Thoughts to share received in prayer and study of the word

Archive for the ‘Knowing Jesus’ Category

Mansions

door-opening

I have a friend who has written a remarkable blog (and is actually approaching his 4th year wih it), that has brought me much inspiration and spiritual confirmation. His blog is Teresa of Avila turns 500.  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/9429716  Teresa of Avila is respected as one among the greatest writers of spiritual literature in the sixteenth century. His writing about her writing has inspired me to delve further into some of the spiritual understanding she gained on her journey with Christ.

One particular comment she made that I came across in my own research was this: “It came to me that the soul is like a castle made exclusively of diamond or some other very clear crystal. In this castle are a multitude of dwellings just as in heaven there are many mansions. If we muse on this deeply, friends, we will see that the soul of a righteous person is none other than a garden in which the Beloved takes great delight. What do you think that a place might be like that such a king- so powerful and wise, so pure and filled with all good things- would find so delightful? I myself can come up with nothing as magnificent as the beauty and amplitude of the soul.”

When she spoke about many mansions in heaven, she referred to John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Over the years, bible teachers have indicated that Jesus, upon returning to heaven would prepare for us mansions of gold and jewel, magnificent dwellings that would rival no other. I’ve heard many people say with a glow of lust in their eyes that they cannot wait until they get to heaven and see what their mansion looks like and what it will have in it. How absolutely absurd I have always felt this to be, and so very selfish. Of course, our Father has bestowed every good gift upon us, but not so that we may greedily consume it, but rather that we may reflect on the glory of the giver of the gift.

However, as I read this text, I am seeing that the garden of God is not a plot of real estate as so many would surmise, but rather the garden where God walks with us and “dwells” with us, is our very soul. His going to prepare a place for us simply meant that He was preparing for His crucifixion and resurrection, which would redeem our souls and provide for us eternal life with the Beloved.

This understanding then takes me back to the many mansions. What does that mean exactly and how does it apply?

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines mansions as such:

MAN’SION, noun [Latin mansio, from maneo, to dwell.]

1. Any place of residence; a house; a habitation. “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” John 14:2.  2. The house of the Lord of a manor.  3. Residence; above.

AND MAN’SION, verb intransitive To dwell; to reside.

I see my soul as being the house of the Lord or the place where we dwell and reside together. And in His house are many dwelling places (souls).

Teresa also said, “We have heard that we have souls, and our faith compels us to believe that is true. But we rarely consider the soul’s excellent qualities or who it is that dwells within or how precious that really is.” She goes on to explain that people become so involved in worldly matters that they are incapable of entering within themselves, so used to dealing with the worldly evils that they can find no remedy for them, even though they are naturally endowed with the ability to commune with the Beloved Himself at any time.

She fully believed, and I agree, that the doorway to that garden, where our Beloved dwells is prayer and meditation (reflection, contemplation). We have access to that place of refuge and peace, love and acceptance, wisdom and counsel in any moment of every day. We have a living God, who is waiting to walk with us in the garden and answer our every thought or need. And all we need to do is open the door….

 

Sources: http://webstersdictionary1828.com/ ; The Interior Castle Translation and Introduction by Mirabai Starr

 

 

 

 

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Experience

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What is your experience in relationship with God?
For some, the definition of Chistianity is based on their personal viewpoint of what Christianity should look like. But viewpoints can and do frequently change, which allows veering from foundational truth. Rationalizing that truth can result in deception, even to the point of deceiving self and attempting to introduce new doctrine.
Experience, defined is: practical contact with, observation of, involvement in, participation in, contact with, acquaintance with, exposure to, awareness of, insight into; and to experience is to encounter, to meet, come into contact with, come across, come up against, come face to face with.
Christianity, then, is not a viewpoint. It is a continuous experience. It is a seeking, finding, learning and knowing of the character and person of Jesus. It is the breath of life from God – inhale, exhale, inhale. It’s discovering what “abide in Me, and I in you” really means.

I Am Yours

So I call out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim that I am Yours…

Selah – More of You

We have had enough of getting everything we want
We are weary of living this life just for us
Oh, forgive us all for seeking Your hand and not Your face
Come and empty us, Father, we are desperate in this place…..

Spreading Our Wings

eagles-in-flight

As this year comes to its close and I reflect on everything that the Lord has done in our lives, I see clearly that it has been a year of transition. In birthing, transition is the shortest phase of labor, yet it is the most intense and the most uncomfortable part of the birthing process. The major emotional marker during this phase is the sense or perception of being out of control and feeling completely helpless. It is said that it is essential for one to be reminded during this phase that they are in transition, as it helps them to handle the increased intensity.

The Lord has led us through some major life changes in this season redefining our priorities, redirecting our path, and even making a career change. Through every step of this process, we have experienced pressure, emotional highs and lows, and feelings of loss and exhilaration all at the same time. We have experience intense levels of character development, faith building and trust. Yet through all of it God was there bringing words of encouragement, guidance and hope. It is through the grace of God alone that we were able to handle such a year of change.

The eagle is considered to be one of the strongest creatures in flight and can carry an object weighing as much as itself. It has the ability to soar to heights of more than 10,000 feet. Its nest is built in the highest part of a cliff and can weigh up to two tons, built strong enough to weather and endure the elements and the strong gusts of wind that come with high altitudes, because the nest is built inside the cleft of a rock. An eagle will fly in the midst of a storm, undaunted and seemingly unaffected by the elements, soaring even higher and appearing to challenge the ferocity of the storm with courage and tranquility, flying with grace into the wind and catching the updraft again and again.

I’ve realized that as we have walked through this period of growth and maturing in our spiritual and natural lives, the Lord has surrounded us with an amazing family and awesome friends to lend encouragement and support, and to help us face the wind with courage and an eagerness to see new horizons. He’s given us His word and the Holy Spirit to be our guide and our comfort, and brought new heights to our relationship with Him in the process. And He has lit up our world with His glory and grace to remind us of His unchanging and unending love.

We are thankful for each of you that we call friend and family. Our prayer for you in the coming year is His prayer for us as He prepared to fulfill His destiny, “Now Father, I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing So My people can experience My joy completed in them. I gave them Your word; Make them holy—consecrated with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating Myself for their sake so they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission. I’m praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in Me because of them and their witness about Me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind — just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that You, in fact, sent Me. The same glory you gave Me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are — I in them and You in Me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that You’ve sent Me and loved them in the same way You’ve loved Me.” John 17:13-23 MSG

The Holy Spirit Within Us (co-written with my cousin Len)

Pen
Furiously laying down ink,

My pen is burning hot!

Feel my soul’s combustion,

Yet feverish I’m not.

It’s simply passion burning,

A flame fanned by desire

To glorify my Saviour

And set the world on fire.

A Love Story

crowd
She heard that day that he was in town, and she thought, “I’ve just got to see him! I feel like I know so much about him from what everyone has told me, and he sounds like all that I’ve dreamed of!” The only thing holding her back was that she knew when she got there that no one was going to want her around. She was looked down upon by so many, despised by others, and actually hated by even more. They would not be happy to see her. So what should she do? This, she knew, was her one chance to find out if he was THE ONE, that special man, who was just for her. Yet, she knew that he was famous, always surrounded by such a crowd of people, there was nowhere he went that his presence didn’t cause a stir. People thronged him, everyone wanting to be close, to get his attention. Getting anywhere near him would be a hard thing to do, like riding on a sea of bodies, all determined to be first in line, and aggressive in their persistence. What if she got there and couldn’t get close enough to see him? What if she did get close enough, and he totally ignored her? What if her presence there even went so far as to make him angry, or make the others angry enough to call her out? But she had to find out, she just had this feeling that this was the day, this was her time. It would be all right. It just had to be, she was desperate. She felt drawn to him and she knew that she needed him like she had never needed before, and at the same time she wondered how it was that she knew that if she’d never even met him, they’d never been introduced or even been in the same group of people before. What was she thinking? Even while this war was going on in her mind, her feet carried her to the place where he was. She was right, there were a lot of people there. She began to make her way through the crowd, taking each opportunity of a person shifting on their feet to gain ground, moving a little further ahead, weaving her way through like a thread on fabric, I’ve just got to get from beginning to end. As she got closer, all movement stopped. The people were packed so tight together, she could go no further. But wait, think! There has to be a way. Tuck in a little, stoop down, she kept striving, little by little, inching closer to him. And again, a sudden stop, no more ground to gain. But she was so close this time, she could see him, hear him, and literally FEEL him that close to her. She couldn’t let him get away without finding out. She could hardly breathe, the crowd was so closely bound together. One more try, she pressed in, stretched and worked and reached out her arm, working her way to the ground, and suddenly……SHE WAS HEALED! Luke 8:40-48