Touching heaven - Jesus Army Life

detail of fine art photo by Adrienne Eberhardt, from bk2000's collection on flickr.comWe prayed for one of our sisters tonight. It was her birthday yesterday and we were celebrating. Sometimes the presence of God doesn't have to be big fireworks or a fearsome atmosphere, sometimes it can be a quiet tangible moment like it was then. We spoke words of warmth and encouragement; you could feel that something was happening deep inside, and that was it, the moment passed. But God was there, meeting our friend in her need, meeting all of us in our love.

detail of fine art photo by Adrienne Eberhardt, from bk2000's collection on flickr.com


Jesus Army Life - When words are few

More waffle than a dutch pancake.

That was the phrase I learnt tonight, I thought it was so wonderful I had to note it down. And I wonder if it describes my current consternation.

I guess there are times when you realise that everything depends on faith. Project nos 1,2,3 & 4 won't succeed without faith. Relationships 1,2,3,4,5 definitely need faith if they are going to find God's blessing.

photo by malik ml williams of flickr.comBut when it comes to prayer, I try to pour out my heart and find myself talking in circles. The reality is I'm so nervous about the issue, so focused on it working out that I'm often thinking more than I'm praying. The words come but they don't mean much - more waffle than a dutch pancake you might say.

Sometimes I write prayers down because it's the only way I can think/pray straight. But what I'm (re)learning is that to know this God and truly believe him are two separate things. It's good to be able to come to him but to trust him for every work seems to be another bigger step. Yet, isn't that what knowing God is really all about? That's why he's so mysterious, he doesn't want to make it easy, he wants us to learn.

We've got a few people staying this weekend. I know they've been blessed by the experience. In a sense they are benefiting from the enrichment of faith already invested by others. Indeed, so much that we do builds on the faith of the ones who have struggled before us and yet, in contrast, we so easily fear the fight ahead. It is said that 'we stand on the shoulders of giants' and I believe it. Faith, it seems to me, is the tapestry of the future we are already weaving, a reality that we build into. It is the great reward of a God who is able to provide so much for us in the first place.

So why bother waffling?

photo by malik ml williams of flickr.com


Jesus Army Life - Love affair

Do you ever sit back and just drink life in? I don't mean take time to appreciate it, I mean to suck all of its wonder and dynamism into yourself, to know that there is something greater, more powerful, of deeper richness, than you out there and that the very air throbs with its being?

I say 'out there' which is technically incorrect because I feel I am and believe you are a very part of it and yet the source, the power station of this life, is beyond us - unknowable but interactive, inexhaustible and yet intimately close; closer than our brother scripture teaches, closer than my breath I once heard someone declare.

Do you ever stop to listen to his pulse, his harmony? Do you ever just stop to know him, and feel like you are curiously peaking behind the scenes and only to discover animated life in greater intensity, sparkling, infectious, glorious in its effervescence. It feels like breathing in something photo by eggman of flickr.com
new and yet you are simply drawing in the magnificence of God, coming close to the veil, stepping into the thin place.

And all that I feel is joy. And there are times when I've done this, just paused to acknowledge God as deeply as possible from the itch in my toe to the babbling of my thoughts, from the breeze of air to the noises of motion, and simply found myself laughing in humility, embarrassment and delight.

None of this begins to describe the sensation of God's Spirit within or around me, that is something entirely different. It is simply my soul grooving on a celestial vibe - somehow knowing the irrepressible, almighty creator because I choose to let everything sing his glory and he has insisted that his glory be known.

And I don't think that this even come close to describing a small part of what it is to know him. It is barely a facet of the love affair with the divine.

photo by eggman of flickr.com