“Christian Mystic & Church History” P-2

20170430_132246 I am so excited about this journey we are on! It’s rich, rich, rich! What should the church be today? What Jesus was then! (Of course.) And Jesus showed us a God who was focused on the Tables in people’s homes so he could create Temples in their hearts!

“…and he said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at your house.” (Luke 19:5b)

(Verse 7) “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”

For the first 200 years the church remained focused on Table more than Temple, and then a certain Roman Emperor came to power (Constantine), and things began changing back towards Temple. Slowly the church was seduced back to fancy Temples and ceremonies, leaving Tables like Zacchaeus’s outside the four walls of a man made structure. (We will look at this in more detail, but for now, this is the basic insight we need.)

As I considered the challenge of teaching about Christian Mysticism, it seemed to go hand in hand with church history. Indeed, it does not seem possible, (in my opinion), to understand a Christian Mystic without understanding the difference between Temple and Table. You see, Jesus showed us the true heart of God. A closeness represented by a Table, not a Temple. And this is also the heart of a true Mystic, this hard to explain closeness to God we can all have, if we desire Him enough.

After reading some material of Robert Nowell, I determined this to be a good place to start with our understanding of a Christian Mystic. For he says, what the Mystic is trying to describe is “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived” ( I Cor. 2:9); he is trying to tell of “things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.” (II Cor. 12:4). To this I add, we need such people! May we all desire to be such people.

He goes on to make the point that if it cannot be put to words and understood, if it is basically beyond explaining and understanding, then does it have any value in attempting to communicate? (Good question.) He goes on to say it is well to understand that other modes of discourse beyond the purely “scientific” have their own validity; to which he speaks of “music” as an example.  Music can stand as a type or example of mystical utterance, something that is undoubtedly meaningful and significant while at the same time resisting translation into the verbal language of every day life.

We have all experienced what it is like to have a song, a piece of music, affect us in unexplainable, perhaps mystic ways very hard to put to words, even impossible, and yet the effect is there, it is real, and it has value. Herein perhaps lies our challenge with understanding the Mystics of our church history. Perhaps we only catch a glimpse of what they are saying, but it is a glimpse well worth catching. It affects us in a good way. Even as the focus of Christianity is the promise of the future, but it is a future we cannot yet fully perceive. Even as we speak of God, a Being we cannot yet fully comprehend. It is not unusual for this to be part of the challenge of all things spiritual.

Here’s my last point on this mystical journey for today. The father of our faith, Abraham, was told of God to go and live in a land he did not yet possess, and yet by the command and decree of God, owner of all creation, he did now possess, because God said so. Only problem was, the Amorites and so on, did not know about this new arrangement. But by faith and obedience Abraham entered and was already enjoying the land of fat grapes and milk and honey even before he could actually prove his ownership. In other words, he brought God’s future to his present, and was enjoying his future in his NOW! This is mystical in concept, yet Abraham lived in it like the bumble bee flies because I guess he doesn’t know he can’t! (LOL). (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

In many ways Christianity deals in things one could say “is not yet”. But the Mystic is someone for whom the “not yet” has momentarily at least become the “here and now”. I know this may be bending your brain like Morpheus and Neo, but it’s true. This is also what I refer to as “Living in the 7th Day” (L7D).

Hebrews 11 says Abraham did it by faith, and he looked for a Temple not made with hands but whose builder and maker was God! Here we are back to a Temple of people’s heart, not brick and mortar. The Pharisee’s hearts had become brick and mortar just like their Temples. This is a mistake we do not want to be.

We can see time periods in church history when innocent people were burned at stakes, or their property seized in heartless and cruel ways hard to explain by people professing to be followers of Jesus. Their hearts had become brick and mortar. The Mystic loves the Lord’s Table of fellowship not in a pompous way, but in a way like unto the upper room that night with his disciples. A Table of friendship, family, love, self sacrificing, and personable.

Jesus had such a Table with Zacchaeus and it totally changed him into a new creation. Old things passed away. The heart of stone became the heart of God. God took possession. God tells His people, I am your possession, not the things of this world. In me you possess all things. If you believe these things, if you are drawn to this kind of thing, then there is a Mystic in you just waiting to grow. This is why here at “Path Without End”, we are pursuing these things. I left the modern church asking where is the God of Elijah? That question seems to have led to here, as we continue to explore and learn.

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Yes, that is a sword you see there, and that is an area known as “White Butte” in the background.

 

“White Thoughts”

20180130_162748 Taking a break from our Christian Mystic journey. I feel led to share some words I wrote on a wood plaque I created in my wood shop. These words pertain to my vision of “Path of the White Feather”. The flip side also has words and contains a pure white feather. But today I share the black feather turning white, and leave the white feather for another time. Hope you enjoy.

“The White Feather”

I’m drinking black coffee while I dream of white things, my Bible open in my lap. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What did Jesus mean?

A journey towards white, a journey towards light, a journey towards perfection. Your sins shall be whiter than snow? I drink black coffee and ponder white promises like a weather man predicting a winter storm…all shall be white?

Most of us see ourself as the feather above, on our way to the white feather one day. A promise of light made possible only in Christ. May we praise him forever!

The high places of a pure heart where the eagle soars and one walks with God? I drink my coffee and ponder these things, in the rising sun of day.

In Christ alone I stand…all other ground is sinking sand. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the ‘perfect’ day.” Wow…what a thought.

Signed: Grandpa White Feather.

This hangs in the Teepee. Perhaps this too is a little mystic?

I was there yesterday and God’s Presence was strong as I spent time with the crackling fire.

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“STAR WARS” Part III

So how does Rey develop her skills in the force without a teacher? How are these other young students to develop? What she seeks to know is very old. How will she learn an ancient way in her modern day?  Do we not face a similar challenge?

Was Luke the last teacher? And was he even a fit trainer, after the condition he fell into? I’d say any training she has gotten so far has been very haphazard. Now Luke is gone but the student still wants to learn…to know…and to grow in this ancient way.

Rey somehow saved the Jedi Books! My mind is a bit foggy on that part. I don’t remember how she did it, but we catch a quick glimpse of them in the drawer on the Millennium Falcon. They have been hidden away and are in her possession. Is this how she will learn, through a slow page by page study of ancient manuscripts?

But there is this “inner heart” thing, too. Yoda explains to Luke that the true Jedi knowledge is in the Jedi themselves. It is not just contained in the Books. And therein lies my subject matter for this article, because I know this path Hollywood is alluding to. Many of us have felt something has been terribly wrong in the modern house of God, for Jesus himself warned you cannot serve two masters, and you cannot be the slave to money and serve God!

Not only have preachers and congregations become enslaved to money, but also pride, lust, pleasure, and almost every sort of wickedness creeping around in the house of God while hidden behind smiling faces boasting their blessings. The king has no clothes.

Some of us have left the modern church in order to save our faith, and now we’re seeking a “heart thing”. We know in every generation there are always those who see through the smoke and mirrors to find the true heart of God, and we seek that way even if we have to launch out on our own.

Since embarking on this spiritual quest, my constant thought has been how did the early church fathers live their Christianity, and what hath God actually said in our Jesus Covenant? In other words, what were the old paths? Not as far as living under the Law again, but what made a person a Godwalker? An Enoch type. What is the life that gets God’s attention and draws that powerful Presence?

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”     Jeremiah 6:16

Ask for the old paths…where is the good way…

I find I’m not the only one being drawn to such simple places, and there are others ahead of me, who are helping point the way. There are also those in the past who knew this way and lived it. Many of them wrote of it. And we have God’s word itself. In all of this I feel like a kid anxiously on a trail of discovering, knowing a great treasure is growing nearer every day! And we will be one of those places people can come, to find this living water.

Yoda was perhaps the oldest Jedi. (If this were true and not fiction, but as an analogy.) He likely had greater knowledge of the “old ways” than most. Many of us are searching books and reading teachers who have sought out these old ways, and oh the need for every true “Yoda” we can find to reconnect us to the ways Jesus and the Apostles first established, and we have somehow drifted away from. For some it has not even been a drifting, but it has been a headlong rush to see how modern they can be.

For all the “Reys” in this current church culture seeking to find the “old ways”, perhaps living as outcast in spiritual desert places while we pray; be encouraged. The God who sees all and is ever present will be our guiding star to this great light we seek. It is enough to know it is there, our heart tells us so, and we shall not be disappointed. It is enough to walk with Him, and day by day learn His ways, and see His power moving in the earth as in days of old. For in this modern time we seek to know a power very old, even the Ancient of Days!

Perhaps we have a drought of present day teachers able to lead us in these ways. But for some of us, we simply will not settle for less. Prayer is a mighty key to the heart of God. If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways... (The path is actually very plain.)

Jesus says, Walk with me. God says, Learn my ways. Holy Spirit says, I will teach you.

The power we seek is very old, but it does not age. A life of humility and prayer will open that door, but pride locks us out forever. There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is death. This way we seek will not look right to man. Not the kingdom of man. But the humble heart does not notice as he falls over himself in his rush to a greater love than he has known. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

God’s word shines a bright light on the door of the way we seek. The bright light on “this door” is not stage lights. It’s another kind of light. It is not a question of whether we can find it, or whether we can know it. It’s just a question of whether we will enter it?

Rey tried to run from the Light Sabre in the beginning, but this old way kept calling to her, until she was fully committed, and “all in”. Jesus said no man comes except the Father call them. May we all hear the call, and enter in.

So where do we go from here? Will Rey find new fellowship in others who are hearing that same call? Will she succeed in learning ancient ways, or become distracted, give up, perhaps join the dark side?

You say, “No,”. She is our hero, you say. Rey is not the type to turn. No matter what the dark side, or the world, offers her, she would not give up. She must succeed. She has tasted something she simply must fulfill! But what of us? Can we say the same of us? Why are we so sure Rey will not be distracted, or defeated, but she will press through to the full knowledge of the force and defeat darkness? Are we so sure of ourself also?

You see, the fight between light and darkness is about all of us. It may be fiction, but it is not “simple fiction” because it is also real. It’s real when we put ourself in the shoes of these characters, and we ask ourself…where do I fit in this story? And how am I doing? Am I just a background character of no real consequence? Have I sold out to the Empire? Have I said it’s all too big for me? I will not make such sacrifices…I want no part of that sword? Or are you an upcoming Rey, who must not fail to find your way, in this modern maze of smoke and mirrors?

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“Eternal Bricks”

You can be happy all you want, but if you don’t feel like your life has “Purpose and Meaning”?

Your happiness will become hollow, turn sour, and lose strength.

It can become down right depression. Purpose and meaning will keep you going even when you’re not happy. The message of Christ is all about a “Kingdom of Purpose and Meaning”. No wonder it’s called Good News!

A Kingdom of Purpose and Meaning. God’s Kingdom!

Jesus came on a mission of revealing God our Father. Saying… Be of good cheer! You have eternal purpose! Your life doesn’t end in the grave, but you can build something having everlasting life! You can build something that doesn’t fold in the end! Put your shoulder to the Kingdom of God and live with purpose and meaning! This will bring true joy and happiness! Then he gave us the Beatitudes, revealing the secret of true happiness. And if the Beatitudes are right, then happiness is not derived from what we would think.

It’s more happy to give than receive, God’s word tells us. But what are we giving? Is it just about money, or gifts? Have you considered giving fire? There must be a fire burning in our belly! Share that fire! God’s gift in you, use it for the Kingdom of God, and God will use it to benefit the kingdom of man. We can affect others with the purpose and meaning of the Kingdom of God. We can bake bricks in an oven of our fire and build something eternal!

Egypt put the Children of Israel in slavery and demanded they make bricks of mud and straw. Day after day, for many years, they suffered a meaningless life of brick making and building memorials to Pharaoh; and then they started taking away their straw, but still demanded more bricks! What a perfect picture of the dead end street of man’s kingdom. A kingdom of futility. Demanding more and more, but everyone loses in the end. Unless, we know the Kingdom of God.

We find happiness is not a life of constant “pleasure”. It’s not a world of more pleasure means more happy, as Satan would like you to believe. It’s becoming a part of something bigger than you, and putting yourself into it. It’s more happy giving than receiving. So we find ourself in “man’s kingdom” with a mission of revealing “God’s Kingdom” in whatever way God leads.

So how is this working for you? How is your purpose and meaning going? Whose life is being affected in some way because of the Kingdom of God flowing through you? And don’t limit yourself to one thing, our whole life should flow with the purpose and meaning of Christ, and his incredible news that our life doesn’t have to be a dead end street, but we can build with Eternal Bricks!

Look around at all the man made things you can see. Think about how long these things may stand. Chances are they will be here long after you are gone, but they are not made of Eternal Bricks. Even their days are numbered. Just ask the pyramid of Gaza. Old as it is, it’s days are numbered, and it shows the wear and tare of age. Even Gaza is just a blink of the eye to God.

As Jesus was leaving the temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

(Jesus could be a real bummer, at times, but always reminding us eternity.)

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Messiah. They will deceive many.” …

Don’t be fooled by this world’s promises of straw bricks. They are buildings built on sand. Let this be your Christmas present from God this year: “ETERNAL BRICKS” baked in the fire he put in you. Let this be your message to others about the Kingdom of God plowing in the kingdom of man. And don’t just tell them, show them. Most times the greatest messages are preached with the least words. We show people the cross at work in our life.

Let your life build a road others can follow! A road leading to the Kingdom of God! Lay every brick with care. Your life a road others can walk on. A yellow brick road of gold! Eternal bricks, stamped with the words:

“Made in the Kingdom of God.”

The Quest continues / Day 3

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Day 3 of our Quest was me climbing “White Butte”, which in my mind was symbolic of a climb to purity, and I did not know I would shed blood on that climb and become blood brothers with White Butte.

This special place actually took us into North Dakota. The butte is also on private property, it is not government owned. It caught my eye on a map because it was marked as the highest point in North Dakota. I always check out where the highest point of a state is, and when I saw the name “White Butte”, I knew I had to go there.

When we finally located it, thanks to GPS assistance, I was greatly surprised to find it actually looked white! I had hoped it would, but didn’t really expect it. I would be making this climb alone, just God and I. My Samurai sword, seen leaning on the gate in above picture, would be with me. (In case of rattlesnakes.) But also because God’s word is the sword of the Spirit, and I picture every devoted Christian as Samurai for Christ! We are warriors called to spiritual warfare, light verses darkness, truth verses lies, heaven verses hell. I believe in the warrior side of our spiritual life. There is discipline, sacrifice, and skill. There is training if we desire to be all we can be for God. My sword symbolized all of that to me, and I wanted it at my side. (It actually slides down my back.)

Turtle Faith Lady was perfectly content after her big climb up Bear Butte, to sit back in her lawn chair, drink soda, enjoy the view, and try to snap some pictures from a distance. So after taking the minivan as far as I dared up the side lane of a field, I got out on foot and headed for my encounter with a place I never been before. I would climb to a place God would show me, and I would worship, pray, and seek God for his great leading to come.

A white lane lay before me as I headed towards the great butte.

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As I drew closer I saw a well worn path, easy to hike, headed towards my left and into the butte; so I went right, towards the white cliff walls not easy to climb. Something drew me like a homing beacon to a wall I couldn’t resist. Before I knew it I was well off the ground, Samurai sword slid down my back, and unknown territory pulling towards a high place I never been. It was a thrill and I was loving it.

It all was going very well until I came to my last handhold. I was suddenly stuck. I could find nothing to grab and pull upward! Everything around me wanted to break away! I was barely holding on and I could not go back. Going backwards is impossible. You can’t see the footholds you used to get up. You can’t see them, feel them, or find them. It’s as if they just disappear! As I realized the danger I was in, my heart began to race. Fear was a growing thing. A monster trying to eat me!

I had to get control. Control my breathing. Push back the fear of sliding downward out of control, my wife watching me fall, helpless to do a thing. She would struggle her way out there as quickly as possible, only to find me broken at the bottom. No one around to help. An ambulance likely very far away. It was as if I was more worried for her than myself. You see, her mother had passed away in her early fifties in just such a way.

My wife’s dad was working on the roof of their house. It was a very hot summer day. He fell off the roof. Her mom heard something. She found her husband lying broken on the drive. She managed to call an ambulance and then suddenly had a heart attack and died. My wife’s dad survived. It was a tragic day.

My breathing smoothed out, but how long could I hang on? I need something to dig with! My sword! Reaching backwards over my shoulder, the hilt of my sword was right there. It drew out smoothly, the blade flashed in the bright sun, and my wife suddenly knew something was wrong. I had been in that spot too long, and now I was pulling out my sword?

The sword was long and awkward for such a close up task. I dug as best I could at the hard crusty dirt. I thought I was being careful but in the blink of an eye, such a small slip and red blood began pouring from my thumb onto the white butte! Oh this is not going well I thought to myself, but at least I had a new hand hold in which I was able to get a firmer grip. I had bought me some time.

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To be continued…

II Samuel 21:22 – 22:4

20170429_143623These four were born to the giant in Gath, (Goliath), and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants. And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

I did not know it that day, but I have come to realize an important part of God’s message through me is the misguided effects of what I call King Theology. What are the odds that a very special marker fell between the pages of scripture speaking of God as my rock, my fortress, my high tower, while we were in such a high place surrounded by rock fortresses?

How my eyes fell on the last verse of chapter 21, and the beginning verses of 22, I cannot explain other than God. They were not highlighted or marked in anyway, but my eyes went straight to those verses when I opened the page. But those verses mean so much more than a high and rocky fortress to me, especially relating to what I had just come out of.

These verses specifically said David was delivered out of the hand of all his enemies “AND” the hand of Saul…”KING” Saul. David did not consider King Saul his enemy, even though Saul was trying to kill him. David’s heart broke over the death of King Saul and his son, Jonathon. Jonathon was David’s closest and most cherished friend. And yet the scripture is specific to both list David’s enemies and also King Saul. God had delivered him out of two very different kinds of threats.

As a spiritual warrior, and not just someone who sits on the side bench of the battleground, we all now what it is like to have enemies of all sorts. Our enemy will use whatever means to stop the will of God in us. It can be finances, health, people, lies, demons, and circumstances of all sorts; but for David, King Saul and his son, Jonathon, was a very complicated issue. Now God seemed to be speaking these scriptures to me, on this second day of our quest, in the high place of Bear Butte. What did it mean?

I believe God was saying no enemy would be able to stand before me as I undertook the coming vision, the development of a school in the wilderness. God would be my rock fortress and my high tower of refuge. Of course this is very good news! But it was the other part that had me in such amazement and deep contemplation. How did God know? How did he manage to speak so specifically to my “weakness” in scriptures written thousands of years ago, and then guide me to land on them with my eyes in this moment?

Not to go into too many details, but, my best friend of over forty years had been one of the main reasons I ended up at the church where I lost my name. I had always thought we were meant to have a ministry together, and I had been very slow to give up that idea, because we were more than ordinary friends. We were comrades.

Looking back from this high place I could see how this church, and perhaps my friend too, had a King Theology, of which I could not fit into or agree with. This path was doomed from the beginning, and there I was trying to make it work. Now I could see God was listing this as part of what I was delivered out of. How could he find such a list…describing my current physical environment and location…two very specific false paths that had been revealed…and land me on those scriptures at this very moment and place in time? Wowwww.

My first warning light at this church was when I first started going there. Through my friend I had a quick connection to important people, including the Pastor. The Pastor became interested in a teaching I had put together about emphasizing our Priesthood over Kingship. He asked permission to preach it and I agreed. I felt honored, and for the next three weeks he was doing an excellent job of preaching it, until the congregation began complaining and attendance dropping. Many there felt they could not identify with the priesthood aspect of our birth in Christ, unless it included King Theology.

On the fourth week the Pastor made a switch and preached the King-side of the equation, as falsely translated in the King James version of the Bible. Details of this teaching can be found under my menu button: “VISION”. A red light went off in my spirit that very day, but it was still too early to say for sure, so I continued forward with the best of hopes. As I did, I ran into more and more church “political correctness”, which we would call church government.

David was delivered out of “heathen” ungodly enemies. He was also delivered out of the hands of his government, as in King Saul, and he was separated from his good friend, when Jonathon died. At least three specific things God delivered him out of, and I had just come through a season of all three of those things, which had brought me to such a spiritual state of which I had lost all vision, and my sense of who I was. All I had left was the sacred fire still burning in my belly, and so I had taken my vacation time and decided I would seek God, to find my purpose again. A new vision, for I had surely wrecked the previous one.

I could look back and see exactly where that other vision died. I could see where I switched to a different path, began to ride a different horse, in order to obey the leading of the Pastor, or the “House Vision”, they might say.

My heart was sad when I looked back. It still gets sad when I look back even today. But the new vision is actually similar, only in a different location. We are establishing a “House of H.O.P.E.”, a House of Prayer Everyday.

The specificity of these scriptures, and the card that guided me to them, (The Eagle Huntress), still amazes me to this day. If I had any doubt God was speaking, those doubts could not stand against the overwhelming odds of these things ever happening. I had been through a lot. I was at a place of doubting myself in every way. I can only believe God knew I needed some strong evidence I was still hearing Him.

There is a language that is personal between you and God. He knows what different things mean to “you”. He can use those things to get your attention if you seek him. He can confirm things in ways no one else can know.

I tied a prayer cloth to a tree for my wife and I that day, a bright red bandana. It blows in the winds of South Dakota, high on Bear Butte at this very moment.

Turtle Faith Lady barely managed to get down from the high places before dark. I was actually worried if we were going to make it. We were the last to leave there, and a huge male Bison crossed our path as we were leaving, a symbol of power, strength, endurance, and abundance. God was speaking, and I was doing my best to listen and properly interpret. Knowledge is not enlightenment. Truth is enlightenment.

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Our bandana flies from that little tree you see at the point. Yes, that one by itself, way out there.

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