Random Blog Clay Feet: May 18, 2008
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Today was one of those get-things-done-around-the-house-and-yard day. I cultivated the garden with the Mantis tiller and found that several rows of plants never came out of the ground. I guess we may have had too much rain the past few weeks for some of the plants. Also, some of the tomato plants are not doing well and one or two have died. I left some areas uncultivated in hopes that maybe some of the original plants may still come up, but that is doubtful.

We have been having some Baltimore Orioles visiting us lately and found out that they very much like to feed from the Hummingbird feeders. One of the feeders that is easier for them to sit on was empty so we had to fill it back up for them today. We also put back up the regular bird feeder that we had taken down to put up the Hummingbird feeders. We now have three feeders outside our front bay window with hookups for one more if we want.

We also have been noticing a Titmouse who built a nest inside a hollow limb on our apple tree. Today our cat Peaches decided to tear the nest out of the hole and we found a baby on the ground unhurt. We pushed the nest back down in the hole with another egg still in it and placed the baby back into the nest. The mother bird finally came back to the nest and we began to try to think of something to keep the cats out of the hole.

I finally settled on cutting a small milk jug that we had just emptied honey out of to fit over the limb and be held on by a side limb still attached to the hollow part to keep it on. We cut the top of the jug a little bigger so the bird could get in but the cat couldn't. As I began writing this after dark my wife screamed from outside that the cat was after the bird again and trying to tear the jug off the limb. When the cat started scratching at the jug the bird poked her head out and the cat hit her on the head. She flew off in a fright and we captured the cat and put him back inside again. We hope after all the traumas the bird has been through today she will still come back and finish raising her young'uns. The cat may just have to stay inside for a few weeks until the babies are grown since it is obvious we cannot trust him at all with this situation. I'm not sure about the other cats.

Tomorrow I will go back to work building on a deck and boathouse that we have been constructing for the past week for a customer who lives on a lake. I have been working with a contractor in a nearby city who I met from the Barbershop Chorus that we both sing in. He has been very good to work for and he wants me to help him with some other big jobs this summer including finishing a log home that will be set up later in the summer.

The Barbershop group is putting on a concert the end of this month but I will not be singing in it. I do hope to take my wife to the dress rehearsal on the Thursday before the concert so she can hear the songs we have been learning and see some of the acting and costumes. I hope we also can hear the High School group sing at the same time as I understand they too will be singing some Barbershop music in the same concert. It has been a lot of fun singing with this group and the men are really great guys. It has been good to get a little acquainted with some people who live in this area as we hardly know anyone around here very much yet. We are just not very good at getting connected with people.

Well, I better wind this up and get to bed. I have to get up the same early hour that my wife does to get everything done so I can get to work on time. I'm very glad to have some work after being mostly out of work for nearly a year. God has been very faithful in taking care of us though, and we desire to learn more faith and want to have more of a spirit of gratitude and praise instead of gravitating so much toward looking at problems. That seems to be the assignment I am supposed to be working on I think.

Spirit Principles for Healing

I recently had a discussion with one of my sisters about forgiveness. I was explaining how forgiveness is very different from what most of us have assumed it is most of our life. After I described my new perception of this I have learned in the past few years, she said it sounded a lot like something called Ho'oponopono. She sent me some web links describing this theory and I found them quite fascinating.

Even though this has very strong New Age elements mixed in with it, it also appears to have some strong threads of real truth that are not yet clear to most Christians. In short, it focuses on looking within one's self to connect and resolve the evil within that resonates with other peoples sins to accomplish healing in someone else vicariously, even without their permission or knowledge.

The normal skepticism which this kind of thinking usually produces in reactive Christians alerts me to my own weakness toward criticism which produces bitterness in my spirit. I am trying to move the other direction, away from continued infections of bitterness, so I want to remain open-minded about this and try to see it from God's perspective while not immersing myself into potential deception. Since I do not have the wisdom to know what may be enchanted ground I need to stay very close to God and listen to the guidance of His Spirit in this matter. At the same time, I do not want to be deceived by the spirit of pride and fear that will demand that I only believe what has already been established in religious circles as truth and can be easily proof-texted.

What I am seeing is a strong parallel to the largely misunderstood principle of intercessory prayer. I believe very few people have much of any understanding at all of the principles behind this practice and because of that most of religion is largely powerless today. But I also sense a drawing of the Spirit to look deeper into this issue and suspend the natural skepticism that tends to surface that discredits anything I do not already understand or believe. I believe that there could be enormous potential to radically change the world around us in unexpected ways if we would be willing to grasp a knowledge of unused “laws” or principles of truth that are mostly underutilized up to this point. And just because these principles are demonstrated by those who have false notions about God or spirituality does not mean that this truth is somehow tainted and useless for Christians to employ.

I sense that there are supernatural principles that can be highly effective and that God desires us to tap into that we are largely afraid to approach because possibly other religions have utilized them and packaged them in false contexts. Just because New Age and Eastern religions have false notions about God and our relationship to Him does not mean that they may not have better understanding of certain principles of spirituality that are effective even in the context of error. A counterfeit always betrays the fact that there is a true that is likely even more powerful and effective if placed in the context of other truths. This is seen all the time throughout the various Christian denominations and their partial teachings of true and false doctrines. Just because they have false views about certain things they refuse to acknowledge does not mean that the true things they teach and practice are no longer true or effective.

It is like this. If a person believes in gravity because it is so self-evident that it is hard to miss, but refuses to believe in the principles of aerodynamics, that person may never be able to fly. But that unbelief still does not discredit the principle of gravity that they also believe and obey. Just because they happen to believe that gravity overrules the possibility of flight does not make it so, it only deprives them of great potential for expansion of their life and possibilities.

Now if they start to open their mind and explore the possibilities that there may be other principles that at first seem contradictory to gravity, they may be viewed by people around them as heretics for questioning long-established beliefs and traditions. They may be viewed as trying to discount or tear down what is long-established and obvious truth and they may be marginalized and scorned and even persecuted for daring to question traditional truth. But in the end it will be seen that they are not really trying to overthrow the existence of the truth about gravity but are trying to think outside the box and discover other principles that up to that point were not nearly so self-evident to earth-bound creatures who had never soared above the earth.

In retrospect these radical thinkers who were considered dangerous renegades and rebellious heretics by many of their peers are viewed as pioneers or heroes of the faith. Isn't it strange how dramatically our opinions can change and how easily we forget the great resistance of society to these insistent questioners who refused to be satisfied with life and truth as perceived by the world around them. Because of this great change in perspective and our tendency to glamorize the lives of these free-thinkers, we set ourselves up to once again create another atmosphere of intimidation to anyone who wants to look into the possibility of yet more discoveries and insights. Our fear of change is usually greater than our hunger for growth.

At the same time, it is part of wisdom to not cast off all that has been learned in the past as irrelevant and no longer applicable. The laws of aerodynamics do not nullify or discount the law of gravity. The various laws are designed in creation to work together in perfect complimentary ways. And for those willing to experiment and take careful risks based on reasonable evidence and intuitions and an understanding of foundational principles of reality, it will be seen that all the “laws” of creation are designed to be in perfect and harmonious balance. The enormous powers set up in all the universe are delicately balanced, and when they are all obeyed and respected and utilized correctly life has nearly unlimited possibilities. It is when we flaunt some laws, either intentionally or ignorantly, that other natural laws become unbalanced and negative results naturally ensue.

These negative results to ignoring certain principles and thus throwing the powers that make up reality as we know it out of balance is the effects of what we call sin. These effects are often viewed incorrectly as punishments. Sin is at its core trying to define reality in ways that are not accurate which inevitably will unbalance the natural powers of true reality that was established by God in His creation of all things. Just as trying to jump off a high cliff in faith that somehow faith itself will cause me to fly will not suspend the law of gravity no matter how much I believe otherwise. What I need to “overcome” gravity is not a suspension of the law of gravity but a knowledge and proper application of other forces that work in cooperation with gravity to produce safe flight. Successful flight is learning to perfectly balance all of the principles that seem to oppose each other but are actually meant to make life more exciting and thrilling and wholesome.

The very same principle is true in spiritual matters. The realm of the spirit is not separate and disconnected from the physical realm as many try to insinuate. Spiritual realities are not fictional or inventions of our emotions as many people have come to assume, though much of organized religion does fit this description. Spiritual things simply mean that they primarily relate to things of the spirit, both our spirit and spirits that we term supernatural. We call them supernatural because we don't understand them very well and are largely unaware of the principles or “laws” that govern that part of our existence that parallels the more obvious (to us) principles in existence that govern our physical realm.

Many people refuse to even believe that they have a spirit, or if they do they have little accurate knowledge as to how it operates or how they are to relate to it correctly. I know for myself that I was consciously oblivious to the existence of my own spirit until a few years ago when someone systematically explained it from the Bible in a lecture and I was very surprised to realize that it was true. From that point on I began to focus more attention on trying to become aware of my own spirit and trying to learn to detect what it was doing or feeling or whatever it does. Over the years my awareness of my own spirit has increased, though I know I am only just beginning. But in the process I have also realized that my spirit is the primary receiver for communications from God to my heart and I have been immensely handicapped all of my life because of my ignorance about my own spirit.

Unfortunately we have come to idolize science so much that we are very reluctant to believe anything that cannot be proven scientifically. But science has been deliberately restricted to the physical realm of existence and usually is only considered credible if it never goes beyond that boundary. But just because we have artificially created a very small box around what we allow science to work on does not mean there is no other arena of existence. And even more important, the methods of skepticism that underly most of science to discover truth are themselves a hindrance to understanding the things of the spirit. We too often turn science into a false god that we worship and depend on as our source for truth.

Most importantly though, if we try to learn anything, whether in science or in spiritual things without a proper perspective of what constitutes reality we are destined to always arrive at false conclusions just because we are basing our assumptions on false premises to start with. If in problem solving you allow a false assumption to become part of the foundation for the reasoning used to arrive at your conclusions, the conclusions will always be unsteady due to the weakness of the error underlying everything else. This is why it is so important to be willing to constantly challenge and reexamine our foundations and ferret out the weakness and faulty assumptions from our past and replace them with more stable truths that interlock more perfectly with all other truths. Truth is never afraid of repeated and intense examination. It only becomes stronger from the experience.

But if we try to maintain that truth is only what we can perceive with our own reasoning or from scientific methods of discovery, then we cut ourselves off from the only Source of real truth who is the God who set everything up to start with. If we do not have a healthy understanding of the bigger picture of the creation of the universe and the great Battle that is going on between God and ex-Lucifer, then we will inevitably have false assumptions integrated into the foundations of our philosophy of existence and we will be very unstable when true reality becomes more obvious.

Speaking of examining my foundation – I read a devotional this morning that exposed a whole nest of hot-buttons in my own foundation I had completely forgotten about. It seems that the more aware and willing I am to face and resolve my roots of bitterness the more God is beginning to show me places where those roots are attached deep within my memories. As I read the words that used to be an enforced part of my life in my early years I literally felt a ball of cold heat in the center of my chest. I became aware that this was one of the pockets that may have been linked with much of my early rebellion that still lies latent within my soul needing to be healed. But the healing is going to have to be accomplished using quite different methods than the confrontational, forceful methods attempted by my father and my teachers back then.

Is uncovering this pocket of pain and emotional cancer setting me free from it instantly? No, not really. But I am very glad to have it exposed and I immediately prayed for God to expose it even more thoroughly and bring healing and truth to this painful pocket of bitterness in my past. I was completely unaware that this place in me even existed until I read this this morning that made me aware of it. I know that this is the kind of thing that is becoming more common for me – a God-arranged encounter with my past that gives me opportunity to have more healing and more repair to my inner circuits to prepare me for what is ahead.

The second devotional book I read also stimulated my thinking and gave me better insights on certain things I have been discovering over the past few years. It talked about the seal of God and discussed several applications of how the word seal is applied in Scriptures. What occurred to me was the exciting fact that in preparation for the final exposure to the glory of God, it is critical that I be sealed with a perfectly cleansed atmosphere inside like a light bulb is sealed with an internal vacuum so that when the power is applied I will be able to glow perfectly with glory and not burn out quickly. That gives me a whole new view of the sealing referred to in the book of Revelation.