Bless

Pekudey Torah Blessing for blog

Mount Zion is beautiful…so we bless her…

The earth is the Lords and all it contains…so bless it…

The nations shall bring their glory into Jerusalem, so bless them…

Our enemies shall be bread, so we bless the bread for giving us strength…

My history has led me to this place, a large and grand place up out of the miry clay so I bless my past…

Those who have hurt me the worst have driven me to loves door, so I bless them the most…

A life poured out has blessed the ground that drinks it up, so I bless the dry desert to bloom again…

Empire has taught me the value of freedom, so I bless the lords and bricks who drove my heart to seek the Lord of rest…

The stench of death has taught my heart to love the perfume of grace so I bless the stench…

I bless…

Bless…

Bless…

You cannot contain blessing once you find it so I bless the blindness that taught my eyes to see the blessing…

Bless…

Blessed are the blessers…

Bless the Lord all ye saints…Bless His name…for He has done it!

My Question: Mark

So I learned to play guitar starting at 12…the first guitar hurt my fingers but by my senior year in high school I had callouses on my left finger-tips that remain until this day.

I went through a very strange 13 year period where I did not really play guitar, it is so odd to me now, but for my entire marriage I never really picked it up…after my divorce I recovered my senses and still play writing tunes, doodling and just entertaining myself creatively.

Even a christian marriage has the capacity to change your core identity in ways you do not notice until you come to your senses much later…what was I thinking?

I wasn’t…I was trying desperately to love someone who would not accept the kind of love that accepted her in spite of herself.

Divorce…the most painful way to amputate your heart known to humanity…been there and I am not sure anyone ever fully recovers because parts get mixed up like photos and histories get traded until you and they who were once other, become together, and then once again completely other, but now other than you were to begin with.

I have shopped for more prom dresses than most men I know, probably because all four of my daughters are stunningly beautiful and my job as a single parent was to remind them everyday of how powerful they were. Three of the four were home-coming queens the second would have been but threatened all of her peers so they would not vote for her, she remains beautifully independent and knows it.

They all demonstrate a maturing beauty now, independant, intelligent, full of joy and determined, the oldest is a DA, two others are on path to be educators, the youngest unmarried and full of life is re-imagning her future and volunteers as a foster mom for kids from the Congo…social work her academic pursuit, but fiercely determined to change the world.

My one son who is between the two sets of sisters shares my odd sense of humor, we basically get together to enjoy a U of A basketball game, a movie or some rather bizarre comedy at times…and like all men should, he has gravitated to his wife’s household and spends more time there, with me defending him to his sisters…he works as an engineer for a company you would recognize, even though he has not yet finished his degree…hard work and a winning attitude pay more than degrees anyway.

My greatest achievement by far is the unusual and intense relationship they ALL have with the Father, Son and laughing Holy Spirit, a combination of mystics and pragmatics they all move into their world with confidence, faith and love unlike anything I could have dreamed for them.

Me, I was raised as a preachers kid, Pentecostal in Oklahoma, so my naturally inquisitive bent and drive for knowledge was seen as a handicap by my spiritual elders, I was to shy to notice and just kept reading everything I could get my hands on, even though college was a waste of my time…bored out of my mind by shallow higher education that never got around to the kinds of questions I have always been asking.

I served in churches for most of my life…giving money, time, talent, depth, prophecy, teaching, fixing everything that was broken and driving everyone to the future, my core “Strength Finder” is strategy…so I always managed to be in leadership somewhere…worship leader, pastor, youth pastor, deliverance ministry, prayer warrior, etc…for most all of my life even before I was in my teens as a PK I was leading children s church..sheesh!

I am grateful for all I have gotten to do and be in the machine we call church but now find most of it rather shallow, and deeply depending on making sure we all are reminded of our distance and delay…the two metrics that keep churches in power…we need one another since God is so distant, and we need to try harder since it has been delayed…both false ideas but essential to keep the wheels stable and turning…what would happen if one day everyone realized God was IN us and nothing had been delayed?

And still no one was willing to answer the questions I carried from my childhood…

So now divorced for nearly 20 years, I have remained single primarily because I was raising my kids and then got rather distracted by church empire, my heart beats for humanity.

I know lonely.

I know marginalized.

I know broken.

I know raw and desperate and deeply passionate and I know love.

At this point I am enjoying my grand-kids, who are the most spectacular specimens of humanity God has ever created, clever, brilliant, beautiful and loving they give my life a engine to change the future…and my natural inclination to make strategies keeps getting in the way…so I pluck out a few tunes on the guitar…and write…

To connect…

To inform…

To create words that explore new places…

To travel…

And finally to ask those pesky questions no one ever seems to get around to…this is my life now…I am enjoying it…

I don’t need no stinking answers…I just need better questions…because each question leads me deeper into the one constant that has been part of my life since before I was birthed…

God…

His image in me…His likeness my deepest desire…I care not to be powerful except as someone who loves…someone who is tender when he could be brutal, someone who is kind when shame demands a penalty, someone who slows down to hear the voice in the margin…the widow…the fatherless…those who have no power of their own.

My desire now to encourage the weary heart, long in the trenches…

To lay a gentle hand into the parched hands making bricks in exile, or on the shoulder of a shepherd tending some distant flock alone in the desert…

My questions get me in trouble…trouble with those who say “No questions”…and I don’t really care, I see us as all equal, all important, all measured by the Creator as fit for His habitation, so titles and designations of men have no real impact on me…the pauper or the President carry the same weight in my world…

My hope…simply to find others and another to adore as the Father does me…

I do not believe anyone is successful this side of sleep who does not see His makers image in the other…so success is informed by what you see…beauty is truly in the eye of the Beholder…His eye determines beauty not ours.

We are all Gods art, His poetry, His symphony…

So my questions all point to the Conductor, the Composer, the Artist who has signed His work…where is He in us?

This is who…I am…just a kid on a quest…to leave his Mark in the world…

My Question Mark

Entangled up in love

quantumentanglement

Paul will tell us that the voice that spoke to him on the road to Damascus spoke to him in the Hebrew tongue…hold that thought for a second and lets recall what the voice said…”I am Jesus, whom you persecute” and “It is hard for YOU to kick against the goads”…

In the Hebrew tongue the word “goads” (pricks/stones) is “Parash” and means to sting…Paul being a Hebrew scholar would at some point recall the most famous passage using this verse which would be in Ezekiel 34:12 because it uses a “double emphasis” of the word and the Rabbis all taught whenever you see this pay close attention:

“As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his stung/scattered (“Parash”to sting, scatter) sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were stung/scattered(“Parash” to sting, scatter) on acloudy and dark day.”

There is so much at play in this passage that Paul would later have to deal with, I can imagine he is sitting at the Street called Straight in total darkness waiting for a disciple who’s face he has seen and mulling over what Jesus has said to him…”Its me you are attacking”…”It is hard for YOU to kick against the sting”…here he is thinking of a Shepherd who is among those who have been stung…but this phrase “It is hard for you…”

Entanglement is a concept in quantum physics that has been proven, the basic idea is any two particles originating from the same source are entangled and whatever happens to one will in some way affect the other regardless of distance or location.

Paul will say that God chose to reveal his Son IN Paul…not TO him.

Later he will tell the seekers on Mars Hill that “In Him we move and live and have our being, we are His offspring”…basically identifying ALL of humanities origin as the One father in Heaven…we all have one source.

In…stinging…hard…for you…

Jesus will reveal to Paul “entanglement” because Jesus is 1-“among his sheep” as they are being stung, and 2-“inside” Paul who is doing the stinging…and the revelation that Paul ends up with is he was basically stinging himself.

“It is hard for you to kick against the stinging”…(even though it was Jesus whom Paul was persecuting)

Paul, the Jewish believers he is persecuting and the entire world of mankind have a common source, the Father in Heaven and His Son the Logos, Yeshua…we are all irreversibly entangled.

It is obvious we are all connected on some level, and not to belittle “soul-ties” or other ministry distractions it is not simply other believers we are connected to…we are entangled with all of creation and primarily with the part of creation that shares our DNA structure, the image of God as revealed in humanity all around us.

(I remember John Wimber speaking at a conference I attended and he made a statement that has stuck with me for over 20 years, he basically said that when christian men participate in pornography they empower sexual exploitation in the world on a “spiritual dimension”…he saw something of a connection that science is starting to prove.)

Paul is not on the fence concerning this Jesus and the Way…he has made a calculated decision this must be eradicated, so his will is completely engaged as an enemy combatant, he has in his mind a righteous assignment and is fully functioning as a Shaliach Tzibur, a Jewish Apostle or representative of the Synagogue and the Torah, and this is probably why Yeshua spoke to him in “the Hebrew tongue”…there was no denying the authority of a voice from heaven speaking Hebrew.

In his epistles Paul will talk about dismantling “principalities, powers, high places”, etc, and I have in the past been involved in praying from the highest place in the city, as though geography was limited to 3 dimensions, unfortunately 3 dimensions barely scratch the surface and it is quite possible to be in the highest place and the lowest simultaneously, your point of reference is what truly defines your location.

These definitions he gives us seem to operate out of mindsets, or to put a blunt point on it, “group-think”…my current perspective is starting to be informed that most of our warfare is self-inflicted due to not understanding the Pauline gospel. Paul will make the primary battle-field the hearts and minds of men, he will claim his assignment is to make all men “see-together” (the word conscience can be translated more in line with this phrase: to make all men see together with me), the mystery of Christ in them.

Recently I felt the Lord say to me “Before Constantine I AM” which was His way of giving me hope in spite of Empire and its new enforcement stick using the prophetic as a weapon calling for the destruction of the homosexual/Hollywood/anyone who does not agree with us/liberal political/universalist/etc…(Oct. 3rd was supposed to be a 9.7 earthquake near where my grand-kids live)

I would love to take offense at this kind of nonsense and even more for the Charismatic call for a military take-over of the USA (yes there is actually talk about this in well known Pentecostal group-speak) but my problem is entanglement…

Entanglement contradicts “us and them”…there is no “them” only a whole lot of different kinds of “us”!

And as much as I have come to dislike empire and all that it stands for because of personal loss and active hostility towards me I cannot help but see that in some way I am connected whether I want to be or not.

We are entangled with empire and Hollywood at the same time…and all connected to a planet that is shuddering under an atmosphere of collective mind-think calling for the destruction of others in the name of God, either it is a group strapping bombs to their chest or strapping banners on their facebook page calling for judgment of others.

Regardless of the source there is an entanglement that I think we can all feel, it weighs on our hearts and makes breathing harder than it should be because like Paul it is hard for us to kick against the stinging we are doing to ourselves.

*Sigh*

Jesus in speaking of judgement would make the outrageous claim that if he is lifted UP from the EARTH he would draw ALL to himself…the context implies all judgement.

But in this act Jesus shows us where entanglement gets to work for us instead of against us…every small act of laying down my power to serve someone else entangles the planet in the kingdom…every-time I chose to love and show gratitude for people who have despitefully used me I release a different atmosphere into the collective mindset.

Whenever we choose love over violence, hope over apathy, faith over shame, giving over greed and grace over sin we have changed a particle somewhere, somehow, it is sacred science and quantum at that.

This is why I think it is essential that we move away from a gospel that bemoans creation and humanity, a message that says we are doomed and judgement is upon us like the four horsemen, instead I think we must convince our fellow man that Christ is IN them as well, even before they choose to believe (yeah it will take faith on our part), and frankly I am entertaining a gospel just for those who think they are saved because they are some of the most negative people on the planet right now, they desperately need to hear the good news that not only is God not mad, He is not going to punish them for the same-sex mess, or the liberal agenda we can all take a deep breath the apocalypse has been put on hold until we can remember who we are.

At the end of the day we are all entangled up with love itself, God who is not holding our trespasses against us and now lives In us…the proof is our current place next to His throne in heavenly places…where we are apparently entangled in His Son….