November 21, 2011

Free Falling

Embrace the Chaos
Photo courtesy of Darkvstar's Blog

I left you in a free fall off the cliff I leaped from awhile back. Meanwhile, I have met the angels who were just beyond my view to slow my descent into the valley of promise. Who knew when I jumped off that cliff that I had a million tiny parachutes filled with good news strapped to my back to soften my fall? I could actually get used to taking such big risks.

Which leads me directly to one of the obstacles I've run into in the task of taking you along for the ride. I have been contemplating why it has been harder for me to write about good news than it is to write about bad news.

If there's something bad to write about, I have no doubt there will be plenty of people to empathize with, understand, and even learn from my experiences. However, if I write about something good, I fear that others will not be able to relate. It's funny how we can all agree on what makes us sad, but it's a little harder to agree on what makes us happy, what makes us come alive, what thrills us. This seems to be as individual as the DNA within us. Perhaps that is why it is such a challenge to come together in true intimacy and unity.

He will command His angels concerning you.
Photo courtesy of Angela Messenger

By now you know that I'm no lily-livered woman when it comes to sharing my life openly, but I have come to the realization that I'm actually afraid to share my good news with you. So, please bear with me and know that even though it appears as though my family and I are still free falling off the cliff with no hope in sight, there is actually wonderful news waiting to be divulged at the right time and in the right way. Before I can share it, though, I feel I must confess my fears and so let you in on this stage of my journey.

It occurred to me today that risk is something very few people understand. Yes, there will be some who will give a shout out as they read what I consider to be victories. They will celebrate my success because they know it means their success is right around the corner. On the other hand, for every one who will celebrate there may be others who will think I have tested God beyond what is my right.

Some will believe I have unwisely jeopardized the well being of our children in order to press into dreams and visions for the future. Still others may believe I've gone off the deep end and become one of those people who do crazy things just for the thrill of the descent (like a relational bungee jumper). Since I know who I am and Who I am following, I'm not actually too concerned about these objectors.

Free Fall
Photo Courtesy of Transcendent Women

It is actually two other groups of people I am hesitant to face. First, those who will allow fear and envy to keep them from being able to celebrate with me. Already I have experienced some rain on my parade. It's not that I'm afraid of the rain so much as I'm afraid I will begin to accept the rain as right and start taking less risk again just to please them. It sounds silly to me now as I write it, but I have caved in the face of disapproval more times than I'd like to admit.

The second group I tremble before is those who will see my good news and think I'm crazy to call it good. What is good for me might be the worst possible thing they can imagine. I realize now these two groups are two sides of the same coin. I have been a compliant person all my life, always trying to fit in with those around me. Never before have I been one to buck the system and blaze my own trail. I was taught that to agree is to be in unity and to disagree is to be wrong. Though I know now that this is not true (in fact, striving to make others just like us is so impossible that it's not even on God's agenda), tendrils of doubt still creep in when I am faced with a loved one who thinks I'm making a bad choice and just deceiving myself that it's good.

So I am afraid, but I am going to press forward and share with you as I am able. I will let you in on this one piece of good news: Rent is paid through December and will shortly be paid through January. The money landed in our checking account the day before we needed it. We have more food than we know what to do with, the heat is on, the kids are happy, and we are entering this Thanksgiving week with hearts full of gratitude, hope, excitement, faith, and love.

November 5, 2011

The Problem with Idols

Divine Embrace
Photo Courtesy of New Mother, New Earth Night Songs

I'm working on some theories about cultural and religious similarities. As I was studying Buddha, I had a simple yet profound revelation. The problem with forming idols is twofold:

1. They are based on someone else's experience.
2. They distract us from having our own experience.

I'm beginning to think some of the enlightened ones truly were enlightened, that they truly had encounters with God the Father in all of His fullness (Divine Love; Holy Spirit, Father God, Jesus; Allah; YHWH; The One True God; The Unnamed God; etc.). I am also beginning to see a pattern across the nations where en masse we idolize someone else's experience in order to avoid the pain and struggle involved in having our own experiences with Divine Love.

Without this experience of Divine Love, there is no possibility for enlightenment. Enlightenment is simply recognizing that without Divine Love to eclipse our human attempts at love, we will always digress to hatred. There are plenty of myths, legends, and stories in all cultures relating this very concept. Countless literary geniuses on the level of CS Lewis, David Mamet, and whoever wrote all those amazing Greek myths bring this fundamental truth to life.

Photo Courtesy of New Mother, New Earth Night Songs

So many Christians (myself included) have spent a tremendous amount of precious time building walls to keep "outsiders" from encroaching upon our religious views (right, left, fundamental, pentecostal, etc., etc.), and we do this in the name of protecting the innocent, maintaining morality, keeping the peace. Hmm...I don't see much evidence of peace. I see more evidence of people saying peace when there is no peace.

I feel it right now. I feel the rancor rising within you, and I realize I am stepping way out of my comfort zone here with this message. It may even appear to you, my faithful readers, that someone besides Angela is writing these. I promise you, this is me. Raw and full of curiosity and wonder.

More importantly, it is me filled with faith-inspired anger that tells me so many have settled for less than what was promised. So many have bought the lies that religion sells, and we've lived for so long without encountering Divine Love, the only thing that truly sets a person free and gives them purpose and meaning in their life.

Can we all take one giant step back and see that the enemy has crept into every culture? Can we take another giant step back and recognize that germ theory hasn't gotten us anywhere? Can we finally see together that the enemy truly is within each one of us, and he's whispering lies?

Rose Drops
Photo Courtesy of The Alchemical Marriage

Lies like these:

You're no're too good.
You'll never amount to're all full of yourself and think you're really something special.

No one likes you...they only like you because of what you do for them.
You're too fat, you're too're too pretty, you're too skinny.
You're too're too smart.

And can we once and for all realize that a price was paid to rescue us from the enemy within us? That price was paid in the name of Divine Love, the love that eclipses all human love and accepts each person at the level their at and then calls them ever higher to reach their unlimited potential.

And then, upon the realization of the great price that was paid for our freedom, can we find the gift of courage planted within us to face the demons within, take authority over them, and evict them forever so that Divine Love can fully inhabit our souls and give powerful life to our spirits? Imagine what kind of peace that would bring.