Sunday, July 06, 2008

Truth from a Dream

I woke up this morning from a deep dream in which the person in the dream had been searching in great darkness and confusion. The place where the person had been searching most recently was in the area of the number 4: the meaning of 4, the tetragrammaton, the name of God, YHWH, etc.

Suddenly this person turned around and began shouting with great excitement, "I see! I see! I see! I see!" I was not even able to return to the "experience" this person had just had a few seconds ago which caused this change, but there was no room for doubt that the experience had been very real and profound: everything about this person changed--their understanding, their awareness, their motivations, their character, their personality--no area was left unchanged.

After I woke up, two things became crystal clear about this. First of all it was extremely clear that seeing is a gift, an absolutely sovereign gift from God. Although this person had been searching with a great deal of angst and desperation, I could tell that there was no connection between the seeing and the seeking, in terms of "earning" the ability to see, or developing any kind of character that would be more ready or likely to see than before. Any and all character change came AFTER the seeing, and as a consequence of it. I interpret this to mean that it is always OK to pray for anyone to be able to see, because this does not involve any superiority of character or status: God is good and generous with His gifts, and it's always OK to ask Him as a good Father to give such powerful and life-changing gifts to His children.

The second thing I learned came as a result of asking: I asked "back into" the dream, What is the core change in this person that has come as a result of the seeing? The answer came in one word: Joy. The core motivation was now joy, replacing whatever had been there before, something darker and less hopeful. This person would now find it much easier to do loving and gracious things willingly, by choice, rather than from a sense of obligation, because they now had Joy in the center of the heart (where it belongs!).

Monday, June 30, 2008

final catch-up quote: Advice from a wise man

Advice from a wise man: What to do with a powerful visitation

Brother Bede Thomas Mudge, OSC

"…as we sat there waiting I had, once again very suddenly, one of the most powerful experiences of the presence of the Holy Spirit that I have ever had. I can only describe it as "weighty". It was like having a Mack Truck drive through the Church. There wasn't anything subtle about it. It was just like it says in Acts, "a mighty wind, which filled the whole place where they were sitting." The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, was the principal thing that was real in our Church at that moment. It was both unexpected and unmistakable.Well, that's what happened to me. I'm not feeling the need to have evaluations or analysis, at least at this point. But I do want to say that I think that these intuitive experiences are far more common that we often think. Manifestations of the spiritual part of our being are both real and perfectly natural, and my own belief is that they happen to most people. But living as we do in a society that values the rational over everything else, I think that lots of people completely miss these things when they happen, and those people who do notice them are usually reluctant to talk about them. After all they aren't "normal" (by which we mean rational). But they are, in fact, perfectly normal. These things happen to people, lots of people. But so often they are missed or we hide them.These little explosions of the Spiritual into our daily consciousness are, in my view, just part of what it means to be a human being. They don't make me holy and they aren't an indication that I'm special. They are just what happens because I have a spiritual part to my humanity, as every other human being does. I've learned both from the Christian tradition and from my experience that you have to be very careful about claiming anything about these happenings or making predictions based on them or telling people what they should be doing because of them. Mostly they're not for that. They are usually just moments when the veil is drawn aside and we see more of reality than we are usually open to. After all, the Holy Spirit is with us all the time…. I just happened to realize this at one particular moment.What should I do about it? I should be thankful. I should rejoice in this very nice gift that I've been given. I should be grateful for having had a moment when I became more aware of the fullness of who I am. And then I should get about the business of writing my blog, and finishing my correspondence and loving my neighbor and doing the laundry. I should work at being a Christian and a human being. That's what these things are for. And that's enough."

another quote from other blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

another quote

This one is by Quaker apologist Robert Barclay and is taken from the Bill Samuel's blog entry for May 16th at

Here's the quote:

"If by the Spirit we can only come to the true knowledge of God; if by the Spirit we are to be led into all Truth, and so be taught of all things; then the Spirit, and not the Scriptures, is the foundation and ground of all Truth and knowledge, and the primary rule of faith and manners."

next entry from other site

Note on Mystical Theology from a fine review in Books & Culture:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The embrace of unitive love: Kissing God

In the early 15th century, Jean Gerson, chancellor of the University of Paris, wrote a two-volume treatise on the subject, the first scholarly study of mysticism. The title alone, On Mystical Theology, shows his view: Mysticism is theology, but more personal and experiential than the scholastic theology of the academy. Gerson defines this mystical theology as "an experiential knowledge of God that comes through the embrace of unitive love," and he offers a robustly evocative account of the mystics' writings: "They talk of a jubilation beyond the spirit, of being taken into a divine darkness, of tasting God, of embracing the bridegroom, of kissing him, of being born of God, of obeying his word, of being brought into the divine cellars, of being drunk in a torrent of delight, of running into an odor of his perfumes, of hearing his voice, and entering into the bedroom, and of finding sleep and rest in peace with him."

from a review by Nathaniel Peters

first entry from other blog

Monday, June 23, 2008

A thought from this weekend

This weekend I heard a preacher quote from the following verses of Proverbs:"He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment." 12:11"He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty." 28:19The question (to myself) that I wrote in my journal in response to this is:"ARE YOU WORKING YOUR LAND, OR ARE YOU CHASING FANTASIES?"I see this as applying to a lot of areas of "work" beyond just literal farming...

Peace and love to all,Peter

combining blogs

I think I have figured out how to combine my two blogs (that have been unnecessarily split) in here:

I will post in here the last few entries from the other blog, and then keep using this one and shut down the other one.

Peace to all,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What to do while in between worlds

My friend Carl just posted about being "in-between worlds" because of his love for Christ and the church, and his love for nature and the things of earth as well.

I have a theory that much of the way we each interpret the spiritual world stems from the way we first experienced it: for Carl, his story of his initial spiritual experience as a teen confirms this: he definitely found himself "between worlds" in that original encounter, and indeed for many years afterwards.

My own first encounter with God included the awareness of the calling, "Thou art a priest forever in the order of Melchisedek." From this perspective, if I were to find myself in Carl's place I would have an agenda, an action plan, already in place--one given to me, not of my own design.

The Melchisedek intercessor performs both sides of the priestly function: he takes the needs and pains and "gifts" of the earth and brings them as an offering to God. And he takes the heavenly gifts of grace and sacrifice and redemption and healing and transformation, and presents them to the people as the expression of divine love to them.

So while I am by nature a contemplative, yet the middle ground "between worlds" does not become for me a place of speculation, but of action, being the "bridge of love" that Carl is calling for in his other post for today!

I offer this to Carl in thanks for a challenge he gave me some time back, that is, to include the drive to communicate our "mystical" or spiritual experiences in my definition of "mystical." This is some of the fruit of that: the communication or "bridge work" is inherent in the original spiritual call, and it is functioning at least to the extent that you can see here.

Thanks, Carl!

Friday, May 16, 2008

a poem written May 10, 2008

Have you seen the glory of God?
The place of Nothingness in the cosmos
from which Everything comes?
The fullness that fills all the Emptiness?
The Oneness beyond the Void
beyond all the Particles?

Have you gone back down through
your weakest weaknesses,
your greatest losses, your
most profound and chronic lacks
down through the bottom and out
the bottomless into the
great empty black hole
where you are alone,
where you are not?

Have you seen from there
as if from afar, and tiny,
coming into the center
and filling all the empty space
the light, the point
that is greater than all it fills
and growing, the light
endlessly exploding beyond
its vast dark house,
endlessly, tirelessly filling all
dark corners and hollows
and racing beyond to create
and fill yet more new spaces?

I have, and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Glory of God in His Church

On this blog over the past few days I have been fiercely contending for the "right" to hear the word God is speaking TODAY for His Church . And I have been praying for implementation of this gift.

Well, this morning I heard that if I behold the beauty and the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ--that is, if I focus on and attend to the reality that is in this verse of Scripture, 2Cor 4:6:

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

--if I pay close attention to this glory, I will see the reality of what He is passionately and singlemindedly and wholeheartedly obsessed with producing in His holy and perfect Bride, the one He is fashioning to come into union with Himself.

I am quite sure that this is true! My daily struggle is to keep seeing this, and acting on it, in relation to the everyday interactions with His people in ordinary settings. The glory of God is here! May we see what He has in mind for us, by beholding His glory in the face of Jesus Christ; may we believe in His power present to effect this transformation IN US according to His revealed will.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Love to all,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a new zeal

This is an area where I see a great cloud of deception over the church. I pray with several folks for an hour and a half every morning for God's will to be done over the city He has sovereignly placed us in, for His Spirit to break through here and make the major changes He wants to make.

So if I see this (cessationism and all its evil crones) as a major enemy hidden in the church here, and I am committed to pray for the needed breakthrough,then LOGICALLY (wonderful word/concept when it is not being used to support oppression) I will be eager to join the fight at the place where I most clearly see the greatest need. And the "not-carnal-but-mighty-through-God" weapons I have available for use in this fight include entirely non-cessationist active gifts in prophecy and discernment of spirits, tongues and interpretation and faith--along with a well-practiced willingness to work together with others who are anointed and gifted with compatible gifts to use for the edifying of the church.

So here goes! I am not going to stay under the bushel basket any longer. May God shed His light through this willing vessel as through many others everywhere--the establishment of His Kingdom depends on it!


A new rant against cessationism

I have had occasion lately to respond to a cessationist blog with all the "fire" of my conviction, and fully backed up by my house-church "pastor" (for lack of a more relevant title). I will post on here the full blast of what I have written, whether the precious cessationist brother in question ever gets the chance to read this or not.

Peace to all,

I reject cessationism as contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the entire New Testament: every one of the Gospels, the book of Acts, every one of the Epistles and the book of Revelation. Cessationism is an illogical, unspiritual, unscriptural, restrictive, false, unwarranted, ungodly, ungenerous, ungracious, reactionary, uninspired, humanly devised system of thought based on extrabiblical sources, a total lack of scriptural or historical or experiential evidence, and (most especially) faulty reasoning. It true basis is not the pseudo-intellectual logical syllogisms it is usually couched in, but a profound fear and terror of the reality of the spiritual world in which we all live and move and have our being, as the Scriptures attest, and of which Jesus Christ is the supreme Lord, prophet, priest, king, apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher. An unwillingness to dispense (administer) each and all of these gifts (without exception or limitation) to His New Testament believers and followers, members of His church, His bride, due to some perceived fear that to do so would somehow diminish His sovereignty, His uniqueness, the completeness and significance of His ministry, is entirely foreign both to the character of Jesus as revealed in the New Testament—in the entire Bible—and to the literal and spiritual intent of His own words and those of the anointed writers of the Holy Scriptures. Cessationism stands in direct contradiction to clear Biblical statements about how the world operates, the spiritual basis of all reality, the nature of divine life and of human life, the operation of faith, hope, and love in the life of the church, and the epistemological foundations of communication with God that underlie the entire Bible. Cessationism is doctrinally and spiritually closest to the heresy of deism, which holds that God started things off and then left for vacation and let everything continue on its own, without His active participation, based merely on principles He set in motion from the beginning: cessationism holds that God spoke everything that ever needed to be said through Jesus, finished the task through the early apostles and writers of the New Testament canon, and then put some duct tape on His mouth and has refused to say anything since then for fear of contradicting the content and character of what He has finished saying long ago. Cessationism puts far too heavy a weight on the office of pastor/preacher (HINT: IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE PASTOR IS NOT THE PROPHET. THE PASTOR IS NOT THE PROPHET. THE PASTOR IS NOT THE PROPHET.) and far too little power, privilege and responsibility on believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and able to hear from Him and move by His Spirit to fulfill His will in their lives—including the key task of spreading the kerygma, the Good News of His death and resurrection, His victory over sin and death, which cannot be fully and effectively proclaimed without the present active power of the Holy Spirit in anointing the words of the messengers, in convicting the hearts of the hearers, and in confirming the message with signs following, as the Scripture tells us. Cessationism, in an attempt to honor what Jesus Christ has done for us in His sacrificial atonement to free us from our sins, severely restricts the scope of His activity by His Spirit in His church today, which (according to what He said) is the intended purpose of what He has done for us in the atonement.

May God by His Holy Spirit enlighten the minds of those in bondage to the darkness of this form of deception, and fill them with the enlightenment of the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus and as it is available to them by His current inspiration and revelation. May the man-made walls, boundaries, definitions, and restrictions be torn down and replaced by the protection and safety promised to the disciples of Jesus as they move forward in the power of His Spirit to fulfill the commission to heal, save, deliver, and restore suffering and lost souls to the salvation He has paid such a dear price to provide for them. May our minds, which can be such excellent servants of spiritual truth, but such oppressive masters, be subject to the Holy Spirit as He fulfills His promised ministry of leading us into all truth.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

still here

I am pleased to see that this blog is still here. I would like to post a bit more on here again, after a year and a half off!

ttyl, Peter