Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

Hi, there! We all have had those times in prayer when we felt like nothing was accomplished, and even felt somewhat guilty because of our seemingly fruitless effort. We couldn’t “get spiritual” in our frame of mind and/or there was that constant bombardment of unsolicited thoughts. This is abundantly true especially in the early stages of our Christian journey.

If we are persistent in a faithful walk, these problems will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit….not only in time, but at the present:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. Romans 8:26

Even if we struggle often in prayer, rest assured that what is necessary and has to be said to the Father and Christ Jesus on our behalf is ALWAYS automatically taken care of by the Holy Spirit within us (again, Romans 8:26!!). Never feel as though you have to “perform” in any prescribed manner when praying formally or informally. The MOST IMPORTANT consideration here is that we are going to Them, however feeble our efforts may be.

And, Christ Jesus, Himself,  is ALWAYS there making intercession (“pleading”….Concordant Literal New Testament) on our behalf on every front. Romans 8:34

Let’s not forget Matthew 6:8: “for your Father does know those things that you have need of before your asking Him.”.

Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving is an excellent approach when coming before our Father and Christ Jesus. Just start thanking Them for any and everything that comes to mind….not only the “good stuff” they give us but for our least and worst trials, as well as our failures. Those failures should lead us to depend on Them more than ever!

Sometimes, as brought out in the Post on “God’s Silent Treatment”, it is good that we just come to Them in silence. If monkey chatter persists, usually repeating in our minds or verbally “Lord”, “Lord God”, “Father”, “Jesus” or similar words will keep the intrusive thoughts at bay. This also applies to what is brought out on the Post: “Pray On The Potty”.

And, your position in formal prayer should not be an issue: my favorite is lying in bed where I am very comfortable. (You might want to reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”)

The most important consideration is that we are coming to Them, giving Them our attention….as such, They and the Spirit within us will take care of the rest!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

Why Not Be A Mystic

Hey, there! Here is an interesting article I came across at http://freebelievers.com/fbnblog-entry/why-not-be-a-mystic, and received permission from them to reprint it. You might want to also check out my Post: “Practicing The Presence Of God”. Here goes:

May 28, 2011

Why Not Be A Mystic?

Perhaps it was the several years of religious hell I went through, or the overload of information from every side telling me what to believe, how to live, and how to approach God. Perhaps it was the deep longing in my soul to touch the face of God and to simply know Him as real, but I decided to choose the path of the mystic.

First things first, I will say that the only authentic mystic is the Christian, as you cannot know God as He is in His deep mysteries without Christ. If we cannot accept Christ, His sacrifice in His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, we cannot know God. I would caution anyone strongly against the mysticism of the rest of the world in the plethora of its religions.

Many acknowledge Jesus in a form, but most refuse to accept His deity and His work of salvation as done on the cross. Such people I say stay away from as they are no different than the Gnostics.

So what is a mystic? My humble attempt to define a mystic is one who directly through experience, thought, meditation, emotion and contemplation actively receives and hears from God. The mystic’s religion is not stuff of Sunday rituals and preaching, or the obligatory Bible reading and good works as is expected in Christianity. Rather his/her religion so consumes them in such a way that their whole life is spent saturated in it, living in and out of it. It is all encompassing to the point where there is little room for anything else.

A mystic, in my view, is not one who spends hours practicing ascetics and spiritual disciplines in monasteries, cloistered away from the world, although for a short season I recommend that the seeker would take part in these things. The reason is that it is impossible to know God without living in the rest of the world actively loving and engaging people where they live.

For me, it began in the darkest times of my life. St John of the Cross calls it the dark night of the soul. I have been through several as they guided my unwilling soul into a place of complete abandonment of all things in this world with a deep need and hunger to know my God.

That is what drives me. A hunger. It is a deep, relentless desire and longing to know the presence of my God, to be filled to the point of overflowing with Jesus and His spirit so that, in the end, He is all that I have. It is a realized poverty of the soul, or as Jesus put it, being poor in spirit and hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

I came to this point out of need. Nothing man had to offer in his church institutions satisfied me. If anything, they nearly destroyed me. I escaped only with my life and my sanity. Even still, my soul aches with a longing only Christ can satisfy when I occasionally force myself to sit through a church sermon for whatever reason.

It was the realization that I am loved, filled with His love, and the need to love others with a realization of the passion of God Himself for His church which launched me on this path. When I could no longer find those things in the traditional or mainstream Christian churches of our country, I had to leave and spend my time in the wilderness where God had to speak to me directly.

My time in the wilderness has created within me this hungering and thirsting for God. I remember one church I attended many years ago, a pastor once stated that the church of America is not hungry. It is bloated, overfed, and obese. This was true of me. I was overstuffed with the religious knowledge of various sects and denominations. I wasn’t hungry for God. I was filled. I was filled not with God though, but the junk food of the ramblings of religious men. It was when I left all of that and was starving for three years that I learned how to drink deeply and dine from the water and bread of life within me.

The problem with being a mystic is that most people don’t understand the one who chooses this path. But then again, perhaps God chooses me for this and I just hang on for dear life and my own sanity. The thing is, a mystic is so wrapped up in the Holy Spirit that no man can control them.

One of my favorite teachings of Jesus is “He who is born of the spirit is like the wind. No one knows from where it came or where it goes.”

The life of the mystic is the life chosen to follow hard and persistently after the Spirit. Consequentially, no one can control the mystic any more than they can control the Holy Spirit or the wind itself!

It is in this journey that I see no longer the need to follow teachings and lectures, rather, the need to become a physical embodiment of Jesus Himself. This cannot be taught adequately. This cannot be lectured or written about. Yes, I have heard many sermons and read quite a few riveting books about the subject, but it cannot be understood or fully realized in practical living until one embraces this for themselves.

The mystic acknowledges that it is no longer possible to tell where we end and Christ begins, as He is interwoven into the very fabric of who we are. One can no more separate me from Christ as one could separate the food I ate and processed from the cells it nourished and fused with to strengthen or even create new living tissue. If Christ is food, and we digest Him, He then becomes our very cellular makeup and spiritual DNA. We are inseparable.

It is here, my starving soul found the fountain that Christ spoke of which wells up from within unto eternal life. True mysticism is the ability to drink from Christ, the living water in such a way that we will never thirst again. We will never run dry. We will never be hungry again as He is always within us.

Most American Christians I meet are in a perpetual state of starvation. They go to church meetings every week, retreats for mountain top experiences, or whatever they can find to refill and refresh. It is always outside of them and they always worry about running dry. Many seem to think that they cannot function spiritually without the church meetings feeding them. I find many of them leave their “feeding” times for Sundays, and the rest of their week is there for them to do as they please, only to find themselves hungry once again.

I find it funny when people tell me that I needed to attend church meetings so I could be “fed.” I laugh inwardly and reply “I am fed, perpetually from the Bread of Life who is in me. I will never hunger again.” The bread learned educated church men offer will not satisfy forever. I often hear people tell me that they need to go to church for another dose of the Holy Spirit because they feel hungry. If only they knew.

If only we knew the deep riches of God’s Spirit and His treasure that lay dormant inside of us! If only we knew the mysteries that His Spirit constantly speaks to our souls, feeding us with life. If only we could tap into that and live fully and completely!

This search for that fulness and wholeness of life is the path of the mystic as it takes us ever deeper into the heart of God, drinking deeply, eating fully, and then turning around to feed our fellow man in such a way that it whets their appetite for more. Manna in the wilderness sustains, but one does hunger. If one is courageous, we leave the manna that feeds us temporarily, and brave the battles and the giants which threaten to keep us from the land flowing with milk and honey. The path of the mystic is an invitation to dine at the table with the Father forever, as sons, as family, as a part of the Bride of Christ, forever living in His love.

by David Backus

End of article. There are several points on which I disagree with the author, but overall, there is a lot of truth here, and I am grateful he has shared his experience with us.

See you later.

Fred

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

“for Him Who did not know sin, He did make sin in our behalf, that we may become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21….Modern Young’s Literal Translation)

“7.but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. (Philippines 2:7-8….NAS)

The Creator of the universe and of all living beings (John 1:3), because of Divine Love, was willingly nailed to a tree He had created by the creation He had created, after beaten beyond recognition by His creation (Isaiah 52:14; 50:6), so that even His crucifiers would come to experience unimaginable glory and joy along with the ENTIRE creation at the end of the ages….along with Him….when God will be ALL in ALL! (1 Corinthians 15:28….New American Standard)

I cannot think of a Greater Love Story!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

 

More Stuff In Food To ABSOLUTELY Avoid!!!

Good morning!

I received this article today via email from one of the health websites I subscribe to (www.natrualnews.com) and it contains some VERY helpful information on stuff we should definitely avoid!! Even though the main topic is protein powder it nevertheless reveals truths about nasty ingredients in the majority of packaged foods. This is keeping in tune with the spirit of the Post on “You Are A Temple Of God: Helpful Health Hints”:

“(NaturalNews) Look on the back of just about every popular protein powder container and you’ll see a long list of ingredients in addition to whey, soy and casein. Little do most people know that many of the “other” items include GMO ingredients and toxic, synthetic sweeteners that can permanently damage the body.

Aspartame, Acesulfame potassium, sucralose and sorbitol are listed on many protein powders like they’re just another little additive for flavor enhancement. They’re often phrased in ways that make the product sound healthy, when in reality, these are words to stay away from; these artificial sweeteners wreak havoc on your health.

Sweet-tasting protein shakes can destroy digestive tract, hormones and more

Sorbitol is slick, like oil, and doesn’t have much taste. It’s used in nearly all commercial chewing gum to keep it soft longer. It can also tear up the digestive tract and leave you wondering why you have chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Aspartame tricks your body into thinking it’s getting something sweet, so your body constantly craves more. It also makes it difficult to know when you’re getting full; it’s the ultimate sinister additive to protein shake mixes, weight-gain powders and weight-loss powders. But don’t just think that if you don’t see the word, “Aspartame,” that your free and clear of the body-harming ingredient.

Aspartame may be disguised under its changed name, “AminoSweet,” which combines amino acids with a sweet taste. It’s not uncommon to find this in many meal replacements or fast-fix toxic shakes.

Acesulfame Potassium is just an evil stepchild of aspartame; along with sorbitol, another sweet-tasting toxic ingredient, they’ve been linked to causing cancer and mutating DNA. They also disrupt the central nervous system and throw hormones off balance.

Top 5 toxic dyes to watch out for

Then there’s the issue of the color of fitness shakes.

Most food coloring dyes come from industrial byproducts and coal tar derivatives; that fake strawberry-red or that fake beige-vanilla is such a color because of industrial byproducts that are linked to causing cancer, malnutrition and other health conditions.

Stay away from these five dyes:

Red #2: Toxic to rodents, even at modest levels, and causes bladder tumors.

Red #3: Known to cause thyroid cancer.

Red #40: This is the most common dye which, unfortunately, destroys the immune system and causes allergic reactions.

Yellow #5: This is considered to be a behavior-altering dye that even brings about cases of severe hypersensitivity.

Yellow #6: Linked to causing adrenal tumors.

GMO corn starch: stay away from it

Fact: GMO corn causes cancer in lab animals; modified corn starch is one of the worst things you can ever put in your body. Period.

Nearly all corn in the United States is genetically modified to kill worms and other crop pests. If you’re into working out, running, biking or even just stretching daily, but still eat genetically modified foods, it’s counterproductive to those other healthy habits.

The worst thing you can possibly eat are pesticides and herbicides, as they destroy your gut flora, which plays a significant role in keeping the immune system in check. With GM foods in one’s system, people are more prone to getting common colds, the flu, allergies, brain fog and may even experience a loss of energy.

So much for losing weight or maintaining that ideal weight if you’re eating a protein powder containing genetically modified ingredients. So much for feeling great and wanting to work out.

A better plan for optimal health

Want a plan? Plan to leave modified corn starch out of the equation forever. Look for protein powders that leave artificial sweeteners out of the picture. Stay away from harmful dyes which are found in many fitness or weight-control shakes.

Instead, turn to healthy superfoods and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. They’re a safe and natural way to maintain good health.”

Eat well and enjoy!

Fred

 

Am I Carnally Minded?

Hello!

Well, I have yet another excellent article I want to share with you from Oswald Chambers’ book MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, which can be found in a FREE copy of his writing as explained in the Category by the same title. Here goes:

“Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal…? —1 Corinthians 3:3

The natural man, or unbeliever, knows nothing about carnality. The desires of the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit warring against the flesh, which began at rebirth, are what produce carnality and the awareness of it. But Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). In other words, carnality will disappear.

Are you quarrelsome and easily upset over small things? Do you think that no one who is a Christian is ever like that? Paul said they are, and he connected these attitudes with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens a spirit of malice or resentment in you? If so, that is proof that you are still carnal. If the process of sanctification is continuing in your life, there will be no trace of that kind of spirit remaining.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, “Oh, I can explain that.” When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone you will know it— it is the most real thing you can imagine. And God will see to it that you have a number of opportunities to prove to yourself the miracle of His grace. The proof is in a very practical test. You will find yourself saying, “If this had happened before, I would have had the spirit of resentment!” And you will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.”

Until later,

Fred

Identified Or Simply Interested?

Hey, there!

I have another entry for you from Oswald Chambers’ MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, of which this and all his entries can be accessed FREE as explained in the Category by the same title:

” ‘I have been crucified with Christ….’ (Galatians 2:20)

The inescapable spiritual need each of us has is the need to sign the death certificate of our sin nature. I must take my emotional opinions and intellectual beliefs and be willing to turn them into a moral verdict against the nature of sin; that is, against any claim I have to my right to myself. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ….” He did not say, “I have made a determination to imitate Jesus Christ,” or, “I will really make an effort to follow Him” —but— “I have been identified with Him in His death.” Once I reach this moral decision and act on it, all that Christ accomplished for me on the Cross is accomplished in me. My unrestrained commitment of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to grant to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.

“…it is no longer I who live….” My individuality remains, but my primary motivation for living and the nature that rules me are radically changed. I have the same human body, but the old satanic right to myself has been destroyed.

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh,” not the life which I long to live or even pray that I live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh— the life which others can see, “I live by faith in the Son of God….” This faith was not Paul’s own faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith the Son God had given to him (see Ephesians 2:8). It is no longer a faith in faith, but a faith that transcends all imaginable limits— a faith that comes only from the Son of God.”

Take care, in Him.

Fred

 

 

The Surrendered Life

Greetings!

Yup, I’m here to dish out another one of Oswald Chambers’ excerpts from his book “My Utmost For His Highest” and you can get all of his entries in the publication by going to the Category with the same title.

Emphasis will be mine throughout….read, enjoy and profit from the insights of a truly Spiritual saint (please reference the Category on “Who Is A Saint”). Here goes:

“I have been crucified with Christ….Galatians 2:20.

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And WHAT HE GIVES US IN EXCHANGE FOR OUR SIN IS REAL SOLID RIGHTEOUSNESS. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of the process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on ALL that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.”

Until later,

Fred

UPDATE On “Supernatural Joy”

Hi, there!

I have another excellent excerpt for you from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category with the same title as the book to get all of his entries FREE).

I had Posted a Category entitled “Supernatural Joy” and  am going to add the following to it today as an UPDATE, and all emphasis in the excerpt will be mine. Here goes:

” The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, LIMITLESS miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in ALL these things we are more than conquerors.” We are SUPER-VICTORS  with a JOY that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT PRODUCE ABUNDANT JOY IN US. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in ALL these things”, NOT IN SPITE OF THE THEM, BUT IN THE MIDST OF THEM. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am EXCEEDINGLY JOYFUL in ALL our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of ABUNDANT JOY, is not built on anything passing, but on the LOVE of GOD  that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).”

End of excerpt.

Please keep in mind that we are dealing with a ‘Holy’ joy here, which would far exceed mere ‘human’ joy!

All in best, in Him.

Fred

Hip Pocket God

Hello!

During my early years as a Christian, I came across the term ‘hip pocket God’ and  readily understood it referred to using or desperately calling on God ONLY when one needs Him….much like using a wallet from the back pocket.

It obviously did not impress me enough because I kept Him and Christ Jesus right there, all snug, for many, many years ALTHOUGH I appeared to be quite the gung-ho  Christian with a great zeal for church activities, Bible study and ‘religious good works’.

Well, I thought by continually acknowledging in my thoughts the fact that They are there along with my zealous religious activities I would surely never qualify as having a ‘hip pocket God’. Oops….WRONG!

It took me years and years (seemed like eons!!), with  quite a number of painful experiences, to finally fully realize and understand that as long as I/we do not DEPEND on, SEEK guidance from, offer PRAISE and THANKS to our Father and Savior on a CONTINUAL moment by moment (when possible) and hourly by hourly (when possible) basis….then, They continue to remain in my/our hip pocket.

You can reference the Posts (Categories) on “Pray On The Potty”, “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me” for more discussion on this.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

UPDATE On “God’s Plan Of The Ages”

Greetings!

I have made some MAJOR and IMPORTANT changes to the Post (Category) “God’s Plan Of The Ages” that I hope will make much clearer this wonderful and glorious plan that God has put in place for His entire creation.

I hope those who have previously read it will take the time for another look-see at it and I apologize for not being more thorough with its first Posting.

Of course, if you have any questions or thoughts to add, please leave your comments.

Until later,

Fred