Friday, June 3, 2016


December 28, 2011

Lately, I've been thinking about this verse:

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."
-John 14:21

This is not an idle promise on the part of Jesus.

I remember first reading this, and just discarding it, with a kind of weary despair.

That's because I was confused as to what His commandments were- the Bible is full of laws- and I knew absolutely my own inability to be obedient to them.

I figured I would never be able to love Jesus the right way. I would have to muddle through somehow.

Then, this fall, when I read it again, it hooked me right away. Jesus will reveal Himself?

The Amplified Bible put it like this, in brackets:

[I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]


I wanted that- I wanted that very badly. And as I grew in understanding, I realized that Jesus points to two commandments: to love God with all one's heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as oneself.

Note, by the way, that it's to love God with all the heart, soul, strength and mind that you have available, not more than you have.

One offers up all that one has, even if it's a little strength, even if it's a broken heart, even if it’s a wounded soul or a weary, puzzled mind. It's just all that you have, that's what you give. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be all.

And one can lean one's whole self into these commandments, because upon these commandments hang all the rest of them. Knowing that simplified things for me.

So I begged Jesus to enable me to love others as myself, so that I could keep His commandments, so that I could see Him more and more clearly.

(You might say, Jenny! That's not very loving of you- asking to love others only as a means to an end, as it were, and I would have to agree with you. That is not very much love, but that just goes to show that my ability to truly love others was quite poor at that time, because I was unable to do this on my own.

(If we try to really love as Jesus loved, we will exhausted ourselves immediately. Charity, or the love of Christ, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit which is grown over time. We must come to Jesus first, connect deeply to Him and remain connected, before we can love others as He asks us to do.)

Quite unsurprisingly, Jesus has been answering this prayer. He has been doing it in an unexpected way- which, I am learning, is very typical of Him.

He began to teach me, over and over again, that I could not love others well if I could not love myself- if I could not accept and agree to the love that Jesus has for me. I could not learn to love myself on my own, because I could not teach this to myself in a way that glorified God or that led to wholeness and peace. I had to let Jesus love me and learn it that way.

Jesus has been teaching me to drop my self-judgments. They do me no good. If I am going to love others unconditionally, I must first accept His love for me to that degree. Otherwise, the judgments that I am harboring against myself will inevitably come out toward others.

This is hard to do. I used to have a different system going.

In the previous system, I tried and failed. To make up for my failure, I judged and then punished myself. Then I tried again, only to fail yet again. Then I judged myself more harshly and punished myself more stringently.

Under this system, I judged everyone else this stringently as well. I had no grace to give and did not understand mercy and compassion. In fact, mercy and compassion frustrated me.

This old system does not want, to borrow a phrase, to go quietly into that good night.

However, that system is no match for the love of God, which is the most dynamic force in all of creation. Nothing can stand before it- certainly not my crummy old system, which gets dissolved by love.

Consequently, I have in fact, been seeing Jesus more and more clearly. He is breathtakingly real to me.

Note that none of this happened by my own efforts. I did not try on my own to love others. If I had, I would have failed miserably.

I did nothing but ask for love, for the ability to love, to know love through Jesus, and when it came, I learned to surrender myself more and more deeply to that love. In surrendering to love, I mirrored that love out to others around me.

We were created by Love, we are kept by Love and we mirror that love back out, to the very One that created us, and to those around us.

When we do this, we see God.

December 29, 2011 Unpublished

Yesterday, I was thinking about something interesting.

Jesus said that He Himself did not do the works or miracles, but that it was His Father that did the works through Him.

So Jesus Himself had faith in God. That is, when He reached out His hands to heal, He trusted completely in His Father to do that work.

He woke each morning, perfectly trusting in God, having been given the words that He must speak that day. Jesus Himself had the ear of a disciple, as one who is taught by God. He spoke only as He was bidden to speak.

His faith and trust and understanding were seamless.

And the Father had complete faith and trust in Jesus. He knew Jesus would complete the work- no matter how agonizing it was, or how much pain it would cause Jesus, or how much horror and anguish Jesus would have to move through and experience.

The Father knew His Son. He put everything in His hands.

(In this original journal entry, I did not address the Holy Spirit, because at that time, I was still under the burden of very intense fears regarding blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and to avoid doing this at all costs, I never spoke to or wrote about or addressed Him at all, which is why He almost never shows up directly in my early journals, even though, all the while, it was entirely His work that I was seeing Jesus, understanding the Word, and growing in Jesus. But concerning the Holy Spirit, He is being sent out by the Father, revealing Jesus and received by us and so the Father has perfect trust to send, He has perfect trust to be sent, and Jesus has perfect trust in Him to reveal.)

So, God has faith in Himself.

So, faith actually never does end- it can't end, because it lives in God. (It must be part of the outflow and being of who God is. Because They truly are Three in One, so Their being and doing together must be a perfect, unending fullness of faith and love- the truest and eternal definition of what those virtues are.)

Last night, I was reading the psalms, and I read this:

He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows it’s going down.
You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening.

O LORD, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
-Psalm 104:19-24

Oh, peace just flowed through me like a river! I almost fell asleep reading it. It was so sweet- just like a lullaby.

I delighted especially in the phrase "all the beasts of the forest creep about." I saw all the little creatures coming out into the lovely dark, which Jesus fashioned and formed and filled- the sacred night- with the moon to rule over it.

And they are safe in the lovely dark, in the rustling of the leaves and the wind and smells on the wind and the dew at dawn.

And at dawn, the lions gather together and lie down to sleep, but men go out to begin their labor, having rested safely all that time.

I just let it all sink into me.

And I read this, because it feeds my soul so deeply:

“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘ You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

“Behold, all those who were incensed against you
shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.
You shall seek them and not find them—
Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
-Isaiah 41:8-13

I read this the first day back from Indiana, after my extraordinary experience of Jesus. I felt so vulnerable- so open!- I felt everything in my spirit.

When we watched that movie, the darkness of the movie was unbearable. I kept getting up and walking away to do something else, or shutting my eyes so I didn't have to see it.

I felt it all through the house, the darkness of that movie. And I prayed, and I felt better and then Keith couldn't take the movie either and turned it off.

And we watched happy TV and the entire atmosphere changed.

But it amazed me. And that night, I read that part from Isaiah and I felt the strength and the comfort of that verse sink deep into my spirit, right into me and uphold me. I drank it in- I read it over and over again.

Now, when condemning thoughts enter my head, I say cheerfully "as nothing- as a nonexistent thing" and the thought is nothing and in fact is as a nonexistent thing. It is dross, waiting to be burned up and of no account.

God Himself is holding my hand. I know this, not just because of that verse, but because I feel it. I've been feeling it for a long time now, Him picking up my hand and cradling it against His chest. I don't talk about it much, because it's astonishing and beyond all understanding and just humanly mind boggling, but the fact of the matter is, I feel it.

December 29, 2011 originally a message to my mom and dad on facebook

The funniest thing happened.

I was making beef stew, as I normally do. And each time I opened the refrigerator door, I saw the packet of bacon on the refrigerator shelf.

And each time, Jesus said, as a suggestion, "Put that in the stew."

I'm not kidding- that is what He said.

Each time, I said,"Noooo.... I can't do that. I can't put bacon in the stew. That's weird. When would I cook it? When would I add it? Besides, it's maple flavored and that will clash with the other flavors in the stew."

But He wouldn't let up about that bacon!

Finally, I began to consider it. As I considered it, I saw how I could add the bacon after I'd browned the beef, and I could use the bacon fat to soften the flavor base of chopped onions, celery and green peppers that I had prepared.

So I was all, "Fine! Goodness, I'll add the bacon already!"

I cut it into pieces and added it to the pot. I was anxious about this whole process, because I hadn't done this before, but Jesus was right there.

Okay, okay, to be more exact, I forgot to separate the layers of bacon from each other and was suddenly very anxious about whether or not they would separate or if they would stay large hunks.

I do notice lately how often I get anxious, just about the smallest things- just like that bacon. I mean, who cares if the bacon sticks together or not? It's still going to taste great. But my first and strongest instinct is to be anxious.

And Jesus said lovingly, it will all work out.

It did. When the bacon was crispy, I had to sop up the extra fat before adding the flavor base. I decided to use a paper towel and was going to just use my hand to push it around and Jesus said, use the chopsticks.

I thought, That's a great idea! That way my hand won't get splattered by the hot fat! So I did that.

I threw that away and added the vegetables and then the beef that had been dredged in flour and seared in butter, and covered that with beef broth, and added potatoes and carrots. Basically everything that I normally do.

And guess what? It was the best stew I have ever made. Ever.

And I thought, Jesus, the Son of God, just taught me how to cook beef stew.

But you know, Jesus came eating and drinking, and people called Him a win bibber and a glutton. Anyway, He's clearly a good cook. I wonder if He normally cooked for His disciples, like He did on the beach that morning. Maybe He enjoyed it.

(I include this because it's in my journal, but I do not want anyone to be understanding this as a statement on fasting or not fasting. If the Lord is calling you to fast for His Kingdom, may the Holy Spirit give you strength and grace to do so, and to glorify Him in your service to Him.

(I believe the lesson to come away with, regarding the entry above, is the picture of how patiently and lovingly Jesus taught me to trust Him. He did this in the smallest ways- even when I made dinner- over and over again, until He had built up a very strong foundation of trust.)

December 31st Claimed

I was watching that video for Look Heart, No Hands for the zillionth time (it still hasn't gotten old for me!) and I noticed the singer.

He was smiling and nodding to the audience, and it dawned on me that there were probably women in the audience who had a crush on him- who thought about how it would be to be loved by that man- a person in their minds who was larger than life.

I realized that I never would do that anymore, because the only person larger than life that I dream about loving me is Jesus. He's always in that spot and so it would never occur to me anymore to try and reach out to a faulty human person to fill that need.

The foreignness of the thought alerted me to how different I had become from what I had been. It was like looking at the horizon and seeing that it had changed completely.

And then, because I was curious, I tried to remember what it was like- to long for and day dream about just a person, a famous or an interesting person, in order to try and maybe attain some ideal of love or meaning or belonging or significance.

It seemed to me now hollow, like trying to make a satisfying meal on grass. But worse than that, tragic. Because those are just pale, empty shadows of what can actually be found in Jesus. Jesus is at the very center of the cosmos, and yet He makes Himself available, and He already cherishes us and we can be close to Him. He is with us always.

In any case, I wasn't even being serious- I was just wondering about it, but immediately, I felt Jesus rush in or become more present, suddenly.

Jesus was there, and as soon as He was there, He was filling my spirit and pulling me into His arms. I felt the strength of Jesus' passionate possession of me- I am His person! He did not want me even wondering about such things. Not even wondering! He wasn't angry, He was more like fiercely protective.

The delight of being claimed so definitely by Jesus made me forget completely about wondering what it would be like to be a normal person.


And we [have seen and] know [positively] that the Son of God has [actually] come to this world and has given us understanding and insight [progressively] to perceive (recognize) and come to know better and more clearly Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This [Man] is the true God and Life eternal.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be).
- I John 5:20-21