Posted in Baal and Asherah, Egypt, Everlasting Father, Finding Heaven Today, Fleshpots of Egypt, Garden of my Heart, Gold, Playdates at the Wellspring, Relationship vs Religion, Soli Deo Gloria, Spiritual Kingdom, Uncategorized

Desert Snippets

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:4, NLT).

Egyptian Gold

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The saying goes that it took the Israelites only a few days to leave Egypt, but they had to wander the desert for 40 years before God finished uprooting all the stubborn roots of Egypt from their hearts.

The ancient Egyptians had 8700 gods and after living in Egypt for 430 years, we can just imagine how much they have been influenced by the Egyptians and their useless religious ways.

It is therefore no big surprise when they wanted to revert back to the familiarity of a god they could see when they felt lost in the desert. They longed for the security of the familiar streets of hell they knew so well!

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We are all well acquainted with the story of how the Israelites became impatient with Moses for staying too long on Mount Sinai. They pestered Aaron until he built them a golden calf from the golden earrings they brought from Egypt.

I used to shake my head in exasperation and disgust at the stupidly of these people, while silently patting myself on the shoulder, believing I would never be so shortsighted and foolish!

How could they think for a moment that their golden-earrings-turned-golden-calf was able to lead them out of Egypt? Preposterous, to say the least!!

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But our Pappa knows me best and showed me how I used to wander in my own desert for a long, long time. He showed me all the mountains I loved trekking around numerous times before He could lead me further.

He opened my eyes to see how often I cried for the fleshpots of Egypt when the going got tough and the tough seemed to have no plans to get going!

He showed me the many times I saw the wonderful, luscious grapes of Canaan in my mind’s eye, but turned back. It took Him quite a while to usher me across my Jordan into Canaan … into the life of our Lord Jesus.

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Even though I have been a member of a church all my life, I still didn’t know Jesus. My heart was empty, starving and yearning to know this strange God. I needed to experience His love which was not much more than a mystery to me at that stage.

One day, out of sheer frustration, I took my Bible and read that wonderful verse, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).

As I used to battle rejection issues most of my life, my heart rejoiced when I saw the words about not being cast out!! Glorious light and joy flooded the darkness and despair of my heart.

I realized that although I have been a diligent church member for many years, I have never gone to Jesus personally.

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I could only fall to my knees and cry out to Him that I was coming to Him and Him alone. I was in awe of this Jesus who didn’t speak the only language I knew so well: rejection!

I thanked Him for the assurance that I would never be sent away like a dog with its tail between its legs, when being rejected was about the only language I knew!

That was my Red Sea moment! But little did I realize that this was only the beginning of my journey to Canaan. I had my own treasure chest filled with lots of Egyptian gold and silver and a heart overgrown with the weeds of this world.

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I didn’t take long for me to realize that the love, joy and peace I heard of so often, were still very absent from my heart and my eyes started lusting after the familiarity of Egypt!

Very soon I forgot my days of slavery and all the tears I cried when I sat down at the rivers of Babylon!

Very soon I complained about my monotonous diet of manna and I longed for the fleshpots of Egypt! How I missed the false security of belonging to a religious church, of finding my worth in a set of theological doctrines, of not thinking for myself and just gobbling up everything that was dished up onto my religious plate!

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How I missed that wonderful gooey feeling of singing the beautiful gospel songs on the great rhythmic beat of drums. I soon forgot how I cried out to Pappa when I was a slave in Egypt.

But, I knew there had to be more to life than the empty futile striving, forever trying to be good enough to be loved. I was tired of empty rote practices of piety.

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I was tired of being told to cry when the religious elite played funeral songs and to dance when they dished up wedding songs! (Matthew 11:17).

Like Abraham who trekked into the unfamiliar, I also set my face like flint and travelled into the unknown, never alone, for the Rock of All Ages was and always will be my constant companion!

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Posted in False Prophets, Garden of Eden, Michelle De Rusha, Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Religious Deception, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, The Life, The Truth, The Way

Fools Gold

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NLT)

Don’t bother! It is not me that matters; it is my teachings that should be propagated and adhered to throughout the world (Buddha’s words, James Fowler).

The Crux of Christianity

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Siddharta Gautama, better known as Gautama Buddha, is thought to have lived approximately 400 BC. He was the founder of Buddhism. When he was dying, his adherents wanted to perpetuate his memory.

He was adamant that he didn’t want to be memorialized, but gave his own “great commission” to preach his teachings throughout the world. This sounds so noble and self-effacing.

Yet, it is extremely dangerous and deceptive, for his teachings ushered in one of the greatest religions of all time into the world, Buddhism.

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Contrary to the teachings of Gautama Buddha, we find the words of Jesus, who told His disciples just prior to His crucifixion, that HE IS the Way, the Truth and the Life.

He invites us with such tenderness and love when He sees us bogged down and heavy-laden with religion to come to Him. He invites us to follow Him for He wants to give us rest and peace beyond our finite comprehension.

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Can you imagine where we would have been if Jesus told them not to bother to remember Him, but only His teachings? That would just have been a whole new bunch of disastrous laws that kill and contain no life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Jesus did not tell us that He would show us the way to our Pappa. Neither did He teach us new truths about God or gave us a new way to eternal life.

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No, He boldly proclaimed, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He boldly proclaimed that many will come to Him on judgement day saying to Him, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed miracles in your name” (Matthew 7:22).

Allow me to add another few favorite things that we might want to add today: we were teachers or preachers, pastors or priests, reverends or bishops, leaders of a worship team, taught Sunday School, spread the Gospel, spoke in tongues, didn’t drink … or danced … or smoked.

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We faithfully went to church every time the doors were opened, we attended all the prayer meetings, we selflessly served the saints in a church ministry, etc. Oh, the sorrow these ones will experience when He tells them He didn’t know them for they were mining for fools gold.

These things are not wrong in and of itself, but that is building on sand as far as Christianity is concerned. Christianity is built only on the Eternal Rock, the Sure Foundation; our Lord Jesus. He is the capstone rejected by the religious builders (Mark 12:10).

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In His wonderful prayer just before He was arrested, Jesus told us that eternal life is that we might know our Pappa and Him (John 17:3). Christianity IS Jesus Christ!!! HE IS the Great I AM.

If this is the truth, which it is, where does the approximately 41000 Christian denominations come from? This “knowing” is such an intimate union of our spirit with the glorious Holy Spirit.

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I personally think we will find the answer to this question in the Garden of Eden when the great deceiver deceived Adam and Eve into believing that they could be like God, knowing good and evil! In a human way I think we can compare this union to sexual intimacy between husband and wife; oneness personified.

Denominationalism is the result of that lie and the age-old characteristics of the flesh: pride, selfish ambition and dissension (Galatians 5:20). It seems that every denomination proudly proclaims that their doctrine/teachings of Jesus will show us the way, the truth and give us eternal life.

Not so! The person of Gautama Buddha might not be of much importance in Buddhism, but our living, resurrected Lord Jesus IS the crux of Christianity.

imageIn total contradiction to Gautama Buddha is the story of Sadhu Sundar Singh. He was a Sikh who converted to Christianity. A European professor of comparative religions, an agnostic himself, repeatedly asked Mr Singh during an interview why he exchanged one religion for another.

When Mr Singh answered him that he now had Jesus, the professor became quite impatient and wanted him to be more specific about the different principles or doctrines of the two religions. Mr Singh’s only answer was that the particular Person he had now found, was Jesus (James Fowler, Christ in You).

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The words of a friend of mine describes this so vividly, “You cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and expect to live in the Tree of Life”. Thanks Grace Ann!

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Posted in Catholicism and Protestantism, Ellen G White, False Prophets, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Legalism, Mosaic Law, Old Testament Dietary Laws, Peter's Vision of the Sheet, Relationship vs Religion, Religious Deception, Religious Deceptions, Seventh Day Adventism, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Bereans, The Truth, The Way, Torah, Uncategorized

Sly Deceptions

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1, NIV).

Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV).

The Noble Bereans

I used to be good friends with a lady who was a member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. She had a very difficult childhood and subsequently grew up into a very insecure, vulnerable young woman.

The White Family
The White Family

When she desperately needed love, she met a few Seventh-Day-Adventists and they welcomed her with open arms. As she didn’t grow up in a church and didn’t know our Lord, she accepted their teachings and married their young pastor.

The founders of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church were Ellen G White, her husband, James White and Joseph Bates. The Adventists consider the teachings of Mrs White, which are based on visions she apparently received from God, to be just, if not more, reliable and true as the Bible.

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These precious people are heavily bogged down under the yoke of legalism. Yet, they consider themselves to be the remnant spoken of in Revelation 12:17.

This belief can easily scare the living daylights out of a naive, gullible person, like my friend, and make them a life-long member of this church.

Their teachings are very dangerous and the fact that they celebrate their Sabbath on a Saturday, is only a small fish in the ocean of deception.

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My friend tried her utmost to convert me to Seventh-Day-Adventism, but when she realized she was wasting her time, she sadly ended our friendship. I did a thorough study of their teachings and our Pappa protected me from believing lies.

I am amazed how educated, intelligent people use a single Scripture verse as the basis for a whole new doctrine and subsequently a new church!

Just to give you an idea how easily a Scripture verse can be taken out of context and manipulated to create a whole new doctrine, I want to mention their teaching about dietary laws.

According to them it is sinful to eat pork, but conveniently ignore Paul’s warning, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink… (Colossians 2:16)”.

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When Peter received the vision from heaven of the sheet containing all the “unclean” animals, according to the Old Testament laws, our Pappa told Peter to eat these unclean food. We know our Lord wanted to show Peter that, contrary to their belief, He didn’t consider the Gentiles to be unclean.

The Seventh-Day-Adventist believe He was referring only to people and not animals! Pigs are still happy and safe in Jerusalem and amongst these folks! The dietary laws of the Old Testament are still operative to them today.

Their teachings made me realize how easily one can base many false, deceptive doctrines on a few Scripture verses taken out of context and by implication deceive millions of people. The fear factor and the false security it offers keep many earnest seekers of God chained to these false doctrines.

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The greatest danger lies in the fact that nearly every lie can be defended from Scripture and the adherents usually valiantly claim to be just as noble as the Bereans who eagerly listened to Paul and Silas and searched the Scriptures daily to if what they preached was in fact the truth.

When I came to realize that countless, terrible lies were being nobly taught straight from the Bible, I seriously looked at what the Bereans were really doing. I found the secret lying not in what they were doing, but in what Paul was preaching.

Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica before they came to Berea. There was a Jewish synagogue and for three Sabbaths in a row, Paul reasoned with these Jews.

He used the Torah to explain the prophecies about the Messiah who had to suffer and rise from the dead. He informed them that Jesus was this promised Messiah.

Jewish Children Learning The Torah
Jewish Children Learning The Torah

The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians and eagerly listened to what Paul was preaching. Yet, they didn’t just gobble-up everything Paul said, but searched their copy of the Torah daily to make sure of the truth of their words. Paul commended them for this (Act 17:11).

Paul warned the Thessalonians to test everything and only hold on to what is good and true. In the same manner we find John warning the believers not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they were from God. Even then many false prophets were claiming to preach the truth of Christ.

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Today were are in the midst of a great apostasy and we have greatly stifled the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment. We believe left, right and centre everything that is taught in the name of our Lord Jesus without testing anything.

I know that if people are like me, we often cry this great battle cry of  “Sola Scriptura”. Yet, we are clueless about the battle we are so valiantly fighting for! No wonder the Roman Catholic papacy, at the time of Martin Luther, used to say that the Protestants only exchanged their idol of the Pope for another, the Scriptures!

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I invite you to accompany me as I investigate, like the Bereans, for another few posts and test a few of the subtle false spirits doing the rounds today and which are difficult to discern as falsehood.

I want to delve deep into the Gospel Paul was preaching and hold onto our Lord Jesus who is the only Way … the only Truth … and the only Life.

Blessings and love.

Mia

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Posted in Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Finding Heaven Today, God's Father Heart, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Tell His Story, The Love of God

The Sacrament of Living

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act … For such a man, living itself will be sacramental. As he performs his never so simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole world is full of His glory.” (A.W.Tozer – The Pursuit of God).

The Housewife Syndrome

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The yardstick of this world is a mighty weapon leaving many, many casualties in its wake. A major disease that is a result of this monster, is the housewife syndrome.

This disease is as old as time and no cure has ever been found. No amount of psychology or common sense is totally able to heal this illness. It has ingrained its lies deep in the hearts of its victims.

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Most of us become skilled in the game of comparing very early in life and we soon measure our worth on the scales of performance. And this, at least, is one thing I used to be able to perform with excellence!

Ever since my boys were small, I used to be just a housewife, a wife and a mother. I considered myself to be quite low on the scale of importance and were plagued by feelings of guilt for burying my talents in the ground.

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Who will ever consider doing laundry, scrubbing floors, cooking meals, ironing, making beds, etc, etc, etc, to be a noble vocation! Definitely not me for I was quite snobbish.

Helping my husband to keep the pot boiling, I designed children’s clothing. I was an excellent seamstress and worked into the early morning hours sewing the most beautiful clothes. Yet, in my eyes this was still a common profession.

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Another cohort contributing mightily to this whole shebang is the world of religion. The religious elite is not innocent in this folly and most have their own set of performance rules and regulations to keep the wheels of the cart rolling!

I recall the time when the medical profession was unable to provide an explanation for my Fm/CFS. Well, my husband did not understand it either. In the beginning he was not supportive, believing this illness to be just a figment of my imagination.

This was a hard time for both of us for I was unable to fulfill my duties and he worked very hard. One day he even dragged me to the stove telling me to stop being such a hypochondriac and look after my family. I could only scream in pain and crawled back to bed.

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I needed help and support desperately and went to see my pastor and his wife. In a previous post I wrote about the catastrophic outcome of this meeting for their diagnosis was that my sorry state was actually the result of not serving the saints.

One day I realized that all my striving and comparing were just  as useless as chasing the wind and I heard a voice!! Softly and tenderly it wooed me like a fresh breeze of love to come to Him.

His cure for this foolishness was actually so incredibly simple, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT). When our Pappa God wrote this cure on the tablets of my heart, I was overjoyed.

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My eyes were opened and I could suddenly see why Brother Lawrence considered washing the dishes at the monastry, a holy experience (The Practice Of The Presence Of God).

I realized that if humble duties like eating or drinking, things we share with our lowly animal friends, could be done to honor and glorify our Lord, there is nothing, except sin, that is not important to our Pappa.

Like all the blessings our Pappa bestows on us, the secret for this cure is hidden and available only in Him. As we learn to set our eyes on heaven and to store our treasures there where moths and rust cannot destroy, we soon find our hearts desiring nothing else, but the will of our Pappa.

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I often wondered why Pappa hasn’t healed my Fm/CFS until He told me that it is for my own good. This is just a thorn in my flesh to prevent me from surrendering again to this cursed life of earning approval through performance.

Much love XX

Mia

I would like to hear if I was the only sufferer of this performance disease. Please, let me know!

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Posted in Emily Wierenga, Girl Meets Paper, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Marriage, Monday Morning Meditations, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Our Saviour God, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Bride of Christ, The Love of God, The Peace of God, Walking with God

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24, ESV)”.

Enoch’s Secret

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There was a nagging thought that had the habit of pestering me every Sunday after church, “What makes you any different from all the people who walk the aisles of the grocery store when the first thing you do after church is walking with them along the same aisles in the same store?”

My heart was compelled by a persistent still small voice urging me to find the reason for this thief stealing my pseudo peace.

I had no idea that it was our Pappa convicting me through the avenues of my conscience about my hypocrisy.

This peace had the abilty to make me feel smugly superior to these poor lost souls. I know now that it was only a fabrication of the latest great gospel songs we sang at church. Music does have the ability to lull the soul. And today’s gospel music has a great beat and melody.

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I envied Enoch who knew the secret of just walking with God and I did the only thing I knew how to do well. I went knocking on heaven’s door, imploring Pappa to teach me Enoch’s secret.

And my Pappa answered!! I admitted to Him and Him alone, alongside many voices through the ages, that I had no idea what true faith really was!

I lamented alongside Mike Yaconelli, “I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokeness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in my acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith (Abba’s Child)”.

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Together with the father of the boy with the evil spirit, I cried out to our heavenly Father,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)”.

Our Pappa tenderly showed me how I desperately tried to manufacture faith through striving very hard, on my own, in the flesh. What a futile endeavor!

He knew of my fear of being included in the crowd who were chided by Jesus, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you?” (Mark 9:19).

He knew of my uncertainties and insecurities that made me believe our Lord was speaking to me in particular. He was well aware that in my vocabulary and my mind, “faithless” meant, “unlovable, useless, nuisance, shameful” and so forth!

When I came to that place where I had to admit defeat, our Pappa showed me the beauty of relationship. He didn’t give me faith as an entity per se; He gave me Himself.

The deep longing to desire Him and love Him, and then to love Him and desire Him even more, was the answer to my persistent prayers of years ago! Truth be told, I didn’t think I was worthy or important enough for Him to listen to my prayers, let alone, respond to my requests.

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First, He patiently had to remove the veil of law still covering my mind. The glorious truth and understanding of grace were veiled in my heart.

Like a bridegroom removes his bride’s veil, He removed the veil that prevented my heart from KNOWING His love … His grace … His mercy and compassion.

He gave me the wedding gift of receptiveness to receive Him into my longing heart and taught me the secrets of any relationship of love.

He convinced me that to get to know one another, I had to share with Him not only my life, but also my heart with all its secrets and my depreciating thoughts of myself.

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I willingly had to open the door of my heart to the room where a little girl was still hiding in fear, rejection and pain. I had to allow Him to gather her in His arms and heal her with His Kisses of Delight.

I had to dare to believe that He truly loved me unconditionally before I was able to show Him my spiritual nakedness and allow Him to clothe me with His righteous robe of His blood and redemption.

He whisked me off my feet to our private garden where He showed me the beauty of true love … where He overwhelmed me with His grace and forgiveness.

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He taught me Enoch’s secret of how to walk with Him, living in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

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Posted in Abraham, Amber Haines, Circumcision, Covenant of Grace, Covenant of Law, Galatians, Grace, Hagar and Ishmael, James Fowler, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Mosaic Law, Relationship vs Religion, Sarah and Isaac, Shearing Sheep, Spiritual Kingdom, Spirituality, Tell His Story, The Run-a-Muck, The Weekend Brew

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

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Posted in Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Suffering

Spitting in The Face of God

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)”.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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Posted in Cleft in the Rock, Emily Wierenga, Faith Barista, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Jesus Christ, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality

Lady Laodicea vs Lady Ekklesia

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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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Posted in Everlasting Father, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality

Feeding on the Fodder of Law

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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“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

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Posted in Chronic Ilness, Common Sense, Emily Wierenga, Faith Barista, Fibromyalgia, Imperfect Prose, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God, The Pharisees

A Monster called Fear

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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