The Vision

December 19, 2011 at 2:54 am (Ruminations.)

God spoke to me through Kat this morning, who shared this with me.

http://www.24-7prayer.com/about/thevision-en

So this guy comes up to me and says “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?” I open my mouth and words come out like this… The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won. They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence. They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying. What is the vision ? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers

choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground The whisper of history in the making Foundations shaking Revolutionaries dreaming once again Mystery is scheming in whispers Conspiracy is breathing… This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter! Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,

they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres. Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.

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Bound

December 19, 2011 at 1:57 am (Ruminations.)

You kept me sedated.
Placated.
Tied up in chains, intoxicated.
Bonds so delicate… subtle… pleasant
I never even registered their presence.

Sedated.
Numb.
Faded to the reality around me.
Surrounding me.
Invading my soul, as unobtrusive as the air I breathe.

(he breathes in, i breathe out)

I succumbed to your lies.
I believed *your* truth.
Not the truth of eternal reality, but your manipulations, ruminations, rotting fixations and escalations.

Keeping me from…

freeing me.

I believed, I truly believed.

With aching breath,
heart clenched,
chest heaving.
My empty wails rising to the night sky like incense, but falling like seeds among the thorns. Choking, dying… provoking the demons around me.

They surrounded me.

Trapped.
Wounded.
Crying.

Dying.

My life. It died. And would die again if it would bring me closer to the grace. To the mercy. To Love.

I’ve been delivered from your lies.
I’ve been exposed to the light.
From the darkness I rise.

I simmer in the peace, and… steadily… I survey the destruction around me… it surrounds me…

(he breathes out, i breathe in)

But I have

the hope of glory.

It’s not the end of the story.

But the start of a new beginning.

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Loud but Quiet

November 16, 2011 at 12:27 am (Ruminations.)

Charlie Anderson jumped up on the hood of the car and scared both of us a little bit, but we had to laugh inside the darkness of the car. It was a quiet night, following a very busy day, with still so much to do before making the leap from Oceanside to my old life by plane the next morning. The cat was super sketched out because she could hear us laughing through the windshield. She was in hunter mode but also skittish because she couldn’t actually see us through the glass. We were audible, but invisible. She was about to pounce.

There was silence – a pause – as we sat and watched her watching us. The cadence of our conversation had stilled, and in the quiet I was able to consider what had just happened. The emotions had risen intensely from the deep, out of nowhere, and very unexpected. All Erin had asked was, “Are you nervous to go home?” and I felt helpless, like crying. I hadn’t even thought about it. I hadn’t been home in just over a year. The last time I was home was just after the house sold, just after I moved from my home into Elizabeth’s, right after the most excruciating couple months of my life.

It was excruciating, and it was the reason I decided to skip out on Thanksgiving and Christmas with the fam last year. It was just too fresh, too new, and I couldn’t even deal with the thought of the awkwardness… the elephant in the room – or the lack of the elephant, you could say. The absence of the family member in the holiday season. So instead of celebrating the holidays in Texas, I hopped out for a quick trip before hiding away for the winter in Carlsbad, CA, to recharge my batteries. And now, a year later, on the eve of my next visit, the emotions were just under the surface.

I am here, now – “home” – in this house where I have so many memories of life ‘before’, the evidence of my previous life around every corner. Evidence within everyone I talk to, on the streets I drive through, even in the clouds where my gaze rests. I lived my life here with him.

I realized why my emotions were just under the surface last night. I have experienced healing beyond measure in the last year. And many of the things I’ve healed from happened in this place, and with these people. The details aren’t important at the moment, but just the fact that I have realized the depth of my wounded-ness over the last 12 months, and I have attempted to heal from it. I have succeeded in some healing, and uncovered many areas that are still raw and open wounds. The process of healing, and growing, in and of itself has been painful. The grief I have experienced from realizing the wounded-ness and mistakes is difficult to describe.

It is clear that I am seeing through new eyes. The eyes of a believer. The eyes of the forgiven. I was a believer last time I was here, but I didn’t have the depth of understanding of Jesus that I have now, and I think that’s what makes the difference. My eyes are staring out at this world, out at the scenes of the crimes of my previous life, but this time through the lenses of grace and peace.  I am seeing an old world through new eyes, and it’s not easy. And through emotions, through tears, through grace and peace… with a breaking heart I am seeing sadness. Evidence of my previous life, but also evidence of people I love not experiencing the fullness of Christ.

And all I can do is live silently with Christ in me (the hope of glory), and let the spirit speak for itself.

Last night I was trying to explain something to a friend, and he stopped me and said, ‘I get you Wendy. It’s like when you see people speaking with sign language in public. It’s loud but quiet. I get you.’ It was very applicable to what we were discussing, but even more  profound in thinking about how we have to live with Christ in our lives. We have to let the spirit be loud, and in our quiet peace the spirit is the one with the volume. This is when people can truly see Christ in action. This is the real testimony.

Loud but quiet.

“To live a life that is not dominated by the desire to be relevant but is instead safely anchored in the knowledge of God’s first love, we have to be mystics. A mystic is a person whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love” (Henri Nouwen, In Jesus Name). Being rooted in God’s first love, disposing of our innate human desire to be relevant, is the only way to live loud but quiet. The only way to let the spirit reign in our lives.

Daily I want to dispose of my need for relevance so that true relevance can wash over the earth.

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Setting my Sails

November 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm (Ruminations.)

The game started spontaneously, which I guess is the best way for anything to start. I was surprised at how the hours and hours I spent playing hacky sack back in high school seemed to be paying off as we kicked the soccer ball around the circle in an impromtu game of ‘keep up’. Our goal was to reach ten, and with lots of comedy, shenanigans, and laughs we just kept counting and counting…

It started with 5 or 6 of us but the group grew and shrank as time went on, the numbers of smiling faces changing every few minutes. People would come in and out of the circle, and I have to marvel at how each beautiful face belonged to someone who was dear to me, but who I had only known for a short time. But some of these faces I felt closer to than people I have known for years. It was one of those experiences where the spirit of the moment was so intense that it almost came as a surprise when I realized the only ‘spirit’ was the holy spirit, no other ‘spirits’ involved.

It started to sink in how *good* God is to me. How God continues to show himself to me through this body of Christ, the body that I am a part of and that I love. The body where I am loved. How this existence is safe, and it is probably the safest I’ve felt in… awhile.

As I sink into this realization, into the reality of the spirit and its glorious presence in my life, I ponder the concept of ‘dwelling deeply’ in Christ.

In the ocean of faith, the belief in Christ, the more deeply we dwell, the further our roots go down, the further away we are from the storm, from the elements and from the waves. I think about sinking into the spirit, into this reality of the blessings that have come to fruition in my life. The interesting thing is that the deeper I sink into Christ and the blessings this life has given me, it brings me further and further away from the world, and for the relationships that exist in the worldly perspective… it hurts.

So which way is God going to have me set my sails now? That’s the question of the hour, and it will be interesting to see what the answer is. I’m trying to figure out how I can navigate above water, in the middle of the storm that apparently just keeps on coming, while still having my anchor dropped securely in the love of Christ.

How to weather the storm of the pain that keeps coming my way, while keeping my roots secure and deep.

One thing I know for sure is that even though I don’t deserve this beauty that has been placed in my life, it is here and it is evidence of God’s blessings.

21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things!  22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. 23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. 24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.  27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. (Joel 2:21-27)

I’m pretty sure God is repaying the years the locusts have eaten.

And it’s pretty cool.

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Jonny’s Story

October 19, 2011 at 1:45 am (Ruminations.)

He told it to me tonight, over beers, at the Flying Pig. It was the end of Bible study and we decided to pile into Marcos’ car (climbing over a shovel and a pitchfork) and cruise for a night cap to end the evening. He was talking about a friend he invited to Bible study, and how his friend had been intrigued by what he told him about our crew, our body, our church. So I asked him to tell me what he had told his friend. Someone said we already knew the story, but I asked him to tell it anyways. So he did.

I’m just writing what I remember here, but I think the point comes across…

Jonny says:

I was walking to breakfast one morning on a Sunday in downtown Oceanside, and I saw a spray painted graffiti sign in the window of a building across the street that said Gen City Church. It caught my eye and I wanted to see what it was (Marcos interjects ‘Wendy painted that sign!’).

So I crossed the street and there was a tattooed woman in blue standing outside, and she invited me in. (At this point Marcos interjects ‘a smokin hot woman’, and Jonny says ‘drop dead gorgeous’) I walked in and there were a bunch of tables set up like a banquet, and I started to think this might be a cult. I hesitated for a minute and then I decided to go in anyways. There were a couple of guys in the corner and I went over and sat down and started talking to them. Then the service started.

It started by a big black guy standing up with a box and saying ‘My name is Julius. I’m 42 and I’m a black man.’ And he put his box down. Then a tiny petite woman said ‘I’m Karlee, and I’m a 22 year old white woman.’ She put her box down. They built a wall with their boxes, talking about their differences, and then this crazy white dude comes crashing through and knocks the wall down. He threw a box and me and I dodged it, Neo style – which I’ll explain to you later why it was like the matrix – But he was throwing boxes and yelling, and the whole point was how differences don’t matter and we have to break down the boundaries.

Then after the service we ate lunch, and the tattooed woman in blue told me about a Bible study on Tuesday nights and she invited me to come. This is where the Matrix comes back in, because she started talking about a green house and a purple house and how they are one.

So Tuesday night I came to dinner in the green house, and then Bible study. There were like 30 people packed into the green house, and then we all walked out the back door through this big garden past a chicken coop through the yard into the purple house. There were a bunch of chairs in the kitchen and we all piled in and people were talking and telling their testimonies. Then this old guy gets up with a piece of paper and he’s dressed all psychedelic. He starts talking about becoming a model for an art school drawing class. He explains to the people that were sitting in front of him that while we were all sitting there and listening to people’s testimonies he drew their backs.

And he shows the drawing, and its a drawing of their backs that says ‘your backs’.

There was a beautiful blonde next to me (who turned out to be Janie) and she leans over and says ‘It’s not always like this.’

And I lean over to her and say ‘Then I may not come back’.

——

This story, this perspective of our crazy little world really made my night. It is so strange, makes no sense, but yet – we know – it makes all the sense in the world.

It is reality, and I love it.

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