Friday, October 23, 2015

October 23rd

Written last month, on September 30, 2015
In the night, I settled into the presence of Jesus like a child coming to their parent for a story. “Tell me something, not something high and lofty which I can’t understand, but something about You when You were here."

Jesus showed me a stretch of slow flowing water glistening in the sunlight where ripples were formed as the water flowed around the reeds. “Ah, the river,” I said peacefully, having seen this before.

Permit it, in order to fulfill all righteousness,” Jesus had said to John, at the river’s edge, full of light and warmth and peace. I heard His voice spoken softly, at that time a private conversation between them as Jesus encouraged and directed him.

Then I saw that raised bank beside the road where it curved around toward the unseen village, and the tumble down stone building half hidden in the bushes and the three or four ancient olive trees that grew above the bank. The light shone on the silver green leaves and the air was hot and still and smelled of stone and dust. The roots of the trees twisted down tight into the earth and the trunks and branches were bent by age and wind, but lifted still and full of life.

“Ah, the road,” I said, because Jesus has shown me this many times. “That most familiar curve of the path into Nazareth- the road back home.”

Then I saw Him bending down and His finger as He wrote in the dust and I knew His weariness and I felt the pressure of many in the crowd- their combined, determined resistance to Him, the murderous intent, the desire to silence and discredit and discard this Jesus- Yeshua, this Man of flesh and blood who with His outrageous innocence and purity before Abba shone like an unquenchable light and made them see themselves and they couldn’t stand it, what they saw and they wanted desperately to put out the light.

All this force was coming at Jesus like an unseen tide, but it could be felt in the air, the tension and the demanding voices and the shame and fear of the woman, dangling like miserable human bait in the teeth of the public trap.

It seemed to be bearing down on Jesus like the hot sun on His back along with His physical weariness as He traced something in the sand with His rough finger; what it was I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see His face either, but I remembered His words: Let him who is without sin throw the first stone, Jesus had said, the words shaped and clear, personal, specific, cutting down to the root, when He straightened up at last to look at them.

They went away one by one, the energy dissipating, dissolving, until there was just the quiet of the steps and the surrounding, distance noise of the city and Jesus and the woman who was left behind, unclaimed and unnecessary now. Go and leave your life of sin, Jesus had told her- the rabbi, the prophet, the long awaited Anointed One, clothed in authority, in layers of robes and tallit and disciples, but His authority was carried in compassion, so that this Son of Man is not so far away. He was close to her, His gentle eyes watching her with the grounded, gentle and unbreakable love of a parent.

Then I saw Jesus heading back to Bethany in the last few days before the Passover Feast, after all He had been through, and I saw how exhausted He was as He walked away from Jerusalem and toward the quiet. I remembered how Yeshua had been so weary once that He had sat down by the well and sent His disciples into the town to buy food while He rested, and once so spent that He had fallen asleep in the stern of the boat and even the storm and the soaking waves and the roar of the wind had not roused Him from His exhausted slumber.

Then He entered the house at Bethany and there was welcome for Him and He could wash off the dust and walk into the house and sit down among friends- people who loved Him, received Him and His words with open hearts. There was the smell of food cooking and familiar voices and the sound of His disciples talking and discussing and Jesus sat against the stone wall of the house and leaned His head back against it. His eyes closed and He fell asleep and slept until they woke Him for dinner.

I knew I was not seeing Jesus in a literal way, but being given the gift of understanding His heart more though these things caused me to adore, admire, revere and worship Jesus to a surpassing degree, and for hours, I was caught up in one of the most intoxicating times of worship and adoration that I have ever known. When this passed, I took up the Bible to read those stories.

Rested quietly close to Him, after having read about the last week of His life in all four of the Gospels. Was startled to remember that it was at that time that He was anointed by the woman with the alabaster jar, which was a gift of extravagant love, and a significant moment in His life. I had forgotten about that.

"Do You think there's a connection?" I asked Jesus, the possibility dawning on me.

Jenny, of course there is.

Saw Jesus again, only this time He allowed me to see Him as though I were there with Him. With overflowing and grateful joy I went running right up to Him as He was sitting on the steps of the Temple teaching.

“I love You,” I declared and Jesus opened His arms to me immediately, His face lit up with love. I was enfolded into His arms. He was wearing several heavy white robes and a white tallit over His head and was looking very official and very Hebrew.

“It is because of You that I can be here,” I said to Him confidently, held like a child in His arms. “I know the Way and You are the Way.” I looked up at His face. “I love You! I, Jenny, with all that I truly am, love You… and You are not a stranger!” I declared in amazement, remember again all our history, and Jesus threw His head back and laughed.

I was held close in His arms, tightly as if He never wished to let me go and I was remembering or hearing His teaching, and realizing how much I have yet to grow and how I keep coming up against embarrassing dross in me, but I did not move away from Jesus in shame, I simply opened up my whole heart in confident confession and trusted in and leaned on Him.

“But You will be faithful to get all the chaff out of me,” I said to Him, trustingly.

Beloved, I am faithful in all things, He declared, smiling down at me.

“My Savior!” I exclaimed, realizing it in a deeper way, holding on to Him in profound and growing relief. “You are my Savior!”

October 5, 2015

Realized last night that the woman with the alabaster jar broke it and anointed Jesus’ head, and it ran down to anoint Him for burial. Likewise, when we pour out our love in an unreserved, burning-bridges, nothing held back way, we are anointing His head with fragrant love and the overflow runs down to the Living Church- or we anoint His feet and the fragrance fills the entire room, which is a different set of symbols but I think the same meaning. But our worship poured out this way does not prepare Jesus for burial, obviously, because we don’t go back in time, but for something else that I do not know yet, but He must know.

October 6, 2015

“I know You are holy and true and faithful and that You are with me and I need not wait until eternity to love on You, but may love on You now, through faith and the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God and reveals them to those who love You and I do love You, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, my Creator and my Longing!”

Beloved girl.

I put my ear to His heart. “I love the heart of my Creator,” I whispered. “I love to hear it beating and it beats because my Creator became human, the Word made flesh!”

October 8, 2015

As I was lifting the blinds to let in the early morning light after having worked a great deal on the upcoming blog, I again presented my entire self to Jesus and the Holy Spirit in submission and for review of anything and Jesus said with gentle authority, I have searched your heart and you know Me.

October 10, 2015

Last night Jesus was with me. I was drowning in His presence, delighting in it, drinking it in. He allowed me to know that in His Spirit, He was there, right beside me, was always there and that He loved me and that my love was beautiful to Him- He was filling HIs words, "And lo, I am always with you, even to the end of the age," which greater and greater perception.

I was not with Jesus in the inner seeing. He was with me right there, right next to me. Only I couldn’t see Him. But I knew Jesus was there so acutely that I kept physically lifting my arms out to Him or opening them or opening my hands in these sweeping gestures of delight, of welcome, of largess.

It was not only Jesus' presence that I was being impressed with, but it was as though I were looking right over the threshold of my physical life and into heaven- as though all the time between right then and stepping into it had become a mere space of two or three feet.

I was seeing nothing of this, not even in a spiritual way. It was just impressed on me as a certainty, and because of this, I was understanding things is a peculiar way.

I could see, for example, how much of my life in Christ Jesus was also the work and investment of countless others who had gone before me as well as those living now, who had invested their lives in His work and now their work for Him was invested in me. When we do step through, I think there must be this great opening up of understanding, wonder, gratitude and delight at everyone who has gone before and most of all and forever and ever, worship, gratitude and adoration to Jesus Christ.

“Hello Heaven! Hello, forever!” I said in shy but certain delight, as I waved. It was like greeting family.

Your faith is so beautiful, Jesus said. You are My precious treasure.

“You are my Savior!” I breathed to Jesus. “You have saved me! You will always save me!”

When the overflow of love ebbed, I was thinking about how my ego had gotten a little off balance in the course of the day and how perfectly the other thing I had read had popped that balloon and brought me right back down to His arms in humble entreaty, and how that too was His saving grace.

“I love Your chastisement!” I declared in amazement, realizing how faithful He is. “I love it! I know I will be perfected by You, that the good work You have begun in me, You will be faithful to finish, and I am trusting You to do it, so that I am not ashamed in Heaven, when I look at my life from that perspective. No one who looks to You will ever be ashamed, no shadow of shame will darken their faces, they will be radiant with joy- this is because of You, of Your work.”

I drew very close to Jesus and rested my head on His heart, His meek and gentle heart. “I love Your heart, Your meek heart! I love Your heartbeat!” I cried, holding Jesus through His Holy Spirit and knowing that I was close to absolutely the most beloved One in the whole created and uncreated world, the most precious treasure, the most sacred and beautiful, the uniquely begotten Son of God, the Beloved of God.

“May I?” I whispered, in awe. The reverence doesn't go away; it grows greater the more I know Him.

I am your inheritance and are Mine.

“I would be desolate without You, without You being near me and available. I would be lost and forlorn, empty and comfortless.”

Again, Jesus showed me how His Holy Spirit took the words I had given Him in trust and how the Holy Spirit flowed those words to other members of His body just as they needed to hear it, and to trust Him to do that, and that because I had obeyed Him in such depth of faith by posting it, I was receiving His presence now in much greater measure, and that this was true for others as well, who had also gone through their own doors of obedience and faith in Him, and I cried out, "May they all receive You! May they all be overflowing with delight at Your presence and may You be fully satisfied by those who love You, receiving all that You died for, for everything is Yours and You should have all that belongs to You!”

Was sitting outside in the morning, watching the sun sparkling on the drops of water left on the grass and the pine needles from the early morning rain.

“In eternity, we will simply sit together and look at everything You’ve made,” I said to Jesus, contently.

I’m here right now, He reminded me.

“We can begin right now!” I agreed, full of joy. “Come sit with me! Let’s enjoy it. How beautiful it is.”

We sat for a moment, watching it and Jesus said softly, what would you do with it?

“I don’t know,” I replied, comfortably. “I don’t know You well enough yet. I have to be able to see through Your eyes more clearly. And I have to know all about all the other creatures that enjoy that space- to know how they live there and how they use it and how they are knit into it. And then I would have to stand with You and look over the lay of the land and talk together about how to draw out all the full potential of its beauty.”

Jesus’ love filled me and He pulled me close in His arms and I seemed to be drenched in His heady love and wordless delight.

“You love to create, don’t You?” I whispered to Him.

So much, He whispered.

Later, offered to Jesus a piece of shame that was coming up. And what did I say to you? Jesus asked so gently.

“You are my Savior in all things,” I whispered to Him, later.

Yes, Jenny. Always.

The verse that day was: “You made me; You created me… May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:73-74


Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope— reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things. You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.

Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.

The prophets who spoke of this outpouring of grace upon you diligently searched and inquired of the Lord about this salvation: to whom and to what time was the indwelling Spirit of the Anointed referring when He told them about the suffering of the Anointed and the honor that would follow it? The Spirit revealed to them they were not serving themselves but you. And you have learned from those who told you the good news by the Spirit that was sent down from heaven. Even the heavenly messengers would like to explore this news.

So get yourselves ready, prepare your minds to act, control yourselves, and look forward in hope as you focus on the grace that comes when Jesus the Anointed returns and is completely revealed to you. Be like obedient children as you put aside the desires you used to pursue when you didn’t know better. Since the One who called you is holy, be holy in all you do. For the Scripture says, “You are to be holy, for I am holy.” If you call on the Father who judges everyone without partiality according to their actions, then you should live in reverence and awe while you live out the days of your exile.

You know that a price was paid to redeem you from following the empty ways handed on to you by your ancestors; it was not paid with things that perish (like silver and gold), but with the precious blood of the Anointed, who was like a perfect and unblemished sacrificial lamb.

God determined to send Him before the world began, but He came into the world in these last days for your sake. Through Him, you’ve been brought to trust in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him for the very reason that your faith and hope are in Him.

Now that you have taken care to purify your souls through your submission to the truth, you can experience real love for each other. So love each other deeply from a [pure] heart. You have been reborn—not from seed that eventually dies but from seed that is eternal—through the word of God that lives and endures forever.
- 1 Peter 1:3-23

Be Thou My Vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

         -English Methodist Version, 1964