The Wonder of the Acorn.

Recently while out walking I found my first acorn of the season which had been blown off a tree during the night. As I looked at it I knew that there was a message to be learnt from its beauty. The bright green perfectly smooth acorn was sitting in a grey green cup that was roughly textured and the stalk that previously attached it to a tree came out of the cup at an angle. It was amazing, simple and beautiful!

This acorn seemed to be a symbol of the fact that the Great Spirit of the Universe seek to incarnate themselves into all of humanity, nature and life. The Eternal Seed of creativity and love is in the acorn and in everything we see because that is the eternal purpose of the one we call God. God’s heart and intention is to be discovered in all of life. God is constantly incarnated into everything for incarnation is the purpose of God and always has been. Incarnation means that the supernatural is embedded deep within the natural. This is the reason the universe came into being. If God in the form of Christ did not hide themselves in each form of life then there would be no life and if this loving triune Spirit stopped their incarnation into life then life on earth would cease!

This acorn was an example of the creativity of life and the beauty of nature. A tiny little insignificant seed with the capacity to grow into a huge tree over the next 300 years! Just stop and think about that. The seeming perfection of this acorn, this small instrument of life, also has the potential of feeding and maintaining other life and whether it grows into a tree or is eaten by a creature it will be required to die for life to be resurrected in another. It tells me that the earth is as it is because of the goodness of the Christ filling all space and every atom. If the Christ ceased to exist the whole earth would collapse in an instant. All laws like gravity would cease, atoms would fly off in all directions causing objects and people to explode. This presence of the Christ is the ‘rest of God’ that is not about God doing nothing but rather it is describing the ongoing activity of the divine Spirit or constant reality that is infinite and changeless while wholly loving.

Jesus was a man who was filled with the Christ so as to demonstrate this truth. The Christ is the presence of the divine in every living thing. God as Christ fully incarnate in a man is also incarnated in all of nature. Some of you will know that the certainty of Christ filling all things around me has become very real to me of late. Only this morning I felt it with a surprising intensity as I walked and the same intensity was confirming my present similar oneness with Divinity. It was an amazing mystical experience that carried huge authority within me.

So, Jesus was the sublime demonstration of Gods incarnation into all of humanity through his birth, life, death and resurrection. The work of Jesus was not to save us from some corrupted nature of ours but to restore us to our true nature and to bring us back into relationship and union with the deepest sound and most profound presence within all creation. The life of Jesus teaches us that firstly this perfect Spirit of the Universe is wholly love and perfection and secondly, that we only think we are separated from this Holy One. The truth is that no one and nothing in this world is separate from the incarnating presence of God! Caryll Houselander says “Christ lived our life so that we are offered the glory of living his life.” Therefore, as Jesus incarnated the Christ, so can we. We are to incarnate perfect love into this world.

The acorn even when disconnected from its tree that was supplying life to it, still has life within it! Just plant one and see what happens! This is true for all of us. Even if we seem to be disconnected from the Author of Life by our own choices or other people’s decisions, we still carry that divine life within because God chooses to incarnate themselves into all of life. However, it does require some dying of self for that life to be manifested. I am afraid that you just can’t get around that one!

I know from some people who I visit regularly of their surprise at finding that divine life within them appearing unexpectedly and unmerited. Sadly for these persons it is has been near the end of their earthly life before they have discovered this treasure within but they speak to me of the complete assurance of knowing that presence within. Only last week one lady said, “I can’t explain it but I am so sure of it. I know he is always with me.” I believe that once you open yourself to a mystical encounter of the Divine that it will not be long before you find Christ in you, around you and in all people.

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Immanence (Indwelling)

If I have learnt anything over recent months it is to revel in the incredible immanence of Divinity in all things. I believe that this is the natural outcome of a continuing immersion into God and such activity will bring a new consciousness to all who practice it. Finding God in all things around and in everyone is a wonderful place to live from and will enable us to be active in our community with great grace and forgiveness.

I have written before of the sense of God pressing into me from flowers, animals and views. Apparently some have questioned if I have become a Buddhist! Well, I am ok with that because God goes beyond names and tribes and if such things are still important to us then perhaps we need to encounter some more of God for ourselves!

Recently while walking in Cumbria I asked myself why the hills seemed so full of the immanence of God. It was as though God was reaching out to me from the hills themselves. It was not long before I remembered how the Psalmist could say ‘I will lift my eyes to the hills from where my help comes’. I believe that the Psalmist  was also finding God present within the actual hills as he walked through them. Another time he says, ‘I can never escape from your Spirit, I can never get away from your presence‘. This is the exact sense that I have enjoyed for myself more and more recently.  And so every tree and flower that I passed seemed to wave and nod in agreement as Christ within it was acknowledging the presence of Christ within me. I am beginning to see even more profoundly how this whole world is sacred and filled with God. I am sure that this is what the writer of Romans 1:20 had also experienced. He/she did not write that verse because it was good theology which they had been taught by somebody else. No, they wrote it out of their own deep personal encounter of God found in all of nature.

A few mornings ago I sensed the words ‘Behold the Christ’ and for a couple of days as I walked and worked I chose to see Christ in all I saw. Then, a few days later I sensed the words changing to ‘Here is The Lord!’ Again, as I walked and worked I sensed the immanence that ‘The Lord’ was here and here and here! And here and here and here! And here and here! Here in my wife, my marriage, my breakfast, my food (which is why Jesus took bread). Here in the view from my window or the massive variety of grasses and flowers as I walked through the fields. Here in the air that I breathe and in the sunshine and the clouds in their splendour above me. Here, here and here is the eternal flow of divinity pressing into me all the time that I choose to learn to be conscious of God’s presence. Certainly Christ is found in every shape, colour, variety and type.

But even more challenging and exciting for me is the sense of Christ being in all the people around me. Christ is here in my friend, my neighbour, my work colleague and those I formerly may have disapproved of and even here in my ‘enemy’ if I have one!  I recently was on a week long business course and as always, the other delegates were made up of every type of person. Some were fun and interesting and others maybe were not such fun characters. These were people that I would once have boxed in certain categories of approval, disapproval or somewhere in between. However, the challenge of ‘Here is the Lord’ was still with me and so I hopefully learnt to see Christ in them and so to love and accept them all much more readily.

Surely what I have described in finding God in everything is what the story of Adam and Eve tells us about. When walking with God in the Garden of Eden (life), God was found wherever they walked because they were conscious of his presence. This is all that God wants to return us to and we don’t have to wait for some future place after we die as it is meant to be experienced here and now.

For me, continuing the practice of times of silence has unlocked so much of my present consciousness to God. John Chryssavgis writes, ‘When words are abandoned, a new awareness of God arrives. Silence awakens us from the dullness of awareness and the dimness of vision. (In the Heart of the Desert. The spirituality of the Desert Mothers and Fathers). When I sit in the silence of God’s presence then his love begets love in me and his peace begets peace in me and his joy begets joy in me.  Also, his forgiveness begets forgiveness in me and his hope begets hope in me. Did you know that God is full of hope and expectation? I call the above process Cosmic resonance. It is when humans can draw from Gods personality traits simply by sitting in Gods presence. It is much better than Morphic resonance which is when humans draw from other humans and which is where things like bullying, bigotry, discrimination and antisemitism spring from.

So, why not begin to train your spirit to see the immanence of Christ in all of life around you. I promise that you will be constantly surprised and delighted at where you find God! Another amazing result is that you will grow in hope and optimism for this world. We surely need more people to have such faith.

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Oh the Flow!

Some of my favourite words are found in 2 Corinthians 13:13, and they say, “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” They seem to sum up the whole experience of Trinity and our inclusion within them. These words seem to express the core values and indeed the whole reason of the existence that is God. They have always been important and attractive to me and slowly I am beginning to understand why. I guess it will take me years to even begin to understand why they are so profound and true. The truth of them can never be understood or learned, they can only be encountered and experienced.

Recently I was re-inspired with these words when I read a quote from Richard Rohr where he was talking about Trinity. He said, “Even more significant than the qualities of the individual members of the Trinity is the flow between them. At a Trinitarian level, God is a verb more than a noun, God is a flow more than a substance, God is an experience more than a deity sitting on a throne and we live naturally within that flow-if we do not resist it.

 These words from the writer of 2 Corinthians 13 can of only come out of his actual daily experience of living within that flow of Trinity! As he had actually experienced that flow within him I too am learning what that is like. Remember what Richard Rohr suggested; that the flow between Trinity is even more significant than the qualities of the individual members. This is what I believe I am discovering in my recent encounters with God. I keep seeing something like a jetstream of divine life flowing across the UK and all I have to do is become one with it.

This divine flow is liberating, releasing, joy filling, exciting, fulfilling, comforting and including and runs throughout all life around us. This flow is an eternal song that reverberates throughout the Universe. It is an eternal flow of divine love, submission, surrender and agreement between Father, Son and Spirit. It is a flowing song, a divine declaration of who they are and what this world will be. It is a powerful expression of the divine majesty that is found in each plant, flower, leaf and person. It is a divine refrain that is heard in every bird song; a creative melody that this earth originated from. It is the everlasting love song sung between lovers and the glorious song of victory that will overcome the darkness of the world produced from selfishness, ego and self-prominence. It is the on-going invitation for every man women and child to enter in and experience the joy and bliss of that divine relationship reserved for each one. It is the clarion call of the Gospel, the good news for all to come home to the place they belong within this wonderful divine flow. It is also a flow of vulnerability. God’s power comes through powerlessness and humility. God is actually much more all-vulnerable than almighty.

Whenever I am in the NOW presence of God then I am in the earshot and inclusion of that divine song of delight; that eternal song of grace, love and fellowship. This song is a three corded Ground of all Being that holds everything together. Oh the depths and riches and wonder of this eternal love song. This is the place of divine rest, indeed, it is ‘the Sabbath rest of God’, the environment of eternity on earth; this is the atmosphere of the house of God and the air of heaven that we breathe. It is a place of divine joy and laughter, a place of deep intimate union, a place of profound compassion and love. This place is all around us and within us. Why would I want to be conscious to anything else? In fact Jesus made it clear that this flow of divinity, grace and joy happens simply by believing that we are one with the Trinity as he was one with Trinity. His teaching on a vine and branches allowing the same life to flow is wonderful.

This wind of Spirit is a dance of love, a flow of grace, which creates a symphony of joy in this world. Just listen to the blackbirds song each morning and evening. Humanity is supposed to be part of this symphony of joy, this eternal flow of grace, this divine dance. All of us have at times stepped outside of this divine dance because we have convinced ourselves that we are better on our own. We have chosen independence rather than joining in the symphony of joy, the flow of divine life and the atmosphere of peace that streams through this world and universe. Once we have discovered this union with the divine flow of grace, then we have freedom to grow into the as yet undiscovered mysteries of the heavens and of this Trinity. However, we will need to learn to discover for ourselves the silence of eternity which can be found here on earth whenever we choose to sit in quiet and become conscious of divinity within. In that place we become re-clothed in our rightful mind, our strivings cease, everything becomes interpreted by love and it is where we discover ‘I Am’.

 

        Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                       As I sit in the river of God,                                                                                                                     There is a freshness that washes over me,                                                                                          That expands me and causes me to grow.

         Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                         As I rest in the breeze of God,                                                                                                                There is a presence that washes over me,                                                                                           That refreshes me and causes me to grow.

        Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                         As I lie in the oneness of God,                                                                                                               There is a sweetness that washes over me,                                                                                        That changes me and causes me to grow,

         Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                         As I bask in the grace of God,                                                                                                               There is a hunger for God that washes over me,                                                                              That feeds me and causes me to grow.

        Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                        As I eat of the fruit of God,                                                                                                                   There is a dimension of God that washes over me,                                                                           That strengthens me and causes me to grow.

          Oh the flow that never lets me go,                                                                                                        Grace, love and eternal fellowship,                                                                                                     From Father, Christ and Spirit now,                                                                                                    That ever abides and causes me to grow.

 

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Love that will not let me go.

 I know that I have said this before but I consider some of the older hymns were written by people who clearly had a deep experience of what they were writing about. They did not just sit down and decide to write a hymn and put some words together. No, they had often been through deep pain and suffering which they had allowed to shape their lives resulting in profound mystical encounters with God. The following hymn was written by George Matheson who at the age of 19 found himself going incurably blind. On explaining this to his fiancé, she stated that she could never be married to a blind man and so left him heart broken. George Matheson had certainly suffered much and he stated that this hymn was the fruit of all his suffering.

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

I was recently impacted by the words of the first line and for several days they would not leave me. The simplicity of the word LOVE belies a profound depth and all-embracing comprehensiveness. It is a word that is so often spoilt by being misused for what is nothing more than lust which is a relationship that is anything but ongoing surrender, self-emptying and self-giving. Something that true Love will always be. This plain little word, so insignificant, is able to change each life and could change the world if we but surrendered to it. While the need for Love can be taught or theologically explained, Love itself can only be felt and experienced. When we are in relationship with the divine One, who empowers these simple four letters, then this word brings peace and calm to whatever angry waves are threatening to overwhelm our boat of life.

Love means that I can trace the rainbow through the darkest rain because Love will never leave me alone in that rain.

Love means that I can discover I have worth and value in who I am and not what I do.

Love means that in my weakness, suddenly, I can find strength.

Love means that even the deepest pain can produce joy.

Love means that surrender is the greatest victory.

Love overflows when I choose servanthood.

Love can see Christ in the unlovely,

Love can rejoice in no repute,

Love takes my hand and leads me on to the promised destination when the path becomes indistinct or lost.

Love quickly reminds me that all is well when anxiety rushes in and confuses me.

Love quietly whispers “You are my beloved” when doubt seems to get the upper hand.

Love draws me into the ocean depths of its divine flow whenever I still my racing thoughts.

Love never ever lets me go even when I deny it, abuse it or forget it. I just have to return to it!

Love is never close to me. Love is always right within me, waiting to become one with me  but only when I stop and choose to become one with Love.

So, if you need to, why don’t you stop right where you are. Close down your phone or computer and sit quietly in the presence of Love. Let its quiet whisper reassure you of its deep abiding presence. This Love will never let you go.

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A walk in the Garden.

I am learning about living in the Father’s house. The parable of the Prodigal Son is all about us coming back to a place of honour, glory, authority and abundance while on earth! I recently heard the voice of God saying “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” I have discovered this means now and it is not after I die! If it is not for now here on earth then our faith means very little. It is about entering into a consciousness that is more real than life itself. This is what I have missed! I used to think that the Father’s house and garden is above and for a later time but it is now, here, on earth if we but choose and learn to live in that awareness. This is not some abstract thought, mental agility and persuading that it is true factually and so have to pretend that it is happening. No, here on earth, I am a walking skin covered tabernacle that feels and engages with divinity. A place where the glory of God and the wonder of heaven touch earth and it affects me powerfully when I am conscious to it. Like that tabernacle of old, I may be flexible, collapsible and just skin but I house the majesty of God, the presence of God, the glory of God, on this earth and it is meant to be felt and experienced. This house of God, the father’s house, comes alive when I am walking this earth and conscious to that dynamic spiritual state. It is all about awareness and consciousness of the reality of  Presence within. It is Heaven on earth.

It means that every wild flower seems to be smiling at me and wondering at the glory it sees passing by. Even the various hedgerow leaves are caught up with the same joy and dance wildly because they see Christ walking by. The trees are waving gloriously and decorously at the majesty passing beneath them. The woodland birds all seem to shout and exclaim to each other at the glory of God walking near them. I feel the wind on my face and I know that it is the breeze of Spirit. Surely this is the full glory of the sons of God that creation is earnestly waiting for and is now happening! This is what man was made for, to inherit the garden of God as one with Trinity themselves and one with all around.

So, this is the garden of God, the Eden of God! I am not talking of the natural world that we live in and enjoy as good and beautiful as it is. No, it is this state of conscious presence that is the actual garden of God where Adam walked and talked with God. This garden is the place of union, consciousness and powerful awareness of Trinity that can become a greater reality than the wonderful natural world. It is the experience that you are walking in sweet union with all of Christ while walking familiar physical paths. This is the garden of God that all are invited back into. And whenever Spirit whispers in my heart, “Come and rest in my garden Simon” then, wherever I am or whatever I am doing, I can enter into that reality.  It is the garden of resting from my thoughts and I become present only to Divinity. It is only when I let go of the false self, the mind and my thinking and enter another state of joyous consciousness. This garden is the place of conscious union with God, the place of unity that Jesus often spoke of and it is the garden of delights that the lover invites his Love into in the book of Song of Songs. This garden is the garden of resurrection that Mary walked in and encountered a risen Christ in a new way. A Christ that was unrecognisable to her previous experience. This is why Jesus first appeared after His resurrection in a garden and was mistaken for the gardener! It was the sign that the garden of encounter is open once again to all humanity although it never had been closed from Gods side.

This invitation from the lover is when I step out of my planning, reasoning and constant judging of the mind and step into a place of encounter of spirit. Only the real, true Simon can walk in this hallowed place of heaven on earth and the false self has to be left behind at the gate. This is a real life experience where Trinity seem to be pressing into me and I into them. This is a garden where joy and peace just wells up from within; a garden where Simon is overcome with love for all people whatever their background or persuasion. This is a garden that confirms the reality of God as well as the character and personality of this divinity and which may be quite different to what some traditions or upbringing has told me about God. And yes, it is a place that confirms my knowing of God by divine encounter and not head knowledge or what I have been told to believe. This is a place that seems much more special that the most special encounter I have previously had with God. It is also a garden that disappears in an instant when my mind clicks back into gear with its thoughts, arguments and pointless constant chatter.

As in the words of the old hymn, I can only come into the garden alone. Alone means without others distracting me; without the clamour of music, television, Twitter and Facebook.  (This alone will never be independent of others). Alone means without the identities I and others load myself with be it community worker, businessman, farmer, successful, liked or whatever I may be labelled. Finally, alone means without the ego, the false self and any sense of superiority. Only when I have learnt to leave all behind can I begin to find the narrow gate and the narrow path to this garden of delight that Spirit is holding open for me. Then I can enter and walk in sweet harmony and oneness with the fullness of Divinity. This is the inheritance reserved for all of us and prepared from the foundation of the world.

 

 

 

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Resurrection!

This word probably ought to be the most significant and revolutionary word in the English language. Its impact will be powerful and transforming when we finally experience what it is saying. Resurrection is far more than just remembering a one-time event in history that is celebrated once a year. It is far more than some creed that states “That on the third day he (Jesus) rose again.” No, resurrection is something that spans all of life and the one-time event that I have referred to, was just a momentary demonstration of what is always happening in this world.

Jesus Christ has always been resurrection! Even before he came to earth, Christ was resurrection and had been from even before the beginning of time. This world is full of resurrection but we hardly ever see it for ourselves until we do! Life breaks out, comes forth and reappears constantly. This can be especially true within each of us. The message of resurrection is surrounding us all the time especially in the spring time. Life, death and then resurrection are the basics of life because it just reflects the Christ of the Universe. This is a Christ soaked world!

Unfortunately, we lose sight of this great wonder when we follow our own ego and pride making ourselves like God. When Jesus Christ demonstrated resurrection 2000 years ago, I believe that event pressed the reset button for all of humanity. This one great eternal moment was to return us to our original settings. Jesus showed you and me how to live in spirit and truth with all Trinity and with all humanity. Resurrection needs to echo throughout all of our lives, in each day and in every moment whoever we are, even if we would not call ourselves a Christian. Jesus while on earth showed us all how to live in that Christ resurrection dynamic. Living in that truth restores us to our true identity as children of the Divine. We need to learn to have a consciousness of resurrection which is exactly how Jesus lived on earth at one with his Father. Resurrection living is the long full kiss of the Divine on our lips! When we live in the ‘risenness’ that is Christ then the following happens:-

  1. Christ is found in all things within and around. Everything becomes sacred.
  2. Eternity and time are joined. (Eternity is not the perpetuation of time on and on but rather the overcoming of time by the now that does not pass away!) That is a quote from David Steindlerast.
  3. All things become ours whether life or death, present or the future.
  4. The ordinary and supernatural are joined.
  5. We understand how Jesus was fully God and fully human all at once and so can we be.
  6. We find no separation and division in God. As we learn to be loved by God, we will love ourselves and find we love all people as we love God and ourselves whatever their colour, creed or persuasion.
  7. Everything is. Criticism, condemnation and judgement are gone.
  8. Heaven and earth now become joined. (Heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness.)
  9. Hope for a better future always rises from within.
  10. A piece of bread broken in wonder becomes the actual fullness of Christ within.

Resurrection, as I have perhaps poorly described, is for me, my whole understanding of God, Jesus and the Sacred Word. Thus we have a theology that begins to be large enough to embrace the true immensity of this grand Divinity and their delighted involvement in humanity.  Actually, it is more true to say that Trinity are delighted to have humanity involved in Divinity. Anything else is a too small a vision of this God and thus leads to division and exclusion which is very much what this God is not like from my own encounters.

Just remember that something or someone always has to die before resurrection can happen. Many of us do not like this part and consequently run from it but you cannot have one without the other.

So, today, tomorrow and each moment from now go and discover how to live resurrection!  Watch how it emanates from everything around us and is the core essence of this Universe. Stop restricting it to a one off magic event but experience its truth and power even within the walls and locked doors that contain your fears. Hear Christ speak peace to you through the consciousness of his actual presence as you walk your road. Each morning will be like that first morning, each blackbird will sound like the first bird and the whole world will be damp with the dew of divine presence.

 

 

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What’s the rush?

I have said this before on my blog site but I am a slow learner! Once again, God seems to be slowly and painfully for me, teaching me about rest; resting in God.

In my own opinion, I have made a success of much of what I have done in my life by me making things happen. I know all about being pro-active, kicking butt when needed, grabbing  the situation by the horns whether it is plans for the business or even church activities. All this intensity often involved rushing around keeping all the plates spinning and forever checking my watch to make sure I am on time. I hate being late and others being late seems so rude and a waste of my valuable time! As you can see, I can also be highly opinionated about myself! Yet right now I sense that I am being taught by God that all I have to do in my life is to rest in the rest of God.  God, it seems, wants to come and ‘rest’ in me and when I let that happen then I find I am ‘resting’ in him. What do I mean by this?

God is now fully and permanently ‘at rest’. There is nothing more that God needs to do in this world. All universal laws are in place for this world to live at peace and in prosperity if only we would all co-operate with them. God does not have to rush around fixing this problem for me or that prayer for you or for the other however many millions who now live on this planet. He has put everything in place for all our prayers and deep intentions to be answered and fulfilled. He has made it possible for the words that we speak, whether negative or positive, to be fulfilled. Just like the law of gravity that never stops working, other laws like ‘sowing and reaping’ or ‘to him who has, more will be given’ are always powerfully at work. Thus God can be at rest and the place he chooses to rest is in all of humanity; that includes you and me. But, I am not sure that God has been very restful when he has been residing in me over the years! Is he able to be at rest in me when I am harried, frustrated and anxious? I know that I have not been at rest when I have been living like that and my guess is that his presence cannot be fully experienced by me when I am not resting in him. It works in the same way as when someone who rejects or refutes the idea of God cannot sense and find that presence of the Divine within themselves even though God dwells in all humanity. So, when we are rushing about, we will fail to know Divinity resting in us.

There are numerous Scriptures written by people who deeply encountered God and they all speak of finding him in rest. Isaiah seems to understand how it works. I love his description where God says “Only in waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said “No, we will speed on our own horses”! This sounds a bit like much of my own life, but the horses I relied on were under the bonnet of my car or tractor!

So, I am learning the hard way that it is important to be at rest, to enjoy the journey, and to learn stillness so that God can rest within me and together we will be at rest. It was a year ago when walking a well known trail that God clearly spoke to me about enjoying the journey and not just rushing to get to the destination. That attitude reflected much of  my life. I have learnt recently that resting is all that I have to do for my deep desires to be fulfilled whether in my own life or in my business. It means that I have to become present and conscious to God at all times and learn to live in that consciousness all day long. I no longer have to manipulate events and pull the right strings to get what I want but I wait and call those things into being. I live aware of God seeing through my eyes, speaking through my mouth, hearing with my eyes and touching with my hands.  And when I find myself getting too caught up in the busyness of a day, I am choosing to stop for  a brief moment and engage directly with heaven wherever I am.  Plus, I remember that there are always two of us in this body and mainly God is waiting for me to slow down, rest and listen. It is then that I actually feel his love and affection just in the same way that I feel Elizabeth’s love.  In such moments I am reverberating at the same frequency as God and then I have this entire universe working with me. In these moments when I am feeling secure, then security comes to me and in these moments when I am feeling loved so I too can love and receive love from others and when I feel the abundance of God then abundance also is mine.

It is quite simple really and seems to work or I could say, it is quite simple and really seems to work!

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The Wonder Of This Place.

The morning fog lay thickly against the earth,                                                                                The trees of the wood lay shrouded in this glorious mist,                                                            Which seemed to be providing protection and succour,                                                              To each living organism waiting in expectation.

Compared to the recent bright blue sunlit morning,                                                                      The usual loud daily chatter of praise from the birds,                                                                  Seemed slightly subdued and quieter this morning,                                                                      And even the frantic tapping of the Woodpecker was stilled.

All the wood lay cloaked in this natural blanket,                                                                            That seemed to be one of sustenance and refreshing,                                                                  Even the tall sentinel trees were entombed,                                                                                    In the silent caress and shelter of this womb of fog.

It spoke a message that God was close,                                                                                              Touching, surrounding, supporting and infilling,                                                                          Each living thing that was alert to Their presence.                                                                        Thus the whole wood seemed to rest in awe.

And so for me, silence becomes the enveloping womb of God,                                                    A place of protection, warmth and growth.                                                                                      A place where I am fed the life blood of The Eternal,                                                                     A moment of direct connection and heavenly food.

In this place is also the transfer of genetics,                                                                                    From the placenta of heaven itself.                                                                                                    Here the likeness of my Divine parent,                                                                                              Is transfused silently into my own body.

This womb like stillness is where I learn the sounds,                                                                    And the voice of the One who lovingly calls my name,                                                                  A deep connection is formed between parent and child,                                                              That will stand the test of time and every challenge.

Here the actual peace and joy that Trinity lives within,                                                                Is given to become my very own,                                                                                                      And although like God I too may know sadness and sorrow,                                                        Their peace and joy undergirds each emotion of mine.

The silence becomes more profound than words,                                                                           The quietness more significant than any activity,                                                                           And like all of life in the wood this morning,                                                                                   I now sit subdued in the wonder of THIS place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning from life.

If the events of life do not become transformational to my character and personality, then we could conclude that life is largely a waste of time. Is it possible that this is the main purpose of our physical life here on earth? Unlike me, you are probably already perfect so maybe you do not need to read any further. For those of us still aware that we have some changes to make, it is down to us how this process happens or whether we even let it happen. How we respond to set backs and crisis in our lives is crucial to our development or lack of. Others have said it before, but pain is an enemy when we do not welcome it as a friend.

A friend of mine who had been married for around 50 years was recently shattered to learn that his wife had been having an affair with someone for over a year. He was understandably devastated and very angry. Lying in bed one night, he cried out to God asking what to do and the unexpected answer that came back to him was one very challenging word. Forgive! As he lay there, he fought that advice and as he stared out of the darkened window he saw the window pane reflecting the shape of a cross. Thus, he had his answer as to how to forgive although that did not make it any easier for him I am sure.

I believe that the historical story of the cross that Jesus died on is a story for all humanity. It tells us that life is to be transformational otherwise, such events have little purpose. It is here on earth in the physical that our soul is to discover the reality of pure, eternal love. If we spend all our time on earth yearning for the apparent wonders of heaven while failing to discover unconditional love on earth then we will be much poorer. We will have failed to learn from our personal challenges. Such love encourages us to step outside of ‘I’ and ‘Me’ and find our true self created in God’s image. It is there that I find deep glory in being a son/daughter of a God who is eternal love and THEN heaven will be found now.

Jesus is the great example of this and one who we can learn from. Jesus died as he lived, meeting pain and suffering in this world head on and transforming it by death and resurrection. The powers of this world, which are no different today as they were then, were constantly trying to strong arm Jesus into conflicting situations and ‘nail’ him with their own peculiar contradictions. They saw everyone as either saved or unsaved, accepted or rejected, my group or your group, for me or against me and will still even today always crucify anyone who dares to differ.

Only this week, Richard Rohr wrote the following: – The cross was the price Jesus paid for living in a mixed world which is both human and divine, simultaneously broken and utterly whole. He hung between a good thief and a bad thief, between heaven and earth, inside of both humanity and divinity, a male body with a feminine soul, utterly whole and yet utterly disfigured – holding together all the primary opposites. (see Col 1:15-20)

Some of you may be in situations far more difficult and challenging than anything I may have to go through. That does not make me any better or cleverer than you for life and circumstances  tend to throw things at all of us without respect. It is how we deal with those issues that is so crucial.  We can be like my friend who was learning that ego and self had to die before he was able to fulfil what Francis of Assisi found when he said, “He who has not learnt to forgive has lost the greatest joy in life”. My observation is that some of you who I know have had severe challenges in your life and have chosen to allow those challenges to teach you and you have received an inner grace and beauty as a result. That is what life is about. That is another description of what we call becoming Christ like.

The real Simon appears when all is stripped away and no particular form that I can identify with is left. This is what happens at our final death and is what can happen at any of our intermediate deaths. At such times we discover that I am no longer ‘this’ or that I am no longer identified by ‘that’. I simply AM. This is pure consciousness and this is why God is described as I AM. When our ego is stripped away, that is who we become and thus our union with God is fully complete. Some describe this as formless consciousness and it happens when we no longer identify with a particular form like our religion, our job, our wealth, our looks whether good or bad or even our ill health for our identity. This is the true freedom that Jesus speaks about.

This world will become transformed as we ourselves determine to allow setbacks transform us into non- judgemental, loving, caring, inclusive people. This surely is what it means for each of us to take up our cross daily. We will find that to lose our life is to gain life. Determine to let the pain teach you and you will find that the lesson will invariable be principally about yourself.

Live is not just for living. It is for learning to live well.

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Learning to Live

 I realise that I am going to shock some of you, but I need to be honest and level with you. This month I reach the age of 60!! Ok, Ok, I can hear those cries of “Never, I can’t believe it, you only look 40!” However, it is true, I am 60.

Now here is the interesting thing. I love being the age I am. I wish that the things I know now, I knew years ago and I wish I had found out how to have my present relationship with God years ago. I have decided to write down a few things that I have learnt and most of them are learnt only quite recently.  So, here goes in no particular order:-

I have discovered that faith is a glorious uncertainty while touched by a firm conviction in my relationship with the one that I have learnt to encounter.

I have learnt that it is only when sitting in the presence of this divine person that I learn about the personality and character of this one called Eternal Love. There is no other reliable way to learn because encounter always trumps knowledge.

I have learnt that if I dare to sit in silence and stillness, I will always encounter God even if it feels that nothing happens and that such encounter changes me more than any other means.

I have learnt that God is just so much larger, closer and more transcendent and glorious as well as more loving than I imagined just a few years ago.

I have learnt that all of life is. There is no good or bad, right or wrong, in or out, sacred or secular. Living from the knowledge of good and evil just leads to criticism, judgement of others, pride and arrogance.

I have found that it takes years to find out who I really am. And then I learn that it is ok to be myself, my true self. In fact, I have discovered that no one else wants me to be the person that my ego thinks I ought to be and the person it hurts the most when I try to be the image of someone I am not, is myself.

I have learnt that every single human life on this earth is sacred, precious and created in Gods image. That includes the most strange, messed up and different to me. I need to find ways of honouring them as such and I do not need to feel threatened by them.

Jesus doesn’t want me to admire him or worship him. He only wants me to acquire his consciousness.

I have learnt that if my experience of God is different to yours then as long as we are both encountering God, yours is not wrong.

I have learnt that I am not indispensable! I may have a unique gift to bring to this world but this world can survive without me!

I have learnt that when someone’s character or constant behaviour annoys me then that it is just mirroring my own life and I need to learn to adjust that flaw in my life.

I have learnt that giving love and mercy is a sure way to receive love and mercy. In fact, there is only one way to make others more loving and that is by being more loving myself. It is the law of “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy”. Love begets love and generosity begets generosity!

I have learnt to speak blessing and favour over those who trouble me and I soon find that things change. Then I discover that it is probably me who has changed!

I have learnt to forgive swiftly. Then I find that the person who has been released is actually myself!

I am still learning to live like a child. Full of wonder, acceptance and with a beginners mind that allows lots of possibilities. I have much to learn yet.

I have learnt that pain and setback will be an enemy unless I welcome it as a friend to teach me.

I am still learning that dying needs lots of practice and it is not something that I can have too much of if I am going to be changed into Gods image.

I have learnt that I will never change the world until I first allow myself to be changed.

Learning to live in the present with I Am stops all regrets about the past and prevents any fear for the future. The Kingdom of heaven is always found in the present consciousness.

I have learnt that the desires of a righteous heart always come about.

These are just a few of the things that I have learnt. Part 2 will be available in 10 years’ time and I hope there is even more to read!

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