Soul Fiber: Incredible, That’s What God Is

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him…Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven – and the future starts now!. God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The day is coming when you’ll have it all – life healed and whole.” 1 Peter 1: 3-5. The Message

On Thursday, 25 September 2014, Space for Grace Fellowship – The Inclusive Gathering met for the very first time in its current setting. I felt like a bride waiting for her bride broom – nervous, concerned, wondering what miracle we would experience; how the Holy Spirit would show up; what God would reveal to us during our first evening together. What a surprise as a multi-racial/multi-orientational community of faith gathered to explore their understanding of God and experience their spirituality.

We opened with a traditional prayer and closed with a non-traditional prayer. And there were testimonies galore about the goodness and love of God. Even those from other churches were as taken aback as those who had come to seek a safe space when one of the participants wept as he said “I have been to fifteen churches and in each and every one of them have been asked me to leave because I wear long hair and a dress.” I heard myself saying “you are welcomed here. Here you will find peace, acceptance, and tools to strengthen your walk with God.” Then, I heard someone say “God can deliver…” and in midsentence I interrupted saying “there is nothing for which this person needs to be delivered. We are the ones in need of being delivered from the spirit of judgment and thoughtlessness.”

Our mission statement reads: To create safe spaces where those gathered my examine and experience their spirituality, share their family stories, and be affirmed for who and Whose they are as full and included members of Life. The rest is between God and those gathered. We are not the ones who loved so much that we gave our life, only God. Let God be God.

When I teach from PRAY-ERS PRAYING PRAYERS I remind the gathered community that God wants intimacy with us. There is nothing like turning off the lights and lighting some candles, putting on some soft music, pushing the off button on cell phones and muting the land lines; putting aside computers and iPads and crawling up into Gods proverbial lap and getting lost in one another’s presence.

That’s what I did after the gathering Thursday. And as many times before, I thanked and blessed God for being so incredible.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: Love is the Balm

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?Jeremiah 8:22 New International Version

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the “balm in Gilead is a reference from the Old Testament, but the lyrics of this spiritual refer to the New Testament concept of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Balm of Gilead is interpreted as a spiritual medicine that is able to heal Israel (and sinners in general). In the Old Testament, the balm of Gilead is taken most directly from Jeremiah chapter 8 v. 22.”

My generation grew up hearing “There is a balm in Gilead” as a Negro Spiritual. We heard Negro Spirituals in church and in community. The late Maya Angelou would often stand before her audience and before speaking or reciting one of her poems she would sing a Negro Spiritual. Wikipedia has inappropriately changed the identification from Negro to African American Spiritual; one of many attempts to erase the rich heritage of our ancestors and our contemporaries who grew up being called Negro. African American and Black are okay classifications; however, what is richer that being Negro? Perhaps the alternative to consider is a return to the refrain “say it loud ‘I’m Black and I’m proud.’”

On Thursday, Space for Grace Fellowship is gathering for our first worship/workshop experience around the subject “No Hurt Like Church Hurt – Let’s Talk.” The point is not so much to list the number of ways we have been hurt or caused hurt within the family of God (by whatever name). This is our way of inviting and attracting our wounded family to begin anew and afresh with ways of healing the wounded soul as mutually experienced in humanity.

Examples of church hurt – when one considers that the realm of God is within – and examples of the balm of love responses are discernable throughout Holy Writ. The two that stand out for our purposes are (1) the disciples response to Jesus engaging children and (2) the gathered communities response to Jesus talking to the woman caught in adultery (all by herself, I might add). Please bear in mind that the prodigals we anticipate attracting to Space for Grace Fellowship are more often than not clueless to church culture and the interrelatedness between our spiritual struggles and the spiritual struggles of characters in Holy Writ.     The opening musical for this week’s gathering is “There is a balm in Gilead…” to heal the [wounded] soul based on our understanding that LOVE IS THE BALM.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: The Root of All Evil

“Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.” 1 Timothy 6:10 The Message (MSG)

Aboard the Radiance of the Seas we beheld the breath-taking beauty of the Alaska peaks and, with much concern, the extremely receded glaciers exposing tons of mountains that they once covered. This act of nature is attributed to global warming. One person stated that he did not believe it was global warming. Others wondered out loud “whether or not it is global warming, whatever we can do to reverse it we must do now.” Silently I prayed that we would get involved with Al Gore and other advocates to stop the deterioration of the glaciers and other places where global warming is having a devastating effect. Corporate America and citizen must play a key role and a significant part in bringing back the beauty that big business, big government(s), and big money mongers are leaving in their wake.

Like the prodigal, we must help awaken in the minds and heart of big business and corporate America that what befalls one of us befalls all of us. There is not enough money available to escape the probable impending devastation from global warming: drought, rising water from glacier melting, warmer of the oceans (negatively effecting marine life and weather patterns), and, spiritually speaking, an increase in hard-heartedness, third eye blindness, and third ear deafness.

It is commonly said that all things happen in the spirit world before it happens in the physical world. If there is any truth to this revelation, it is a must that we daily ask God for a pure heart and the opening of our third eye and third ear. The purpose of a pure heart according to the beatitudes listed in Matthew 5 is to see God and to see one another as God see us. The spiritual significance of having a third eye is to see the likely consequences of our actions. And the necessity of having a wax-free third ear is to hear what the Spirit is saying to your heart. Otherwise, there is little chance of avoiding getting trapped by the wiles of evil.

During my cruise I read SUNDAY MORNING STICKUP by David Lee. He makes an important observation that what local [mega] church leaders preach about tithing is stealing and making them rich at the expense of those who can least afford it. How does that differ from Big Business getting richer at the expense of the poor? Whether in the church or in the world the love of money is the root of all evil.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.