Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who shall I be today?

New York comedian Demetri Martin said, "I went into a clothes store and a lady came up to me and said 'If you need anything, I'm Jill'. I've never met anyone with a conditional identity before." Isn't that how most of us act? Depending on the circumstance, we'll put on the appropriate face. Depending on what we're doing, or who we'll be engaging, we seem to act that role.

Is it God's best plan for you and I to change faces with each changing situation? No. God couldn't be more clear that He desires that we shine, not letting anything dim our light. His word says we should be in the world but not of it.

Now, immediately we each have all sorts of mental images or ideas as to what it means to be a 'shining light' and not let anything dim this light. We also have mental images as to what it means to be in the world but not of it. Those images and ideas could possibly be accurate but they will never capture the fullness of Eternity, the measure which exists within you.

When we adopt different identities daily, we are doing nothing more than shortchanging ourselves. Regardless if you believe you are being 'good' or 'bad' isn't the point. The point is that you be true to what is happening within you. God is spirit and the path to enlightenment is to enter into the 'now' moment by being honest and truthful with your present reality.

Is your present reality true? I don't know if your present reality is 'God's Truth' but if it's 'your present reality', it's certainly true to you. Whether the present reality is our final perspective or not, isn't the question. The path into peace with God is being honest with the present moment. God calls this 'confessing'. We can't confess without being honest. Actually, being honest is just another word for confess; honest with ourselves by being in the moment, not wearing a mask.

So, exactly who am I and what does that look like? This writing doesn't really address who you are, but does address the hidden agenda to why we usually ask such a question. The major reason we are so concerned with how something is supposed to look is that we want to emulate it. We are apparently afraid to actually become anything. The funny thing is that we 'are' something deep inside, beyond all those masks and performances. 

Well, if your mind works anything like mine, you may be asking something like, didn't Jesus tell us to follow Him? Or, didn't Paul tell some to follow himself as he followed Christ? Good point and I'm glad you are thinking. Exactly where did Jesus go when He said to follow Him? Where did Paul go? They were going to the cross. Still want to follow Him? Or, are you just interested in looking good, and saving your reputation?   God isn't interested in you wearing a mask, looking like a believer or preserving your reputation. God really has a plan for your life and you are important to Him. No matter your age or IQ, you can see God all around you if you're willing to allow yourself to be loved.

What's going on? God's plan for your life is to prosper you and this plan carries it's fastest end, by engaging and accepting the plan. God isn't wanting you to perform like you've got Him. He actually desires for you to experience oneness with Himself, which can't be done if we are acting like someone we aren't. Sadly, we can't jump to next year, or even next week. We must live in the now. Living in the now is just another way of saying that we aren't going to resist God. It's also another way of agreeing that God has a plan for my life, and that I trust Him.

The title of this writing is 'Who shall I be today?'.  It's the hardest thing I've ever attempted.  Being real is not easy, but it is the course assignment God has given me.  You can be anyone you want, today or anytime, but I would like to throw my 2 cents in at this point: 'The best you is the real you!'

I Am, David
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Friday, November 20, 2009

A Beautiful Mind

James, a close friend, is a paranoid schizophrenic. I've known James for many years now, meeting on a weekly basis. Lately, we meet 3 or 4 times each week, each of us growing more and more intimate with our Creator God. James has trouble connecting the dots in life because he has an alternate reality no one else can see. In James' reality, there is a government ran network of people controlling people like himself by computers, placed in courthouses and government buildings around the world. According to James, it's mind control. I believe him.

Do I believe there are computers able to control and read peoples thoughts, implanting instructions? No; but I do believe James has this reality and when I see him trying to process otherwise simple problems; problems most of us would consider elementary, his mind is preoccupied with torment, not allowing him to 'see' what you and I see daily in our decision making. His mind is preoccupied with processing; interpreting all the information, made so real to him. To James, the continuous barrage of thoughts coming at him are real. His mind is preoccupied.

James thinks we meet so he can be tutored, mentored, and taught to carry the power of God through life's many challenges. The truth is that I am no different than him and I learn probably more than him. James has a wrong perception issue, causing his mind to be preoccupied, yet he still has such a simple childlike faith in God. He also has a continuing struggle between this childlike faith and trusting in his own brand of reality, just like me. James, myself, and you have alternate thoughts preoccupying our minds.

Many times, I have thoughts of any number of things consuming me. I think of what order I'll get showered and dressed in the morning, in order to make a meeting at a certain time. I think about how I'm perceived by others. I think about how I can change my behavior to get a sale, or a desired response from whomever I'm speaking. I also think about life situations as they happen; or rather, usually well before they happen, running it though my mind, to be prepared to react when it happens. It's not really funny, but my preoccupied mind never imagines correctly what will happen. It's only when my mind is free from occupation ['preoccupied' (must be my word for the day)], there He is, manifesting things we've imagined while 'with' Him, yet struggled to know how they might again flow freely though us.

A preoccupied mind is just another way of saying 'sin'. Sin is not decisions or performances based on morality, good or bad. God's desire is that His thoughts occupy our minds, rather than being preoccupied with day to day matters of this world.

As I read the definition to the word occupy, I felt so ashamed, convicted, then free. I felt free because He was illuminating within me. Thoughts that were occupying my mind were having Light shown on them, revealing the futility of the trust in them. As I connected how I have allowed my mind to be occupied by my thoughts, God gently manifested in me. The thoughts of this world largely have gone away.

God's invitation for us is to trust Him with childlike faith so that 'no thing' can be between you and He. Trusting God with everything means trusting Him with my mind, my thoughts, enough to lose them in Him and not give thought about tomorrow. As we're set free, now we see as He sees; our decisions will be much better. Without really thinking about tomorrow, we'll have bank accounts, cut our grass and pay our bills. There will be provision to do what needs done, and if the provision ceases, we'll adjust our lifestyle instead of figuring out how to maintain. Without really thinking and processing, we'll make normal decisions because we're no longer victims trying to win. We're victors enjoying a victorious life.

Think about an occupied country or a war ravaged area, where a group of people occupy a territory. That's like our minds. Our thoughts shouldn't occupy our minds, intrenching like our lives will end if we think differently. Thoughts should flow freely, giving room and place for God to change our minds, giving us new direction.

As an exercise, read the definitions of the word occupy and let me know if this ministers to you:
Merriam-Webster: oc·cu·py
Pronunciation: \ˈä-kyə-ˌpī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): oc·cu·pied; oc·cu·py·ing
Etymology: Middle English occupien to take possession of, occupy, from Anglo-French occupier, occuper, from Latin occupare, from ob- toward + -cupare (akin to capere to seize) — more at ob-, heave
Date: 14th century

1 : to engage the attention or energies of
2 a : to take up (a place or extent in space) b : to take or fill (an extent in time)
3 a : to take or hold possession or control of b : to fill or perform the functions of (an office or position)
4 : to reside in as an owner or tenant
— oc·cu·pi·er \-ˌpī(-ə)r\ noun

"I have told you, when you are not consumed by thoughts, you will have peace. When your preoccupied with situations, you will experience trouble. But there's still hope! I am actively working to remove your hope in worldly ways." John 16:33 David

I Am, David
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

How Can I Relate to God? What's His Nature?

How can I relate to God? What's His Nature?  God is like air, free for anyone to breathe... Man's created religions are nothing more than attempts to explain an unexplainable God; these are attempts the creation is making to recreate God in our own image rather than embracing the simple truth we were created in His image. We weren't just created in His image. We were also created in His likeness. We have the same depth as our creator within us, as our true identity.  Deep within what we traditionally think is ourself, beyond our thoughts and emotions, exists our true self, Life.

Man's worldly illusion of truth complicates the simplicity of God, creating 'clicks'. These 'clicks', sometime called denominations or religions are simply creations we have crafted, in order to gain control of an uncontrollable God. We 'bottle' Air, and try to sell it, calling it pure. God has made Himself freely available for all to breath (trust). Man's religion divides God into false, worldly explainable stories.

We don't need special instructions on how to breath air, do we? Every time we try to give special instructions on how to teach someone else to breathe (handle life or relate to God), all we are doing is reinforcing the great divide religion offers.

God is Love. Only love conquers all. If my people (you) will humble themselves (yourself) and accept Me in Truth and Spirit, then I will change their (your) mind and their (your) circumstances. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I Am, David
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hypocrisy isn't in the Name of My God

I hate hypocrisy! The origin of the word 'hypocrite' actually means to act as in a play on stage. I truly desire for you and I to be who we are, through and through. That's is God's desire as well.

Listening to all the arguments in the world today would nearly drive a sane person to believe the best route for humanity were to play 'the game'. It's very amusing to see the world come to an end as we know it. Politics and seeing what personal attacks well meaning people can resort, just makes me sick.

Have we forgotten that God loves ALL people? This includes Obama, Bush, Hitler, Palin, John the Baptist, You and I. If you say you are better than any of these listed, you might want to tread carefully on the thin ice your walking. God can even change the “christian” minister, although most leaders are harder for God to reach than the person living their life without regrets. God says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God also says that He paid the price to make us 'right' with Him. Regardless how you view it, if you are believing God, this does not give you a personal license to throw stones and personally attack those who handle life's choices differently than you might. And it doesn't mean their lifestyle choices are any of your business.

Okay, so there are differences in opinion as to how to handle some issues. I encourage everyone to speak their mind about any issue they want. If you think I'm asking you to change your behavior, that's not at all the point of this writing. I am simply saying you might want to drop whose name you say you are doing it in, because it isn't in the name of my God, some of the condemnation spoken in the name of 'Christ'.

Frankly, I wouldn't care if 'In God we trust' were taken off our money, if it isn't in our hearts. The greater issue is actually trusting in God, not writing it on our money. Actually trusting God results in true love for our neighbor as thyself.

God isn't trying to get you to 'act' in any manner. God is after your heart. He wants to show you first hand how wonderful Heaven on Earth can be.  Through all life's trouble, God is inviting you into a Real relationship, where you aren't acting, but rather, simply being who you are.

I Am, David
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recommended reading: (Matthew 6:33) (Gen. 1:26-27 NIV) (I John) (II John) (III John)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Are you Happy???

"Are you happy?"  Well, "Are you?"  I mean, really happy, genuinely to your core.

"Do external happenings in your life change your attitude for long periods of time, happy or sad?" 

"Did your team win and does that make you happy?"  "Do you find your identity by how your team does?" 

If you let anything change your attitude for an extended period of time, you have allowed yourself to be in bondage to it.  I'll say it in different words,  If you are unhappy, it's your own doing. 

You are in control of your feelings.  You are not a slave to your feelings or your thoughts. 

Try this simple exercise... take an inventory of anything you usually attach the word 'I' or 'my', or some other variable.  Things like... my car, my spouse, my house, my bank account, my team, my reputation.  Did you know that one day you'll have to let those things go?  Did you know they aren't really yours and those things really don't identify you?  What's left about you when you remove all those tangible 'things'?  If those things do identify you, your destined to be controlled by them. 

Recently, I faced a situation, which I'll write in more detail, hopefully soon.  This situation required I ask a panel of peers to give me certain 'rights' and 'privileges' that I didn't presently have.  This process gave me cause to reflect on my true motivation in this situation.  Even though small, in the final days leading to the meeting with the panel, I discovered I had allowed myself to be in bondage based on their decision.  I thought "how foolish" I was to allow myself to give my present state of being in exchange for a silly 'legal' proceeding.  I actually laughed to myself and sort of chuckled.  The same could be true for you, in a relationship, or anything else you attach 'I' or 'my' too. 

Try being honest if you find yourself being tossed around by life's waves.  Get it out in the open; let the Light shine on it.  Admit it to yourself.  Get it in your mind what you are allowing to control you.  As you do this, you'll find a remarkable, and empowering sense come over you.  You may find a desire within yourself to 'confess' to a friend, brother or sister.  You may even want to write me and tell me what's going on.  It's actually a very empowering thing to admit something that is presently tossing you around...  Why is it so empowering? As it happens, you take the sting out of it.  You are actually 'finding yourself' by process of elimination.

Confessing, or telling the truth about what's happening will bring you great joy because you are living in your present moment.  This brings great joy because it removes the stress from striving to be something you aren't, or trying to 'look' like something  you're not.  When it's just a show, you have to maintain it.  When it's real, it just is. 

When I faced the panel, I had purposed in my heart that it really didn't matter what they decided.  In fact, it was true that I really didn't give a d$#@.  Remember 'Red', in the movie, Shawshank Redemption?  He came up for parole many times over the many years of his incarceration- "Parole Denied" time and time again.  Finally, he came to a place in his existence that he stopped trying to control the outcome of the parole board.  He went before the panel and simply stated his heart.  He said he didn't give a d$%# what they decided and they should do whatever they wanted-  "Parole Granted". 

When we try to change the outcome of our lives, we are going against the flow God has for our ordered steps.  Relax and simply 'be' where you are.  It's easier said than done, but if you want to 'hold hands' while I do it too, I'll be glad to meet with you for some quality time, and we'll go through this together.  In fact, there are several of us who have met for many years, and we'd love to get to know you.  You are very welcome here. 

I AM, David
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