Archive for August, 2016


August 30, 2016 9 comments


While reading some devotional material earlier this week, I was pretty much captured by a single thought. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea to me, but it was posed in such a fashion that it really caught my attention. Here is that thought:

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” —Meister Eckhart

What a challenge for our culture, including religious life in America! Richard Rohr’s commentary to the point is even more thought-provoking:

In our consumer culture, religion and spirituality have very often become a matter of addition: earning points with God, attaining enlightenment, producing moral behavior. Yet authentic spirituality is not about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding—all of which tend to pander to the ego. It is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway, although we don’t know that ahead of time. On the mental level, it is more “the shedding of thoughts,” as the Desert Fathers called it, than piling on more thoughts. –Richard Rohr, O. F. M.

I, too, have ridden downstream in these rapids. We run from one event to the next. The pile of unread books on my nightstand is testimony that I’m not keeping up, there is revelation I’m missing out on, and there is so much more to do in order to be in the flow with God. I honestly believe that most Christians are simply exhausted from chasing the proverbial carrot that is always just out of reach. The whole mantra of “I’ve got to do more for God” is a pressure that doesn’t come from Him. We do it to ourselves.  I think…

We’re addicted to working for God’s approval.

Jesus said something about His way being easy? Where? When do we allow it to be easy?

Peterson’s translation puts it this way:

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30, MSG).

Lightly and freely? We probably need to check our math. Addition and piling on activity doesn’t seem to be doing it for us.

The next time you feel under pressure or left out because you’re not going to make it to that “oh so necessary” religious gathering, or you’re going to miss pulling every single drop of revelation from some prima donna preacher or another prophetic diva, just do yourself a favor: whisper the word, “no.” Don’t scream it, but whisper. It’s for you only. You find God by what you subtract from your religious clutter. Some of what your soul needs requires you to let go of what the masses deem as urgent. It’s not. Let it go. That’s good math.

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!


Categories: Uncategorized

it is up to us

August 23, 2016 Leave a comment

With our focus on the Kickstarter last month, I was unable to post with variety.  This is from a couple weeks ago. -MDP-

In my personal opinion, the most needed light from Paul’s personal glow of revelation occurs in the thirteenth chapter of his first letter to the Corinthian people. Today, we still need that message just as much, if not more, as they did back then. It’s hard to imagine that any culture at any time has ever really taken that download very seriously.

I used to think the revelation of humanity’s tussle with the spirit of rejection could be the single most important component for our healing towards unity. Although I’m still a believer, I genuinely feel that a download of the Father’s love might actually hold THE hope of society’s ultimate healing.

Don’t think for a second that I’m talking about a religious agenda here.  I’m not.  I’m talking about what would happen if people truly bought into the notion that God loves us?  He’s always loved us. And the best, the most accurately pure expression of our loving God, is manifest by our loving those we share space with on this planet. Our neighbors. Can you image what would happen if we really loved at that level?

There is a line in that ancient text that pushes us to the brink of the unbelievable. It’s hard for us because we know how far we are from that kind of love. We want to be this way, but we all have our limits. Emptying ourselves of our egos, our agendas and our pride in order to be filled with the power of love is daunting, to say the least.

Paul says this about love:

 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Cor. 13:7, NASB

Getting to this in a great marriage is a serious challenge.  Getting to this is any marriage is more than work.  But, getting to this with people who differ politically or racially or in their worldviews?  Holy smokes!

I recently read a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. I was alive when he said it, and was aware of the tensions in America at the time, but I was too young to even consider the weight of Dr. King’s words.  In light of how things were then, he still held to the power of love. The very words of Paul’s great challenge manifesting in a single songbird’s voice—standing strong in the midst of hate’s greatest storms.

It was in 1963 when dynamite was used to blow up the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  The KKK was involved.  Four little girls were killed in that act of racial terrorism.  When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke publicly about the bombing, there was opportunity to hit back with a torrent of rage that would have been more than justified.

He did not.

 At times life is hard, as hard as a crucible of steel. In spite of the darkness of this hour, we must not lose faith in our white brothers. MLK

I can barely get my head around that response.  This was a chosen position of grace in powerlessness. It was powerful, but mostly power-under. A bold counter to the expected. The same way Jesus operated. If only all of us could exercise this kind of spirit in our dealings with each other.

It was the ultimate bearing, believing, hoping and enduring for love to break through. Dr. King had plenty of reason not to go there.  He could have just as easily said, “Game on. Release hell on these people who evidently hate us.”

He did not.

He chose in that pivotal moment to side with love.

Some things have changed.  Some things have not.  If you’re prone to pray, ask for yourself the capacity to love in spite of what you see with your eyes.  Believe for, hope for, and endure for the love of others.  Don’t get sucked into division and polarization. Don’t allow yourself to be bewitched with dualistic thinking and offended bitterness.  Let some of what Paul was trying to convey get inside you.

Today demands that we stop waiting on someone else to change.  We have to be the change.  Today, we need to be the love that we so easily proclaim.  Honestly, if it’s up to us, love has to be our agenda.  Our infatuation with building our little personal kingdoms is part of the problem. Tap into the big K: Kingdom. It begins with love. That has always been the plan whether we’ve realized it or not.

Love breaks the yokes.

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!



Wrecks me everytime I watch it – MDP

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