Sunday, 23 December 2012


Definition of AD HOMINEM
1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

There's been a lot of discussion around the interwebs about all sorts of controversial topics. Many questions being asked about foundational issues for christendom, and many extremes of responses.

There are many factions and subgroups supporting their own particular ideas, some fundamental/traditionalist, some very "on the edge" radical.

Its very important to discuss all these things - crucial actually, as we move into greater understanding of God's plan for all of mankind, his character, and his relationship with us.

But the BIG problem is how we do this - how do we discuss? How do we express our passion with respect? In our enthusiasm over what God is showing us we, way too often, completely tromp over others, kicking them in the teeth and using ad hominem (see above) attacks. This is human nature at its worst, and few and far between are those who aren't tempted to do it! I've found my cut-off point for grace on a few occasions, and launched out at people.

So most of us know about unconditional love, patience and long suffering, turning the other cheek etc., but I've seen way too many so called "grace" people exercise anything but grace. So here's my observations...

Most of us are normal emotional people with varying degrees of patience and at different stages along our journey, sometimes offended, sometimes loving and tolerant, but we know when we overstep the mark, and are willing to accept responsibility for our words. There is a wide spectrum of responses and reactions here and its easy to lose the plot sometimes. But when we begin to attack the other person's character to defend an argument we have crossed over into the "enemy's" territory! Yes, by all means be passionate, forceful, emotional, but just remember that we are all on this journey together, all loved by God - and we have no right to judge another person's heart. I've had run-ins with friends even, but friends know our hearts and should always realise relationships are far more important than doctrine.

HOWEVER, some people are completely blind to anything outside their current mindset (or paradigm) to the point where anything that challenges that is heresy, and they feel its their job to correct everyone else. They will not engage in honest communication, or even listen to anything that differs from their beliefs. This is usually the stance of people who use religion for narcissistic reasons, and christianity just happens to be the belief system that suits them best.

So what do we do with them? Its often hard to pick them until you have already engaged them, and then you have to find a way out, or it will only end in tears! These are the ones that I struggle with, and I think Jesus and Paul had no problem dealing these "whitewashed sepulchres". But we must always err on the side of love and grace. Give the benefit of the doubt until you know there is no light, then walk away, shake the dust, and go on.

Yes I'm preaching to myself as well, but lets do this together, even if you think someone is preaching heresy, take the time to find out what and why, find out how God is speaking to them, what's the basis for their beliefs, give them the same credit you give yourself and always assume Holy Spirit is just as capable of speaking to us all as He sees fit! See with Father's eyes, hear with His ears and love with His heart.

Monday, 26 November 2012

God IS...

Gods character - what is it?
What's he like?

Well apparently the bible says he is loving and just and merciful, but he's also jealous, wrathful, angry and well, just about every human attribute has also been ascribed to God at some time in some way.

But there is only one attribute that God IS - and that's love.

God IS love.

He isn't loving, or shows kindness when he is happy, or merciful when he feels sorry for us. HE IS LOVE.

So all the other stuff in the bible? Maybe man, in his attempts to understand the universe, how it all fits together and all our failings, shaped God in his own image. And maybe the biblical record is the account of the discourse between God and man leading up to God sorting it all out, once and for all, through Jesus.

Maybe we read the bible as if every word describing God's character and actions is exactly how He is, instead of thinking its the record of man struggling to define Him through their own understanding.

The only characteristic of God that is valid is love. (1 Cor 13)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Christianity is dead - long live Jesus

Maybe I'm just getting tired and cynical, or maybe I'm really feeling God's heart - not sure...

As I troll the interwebs, looking at the goings on in christendom, I start to feel like its all a farce. All the bickering, the twisted angry people spouting twisted angry doctrines about a twisted angry God. Fighting each other over things that don't matter, swallowing stupidity hook line and sinker. Gullibly believing stuff just because it was how their favourite leaders teach it, or its just the traditions they have been handed down.

Then there's all the political crap that has been wrapped in christian words, supposedly to make godly nations, and supposedly bringing his blessing on the land. And all the money grabbing ministries, and all the "support Israel or be damned" groups.

I look at all this and think, what a mess! Is there actually any truth in this whatsoever? The bible is little use in sorting out the mess because that's the very thing that starts half the problems anyway. For me christianity is dead. Its a corpse that won't lie down because people keep kicking it around, propping it up and putting makeup on it in the vain hope that it will keep going.

But somewhere outside of all that is the light of Jesus. I think the light went out in christainity a long time ago. There are however lights shining in individuals who quietly get on with bringing Gods heart to a starving needy world. And many aren't in the church, and many aren't "christians" (gasp). But they bring Fathers love to all they touch. They bring the miracle of what Jesus did for all mankind to life in all they are and do, and spread that miracle to all around them.

That light also flickers in some of us, and struggles to burn through the walls of christianity, to break free into the world. It is held back by the very religion that tried to embrace it, but ended up smothering it to death.

For those of us who nurture our precious unity with God, who see that flame in others and want nothing more than to blow life into it, can we stand together? Can we leave the rotting putrid corpse of christendom for the vultures, walk away from it, and let Jesus shine? Let his unconditional love for everyone be our sole justification for all we are and do?

I could! I could just walk away from it all and leave it for the fires of Gehenna.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Uniquely the same

This is a tough post. I want to express something that is still forming in my mind and, well, I may be premature, but thought I'd put it out there for some reaction anyway.

What if God wasn't that worried about all our doctrines. I mean really, its not a problem. And I mean things like our current hot topics, healing, universalism, penal substitution, you know all the things that we get so hot under the collar about that completely destroy relationships.

What if we could take a step back from endless eschatology, hermeneutics, exegesis, blah, blah, and find the lowest (or highest) common denominator and just sit there for a while, a long while, and let it become the centrality of all we are, perceive and do.

The problem is of course determining what that commonality is. I think we would all agree its love. But then straight away we have to define love. Well, what if we could take a step back from that as well. I mean, Jesus reckoned we had to be like kids to understand all this. Kids understand love. You don't have to explain it too them. It doesn't need scriptural support or interpretation or theology degrees. Every heart knows what love is, even if they don't give it or receive it themselves.

Yes, this is very simplistic but hang in there. As we grow in our own love relationship with God we can see everyone else on the journey, and know that just as God has taken us to where we are, he will take everyone on their own unique journey. That will give us a freedom to interact with any person at the place they are at on their journey. We don't look down or up to them, or think they are better or worse, or deceived, or holy, or a heretic. Perhaps the only thing we can do is to challenge each other to not stop, to keep asking questions, to be willing to change our minds and keep growing, even if it looks hard!

We should be able to walk with a traditional anglican or catholic just as easily as a baptist or pentecostal, universalist or even someone from another religion, new ager or atheist, and respect the sincerity of their hearts. We should be able to listen to them, hear the underlying questions, the way they are expressed and the way they try to meet their "heart needs".

Then we can begin to feel God's heart for them, but not in a patronising way, but as an equal, a fellow traveler who knows that God is working in and through all things. We are then free to encourage each other to truly seek God's heart of love, to lift each other above our self made confines.

I guess I feel that at some point we can find open hearts, no matter where and under whatever circumstances, and have a relationship with those people at the "level" they are at without condemning or patronising, only a pure desire to help them on their journey to discover the depth of Love Himself, whatever that journey might look like.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pride and Humility

~ Colin Lagerwall

Pride and Humility are often seen as opposites, yet in reality, they are totally compatible and even imperative to our complete design ...
When both have their source in Truth ....

When we know that our 'Person' is of God, made in His Image and Likeness, there is no greater source of satisfaction than in knowing 'who you are' with nothing missing or falling short in the completeness of your being, an exact expression of your Father, just as He carefully and with intense Love designed every part of you;

And by embracing all of yourself as He has made you, you see how brilliant His handiwork is, and that this handiwork is all of His design and doing, not of any accomplishment of your own, because it is the way he designed and created you, and that it is your birthright .... your 'Person' is of His 'Person'.

With this understanding comes a Humility that has no falseness or self abasement, but a true sense of humble awe that perfectly blends with this pride and joy in your 'Person' , forming a complete and wholesome blend that is best described as your Glory ......

It is Pride without being puffed up, for there is no need to puff that up which is full and complete, for the substance of this Pride is true, yet it carries no arrogance for the workmanship was never of your own doing, you were born that way, just as He made You and designed You ........

It is a unique combination of the full spectrum of high and low with this fullness founded in Truth, and the beauty of understanding it, is that you realize that that which is true of you is also true of All, so there is no need for competing and comparisons, only a sense of deep appreciation for those you meet in your daily doings as you recognize this same Glory in All;

And you realize that the only thing that keeps people blind to their Glory are the lies that they have believed about their Design and their Source, a design that proudly displays the Voice of Truth that says "You are Very Good ..."

And in this place of 'Glory', we find that it has no need for self indulgence, for it is full;
There is no need to acquire popularity, for it's own popularity is complete in itself;
There is no need for abasing itself, for that would be living a lie;

And then from within this fullness of glory that can receive no more, we begin to see that it is a Living glory that is fermenting and bubbling and vibrant and active, it is a life-force that cannot be contained, it has to be shared and poured to a world that was designed to be a recipient of Your glory, a world that is thirsting for this glory of Your Person, and you give and pour because there is no end, for you are intertwined with the Life of the One from whom you came and of whom 'You Are', a one-of-a-kind unique expression of the Author of All things;

And in this overflowing giving of Yourself, you realize that 'Yes, I Am like Him, for I Am designed to be full and complete ..... No! ... designed to be More than full, to overflow with this Goodness of my being and all it expresses, to Others;

For my fullness has no end as it flows through the open-hearted compulsion of Love to empty my Self in others, yet it is an emptying that will not be depleted, for there is a Flow of Life that is always More than can be given ...........

To really 'Be like Him' is to be your Self in full Pride and full Humility, and compelled by the Love with which you are pickled, pouring your Self with open heart at ground level into a world that is longing .....
For You ........!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I have a confession to make.

I engage in a lot of theological/doctrinal discussion, and part of me desperately wants to pull all the loose threads of christendom and the nature of God and man together, as well as the salvation of all mankind.

I read lots of books, endless articles, all discussing minute aspects of scripture - revealing incredible layers of revelation that weave through all biblical history. Heaps of testimonies about healing, miracles, near death experiences, provision, victory...

But they are all at odds with each other. Yeah, lots of common ideas, but lots of complete contradictions. Even scripture is full of contradictions/paradox. People forever trying to disprove each other and gather supporters, tearing down and belittling others in the process.

And I'm rather tired of it all.

I know in my own heart what God is showing me, and its really simple. So what is to say I'm any "righter" than any one else? Nothing I guess. But it's where I'm at (ask again next week). So what's so simple?


We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. (1 John 4:16).

These simple words are the underlying truth that everything stands on. They summarise all theology and doctrine. Its the beginning and end of all we are. Its the only message that any man needs to know. It's the Gospel. Read these words carefully, look at the construction of the sentence (in any translation). If John was actually right, then all our endless discussions are just for entertainment value at best, and a total waste of our lives at worst.

I guess I'll still discuss and argue doctrine, but it all turns into clanging gongs in the end - just our stupid ideas... and how precious those ideas can become: healing, salvation, atonement, holiness, anointing, hell, calvinism, baptism, rapture, prophesy, armageddon, and the list goes on and on and on.

I find myself more and more just wanting to grab people and shake them, saying stop!! get your head out of all this and just let God love you! That's all! And the best news is; all who live in love, live in God and God lives in them! Am I basing my entire life on one scripture. You bet!! Are there other scriptures that need to be considered? Only if they line up with this as the centrality of all we read and understand. And yeah, its not just one scripture - this message is woven through all scripture, we just keep missing it!

Oh yeah, my confession? I don't care about christianity any more, its dead. I just love Jesus because He loves me.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Scary Now

The changes tear
Eyes squint to strain
Wind spiked tears bleed down cheeks
Salty tracks crack with a smile
To what am I led
   With delightful wisps of promise?
To where am I dragged
   Through gravel loss and sweet meadow gain?

Past chains drop link by link
Yet bruises still grip, rusty skin stains burn.
Face the warming sun, the breeze green grass
This moment, this moment
Is freer than the last, but -
There is no past to compare now
There is no future to despair now
This moment is I am, is who am I?
Is untried baby steps, is floating
Is not-fear, peaceful confusion

An open space, so open
Could I have dreamed?
Am I still hoping, to heal the bruises?
   Scrub the rust from from tender skin?
Nothing is as it was as I thought
And this new light blows
   Through everything
Singing and sighing
Like spring's first blush

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stuck in the middle with Jesus

What, only a few hours since my last blog? The old brain cell is working overtime again!

Stuck in the middle of what with Jesus?

The middle of the two covenants! The death of the old and the creation of the new. And in my humble opinion most of us get stuck in the middle of the two covenants, not being able to figure out quite which way to go.

Now I know most of us are quite happy about walking away from the old and embracing the new, and for many of us its the most cathartic experience in our lives when we realise that the old is totally and utterly gone and we are now living in complete freedom, in union with God.

BUT...   What do we do with the teachings of Jesus?

Most of us are taught that we are to live by his teachings, first and foremost. That the words of Jesus are the most important guide to life we have. But if we take a closer look at them and compare His teachings to Paul's, we start to see a lot of discrepancies! Jesus preached a VERY hard lifestyle. He raised the bar on sin so high that it is impossible to live by those standards. All his parables, allegories and metaphors, paint hard pictures, harsh consequences, and strict judgement. But Paul's gospel is different. Full of God's unconditional love and acceptance of us. The bar on sin was raised so high it just disappeared - Jesus removed it from the equation.

So what do we make of Jesus teachings? It's really simple. He hadn't completed the transition to the New covenant while he walked the earth. He was born under the Old, lived under the Old, preached under the Old and died under the Old. Yes, he often pointed to the New, but nobody understood until the gift of hindsight brought its wisdom! When He was raised from the dead, the New began (some even say it wasn't even until the Holy Spirit came - who knows, the issue is really about what He taught).

Jesus audience was the Jews. He bumped into a few Samaritans and gentiles and spoke to them in quite a  different tone. But most of his teachings were to the Jews under the Old covenant. They don't apply to us!


But like it or not, they don't. Even the beatitudes, as good sounding as they are, are all just to show up the failings of the Old. The Lord's prayer, same, with a bit of pointing to the New just to top it off.

Here's a challenge... just try reading the gospels with that in mind, that its sole purpose is to the Jews under the Old covenant, to show how hard it is to live up to the standards they had created. To show them the burden they had created for themselves and the mess they had made of everything. (I'll leave the purpose and validity of the laws with their harsh demands and consequences for another time).

If we are trying to live by Jesus teachings we have completely missed the boat, we have stepped off the wharf and are about to drown with the boat sailing off into the sunset. Paul's gospel is the truth of the life we are to live. He was given a snippet of the depth of what Jesus did and how incredible God's heart for us really is. And dare I say, Paul was only the beginning and it seemed he struggled with coming to terms with cultural values, social applications etc. He even sometimes threw some bits of the Old back into the mix without realising, while trying to sort out misunderstandings and the general mess left by many who just didn't get it!

Reading the New Testament with this lens, it all starts to make sense. It becomes really simple. It unravels a lot of doctrinal mazes and presents us with a clear, understandable, beautiful picture of God's heart.

Yes, this puts the bible into a different light. Suddenly it's not the literal "Word of God", its the record of how God made the way clear for us to live loved. Its His heart spoken through the shakey words of men in awe of what He's done. Men who were still grappling to apply this amazing gospel. And it gives us the keys to do the same. Its not an instruction book on how to be a christian, and neither are Jesus' teachings the way to live.
Our union with God, through Christ, and Holy Spirit, is the source of all our revelation and knowledge of Himself. The bible supports that knowledge and encourages us to relationship. Relationship is what its all about!

Don't get stuck in the middle with Jesus - move on into the fullness and freedom of the gospel!

To War!!

Recently, I've been posting and responding to comments on Facebook about war.

I've discovered there are many christians who actually endorse acts of war and even some who harbor anger and hate for anything "foreign" behind a christian mask.

There are many christians in the military, all for their own various reasons, and its not for me to question that. But I do question the whole waring mentality ESPECIALLY amongst christians. I'm surprised at the type of reactions I get from these comments, especially amongst those who profess their understanding of grace and the unconditional love of God.

After some interaction with a guy who openly declared his loathing for certain other faiths, I responded with this:

"No one would despise those who truly fight to defend the lives of loved ones. But those who die for an ideal that may or may not be truly founded in reality and love, have probably died in vain. Their loss is no less, and those who grieve should be comforted, because the passion of those who fought was founded in sincerity and the commitment and loyalty to a cause that seemed to be the right thing at the right time.
But, as with many things, we grow and understand that there are always other solutions, hindsight should give us wisdom, although history usually proves that we learn nothing from history!
If we see a "fight for freedom" exclusively expressed through violence, we have truly progressed no further than the Dark Ages, where greed and power were the only motivation to brutality inflict "God's will" on the world.
To endorse war as the only means to peace is deny the very nature of God."

Perhaps I would feel differently if we were invaded, and I'm sure I would attempt to defend my family. But I would definitely encourage those who understand God's heart to intervene before it even got to that point.

I don't give a stuff about politics (although I can like or dislike policies as much as the next person), but really, it makes little difference. If we are prepared to bring God's heart to the world from the ground up, to live from our intimacy with him, then and only then will we see change. Not just in our own neighborhood, but to ALL nations.

Its a big call, but I challenge anyone to tell me its Gods heart to go to war!

Monday, 1 October 2012

All roads lead to Rome

Now that's a title that's bound to get some interest! Jim's lost the plot and headed for the fires of hell, yet again.

Well, I'm not broaching the subject of other religions, I'll save that for some time down the line... But I am talking about doctrines, denominations, theology, paradigms, blah, blah.

I had a run in with someone about "sound doctrine" and if you don't have it you're headed for damnation and need to repent immediately! It was their job to publicly determine who was "sound" and who was a heretic. It doesn't take much to imagine what my response would have been, but I was nice about it!

Sooo, let's take a couple of the most currently contentious doctrines floating around, say, "all are in Christ" and maybe "Universal Reconciliation", "Inclusionists" perhaps, subjective vs objective reconciliation, all that sort of stuff. Its a huge battle as people throw scriptures around trying to prove their points. Books and countless articles, videos and posts about it all. Now you probably know my personal views on some of this stuff, but that's not really the issue.

The point is we need to encourage each other to go for it! Yes, that's right, support and help each other in our quest for truth!

We can trust God in us to guide us, its really that simple. All we need is the integrity and honesty about our journey and the humility to be wrong and the willingness to be stretched. He has given us intelligence, reason, common sense, curiosity, passion and a desire for truth. We need to use these faculties to their fullest. And the best part is He's right there with us in that journey.

Now I can hear some of you saying, "well that's fine as long as its based in scripture, otherwise we'll just drift off into spiritual anarchy and deception". Well, I kinda think God's a little bigger than that. If we are truly living in the integrity I described above, then we can totally trust God to guide us.

The thing is, His grace leads us to intimacy with Him - that's the whole purpose of it. In that place, doctrines become a non-issue, its all about Jesus and us, living loved and all that entails. And from that place we have the permission and the ability to freely pursue all that we put our minds to. His universe (physical and spiritual) is so enormously huge that even the bible is quite a limited document.

That's got a few of you going too, I would guess, but I've covered that in a few previous blogs. Suffice it to say, the bible is awesome and definitely something He left for us to cross reference our life in the Holy Spirit with, but its also been the fuel for the worst atrocities in history.

We are made in His image and we are in union with Him. We are free to use all our God given capabilities and character to pursue His truth, in complete trust that He will guide us. Jesus WILL lead us into all truth.

So my original point? All these doctrines aren't either/or, they are expression of God's heart through us, and we have nothing to fear by pursuing these ideas. Lets help each other in this exciting journey into the enormity of Daddy's heart!!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Why does God allow suffering?
Why is there so much pain?
What about innocent children dying?
What about world politics? National politics?
Doomsday? Freedom of speech? Injustice? Poor and homeless? Mental illness?
And all the other questions we have?

We want the answer to why all this happens, when God who IS Love and nothing but Love, lets it happen!

There are thousands of theologically complex answers that require a lot of mental gymnastics to get around. We keep trying to answering this big question by analyzing scripture, and end up with something that doesn't really appease anyone deep down. I mean, really deep in our hearts. Its one of those areas that we end up saying "God's ways are greater than ours" blah, blah...

But these questions will never be answered, and CANNOT be answered by any amount of exegesis, study, whatever. Its RELATIONSHIP! Lame answer isn't it. Well, here it is - we won't see an answer outside of personal intimate relationship with the fullness of the truine God. We have to let go of these questions completely, as overwhelming as they are, and ONLY pursue the reality of our love affair with God.

Only then will the world make sense. Only out of the security of our reciprocal, unconditional, love with God does the world and all these questions make sense. And even more frustrating is we begin to loose the language to communicate any set of tidy answers that we can share. We start to see God's heart for his precious creation, that is way beyond black and white solutions to problems. There is a peace "beyond all understanding" that rests in a greater reality. The answers we crave for cannot be expressed in words, only in love.

We waste our time trying to enter into political discussions, justice, suffering etc, trying to figure out what a "Christian" stand should be on these things. Just look at how well that works!

Its ONLY from intimate relationship with God that we will ever see His heart for the world He created. And that is beyond communication. It can only be expressed in an overflow of His love for us.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


"Perichoresis: the mutual inter-penetration and indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...
The relationship of the Triune God is intensified by the relationship of perichoresis. This indwelling expresses and realizes fellowship between the Father and the Son. It is intimacy. Jesus compares the oneness of this indwelling to the oneness of the fellowship of his church from this indwelling. "That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us (John 17:21)." ~ Wikipedia
( for more info)

A very fine sounding word, and if you flash it around you'll sound highly knowledgeable and people will give you instant credibility, although there is the possibility they will think you are talking about a tropical disease.

But I love this concept. We all give it verbal acknowledgement to some degree, but the full implications seem to completely elude most of us. I'm starting to get my head around it, but I think I'm just flitting around the edges. I mean, "the mutual inter-penetration and indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity" is a bit beyond the edge of where our nice safe doctrines usually take us. Sounds a bit like sex to me! That's full intimate hot sex between besotted lovers. And not only that, its a foursome!  

Have I just gone too far? Over-stepped the bounds of decency and morality?
Ok, we are made in God's image, so many things about love and intimacy that we understand are definitely God given and mirror part of His image, His character (and remember, God is Love!). We fall in love with someone, become more and more familiar and open to each other, the level of intimacy increases until it is consummated in sex. This must be a shadow of God's love, and, what's more, a dim shadow at that! Very scary!

This opens up a whole can of worms that would take more than this blog to cover. But I keep getting more and more overwhelmed with the revelation that I am loved so much that God wants to be that intimate - He wants our mutual inter-penetration. And not only that, He is already integrally a part of us, all of us, and He's inviting us to be as intimate as the Godhead is. Yes, this is starting to sound pretty cosmic and whacky but as usual, its been something I just can't shake! There really is something to it, and I'm starting to experience it, and I think we have all experienced a degree of it at some time, but the fear of loosing ourselves on that level is real, and we certainly aren't encouraged to pursue beyond a safe church experience.

Now I'm not much for the whole "drunk in the spirit" thing. I understand it, and don't knock the validity of the experience (although I have seen a lot of "faking"), but most of the time its just inappropriate self indulgence, in my opinion anyway. However, the sense of being in love to the degree that perichoresis allows goes way beyond being "drunk", as far as the "shadow", that our earthly experience is, indicates.

And here's another thing that really amazes me. God holds everything together - there is nowhere He isn't, therefore He is in everything - there is no part of us where He isn't, therefore He is intrinsically a part of us or we wouldn't exist, therefore perichoresisis isn't some weird new doctrine. All we have to do is accept it and allow God to gently take us into the awareness of our unity, to help us open our minds to His intimacy. He already knows us completely, but He wants us to enjoy His knowledge of us and our knowledge of him, that we would mutually understand, embrace each other, talk and listen to each other and allow that intimacy its full course, whatever that may look like!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Singing in the spirit

While writing some content for my book, I was thinking about the first time I heard "singing in the spirit" in a charismatic church in the 70s.

It was an incredible experience. I couldn't really hear much, sitting up the back, and the songs were all a bit tacky, but then they started this “singing in the spirit” thing. This was the most amazing sound I had ever heard as waves of random harmonies

went sweeping over the auditorium. I couldn't believe that this could be so wonderful and spontaneous! I'm not sure if it was just because it was the first time I heard it, but nothing else ever came close. It tweaked my musical creativity and my spirit simultaneously – truly awesome.

As I moved into charismatic/pentecostal worship leading this became common place and was something you did to bring the "anointing". I learned all the tricks, but I could also just feel what to do, how the dynamics worked, and found it was easy to bring that elusive anointing.

There is a unique dynamic that goes on in community singing - in ALL cultures. People are united by singing together about common themes, which can be spiritual or social. When you listen to and watch these other cultures there is the same freedom to express joy and admiration as christians feel, and there is the same sensitivity to the dynamic. From wild happy celebration to mystical solemn song and chanting. Now some would say its a demonic copy of the Holy Spirit. But I would say its something built into our nature.

The music and rhythms can touch subliminal thoughts and emotions, so in a christian context we have Jesus as our common focus. The sounds are culturally based however, so what would bring a state of ecstasy for Mongolians would probably send your average Texan running from the room screaming.

I would now dare to hazard that its nothing to do with "anointings" but with our innate ability to find a state of joy, strength, unity and ecstasy through culturally applicable, focused, community singing.

Now this doesn't negate our "praise and worship" times, but it takes away the illusion that we have to do it right for God to anoint it and for some reason think He suddenly turns up when it "feels" right or some appropriate climax is reached.

God is always 100% there, in us and with us, so He ain't going to turn up any more than He is already. But its our focus and unity we feel when we sing about Him together. We switch off everything else and allow our spirit and emotions to express themselves in the music. This is the same for all cultures and has nothing to do with Christian doctrine as such, we are just tapping into a common human experience and using it for enhancing our experience and relationship with God.

This is actually great news because we can relax, without any expectation of some mystical experience determining whether the "worship and praise" was anointed or not. We are free to accept Gods presence in and with us all the time, and that our singing together is for us, its for our benefit, it makes us feel good, and makes us feel good about God. Its natural and wonderful without any need for hype and super spirituality.

So back to the singing in the spirit... Its like mystical chanting in many cultures. It can drift and swirl with rhythm and harmony relevant to the culture. A uniting expression that unites spirits and focuses emotions. And its beautiful, freeing, and its something we can use to enhance our intimacy with God and each other.

I'll continue to work through this and comment more on the spiritual side another time,

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Further up and further in

The days of grace, shine like new stars
Gasping in silent awe
The rush of revelation, the new peace
Slipping into memory foam padding
Like an astronaut pressed hard and helpless
Breaking free from gravity

The deep processes of neuron fires
Burning new paths
Further up and further in

Embrace of love
Embrace of death
Embrace of life
I didn't know that I didn't know
I love that I don't know
I hate that I don't know
I reluctantly show, I was wrong
I gladly show, its bigger, oh so bigger

The deep changes keep changing
The deep love keeps burning
The words fade and the passions ignite

The deep processes of neuron fires
Burning new paths
Further up and further in

Monday, 27 August 2012

Travels in Aus

Well its been 4 weeks in sunny Australia and one more to go! What an amazing time, visiting family and friends (old and new) and some time to chill/sightsee/reminisce.

I have so much to process! I felt it was a time to listen, observe, hear the incredibly diverse stories of the people who have meant a lot to me over the years. Many of them I hadn't seen for 20 or more years, even a couple of old school friends from the 70s. I shared much of my story too, and received all the love that was offered, especially from those who knew Min.

Over the next few weeks I'll be compiling a lot of thoughts from this trip. I knew God wanted to expand my horizons, allow me to see His love in action in so many different lives. To see the application of His grace where it intersects in every person's life. I have been blessed more than I could imagine by how He has revealed His heart of love to me and allowed me to see it in others, even when they can't.

As I'm typing this I feel a weight of solemnity, almost tears (or something), aching to see the world overwhelmed with His passionate love for us all, yet almost a detachment from myself as I also walk the path of journalist/observer, ready to question, inspire, delivering cathartic catalysts, and prizing paradigms loose from their moorings.

He is good beyond our wildest dreams, and so much bigger than our silly little doctrines and dogmas.

"...but the greatest of these is Love" 1 Cor 13

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

How does He speak to you - follow up

After my request for comments on how God speaks to you  I received a good range of replies (although not anywhere near as much as I hoped - feel free to let me know if you are still interested). My plan was to assemble all the comments anonymously to show the diversity of our interactions with Him, and explore this with my own perspective to provide some clarity on the whole subject, and publish it as a short article.

I'm now working on this (probably to be incorporated into my book as well), and finding it really exciting. There are many questions surrounding how we equate intimacy and unity with God to how we communicate with Him. I have posted a few ideas before on this and discovered its a difficult subject to discuss, as many feel intimidated and inadequate if their relationship/communication isn't as obvious/demonstrative as others.

For me to say I hear His voice and we talk very intimately about many things, will easily be interpreted as I have a special relationship with God that is better than those who only see Him in nature or get revelation from reading the bible etc. But unless we really open up this area for discussion and get past the judgement and preconceptions, we are doing ourselves a disservice.

The bible says many things about this, but its all quite ambiguous. The reality is we have to trust the Holy Spirit in each other and ourselves to bring deeper intimacy in relationship, however that looks.

I encourage us all to explore this in an unashamed open manner, with no criticism, and at the same time, a willingness to learn and change our paradigms. In the end, if we aren't clearly relating to God "one on one" what do we really have?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Early mist, eddies, foggy eyes
Morning light denies
Creeping thinking fingers of why
Today, is the worth of change
Too magnetic to refuse
Or does the warmth of the night
Pull tight
On sheets that fight
For the right, to cover my dreams?

Does the day pass
Too fast to last
The tide of thoughts
Pouring from a cracked mind
Into pools left behind
Moment by minute
Barely mine?

The night space is different somehow
Pull the day together
The thread of peace
Through every neuron
Summarising, ordering,
Creating, regretting
Embracing this jumble
Resting and forgetting
Covering my dreams

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Which is better - to stand by scripture and endlessly battle through paradox, or to stand with integrity in your heart?

Are these things mutually exclusive?

What do I mean?

The bible talks a lot about what God does, tells his people to do, describes His character, His relationship with His creation etc. And heaps of it is contradictory. Now before you jump on me and say that His character and ways are so far beyond ours that we could never understand, lets talk about that a little.

There are very clear contradictions about his requirements for love, justice, ethics, anger, fear and many other traits. Most of them are between the old and new covenants, so we happily say the new covenant is a whole new era of His unconditional love poured out on His creation, and the old was about a legal standing and requirements. But that still doesn't cover the problem with the basic character of God which is supposed to be unchanging.

This is basic stuff in some ways, but we either completely ignore it or create very complex theology to get around it, or just throw up our hands and say God is God and its not our place to understand.

But its still there... The God of the Old covenant was pretty bad, His standards were outrageously demanding, but worst were the many things he told the Jews to do, murder of pregnant mothers and children,  genocide, so many things that by our standards are absolutely unthinkable, in fact, not too dissimilar to Hitler and other tyrant despots! Any person doing these things today would be stopped by the UN and tried in an international court with crimes against humanity.

So how do we deal with this logic? Is it enough to say our logic is futile compared to His? There's many places in scripture where He lays out in no uncertain terms the nature of love, 1cor 13 being the most obvious. The obvious conclusion is if that's His standard for us then His own standard must be at least the same if not higher. So has that standard of unconditional love always been His standard? He is unchangeable after all!

I have read endless stuff on the subject of Gods immutable character over my life as a christian and know all the theology that tries to reconcile this. But either it's just me, or none of it actually works. I have yet to hear any explanation that really says "YES" to my heart. So I think the problem is either the bible itself, or how I understand it. Perhaps its neither though, or both. I am only left with being able to rely on Holy Spirit in me - the comforter/councilor that Jesus said could only come when He had finished His work on earth. He reveals all truth to us, not any written words, no matter how "holy" we have declared them to be.

I know beyond any doubt that if I'm created in His image, it means that the way I think, process, feel; the way the deepest parts of me understand the truth of unconditional love; the way our hearts yearn for justice based on compassion and understanding, are the same as His. They have to be, or there is nothing left that we can say is "in His image".

What then are the implications of God being nothing but love? That all He is and does comes from that heart? This fact undermines every religious understanding of scripture and our demented acceptance of a tyrant God who we dare not question and blindly accept as unpredictable, unknowable and prone to getting offended big time.

All those great christians who we love and respect the most through history are those who loved the most, who poured out Father's heart of love and compassion. God is in all, holding everything together - there is nowhere in all of creation that He is not. He is love, we are held together by love, the darkness is even filled with his love.

I hope that makes you concerned about what you believe, even about what I believe, that it makes you think just for a minute about God's true nature, and how we respond to that.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

How does He speak to YOU!

I've always been fascinated by how God speaks to us all, and as I'm doing a lot of writing/reading these days, I've found there is very little on this subject that's of any real use. Lots of "5 Easy Steps" and formulas that just don't cut it. And I find so many christians who say they don't really know.

So what I'd like from every single one of my adoring fans (and even those who only read this to see what heresies I'm currently exploring!) is a description of how God speaks to you - personally

I don't want biblical answers, scriptures or things the church have told you, I want to know how He speaks to your heart, how you "hear His voice". I'd love to hear whatever it is you want to share.

I won't be quoting anyone anywhere and it will be used purely for my research. You can comment here, Facebook me if you are a friend, or email me on if you want to be more discreet.

Thanks folks - looking forward to a plethora of diverse communications!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

One Year On - A Reflection

On the 5th July it will be 1 year since Min died.

On what premise should love's seed take root
Why do hearts agree to entwine?
Its a tango line dance left footed clumsy
Red rose thorn through the lip

A journey of lesson's rewards
Chalkboard revision
Playground derision
Laughter, swings and slides

Familiarity cushions falls
Open arms understanding
Reach through eye's deep wells
Embracing an inner child

Run hard with bleeding feet
To beat the passion tide
Racing to fulfilment
Dreams burn inside

Peace is won on rodeo pain
Lying wounded in straw and dust
Questions fade in sad smiles
Deep answers unspoken

The light returns to the foundations of time
Fleeting flesh resigns
Freeing the spark to ignite new stars
And birth the new song

Thursday, 21 June 2012

What We All Need

We all need to be loved

Absolutely, every single person ever created needs to be loved -
    • The girl in the call centre who just keeps quoting the fixed responses to you
    • The policeman who just pulled you over for not signalling when you have 3 screaming kids in the car and have just had the worst day of your life
    • The redneck bigot shouting racist abuse in a protest
    • The teenager that just gave you the finger
    • The young black guy that stole your bag
    • The politician that just made the most blatantly stupid policy change the nation has ever seen
    • Your mother in law
    • Hitler

      All they need is love. That's it.

      They don't need to be told how bad they are -
        • How rude
        • How unforgiving
        • How thoughtless
        • How selfish
        • How evil

          They need love.
          I need love.

          I don't respond well when my faults are pointed out - in patronising innuendos.
          Yeah, sometimes I need to be reminded, when I tread on a toe or two. But I need to laugh more than cry, I need love to heal the pain. I need total unconditional love no matter what.

          God IS love. Jesus is what love looked like in the flesh.

          He cleared away ALL laws/religion/sin before the foundation of time - revealed the fact 2000 years ago - and left room for nothing else but love.

          Everything that isn't love can be banished by love.
            • We renew our minds by love
            • Resist evil by love
            • Stand strong in love
            • Relate to all mankind in love

              There is no law, at all, any more, ever.
                • No wisdom principles
                • No guiding morals
                • No 10 commandments
                • No golden rules
                • No 4 spiritual laws
                • No two greatest commandments
                  There is only one thing left:


                  Saturday, 9 June 2012

                  My new favourite word


                  It's my new favourite word.

                  Sounds good!!

                  I often talk about it and I seem to keep repeating myself before I've realised. I've posted a few things about hearing God and being natural with Him - all that sort of stuff. And my last post was about sex, which is really intimate stuff.

                  But I've come to the conclusion that its the only thing that matters. I mean, its the only reason we were created!
                  We weren't created to worship God, or share in his creation, be part of a new world order, or any other reason that escapes me at this moment, I'm sure you've heard lots of reasons.

                  But all God wants is US. He only created us so He could share Himself with us. He gave us unique characters that are independent of Him, so we can develop into wonderfully "one of a kind" creatures. And then he sorts out all the crappy stuff that we pick up on the way, living in complete union with us.

                  So if we aint got intimacy, we are missing the WHOLE point of our existence. God is Love, the essence of love is intimacy. Deep mutual sharing of life, entwined hearts, unhindered communication, one with each other, at rest in each other's presence.

                  After every doctrine, theology, religion and opinion has blown away like dust, all that remains is Him and us. Him in us. Us in Him. Not pantheism, or other variations on that theme, although there are wonderful truths in all these things. God is PERSONAL, knowable, lovable, as well as omnipresent, and all the other "omnis". He gave us everything we need to live in the place of love and union with Him and each other. So much so that we don't even need to think about sin, laws, principles and rituals - just enjoy Him and each other.

                  What about all the evil, pain and suffering though? Where does it fit in with this wonderful fluffy love picture? What do I say to a mother who has lost her children, and all the horrors that confront me daily? It doesn't negate the nature of God - who He is, what He's done, and how He relates to me. Its an issue of perspective. How often do we say to someone suffering "its Ok, all will be well eventually - it will all work out"? Its our first reaction from deep down inside. Its our hope for something better. And its a link with our eternal nature.

                  If God is not intensely personal, then everything is ultimately meaningless. Compassion is God working through us, to each other. It is Love here and now, His aching and desire for us made real. Compassion must eventually draw each individual into union with God, otherwise, it too is empty. We must all ultimately find our own love relationship with Him, and when we do, we'll see that suffering isn't the consequence of a God absent from the world, its the consequence of our not embracing Him, and allowing Him to give us eternal eyes, and receiving His love until it fills us to overflowing!

                  Its all about intimacy!

                  Monday, 4 June 2012


                  I bet that title got you interested! No hesitation there, lets check this one out!

                  Well, this is an X rated blog, so if you are under 18 you'd better find something else to read!

                  Right then!!

                  In reality we only have allegory and metaphor regarding sex in scripture. So that is where I want to explore. There's obviously comparisons to the church, which we smile and say "isn't that nice", how romantic etc. But there's this whole thing about intimacy. There's Song of Solomon, which is kind of scary cos it gets rather detailed about sensual things. And there's also a lot more subtle things through scripture about our relationship with God that are there for anyone to see, but we just don't want to really know about.

                  First up, Song of Solomon, describes a very sensual relationship, and a desire for physical, passionate love. So how do we interpret that for the church, i.e. us, i.e. me and God, right now? Think on that for a moment.

                  Let's look at things from the human perspective. We are made in the image of God, so sex and all that entails, must be an aspect of God's being. We find someone that we fall in love with. That's not just a really close friend. There's something that ignites a physical desire, that pleases the eyes and ignites the hormones. This draws us into a desire to really know the other person. To spend hours exploring hearts and minds, desires and pain, and to explore each others bodies, culminating in the act of sex, a physical penetration of the body resulting in intense pleasure and forming a bond that poets and artist only can describe.

                  So how does that relate to us and God? I can easily understand the desire to get to know each other, but then it gets a bit odd. Do we have sex with God? I mean is that just bizarre or what? But intimate relationships are supposed to be a picture of our relationship with God, so there must be something to it!

                  Some people have touched on it to some degree when they are completely overwhelmed by God's love and feel totally immersed in Him, to the point of being unaware of anything else around them. Some call it getting blissed or whatever and to me it looks more like an orgy (yeah, I know...). But maybe its different to that. Its something that happens in personal intimacy, just you and God, behind closed doors so to speak. He draws you close and he penetrates your heart and mind, pushing through the flesh and pumping his life into you. Its something that gives him and us incredible pleasure, something we can rest in, knowing that there is a bond and union there that only the two of you can understand.

                  This is unity with God, anything less than that is platonic. We can talk about it, but until we actually do it, its like bragging to our friends about how good someone is in bed when its just never happened.

                  So how does that really work, I mean that kind of IS having sex with God. And how do we initiate it and, well, this is just weird. I have experienced times that come so close to it - awesome moments of unity, and in all truth, I back off in fear. But I know that I know, its what he wants. I'm not worried though that I'm missing out, because he's gentle and understands my fear, and knows that I want him more than anything. And something that is even scarier - we all take on the female role in this relationship! And that's something not many guys are willing to even think about.

                  So is this crazy stuff? Am I really loosing it? Seriously? Or is this something He intended all along and its just prudish legalistic greek thinking religion that has denied us of His pleasures?

                  Sunday, 3 June 2012

                  Kings Cross

                  Back in the 70s I lived near Kings Cross in Sydney (the red light district for those who may not know). I spent a lot of time wandering around there, fascinated by the people, life, glitz, pain and passion.

                  I wrote three poems back then that reflect some of that. Not the happiest of observations, but very real at the time.


                  Bohemians night wave
                     Ever bright, never right
                  Moving through neons
                     Whores boredom's delight
                        A farce, tight through the night
                  Boots glitter with steel
                  Raking laughter through gutters to sheol
                  Hot malt sweet air slices the chill
                  Inciting tempers, baiting the kill
                  Mechanical hearts!

                  Porch Light

                  The ringing of silence
                  Invades his ears
                  He listens to the voices and steps
                     of distant revellers
                  Wending home to a morning after

                  The porch lights silhouette silk hair
                  And his eyes glitter in street fluorescents

                  A love song from a wailing tom
                     hopeful excuses, avoided
                     perhaps a tear
                     or a smile and a sigh
                  A look and he's seen and understood
                  So the door closes and the light dies
                  And he turns to count weary steps home


                  She sat, pensive and transfixed
                     at her own mirror image
                  Brush poised to stoke away vain fears
                     her hand then flowed
                  And bristles pulled at memories
                     of the future
                  Each decisive stroke jerked and slowed
                     trailing off at static split ends

                  Mutton dressed as lamb, some would say
                  A glance would confirm
                     Lipstick a shade too bright
                     Rouge a shade too red
                     Lashes a thickness too black
                  And eyes that glared
                     conceit and pride
                     softness and tears, welling up and over the brink of self pity

                  A lifetime taken its toll
                  The world beaten out a mould for her
                     and those who would pass and see
                     would pour a little more of her into it
                  She had a place, amongst the shabby people
                  The dead artists and those who would not die
                  Fluttering through past flames of glory, or illusion
                  She would be there
                     stoking the blaze
                  Alive with the fear of an empty room

                  Delicately she would skim the top
                     off her bowl of life
                  seeing each time how little was left
                     slowly congealing
                     like the blood in her veins
                     and the bitterness in her soul

                  Saturday, 2 June 2012


                  Wheels of paradigm should not be so inclined
                  To maintain the grinding of the soul's seeds
                  Flouring petals denied their bloom

                  Wheels of paradigm may never be inclined down slopes
                  Less explored, dust and hopes
                  Ignore petals allowed their glory

                  Slumber cyclic dreams
                  Self fulfilled fear
                  Comfort of the known caress 
                  Lulled, gentle turning and returning

                      The broken mind knows its mind
                      And doesn't mind its paradigm
                      A broken mind seeks to find
                      Another mind beyond its kind

                  Fingers of change push in to the damp soil of the heart
                  Lifting and turning, feeling for smothered bulbs
                  That long for light to shine radiant petals
                  Breaking through broken wheels that were inclined
                  To explore dust and hope

                  The cycle of growth breaks dreams
                  Of comforting caress
                  Exposing to sunlight, creating duress
                  To change, to roll wheels
                  Kick heals, new ideals

                  Dry bulb's sleeping petals
                  Burst colour, life
                  Undreamed, unformed

                  Never too late

                  Tuesday, 29 May 2012

                  Patriotic Eyes

                  I wrote this many years ago and, noticing it was Memorial Day in the US,  I dusted it off. Although we choose to remember the valour and brave actions of those lost and the heartbreak that brought to families, we should be more aware of the bigger picture and the reality of all those affected. Of course, I've never fought in a war, so may not be qualified to write this, but after all I have seen and read, and what my heart says, I think it stands.

                  And what of our future;
                  Glories of war, past and present,
                  Lies and myths float on the phosphorous clouds
                  Inhaled by Red, Yellow, Black...
                  We have fought with patriotic eyes, 
                     As have they!
                  Who can see death without tears?
                  How many knew the reasons?
                     Innocent, ignorant, martyrs.

                  A dawn's early mist drifts and carries fatigue, 
                  Echoes of shellfire - 
                     Scarred earth - 
                        A child's terror,
                  Nightmare vision and Godless chills
                  And prickling hackles
                  Making beds for propaganda - patronising, patriots,

                  At the setting of the sun
                  And in the morning
                  We will grieve them, 
                  Lest we remember.

                  Monday, 28 May 2012

                  We Are One

                  When a heart slows, beating into the mist
                  When footsteps disconnect, reality bleeding
                  Eyes tunnel
                  Voices funnel
                  The overload begins, the mind retreats
                  Neurons firing in slowmo

                  Curling foetal, dreams warmth embracing
                  Clawing rest, wresting the peace
                  It will come, it floats through
                  It curls and folds
                  It draws and caresses 
                  It speaks

                  Can't fight it
                  Process light it
                  Fuse ignite it
                  Oils flowing, warming
                  Flames passion, intimate touch
                  Breathe and whisper

                  We are here, we are one
                  We sleep and dream, live and scream
                  We shout our love through the mist
                  The overload retreats
                  And we rest in the afterglow
                  We are one
                  We are

                  Saturday, 26 May 2012

                  Relationship 101

                  I think I've got it all sussed now.

                  Its all very simple really. It comes down to why God created us. After much thoughtful contemplation - well about 40 years worth really, and some of it not very thoughtful (but that's another story), I've realised He created us to have a relationship with Him.

                  That may not sound overly profound as such, but the implications are huge. For starters, what sort of relationship, and how do we get it? 

                  Well, the bible talks about intimacy, I mean, look at Song of Solomon - that's really intimate. But when I look at the big picture, I can see it comes down to our complete union/oneness with him. 

                  Everything we know about love and Jesus and Holy Spirit and Father all centres around an intimate relationship. But here's where it gets interesting. I can't have an intimate relationship with anyone if we don't communicate. Its a two way thing - intimacy from both partners, transparency, trust, unconditional love for and from both sides - otherwise it isn't a relationship.

                  Many christians and spiritual people in general, will talk about our unity/oneness with God and enjoy him in nature and seeing his heart in everything all around them including other people. And this is true, its a good thing, a great thing! But is it relationship? Do we talk to Him, hear Him, like any other lover talks with their beloved. Yes, its that sort of intimacy He created us for! Not a pseudo-pantheistic oneness with the universe, although its part of the picture. I'm talking about real conversations, whether hearing voices or hearing with our hearts. I'm not talking about reading the bible or christian books or listening to teachings. 

                  This is the real deal - 

                  "Yes, I know God, we chat away all the time, He's so interesting and we talk about  everything...", 
                  "I was talking to God the other day about my son's sore foot, and He reckoned it will be OK if he rests it...", 
                  "We were discussing what I thought about this book yesterday and He said it was basically OK but some of the stuff was just the guy projecting his own issues...", 
                  "We went for a walk this morning and He just kept telling me how much He loved me, even all the stuff I hate about myself, well, He just cut through all that and I got overwhelmed..." 

                  That's the sort of real.

                  In the end its the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter how we get there. It doesn't matter what doctrines we believe. It doesn't matter what process or rituals. It doesn't matter if you are baptised, spirit filled, have said the sinners prayer or even 'given your life to Jesus'. That was all taken care of a couple of thousand years ago. 

                  He just wants to live with us, to be our lover/partner/father/mother/brother/sister. When we are in that place, all our "issues" just fall away, without even trying. In the presence of that level of intimacy and being engulfed in that much love, we just "are". Nothing else matters.

                  Sunday, 20 May 2012

                  Things what I've been thunking

                  Well, here goes...

                  Christianity doesn't work.

                  I mean, on so many levels, it just doesn't work.

                  Oh, I know all the theology and doctrines - done hundreds of seminars, been to bible college, read I don't know how many books and sat through zillions of sermons. So I get it, I understand it. But in terms of being the solution to life the universe and everything - it just doesn't work!

                  But here it is, stay with me...

                  Its the fruit that reveals the truth. I have to look at the fruit of "christendom" and, well, its just not there. Yes, there's many arguments about spiritual truth going out to all mankind and what is happening "in the spirit", got all that. But I'm talking about real fruit. Fruit that "feeds" the world on every level - love, joy and peace.

                  Look at the history of the church. It's produced more hatred, bigotry, racism, political strife, wars, genocide than any other culture on this planet. Lets look at the state of the church now. There have never been more denominations, cults etc, all claiming to have "the truth". Never more division, fighting, slander. The list of failures would fill a book!

                  So what's the problem? Many of course, say that scripture is always open to abuse - we all know that, and it never changes anything.
                  So I ask bigger questions, and a lot of people are asking these questions. What if the universal truths contained in the scriptures are far more encompassing than we imagined. That we have limited truth to a particular culture and mindset that it was never meant to be? We have desperately tried for 2000 years to make it all fit, and we are no closer, probably further away, than we have ever been.

                  So what are the "universal truths"?

                  The most important one is Love. The bible says it, nearly all other cultures say it, and, more than anything, our hearts say it!

                  Perhaps the next would be the nature of man. The bible, most cultures, and our hearts say that we are basically stuffed and are forever trying to embrace the one most important truth - Love.

                  Maybe we could then say that the solution to this dilemma can only be found in God, that no amount of struggling and striving can solve the problem. And perhaps the whole idea of "Christ" as personified in Jesus, is THE solution to life the universe and everything. I'm not talking about our narrow, bigoted, dogmatic traditional perspective. I mean the universal truth of what Christ did - big enough to redeem all of mankind with a plan that is so way beyond a narrow christian viewpoint that we are only just beginning to grasp little bits of it.

                  And maybe who and what Jesus is and did is so mindbogglingly powerful that its too big to be contained in one book and controlled by one group of people.

                  Perhaps the last universal truth that underpins all the others, is that God created us for intimacy with Him. I'm not talking about being "one with nature" (although that's pretty cool) and denying our pains and struggles to embrace some vague pie-in-the-sky ideal. I'm talking about knowing God, like I know my best friend. Not just feeling good about God and appreciating Him in everything and loving everyone because it feels good. I mean KNOWING Him, talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying. All the reality of this life with Him, INSIDE us - intrinsically bound together in heart and mind like lovers.

                  So is the bible the sole source of truth? I don't think so. What about our hearts? Far more than we think! What about Jesus? The timeless act of Jesus the Christ, before the foundation of the world, outside of time, gave us free access to intimacy with Him who created us - every single person past, present and future.

                  What about morality, evil, deception, ethics... intimacy takes care of ALL that stuff. The more I look at that, the more real it becomes. Intimacy with He who made us is the only solution. It bypasses every law/tradition/principle/sin/evil/religion - everything! It takes us straight to the heart of all things, where all love, joy and peace originates.

                  So does christianity "work"? No! All that works in any sense, is acknowledging what Christ has done and walking into deep personal union with God. Nothing more and nothing less.

                  This is full of generalisations and I know there are many questions that need detailed answers. But I put it out there to challenge and ask those questions and dig deep for real answers. And I've left a lot of comments open ended for your entertainment. God doesn't mind, lets really use those brains and hearts he gave us.

                  Monday, 7 May 2012

                  The wind in my heart

                  From my lofty little tower high up in the interwebs, gazing across the seas of Blogdom and the little islands of the Facebookians, I see crazy weather. Seas tossed by wild winds, thousands of ships being thrown around in all directions.

                  But in all this mess, I also see the common factor - the wind! It all seems to be coming from the same direction. Some boats are frantically tacking across the wind to get where they want to go; others sinking, desperately bailing; even some engaged in futile attempts to head into the wind; and some just letting themselves be blown along, sails ripped and torn; and a handful carefully navigating the treacherous conditions with tightly trimmed sails, breakneck speeds in unison with the wind, hanging on for life.

                  Each boat is completely preoccupied with its own survival, some even to the point of ramming others out of the way, completely indifferent to the consequences of their actions.

                  But still the wind blows, relentless. Slowly, some on each boat look out and notice that everyone is actually heading in the same direction, that they will all eventually end up at the same place if they just let it blow and go with the flow, and maybe instead of fighting it, they could make the most of it and go for the ride of their lives.

                  No matter what the boats look like and who is manning them, they are subject to the wind. It blows where it will.

                  The wind is Love. Nothing escapes it. Nothing resists it. It will take all of us to where it chooses as surely as light dispels the dark.

                  The wind in my heart!

                  Friday, 4 May 2012

                  More on The Word...

                  Well here's where I'm probably going to go up a rung or two in the heresy ladder!

                  I have been having ongoing discussions with a friend about many issues relating to grace, leading into the ideas around Ultimate Reconciliation. Although we have agreed to disagree, I thought I might share my final communication by way of relating my current stance - my theology as of this week, next week may be different, lol!! I've mentioned many of the points in previous posts and blogs, but this sort of came out as a summary...

                  After all our discussion I realise I don't view scripture as the word of God. Jesus is, has always been and will always be the Word of God. Scripture is scripture, nothing more and nothing less. It is subject to the Holy Spirit. It is a collection of letters and documents written by men like you and I, full of the same emotions, fears, and joys. It is full of errors, contradictions and emotions.

                  But here's the thing. It is exactly what God wanted, for then and now. It describes God's heart, man's heart, their interactions, adventures, loves and hates, the whole gamut of of who we are and our relationship with him. If he had laid out a totally unambiguous user manual, then there would be no heart to heart search, no longing for truth that drives us to him, instead of a book. The bible is invaluable, because it leads us to him, its NOT him. This is where the intellectual/scholar thing turns to custard on every level. He can never be expressed through a book, and never wanted to be. His wonderful grace as expressed through the new covenant, caused us to be totally reliant upon Holy Spirit in us and to trust him in everyone else. Yes there is the Law, which was for the Jews, and the wonderful passionate poetry of Psalms, and the Prophets, all so beneficial to our walk with Him! But they are not Him, nor are they to be taken as literal truths. He is soooo much bigger!

                  Paul had amazing revelations and expressed brilliant truths, but he was all over the place too, often contradicting himself and throwing in his personal opinions. With all his letters we only see his side of the story, we can only assume what he is responding to. But that's fine, because God wants us to listen to Holy Spirit first. Its scary because we have to trust him, something not many people are even willing to consider, saying its license to do whatever we want, but of course it isn't, that's absurd. Its license to find our union with him free from sin/law/religion, and He's more than happy to take the risk that we'll blow it.

                  I've been looking at the Preterist viewpoint. Not saying I totally agree with it, but there is so much that is obviously right. And its the same with many other ideas - if we get stuck in our paradigms we spiral into fundamentalist dogma that leads to bondage, not freedom, and completely cuts across our ability to have pure intimacy with God.

                  The kingdom and the gospel, the work of Jesus and the love of God are so much bigger than we ever imagined or could be explained in a few words penned by fragile humans like us, that God had to present it in all its warts and shortcomings. But we still bury our heads in the words thinking that truth lies there, when its in front of us and in us right now, the words of scripture confirming what is in our hearts.

                  Jesus was the fulfilment and the end of the law, he had to be familiar with every last bit of it so he could complete his "mission". Yes, scripture is beneficial, but it isn't the source of all truth. Its is totally inspired by God, but not because its indisputable truth, but for the opposite reason - it causes us to turn to him for truth and clarity and to make sense of life. We have been taught to worship the bible rather than Him, and the implications of that are huge.

                  Our journey with God is meant to be totally unique to each of us, enabled by the finished work of Jesus when he died and resurrected. The scriptures are a wonderful guide to that unique journey, but they will never supersede our unity with the fullness of God right now, and the amazing intimacy that brings every moment of our lives!

                  Wednesday, 18 April 2012

                  BIG gospel

                  Take a step back...

                  Look at all the differences in doctrines, denominations. Every variation in belief over 2000 years. The passionate, religious, traditional, legalistic, free, gnostic, mystical, charismatic, pentecostal, fundamental, you-name-it interpretation of a "religion".

                  A religion that by its very nature allows for thousands of interpretations, because its a religion that deals with individuals, one on one in relation to God himself. He left a book for us all that could be read like a list of rules and standards, or passionate relationships, or any way we choose really.

                  But the point is, God planned that, it was His idea. You see, He wants every single person to figure it all out by themselves. Everyone has their own unique journey in this life, and God, knowing this from the beginning, reconciled everyone by what Jesus did, so they are free to pursue that unique relationship with Him. We are all free to accept, ignore, struggle, argue, embrace and wrestle with life and God's love any way we choose, because He is unendingly patient, loving and knows each person's heart and all the pain and passion that makes them who they are.

                  Jesus didn't die and rise so that we could follow a strict set of criteria to avoid eternal damnation and squeeze into heaven down an extremely narrow path. He opened the door to freedom so everyone can explore and find who they truly are in Him. So we can willingly embrace Him because He has met us at every level in our life and stand with Him and in Him with integrity, unashamed, and knowing fully who we are.

                  We have no right to impose our journey on others. We can present the freedom and joy of truly knowing Father and how it has impacted us, but we must honour every single person's unique journey. Only God knows their heart and what it takes to draw them into His presence, and the perfect timing of every step - his unforced rhythms of grace!

                  The gospel is BIG, much bigger than our favourite doctrines. God isn't worried about if we get everything right. He doesn't care if we learn Greek and Hebrew and study every nuance of scripture. He's not concerned if we wonder off into some gnostic waffle or literalist nightmare. He is concerned for each persons heart and will never give up - always giving us the space to work through it all while patiently pouring out His love to us.

                  Lets draw each other to Him, lets share His love and goodness, the freedom of His love and grace, allow Him to love us so that it can't help but overflow to everyone around us.

                  Monday, 16 April 2012

                  The Book of Jim

                  An allegory - few holes in it, but serves a purpose...

                  A friend has written a book about me, well both of us really. Kind of like the story of our relationship over the years; how we met, kept bumping in to each other, discovering similar interests and ideas, finding we had a lot of the same friends. How we flatted together, and became the bestest of friends. I told all the stories of my past, my family. Shared my heart about nearly everything. So yeah, I guess we are pretty intimate, no secrets, we love each other, respect each other.

                  So here's this book about us, from his perspective. Of course, he ran it all past me, I read the first draft, and I liked it - the good and the bad. There's stuff where he's made a lot of assumptions about me despite our relationship, I mean, there's a limit to how much he can really get inside my head! And there's the limitations of the written word. But I like that it's his heart about me, even if he doesn't quite get me at times.

                  There's lots of great stories about things we did together, and stories he remembers me telling him, well, his version of the stories, lol! Sometimes he just gets me all wrong, as friends do, but I love that he's put it all in there, because that's what relationships are all about - getting to work through these things. Knowing that in the working out, the friendship grows deeper. Oh I trust him, totally, because we are besties, and what he doesn't get now, he'll get later on.

                  So its a great book, warts and all, and I wouldn't want it any other way, cos even though its about me, its really about both of us and how he sees that. Not sure if it will ever really be finished, but its published anyway!

                  Monday, 9 April 2012

                  Taste God and see that He is good

                  This was a response by Todd Peirce to a post about Penal Substitution. I loved it so much I had to blog it as well!

                  In the garden Adam and Eve's perception of God was corrupted by Sin and the lie crept into their minds. They now saw God as someone to be feared and hid in the bushes. We have inherited that mistrust and wrong perception of God from Adam. Penal substitution is just a natural wrong understanding of what happened at the cross, it seems so logical but that conclusion has been corrupted by the lies that still invade our minds.

                  Colossians 1:19. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 1:20. and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 1:21. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.

                  It says we were enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour. When we sin the first thoughts that flood in are God is angry or disappointed and we feel like hiding from Him. I believe the world is full of people that are still trying to hide from God due to their behaviour. That is why I believe that what Paul wrote in II Corinthians is key to changing peoples faulty perceptions of God based upon the Lie. We can shine the light of the gospel into the bushes and let them come out and see that God loves them.

                  II Corinthians 5:18. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 5:19. namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 5:20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 5:21. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

                  God says to taste and see that He is good. That says that until we taste we assume that He is not good. My hope is that someone who reads this might be encouraged to taste of God and see that He is good.

                  ~ Todd Peirce