Archive for the ‘To be or not to be?’ Category

Ezra 9:8

Posted: January 25, 2012 in To be or not to be?, Wandering Thoughts

While studying i was led to Ezra 9:8. i would not normally find myself in the book of Ezra but as i said i feel i was led there and perhaps in light of present circumstances it is appropriate. This is one of those extremely personal posts and lachrymose is an understatement! Reproof and correction are never wanted but always needed.

Ezra 9:8 “Now for a brief time God, our God, has allowed us, this battered band, to get a firm foothold in his holy place so that our God may brighten our eyes and lighten our burdens as we serve out this hard sentence.

We were slaves; yet even as slaves, our God didn’t abandon us. He has put us in the good graces of the kings of Persia and given us the heart to build The Temple of our God, restore its ruins, and construct a defensive wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

Just maybe now for a brief time (this comes as no revelation as i have been told for over a year that time was growing short and i don’t mean that as an alarmist but as for me and my relationship with God personally, for me to “be” as He has directed in every area of my life.) God, my God is allowing me and this battered band (i have been doing life with a small group for some time and many or i should say all of them have heard the same word about time being short for them to act upon what they know of God.) to get a firm foothold ( INTENTIONAL, not a what ever will be will be , not wishy-washy, not half-hearted, not what i think but a firm hold on what i know.) in His holy place (Onething Campus, Onething Prayer Center, and Onething Life) ( in spite of our lease coming to a close and apparent end, at least at the current location, that my time there and seemingly this battered bands time there is not finished.) so that God may brighten my eyes and lighten my burdens (this says to me that God is working in my life and that there are benefits to be gotten by finishing strong in whatever, whether the actual end or just a season change in my life.) as i serve out His hard sentence. (yes, it has seemed like a hard sentence this past year, but i never… well not never, thought of it as God’s sentence on me. In my sane moments i knew that my own decisions created the hard sentence and as i sit here today it feels really hard no matter how i look at it. Consequences!) i was a slave; yet even as a slave, my God didn’t abandon me. (regardless of what i have or have not done my God did not and has not abandon me. This word today is His voice speaking to me.) He has put me in the good graces (i sense that my time is not over (yet) as in ending, but certainly changing as God always does with things. i have a hope which i didn’t have a few months ago. These words lead me to think that there are relationships that God has ordained and that they are the good graces of God.) of the kings of Persia and given me the heart to build The Temple of my God, (i have not lost heart to build and i’ll leave it at that for now.) (no i have to say a little more. In the past five plus years i have attempted to build what i have had a heart for most of my life. That being unity of the body,  and the need for a personal intimate relationship with God in every single persons life. But… but, i did not always count the cost to Ann Marie nor myself and i find myself coming up to a place, feeling like so much more could have been done, but i ran out of resources. Not just financial but emotional, physical and every other “al” that can be identified. Being a giver i did not count the cost when i continually gave it all away without a care in the world. Thinking that i could just depended on God to make it all-right, that in a sense i could be many others source of faith and finances.)

Luke 14 says, “For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish. Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace.

Now i must surrender and go to the King while we are months from finishing and ask for terms of peace.) restore its ruins, ( i feel like that is where i am today in some parts of my life, in ruins and now i need to spend time restoring, Ann Marie and i, Onething Campus, Onething Prayer, and i believe that Onething Life is the venue for that to happen and no Ann Marie and i are fine but i or i should say we want more than fine, we want great, excellent, awesome, incredible, and construct a defensive wall (this says to me that i need to be intentional in keeping the enemy out of my life, my marriage, my family, the campus, the prayer room and out of the battered bands lives as much as i can, knowing they have a free will and choice.) in Judah and Jerusalem.

As it stands right now i will not post the rest of this week, and i’m not sure when i will again, as i need to INTENTIONALLY meditate and ACT upon this word. Let me begin by asking Ann Marie to forgive my lack of consideration on her part and placing her in this place without counting the cost, without considering your need and all women’s need for security, for giving away what was not all mine to give.

Advertisements

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”

There was a church in Africa and everyone was excited to welcome a very well know guest speaker who was scheduled to come this Sunday. The songs were sung, the announcements made and then came the introduction of this great minister. He walked over to the piano, sat down and began to sing “I will.” That was it, simply “I will.” Over and over he sang the words, “I will, I will, I will. After some extended time one person joined in, “I will, I will, I will.” then another and another and another until everyone had joined in singing, “I will, I will, I will, I will.” Then he stopped and silence filled the church. He stood up and announced, “Okay now that we have all decided that we will, God, what would you like us to do?”

Moral of the story is that i need to be in the place of saying, “i will” long before i expect God to tell me what it is He wants me to do. i really like this a lot! It was a confirmation to where Ann Marie and i are right now. “we will!”

“Love is as much of an object as an obsession, everybody wants it everybody seeks it, but few ever achieve it, those who do, will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all, will never…never forget it.”

There was a current conversation where someone was discussing a situation with their wife and they were asking me to teach her “The art of argument.” while i do not believe in “The art of argument” i sometimes find my self engaging in it. Not with my wife but with God. Sometimes i like the art of questioning or pursuing understanding and yes sometimes it may be perceived as arguing. i am somewhat in that place with “be” and “do.” When i received the verse Deuteronomy 8:3 it rang true in my mind. i exist, live and occupy a place because God spoke it out of His mouth. Since closing that blog i have not been able to get those words out of my mind. So for the first time ever in doing blogs, i actually know what i am to study next week. The topic will be “WORDS.” i have so many questions, with so few answers. It should make for an interesting week at least for me, but perhaps not so much for you.

i am aware that one of the problems or disadvantages to anyone wanting to read this thing is that it goes on…….. and on……..and on. While there are categories or chapters they tend to run together. And because these come from live time with I Am they often refer to previous writings and that makes it difficult for someone to jump in and know what i am speaking about or hearing. But i must remind everyone that i don’t do this for entertainment or performance or even for anyone to read, but only for the purpose of me leaving a journal for my children, grandchildren and whom ever. It’s more like an electronic novel than a daily blog.

“Be” still and know. “Be” a doer and not a hearer only. “Be” imitators of Him. And all your [spiritual] children shall “be” disciples. And there are many more places where i am instructed to “be.” I Am spoke out of His mouth ed “be.” And then He spoke out of His mouth, ed “do.” That’s what i am sure of. There is not doubt as to where the starting point is for me. my usual first question is “what does that look like?” i know what that looks like as a beginning point. as for “be”ing, i am to exist and live. i am to occupy a place. my choice is to do that for I Am. my starting place for “do” is to be the cause of “ME” “be”ing. “Do” is to sit at His feet and to gaze upon His beauty, not as in the physical but in everything and everywhere me and I Am go.

Now here is one of those references back to previous writings. i must make it a priority. as you may have noticed i did not post yesterday. Why? Because i allowed other things to become priority over me and I Am. If you think that’s  just me being hard on myself, your wrong. It is the  truth. i did not lose sleep, eating time or meeting time. In fact i made a way to eat better than usual. i scheduled time, not with one couple but with two and i rushed the end of an important meeting to get to the restaurant. Priority! My outward meltdowns take place because my inner experiences were not give priority and thus they could not sustain. here are my closing revelations. i will “be” no matter what. The only thing left to determine is will i “be” exist, live, occupy space for I Am, or someone or something else that i deem worthy of being a priority over I Am. me “be”ing will not exist if i don’t make it a priority. “Be” and “Do” are all tied to purposed, private, prolonged time with I Am. ed’s results will be in direct proportion to the effort or priority that i put into it. BLESSINGS and good night to all!

Okay all is well! I got my answer and can continue with “Do”. Webster’s says, Do – to execute; to accomplish; finish; complete; to put forth; exert; to be the cause of. i like the last one, to be the cause of. i admit i want to be the cause of. it’s part of what i was saved from as a teen. it’s what i struggle with the most in daily life. If i watch Extreme Makeover you can count on tears. i want to be the cause of…. something like that. i was watching a show last night and they were sharing about how contestants had gotten to where they are and all that they had gone through during the competition and one of them shared how much the show had changed their life. Eyes filled with tears my mind’s thoughts were, i want to be the cause of. How appropriate that today i would look up the word do and it would identify where i was just last night.

what i have just done is what i do to often. i like the word “do” or better yet i identify with the word “do” more than i do “be.” Sounds like a tongue twister, but that is far from my intent. It is amazing how well these two little words fit together and every time be comes before do. Thus it’s no wonder that i spent three days on “be.” It’s the one i am least familiar with. It’s the one that God is showing me. Be goes along with inward experiences and outward meltdowns. i mean if i will “be” then i will “do.” And the “do” will be so much more because of the who i “be.” i do get it! No pun intended. i need to be NOT the “be” or the “do.” here are different words that are perhaps easier to understand. i recall the day when God said, “ed, it’s not about you and it’s not about now.” So often i am tempted to ask, “if it’s not about me then who is it about and when is it my turn for it to be about me.” i have even gone so far as to ask why is it about someone else when i have done this or i have done that. Can’t it just be about me one time? i’m 58 years old. Beyond that if it’s not about now then when is it about, and when is it about my now?” Now this moment is one of those times that God is speaking to me. This word came out of the blue. i do not have my bible opened to anywhere specific and i have not read the word as of this writing today. Prior to this moment i would have had no clue as to what Deuteronomy 8:3 says. Honestly i don’t hang out a lot in the Old Testament. i sure would feel better if i knew others get the slack jerked out of them like i do and i know that’s not a good thought about others.

ed, I Am humbled you! ed, I Am allowed you to hunger! ed, I Am fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know. ed, I Am did that so you might recognize and personally know that ed does not live by bread only, but ed lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of I Am. Deuteronomy 8:3 SMACK!!

 i will “be” because of every word that proceeds out of the mouth of I Am. i will “do” because of every word that proceeds out of the mouth of I Am. And it’s that cut and dried. i exist, live, occupy a place or position because of every word that proceeds out of the mouth of I Am. If His words today of “ed live” had not been spoken this writing would not have taken place. In a sense it really is about me…… shutting up, surrendering self, eliminating the idea that i, can, do, anything. And there are times when i get close and others not so much.

i get to be the cause of when I Am speaks it out of His mouth. Just because i got out and “do” something that makes me feel good and gets me a little attention it does nothing towards me “be” ing or “do”ing in Gods eyes. ed does not live by bread alone. ed is not the cause of.(Capital period… if there is such a thing?) Nothing gets done because of ed except that he “be.” I know the english is a little messed up in this thing but i’m just typing it and sharing it as it’s coming. Even in my willingness to “be” i am dependant upon I Am. I need Him to speak what “be” looks like in order for me to be able to see it and do it. I Am says love this person and i now have that ability to do so. I Am says give $100.00 to so and so and i now have the provision and the desire to do it. My, my, my, my, my! To “be “or not to “be” that is the question!

Captivated by this little word “be” i looked deeper into the word and yes i know i said i was going to move on to do, but…. well i have to go with the flow.

Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” It goes on to say in verse 2, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

my jesting the other day about putting my two most devalued words together, “be love” isn’t very funny in light of Ephesians 5:1,2. my reason for looking at this verse is that there is more to the word be than just existing, living and occupying a place. Therefore – in consequence of that; as a result; consequently; for this reason. In consequence of or as a result of, for this reason “be” imitators of God as dear children. In those instructions i find purpose. i experience significance in imitating God. And if i’m not sure what that looks like He takes me back to something i am familiar with and says as dear children. i am not so old as to not remember those days but if i were, i would only have to watch my grandchildren. They are little mimics of their parents. Sometimes for the good and not so much other times. Now i know that i can’t physically see God, so to me that means that i must see Him in His writings, His words and even in others who are followers of Him. That works for me! Well… some it works for me. Then i found another therefore “be.”

Luke 6:36 is the actual verse but you must keep it in context which then includes verse 35. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

So here we go again. Therefore – in consequence of that; as a result; consequently; for this reason. In consequence of or as a result of, for this reason “be” merciful, just as your Father. Once again in those instructions i find purpose. i experience significance in “be”ing merciful by imitating God. By the way i caught the first words of verse 35 as well. “Love your enemies.” It’s starting to hurt my ears. i got it, “be” love! And if that’s not enough the next words are, “do good.” So without further a”do” (it’s a funny).

so often i make the word complicated, but there is nothing complicated about either of these two verses. i am given a clear picture of what i am to “be.” i can only hope that “do” is as clear.

If i go back to Luke 6:36 it says, “do good.” And i could take it that the way i am to do good is to “Be” love to my enemies, and to lend hoping for nothing in return. My, my, my, my,my! i feel the need to selah! (pause and think on that) And as sure as i say that the verse we used from James a day or so comes back . James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. In conjunction with Luke 6:36 all i can say is once again, my, my, my, my, my! i don’t want to be (ha ha) misunderstood. I by nature am a giver and for many years have lived by the policy that i don’t lend money, i give money. No strings attached. No expectation of it being returned. If i can’t give it freely then i don’t give it. So it’s not the giving part that causes my selah (pause and think on that).

i am considering if God is telling me that in some current circumstances i am not being a doer of the word in regards to the lending aspect of these verses. So before i open mouth and insert foot i will be a doer of another verse that comes from James 1:19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. No, i’m not getting angry. The words quick to listen, slow to speak are just good directions for any situation, specifically when i am unsure of what i’m speaking about. So God, spirit and readers, i’ll get back to you on this.

i am so familiar with the word “be” that it may have lost some of its value. Not unlike the word love. For me i am almost skeptical of the word when it’s spoken to me. Ha….. what if i put the two together….. be love? (rabbit trail)

“Be still and know that I Am God”. i find myself still asking what that looks like for me and that’s after 3 plus years of God speaking those words to me and as i said almost all those that come to the Prayer Center either immediately or eventually get those same words. It’s said sometimes that your guilty by association. Perhaps there’s some of that at work on the campus.  

Upon first evaluation i thought it meant to do nothing. All my emphasis was put on the “be still” portion. NOT! After some further study and experience that said, this was not working, i noticed the “and know” portion. my attention turned away from doing nothing to doing something and that was learning to know. It was during this time that i had way more questions than answers. It was a time that almost tore me to shreds. But for God!!!! This is a new phrase that Ann Marie has introduced at the center and seems to appropriately describe me at that time. From there i somehow began to see, “that I Am”. No i didn’t just get saved then. That happened many years ago but this was as big as that day. Maybe it was the inability to find peace in what i had tried thus far. That included church and all that fits that package? The bundle of unanswered questions? The fact that i had considered every option to God that i could think of? i found nothing that i could consider an option to God? i think what happened is that i removed I Am from the pedestal and began to sense His presence with me and around me everywhere i went. As i look back now i see that “be still and know that I Am God” is not multiple stages or actions. It is all one! Yes “be still, know that, I Am God” is all one motion and it is simply defined for me as “Be”! Right now i am cautioned that this is not a destination.

i want to exist, to live, to occupy a place, but i don’t want to just exist as the world exist. i don’t want to live as the world lives. In fact, i don’t want the world to define existing or living for me. i don’t want to occupy just any old place in this world either. i want my exist to “be” God in me. i want my live(life) to “be” God through me. i want my occupy to “be” occupied by Him.

i say often that out of a revelation of relationship with the Father i will have the correct response. A different way to say it may be that out of my revelation of I Am… i will “be”.

Now i suppose i have not given fair attention to the other word “do”. i’d really like to forget it and move on but, that still small voice inside me won’t let me do that. If for no other reason than it’s the word. See do for me is…. well i was going to say easy. i have been doing one thing or another all my life. Ann Marie and i are getter done people. And that means we are pretty good at do. Truth be told do takes on a whole new meaning when…… well, if the “be” comes first! So……………………………. “be'” must come first for the “do” to “be”? Selah! (pause and think on that)

This morning the only word that stood out in my mind was “Be”. Quite honestly my first thought was, “not again!” One of the team at the prayer center always ask me, “ed, what’s the word for today?” And many times my mind scrambles to come up with that word. Other times i am prepared and ready to fire the word out like a bullet that pierces whatever it may come in contact with. Today I have the word and wouldn’t you know it, she didn’t ask me or i’m not recalling it if she did. Besides that it has been a busy people day. Within every conversation the word “Be” has shown up.

The people at the Prayer Center nor myself are unfamiliar with this small, seemingly insignificant, two letter word “Be.” It has been present almost daily for at least two years. It has moved people to come and serve at the Prayer Center. It has caused remarkable changes in people’s lives. It has also brought people to tears. For such a small word it wields a lot of influence.

On the surface the word is made up from a consonant and a vowel. It encompasses the second and the fifth letter of the alphabet. Around the center it is often refered to or compared to another two letter seemingly small word, “Do.” In either case the same question could arise at the mention of either word. Be what? Do what? Add the same word following either word and you ask two completely different questions. If i add the first bible verse that comes to mind when i speak either of these two words it can get down right confusing.

James 1:22 says, But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

So because be comes first does it mean that it’s more important than do? i guess the answer to that would depend on the meaning of the two words or the situation that they are being thrown into. Okay i have resisted but can no longer do so, i must get a formal definition and what better place than to go to Webster’s.

Well first i have to get beyond the “stuff.” A verb and auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or ( Archaic ) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or ( Archaic ) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or ( Archaic ) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle be·ing.

–verb (used without object) 1. to exist or live: Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be”, to occupy a place or position.
 
i have always liked the phrase or more correctly the question “To be or not to be.” Never really mattered what it meant or not, just sounds……. spiritual? To exist or live, to occupy a place or position. To be is for ed to exist, to live. For ed to occupy a place or a position. For me to leave it at that seems like i am short changing myself. i mean if i am to exist, to live, to be, shouldn’t it be for a purpose? If i am going to occupy a place or position shouldn’t it be one of significance? i find no satisfaction or rest in just “be”ing. For me the first choice in “be”ing is spiritual. Am i going to “be” God’s child or am i going to “be” satan’s child. The list goes on forever. Am i going to “be” a person of integrity? Am i going to “be” a man of my word? What exactly am i going to “be”? If all “be” is, is to exist, to live then i am not interested. Anyone can occupy my space under those terms.
 
Now here’s what i’m asking myself. Is existing or living free?  If i want to “be” some of those other things are they free as a part of the package or is there a cost? Oh….. how about if i want my outward meltdowns to “be” non existant or i want my inward experiences to “be” what sustains me? (previous blogs) Is it enough to want to “be”? And with that i’m calling it a day. i am amazed what two little words can stir up!