Monday, December 1, 2008

Relationships in God's Context

I believe that God spoke to me a single word phrase earlier this year and that was 'Relationship.' I have been unsure why, but God is working me through relationships. I guess I am discovering that everything is relationships. Everything!

For one, keeping my sanity in check is based on relationships; community. These guys really came to my rescue. Any other time, I would have really been concerned because of finance (can I afford this), scarcity (will I be able to make it to, and keep, my job!), and throwing off my schedule (I feel loss because I can't work out and stick to my regiment; sense of identity.) 

However, with a group of friends and community around, scarcity and fear leave. With quality relationships, love is present which chases out all fear. (And scarcity is a type of fear; fear of not being able to provide for oneself.)

With relationships, there is a confidence that, even if the worst happened and one lost their job, the community would help that person return to work (dignity, and being a contributing member of that community would return.)

The same is true in investments. Watching my mentor invest with his partners has taught me that it all boils down to “who” you are dealing with. Do these people have integrity? Whether or not you understand the investment, are they people of character? Can they win with integrity? Can they fail with integrity

That reduces risk more than anything! Also, just to have someone even offer an investment takes quality relationships. People have to be around to offer anything!

That brings me to an even more basic spiritual principle. Faith, religion, purpose, meaning; anything a 'spiritual' person is seeking is accomplished through relationship, relationship with Him.

Meaning, when I was always praying and focusing on God for hours every day, I never had a worry or concern about my provision. I never felt scarcity. I always had the right deals come my way. 

Now that I am running to and from a job 40 hours a week, balancing client work, fitting in workouts and making meals, doing my big-picture planning, and then, somewhere once in a while, have a prayer time, I always feel scarcity. I always feel concern about providing for myself. I start to question where I am at being 29. I start to question if I am in the right place at the right time.

These were never concerns for me when I have pressed into the presence of God, seeking intimacy, RELATIONSHIP, with Him.

So, relationship is where I return. I have had a huge personal revelation of the desperate need I have for Him. The desperate need I have for God. So, I return to Him. I have not been avoiding Him; I have only been too busy pursuing life that I have missed Life.

I used to say that I could go longer without food and water than the presence of God. It used to be an inflamatory statement, exaggerated to perk people's perception.

Now, I say it with all sincerity, and I will elaborate.

I can go longer without food, water, ego needs being met, females, work, purpose, or working on projects than without the Presence of God, than I can without Relationship, Intimacy, with Him and His people.

None of those other things makes sense any more outside of His context for me. You see, I have gone long enough pursuing God that He has taken me to strange, new places. Like the shepherd boy in The Alchemist, I have been brought to a new place where I know nothing but Him. Right now, all of my relationships were divinely ordained. Right now, my work was divinely ordained.

Being divinely ordained, they do not really make sense to me on where they came from, where they are going, and the purposes behind them. At least, they do not make sense outside of the context of a Living Relationship with Him

Were I to wake up without a sense of God's context here, I would be so petrified with fear, so outside of my comfort zone, so distraught not knowing the purposes behind it all, that I would fold up camp and run home to Vero Beach where at least SOMETHING makes sense. I can formulate my own identity and meet my social needs there. 

Out here where nothing makes sense to my natural mind, I would panic. “How did I get here?” “If I didn't make all of this happen, how can I sustain it?” “If I didn't make all this happen, what if I can't maintain what I see around me?” And I realize I can't!

But, knowing that He brought me here to Lakeland, knowing that He had me run into Chad at Panera two years ago, knowing that He gave me that prosperous job and took it away, KNOWING THAT HE LED ME HERE, I can stay bold, confident and sane in each moment. I face all of these things and can honestly say, 'God, you MUST take care of this. I am fully incapable.'

The same is true for me with so many other social expectations of people my age. My career, my education, my financial status; all have been led by God for almost 7 years. Were I to reject God, my context would shift to what the world expects of me, and I would be most pathetic! Fear, scarcity (women won't want me, jobs won't want me) and lack would creep in. What a cold, grey, damp world!

However, reaffirming myself that following God prayerfully has led me here, bumps and bruises and all, the whole of it is different. Inside of the God context after these last years, I look at what He expects of me. I disregard what women would think, what jobs would think, what anybody would think. I look to what He has promised.

Simply put, I am too far along that I cannot turn back (meaning I cannot start measuring myself by any standard other than His context, a relationship with Him). That would be certain mental and physical suicide. To measure myself by the world standards would ensure my doom. To measure myself by God's standards would place me on a pedestal so high as to not be able to even identify what the world thinks when they look.

And that brings boldness. That brings confidence. That brings certainty and peace to my spirit. 

A broken down car that needs repairs is simply a test
 to root out where I get my identity. 
A busy schedule is simply a test
 to push me to insisting on fellowship with Him. 
A dead-end moment where nothing makes sense
 simply forces me closer to Him to get insight and direction.

My entire life is engineered for success in the Lord! It must be, for, I am fully confident that were the Spirit of God to be removed from me, I would drop dead instantly. This far along, He is my sustaining force, He is my context, and in any other context I would be nothing.

In His context, I am everything.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Living for God is So Shallow

This afternoon, while sitting at Panera Bread, my muse was today's entry from Oswald Chamber's Devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.

He mentioned the shallow things of this world and how they pertain to our Christian walk.

This struck a chord of peace in me somehow. So often I find myself refusing to be shallow. I am passive aggressive in small ways regarding this. 

When people mention professional sports I often find a need to establish that I know nothing about it. I almost take a sort of pride in the fact that I do not know about sports; it MUST imply that I have better things to do. (He says sarcastically.)

It is not fully conscious or intentional, but after reading about what Chambers had to say about it I can certainly see this fault in my life.

I see it in other areas, but I emphasize how relieving it was to hear what Chambers had to say. I was relieved because of the fact that sometimes business seems very superficial to me. Working a job, building streams of income, or, like our success website, internet income seems way too shallow. 

Some times I feel that doing these things is a complete distraction from what “God has called me to,” as if to say that God would never have called me to something so “worldly” as work in the business arena for a season.

It was relieving to hear once again that God is in those little things. God is involved even when the schedule changes by superficial things. God is involved when I have to move to a new place (like this weekend) and work back-to-back. 

Like my friend who has traveled the world to speak and now works in a homeless shelter doing data entry (something that could smell of a fall from favor), she knows that God is in that, too.

Shallowness, simplicity, is just as divine as complexity and “being deep” and profound. We must not be pretentious. We must not be arrogant. As expressed by Chambers, even the ocean has a shallow shore. 

And again, we should only express the true depth of lives to God. That is to say, we should not be show profound as to be unapproachable. If our appearance of being shallow is the price of drawing some in to a fellowship with the Body and God, then so be it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Vibrations

Every trying to improve the message I am sending out to my family, friends, readers, and such, I have come up with this!

Get a positive quote every day from me, right into your inbox!
Just add your name here, and Monday through Friday you will get a positive quote from me!

Hey, if our brains are a computer, and what goes is in what comes out, then we really should improve what goes in!

Also, I have begun to wonder about the power of Twitter.com. How powerful could this be to create a culture of people who use it to be a "success accountability" tool?

What if a small group of people used it to tell on themself when they diverted from the goal, encouraged one another to stay focused, or track when they succeed at a success goal or commitment?

I think it could be powerful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kidnapped in India

This is a recent retelling I did of my trip to India. Forgive me on the details as this was almost 4 years ago. I just love retelling the story.

****************************************************

While in Chennai, India, I decided to go out and explore the city with a girl I was seeing. We get out of the boat, hop in a cab, and drive off. Instead of leaving out of the normal gate to the mainland (we were docked at the piers), they take this back route to try to get around customs. There were 3 of the guys. Well, they get stopped finally by these guys, and the customs guys start yelling at our drivers and pointing their guns at them. Not speaking the language at all, we think, 'sure! This is the way it goes I guess.' Finally, the agents drag one of the guys out, and let us pass.

No clue what that was all about.

The car pulls around the corner, slows down, opens the door, and the guy they dragged out jumps back in. They are all laughing, and we think 'wow! Nice Indians foolin' around on a sunny day!' So, we negotiate a rate for the day, and they take us to a stop or two. Finally, we ask them to take us to a stop outside of town, which they do. They stop at the gas station to fill up, and ask me to pay it for them. Confused and growing suspicious, I pay for it. I am sure to tell them that the rate we negotiated is now reduced by the cost of the gas. Yes, yes, yes, they mutter.

Well, we finally get outside of town to our place. We stop, eat, enjoy it a bit, but start eyeing the guys. I am looking for other cabs, rickshaws, phones, anything else. Nothing REAL bad has happened, but they are sketching me out. I would have up and just began to walk back, but I have this girl with me!

Not only did she insist on wearing a skirt (imagine me trying to run with a girl in a skirt), but she is stubborn and won't follow my lead on anything. (We would have already been out of the situation, but she didn't listen to me before!)

So, we get back in the car and ask them to take us home and we will pay them the rate for the day. Immediately they speed off the opposite direction of the boat. For the next few hours they are yelling at us in some foreign dialect. It was quite odd in that they would speed the car up, yell at me for more money, then slow down as if to pull over, then speed back up again. for ever!

One of the men was fully turned around and in our face, constantly going for our bags. Again, I wanted to start punching them, but I had this girl with me who a) wasn't listening to me, and b) I couldn't leave behind, and c) if I started fighting with them, i don't know if she would not be bullheaded and not run away.

So, I kept fending them off and trying to talk them down. After so much time, it hit me to actually pray! So, I did. I really started praying. I don't know where you stand on this, but I started praying in tongues out loud, which agitated the crap out of them because they didn't know what I wsa saying. (neither did I! I wsa freaked out of my mind.)

This whole time they are demanding more money, threatening to kill us, slapping at me threatening the girl, going for our bags while I fend off their hands. It was ok for a while because they couldn't quite get at us in the back seat.

Anyways, something finally struck me. I decided to totally offend them! It had to be God, because I didn't know until later the implications of this.

I finally grabbed the really agressive guy with my left hand, and started yelling at him. I told him that he was a disgrace to India, he was a disgrace to Hinduism, that I see that he had a tika (the little ash dot on their third eye) and that even though he thought he was absolved of his sins that his karma would come back to him, that he was a disgrace to his state (tamil nadu), his clan, and his family.

Fuming, he shut up, swore at me in Hindi and turned around, spitting.

the driver was the only one who really spoke English.

He turned the car around and we quietly drove back toward town. Mind you, my adrenaline is in overdrive, my fists are still up, and I am so freaked out of my mind I am in cold sweats. But here we were driving back to town as if nothing had happened. The girl had visibly fainted more than once, and was now just barely focused on what was happening.

We began slowing down again, and suddenly the aggressive guy jumped out of the car. I figured that they were going to attack us at that point, so I shoved my bag at the girl, pushed her all the way against the door opposite of the guy, ready for them to open the door and fight.

The driver then jumped out of the car, flung the door open, and as his hand came flying at me, I swung immediately at him. He caught my hand in his in a handshake! A handshake of all things!!

he said in perfect English, "This man will take you back to the boat."

Not know if this was a ruse or some mischief, I grabbed his hand and yanked him into me so that I was nose to nose with him. I grabbed his cheek with my left hand and said, "you swear upon Sheva and your state?"

He said yes. I released him.

And off we went back toward town. It was perfectly quiet and at ease. The new driver, speaking almost no English, was just softly chuckling the whole way home.

We got out of the car, ran to the boat, reported it and I didn't leave the ship for 2 days. I was freaked out of my mind. I had no idea what had happened, or how we got out of it. I was shocked.

I was deeply depressed about it for those few days. There is a phrase, IWA; India Wins Again. The ambassador came on the boat and warned us. "India will always win. Never expect otherwise. It will frustrate you. it will confuse you. It will not make sense to you. india will always win."

This burned my butt, and the fact that I had this experience just made this pessimistic US ambassador right! I hated that even more than I hated my experience!

the last day in India came around, and I was still disturbed by my event, but insisted on going out. It was largely uneventful. We went shopping and met different people. Quiet and nice, but nothing unredeeming. As the sun set in that furnace of a place, and we were driving back to the boat, we were all visibly exhausted.

I had almost put the event behind me, and was pondering the dissatisfaction I had with this last outing to really undo the event that confounded me so.

Well, no more than a mile from the boat, our rickshaws were stopped because of train. This train was full on stopped, and blocked all access to the boat for miles. We just had to wait. We were all hot, sweaty, and dripping with the cakelike smog of that dirty city. I was again leading the expedition, and I felt the frustration and disappointment of the team. We sat there forever.

Finally, someone in the group muttered, "Yeah, we can't even get back to the boat. India wins again."

"NO!" I yelled before I could stop myself. "India DOES NOT WIN AGAIN! Don't you see that India winning is a spiritual battle! This is a spiritual oppression on this place!" Suddenly hearing myself, and being stirred by this preaching that was more directed at me than anyone, I felt a warmth all over, inside. The heaviness that was only immediately scattered.

"These events, this place, the frustrations, and our acceptance that this is just the way India is is an indictment against our Christianity! This place is rife with opportunity for something. There is opportunity for change, and hope. God! These people need hope! Look at them. Look in their eyes. They are expecting us to despise them! They long to be 'western' so that we won't despise them! India will not win!"

It was deadly quiet in the group. The train was passing on and nobody knew what to say. I didn't know what to say as I was processing the very thing I had spoken as if it came from elsewhere.

We approached the final gate to leave India soil and get on the boat, never to return. As everyone passed the gate, I couldn't do it. I had no satisfaction. The trip was not complete. I had not learned the thing I had been meant to learn. I had not finished my mission with India.

They all turned to me to see what was taking me so long. That's when I felt a tug at my pants. There was a naked boy, with his hands cupped, looking to see if the gate attendants would chase him away like they had obviously done before. I looked at this boy, and suddenly, like a geyser in my spirit exploding, loved poured out of me for this child. I began to weep. I began to weep visibly. (and I don't cry in public!)

I suddenly realized that what India needed, what it needed from a few Christians, what one simple thing it needed to overcome all the oppression, all the confusion, all the desperation, all of the hate and discord was one simple, little thing; love.

I can honestly say that I had not felt love before that moment, and question if I have felt it sense. It was a love not of me; nothing I could have imagined or felt before. I wanted to hug this child. I wanted to his his very marrow. India would not win today. India would not win in oppressing, or causing fear, or causing apathy; not this day!

I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the rupees I had. I guess I handed him several month's wages in rupees. He ran off around a corner screeching. Suddenly, a drove of children came running, dozens of them. Laughing, begging with hands out. And that love multiplied with each one of them to the point where I felt I would explode like a thousand suns. God said, 'Give it all.' I responded in my spirit, 'but I have given everything I had.' Just the same, I reached into my pocket and pulled out more and more rupees. I pulled out rupee after rupee. I gave them all everything I could. There was what seemed like an endless supply of rupees.

My friends saw what was happening, and they came back across and just started pulling out all the money, rupees, coins, and gifts taht they could. We were laughing and weeping and handing out every last penny. I felt God impress on me that, 'if you give all you can give, and then some, and then some more, I will be the only thing to win. Give everything you have, even unto your life, spent, bleeding and exhausted on the battlefield, because my love will never cease to flow, and will never cease to heal. And nothing will stand up to that.'

They all left, and I managed to pull out more and hand it to the rickshaw driver, and then virtually collapsed. It was too much for me to bear. I was totally exhausted. I could not even lift up my hand. I had wept too hard, and been more moved than I had been in years. They had to carry me back to my cabin, and I slept. I slept from then until the next morning, totally spent. It was more peaceful than anything I could have imagined.

I woke up thinking, Love Wins Again.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

From Grace to Faith to Good Works

8“For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:8, 9, and 10

God is doing something in me that I cannot put my finger on. Since really pressing in for praying in the spirit, I have felt “off balance” internally. For a while, I could not string any thoughts together. At the time, my mentor said this was good as my mind was disengaging from thinking (worrying and planning through the flesh) and my spirit was taking precedence.

Then, after a while, I lost all motivation. I lost motivation to find work. (I have had odd work here or there rarely, and it was just barely helping me get by.) I was comfortable with just getting by, but then my mentor called me out about that.

“You need to get over just getting by.”

This didn’t make sense to me. I thought I was waiting on the Lord to do “it”. My mentor has been teaching at the revival in Brandon and over coffee that by grace the new covenant promises are complete.

The new covenant entails total provision, total supply. The new covenant entails total healing, total wisdom, total peace, total direction; as Adam and Eve had it in the garden. All things were restored. Perfect communication was restored. Perfect communion and fellowship with each other and God was restored. Perfect provision, health and vision were restored.

All of that was restored with the new covenant. Man was brought back to a perfect relationship with God, a relationship in right-standing (righteous) by Jesus’ sacrifice.

Well, that resulted in me waiting for God to provide food, shelter, clothing, work or whatever else was needed. I even wrote about a thought I was having about the phrase “birds of the air.” I thought that referred to the ravens feeding Elijah by the brook. I felt that the Lord was taking me through a season of being fed morsels.

I stopped in that scripture just before it spoke of going to the widow. I stopped because I was more interested in the confirmation of where God had me (being fed by the birds of the air) than where it could take me (the widow, who or what group is that referring to; her child close to death, was this the church as a widow separated from her husband with a languishing church; this could go on and on forever!)

Then, I happened upon the scripture in Matt. 6:26 and Luke 12 where we are instructed to look to the birds of the air. They do not sow (work), reap (look for the harvest), or gather into barns (save, etc). Yet, it tells us, we are move valuable than even they.

I took this to mean that I should not have to work. Under the new covenant, by faith (His faith) through grace (as a gift; Gk. charis) (Ephesians 2), I should be able to walk in total provision and total supply without lifting a finger.

Well, you hear protests all the time that say “well, you cannot do NOTHING.” And I have not known how to respond to this.

Even though I believe that God is bringing me through understanding total reliance on Him, for His faith and grace to fulfill the covenant in my life, I also see a need to “walk it out.”

And my mentor articulated this.

“Grant, walk it out! I walk it out all the time. I believe that all things are working for my profit, expansion, and prosperity. I believe that even through the ups and downs that God is moving me forward, prospering me and expanding my territory. I had two investments go sour. I am moving into a trailer near the revival for a season most likely. Are these signs that the covenant is not working? Are these signs that I am not understanding something in the word?

“No! God is still expanding me. God is still prospering me. He will move this forward. He wasn’t caught off-guard by these events. He didn’t cause these events. But He is using every event to move me into more and more of the covenant fulfilled in my life.”

I began to understand that I need to step forward boldly, declaring and believing that God is fulfilling His covenant in my life. I need to not worry about the results, but put my hand to the plow and let God bring the increase. I need to let me be a conduit by stepping forward one step at a time.

So, I apply to 100 jobs, be the best at every interview, and let God choose which I am to get. Some would call that leaving it up to fate. I call it relying on the Holy Spirit.

So, I put out 100 bids on free lance work, be the best bidder and servant, and let the Spirit guide the right clients to me.

I find 100 contracts for low-priced homes, be the best negotiator, and let the Spirit guide the right buyers to me.

I am the best at what I do because I am blessed at what I do. The Lord will do what He sees fit. I just stay focused on the fact that, high or low, He is working out His covenant, His covenant promises, and His spirit in my life. I focus on knowing Him and the price He paid, and the kingdom will come to me. I won’t have to create it.

And, so, reading Ephesians 2 for the power of grace that has overcome sin, destruction, distraction, poverty, sickness and lack of all kinds, I think I may finally understand Ephesians 2:8-10.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”


I realized that there ARE works to do. They are not works to achieve any kind of salvation or blessing. They are the works “prepared beforehand” that result from salvation, that result from grace, that pour out of us by His spirit; they are the works that result from us “walking it out” in the power of His grace and spirit.

This is where God has me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My First Revelation in Years

There is something interesting and amazing going on. I believe I had my first revelation in years about something.

This weekend, my mentor used this phrase again:
“People are always trying to get a revelation to be able to explain it, or teach it, or communicate it. Instead, they should be pursuing it to walk in it.”

Now, there are years behind my little revelation here, and it will sound too simple in writing, because I cannot explain it, teach it, or communicate it.

To better explain it, my mentor began teaching on grace (eternal security, unmerited favor of God) about 5 or 6 years ago. We closed the church after preaching for a year. He continued to work on it. Slowly, God showed him about ‘receiving,’ and at this point it is ‘the now anointing.’

I have been working through how to understand what my mentor means by “now.” I mean, I KNOW what he means when he says that ‘God has already paid the price for every good and perfect gift (grace), we just need to receive it (receiving) now! (the now anointing.)’

I KNOW what he is saying logically, but I have spent so much time trying to explain it that I have overlooked flowing in a spirit of receiving all that Christ has paid for NOW in my life.

We rarely look and spend any time on focusing on aligning our mind and spirit with receiving those things. We settle for being able to explain it. We rarely see it manifested.

For example, if the Word says that God teaches us to prosper and adds no sorrow to it, then why do people not see themselves knowing how to prosper? Of, if they do prosper, why are they usually so full of sorrow, confusion and regret? If the Word says that by His stripes we were healed, why do Christians walk around unhealthy, handicapped, and sick? If the Bible promises that we are now living in the spirit, that we have been set free from the bondages of this world, that we should give on every occasion, that we will be lenders and not borrowers, that if we ask we shall receive, that we are to be Christ’s example here in the earth THEN WHY AREN’T MOST CHRISTIANS WALKING IN IT? Why am I NOT WALKING IN IT?

So, I stop and realize that I have a mental understanding of these things, but I have not aligned my faith for them. I mean, seriously, it means one of two things. A) God is not real or B) I lack faith on these things. (I know that there is a lot of underlying theology here. I assume you can work through some of that yourself. a] the bible is the inerrant word of God. b] you have already tried to live out the Christian life and have messed up as much as I had. etc.)

The Grace Teaching helps us to realize that everything Christ promises we do not have to strive for. It is given to us, free of charge to us. Christ paid the price. If that is true, then every good thing in the word should be mine. But there is a breakdown somewhere. People have not received. I have not received.

So, the Receiving Teaching comes along and says that we do not have to DO anything to receive. We just need to know how to receive. For mental, rational people like me, this has been difficult. What got in my way was trying to understand. To communicate to people what my revelation was, my “click over” if you will, I say it like this.

I asked myself why I was trying to understand it.
Well, I responded, I guess so I can explain it.
Why am I trying to explain it? Who am I explaining it to?
I guess so I can help other people understand it.
Understand what?
My revelation on Grace, Receiving, and finally flowing in the miraculous Christ says He died for.
Is that a revelation for you? Is that manifesting in your life?
Well, uh, no.

And my mind clicked over and I thought, I need to stop trying to understand it. I need to focus on believing it.

I believe that the Receiving Teaching is nothing more than a teaching on BELIEVING in what Christ has said about us. We know it. We do not believe it yet. If we did, we would be manifesting it.

This weekend, getting this “click over”, was more of a revelation. I have stopped trying to understand, and just started to receive it.

And I fully believe the teaching my mentor gave on praying in tongues helped me get here. A short time ago, he began teaching that praying in tongues is the key to living the Christian life that Christ taught about. He believes that “it is the perfect being praying the perfect will in the perfect timing for our lives.” Romans 8:26-28.

Eliminating English from my prayers and only praying in tongues has had the following effect on my life. It has disengaged my mind from the process. I have stopped trying to understand anything. When someone asks me what I think, I find that my mind is pretty much empty for the first time in my entire life.

As a thinker, I am usually aggressively pondering things and trying to explain them and understand them. After praying in tongues a little bit (half hour up to an hour a day concentrated), I found that my thoughts were not formulating any real ideas. I felt boring in that I did not have anything interesting to say. As all of my friends in Lakeland here are building businesses and planning and moving their life forward, I find that I have put down my plans for tomorrow.

I am yielding my plans. I am yielding my ideas of what should be and what shouldn’t be. More and more, as I pray in tongues, I begin to truly zero-base my thoughts, beliefs and emotions. I become more and more a mental blank slate. I am not trying to be able to explain it. I am not trying to build my own life.

Praying in tongues is yielding our mind, and that is the first step to yielding our lives.

That being said, I feel that this weekend I have my first real thought in some time. This mental click-over with being able to receive was, I believe, my first thought derived from emptying my mind from praying in tongues.

That all being said, lets put this together now.

I believe that I have finally had a revelation about Grace for the first time in 5-6 years. I believe that I have a first sliver of revelation about what it is to first receive the grace of God, receive the zoe life, the life eternal. I believe I am gaining a revelation on the power of tongues.

Instead of trying to first understand and then get blessed, I am simply yielding, receiving, believing God will fulfill His work of grace in me, and then, maybe if I am lucky, will I understand it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Transitional

For me, this has been a rather unique breath of nothingness over the last few weeks. After the changes with my main client, I kept going to the office. I was seeking what I should be doing, scraping together client work, and trying to figure out “what next.”

The Kruses moving here, provision coming to me from random places, and a general unfruitfulness with most of my busyness, I began to understand that it was a time to do…nothing.

So, I have been getting up, praying, getting ready and going to Panera (I moved all of my stuff out of the office entirely). Sitting at Panera, coffee with the Kruses, and networking on the phone have been my most frequent activities, but most of my waking hours have been spent praying in my spirit. (Terry enlightened me further with 1st Corinthians 2:6-14 as to the power and implications of praying in the spirit.)

I feel that so many areas of my life are coming to a close. I feel doors shutting in my heart, like steel doors clamoring sealed on many things. I feel as if I have been standing at the mouth of a cave, facing out over a tropical vista, and a steel door clanging loudly behind me as it seals off the cave.

I do not know what that means, but that is how I feel: released.

I feel released.

When I put the last item from the office into my car and made my way to Panera for the first time in ages, I felt further release. I felt a return to the mentality I had when I moved here; I have a gentle apprehension about what God is ending in my life, a soothing peace about not doing anything right now, and total excitement about what is coming next.

And other than that, I know…nothing.

I feel good; living in the middle of the now…at least for a season.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Laminin and the Cross

A good friend sent this to me today. It was amazing how integrated our lives are with our creator.



Laminin is, according to Wikipedia, "vital to making sure overall body structures hold together." Its a powerful protein molecule that holds our bodies together. This video puts the protein molecule laminin into a good context!

(The interconnnectedness of life astounds me daily.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

California, Lakeland, and Haiti

Family,

I wanted to touch base, recap, and cast vision for what has been going on, what is happening, and what will be happening with me in the future.

Why? Well, as much as we got to hang out in the CA, I don’t feel that I got to communicate too thoroughly with many of you.

First, I wanted to say again how much fun I had out there. With each trip, there are high points, and one of them was when mom and I hit a tumble weed on the drive up to Monterey. We were in the desert area of I-5 watching the dust devils, when we looked up and saw, no lie, a tumbleweed. TUMBLEWEED. I mean, didn’t those things go extinct in the early 1800’s? None-the-less, bobbing and weaving, we barely avoided the tumbleweed. The mighty contrast the California desert makes with the cold nip of Monterey is astounding. I still don’t really know how to articulate it.

Also, I didn’t get to share this with many of you, but while visiting Long Beach, I was able to visit the most amazing book store called Acres of Books. It was quite overwhelming in that there is every book, from every century, on every topic on every square inch of every shelf in every acre of book available. The old warehouse-converted-to-a-book store had dusty shelves, some barely nailed to one another. The aisles were barely shoulder-width, and at least the height of two men. (Who knows what ancient tome lay on the top shelf? More importantly, who knows how it got there?)

I meandered as if taking a tour on a set of Harry Potter in some ancient ruin. I found a back corner called The War Room where decades and decades of war manuals, war history, strategy and biographies of warriors lay. It was impressive. Set even further in the corner of this corner room was a room called International Policy. This was like finding King Solomon’s Mines for me. There was so much treasured information from a golden age of international politics, ambassadorship, and national management. There were biographies of key ambassadors and world leaders. There were books on ideologies of delivering aide to developing nations, and it was one of these books I finally purchased. World Without Want, written in 1962 by Paul G. Hoffman, then Director of the United Nations Special Funds, has been far and away the best foundation for world changing I have yet seen. Every minister and missionary should read this book.

Oh! How many more leather-bound treasures lay in this building? I may never know.

NOW, however, Clark and Nicole are shipped off on the next stage of their adventure. Mom is back in Laguna looking for work and maintaining her cats. Dad is back on night-shift duty, sustaining cardiac patients. Heath and Ally are back in Vienna, VA, working at the bank and studying economics. David is drawing students down their educational paths. And I am here in Lakeland, enjoying the warm sun and lake breezes, wondering what is coming next. My bottle of wine from David, the Fratelli(?), is now resting and collecting dust. My luggage is finally unpacked.

There were a few surprises upon returning. Not only had the nation’s first, serious revival in 10 years broken out here (Terry and Donna drove out this weekend to check it out, and it was full! We got turned away!), and the plumbing at our rental called it quits permanently (showering at the gym until we find a new place, but, hey! I have to work out daily to justify it), but my main client, the “group” of people I always mention here, has temporarily had its funds dry up.

The thing that interested me the most is how calm and collected I react to these things. If only I could imbue you all with the sense of overwhelming peace I operate under most of the time, I would do so. Even though I am wired most of the time, and move at a rapid clip, inside there is a slowness, a peace that I cannot explain, so I dare not try.

Assessing the situation from strictly a financial perspective caused me some concern; I had just spent all of my personal reserve on the trip. Expecting to return with steady income from this one client and finding something else, I learned quickly that I was too confident in my circumstances, and should always a) have multiple clients (I knew this! I just didn’t “know” it,) and b) have double the reserve at all times than I originally thought.

By the grace of God, just before I found out about the loss of my client, I received a phone call from a past client for whom I had completed some web work. He had more work for me, if I had the time. Not knowing about the loss of my main client, I said I could fit something in. He asked my rate. I told him. He negotiated to increase that rate, offered to pay for my learning curve on some specific items, and then we got started! This was a huge blessing in that merely an hour later I found out that things were not so steady with my main client.

Along with that, I have put together a proposal to another potential client for assembling his business plan and creating his web presence with several media including books, audio and video. Lastly, I am contacting another gentleman with whom I have done some consulting in the Planning and Zoning world.

Throw in other random things; like the stock I had forgotten that I bought almost 2 years ago at $6 a share and is now worth a couple hundred dollars, or the partnership with Terry to find vacant land nationwide for one of his partners; all in all, I am very blessed.

Say it again! What a blessing this has been! My client-base has expanded. My partnership with Chad, my house mate and friend, for real estate and private lending is taking huge strides forward. I learned more in the last week than many would learn in semesters at college. (You cannot learn better about financial management than to feel the sting of a $0 balance and the sole stream of income drying up immediately.)

The Future is bright, actually. It looks like my main client will have funds this week, so he will catch me up with a month’s worth of billing. I have my positioning with my new clientele. And, here is the kicker: some work I had done for a group here with their eyes set on Haiti has paid off in that I was invited to go with them in the end of May! How ecstatic I am to be considering going abroad to serve again. This first trip will be short to assess the situation with our local infrastructure. We should have approximately 100 cell groups throughout the country, and 7 schools and training centers. So we are going to verify if those ministers are truly involved, find potential economic opportunities to train the locals, and more clearly define how we can serve.

Upon our return, we will be pushing forward a master-strategy for the entire country. I have a desire to formulate our board similar to forming a president’s cabinet, directing major affairs from Education (Formal and Trade Education), to Health and Medicine, to Infrastructure, to Economics and more.

I feel as if my human capital has gone through the roof in this formative time. I feel capable and confident to handle, strategize, and improve any situation I am handed. Though I may need to go get an employee situation (J-O-B) at some point temporarily, I feel that my Self-Employed situation is strong and hopeful. I may be able to do my dream (helping in a 3rd world country) in under 30 days, provided I pull the financing together.

More importantly, I still have my freedom.
I so appreciate what I have had up to this point.
I woke up today in my right mind.
I have hope and a vision for my life tomorrow and on.
What more could I ask?

With that, I pray that all is well. Let me know how things are going, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Most Sincerely,

Grant R. Nieddu

(772) 321-1840
Grant.nieddu@gmail.com


P.S.

Cheyenne, I copied this to you in an effort to begin communicating with Simon. Should I just write to you when wanting to communicate with you both?

Dad, I wish we got more time to speak about Haiti. I returned and found my 3-ring binder, which I wish to forward to you. I will have a document to send to you this week sometime from the group, called Cornerstone International Ministries. Once I send it to you and you have a chance to look it over, we can return to looking at your plan, and strategize from there.

Heath and Ally, the shots of your climb were awesome. That would have been amazing. I am WAY jealous.

Clark and Nicole, keep up the hard, dedicated work. If I can help in any way, let me know!

Mom, how did the nanny application go?

Dave, thank you again for San Luis Obispo. That was fantastic just to hang at a slow pace. I really appreciate it. Keep me informed about the move East!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Peace and Union

We have discussed peace at length already, and I recommend you continue your understanding of it.

Peace is many things; the state of two or more entities in league, or union.

What is union? Union is not only an agreement of peace between two or more entities. It is a confederation; a conglomeration.

Beyond state of the Unions, confederations, and agreements, “union” has mathematical implications as well.

As a quick example:

If set A={1,2,3} and B={2,3,4}, the union of the sets A and B, written A U B, would be {1,2,3,4}.

Notice that there is no need to list the 2 and 3 twice. This is because the union between A and B creates a situation where 2 and 3 are part of both sets as one unit each; not two.

The following image illustrates this.







Even though A may have started with its own 2 and 3, and B may have started with its own 2 and 3, when in union, they share 2 and 3.

What’s more, A brought 1, 2, and 3, and B brought 2, 3, and 4; which means that now the number 4 is ascribed to A, and the number 1 is ascribed to B.

Again, a) those elements that are similar to both are used and fused as one; it becomes one, and b) those elements that are dissimilar can now be ascribed to the opposite circle.

If peace is union, then it may be inferred that, though two or more entities may bring their own, individual elements to the union, it becomes shared; fused as shared elements.

In the Bible, Paul greeted many of the churches with the phrase, “ Grace and peace.” We are encouraged to act in peace. By acting in peace, we are unified.

But, with understanding the math definition of union, we can better understand what God was saying when He said that we are to be unified in Christ.

Not only should we be in ‘harmony’, as we are oft to agree we should be. We should understand that, though we bring our own unique elements, a) those elements that are similar to both of us are used and fused as one; you and I become one, and b) those elements that are dissimilar can now be ascribed to each of us.

If we are unified (in union with Christ), those elements of Christ that only He has, that we do not have, CAN NOW BE ASCRIBED TO US! In totality, everything that Christ brings to the union with us are ours!

This revelation can only be had by understanding the similarities of Peace and Union.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Peace and a Basketball

There is nothing more peaceful than a basketball in the morning.

On most mornings, I make my way to my prayer spot in the park. It is in the center of a silent field. The only trees are surrounding the field. It is open and clear, and the grass is always finely cut.

The grass is never visible until the sun comes up. Usually, I arrive in the dark of the morning, maybe half an hour before the sky turns from deep, navy blue to gray.

It is always silent. Even the one runner who arrives around 6 is far enough away that his feet fall silently. The only sound is the occasional bird being spooked in the field.

Having pondered peace for some time, I was particularly focused on how peaceful this morning was. It was so quiet. The breeze was ever so slight, but it was humid enough to be totally comfortable.

It was as I approaching that I noted the round ball, resting motionless in the direct spot I normally pray. At first, it seemed quite alien and out of place.

But, as I watched for any signs of life, I realized that it would not be rising out of bed any time soon. This place was so peaceful that even the sports equipment reclined.

It seemed apparent that the ball had arrived at its location from the day before. Perhaps some child from the school nearby gave it one last kick before the bell rang.

None-the-less, I made my way over to the ball. Despite it being a peaceful morning and the ball still not stirring, I placed my foot on it to rouse any signs of life. To my surprise, it was deflated as well.

It seemed that this sanctuary of peacefulness had withdrawn even the bounce from this ball.

I noticed how sharp the contrast was between this deflated pouch of rubber the robust, springy ball it was just a day ago. The contrast was distinct because of the images that this basketball drew up in my mind; kids running recklessly and wildly mimicking their favorite players, background noise of girls skipping rope and the slap of the plastic rope of the pavement.

These ringing sounds faded into the darkness of the morning and mist as I looked around and took my attention from the lone, silent, restful ball.

I looked around to see the first grey stretching the horizon. The grass was just now visibly becoming green, and the basketball sharing its red, white, and blue stripes ever so slowly.

‘He is waking,’ I thought to myself.

I turned my attention to the horizon, to receive the rest of the motionless morning and let my snoozing sphere sleep in.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Peace of Mind

What is peace of mind?

Well, if peace is the state of unity between two or more entities (people, nations, worlds, etc.), then peace of mind must be the state of unity between two or more mentalities, or thoughts.

This dilemma is well laid out in the letter that James, the brother of Jesus, wrote to the church.

“When a man asks [something of God], he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”


If that does not describe a mind at war with itself, I don’t know what does!

When I have read this in the past, I have thought, ‘Well, that makes sense; you can’t believe and doubt at the same time. It just doesn’t work.’

But in thinking about peace of mind, this caused another thought to arrive.

Several years back I read a book about getting things done and organizing that has stayed with me ever since. It presented the concept of ‘Mind Like Water’. This concept was originally taken from the martial arts.

The technique is to picture your mind as a pond. A person with a jumbled mind is like a wild pond, blown by the wind, choppy and unstable. A person with peace of mind is like a calm pond, smooth as glass.

Do you have this picture in your mind? Good!

Now, imagine throwing a rock into the pond. In the jumbled mind, you may see the splash, but that is all you may notice.

Now, picture your smooth mind, a peace of mind. Throw the stone into the middle of that pond. Not only do you see the splash, but you can even watch the ripples roll out toward the edge, bounce off and reflect and intersect with other ripples. You can see how your splash interacted and affected to rest of the pond.

This is the state of ‘mind like water’, the state of peace of mind.

How do we get there? How do we attain peace of mind? How do we turn from “an unstable man in all our ways” into a person with peace of mind?

In this fast-paced society moving at the speed of light, keeping hundreds of thoughts in our mind at one time, we can hardly see how any item affects the other. It is difficult to see how new tasks or requests affect others. Our minds are a choppy, heaving pond, and new needs from our families, ideas we have, or thoughts we are trying to keep are more splashes lost in the sea.

We need clarity! We need to take each wave (a task) and gust of wind (a thought) and each crashing wave on the pond’s shore (a need from family or friends) out of our head and calm our pond (minds) down.

Well, in this book, ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen (pick up a copy! you won’t regret it), he proposes the following.

Take a pad of sticky notes or note paper.

Now: DOWNLOAD.

For every thought you have running around your mind, write it alone on its own sheet of paper or give it its own sticky.

Put it in an inbox of some kind. Every e-mail you need to respond to, every errand you always wanted to run, every bill you need to write a check for, every room you need to clean; give them their own piece of paper or sticky and put it in the inbox.

Now: JUST KEEP GOING. Exhaust your mind. Take everything out of it. Put it all, and I mean ALL, in the inbox.

Take an entire day to empty your mind. Take 2 days. Take all day, as long as it takes, to download each thought from your mind.

Then, take a deep breath. Exhale. Let it out. Do you not feel better? Does it not feel good to see these things in a basket somewhere, and not clouding your mind?

Now, take a nap! Run around the lake. Go to a movie. Relax already! You should feel totally relieved.

When time comes, flip the inbox upside down so that you are dealing with the oldest items first. And one at a time, deal with them. (Read ‘Getting Things Done’ to see their flowchart of how to deal with those items.)

You have a system to deal with these things.

So, the question stands: can this help in spiritual issues? Can we achieve ‘mind like water’?

Well, don’t get so stinkin’ religious on me. James, the brother of Jesus, thought it was good to describe the mind like water, and we can, too!

So often, Christians have so much running around their brain. We think a lot of this is spiritual, and many times it is. But, there is also a ton of little non-spiritual items rattling around our brain.

First, get all of the non-spiritual stuff out of our minds. Once our mental ponds are smooth and glass, we are no longer “double-minded”. We are stable and at peace.

This means that we are ready to tackle spiritual issues. We are prepared to throw a rock in the pond and watch how the ripples will affect us. We can put a thought in our mind and think through how that affects our lives.

In the letter that James wrote, he was dealing with doubt versus faith. What is it you are dealing with? What should I do about thus and so? Can I deal with the potential outcomes? Am I thinking clearly?

Is ‘mind-like-water’ the only technique to being able to attain peace of mind? Certainly not! There are many other tools to help us think better.

This is just one of many various tools we can use to help us calm our minds, and achieve, peace of mind.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Peace Part 02

So, is peace made by circumstances? Do economic circumstances determine if two countries are at peace? Do religious events, political alignments, or any outside variable determine if an entity should act in peace or war?

If peace is a form of unity or order, then will the randomness and chaos of the human circumstances ever create unity, order, or peace?

I propose that no external series of events can create the proper circumstances to create any form of lasting peace. Peace, lasting peace, must be an inner choice made from an already-present inner peace in each entity, be it a person, a state, a nation or a world.

Peace is a choice alone. No natural circumstances can create peace (which is embodied as order and unity.)

Entropy will not do it, unless the entire universe finally comes to rest.
Manipulating human conventions like national economics, home economics, resources, or distribution will not do it, unless every other human being is agreed on which of those human conventions to use and when it is appropriate to use and to what degree. There are too many variables to be probable.

Peace, if it is alien to the human experience, must therefore by definition come from elsewhere. The rationality, unity and order that typify peace must, therefore derive from God.

Peace is an orderly ideal. Humans are capable of thinking of ideals, but not manifesting them on a lasting basis. It has yet to be observed that any other species of flora or fauna thinks of, creates, or imagines lasting peace.

Peace as an ideal is strictly a human trait. This uniqueness, the ability to think of something totally alien to the life experiences of randomness and chaos, lends itself to inquiry.

Where did the concept of peace come from?
Where did the ability to imagine an ideal, alien and opposite to the life experiences, in a random, chaotic creature come from?

Since ideals are typical of sentient beings, and peace is an ideal, it by necessity must come from a sentient being alien to the chaos and randomness of the universe.

The very act of thinking of the ideal of peace attests to the existence of God.

Peace Part 01

What is peace?

Is peace the opposite of war? If war is the state of two or more entities or nations in conflict, then is peace the state of two or more entities not in conflict?

Is peace defined by what it is not?
If peace were not defined by what it is not, then what is it?

Is peace ease?
Is peace comfort?

Is peace a form of unity?
Is unity a dynamic of peace?

When Paul says ‘Grace and peace unto you’, is he wishing them ‘God’s unmerited’ favor and ‘unity’? Is he wishing them ‘God’s unmerited favor’ and ‘ease’? ‘Comfort’? ‘Lack of war’?

Why is the goal to be at peace? What are the assumptions we are making about peace that makes it so much better than war?

Peace of mind
What is peace of mind?
Is it the opposite of when our thoughts are in conflict? Is it when our thoughts are in unity? Why is it not as good to have thoughts that conflict? Is that not critical thinking? Is it not good to have thoughts that challenge each other, whereby gaining a more wholesome understanding of the world around us?



Having studied out a dozen or so scriptures on peace, it seems that God highly values peace. “The Lord blesses His people with peace,” and “joy will come to those who promote peace” are just a few of the words written about God and His view of peace.

So, many of the questions above are moot on the simple grounds that God values peace. He seems to want us at peace.

But, what is peace today?
I have a friend who swears that he hears from the Lord all the time, yet this man does not have peace. At least, he doesn’t seem to be at peace. He is being moved out of his house because his community has just switched its charter to become a 55 and up living community. His dream is to work the mission field yet he rarely has the funds because he cannot find a well-paying job.

Are these indicators of lack of peace? What would be peace in his situation? It seems that he lacks peace in these areas. He is struggling and, by his own admission, not at peace about these things.

So, peace of mind, peace of God, peace, being blessed with peace, presupposes a form of provision. What purpose does that serve, though?

What purpose does it serve to have provisions for earthly things?
Perhaps God wants us to know that He is real and provides.
Perhaps God wants us to have provision for our vision.
Perhaps God wants us to be at rest.

Perhaps he is simply fulfilling his promise to provide.

….

Perhaps he loves us and wants us to be at peace like siblings in the back seat of a car.

Perhaps peace is a characteristic of unity. Perhaps these are part of an ideal we all carry in our minds. Perhaps peace is a characteristic of God that He wishes us to express. The more of Him there is in us, perhaps, would manifest more of his peace.

Peace would imply that we are not striving.
At peace, we would not struggle with one another for anything.
At peace, we would give and give and give beyond normal means.
At peace, we would not be panicked or worry.
We would not act out of fear of poverty, death, or starvation.
We would act only in opulence, abundance, and love.
We would be focused on one another, because at peace we do not have to think about ourselves, protecting ourselves and guarding against others. We would be at rest. We would be peaceful.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rob Bell on "Church"

Ringing Church's Bell

A poignant Rob Bell was recently interviewed in the Jan_Feb issue of Relevant Magazine.

For those who don't know, Rob Bell is pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His church is actively involved in reaching what he terms "under-resourced" areas, partnered with the mayor of Grand Rapids on several programs, and even has a major push to make the church 100% recyclable.

He is the author of the popular Nooma videos, and continues to challenge traditional church thinking and presses the boundaries of our understanding (and misunderstandings) of who Jesus was.

When asked about what Mars Hill is trying to do to help reverse the trend of twentysomething Christians walking away from the church, he gave a response that made my jaw drop; not only because of how bold it was, but because of how much it bears witness with my spirit:

What a lot of people call church in America has very little to do with the Church Jesus had in mind. I think you just begin by acknowledging that [America's idea of church] is an absolute total failure. The whole system that says these few people, because of what they said, did, believe, etc. are going to Heaven and everybody else is going to Hell, is deeply flawed and must die. They system that says big growth and numbers are the goal must also die. The central metaphor Jesus uses is the Eucharist. His body is broken and his blook is poured out to the healing of the world. God is looking for a body of people who will break themselves open and pour themselves out for the healing of the world.

I think the problem is that when people say "church", many mean religious goods and services where you come and there's a nice inspiring talk, good coffee in the back, snappy music and everything ends up fine. Jesus speaks of His people who are willing to suffer and die so that the world can be healed-that's an entirely different proposition. For us [at Mars Hill], if you can resolve the sermon in the course of the church service, then the sermon has failed.


For the longest time I spurned the words of Rob Bell for being too radical. (If you know me you know that it is difficult for that to put me on pause.)

His boldness in declaring what so many young Christians bear witness to in our spirits has caused me to reevaluate his words, and reopen the book on this unassuming yet controversial powerhouse.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NEEDED: Free Anger

"NEEDED: Free anger."

Why should these words be used? Honestly? Because from studying copywriting over the years, it has been found that those two words (individually) are known to be two of the most powerful pieces of copy in the English language.

‘Free’ is simply commonly accepted as the buzz word that the majority of our populace cannot resist. “Free toy in each box.” “Free sex.” “Free spleen removal.” Usually, no matter what follows, if we see a sentence with ‘free’ in it we will read the thing.

It is bizarre, yet sadder than that, it is a sign to the majority’s focus on consumption instead of production. Without fathoming too deeply into the abyss of an economic discussion, suffice it to say that the populace wants more. And more. And, if you pushed the issue, they would want yet more.

In the wise words of a Buddhist monk in the back woods of Vietnam I met once, “give ‘em what they want, boy.”

‘Anger’ on the other hand, was a new one to me. Recently listening to Robert G. Allen, he mentioned this one. At first I was surprised, but then felt the impact this word had on my state. Immediately I was curious. “What is causing this anger?” “Who is angry?” “Why are they angry?”

Along with curiosity, there is this deep, albeit dreadful, desire to hear the end of the anger. Since we know we shouldn’t feel this way, we have anxiety until we know if the anger has left, is concluded, or get relief from the tension of anger.

Again, this is a tell-tale of the sad state of the majority’s heart. Why do they seek to know it, like watching a horror film through to the end despite the negative affects on our biology and psychology?

Summarily, Free Anger is not so much “needed” as demanded by the public. “Give ‘em what they want,” says the marketer, “and leave the question of whether or not it is right to the philosophers.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christian Networks and Collaboration


The church is in desperate need of Christian Networks and Collaboration. Recently listening to a speaker on Ted.com*, Howard Rheingold presented the need for heightened collaboration. He opposed the view that successful biology is at war with itself.

Along with Rheingold's discussion on collaboration, Robin Chase (founder of Zipcar, Inc) discussed wireless-mesh-networks.

Wireless mesh networks provide an excellent metaphor for the mode of operation that the church should operate under. Chase pointed out that each device acts as a wireless router and amplifies the wireless signal. (For tech gurus, forgive the simplicity of this explanation.) In Hurricane Katrina, the simple wireless mesh network in the French Quater was the only network still up and running after the storm. Though a few of the devices were destroyed or lost, the overall network sustained.

How appropriate an illustration that is for how the church should operate? With heightened Christian Networks and collaboration, the church would also prevail. Sadly, it is too often the case that Christians are operating as islands, not collaborating, or acting as a typical wireless-router system.

Is our signal strong enough to be picked up by those in need? Only by our interconnectedness will the body continue to prevail.

* - Ted.com is compendium of thinkers. Admittedly, much of their thought is based on an evolutionary belief of creation, which is not my belief. However, their commitment to expanding thought is worth of respect, and worthy to be mimicked by Christians as well.

As this blog is committed to expanding Christian thought and enlightenment to better serve the world into the Kingdom, we are always on the search for powerful thinking.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Executive Supremacy Overlooked

An excellent article on executive supremacy from The American Scholar caught my attention this weekend. Without delving into a debate on party, this article did raise a question in mind.
Why is there so little media or candidate attention given to the ever-expanding extent of executive control?
In 'Who Cares About Executive Supremacy?', Lincoln Caplan brings to light the dramatic expansion of presidential control, and the disturbing fact that no one is saying anything.
Lincoln states:
"If the scope of executive power were a burning topic of politics, the breakdown allowing the power to expand dramatically might not feel so momentous— whether you regard it as a breakdown in the American legal process or in the system of checks and balances."
Click here for more more.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Straight Talk with Jesus

Recently I was accused of not being a Christian...again.

You know, if you stick to the straight talk with Jesus, you will get accused of not being a Christian. Why?

Look, Jesus' teachings are not the teachings the religious folk today are teaching. It is close, but twisted in subtle ways.

For example, every time I have been accused of not being a Christian (not being saved), the "evidence" that these people present is usually something having to do with works. (Did I say the right things, or do the right things, or, in this case, write the right things on my blogs and website!)

These types of criteria for whether or not I am saved shows that the underlying belief of that person is that to be saved, or to be a Christian, to get into heaven, one must say the right things, do the right things, or, in my case, write the right things!

When you look at straight talk with Jesus, He really laid it out much simpler than that.

"They asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?'
Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'" (John 6:28-29)

Could it be said any more plain? It makes me wonder if accusers of the brethren anywhere, not just my own, have ever read the Bible, let alone the book of John.

Here is the funny thing, I believe that they are saved. Isn't that weird? Perhaps I shouldn't, because if you take the straight talk of Jesus further, you begin to see that he didn't let the religious people slide. But that is for another time!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Questions of Vibration

Having studied the hidden power of man and his created mind for seven years, I have come to believe in vibration (a wavelength of the Divine) as a yet-to-be understood tool of spiritual things.

Today I began to reread 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill. The level of thinking he (and so many others preceding him) move in had extreme clarity.

Often the question is has come to me that asks "how did thinkers of the past think so clearly?" How were they able to focus as intently as they did? The amount of mental leverage they exhibited, the quantity of material they wrote, the uniqueness of their innovation, seems to evade the majority of man in the 21st century.

Why? And the question is only important in an effort to cast off the unnamed fiend and rise as high as those great men.

The ability of man to create his or her own reality, though questioned philosophically, is for the most part assumed.

We are quickly verifying the influence that mere observation and intent have on the atomic and subatomic levels. I will allow you to find materials such as 'The Hidden Messages of Water' and 'What the Bleep Do We Know' on your own.

As I have said, I believe vibration (frequency, wavelengths, polarities, etc.) to all be most crucial in influencing the world around us. To answer my ever-evasive question, I resolved that thinking (and thus creating our reality) is merely thought impulse. The constant, if you will, is that both myself and great minds of the past have thinking (an electronic impulse or wavelength) in common.

Which led me to ask, "then what is interfering?"

When we ask the right question, in the right way, the answer must present itself as obvious. This instance was such.

"What is interfering," I said to myself, "is interference."

I suddenly became aware of all of the frequencies, vibrations, and impulses interfering with my thoughts.

The hip jazz pulsing to the my ears.
The many lights and busyness of the streets as cars driving by outside.
My cell phone light beeping at my side.
My inbox filling with email and my task list lengthening by the second.

All are not simply mere distractions but actually, physically sending vibrations through the air. These vibrations at the minimum affect my thoughts' (vibrations of intent I send out to the world) ability to influence the world around me. At the worst, they affect my ability to even form thoughts clearly.

Why do I say this? Consider what happens when two wavelengths intersect. They neutralize one another. (Again, study this for yourself.) Think of dead spots when a sound technician is preparing for a show. There are always dead spots he tries to minimize. These are the point where the two wavelengths from the speakers are intersecting.

The greater number of wireless adapters, electronic devices and outlets, or mere commotion (think crowded cities), the more frequencies are intercepting your own frequencies and thoughts.

Even though we have far more leverage with technology than ever before, our brains' ability to focus (its effectiveness as a focusing tool) is far weaker than our predecessors'. All in all, generally speaking, I think it is fair to say that individual effectiveness with influencing one's own world with their thoughts has dropped significantly.

Maybe, when we can actually quantify such things, we can create a graph to represent such things.

So, what percent of my vibrations and thoughts are being neutralized?

And how, in a world that is dependent on technology, does one find a way to free their frequencies?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Video Awakens Me to Globalization

In case anyone has not seen it yet, here is an amazing video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U.

I highly recommend that you watch it as it is a total wake-up call to those of us who have still not made it a goal to "catch up" with the pace of globalization.

In the last month or so, this has become a significant topic for me as I feel that the christian body will have a lot of adjustments to make to survive this next turn in the Information Age.

More on this to come, but I feel that language will be a key of success for anyone trying to not only survive, but thrive in this time of vast change. This needs to also include the Body of Christ.

Again, more on this later.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Returned

It has been quite some time, almost 2 months, but I am back again!

Christmas had a fervent grasp on my time and therefore my disciplines and habits. This caused me to forgo my writing and prayer time and work outs and oh, so much else.

But, I return to it all.

Let this be the first of many more entries in 2008.