You ask whether your post will make you an outcast from the Christian community. I hope it does not because we could do with a dose of clear thinking, careful theological reflection, and honesty on this subject, and others.Of course, the Christian community cannot bear such questions because, if we could answer the question honestly, we might discover that we’re just as queer as each other, in one way or another. However, that corporate testimony would lead to a serious theological question: What kind of a god would allow his creatures to be so screwed up? And it has to be God who shoulders that level of responsibility, because Adam and Eve are in no way big enough to do so. So, we keep our queernesses in the cupboard, because we cannot bear to encounter a God who, for all we know, has made us in his own queer image.
Archive for Wild at heart
I am home now, the “old normal” is fighting to take over the “new normal” the memories are fading and it seems very far of all the important things that happened long time ago (yesterday) in a galaxy far far away (well a remote corner of another continent anyways).
No new agreements have snuck in, or have they? I am wondering if, what I perceived as ongoing mortar fire ( that kept me pinned down in bed for hours), maybe was normal day to day warfare. Warfare that was amplified by the prayerful atmosphere and our heightened awareness that the bootcamp provided?
Maybe it is the normality of day to day life that dulls our senses so that we do not notice the agreements sneaking in and the warfare when it happens.
To arms my brave brothers, my valiant sisters, to arms, the enemy is still there, poised to strike. Another battle has just begun, lets keep the “old normal” at bay lets live the life of Jesus as the “new normal”.
Jesus is not good at just doing his job. At the wedding in Canaan he doesn’t just make a few bottles of wine, he miraculously produces 600 litres. When feeding the five thousand with a boys lunchbox he also goes the extra mile and there are 12 baskets of left overs afterwards.
So I am standing in worship, the afterglow of Gods intimate, deep, healing touch is washing over me in waves. Suddenly I have a vision. In front of me I see this beautiful woman, perfect in every way. Long brown hair rolling over her shoulders in wavy locks. Her fierce dark brown eyes sparkling with vibrant vitality. She is dressed in a snugly fitting leather armour and wielding an elven sword raised high ready for battle. It is the most stunning woman I have ever seen, and then I realise, she is my wife!
Awestruck i stand there marvelling, falling in love with my wife as if it where the first time. Standing in a lodge squeezed in between the peaks of the rocky mountains thousands of miles from home, I realise the she is my perfect match, my ezer (companion or lifesaver from Gen 2.18). She is the woman that battled for my heart when I couldn’t. I would not be whom God wants me to be without her. I realise standing there, that I have truly been blessed with a gift from God!
I wake up Sunday morning, close my eyes in prayer and see a beautiful lake at the foot of a beautiful mountain with snow covered peaks piercing the clouds. My vision is back!
I can feel peace and a quiet strength inside as I walk to the last session of the weekend. We worship and I can feel the presence of Spirit. I know God is there and I know that he is with me.
John is kneeling leading us in prayer, Jesus is saying it’s time you forgive me! I don’t feel that Jesus has wronged me…. but wait, what is that. I hear a voice from deep within, screaming, no, raging.
“You’ll just send me away like all the others”
“No”, Jesus whispers, his voice heavy with grief. He is not speaking to me, he is speaking to the eleven year old boy in my heart.
“Whee where you that day?” The boy rages on, “The day my heart shattered. Why didn’t you protect me?”
“My son”, Jesu answers, words filled with compassion, “I was there with you, it was my arms rocking you to sleep. I loved you then, and I love you now. I will never, ever leave you alone”
I have been listening in on the exchange strangely detached but now Jesus turns to face me and his eyes pierce my heart.
“You are not on your own”
I can feel the healing begin, I can feel how he is binding my heart together as the boy inside starts trusting, allowing me to trust Jesus as well. I break the agreement that I am on my own, I break the agreement that I will always leave before I get left behind, and most of all I break with the sinister behaviours that have led to my cycles of self destruction in order to prove that I am unlovable.
I am deep in prayer during the following covenanted silence, holding a sword in my hands when Jesus surprises me yet again. “Battle brother”, he whispers, “You can be my wing man any time”
What started as a nice, calm trip into the mountains (with a great stop at Dorothy’s for hot tamales) and a great first meeting on the thursday night quickly turned into a nightmare.
I don’t know why it surprised me. I should have been more than ready for this to be a battle of epic proportions. It all started Friday morning when John was talking about inviting Jesus into the young parts of our hearts. I knew that this was the reason I had come to Bootcamp, I needed deep healing. I closed my eyes and ran headfirst into a brick wall. There was nothing there, no Jesus, no woundedness, no feelings and no connection at all to God or to my heart. I was numb.
Then the battle started, it started slowly with “You don’t really belong here among all these americans, they don’t understand what it is like to be a Christian in Europe and especially not in Sweden”. To top that sneaky attack came an assault on my capacity to pray. Every time i shut my eyes I saw nightmare images, battle scenes, bombs exploding, snakes, eyes, demonic grins, more snakes, dancing pigs etc. Chaos and frightening images made it impossible to pray.
This continued all of Friday with a brief respite during the afternoon when I went fly fishing, when, I concentrated on trying to cast properly and not so much on prayer.
Saturday morning 04:00 I wakeup in the dark assaulted by agreements, “This is not for you”, “Johns teaching is to conservative”, “There is no such thing as warfare and spiritual attacks” (YEA RIGHT!), “You are not good enough to deserve to hear from Jesus”, “There is no Jesus”, “God doesn’t exist”, “It was a waste of time and money to go here” and so on ad nauseum. I break each one of these in turn as they come to me, it goes on for two hours non stop. I drift into uneasy sleep until 07:00 when I get up, tired, to face the day.
Prayer block still there, I am irritated and have trouble taking anything in during sessions. I am disappointed that Bart can’t find the time to talk to me but I engage the intercessor team to get this of my back. Evening comes and the status quo remains.
Then a band of brothers intervene! They grab me and drag me into an empty lodge and start battling for my heart. These brothers listened well, prayed well, and battled well.
David looks me into the eyes and says, “You are very hard on yourself aren’t you?” I shrug, maybe, I say. “You look at yourself and see a wounded broken boy who keeps tripping up and failing”. David continues, “I see a warrior who has been through, fiercely intense battles and who is still fighting”, the tears well up inside, I want that to be true, but I do not believe it. “What is Jesus saying”, they ask. Exasperated I say but I can’t pray all I see is nightmarish garbage. “Well, if you can’t see, what do you hear then?” I listen…
Tears well up, the dam is broken, and the connection is restored, my warrior heart recovered. I thank God for my brothers in this battle without whom I’d be lost, I realise as so many other times that I am not meant to go this alone. I have Jesus and I have my brothers in arms.
I look at the calendar, it’s the first of December!? Really? You have got to be kidding me! Where did the time go?
I am on my way to Colorado for Advanced. Yet again I feel rushed, not ready. I was going to prepare, read some books, pray, ask God for advance words. Instead I spend all of November rushing and now I have spent the night before this important Journey prepping the Sunday meeting presentation and other loose ends.
It fells like it was a lifetime ago I went to Wales and God started this deep healing process. I hope for deeper healing, restoration and freedom, but I have doubts. I feel deeply that I have squandered my talents, I have not prepared as I should have…
Will God show up yet again, will I have invested my time wisely, going across the globe to spend four days in prayer on a mountain? A voice whispers in my mind: “you are a fool”. I press on, maybe I am a fool, but then I’ll be a fool for God at least, chasing the wild goose all the way up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
To be continued …
The question is, do you know what you have lost? Have you like me settled for what is? Yesterday in the stress of coming home, getting ready, and (for me) getting ready for a trans-continental trip. Tempers flared as the kids acted up testing our patience and our love. After a long silence I found Angelina in the study staring at our wedding photos.
I don’t like it when Mommy is angry, she says. I wish she was like that, she points at the wedding photos, always happy, she was so beautiful.
Oh man, I look at the pictures of the young couple so young, so in love. Almost tangible electrical passion passing between the two. Who are they? I quickly correct myself, where are they now? How did we loose that?
Then I remember that Jesus came to save that which was lost and a wild and a little bit crazy hope flares in my heart. maybe that can be true for us… Maybe it can be true for you…
I have now completed lesson three wit the girls and I have watched much more of the Bullyproof DVD collection to stay ahead.
One thing that strikes me right away is what an awesome system to raise young cowboys and warriors. This system is designed first of all to create a bond between parent and child. With the “expect nothing, praise everything” approach you truly build up confidence and validate your child throughout the session. The transfer teaching technique gives you the awesome possibility to model everything and allow your child to learn through your modelling and feeling great about themselves the whole time. To learn more of the Gracie Bullyproof teaching methodologies, sign up on Graciekids and access the parent preparation course.
Over and over again in the DVD series I hear Rener and Ryron Gracie say to the boys, “let’s see if he’s got what it takes” and then because of their teaching methodology goes on to prove just that, this kid has what it takes. Now imagine hearing that over and over again several days a week for years between the age of four and sixteen. And on top of that, you are also learning a martial art and how to become a Warrior!
It’s always there isn’t it! Today my father was in town and there was talk of them coming by our Sunday service. I spent all the extra energy to make it a spectacular service, after all my dad has never seen me lead a service nor preach, and I was so happy that he would come and se as we are doing Epic (A cinematic experiential church service with loads of story telling).
And there we are, I am arriving at the church three hours before the service, exhausted (haven’t slept well), but hey we are doing Epic act 2, a whole service on the war in heaven and the enemy. And then I find out that our tech person isn’t going to show up to do the presentation and sound (Very bad with a service relying heavily on video, sound and lights). But again we are doing a whole service on the enemy some opposition is to be expected.
Then comes the news. My dad has decided to go watch my brothers girlfriend in a rowing race rather than coming to the service and I am down, K.O’d. out of action. Suddenly I am again the 11 year old kid who’s father has told him he is going to send him away. The 12 year old who has to go alone to the train station because his fathers new family needs him more, the 13 year old … well you get the picture. All the old wounds are so fresh and hurting. And here comes the lies, my old friends, you are unimportant, you are a nobody, you are not worth anybodies time.
And I make the same resolutions all over again, fine, I don’t need anyone, I am all alone on my own and I will just prove them all that I don’t need them!
I walk through the rest of the day in a daze and, I cant really meet my fathers eyes or engage in the conversation at dinner. I don’t want it all out now not with all the family (his and mine) around.
Does it ever end, must this destructive pattern repeat ad infinitum. I sure hope not, I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Names are powerful things especially when they describe you well. In the Bible names where given to reflect the parents hope or their expectations. In all sorts of warrior cultures names where given to describe a warriors prowess and aptitude or a name was given for the warrior to grow into.
In the Guardian Angels I was called “Harlequin”, no put aside all those sleazy images of romance books, Harlequin was from the elite elven warriors of Warhammer 40k, performers and formidable warriors, spinning and somersaulting over the battlefield with deadly grace. The name was chosen by me, I was an actor (a poser) wishing to be a warrior, what name would fit better? I also had the tagline that went with my name: The dancer of death, the weaver of shadows and the great avatar of the laughing god.
If we disregard the links to a non-existent fictional religion I wanted to be the dancer of death, deadly and graceful in battle. The weaver of shadows was a tip of the hat to the ninja warriors I was so taken by as a boy but also a hint that I was a master of deception, I had everybody fooled (or so I thought). The laughing god was my tribute to my subversive view of the god of Christianity, that God was indeed a God with humour, a God for whom Joy and freedom was paramount.
At Bootcamp in Wales Craig held a session on the “new name”, the white stone given to all believers in Revelation 12. We where asked to ask God what is my new name? Apart from the fact that I was sure that God would not answer this, I was also concerned that any voice I would hear would just be my own….
Before Craig had finished talking I asked the question: Lord what is my new name, what do you think of me? Immediately I had a word come to the forefront of my mind.
Faithful, you are Faithful!
Yea right!? God do you know me? I spent the next thirty minutes arguing the point. To be honest I am anything but… To start with, I have left God and the faith several times. I have been unfaithful in all my relations and would never ever use that word to describe myself. I have also spent years battling an addiction to internet porn and lust. Yet here I was trying to convince myself that this was not God but my own idea, I had just come up with this word by myself, but how could I?
And God speaks:
Faithful, you are faithful. That is What I made you, this is your strength and your glory. Pursue this.
Back home battered with assaults on this one conviction I look up the hebrew word for faithful (allready know the greek pistos, to believe to have faith) and I am blown away by what I find. The most common hebrew word for faithful is ‘aman:
539. ‘aman, aw-man´; a primitive root; properly, to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (Isa. 30:21; interchangeable with 541) to go to the right hand:—hence, assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.
In this little word, I find the sum of all things I want to be. True, I want to be a true knight, full of truth (the hebrew for truth is emunnah derived from ‘aman). I want to be steadfast, loyal. I want to be a nursing father, to build others up. But more than anything I want to live the life where I trust God! Where I am full of faith, faithful.
No longer the dancer of death or the weaver of shadows, no longer the incarnation of a false god. I am faithful!
What is your name? Go ahead ask him, he wants you to know!