Healing at the Cross Posts

Mike, Tammy, Matt, Amy, and Josh I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free, Michelangelo Much has been said about the little boy inside the big man. Little boy emerges when big man is whittled down. Whittling is a fine hobby for some down-home folks. You know, taking a stick and making a point on it or a chunk of wood and carving out a dog or horse or automobile. Some folks get real fine knives, and some get a whittling set for their Birthday. What is the point? God whittles human sticks as a hobby; and I bet He whistles as He whittles. God uses an Exacto knife! He chips away at the big-serious-man-imitating dude; the one desperately trying to appear again alongside the true work of God. The rare-bird-breed shakes the old, leaving it behind forever. This breed also embraces the new,…

Read More The little boy inside

Two boys and a cow, Strawberry Arizona 1989 Another example goes this way: some people arrived at church lamenting their lack of fuel meant for their home’s heat. Hearing this, the Pastor offered to buy them a tank of fuel out of his own pocket money. The answer came back, ”I think were OK, it’s not that cold.” Now, these persons desperately need fuel, but they cannot take the personal charity. Why? Repayment-threat pressures them? The idea of repayment could have become the loathsome hang-up, though reimbursement remained unasked for. But, more than mere repayment possibilities, we discern the much-too-personal part of this deal as the real issue. Folks maybe don’t mind so much receiving money from an institution, as it remains impersonal. In contrast, the demonstration of love, caring, and sacrifice from a real person, burdens them too much.  What is the point? Well, a will, healed and emancipated,…

Read More Will part I

When I was starting out in the religious way as a mere sprig, I had a few harrowing moments. New beliefs and practices tutored us (my sister and I). We never doubted their veracity.   In the Catholic Church you ‘go’ to confession, every second or third Friday evening. Church was usually empty, with the exception of the few confessors, and dim looking, especially when dark outside. It had the feel of a museum, with echoes resounding at a door closing, or, drop of a missal. (Yes, I meant “missal”; the Catholics called a prayer book a “missal”). So; high cathedral ceilings dropped huge chandeliers from long long cable wires, but tonight only a little light shone on the many pictures in the auditorium-sized building, Michelangelo’s brush-strokes emanating. Life-sized statues of saints and Mary and Jesus with a golden heart were also visible without spot-lights, from secondary illuminations, and the…

Read More Confession Booth #1

Dying defines resurrection for us. Thank God, otherwise we don’t discern it. In what way define it? It removes everything that is not resurrection, leaving only the “big one”—ww-33/resurrection. What things does it remove?   First, it destroys anything that places me outside of God’s immediate presence, since resurrection implies being alive unto God, (Romans 6:11). Yah, all the feel-alone and can’t-find-Him stuff, are found prior to my death and resurrection, because, right now, in the big scheme, I am forever in His presence.  “Well, I don’t feel Him,” it is said. Old feelings feel only pre-death experiences, is why. We don’t need these aged emotions to be with God. They died. We get new ones that respond to post-cross experiences and happen automatically.   Job knew God by the hearing of the ear, and now his eyes see Him. Are you struggling to hear something? Does hearing make God…

Read More Finding God

Jacob and Esau provide an allegorical story, particularly the big blessing steal episode, which touches our lives  See, Esau headed up the family birthright command chain, showing his red head a few moments before twin Brother Jacob’s hand appeared on his heal,  no contest. Mom however had heard,  “the elder shall serve the younger.” She started big-dreams dreaming for Jacob and frankly Esau was daily forsaking his favorite-son opportunity with animalistic displays and crude initiations. As Father Isaac increased in age, his faculties faded including the eyes. Mom discerned the situation—a befitting time for a deceptive maneuver. She must  put Jacob up to it, however, and so worked her carefully devised scheme in a systematic fashion.  Jacob, (supplanter), had experimented with this kind of cheat already, and had manipulated  Esau’s birthright at an earlier low moment in brother’s famed history. His conscience, obviously prior-educated and conditioned with Mom’s deceitful ways,…

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coal stokers in tandem Hab 3:17-19 17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. Ever happen to you? —The siege of starving, abyss of emptyness, cauldron of flames, blackness, cut off from simple life? —Pain of waking, wrestling match of emotions, dread of enemies approach. A lot of the Bible found expression out of these depths—Paul in jail, Job…

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“ no one knows his name—a man who lives in the streets and walks around in rags, once I saw that man in a dream, He and God were constructing an extraordinary temple.”     Francis of Assisi Intercepting the helpless soul as it plummets into black and messy conundrum, this storybook attempts not by scholarly work, but life immersion, nor just words on a page; a sense of God-quickening. Oft times, the dilemmas manifest themselves as dastardly and cruel bargings-in. Other times they subtly approach from the shadows. Either way, these enigmatic occurrences create stupefaction; they boggle the most studious, baffle the intellectual. They awaken the inferno of ire from within, roust the deadly smear campaign, or shock the nerves with fright.   They are understood only by the likes of the stone cold broke, who subsist in perpetual desperation, and so accumulate a curious wisdom, maybe saving the day with their…

Read More Fire, Ego, LIfe

Covering is God’s way of creating capacity, of stirring compassion, of conforming people to  His nature by giving them space to grow, space to fail, space to rebound, space to fall again, space to grow out of that, and space to rebound again. This is what God’s covering does for us. It  gives us room to breathe. Dr. Carl Stevens Can you explore? Do you have freedom to do that? Can you run, or do you always walk? Can you dance; sing? Most watch, few participate, and this illustrates life in general. Granted, a person learns a job, performs, sometimes creates, and athletes run and performers dance. Not what I mean— well, what then?  Capacity varies from person to person—yes aptitude for life. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The broken in…

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Confessional booth part#2  We learned much from the confession booth experiences and mainly; effective lying technique. The best kinds of lies snuggle up to the truth, as tight as possible, yet secretly stay aloof, you could hardly tell . Parents hold lie detecting pride; priests in the booth?—I never knew. In final analysis, a good lie equals a believed lie; bad lies far-fetch it, create suspicion. A good liar worships his craft; his situation might mandate extracting one outta you-know-where, in a pinch, and once a lie floats, the sincere cover-up follows up and defends.  So, first step for good-lying-management students?—mastery of the “straight face.” Child’s play really; as kids, we did anything to avoid a belt-licken, motivation waxed strong. It stands to reason then, we so sharpened the face, never compromising a lie’s success potential. See, good facial posture greatly diminishes the need for a clever thought out story…

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Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, Allenport PA (first heard the gospel here) Now to quote a Christian thinker Dr. Ed Smith, a Baptist Minister, referring to wounds and healing, “To facilitate emotional renewal, we need to identify the three basic elements in the renewal process: (1) the present emotional pain, (2) the original memory container and (3) the original lie(s) implanted in the memory container.” What is he saying? Apparently a wound sticks in a memory container and in that container are lies? What kind of lies? Can I conjecture? On the one hand, raw barbaric self lies, or contrarily, socially acceptable fig-leaf cover-up lies, take your pick. These two, emerging out of a man’s heart, both poise to interpret a devastating slam, when it occurs. (The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.) Psalm 58:3 So, on one side, emotions of…

Read More Lies