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Gallifreyan Prayer

tardisOK, this may be a confession… but I love “Dr. Who”, don’t you? It’s one of those wonderful areas of overlap that both my daughter and I are “fans” of this decades-long running series of stories.

Of course, we’ll not discuss the fact that MY iconic Dr. Who is Tom Baker, and HERS is David Tennant, but… well… we’ll just move on.

But whether we’re speaking of H.G. Wells or Dr. Who, I think people are fascinated by the topic of “Time”, and have a quiet, but deep desire to somehow “manage” time.

One of the most tremendous “powers” of human consciousness is that we are not bound by time or space. We can visualize, imagine, conceive, and discuss… ideas, even realities, that transcend time and space. For example, I can imagine and discuss ideas about Australia. I’ve never been there, I’ve never held anything in my hands from there. I have had friends from there that I’ve met, known, loved… but, for me, “Australia” is a matter of “faith”, not “experience”.

I have no problem at all with that. My beloved puppy, however… brilliant as I find him to be… cannot share that experience. He cannot imagine or conceptualize “Australia”, or “Victorian times”, or “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry”. Even if he were THERE, he couldn’t conceptualize it, as distinct from the here and now.

This freedom, this transcendence over time and space… this is a “human” thing. This is a spiritual faculty, a part of our Image-of-God-ness.

And yet, we are fascinated by our mental freedom over time, and most of us hold a quiet fascination, perhaps even a yearning, to be able to “act” in time… to change things in other times, whether past or future.

Well, what if we could!? What if we can!?

What if we can transcend time through prayer, just as we realize we can transcend space? I mean, clearly, when you pray for the recovery of Aunt Tillie in Australia in her recuperation from gall bladder surgery… you are using prayer to transcend “space”. You are applying your life, dedicating and donating your own breaths and heartbeats, directing these moments of your life to God in the interests and intercession for Aunt Tillie. You open a “window to grace” where she is, by spending some of your own precious and limited life for her where you are.

So… what if we could do the same thing with time? What if we could engage in Gallifreyan Prayer, transcending time?

For instance, let’s suppose someone has stolen something from me. The Lord says I am supposed to forgive that. But, suppose I have trouble with that? Suppose every time I think about that stolen item I become angry. Suppose every time I think about that person (assuming I know who stole the item), I become angry and feel no love for him/her at all? Worse, suppose I sense my own desire to hurt them? I am not a person who wins such will-contests, such moral arm-wrestling matches with myself, easily.

Several years ago God taught me this cool thing… that I have the power to “redefine the stolen item, as a gift… not a stolen object”. That then, I can redefine the “theft” into a “person collecting a gift to them from me”. Now, is THAT person still accountable before God for the theft? That is between them and Him… above my pay grade. But as to myself, I no longer have to struggle with my mixed feelings about the person. After all, it’s hard to give a gift to someone you don’t love, offense is no longer an issue, and forgiveness is no longer the struggle that it was.

See? When we begin to pray across time, much of 1 Corinthians 13 becomes vastly easier.

Anyway, I just wanted to commend this possibility to you… Try Gallifreyan Prayer, transcending time, particularly regarding issues of “offense” and “forgiveness”.

Grace to thee — The Little Monk

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds

 

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The Most Amazing Gift – Part Two

Deep in the darkness of early morning, long before my alarm went off, The Lord called my name and woke me. This was unusual in these days. Sometimes, in certain seasons, He teaches this way frequently, but on this occasion it had been quite a while. I was awake, but could sense the darkness about me, yet there was clarity. The Lord had called my name and said, “Wake up, now.”

I lay still in my bed and He spoke again, “Open your eyes…”

So I did… I think…

For when I seemingly opened my eyes I did not see my bedroom, my covers, the darkness that I knew surrounded me. I was… in Jesus. HIS eyes opened with my own. Now, this has happened to me on rare occasions before, but always at such moments, we were in MY body, in THIS world. It was Him in me, as we walked the earth. THIS time however, was entirely different… I was in HIS body, in HIS world, in HIS earthly time. Very strange.

Even stranger the grace He granted, I was IN HIM, and we were hanging on the Cross. Gradually but rapidly, He seemed to meld me entirely into Him, as not only did we look up at our surroundings, but I came to feel through His senses entirely. I assure you, Gentle Reader, never before have I had such a prayer experience… and you are welcome to accept or reject this testimony as you feel led. I simply recount it to you.

We looked up, raised our head, and I could see and hear the multitudes of the crowd jeering, cursing, blaspheming Him. I could feel the pain, the dripping of blood from head, hands, back. Face and eyes were swollen from blows. Mouth was dry from dehydration and the intensifying struggle simply to breathe. Not gonna get real graphic here with descriptions, but trust me… the experience was thoroughly so. But fairly soon, all the sensations seemed to blur into awareness of just what I could see and hear, and the struggle to breathe.

Each breath was a massive effort, demanding chest, shoulders, head and arms. But His gaze never wavered as He simply watched the crowds mobbing a short distance away. But what He FELT for them… THAT was the amazing part. He simply, totally, and completely… LOVED THEM. Ears could hear the jeers and insults, eyes could see the spitting, the screaming, the garbage flung at Him… yes. But all HE saw was “His children”. All He felt was grief at their actions, and the unspeakable yearning of His heart to gather them together in His arms, love them, and protect them.

It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever felt… the profound depths of that LOVE. It just seemed to grow. So hard to describe, Gentle Reader… By any chance, are you a parent or a grandparent? Do you know that feeling when sometimes you look at your child or grandchildren and you just LOVE them SO MUCH? Like you wish you could just scoop them up in your arms, like when they were really little, and just hug them hugely? Remember that feeling that seemed to touch you once in a while looking at them, where the love in your chest was just so pointed it almost hurt? That’s what this was like.

And watch this… it GREW… it just grew in waves, moment by moment. I’ve never felt the like, except in grief. I’ve sometimes known loss so deep that grief could come unexpectedly, and wash over me and through me like the waves of an incoming tide. But here, this was happening with love and tenderness and compassion itself! And His tears flowed over them, this totally notwithstanding that His beloveds were ranting out there cursing, screaming and reviling.

It made no sense… none at all.

But here is the most incredible part… as this all unfolded on Calvary… in the darkness of my room. This love just kept growing and growing as all the pain just faded into a dull background against the sharp relief of struggling for each rasping, rattling breath. The seconds just seemed to tick away into eternity, as I had to focus just on breathing, ever more shallowly, then the climax…

One deep breath, as His eyes filled with tears and He looked up into the dark sky towards the Father He could no longer feel, but yet believed by faith alone was there and present. He took that struggling breath, held those reviling crowds tenderly in His heart as He lifted them towards the Father and His love, and rasped out… “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

And, deep within ourselves, we knew somehow, beyond any doubt… the Father heard His prayer… He received it… and… the Father… GRANTED… it.

Then, it was finished. With that forgiveness, it was all finished. And there was the blessed peace and oblivion of death. There was no more pain, and all was still.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And that was it, I “awoke” so to speak, face covered with tears as yet I wept. All physical pain was gone, but the heart… no. That heart remained, the love remained, the tremendous sense of desire to gather one’s chicks up beneath one’s wings, to protect, to nurture, to cover. It’s very hard to say what was the most intense residuum here. The relief at being able to breathe? Yes. The intensity of the entire event itself? Yes. The sheer wonder at Jesus’ willingness (and capacity) to share such a moment, such an insight, with someone as totally unprepared, ill equipped, as I? Yes. All of that.

But as I lay there, utterly at a loss… as I just yet wept with the overpowering intensity of His Presence in these moments…

I gasped, “Lord… thank you… but… what WAS that? What is going on?”

Ever so gently, ever so tenderly, He said, “You needed to see that. You needed to be there. You needed that for tonight…” (an unexpectedly tough and hurtful meeting I was going to take part in). I was utterly astonished, had forgotten the meeting was THIS day, and wasn’t thinking much about it at all.

He went on, “You will hear things that will hurt. You will be confused, and people will attack one another, shouting and reviling. This would have caused you great pain. But NOW, you must see and understand. People’s words, their taunts, their names, their accusations… can only hurt you if you let them enter into you. They can only pierce you if you regard them and allow them into your heart. You must not do that. You must not embrace those words.

“Little One, you have now seen My children as I see them. You have felt My heart for them and towards them. No matter what they scream, or spit, or throw… I tenderly love, I forgive, and I seek to shelter them in My arms and heart.

“Having seen what I Myself mean by ‘forgive’… having seen how I Myself deal with ‘offense’… what can YOU POSSIBLY see, or hear, or read, that can cause you offense? Never again, will you ever look upon anyone, doing anything, but with this love and compassion. And never again, will you respond to anything at all but with forgiveness, grace, and blessing.

“If an accusation is true and of light, you bring it to Me and through repentance and contrition you are renewed, transformed, blessed and you grow. If an accusation is false and of darkness or shadow, you bring it to Me and I reveal it to be nothing but falsehood, illusion of the enemy, and it cannot touch you or your heart. Never again, are you to subject yourself to the pain of an illusion…

“Never again, take ‘offense’ at anything at all… No more shadow pain. Ever.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gentle Reader, I cannot explain this so I’ll not try… but so it has been. Not only did The Lord equip to pass through a difficult meeting and a tumultuous time, but later of course I saw how this applied to so many things.

And, wonder of wonders, no more pain, ache, or grief at the accusations of friends! It has been utterly amazing! I didn’t even see the application when it first happened, as the business at hand was intense and absorbing.

But from that time to this, NOTHING has “offended me”, and I kid thee not when I say, I had no idea how offended I WOULD get, DID get, until I stopped doing it. So much pain, grief, ache, just totally gone!

SO!!!

Here’s this incredible, amazing gift… it took all of 10 minutes. I want to pass it along to you! Consider this a “prayer experiment”… Please, try this.

(1) Pick a quiet place and time, where you’ll not be disturbed for 20 minutes or so…
(2) Review (mentally or reading over), those last moments of Jesus on Golgotha…
(3) Apply your “sacred imagination” to the moment and scene: hear the shouts, envision the action…
(4) Ask The Lord for His grace, to bring you for the moment to the fullness of His promise, that He be in you, as you in Him… and rest in Him…
(5) Stay still for 10 minutes, remaining utterly focused on Him, allowing Him to draw you to seeing His children as He sees them, and allowing you to feel the passion of His forgiveness and loving heart for them…

Just stay there, resting in that, letting Him soak you and your heart in that… for 10 whole minutes. Reflect on what He subjected Himself to, only to forgive them and love them. Then ask yourself what you, or I, or any of us… can POSSIBLY endure to even come CLOSE to that!

After these 10 minutes, as you recover, ask yourself… if THAT’s how the Christ in you forgives…. if THAT’s how the Holy Spirit indwelling your heart loves and embraces those who accuse and revile… can any of us possibly do otherwise?

That’s what God asked me. “If THAT’s how I love and forgive… can you ever again be ‘offended’ by anything at all that anyone does or says to or of you?”

Answer?

“No, Lord. All good here, Thanks.”

Can’t tell you the impact those 10 minutes have had on my life since. Just wanted to pass the Gift along to you, Gentle Reader!

Grace to you!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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The Most Amazing Gift – Part One

A little while back, The Lord gave me this exquisite gift, and I want to share it with you. But it’s really hard to figure out how to do that, because simply to describe it to you would not be enough. Truly to share it with you, to place it in your hands I shall have to ask a favor of you, Gentle Reader. I shall ask for 10 minutes of your prayer when we finish… 10 minutes of your life, your breaths, your heartbeats, to be invested in an exercise, a “prayer experiment” if you will. But, it is entirely possible that your investment may become the most incredible gift you have ever received… not from me… not at all… but from Him.

Now, have you ever had your heart broken? Been accused of terrible sin by those you utterly trusted and loved? Been called names, had your motives twisted by people deep in your heart? So deep that even to hear or see the words of their accusations turn your stomach, for they are so far from your true heart or mind or spirit? It is a horrible feeling, no? Like having a dagger of ice plunged deep into your chest… takes the breath, numbs the limbs and the will.

This happened to me a while back. Such pain, such terrible empty pain. So, obviously, we take such a thing to The Lord. We “know” what to do. Scripture is clear on such things. First, as clearly I had caused offense to others, there is examination… the invitation to conviction, the readiness to repent. There is the question, “Lord? Is any of this true?” There is the surrender to the Holy Spirit in total and complete transparency… “Search me, cleanse my heart, O God! Is there anything in and of me, regarding this, that is darkness or shadow? Are these accusations founded? Have I sinned, even though this was never my heart or intention? Have I given offense?”

Interesting observation, here, Gentle Reader… one I’ve only realized in recent years. When one makes a commitment to transparency before God and mature brethren in accountability, and makes such a discipline a part of one’s life for years… then “conviction” works two ways. Just as we are subject to sharp clear conviction of sin when we have wounded the sacredness of another… so too we can experience sharp clear conviction of innocence when we have not. The more we yield to the sovereign guidance of Jesus’ presence in our lives, the more the Enemy will seek to derail us through the use of “scruple”, the wrongful accusation of sin where there is none, to tear our gaze from The Lord and focus it on ourselves in fear and timidity.

So, one goes to Him and just prostrates before Him, and waits… rests… stilling the heart and the will to hear clearly without defense, or denial, or twisting of any truth. And when the heart is still and calm enough, when the peace surpasses all understanding, He speaks. “No, child. These sins, these accusations and charges, have nothing to do with you. They do not touch your soul, and never have. They are but illusions and shadows. Do not let them touch you now… release them.”

So, you do. You have conviction of innocence, and you forgive the hurt. You hold nothing against the accusers. You lift them up, you pray for them, you respond graciously. You seek a way to change this false perception, but realize that once someone mistrusts you, your heart, your motives, there is nothing you can do to repair that twisted vision. Any effort you make only looks like conflict, argument, defense… you can only make things worse. Only God Himself, only the Holy Spirit, can correct anyone’s very perception and vision of another… so you gently release them to Him, and you pray for them, surrounding those who have hurt you with your love and your grace.

The circumstances are not important, but assuredly you’ve shared the experience. Sometime in the life of any and every mature believer, a brother or sister has misunderstood you, wounded you deeply, and caused breathtaking hurt that you have released and forgiven. But the hurt, the pain, the woundedness… they persist. To touch that place in your heart, to recall memories of that and of times before, brings the deep ache of grief. While that grief may fade a bit over time, still there is ever pain.

Here is where God did such an extraordinary thing, where He granted such an amazing gift.

One morning, in prayer for those I lift up, as my spirit touched and lifted these accusers (for God commanded that my prayer, blessing, intercession for them should not change one iota across all this…) that ache awoke in my heart, and God interrupted my thoughts and feelings.

“No… this will not do. You have examined, yes. You have forgiven, yes. But you’ve not yet come all the way with My commands. You are grown enough to be obedient to Me, and you are not obeying.”

‘How, Lord? I don’t understand. I cannot control my feelings, only my actions and will. As far as I know, I am obeying. What then, do I lack?”

And He brought to my mind what I call “inconvenient scriptures”. Specifically, His teaching that those who are judged and reviled for doing His will are “blessed”. Even more pointed, He focused me on the truth here at…

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

God made clear to me that I had “taken offense”. That I was taking into account a wrong suffered, and failing to acknowledge the joy, the blessing and peace, of my very innocence. Hard to wrap words around this, but that I was accepting into myself pain, stripes of condemnation, as though guilty… where He Himself had both declared innocence, and by His blood and cross cleansed from all unrighteousness.

My “head” could grasp this, but my “heart” could not receive it. His command was clear, my pain was in my “taking offense” at these accusations. That was not of Him, that was out of order, and I was to stop that. So I tried. Several days I tried with all my might and will. But I failed, not only yet experiencing my grief, but now adding my own regret of failure to yield to Him here.

Ever been here, Gentle Reader? Ever had God rebuke and correct you for an attitude out of order with Him and His Word, that try as you might, you simply COULD NOT correct in yourself? Betcha have… I’ve been here often. So… I did the only thing I could. I gave up. I realized that nothing in or of me could fix this, and I yielded to Him. I just released this to Him, knowing He would renew and transform as I got out of His way and permitted Him to do so. I’d repented, I’d yielded, and now I would trust to Him.

And then… quite unexpectedly one morning… He gave me The Gift!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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