Archive | August, 2013

Hunched Over

25 Aug

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 14 After Pentecost 25 August 2013
Hunched Over
Awe of God cannot be touched. (Heb 12:18) We are to offer God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe. (v 28) This awe is not limited to the Sabbath.
Luke 13:10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

13:11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight.
I held those verses in prayer and I really wanted to look at the Anatomy of this crippling spirit, which has no reverence; (ah, but the woman did!! Yipee!!) God led me to Exodus Chapter 5 to get a better understanding of this crippling spirit and I examined the nuts and bolts of it. I laid it out:
The foundation is Purity, which started at the end of Exodus Chapter 4 when the people believed and worshiped God. They felt and knew that God cared:
Ex 4:31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
Then the prophets go to Pharaoh. In the Exodus story it was Moses and his priestly brother, Aaron, who go. Today we have a whole Moses Company (and where are the “Aarons”?)
Pharaoh (or any dictator) looks at the prophets (the ones standing in God’s court and giving testimony to and of Him.) The prophets of the Lord say to the local Pharaoh: “Let my people go so that they may hold a festival to God in the wilderness!” (Ex 5:1) [Does that not describe today?]
The tyrant has absolutely no regard for the Lord. (v 2)
The prophets try to reason with the tyrant, saying, “God has met with us.” (v 3)
From this point of Reason (that God had met with them,) they offer their proposal to the tyrant:
a) “Let us take a three-day journey” [prefiguring the cross,] (v 3)
b) offer “sacrifices” [of praise?] to the Lord (Isa 1:11; Heb 13:15),
c) or “God may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
[Collectively as a human race we have already experienced both plagues and sword because of a spirit of unrest. This spirit crosses all boundaries: religious, tribal, economic, cultural, and environmental, (and, gee, lookie here: Pharaoh is the sun-god; that was then, so now we “go green,” even at the expense of the Earth.) So, have we had enough of smiting by plague and sword? We brought it on ourselves. And the collective “we” can turn it around. That’s the power of choice.]
The tyrant questions why faith leaders would take people away from their labors, and commands the people to get back to work. (Ex 5:4) The god of Hard Work is a slave driver, because it can never be satisfied. (v 5)
The tyrant decrees to the overseers (v 6) to do the impossible of filling quotas with no resources [sound familiar?]:
Ex 5:7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.
And that same spirit told Jesus to get down off His own cross. (Mt 27:40)
Mt 27:40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
This same crippling spirit then pulls out the “Lazy!” wildcard (v 8) to rationalize and justify itself so that it can point the finger at someone else (or maybe even one’s own fractured, splintered, ego), and deflect. However, laziness is really quite easy to discern. It doesn’t require a special gift of the spirit of Discernment to identify who is lazy and who is reverent. And the tyrant still decrees:
Ex 5:9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
[Doesn’t this remind you of the Wizard of Oz and, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”? Ironically, half of what Pharaoh said here was true: “Pay no attention to lies.” It is true; we can ignore lies, and we still never get to the truth.]
The slave drivers keep pressing. (v 13)
The tyrant’s slave drivers beat the overseers whom they have appointed. (v 14)
The overseers appeal directly to Pharaoh. (v 15) [Wouldn’t this apply to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in our own day?]
The overseers [whom the slave drivers appointed] say to their oppressors, “Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.” (v 16) [Ah! Gasp! The truth! Who wants to hear the truth?]
The tyrant pulls out the “Lazy!” wildcard again. (v 17) Sabbath rest is spurned and mocked. Sabbath is not even seen as a “sacrifice” to the Lord. (v 17)
The tyrant does not budge. (v 18)
The overseers realize they’re in trouble when there is no mercy. (v 19)
The prophets (Moses [pray-er] and Aaron [priest]) are waiting to meet the overseers when they come out of the failed negotiation talks. (v 20)
The overseers take out their fear, frustration, and anger on the prophets, calling on the Lord to judge them.
Ex 5: 21 and they said, “May the LORD look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
Gee, and all the prophets did was to say what the Lord had told them to say.
Moses turns to God and pleads. It is God Who has brought trouble on His people:
Ex 5: 22 Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Why, Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and You have not rescued Your people at all.”
Sound familiar? How is this dynamic any different than today? There are many prophets in the Moses Company who return to the Lord and plead with Him. But I haven’t seen a chaplain or a priest in the camp yet. Instead, I’ve heard the theme on Hard Work repeated, but nothing personal.
Luke 13:14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the Sabbath day.”
The way I see it, the Church is so used to making a god out of Hard Work that when the people do come on the Sabbath to be cured by the Lord, and when He does show up at the services, the leaders push Him out with their hearts saying, “…and not on the Sabbath day.” (v 14) Sabbath is a Play Day of rest in the Lord. How can one play when one is hunched over? It makes a Catch 22. Whenever we find a friend (or ourselves) in a Catch 22 with no way out, our first impulse in this culture of ours is to try and fix “it,” blame it, or divert attention from it, rather than to look for connections related to the core issue, and trace these connections outside the immediate panic. It takes a priestly prophet who blesses the sacred in the ordinary to open lines of communication, not only between God and the people, but also to connecting resources. I’m not talking about the kind of intermediary, where a priest supposedly has exclusive access to God because the people can’t go to Him. That’s bunk. I’m talking about the priestly prophet who speaks to the Lord and puts his words into action, which connect to available resources. Is this broken line of communication not the core issue of what was severed in the first place and got us into this mess? It has made us all hunched over like refugees.
Therefore, to every refugee on the planet, I share compassion, as I feel like one, too. May our God of kindness and mercy give you “food” for your souls and satisfy your needs. (Is 58:10) I am one with you, as I am still parking and praying and writing in my car instead of in a sanctuary, even after six years of sharing with the Churches. The Church does Nothing and the Great Silence still has not been broken. I know how it feels to be bent over like the woman who was crippled by a spirit and quite unable to stand up straight. (Lk 13:11) This is a reality. And I say “No more!” to it. This last Thursday (22 Aug 13) at 3:33 pm (prophetic timing on a Gethsemane-type Thursday prayer day,) I received an email from a prophet whom God had told me to reach out to. God nagged me for twelve days to contact this lead prophet. Then his son wrote me back saying he was not sure what I was asking of them and to seek my pastor. Well, gee, wasn’t this lovely? And who would that be? God has sent me to the Seven Churches? We are splintered all over the place! So, I dove into more prayer.
Then on Thursday evening (at 6:33 pm, again, exactly three hours later to the minute, which I noticed later on in my journal) Jesus showed up directly in front of me and has stayed standing there ever since. This is unusual for me. I’ve had many mystical experiences, but for Jesus to continue to stand there and look at me for days on end; that’s odd. I’m used to keeping my nose in His back. With Him facing me, who’s got His back? I asked Him if I’d done something wrong, but He looked at me with love, and shook His head. The energy emitting off of Him is strong, positive, and protective. He’s so big and strong that I cannot see around Him. Part of me feels like He’s personally shielding me. Part of me feels like He’s blocking me. So I asked Him again, “Who’s got Your back?” He only smiles with love in His eyes and command in His posture. But He still won’t say anything. He just stands there. Ok. I stand here with Him and wait for His people.
I can sense God’s consuming fire (Heb 12:29), which He has already released. I guess the Church has decided that there are six days on which work ought to be done (Luke 13:14), so engagement doesn’t fall on the Sabbath. (v 14) Who needs to rest when one feels in control, even though they are bent over from the pressures of Control? I ask: Where’s the kindness? Where’s the friendship? In today’s gospel lesson, when Jesus saw the bent over woman, He called her over and said, “Woman, you are free from your ailment.” (Lk 13:12) He laid hands on her. (v 13) Church, in this moment of Holy Now, I stand up straight, take my hands, and gently cup your face. I softly say with all tenderness, “You are free from your ailment.” (v 12) She just doesn’t know. No one else says anything to bridge the gap. Through the Grand Silence, are they refusing the one who is speaking? (Heb 12:25) For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will they escape if they reject the one who warns from heaven? (v 25) Jesus did say,
Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Jesus really has sent His angel to give you this testimony for the Churches. And what have you done to bridge the gap?

14 After Pentecost 25 August 2013 Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Jeremiah 1:4-10
1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

1:6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”

1:7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you,

1:8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”

1:9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth.

1:10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Psalm 71:1-6
71:1 In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

71:2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.

71:3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

71:4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

71:5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

71:6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Isaiah 58:9b-14
58:9b If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

58:10 if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

58:12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

58:13 If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;

58:14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Psalm 103:1-8
103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits–

103:3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

103:4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

103:5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

103:6 The LORD works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

103:7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Hebrews 12:18-29
12:18 You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,

12:19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them.

12:20 (For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”

12:21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”)

12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

12:23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

12:25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!

12:26 At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”

12:27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

12:29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

Luke 13:10-17
13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

13:11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight.

13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”

13:13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

13:14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.”

13:15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water?

13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?”

13:17 When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Whistleblower

18 Aug

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 13 After Pentecost 18 August 2013
(Happy Birthday, Grandpa! I miss you. This one’s dedicated to you.)
Whistleblower
Dad told me the story of how he worked for an organization once where there was a manager who was so controlling that there wasn’t an area where this little dictator didn’t have his fingers. By God’s mercy a new face was hired in the lower ranks. He was retired military and knew how things should be and saw how things really were. He started taking notes and writing down observations. He logged names and times and kept watch while he waited. Then God opened a window of opportunity and the man was able to reveal what was going on. The tyrant boss was confronted by the board of directors, released of his position, and allowed to keep his pension in the end. It turned out to be a win-win for everyone, but did yield some heart-bruises in the process. And the board discovered they had no mechanism in place for anyone to be able to safely report an injustice. It was a hard lesson to learn for everyone on all sides. In the process of this journey, the “watchman” who recorded what was going on shared how he was able to “blow the whistle” because he had nothing to lose. Because he was retired military his income would remain and if the tyrant took retaliation against him, so the “watchman” reasoned, he could leave the organization and still go on with life if things got ugly. The others in the organization hated the oppression they were under, but needed their jobs, so they did what they could, but were unable to really say anything. They found out there were no protocols in place where one could “blow the whistle” without losing everything. They had to create this mechanism. Sometimes laying down one’s life for a friend (Jn 15:13) really does cost one everything. And there is no greater love than this. (v 13)
I thought of this whistleblower scenario as I meditated on today’s lectionary lessons. God has been singing His love-song to His beloved, to His “vineyard” [the Church] and she was “planted” on a very fertile hill. (Isa 5:1) But it produced “wild grapes” instead of wine grapes. (v 2) God expected justice out of His Church, but saw bloodshed; He expected righteousness, but heard a cry. (v 7)
Psalm 80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel [Jesus], You Who lead Joseph like a flock! You Who are enthroned upon the cherubim [administrators], shine forth
80:2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
The Church is in the same dilemma as the organization Dad worked for. There are no protocols in place for a whistleblower to “blow the whistle” safely. Spiritual “clouds” have been forming in the west (Lk 12:54) for a very long time and God has been raining His mercies; and a spiritual wind is blowing from the south (v 55) and producing the “heat” of conviction, but interpretation of the times (v 56) does not produce a tangible protocol for all whistleblowers to sound their trumpets. True whistleblowers really have died to themselves and have been willing, courageous, and obedient to Christ and have laid down their lives for Him for the sake of His kingdom. Without a portal to go through to share in a safe haven what they know and have seen, they just keep getting “crucified” with Christ over and over and over (Heb 6:6) by a masochistic spirit sent to torture and waylay under the guise of calling itself a “martyr.” It’s not the whistleblower with a spirit of mock-martyrdom, but this spirit is sent after them to distort and derail the mission. But St Paul speaks to this very issue on behalf of the real martyrs who did not receive what was promised. They did not receive their inheritance because they needed us for their journeys to be made complete:
Hebrews 11:39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,
11:40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.
The “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1) isn’t limited to the heavenly realms. Whistleblowers work within other ministries to bear witness to God’s perfection. With the coming winds of stress, the protocols must be set in place first. This means providing a contact network for God’s whistleblowers. So, where’s this network? Somebody needs to brag on the wonderful things that God has been doing for the last six years!! Yipee! Whistleblowers don’t always just get others in trouble. They often just clear the air and say what most people already know anyway. What a relief!
[…Whistling to “Mayberry”…]
Poem by Rumi:
“Work In the Invisible”
The prophets have wondered to themselves, “How long
should we keep pounding
this cold iron? How long do we have to whisper into an
empty cage?” Every motion
of created beings comes from the creator. The first soul
pushes, and your second
soul responds, beginning, so don’t stay timid. Load the ship
and set out. No one knows
for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor.
Cautious people say, “I’ll
do nothing until I can be sure.” Merchants know better.
If you do nothing, you lose.
Don’t be one of those merchants who won’t risk the ocean!
This is much more important
than losing or making money. This is your connection to God!
You must set fire to have
light. Trust means you’re ready to risk what you currently
have. Think of your fear and
hope about your livelihood. They make you go to work
diligently every day. Now
consider what the prophets have done. Abraham wore fire
for an anklet. Moses spoke
to the sea. David molded iron. Solomon rode the wind.
Work in the invisible world
at least as hard as you do in the visible. Be companions
with the prophets even though
no one here will know that you are, not even the helpers of
the qutb, the abdals. You
can’t imagine what profit will come! When one of those
generous ones invites you
into his fire, go quickly! Don’t say, “But will it burn
me? Will it hurt?”

One of the tools a spiritual warrior of “fire” has within himself is peace balanced with discernment. On Wednesday (14 August 2013) Lance Wallnau posted on Facebook an excellent teaching on HOW to have an intimate walk with Christ as He guides us. I appreciated this teaching as I had just asked God if He had a different perspective of “rule” which He could show me:
[Lance]: “Paul said, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” (Col 3:15)
Best translation is this…
Let the peace of God rule your heart, acting as an umpire; deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your mind. (Collisions 3:15 Amplified Bible)
I love the idea of thinking of peace as an umpire. What does an umpire do? An umpire at a sporting event decides and settles with finality any question that arises in the game. An umpire decides if a point has been scored or not. They rule on “fouls” and tell you if you are “safe” or “out” of bounds. Basically, the umpire makes rulings. PEACE IS YOUR RULER—THE UMPIRE WITHIN. Peace can be present or peace can lift. That “lifting” of peace is an early warning detector of something coming you need to be aware of. …
God is faithful to speak to you, but often His voice can be heard only by what you sense in your own heart. If you sense peace in your heart, it could be God’s voice telling you, “You have a green light, so you can proceed.” On the other hand, if you have a lack of peace or an inward disturbance, it could be God’s way of saying “Yellow light, so move with caution.” It may even be God telling you, “Red alert! Stop! Something is wrong!” The Holy Spirit is so faithful to warn us when the devil is trying to plan something destructive against us. If you and I will learn to listen and trust His leadership, we’ll be able to circumvent most of these demonic attacks.””
[Me: Amen!]
Turning to talk to Jesus, I said, “Lord, I know You told us,
Luke 12:50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!
Lord, what You faced was horrific! It was unfathomably stressful and no one should have to endure that kind of grueling “baptism” under “fire.” From what I understand You came to bring the “fire” of the baptism of compassion and Mercy. And how I wish it were already kindled, too! (v 49) At the Lancaster Prophetic Conference an angel with a blue aura showed up. Br Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj explained that the blue light emitting from the angel signified understanding. The angel was imparting understanding to us. We took a moment to absorb the blessing. At this same conference the prophets told us there would be much strife, war, and division ahead, and even civil war in the United States for a time. Father, this grieves my whole being! Anarchy controls kingdoms until Truth is exposed. And what was described at the conference sounded like anarchy. What more should I say? (Heb 11:32) Faith conquers kingdoms, administers justice, obtains promises, and shuts the mouths of lions! (v 33) Jesus, You are our Deliverer! I know that God has taken His place in the divine council. (Ps 82:1) There’s no denying that in the midst of the gods He holds judgment. (v 1)
Psalm 82:6 I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;
82:7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”
I confess that I’m naïve and whistling in the dark, but I also have great faith in You, Lord, to make up for my weaknesses. I know that we, as a people, are arrogant children, but You also said that the Truth would set us free:
John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “IF you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. 32 THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Lord, whistleblowers don’t just stay whistling in the dark forever. Anarchy is just more arrogance gone amok. Anarchy holds no reverence for You, Lord. Banish that spirit of Absalom [anarchy] to the Abyss and replace it with humility and understanding. In our world today, we have neither knowledge nor understanding and we walk around in spiritual darkness. (Ps 82:5) We’re already seeing how all the foundations of the earth are being shaken. (v 5) Put our eyes, ears, hands, and hearts back on to You, Lord! Help! Please awe us.
Psalm 82:8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to YOU!
Jesus: Kathryn, dear, I have a question for you: What does ‘Messiah’ mean to you?
Me [instantly, without hesitation]: You! You are my Husband, my Vine, my Beloved! (Isa 5:1) And I know the holy Remnant also knows You are the Messiah and we stand in You. We put our faith and trust in You! We abide in You and know who we are in You. We love and adore You! [Big smile! Heart glowies!]
Jesus: I want you to hear Me. There has always been much conflict over the title “Messiah.” I am releasing My baptism of fire now. It is a baptism of holiness, a holy “fire” of holy love. I came to bring the “fire” of passion and compassion on the earth. (Lk 12:49) You have already seen My Church become divided over this. (v 51) Now the divisions will increase (v 52) as My Holy Wind spreads over the earth. The divisions will be caused by the title “Messiah,” just as the divisions in My own house of Israel arose over the issue. As people wrestle with the title they will have to answer the same question I asked Peter: “But who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15) My remnant in the Church has already wrestled with this question and they are strong. The rest of the Church and the nations have not answered that question. If they had, there would not be bloodshed. (Isa 5:7)
Jeremiah 23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has My word speak My word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the LORD.
23:29 Is not My word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
This question over the title “Messiah” will sift the “straw” from the “wheat” and will be the hammer that breaks the “rocks,” as each person wrestles with My authority over their lives.
Matthew 24: 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
My Church-as-Bride has already seen a “cloud rising in the west” (Lk 12:54) and has seen the “rain” of stress that came with it.
Me: Lord, I’m in the west.
Jesus: My flock has already seen the “south wind blowing” and felt the “scorching heat.” (v 55)
Me: Excuse me, Lord, I thought the “south wind” was Australia, but I won’t do another dance with Potential. You call the shots. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
Luke 12:54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens.

12:55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.

12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Me: Jesus, as Your scribe what can I do? (Ez 9:11; Rev 12:16; Rev 22:16)
Jesus: Uphold My word faithfully just as you have been doing. It is the Holy Spirit Who will use the Word to divide, sharpen, cauterize, heal, and restore.
Me: Is it ok with You if I just duck and hide in the shelter of Your wing as Your holy army marches forth and the proud “perish at the rebuke of Your countenance?” (Ps 80:16)
Jesus: Yes. Come hide in Me and renew your strength. (Isa 40:31)
Me: Glorify Your Name in All the Earth, Lord Jesus! Amen!

13 After Pentecost 18 August 2013 Gospel: Luke 12:49-56
Isaiah 5:1-7
5:1 Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.

5:2 He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

5:3 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.

5:4 What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

5:5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

5:6 I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

80:2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

80:8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

80:9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

80:10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

80:11 it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

80:12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

80:13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

80:14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
80:15 the stock that your right hand planted.

80:16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.

80:17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

80:18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

80:19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Jeremiah 23:23-29
23:23 Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off?

23:24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD.

23:25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!”

23:26 How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back–those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart?

23:27 They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal.

23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the LORD.

23:29 Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Psalm 82
82:1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

82:2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

82:3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

82:4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

82:5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

82:6 I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;

82:7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”

82:8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!

Hebrews 11:29-12:2
11:29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned.

11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days.

11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

11:32 And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets–

11:33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,

11:34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.

11:36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.

11:37 They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented–

11:38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

11:39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,

11:40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Luke 12:49-56
12:49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

12:50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!

12:51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!

12:52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three;

12:53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

12:54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens.

12:55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.

12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Must Be Present To Win

14 Aug

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 12 After Pentecost for 11 August 2013
(Posted three days later on 14 August 2013)
(The fourteenth of August 2013 is a prophetic date in my life. On 14 August 2010 God specifically asked me to release “Anchored in Christ” to His Church (which I did). Therefore, this is a three year marker date and anniversary milestone.)

Must Be Present to Win
God says,
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
We have to be present to argue. We don’t necessarily have to be present with another person to argue with them, because arguing in the spirit happens all the time. I’m talking about how we must be in the holy Present Moment of Now to talk things out heart to heart with God. How can we present our case to the Lord and talk things out if we are not grounded, if we are “not in our hooves,” if we are not totally present in body, mind, and spirit? I know God hears us (even though He said He won’t listen.) (Isa 1:15) Hearing and listening are not the same thing. God is weary of bearing our solemn assemblies wrought with iniquity. (v 13, 14) We have to practice what we preach. It boils down to Integrity. We can at least try, even when we’re split off from our core Selves with worry, multitasking, suffering hardships, and we’re pinned to the mat with life (and death;) still we can make an effort to come right with God. But how do we go deeper to have a relationship with God if we do not talk things out with Him even while being in a fractured state?
I don’t think God has a big issue with me arguing with Him. (Besides it’s fun to argue with Him, even though I know He wins.) I share with Him my point of view and how this makes me feel. Bullies have raised the point with me, “DON’T TALK BACK TO YOUR FATHER!” I look back into the bully’s eyes with soft eyes and say, “My Father is requesting my presence for respectful debate.” God gets no relationship out of a stone. Sure the rocks cry out anyway (Lk 19:40) but where’s the relationship and the fun of the stones talking back? The Earth is His footstool (Isa 66:1) but slaves don’t talk back to their masters. We are more than slaves for God’s pleasures and whims. We are privileged to have a relationship with Him in dignity and honesty. I serve Him wholeheartedly. (Eph 6:7)
Judgment and Hope
Isaiah 66:1 This is what the LORD says:
“Heaven is My throne,
and the earth is My footstool.
Where is the house you will build for Me?
Where will My resting place be?
2 Has not My hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at My word.
I do tremble at His word. And I wrestle God to the mat with all honesty and am humbled. Then comes the “new name” (Gen 32:28) of how I view myself and sometimes it includes a “new name” of my new assignment as I live out my relationship with Jesus Christ.
This past week I was privileged to be able to attend the Lancaster Prophetic Conference. (My first prophetic conference ever. It was an amazing and awesome experience! God bless my best friend for making it happen! Otherwise I wouldn’t have been there.) At the conference the prophets agreed that we are now in the time of God’s Judgment. No more delay! [Whew! Finally! Someone else is hearing what I’ve been hearing!] This was confirmed in the Gospel Lesson in today’s lectionary reading which describes how the “thief” comes. (Lk 12:38; cf Joel 2:9) To those of us at the conference, the Master found us awake, alert, and blessed us with His presence and an “open heaven” [outpouring of grace and mercy indescribable] flooded our collective being. We received God’s mercy to enter His grace. God’s house was not necessarily “broken into” (Lk 12:39) the way we’d normally think of it, but He broke the veil and came to us by drawing us to Himself and bringing us unto His chest. We were the Bride of Christ in a God Hug. Conversely, I did not see anyone at the conference from the religious camp. The religious house was not home even though God came and knocked. (v 36) I know I personally extended an invitation for the “religious” to come. (v 36) And I received silence.
I was thinking about that as I read Mark 8 and correlating gospels. After Jesus had fed the five thousand (Mt 14) and then the four thousand (Mt 15), He said they had come only to be fed. (Jn 6:26) The Church-as-Religion has done the same. (Mt 15:12) And so have the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation. Are you waiting for the Spirit to say more to the Seven Churches? God won’t hear. (Isa 1:15)
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
There were three prophets at the conference: Bobby Conner from Texas, Neville Johnson from Australia, and Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj from India. Lord Jesus, all are in agreement that Your house needs to be cleaned up. So, Father, cleanse us from all unrighteousness, for the religious are not able to wash themselves. (Isa 1:16) Religion has trampled Your courts. (v 12) Since the prophets spoke Your word confirming that there will be no more delay over cleansing all unrighteousness from Your Church (Ps 50:3), so I decree with them, adding my voice (v 4). Your Holy Spirit has come to Your Church-as-Bride and You have found some of us alert and ready for action and with our lamps lit. (Lk 12:35) Please, most gracious Lord, come and serve us what You have prepared. (v 37) Show us how to learn to do good (Isa 1:17), to seek justice (v 17), to rescue the oppressed (v 17), to listen to each other and love one another as You have loved us, to call on Your provision for others, to defend the orphan (v 17) who has no voice, and plead for the widow (v 17) who has no family to come to her defense. Show us how to be friends to one another, so that we can respectfully argue things out (v 18). Remove our sins, so that we may glisten in Your radiance, reflecting Your presence like new snow (v 18). In Your mercy, though our sins are red like crimson, make them like wool, just as Your red Blood covers our sins to make us whole. Lord, wool is itchy. Compassion is itchy. I know that our souls will become “itchy,” but that’s what happens when wounds are on the mend. Having an “itchy” soul is part of growing up. Pour on us Your holy oil to be willing (v 19) and to be obedient (v 19) to what You say as we walk in Your Spirit; make us pliable as we allow You to lead us, to convict us, to instruct us, and to bring us into Your Kingdom. Commission us as we reflect You to others. Commence the release of Your Judgments as You have willed. You are fair and kind. Protect the innocent and shield your righteous ones from iniquity. (v 13)
Father, Your trumpet has sounded. Call forth the babies, children, and youth to lead us all in praise and worship of You for You are our mighty Counselor, Prince of Peace, King of kings, and Lord of lords. (Isa 9:6) May YOU receive all praise, honor, wisdom, strength, power, wealth, and glory, for You are worthy. (Rev 5:12) We bow to You on Your throne, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prophetic Postscript with a punch: Bible Gateway’s Verse of the Day for Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Revelation 3:14, 20 (The Voice)
[ Letter to Laodicea ] Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Laodicea. “These are the words of the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation: Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.

12 After Pentecost 11 August 2013 Gospel: Luke 12:32-40
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
1:1 The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

1:11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

1:12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more;

1:13 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation– I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.

1:14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.

1:15 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,

1:17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

1:18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

1:20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
50:1 The mighty one, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

50:3 Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him.

50:4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

50:5 “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

50:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah

50:7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.

50:8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.

50:22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.

50:23 Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.”

Genesis 15:1-6
15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

15:2 But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

15:3 And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.”

15:4 But the word of the LORD came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.”

15:5 He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

15:6 And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Psalm 33:12-22
33:12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

33:13 The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.

33:14 From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth–

33:15 he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.

33:16 A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

33:17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.

33:18 Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,

33:19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.

33:21 Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

33:22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

11:2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.

11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.

11:9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

11:10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11:11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old–and Sarah herself was barren–because he considered him faithful who had promised.

11:12 Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

11:13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth,

11:14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

11:15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return.

11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Luke 12:32-40
12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

12:33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

12:35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit;

12:36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

12:37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.

12:38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

12:39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

12:40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Meow

4 Aug

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 11 After Pentecost 04 August 2013
Meow
Conversation with Jesus line by line through today’s lectionary reading from Hosea and today’s Gospel lesson:
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.
[Lord, You do love all of us and You did call all of us out of whatever holds us in captivity.]
Hosea 11:2 The more I called them, the more they went from Me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.
[This is true; You did call to us, and the more You called the more we went from You; sacrificing to our own images and what smelled enticing. We followed whatever drove our whims. We have been like little kitties chasing dancing light spots.
Poem by Rumi:
“Entrance Door”
How lover and beloved touch is
familiar and courteous, but there
is a strange impulse in that to
create a form that will dissolve
all other shapes. Remember, the
entrance door to the sanctuary is
inside you. We watch a sunlight
dust dance, and we try to be that
lively, but nobody knows what music
those particles hear. Each of us
has a secret companion musician to
dance to. Unique rhythmic play, a
motion in the street we alone know
and hear. Shams is a king of kings
like Mahmud, but there’s not another
pearl-crushing dervish Ayaz like me. ]
I, too, have been a pearl-crushing dervish!
Hosea 11:3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in My arms; but they did not know that I healed them.
[Lord, You did teach us how to “walk.” You took us up in Your arms and taught us how to walk in Your ways, how to recognize You, how to hear You, and You showed us how much this covenantal relationship means to You. You really did heal us and we did not know that You healed us.]
Hosea 11:4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
[You brought the Incarnate life into our own lives with bands of love dancing through every cell and fiber of our beings. You lifted us to Your cheek and gave us great God Kisses. Just like You did with St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and with the mystic poet Rumi (1207-1273), You bent down to us and fed us with Your very presence.]
Hosea 11:5 They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to Me.
[Lord, we are already experiencing this. Recently the collective “We” did let go for a little while to embrace Your grace, but our stubborn ways led us right back into being held captive to our own selfish desires. Human pride is a tyrant and we have refused to return to You. What You said is true. This is what has happened, and is happening. Alpha and Omega gone flat; Pete and repeat, but without the redemption to flip it around and change things for good, because no one says anything (or says everything and nothing). No milk bowl left on the porch for kitty this time…]
Hosea 11:6 The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes.
[I know, Lord, doesn’t this “get Your goat”? The bullying persists on all sides and in every institutional sector. Both the priests and the prophets are scheming, too. [O shock! Hand to forehead with dramatic flair!] I know it. You know it. They know it. So? We are not “saved” by what we know. Some people just have a knack for putting the ‘crown of thorns’ on your head and then taking a two-by-four and pounding it into your scalp just to make sure that you really bleed.]
Hosea 11:7 My people are bent on turning away from Me. To the Most High they call, but He does not raise them up at all.
[We’re like toddlers who have to run away from Mom. Then they wanna be picked up when they demand it, but they don’t really want to be held. They just want to assert their voice and prove to themselves that they have authority.]
Hosea 11:8 How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.
[What kind and loving parent would hand over their toddler to be destroyed? Are not our hearts like Your heart, God? Don’t all of our hearts coil to strike when pain and fear attack, and then we recoil in reaction, only to then grow warm and tender with compassion?]
Hosea 11:9 I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.
[You ARE God and no mortal! YES! Your Holy Spirit IS in our midst. (Rev 19:10) I understand Your fierce anger. We are Your children and we have behaved badly. I love You all the more for not exhibiting Your fierce anger, and for not coming in wrath. Surely we deserve it like any wayward and rebellious toddler. But You are God and no mortal. You were mortal and became one of us, God-in-the-Flesh, fleshy God-spark among the people, incarnate Word made fleshy in You, Jesus. You, Lord, were crucified for us, died, and rose again by God’s power; You are the Bride’s Husband. (Hosea 2:16) Hear me, my Lord. [My hand gently on His face.] Nothing we did was good. Everything You did was good. You have every right to be angry. Your heart burns within You and we took advantage of Your generosity and Your love. I am so sorry.]
Hosea 11:10 They shall go after the LORD, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west.
[I’m so glad that You can roar, Lord! I have nothing left. You are the One Who roars and we tremble. The Great Silence continues down here. If there was a real person in the west, I would throw up my hands and ask where they are. As it is, I look in their long-long-much-too-longtime-suffering faces as they as they abdicate responsibility to You, God, for their own actions (and inaction), and then they pull out the martyrdom wildcard and preach Patience!, while the stench of rot swirls around them from their finery:
From my Journal: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
“So, have I suffered enough? Have I martyred myself enough for those in power with the power to eat the power in order for them to use their power for their own mechanisms as they watch their power schemes grow? Is this CYA Machine working for y’all? A person can only die so many “deaths” before they realize they are not “dead” and resurrection Light shines through the holes of the wounds and the Light itself makes a solid foundation instead of the suffering. I am real whether you see me or not. So Kitty Paw to the ethereal fortress of the great “They.” And a respectful Kitty Paw to you, too, prophets, because y’all knew with your prophetic eye and you did not share (as in meaning to pass along to someone else, and not hoard for yourselves. St Paul has something to say about that. He calls this greed (which is idolatry). (Col 3:5)”]
Hosea 11:11 They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD.
[God, I cannot take any more crows. Their caw is like torture to my ears now, after all that I have been through. You say peace out of stubbornness, and doves from Assyria? Surely only You, and only You, can return us to our homes. We humans only know how to make a fine mess of things.]
Luke 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”
[Lord, we did that! We Christians took Your inheritance and divided it among ourselves and said that other religions were going to hell. And then we told each other to do the same.]
Luke 12:14 But He said to him, “Friend, who set Me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”
[This was exactly the same thing that Pope Francis said this last week! How cool is that?!]
Luke 12:15 And He said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
[I find it prophetic that the Elijah List sent a TEST run with Johnny Enlow’s piece, “The California Gold Rush, Part II” the day BEFORE it was officially posted. (Test sent: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 3:25 PM. Official post date: Tues, Jul 30, 2013 ) Lord, were You using this as a way to show us that we must take care and be on our guard against all kinds of greed? Eve’s first born child was named Cain, which means “to possess” or “acquisition.” ]
Luke 12:16 Then He told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.
[There are still regions of the planet which produce abundantly and they have not been killed by man’s greed and corruption. I can’t say that about California, though, at least not where I live.]
Luke 12:17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’
[Lord, in our Me-Culture, self-storage is prolific. (Isn’t the name itself telling? Self-Storage?)]
Luke 12:18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain [the soul’s manna] and my goods [stuff, things].
[And we did.]
Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
[And we ran out of “many years” as we squandered what goods we had laid up for ourselves because we couldn’t share. The selfish lifestyle is now our collective legacy. Consumerism is not democracy, but it is consumerism, which is passed along to other cultures in the name of Democracy.]
Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
[From my Journal: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at ~ 8:30 pm Well, Lord, the same goes for You. Respectfully, You are NOT a fool. I just do not understand You. That makes me the fool. At the same time this very night Your LIFE, O Life-Giver, is being demanded of You by me. The things You have prepared, whose will they be? I am just a mortal here. You are God. You said,
Hosea 11:9 I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.
Lord, it is easier to die than to choose LIFE. Jesus, You said the words: “your LIFE is being demanded of you.” Well, what about Your LIFE, God? Is this not what You have demanded of us all along? You don’t demand just our souls, but LIFE, which encompasses body, soul, mind, and spirit.
You said: “But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Rev 3:3)
Lord, everyone who “wakes up” from being spiritually asleep experiences this! Rumi describes the experience very well! So why the delay tactics from those in power who seem to believe that it is their god-given mission have to preach and teach in order to put people in their place? The delays are not from You, God.
From my Journal, Wednesday, July 31, 2013: A Prayer if only for myself…
“God is giving us the opportunity to CHOOSE LIFE!
Again, so who is the fool? Is it I, myself, for having believed Him? I have given my ALL to follow Christ and I live a monastic-type lifestyle, but in my car for crying out loud! I didn’t choose this! I chose Jesus Christ! And ended up in my car in the process, (thank you very much.) I belong in a monastic community. I’m not the first “Fool for Christ.” Just ask St Francis of Assisi. On 01 August 2007 (six years ago tomorrow to the day!) I walked away from my possessions (Luke 12:17) and career using skills from my master’s degree. I have asked the prophets and the Church, the priests and the bishops, the laity, many elders, and various artists to engage with me in dialogue, and I still receive silence after all these years. In our own exciting times, just last Saturday, (27 July 13) Pope Francis told us to make a “mess” in the dioceses and break out of our spiritual cages. In truth, I’ve tried. And have been trying; pounding on the doors of the crystal fortresses of the Institution since Ash Wednesday 2009. I feel like a kitty trapped in a crystal cage. Meow. Somebody has to go after the Lord Himself and get their eyes back on HIM! Who knows where their eyes are? There must be a Remnant ‘out there’ who is [spiritually] ‘wide awake,’ because God says,
Hosea 11:10 They shall go after the LORD, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the West [!].
I am standing on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and my writings are my legacy. Who is there to pass along my legacy? “The things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20) Good question. I partner WITH Jesus Christ in my relationship with Him. This is our covenant. So am I the fool?…
God, You said through St Paul: “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (1 Thes 5:2)
And we really do know very well. I also know You are not condoning insomnia! We have to keep our focus on You and Who You are. Then we sleep well and we become “awake” in our minds, souls, and spirits. The Holy Spirit DOES come and surprise us like a thief and then does much restorative work while we sleep. In the process we become spiritually “awake” (ie the Great Awakening inside those of us who desire it.) It’s all part of the Great Paradox. We rest to become awake.
And Rev 16:15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
Kent Simpson said: “Remember Joseph when he received his prophetic dream? He shared it with his family, and it angered his brothers, and they took him out and dumped him.”
Me: Been there. Done that. Got dumped many times. Ouch many times. Repeat. (I’m a slow learner.) I have said nothing in secret. (Jn 18:20) Ya’know,,,, that whole thing about things done in secret will be revealed… (Dt 29:29)
It would seem, Lord, that You have not only been preparing the stage backstage but also setting up for the whole stage production for Your grand show. God, You do not give us “fool’s gold” as a foundation upon which to build our covenantal relationship with You and yet it does exist. And You have told us repeatedly: “You choose.” So, what have we done?
Kent Simpson: “There are many questions about whether prophecy is really of God. How can we know it is of God? What do we do when we get a word from a prophetic minister? What is the definition of prophecy, and what are we speaking of when we talk about prophecy?”
Kent said, “The definition of prophecy is foretelling, i.e. telling of things to come.”
Me: Well, here we differ on the definition. I see prophecy as FORTH-TELLING, not foretelling. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to foretell that when the Holy Spirit does break the Great Secret, it could be uncomfortable for a few people, and this is the very reason why the mysterious “They” pimp the Great Silence. This is a very, very old pattern—as old as time. What did the Pharisees say in their response to Jesus? Was John’s baptism really of God? (Mt 21:25) Was my mystical marriage with Jesus on 14 May 2008 really of God?
And what about love? We are supposed to speak the truth in love. (Eph 4:15) It’s not only a matter of loving the truth (2 Thes 2:10), but also speaking the Truth in love. Do we love Jesus enough to confront and be straight with His own Church? Jesus said that all will bow to Him in His temple, for He will BE the temple. This goes back to the covenantal relationship.
Rev 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE its temple.
“Be” and “Are” are LIVING words. God is knocking down the “stones” of the Church-as-Temple once again (Mt 24:2), in order to put us where He wants us. It’s not about us positioning ourselves to maximize on CYA in the Great Oops.
Jesus said every knee would bow and tongue would confess to God. (Isa 45:23; Ro 14:11)
The Church-as-body-builders says nothing.
Kent Simpson said,
“The best thing to do when you receive a prophetic utterance, which deals with things to come, is to take that word and write it down or save it on disk. It is important to keep it in its exact form and entirety. Then put it on the shelf, listen to it from time to time, and judge it by letting time pass. If it is the Lord, it will come to pass. David had to wait 20 years to become King after Samuel prophesied that he would be king of Israel.”
I understand the part about “which deals with things to come.” What about taking responsibility for what God is saying now?
Kim Clement said back on 05 June 2013 [cf Eze 8:1—Hello, do you guys ever listen to each other?]
“SUMMER OF NEW BEGINNINGS
“On Saturday, a wave of compassion came over me and I was carried into a cloud of intercession. It was highly unusual. During this time, I saw certain things that were going to be unleashed upon the earth during summer. Hold tight, these things must happen, but many of them are signs of LABOR, and then a birthing in the Spirit.”
Me: Well, we’re [spiritually] pregnant ripe right NOW!
Echo: “If it is the Lord, it will come to pass.”
Me: Ok. Push, God! Push! We, ourselves, are no more than spiritual midwives. Lord, I’m sure glad You are doing something, because we humans don’t or can’t. Give birth, God! Kitty Paw to the cats of power. Go Francis! Rock on! Pope Francis seems to be the only one who really “gets” Christ’s mission, so God bless him! He’s got the gift of wisdom. Heaven only knows, it takes wisdom to “herd cats”! The great and mysterious “They” don’t seem to like my “catnip.” They seem to be forever checking it suspiciously for poison. I don’t get it. But we find what we’re looking for even when it’s not there…
Kent Simpson said in a dialog in with Pastor Ras in “Why You Shouldn’t “Help” Your Prophetic Word Come To Pass” that “a word of wisdom will give guidance, direction, and has conditions:”
“PASTOR RAS: So the word of knowledge is like a faith door, and if [ah, keyword!] the people receive it, then credibility has been established. Then you can speak that prophetic, foretelling word to them. Should an individual look to prophecy for direction in their life?
PROPHET KENT: No, because prophecy is not conditional. If it is of the Lord, it will happen, regardless. However, a word of wisdom will give guidance, direction, and has conditions.”
My response: And when the prophetic forth-telling word to the people is spoken, and the people have received the word of knowledge in their ears like a faith door, but not received it in their hearts? Then we have Prophecy Fulfilled: Ezekiel 12:2; Jeremiah 5:21. So then is credibility now in question? Jesus also faced this issue with His homies. And He asked them a question on this same spiritual point: Mt 21:23-27. Q: Was my mystical marriage experience (baptism) from heaven or from men? (v 25)]
Luke 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
Luke 12:21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Everyone seems to know but will not step out of their own possessions, or possessiveness. There is a possessive quality about keeping mum in the ranks. It’s like a brotherhood’s secret pact, and no one will break the contract. I understand. So who’s the fool? The Kitty Paw! Isn’t God “fooling” with us in a playful sense, too? Aren’t we all just a bunch of “cats”? The “things we have prepared” (Luke 12:20) are not ours, but are meant to be shared. That’s the definition of Legacy. This was also Mary’s legacy.
Poem by Rumi: “Mary’s Hiding”
“Before these possessions you love slip away, say what
Mary said when she was
surprised by Gabriel, I’ll hide inside God. Naked in
her room she saw a form
of beauty that could give her new life. Like the sun
coming up, or a rose as it
opens. She leaped, as her habit was, out of herself
into the divine presence.
There was fire in the channel of her breath. Light and
majesty came. I am smoke
from that fire and proof of its existence, more than
any external form.”
And that’s what You, Lord, been saying all along! Touché for you, God! How Great Thou Art! We see Your Majesty displayed throughout the universe! Rock on, God! Rock on!
http://www.godvine.com/Unique-Arrangement-of-How-Great-Thou-Art-with-Drums-is-Fantastic-By-StikYard-com-3484.html#

11 After Pentecost 04 August 2013 Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Hosea 11:1-11
11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

11:2 The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.

11:3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them.

11:4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.

11:5 They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.

11:6 The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes.

11:7 My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all.

11:8 How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.

11:9 I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.

11:10 They shall go after the LORD, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west.

11:11 They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD.

Psalm 107:1-9, 43
107:1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, those he redeemed from trouble

107:3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

107:4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;

107:5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.

107:6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;

107:7 he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.

107:8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

107:9 For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

107:43 Let those who are wise give heed to these things, and consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
1:2 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

1:12 I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem,

1:13 applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.

1:14 I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

2:18 I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me

2:19 –and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.

2:20 So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun,

2:21 because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.

2:22 What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun?

2:23 For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

Psalm 49:1-12
49:1 Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

49:2 both low and high, rich and poor together.

49:3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

49:4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

49:5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,

49:6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?

49:7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life, there is no price one can give to God for it.

49:8 For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice

49:9 that one should live on forever and never see the grave.

49:10 When we look at the wise, they die; fool and dolt perish together and leave their wealth to others.

49:11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they named lands their own.

49:12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp; they are like the animals that perish.

Colossians 3:1-11
3:1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,

3:3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).

3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.

3:7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.

3:8 But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.

3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices

3:10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.

3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Luke 12:13-21
12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”

12:14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”

12:15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

12:16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.

12:17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’

12:18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

12:19 And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’

12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

12:21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”