Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Wednesday Morning Freewrite

 This is what caught me this morning in my meditation time:

19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

21 Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. (Gal 3:19-21, MSG)

I think this is all about living in harmony with who God made me to be. "The ego is no longer central." I know I have read it in The Message version before, but it just struck me when Carla Harding read it in Lectio365 this morning. This is an old Navigator verse that I memorized in the "Assurance" pack! I love the Navigators. No matter what anyone says, Sheryl Rice modeled contemplative practices to me back in the late 70s. Now they are "all the rage" in many evangelical circles. My best friend, Debbie, and I both sort of look at each other and say, "Well, yes. Doesn't everyone know this?" She was in a Sacred Rhythms class at her church, and I read her workbook where there was a new rhythm introduced, and she wrote in the margins, "Learned in 1979 from ________." Maybe our ministry was different. Maybe it was just Sheryl, but now it is all the rage and a "new" thing for people. (I think it is GREAT though. Read that book if you want an introduction to those Rhythms! I think Celebration of Discipline is also a great introduction to all of this. I love Richard Foster and Renovare too. So many good resources out there now. I am NOT knocking the resources just stating they are not new for everyone.)

But no matter. I am realizing that I just need to live FREE and FLY! 

So today, I am going to talk with the leader of the IMAGO CHRISTI DISCOVERY COURSE. It is an introductory spiritual formation course using the model of Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle using Tom Ashbrook's book Mansions of the Heart. I am listening to it on my walks, and I am saying, "AMEN!" all along the way. He is preaching to the choir. I love it. (Parenthetically, I am sure people on the street think I am mentally ill.) 

I want to meet with this director to see how our movement can officially partner with him. I am very excited. I am not going to be afraid. I am talking to so many people in our movement, and it can be intimidating. I just encountered ONE ego in the midst of the talking. No excitement about what we are doing. "My husband and I are superior" attitude in the email. It was a little unnerving for me, but God has replaced it with 99% of our movement that is so EXCITED and HELPFUL. I have a great team of four people. One is a dynamo of a worker. He spends one day a week looking at resources for us. The other was the person who told me how IMAGO CHRISTI changed her life. The other is wise and helpful. Now I have pulled in people who know the technical side of a podcast, and it is someone who interviewed me for something many years ago, and God brought him to mind, and he (and his boss) are really excited about this! Abiding is part of their year goals. 

Then there is my friend, Eric. We dreamed in Sumas, Washington back in 2018 about this coming to fruition. I kept telling him that he is the one who can make it happen more than me because I am just a spiritual director to people because "eliciting change on the individual level" is my jam. Now, we are in CAHOOTS. He has more of a voice with the big-wigs. I have more of the experience of working with people in abiding for the last 40 years. 

In fact, I was thinking about my own "TIMELINE" of growth, and it was on Lake Washington in September of 1983 where God radically changed my life after a breakdown. Romans 8 spoke to me big time. "Nothing can separate me from the love of God." And the note I had next to my bed, "God loves me no matter what I do for him today." (Parenthetically, the husband of the couple who housed me on Lake Washington when I fled from my spiritual abusive situation just died two days ago. I will ALWAYS be thankful for them taking me in.) Then, I led those women through the "Year of Abiding Discipleship" in the Upper Room of the Law's house (1985-1986). Always been my life theme and my "drum to tap" since my breakdown. "Abiding in Christ is the end of self-effort." from my counselor, Pearl Tadema. Thank you! 

That is 15 minutes for me. I am out. 

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