possible. Pappa saw my heart and knew that my desire to live in Him was truly flamed by the passionate eternal flame of love He had kindled in every human heart.

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The letter to the Hebrews was written at the time when the Jewish Christians were extremely vulnerable and tempted to revert back to their Judaic religion and to join the cause de libre to overthrow the Roman oppresion.

The traditional Jews also questioned His respectability to be the High Priest since His ancestry was from the tribe of Judah, and not the tribe of Levi, like Aaron. That was the golden rule through all the previous ages.

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Paul explained that Jesus was not a High Priest according to the wordly, physical order of selection, but of the order of Melchizedek. The two parts of this word give us a clear understanding of this eternal order of the High Priest of Grace.

“Melek” means “king” and “zedek”means “righteousness”. Our Lord was the only person ever who could qualify as the only true High Priest … the only sinless man who could enter into our Pappa’s presence without being consumed by His holiness.

Jesus, the Righteous King and High Priest, opened the way for all believers to be a priesthood in Him with immediate and always available access to our Pappa’s presence.

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I knew I was, instead of drawing close into the spiritual life of our Lord, striving in the flesh, carnally trying to enter into Pappa’s presence … and that with dubious motives as well!! Oh, how can I forever be released from my deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9)?

Since I had no idea how to draw near to God, I did the only thing that made remotely sense in my predicament! Keep in mind that I was still thinking and reasoning in worldy ways and terms. I cried out to our Lord, asking Him to draw me and to show me how I could experientally enter into His life.

Through  a little book by Madame Guyon, “Short and Easy Method of Prayer”, Pappa taught me how to come into His presence and, best of all, how to stay there where there is always just fullness of joy.

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Dear Ones, I want to encourage all to draw close unto our Lord … into His presence … there where there is pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).

Much love

Mia

FCB Member

I am linking-up with the ladies at Monday Morning Meditation. Join us at http://girlmeetspaper.com/.

Monday Morning Meditation

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I am honored to link-up for the first time with Ruth and all the ladies at Grace Laced Mondays. Thank you, Ruth.

 

The Dance of Desires

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God’s Thoughts to Me

May He grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4, NLT).

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NLT).

Sanctified Desires

I allow my mind to wander back down the avenues of time and desires … back to the time when I was living in a world of self-derivation. imageI was living a lie that man could be autonomous … the time when I was eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I was trapped in the fowler’s snare, believing I was able to determine, on my own terms, what good and evil were.

The time when I was wandering outside the Garden of Love, separated from the presence of our Pappa and His Majesty, King Jesus. I was residing in the Land of Shame … being the captive of that cruel dictator. Nothing I did ever seemed to merit his approval!

Whenever I did something honorable, he would pierce my heart with arrows of condemnation for having a prideful heart. But this coin had another side … every time I did something wrong, my heart was shredded into pieces for being such a detestable creature, a shame to mankind, an excuse of a human being.

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An unworthy Christian, unworthy of receiving the slightest consideration or love from anyone … least of all from my Pappa or His elite corps of Christians, according to my estimation, in the church. Receiving tons and tons of rejection seemed like business as usual and definitely what I deserved.

This was not a comfortable place to be, for I honestly believe that Pappa made a big mistake in creating me and the way I was treated by important people in my life only confirmed my suspicions about myself.

I was even indoctrinated by religious blah-blah-blah into thinking that this view of myself was proof of an extremely selfish heart. And this made me wander further and further down the road of self-loathing.

image Looking at the human race, I realize that we were all created with a big empty, yearning heart that can only find peace and love from the source of all love … the God who is Love! No one or nothing else can ever serve as a substitute! Bur our obstinate hearts need to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death before we finally realise this truth and reach out to grab the waiting Heavenly Hand.

That was when I started to hear the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit whispering mysteries to my heart. His Wisdom was standing at the crossroads of my life, actually, my whole existence, calling me, urging me to enter into a Kingdom of Love … a Kingdom of Acceptance … a Kingdom of incredible beauty, with a King of Love, the Prince of Peace.

He was yearning for my return from my wanderings as I was searching, like the Shulamite, for my Beloved in the streets of Jerusalem … until I heard a voice calling from mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Yes, she was calling me out of Egypt of organized religion, but the Pharao of my Egypt only allowed me a few excursions into the wilderness to worship my Father. The desires of my heart kept calling me back to the same-old, same-old familiarity of the world.

What a blessed day when I was finally delivered from the slavery to that cruel king; when his whole army of soldiers was drowned in the Red Sea as they tried to recapture me, to force me back into slavery to the world and its ways. The Pharao realized that my days of free labour came to an end and this enraged him for he was losing another forced labourer. imageBut … I was also carrying a lot of gold from Egypt into my wilderness wanderings and sooner rather than later, I had a few golden calves erected as I grew tired of waiting on our Lord to show me His glory. I was dancing to my hearts delight around the idols of morality, theology, bibliolatry and a lot of Nicolaitan teachings.

But thankfully Pappa sent a whole brood of poisonous snakes to bring me to my senses. As I was at the gates of death and hopelesness, I finally looked up to the cross and SAW … really SAW our Lord Jesus. That was the time when I was crying like the Israelites in the wilderness, when they were testing our Pappa and the poor Moses, longing for the pots of Egypt, filled with meat, watermelons and all the bread I thought my heart needed (Exodus 16:3). I had a heart of stone with many rules written on its tablets.

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These two Scripture verses were my ticket to everything my deceitful heart desired and I thought delighting myself in the Lord meant singing praise and worship songs Sundays at church. I know now that I was only delighting my flesh and this offer had to be repeated week after week after week, just like the altar system of the old covenant of law … a never-ending cycle.

Pappa, though, never seemed to keep His side of the bargain and I was frustrated with His lack of fulfilling His promise, for my soulish desires were as unfulfilled as ever … with me being convinced that it was the yearnings of my heart!

Yet, He was not procastinating … He was bringing me to the end of myself. He brought a debilitating illness into my life and just like Paul, I was overwhelmed beyond my ability to endure. Just like him, I stopped being my own source of strengh and trust (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). I started to draw my whole existence from the Life of our Lord Jesus … living from the Bread of Life … feasting and drinking from the Fountain of Love! I was finally able to cross the Jordan river into Canaan … into our Lord Jesus. The shadow of the Sabbath became flesh and reality in my life … Emmanuel … God with me … God in me.

image The cry of my heart changed dramatically from expecting Pappa to cater to my fleshly, carnal desires, to desiring only His will … needing to live in Him moment to moment. He gracefully changed my desires and plans as I learned to praise Him from the depths of my being, living where it is only Him and me … in a never-ending communion of love … a beautiful dance of being ( The Shack).

There in our secret place nothing could close the windows of heaven as He showered me with all His spiritual delights. Looking back at 2012, I fall to my knees and thank my Pappa for His wisdom and grace for allowing this illness and using what I thought of as evil, as an incredible good, to draw me into His life … into His love … into His heart … into His Loving Embrace.

Much love XX

Mia

FCB Member

I have the honor  today to be part of a new link-up at My Freshly Brewed Life. Thank you, Barbie, for your new Weekend Brew. Come join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/.
I am also linking up with Mindy at http://www.newequus.com/author/mindybowman/. Thank you for the opportunity Mindy!
And the Extraordinary Ordinary.
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The Slave King

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God’s Thoughts to Me

But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5, NLT)

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up in slavery to the law. (Galatians 5:1, NLT)

Born Free

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The 1966 British film, Born Free, tells the story of a real-life couple, George and Joy Adams, who raised the lion cub, Elsa, and then released her into the wilderness of Kenya. When our Pappa God gives us His life through the new spiritual birth into His Kingdom of Light, we become like Elsa … we are born free from the slavery to this world and its ways, especially its extremely deceptive religous ways. Hallelujah!!

An enigma to me has always been the fact that our Savior King was born as a slave. As far as my faulty, limited and worldly human mind could perceive, I could not see that He was a slave to anyone. Yet, Pappa is not a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)

As I was pondering that question in my mind this week, Pappa revealed to my heart the beauty of this divine birth. I don’t think we would ever be able to understand what our Pappa God gave up to become one of us … a slave to the law … a slave to sin … a curse on our behalf.

Yet, He was the only human who ever was able to keep the whole law … lock, stock and barrel. But best of all is His complete fulfillment of the royal Law of Love!

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I was under the impression that our Lord had a good advantage over us mere mortals with Him being God and all. Not so, for not once did He walk according to His own ways or in His own power (John 5:17). Not one miracle was performed in His capacity as God. Yes, His whole life was lived in complete trust in our Pappa to be all in and through Him … the way we are supposed to live.

In order to enable us with His indwelling Life of Victory, He walked and lived every single moment of His earthly sojourn completely dependent upon and trusting the power of our Pappa as His only source of spiritual life. He lived from every word that proceeded from His Pappa’s mouth.

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At Lazarus’ grave our Lord Jesus showed us this when He prayed that beautiful, confident prayer, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent Me” (John 11:41, NLT).

As we allow our Lord Jesus to live His resurrected life in and through us, we come to realize that He became a slave to fulfill the law … to break its power over us, for we all are slaves to sin and death through our physical birth. It is not an option … it just is the way it is!!

Jesus'n Kruis Being the second Adam, the only man after Adam who failed miserably, who had the ability to choose independance, He victoriously overcame the power of sin and self, completely dependant on His Father. Through His dependant victory, He enabled us and made it possible for us to live in Him, in His life, in His Kingdom of heaven, of love, joy and peace.

He reconciled Himself to the whole world, hoping and desiring that not one of us would be lost, but that we all would come to Him to receive His gift of life and be reconciled to Him.

It came as a shock to me that our heavenly Father does not require or ask our obedience, for He knows that even if we want to obey Him, we truly are incapable of doing so (Romans 7:14). The greatest gift we can ever give our Pappa … actually, the only gift, is our heart, our life and our love … fully convinced that He loves us with an everlasting love, allowing Him to change us from the inside out.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. It is our responsibility to stay free and not get tied up again under the yoke of slavery to the law (Galatians 5:1).

Dear Ones, I want to wish you all a blessed God-filled Christmas when we celebrate not only our Savior’s birth, but also the gift He came to bring … a life fully surrendered and reconciled to our Pappa. Let us allow Him to live His victorious, resurrected eternal life in and through us.

Much love XX

Mia

I am linking up again with dear Jane at Monday Morning Meditation (girlmeetspaper.com). Thank you Jane! Please, join us at http://girlmeetspaper.com/

I also have the honor of linking-up with a wonderful group of ladies at Fresh  Brewed Sundays.
Thank you dear Barbie.

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An Orphaned World

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Our earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her. (Jesus, to Mackenzie Allan Phillips in “The Shack”.)

New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine.”The old is just fine,” they say. (Luke 5:39, NLT)

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. (Genesis 4:7, NLT)

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)

A Deceived Bride

Our desolate, damaged, orphaned world is in the season of  celebrating the birth of its Savior without truly knowing Him. With frivolous unseen heart tears, it is singing Christmas carols. With gaiety it is trying to hide its insecurities and hurt. It is wearing a mask of satisfaction and fulfillment … ignoring its desperate need for forgiveness, love and grace … its need for redemption, reconciliation and restoration. It is trying go keep up with the Jones’s, denying its utter poverty …. scared of losing the little face it has left!

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Oh, the delusion we live under; thinking that we can be infinite and independent, characteristics belonging only to our Heavenly Father. We are needy creatures, whether we acknowledge it or not, deriving all we are spiritually from either our Pappa or the prince of darkness.

Even the organized religious church is like the Lady of Laodicea ….. unaware of her poverty, wretchedness, pitiful naked poor state (Revelations 3:17). Their hearts are old wineskins unable to receive the new wine, the new life of our Lord Jesus …. the bubbly new wine of grace. They stake their claim to eternal life on their religious busyness and activities and …. they like it that way.

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I recall an Afrikaans song of the late Johannes Kerkorrel, from his album “Die Anderkant”, meaning “The Other Side”, where he poignantly compares our world to a big, blue ball drifting aimlessly through time and space ….. an orphaned world …. a world without hope. Only once in a while two souls will meet, speaking and understanding the lost language of love. This is the exception, definitely not the rule.

The world had become the habitation for lost, orphaned children, feeding on the spiritual scraps this world dishes up, day after day after day …..leaving them starving …. dying of hunger ….. trying to deny their spiritual need and hunger by their own futile efforts to cover their nakedness with their filthy rags of self- effort. Oh yes, we are experts in covering our shame with fig leaves that we have sewn together, trying to hide from the presence of our Pappa. Man’s declaration of independence has opened their eyes to the shame of sin.

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Yet, He desires to cover our nakedness and shame with the snow white robe of His own righteousness. He assures us that He has paid the price for our adoption, the bride price to buy us back from that kingdom of darkness, doom, dread and death. He has bought us back from the prince of darkness.

If we stop our frantic rushing for a while …. if we just step out of the busy pace and rat race of the world …. we still hear the angels singing of the joy our Pappa has brought to the world in the form of a tiny Baby.

When we become quiet and still, we will hear Him whispering His words of forgiveness, love and reconcilliation. If we allow Him, He will wrap us in His Graceful Loving Embrace, dress us in the most beautiful wedding gown of love and leads us down the aisle of His forgiveness to meet our Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus.

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The beauty of our Pappa God’s love is that He never forces us to accept our Lord Jesus’ hand in marriage. True love is just like that, it gives us the freedom to choose. It knows it cannot be forced, but it can open up the way to restoration, sweet reconcilliation and an intimate relationship of love.

Dear Ones, let us become still …. let us be quiet…. let us listen to His song of love and hear how He rejoices over us with joyful songs (Zephaniah 3:17)!

Much love XX

Mia

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Vegetables vs Vines

 

God’s Thoughts to Me

Some time later there was a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.” ( 1 Kings 21:1-2, NIV)

The Hidden Story of Naboth’s Vineyard

I am a thinker. Actually I think a lot; deep and investigative, always searching for a story, the story behind the story and a few hidden ones in between! When I quite accidentally stumbled upon the meaning of the people’s names in the tale of Naboth’s vineyard, my story catching radar immediately tuned to the frequency of drama, murder, suspense and intrigue. I sensed a spiritual drama buried deep in the ground of Naboth’s vineyard.

Since we are all familiar with this story, allow me to to set the scene and introduce the cast:

1. Look at Naboth through our heavenly Pappa’s eyes! His name means “fruitful”.
2. Jezreel is the handywork of the divine Gardener for it means “The planting of the Lord.”
3. Ahab is derived from the Hebrew word “Aheb”. It is a masculine word meaning “lovers”.
4. Jezebel literally means, “Where is the prince?”, the prince, in this instance, being Baal.
It was the custom of the Baal worshippers to chant this prayer whenever they perceived him to have taken an extended winter vacation to the underworld, hoping to encourage him to return speedily with spring and new vegetation.
5. The elders and nobles represent the law-observers of the old covenant; man’s efforts to win God’s favor and blessings.

Ahab was a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8). I find it meaningful that his palace and Naboth’s vineyard were situated very close to one another. He was a religious man, wavering between his divided loyalties to Jezebel’s Baal worship and the religion of his ancestors. Ahab was an unfulfilled man and looking from the palace window at Naboth’s fruitful vineyard, made him greedy. Or, perhaps he realized the emptiness and futility of his own life when he saw the fruitful planting of our Pappa’s hands every time he looked through the palace window!

In the past, I used to self-righteously condemn Ahab for his covetousness and audacity, wanting to buy Naboth’s ancestral inheritance; and only to plant a vegetable garden! Ahab had no intention of cheating Naboth for he offered him a better vineyard or ample monetary compensation.

I had to face myself, admitting that I too, used to bargain with our Lord, wanting to “buy” the fruitful vineyard only our Pappa can plant and nourish, to replace it with a vegetable garden of religious self-effort, traditions and customs. Just like Ahab I was convinced that I could do a much better job than our Heavenly Father. Oh, the futility and impossibility of such reasoning.

Archeological Remains of Jezreel

Just like Ahab, I sulked and moped when our Pappa frustrated all my efforts! And just like Jezebel, the enemy of our hearts didn’t allow any grass to grow under his feet. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing he lured me to the assembly of the religious traditions of the elders and those whom we consider our Pappa’s Elite Corps; the spiritual nobility! He used a very pious religious practice as bait to make me feel so important in participating: fasting. The only fast I experienced was the hunger for our Pappa’s presence and love!

Just like Jezebel, he made it look so authentic by forging the king’s seal upon the invitation. He even gave me a place of honor, but soon sent his scoundrels to falsely accuse me of cursing our Heavenly Father and the traditions of the religious elite. Needless to say, I felt the stones bruising my heart and it took a long time to heal!

Oh, but the sweetness of that voice calling me just to come to Him, to stay in Him, and to experience His rest, was the coolest, most refreshing spring of joy and indescribable peace in the midst of an extremely severe winter season of my life.

I am not blessed with green fingers and therefore, with great joy and relief, I have surrendered my plans to plant a vegetable garden, to our Lord, resting in the shade of the vineyard He is planting in my life, enjoying all the delicious fruit He produces.

Much love to you

Mia

 

 

 

 

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Frost and Sunflowers

God’s Thoughts to Me

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:16-18, NIV)

Thawing in His Love

Oh, the beauty and joy of frolicking in the snow with complete abandon, creating snow angels and building big, chubby, potbellied snowmen with carrot noses, is truly a delightful gift from the storehouse of heaven.

Yet, another good heavenly gift I reluctantly accept and endure, is the beautiful flowers of feathery frost. Somehow I seem unable to see and appreciate their other-worldly, ethereal beauty!

While snow and frost are both formed from atmospheric vapor, snow crystals form on suspended dust particles high in the air, and frost, near the ground on just any flat surface like windowpanes and blades of grass. Their microscopic anatomy brings glory to our Heavenly Father’s attention to individuality and detail, for every single crystal, snow and frost, has a different shape and form; sort of their fingerprints from a Pappa of diversity.

Just like our Pappa truly has no favorites (James 2:1) and honors our individuality by giving each one of His children their own set of fingerprints, He also honors His creation. It’s diversity and beauty speak of a God who never overlooks a leper, a prostitute, a drunkard or glutton, or even a naked man possesed by a legion of demons, His children enveloped by the coldest winter frost of life.

Frost can be a killer by destroying whole crops during a severe winter season. I always contributed this to the extreme cold. Not so! The edges of frost crystals are needle-sharp. It destroys and damages any surface it settles on by cutting, slicing and stabbing like a knife. Truly, any surface, including my heart!

Ice crystals following the veining of a dead leaf

Before I walked with our Pappa God, I used to deal with the frosty winters of life in a very wordly, fleshly kind of way. Whenever the frost crystals of dissappointment, heart ache and sorrow, the pain of unfulfilled dreams and the whole enchilada settled on the surface of my fleshly, ground-dwelling soul, I would groan and moan, sulk and mope, indignantly blaming everything and everybody for my uncomfortable indisposition. So completely human! Truth be told, I even had the audacity to blame our Pappa at times!!

I am ashamed to admit that I even praised Him profusely, thanking Him for my discomfort and suffering. Yet, my heart, full of hypocrisy, seethed inside, frostbitten by anger and resentment, bemoaning the unfairness of life. Secretly, I kept both my eyes on heaven, fully expecting our Pappa to reward my valiant efforts of praising Him amidst my hard circumstances by making all the bad stuff dissapear. Of course, that never happened! Our Pappa in His wisdom, blessed me with even harder trials and tribulations, for He cannot be manipulated! So, the blame-game kept marching on, keeping me imprisoned and chained to that monstrous jailer, self-pity.

I am grateful to our Pappa for bringing me to the end of myself by allowing Fm/ME to stop me right in my tracks.

I vividly recall one morning in the early morning hours. I was suffering from insomnia (a Fm/ME symptomn) and this was the fifth day without sleeping a wink! Totally exhausted and with a body wracked with pain, I was at the end of my tether and endurace. I raised my voice one more time and, with an honest, sincere heart, I praised my Pappa, telling Him that I trust Him, regardless; no strings attached.

Our heavenly Father immediately reached down and gathered me into His Loving Embrace. For a few hours my heart was soaring high in the sky where the snowflakes dwell. The Spirit of our Lord Jesus was the wind beneath my wings.

Our Pappa taught me a valuable lesson. When my heart is imprisoned by the feathery fingers of frost, I must look at sunflowers and learn. A sunflower’s eyes always follow the sun. It basks in its warmth and care, praising our Pappa with it’s incredible beauty.

I have learned to never take the eyes of my heart off Jesus, the Son of all comfort, warmth and love. I have learned to look full in His wonderous face, assured that the warmth of His love will melt all those frozen tears in my heart and transform them into a bubbling stream of joy and delight, to the glory and praise of our Pappa.

Dear Ones, I am fully aware that at times it seems as if the frost-filled winters of life never seem to end. They seem to transform our weary hearts into flowers of cold, feathery frost. But at times like these we need to keep our spiritual eyes fixed on the Son, basking in the warmth of His never-ending love. This also has come to pass, not to stay!

Much love, blessings and peace to you!

Mia

I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other “abstractions-on-the-frost” can be found at http://therunamuck.com/2012/11/12/an-abstraction-on-the-frost/