IF

The following is a piece by Rudyard Kipling that Jay posted for his readers in the past. And so we do so again. Enjoy!  – Pamela

P.S. If you prefer to hear it read by Sir Michael Caine, see the video posted on LovingLikeGod.com below, or click here.


If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!



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For Us, It’s Not About The Numbers

It may be about the numbers with God – so we need to let Him be the one who is looking for a number: Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their  brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” Revelation 6:11

For us, however, it’s about intimacy in Christ.

When I first began to study the Scriptures, the ‘begats’ were a big problem for me like they seem to be for most, especially most Christians. But, then one day I discovered that the life is in the begats, and life is what Jesus came to bring us, ‘more abundant life.’

What I would like to comment on, however, has to do with origin and destiny. For me these are fairly practical concerns.

We were made male and female in God’s image. For me the irreducible meaning of this is that male and female is all about relationship. There was relationship in the Godhead before the world began, and we were made male and female in the image of that relationship. It is written that we were created for fellowship with Him. Ultimately, male and female speaks of that fellowship. That fellowship is the point of everything. Not to get the point is to be dead-ended in our sexuality, hung up on chemicals and plumbing. The problem is so bad that to say ‘sexual hang up’ is to be redundant. To be sexual without getting the point is to be hung up.

Ultimately, sex is about relationship, and intimacy, not about reproduction. For the present, reproduction is a fringe benefit of intimacy, an intimacy which is so compelling we would have been extinct by now without it.

Where continence is concerned, getting the point is the most important thing. And so, from the perspective of the New Testament, we look back on Genesis, and see that becoming ‘one flesh’ is all about Christ and the Church.

Is she reproductive? Probably not as much as He died to make her, but however long it takes, in the end, she is the completion – or as you prefer -the perfection of Him. He is The Great Lover of our souls, and even when we are not faithful, like Hosea, He is faithful.

Relationship with Him is what it’s all about. If it’s working right, that will make me reproductive, but first, and last, it is relationship He is after, and intimacy, which is the cry of the human heart.

By Jay Ferris.

Originally posted on March 20, 2012

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The Best is Yet to Come

A little over 8 years ago now I was at Disney World with Jay and Carleen and their daughter and her family.  It was near the end of his life, and it was the end of my 30 year marriage.  My husband was home moving out while I was gone.  Our divorce went thru a couple of weeks after I got back.  Needless to say, I was devastated.  It was an extraordinary 10 days at Disney World.  Completely off the scale.  Such a huge contrast internally within me… joy and sorrow simultaneously. One thing that struck me that has stayed with me these 8+ years is something that Jay did and the meaning behind it.  We were on a ride, getting strapped in, and he turned to me and started singing, “The Best is Yet to Come”.  Tears streamed down my face as I let this wash over me, wanting to believe, and doubting it was true.

Time since Jay’s passing and my husband leaving, I’ve come to lean more and more on the Lord.  I hear in my spirit the words that Jay spoke/sang, and have come to belief.  God wants to bless me in every area of my life, and I’m opening to what He has in store.  My sense is that it is better than I can imagine because I’ve never seen it before.  Just like God.  :-)

I’ve had difficulty coming back to this blog.  There has been a series of events over the last few months that have distracted me, but I felt in my spirit that there was more to it than that.  Lately I’ve been sensing that it’s time to move on.  I believe even Jay would agree.  I don’t believe that that means I’m moving on from participating in relationships from God or the love of God – topics that are near and dear to my heart.  But that the answers aren’t written in the pages of Jay’s and my book.  Because God is doing a new thing.  Something to do with new wine in old wineskins…

So I’m here to tell you that I’m going with that leading and will not be continuing in the book.  What I would like to say to any of you who are interested is that I hope the book blesses you where you are today.  If God has spoken to your heart in any way through those words, I am grateful.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about anything in depth, please feel free to contact Pamela, the moderator of this blog, and she will pass on to me to talk with you.  I’ll also be continuing to work with Pamela on posting different blogs that Jay wrote from time to time and participating in the conversations they generate.

May God bless you, and may you believe that the best is yet to come!

Love,

Lisa

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The Cup


So we’ve heard from Jay about his testimony of Relationships from God.  He’s given witness to the vulnerability and sensitivity to the Spirit that needs to happen to live in these relationships.  As our communication continues, it amazes me to see how God lays out more and more about, in particular, how He does relationship.  What transpires between Jay and me is much bigger than just Jay and me.  It’s a picture of the Lord wooing His Bride.

One of the things I’m particularly interested in while going thru the book is what and how the Lord lays out as being necessary to do these spiritual relationships.  That requires a sensitivity to what’s between the lines of what’s being said and done.  Jay already had much of what he wrote to me written.  He “recycled” his writings to various people throughout the years, as they applied to the current circumstances.  Some of you might recognize them as something he sent to you.  Jay had a sensitivity to what has been written (in the Bible and what he had already heard/written from the Lord) and where to apply it.  It was his gift. 

In this next email exchange, he includes a piece about drinking from the Cup, and preconceptions.  Today we’ll only go thru the drinking from the Cup portion, and save the preconceptions for next time.  As I stand back and look at this from a distance, it’s more and more apparent that the Lord is not in any hurry, and neither am I.  What’s more important is “getting it”.  I want to allow plenty of time for absorption and clarification, if needed.

As in the book, what Jay writes in in normal print, I’m in italics, and this red is my present day musing.  We’re starting on page 38 of the book, Not Left Behind: Going Back for the Offended.

Lisa


Dear Jay,

I have to say that I’m quite touched by your vulnerability and your willingness to speak your truth.  What you have to say is quite beautiful.  It saddens me to know that you must concern yourself with questions of legality and rejection.

Dear Lisa,

Thank you so much for your very thoughtful consideration and response. I felt I needed to write again right after sending the last, just to say that I had written that chapter to “Christians”. For that reason, I wrote it in their language. The reason that “the church” is as divided as it is, is because most Christians understand Jesus Christ to be some kind of religious add-on. This is the reason for all of the legalism and all the rejection. It might be better called “Church Going”, rather than Christianity.

Yet I know that there is such truth in that – and it sounds like you have experienced it (rejection) in a big way.  That you’re willing – no DETERMINED – to keep and show your heart in your writing is evidence to me of the depth of understanding you have about what I believe we’re REALLY here for:  to learn how to be an expression of love for everyone and everything. (I know that this is oversimplifying

Actually, what you have just written is very close to the bottom line: 1 John 4:8 says: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Elsewhere it is written: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 If you combine both thoughts, then we will be love for we shall see love as it is.

– but that is how I strive to live my life – cutting down to the bare bones.)

As we have already discussed, it comes more by seeing, than by striving.

Love this!  :-)

Dear Jay,

I was thrilled to hear you talk of speaking “what the Father is saying, but in different words, and without conscious effort”.  I believe this happens frequently, which makes sense if you are attuned to a living, breathing presence and not just some words in a book (albeit a very GOOD book).  I applaud you for allowing yourself to be led and recognizing it for what it is:  gifts from God.

Your relationships from God sound precious and alive in love. How could anyone doubt them? If only our hearts could ALWAYS be so open!

Dear Lisa,

In following Jesus, we eventually come to a cup.  It’s not a nice cup, not a cup that anyone would volunteer to drink. In a sense, it is a cup full of hazardous waste. It is a cup full of garbage, full of abomination,[1]a cup of wrath,[2]a cup of heart break.

Jesus came to a place in His ministry when he had to drink this cup,[3]but He was not the only one who would drink from it, there would be others.[4]

And what shall we say? It was on the matter of this cup, that we first see a difference in wills between Jesus and His father. For the first time from eternity past, there is a difference between them. It was the Father’s will that Jesus should drink of this cup. It was the son’s will that it might pass from Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was locked into a conflict of wills, a conflict, which would not pass, until His Father’s will prevailed. The conflict was so great, that Jesus asked his closest friends to come and pray with him, but they fell asleep in the midst of it, and didn’t wake up until it was over.

In a sense, this matter had already been settled from before the foundation of the world, but none of us should be too quick to think that we can drink from this cup. When the moment of truth finally comes, we too may sweat blood over the matter. We may not be called to drink the cup for everyone, but we may be called to drink the cup for those we love, if we are going to love them to the end.

There were those in Babylon that The Father loved. He wanted them out of there. But the only way to get them out was to dispose of the cup from which they had been drinking. It was a cup in the hands of a MYSTERY.[5]Once again, Jesus asked, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”[6]Jesus knew that this cup had to be disposed of. He wanted another way to get rid of it, but there was none. Perhaps someone else to stand in the gap, but there was none.[7]

In order to make it possible for us, the ones who were captive in Babylon, to be intimate with Him, He had to drink the cup of our abomination, and, with it, the desolation. In order to love me, he had to take the worst of me into Himself.

Would that were the end of it. In loving one another, there is a cup that we also must drink. Otherwise, we will break faith with one another.[8]

Are we prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the objects of God’s affection out of Babylon, and Babylon out of the objects of God’s affection?

“Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”[9]Lamentations 1:12 (NIV)

This is pretty heavy!  Brought on by a comment, “If only our hearts could ALWAYS be so open!” But it sets the tone that this is not frivolous stuff.  Jay dedicated his life to God and to the relationships He gave him, and he drank from a lot of cups.  The question comes to, are we prepared to go “all the way” with one another?

Dear Jay,
I’m grateful that you are so willing to share these words of love with me and (hopefully) many others.

Dear Lisa,
I don’t want to give you the impression that my life is full of rejection and its attendant pain. Actually, having discovered what is possible in relationships, gender neutral, I have been very blessed with many very precious relationships, relationships experienced in shadow form in what I call “old creation families”, but much deeper than that in “new creation” or “spiritual family.” This is to say, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. In all these relationships it is possible to be much more intimate in the Spirit, than it is in the flesh.

I wanted to end on this note, because it gives a snapshot of something Jay saw in the Spirit that is such a meaningful insight of many things in the Bible.  Jay saw that God did not do anything in the Spiritual realm that looks different from how He created things. 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse., Romans 1:20 NIV

We have a “flannel board” of how he put us in relationship as created people – we were born into a family.  We grow up in the context of this family and learn how to “be” in the world in the natural.  As Spiritual beings, when we’re born again, He puts us into Spiritual families that don’t look different from how He created us… we have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, kids, etc.  And we grow up and learn how to live in His Kingdom – a supernatural realm – in this same context.  There’s so much to be said about the importance of this.  There is nothing like having those that we can “bang around” with while learning the ropes of the supernatural realm – knowing that what God has put together will never go away.  Just as with created family, you have a safety zone. And the ability to become very close. 

It’s important to note that we’re talking about New Creation.  In order for these relationships to work, we start with being covered with the blood of Jesus.  We start with believing His word and promises.  With knowing we’re forgiven and that He has taken away the garbage.  We have to let go of our fallen understanding of family relationships to be able to see and access a much higher understanding of what God intends for us and who He is for us… the very BEST that a Father is, a Mother is, etc. The intimacy that Jay speaks of is ours in the Spirit, with those whom He gives us in particular in the Spirit. We may or may not have this kind of spiritual intimacy with our created flesh and blood, although it’s possible they could be both.  There needs to be a word of warning, though, that flesh wars against spirit and spirit against flesh.  You can expect to see this play out in these created (flesh and blood)/spiritual relationships as well as internally.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would., Galations 5:17 KJV

[1]Revelation 17:4, 18:6, Ezekiel 23:31,32,33, Habbakuk 2:15, 16 [2]Revelation 14:10, 16:19, Psalms 75:8, Jeremiah 25:15,17,28, Jeremiah 49:12, Jeremiah 51, Lamentations 4:21,  Zechariah 12:2 [3]Matthew 20:22, Matthew 26:39,42, Mark 10:38, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42, John 18:11 [4]Matthew 20:23, Mark 10:39 [5]Revelation 17:4 [6]Matthew 26:42 [7]Ezekiel 22:30 [8]Malachi 2:10-16 [9]Lamentations 1:12.

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The Heart of God

I wanted to interject some thoughts here after this introduction to Jay in the “Getting Personal” writing last week.  There’s been so much flooding into me when re-reading these words.  Now, 16 years and seemingly a lifetime has passed, and my understanding has deepened on so many levels.  But nothing compares to the incredible pull I felt in my Spirit in these beginning emails.  The “I felt violated” feeling that Jay expressed is what I was feeling.  When you are in God’s supernatural realm, where He creates these relationships, you can be sure to, as Jay says, “feel”.  I didn’t have words for what was happening at the time.  It took some time for me to be able to express what was working in me.  Perhaps you’ve had the same experience.  What I would like to say to you now is that it’s okay. Letting Jesus have His way with us is not going to “feel” like anything we have ever experienced here on earth. But allowing it to happen is the only way that He can teach us what He’s after.  And rest assured He knows what He’s doing and He’s in control. We’re just along for the ride. We get to be Lovers in training.

Reading Jay’s words about relationship was/is like balm to my soul.  How I long for that kind of intimacy, that kind of closeness.  Not even aware of it so much until it’s in my face.

While Jay’s style of communicating was/is challenging to me, the content zings me.  Here is a person entering conversation talking about Love – God’s Love – coming thru us in a very real and intimate way for other people.  Not in any commonly understood ideological way.  Pure passion.  We bypassed the “getting to know you” small talk and went straight to the heart of it.  The heart of God.  That still takes my breath away.

Jay took Jesus seriously.  He saw that God was after intimacy, and made that possible by what Jesus did for us.  By the blood of Jesus we are healed, blessed, safe, protected.  When we START from that place, and stay in that place – believing and remembering who we are and what’s ours in Christ – we are capable of living in His intimacy.  That is the end product of what Jesus did for Us – we get to participate with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in their supernatural realm, in Their Love.

Next week I’ll go back into the book.  This is all I have for now.

Lisa

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Getting Personal

Today I’m starting on page 20 in the book, Not Left Behind:  Going Back for the Offended .   (Found in pdf format under “books” on this website.)

This is our introduction to Jay’s testimony of relationships from God.  He doesn’t get into the specifics of the revelation he initially had here (it came on the heels of a word to him from Bob Mumford, which I’ll try to find at another time), but it is, again, an extremely vulnerable – and to me, very precious – description of the experience of some of these relationships.  

Once again, I’d like to leave what he wrote uninterrupted by me and hope that you are as touched as I was while reading it.  I’ll be back next week, when perhaps we can process some about it together.

Lisa

CHAPTER 17

GETTING PERSONAL

“I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than the love of women.”[1]

Perhaps I can share about relationships from God, in a little more intimate and personal way.  I have waited until the end to share at this depth, hoping by now there has been enough explanation and revelation so that what follows does not appear to be illegal. My hope is that the testimony of this chapter will reveal the passion which has accomplished what has gone before.

I believe that the love between David and Jonathan was mutual, so that we can read our opening verse in the following sense, “the love we shared, was to me, wonderful…”

Just how much love, and how much intimacy is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul prayed: “... that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.[2]

Peter writes: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.[3]

It is so easy to just read the ink, be mere talkers, paying lip service to love, but without passion… from such turn away.”[4]

Divine Encounters Anointed by Love:

One evening quite some years ago now, I was sharing a fresh insight about relationships that come from God. When I was through sharing, I asked everyone,  “Well, who do you think you are?” The question was asked in a very gentle and loving way, not in the dishonoring sense in which it is normally asked. Those present became like children on a Christmas morning, thinking about who the Lord had made them to each other, and to others, who, though not present, had been made special to them by The Lord. The implications of the question went far beyond that room, but for some, who were there, came the discovery of who they were to others in the room. There were lots of hugs and tears, many very precious conversations.

One man, about my age, then mid-forties, with whom I had felt a close bond for some time, was very quiet, however. I approached him, and asked the question once more, “Well, who do you think you are?” He started to respond, tears flooded his eyes, he choked up, turned on his heel and left.

Several days later, he appeared at my office, I jumped up to hug his neck, and he waved me off, saying that he had the flu, but had to come by. He went on to explain that I had asked him a question, and the question deserved an answer. He also said that he had known a lot of rejection in his life, and had great difficulty risking rejection once again, but then went on to say, “I think that you are my dad.” That was all I had to hear. I leaped over the desk, landed in his lap, hugging and kissing him. We sat there and wept like a couple of babies. I prayed over him, as I had my arms around him. The Lord healed him on the spot, and he went off to find his oldest son to take them to the winter Olympics, which were in Lake Placid New York that year. We have been very close ever since that day.

On another occasion I was overseas, had spoken to a church through a translator who I had barely met. Afterward he came up to me with tears in his eyes, and said: “I want to tell you how important it is for me that you are here, but I do not understand why.”

I wonder if you can guess how this made me feel. I responded, “I think I understand, we need to talk.” By then, I also was in tears. We went to lunch together – he, his wife, their little girl, and me. It was very precious.

There was the first time that I was overwhelmed with feeling for a complete stranger. I met him in Detroit, in the early Seventies.  It was at a men’s conference on evangelism sponsored by a denominational church. We were knit together immediately. It felt like “love at first sight”. I had no understanding of the Scripture that could account for it at the time. I felt like I had been emotionally violated. The feeling was so strong it was as though God had physically altered my heart and mind. It was sovereign.  It felt illegal, it felt weird, but it did feel. We continue to relate in that grace right up to this very day. I didn’t understand it at the time. It happened before either of us had even had a chance to speak at all, let alone with one another. But, afterward, it was certainly confirmed as being mutual, and now, validated over time. In this case, I had been given an older brother.

At the time, my understanding of relationship was limited to the “brotherhood of all believers.”  It was The Lord’s mercy that my first experience with His sovereignty in relationship was with a brother.

It was some years later before I discovered that The Lord could also put spiritual fathers in my heart. When this first happened, and I shared the sense that I had with each one of them, in each case, the expression of my own heart’s content toward them brought tears to their eyes. In two cases, they were men who had ministered for many years, but had interacted with others more in the context of doctrine, and ministry than the reality of relationship.

More and more, I found myself risking transparency. More and more I found the Kingdom of God increasing. More and more I was willing to take risks for the sake of relationship.

I well remember the first time I had these special feelings in my heart for a woman other than my wife. I was tormented by the feelings.  I was sure that they were illegal, I was sure that it had to be lust. Internally, I was running away from someone I later discovered The Lord had given into my life as a spiritual daughter.

When I finally stopped to look at the old creation long enough to discover what life had to teach me about relationships, I realized that, I was never up all night when someone else’s child was sick, but I was up all night when my own children were sick. The old creation taught me that there is room for special feelings toward other women. I am the father of two daughters. We know who we are to each other, so we can be very close with no problem. In fact something would be terribly wrong if we were not very close. Now I have daughters in the Lord with whom I am also very close, and it is wonderful.

I have a mother in The Lord as well, she has long since gone on to be with The Father, but the crafty woman got me into the place where I first came to know The Lord, and looked after my spiritual welfare quite a while after that. The mother of Rufus was a spiritual mother to Paul also.[5]

On another occasion, The Lord had given me another spiritual daughter. I had met her years before, but for a number of reasons said nothing about what I had felt. After more than 6 years, as we were walking together, I put my arm around her and said, “all right, I think I have waited long enough to ask you a question… Who do you think you are in relationship to me?” She answered, “I think I’m your daughter.” It was that simple, and that clear. I wonder if you can imagine how I felt. I immediately answered, “Yes! and I could not possibly love you any more if you were my own flesh and blood.”

Think about it for a moment, take the kaleidoscope of emotions felt toward a child from the first news of their conception, through birth, and growing up, cram all of that into a single moment in time, and you will understand why I could barely stand, let alone keep walking. In the weeks that followed, as we began to unwrap the gift of relationship that The Lord had given us in each other – and in anticipation of a block of time when we could share at some depth – I was minded to risk saying a number of other things as being foundational to whatever the rest of the conversation might uncover.

First I repeated something already understood, but perhaps not already verbalized – and that is, because Jesus is Lord of who we are to each other, there would never be anything between us that could not be understood in that light. Second, that I would never want to do or say anything that would violate her conscience. This would, in part be determined by the cultural givens with which she had grown up and with which she was surrounded. Third and perhaps most vulnerably, I said that, if I was not convinced that Jesus had given her into my life as a daughter, I would be scared to death, because there is no other way I could account for such strong feelings toward her. All of this she heard and immediately understood. It was also understood that care needed to be taken not to fall into an appearance of evil.[6]

On a previous occasion, she had written:

“I have to say I was quite overwhelmed by the affirmation of our father-daughter relationship when I stepped in the door last night and saw you.  Thinking about the depth of feeling that seized me (and not of my own volition) is very peculiar to me and brings tears to my eyes as I write.  It seems almost presumptuous to feel so much like a daughter to you, whom I’ve known in this way for a relatively short period of time.  Nevertheless…I wanted you to know.

Your daughter”

In His prayer in John 17, Jesus said: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me…I gave them the words that you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given, for they are yours…I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me…”

I found myself praying that same prayer. I wasn’t praying it on purpose, so to speak, but supernaturally. Without even trying, I was saying the things that the father is saying, loving the ones that the father had given me. It wasn’t me, it was the Spirit alive in me.

Jesus did not try to reproduce by having office hours, and making appointments. Rather, He said to those that The Father gave Him, “come on with me”. They had something like three – around the clock – years with each other. It must have been something! That has been our heart for many years now. We have tried to walk it out in such a way that those that the Father has given us can get as close as they want for as long as they want. Quite a few have stayed in our home, some longer than others. There have been 3:00 am desperate bursting into the house, tearful all night sessions, lots of house calls; carried some, bandaged others, lots of tears – more of laughter than of sorrow, you name it. And all of that while our own flesh and blood children were still with us.

The flesh and blood kids were mostly gone, and here was a new daughter in The Lord. I wanted her to know that we would not likely have the time together that would be the desire of a father’s heart, especially a father with a new daughter. If she moved in to the house, after three years, I might have wanted a break, but short of that, not to count on it. This to say, that she would have full and complete access, whether in tears or rejoicing, whether in confusion or in clarity, yes, even in sickness and in health.

There are other divine encounters that I could (and might) share, but perhaps enough for now.

This is The Church, as she is revealed on and between the lines of the Scriptures. To the religious she looks like a cult, but to God, she is the light of His life to people living in darkness. She is the validation of, and expression of the Love of Christ in the World.

(THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS with the same explanation as earlier – page 17 in the book, Not Left Behind)

The Fear of Rejection

One more word of testimony: The first time I felt the Spirit in this tangible way I was heading for a monetary conference. Over the previous ten years I had come to know those who would be attending and speaking. I had come to know – and desire their acceptance and respect – but this day I had a “Jesus button” on my collar. The first person I ran into at the conference told me to take it off, that it would drive these sophisticated people away from me. He said that I would be rejected. After some considerable prayer and soul searching I left it on, and he was right. People got out of my way for the two days of the conference. No one wanted to be seen even speaking with me. Today, I might make a different decision, but I made the right one for that day. The acceptance of those in attendance meant too much to me, almost more than obeying The Lord.  I was baptized in The Spirit prior to making that decision. I needed that power to make the right choice.

It does not require a Ph.D. to tune in to the Spirit. There are many cues. Where relationships are concerned perhaps one of the strongest is found in Luke 24:32: “And they said to one another, Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” Where The Lordship of Christ in relationship is concerned, about the closest carnal analogy I can think of is the feeling described as “love at first sight”.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had Jesus inside of her, but did not speak the Magnificat until the baby lept in the womb of Elizabeth. Where a tangible response to Jesus in another person is concerned, John the Baptist was the first – and that while he was still in his mother’s womb. Encouraged by John’s testimony Elizabeth took the risk of telling Mary, and Mary had the confirmation she needed for the expression of her heart in her Magnificat.[7]

Do not be afraid, your heavenly Father is not a harsh master reaping where He has not sown. He has sown the life of His Son into your heart. Won’t you take the risk of investing Him in others? This is the work which God requires, to believe in the one whom He has sent, perhaps the one who is standing right in front of you.

(End of Chapter 17)

One night I received a very excited call from someone to whom I had sent the Chapter 17, as it appears above. This is the cover note that I sent:

‘I have not had the opportunity to proof this yet, so be merciful. You have certainly been on my heart as I have written it. If there is anything that I have said that is either in error, misrepresentation, or a betrayal of our relationship, please tell me. That is the last thing that I would want to do. As for my part I want to be willing to be vulnerable, but I do not want to presume to put you in that position, unless that is where you want to be.

It is just that it breaks my heart when I think about the emptiness of life and relationship for so many, when the Lord has paid so dear a price to give them both, and more abundantly.

I have not sent this to anyone yet. I knew that I had to have your input and blessing to do so. If there is any reservation please tell me. I would never want to violate who we are to each other.

Yours,
Jay’

I sent the Chapter 17 first to her, because, she had the most to lose of those mentioned. It is here in the same rough form in which I sent it to her.

She responded:

‘I read the chapter while waiting in the airport.  It’s good.  I was very blessed by your proud description of our relationship!  I must admit, however, that I’m not sure I can be very objective or helpful as far as judging its impact on those reading it for the first time (since I am a part of it).  But if you wanted my blessing, you’ve got it! Also, while I continue to appreciate your caution as far as protecting me from others who might not understand our relationship and I respect your intuition resulting from your previous experience along these lines, know that I am a consenting partner in our relationship and, basically, that I WON’T WALK AWAY!’

She went back to school, after the holidays, knowing that there were others there that were special to her, and looking forward to discovering and confirming who they were to each other. She called right after the first of her explicit encounters, and related to me the following:

Not quite knowing how to open the subject, she shared this chapter with her friend, a girl that she thought might be a sister to her in the Spirit. As the girl read it, she began to weep, finally coming out and telling her of her own feeling about her, even to the point of, sometime in the recent past, trying to make a list of all the things about her that were special to her. She said to her “I know that I am your sister.” The two of them hugged and wept together for the next 30 minutes or so, and she, rejoicing, phoned me right afterward to share what had happened.

While in Connecticut, I shared some of this with my flesh and blood daughter. Her hair was a little straight up about the whole thing. She had a general sense of where I was coming from for many years, but had never seen it so clearly before. Her reaction was, ‘But, Dad, how do you know the limits of such a relationship?’ I answered with a question to her, ‘How do I know the limits on my relationship with you?’ When you understand the nature of a relationship, the old creation itself will tell you the limits on what is appropriate to that relationship.”

Well, Lisa, like I said, that’s a little taste.

Sincerely,

Jay


[1]II Samuel 1:26  [2]Ephesians 3:17-19  [3]1 Peter 4:8, 4  [4]2 Timothy 3:5  [5]Romans 16:13  [6]I Thessalonians 5:22  [7]Luke 1:46-55

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Vulnerable

Today I’m starting on page 15 in the book, Not Left Behind:  Going Back for the Offended .   (Found in pdf format under “books” on this website.)

Jay and I were challenged by some while formatting the book to change the content around to make it more of a “read”.  But we resisted that, preferring instead to stay with the way the Lord had it unfold.  My sense is that now, too, I’m to follow the lead of the Lord, and not conventional wisdom.  I’m not applying any “rules” around what that will look like, either in format or content.

Just a note, too, that here I’m using a Word document the predated the formatting for the book.  So if you’re following in the book – it looks different.

12/19/03

Lisa wrote:

Hello Jay,

I enjoyed reading what you had to say – still digesting it – and wonder why you sent it to me and not as a general post?  I haven’t seen anything relating to Biblical terms in the Deida postings (I’ve only been reading them for a week or two), but would be interested in hearing others’ take on this.  I, personally, am not a Biblical scholar, but your thoughtfulness and translation into the here and now intrigued me.  This whole issue of sexuality and spirituality is vast and certainly can be framed in several contexts.  Thanks for sharing your frame of reference.

Lisa 

I think this was my feeble attempt to “smoke him out” in case he was an internet lurker/stalker.  :-/

Jay wanted the formatting to have my email in its entirety before he broke it down.  Even though it added repetition and length to the book, it was both honoring and lended itself to full vulnerability to do it this way. 

12/19/03

Lisa wrote:

  • I enjoyed reading what you had to say – still digesting it

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your encouraging note.

  • and wonder why you sent it to me and not as a general post?

Not having read the postings long enough to get a sense of where people were coming from, I was reluctant to stick my oar in. Your contribution, to which I responded, contained so much that I have been exploring for a number of years now, that I thought you might be a safe place to share some thoughts. I am encouraged that this seems to have been a correct impression.

I haven’t seen anything relating to Biblical terms in the Deida postings (I’ve only been reading them for a week or two), but would be interested in hearing others’ take on this.

Perhaps, after reading the postings for a little longer, I might feel free to post it. I try to meet people where they are, and I’m still not sure of where they are on this list. Yesterday I received my first two books by David Deida, and I spent some time reading last night and this morning. I’m not yet ready to write a book review either, but I’m digesting, perhaps to that end.

I, personally, am not a Biblical scholar, but your thoughtfulness and translation into the here and now intrigued me.  This whole issue of sexuality and spirituality is vast and certainly can be framed in several contexts.

For the past 15 years I have been researching and working on a book, by the title I have already alluded to, “In Other Words, Sex Is a Parable.” In 1980 or so I had a book published on the monetary implications of the Bible, and am currently doing a rewrite on it for a Wall Street publishing firm. The monetary implications of the Bible turn out to be love. That’s what I found in 7 years of Biblical research on that subject.

If the current subject is of interest I would be glad to send you a little glimpse into my perspective on what I call, “relationships that come from God.”

In this connection, I should say that your posting today is exactly right. It has to do with “being”, not “doing”. “Doing”, that is not grounded in “being” is always born out of our insecurities. Insecure people aren’t much good to themselves or others.

Spiritual being is a matter of revelation.

Sincerely,

Jay

I was particularly struck by how diligent he was – all those years were quite an investment – as well as this concept of being vs doing.

This last sentence, “Spiritual being is a matter of revelation.” is what captures my attention now.

12/22/03

Lisa wrote:

Hello Jay-

Yes, I would be interested in a glimpse into your perspective. I will be out of pocket from Christmas eve thru the weekend after New Years’, but would look forward to a response by then.  Thanks for the offer.

Take care,

Lisa

In the spirit of honoring and vulnerability, I’m not interrupting what Jay wrote next.

Dear Lisa

In February of 2000, I experienced a paradigm shift: In four months of a broken heart. I don’t think I ever want to be without one again.

In October of 1999, a friend, Nate Krupp asked me to clean up three or four manuscripts which I had been working on for about 15 years. He said it’s time, and he wanted to get them published as soon as possible. Nate’s wife Joanne had finally published her book on women, which contains so much truth that she was unable to find anyone who would publish it for over 8 years. The book is called “WOMAN, GOD’S PLAN, NOT MAN’S TRADITION.”

My three manuscripts dealt with; the church as a new creation, “IN OTHER WORDS SEX IS A PARABLE”; “THE AUTHORITY CRISES”; and “CIRCUMCISION THE BATTLE OF BELONGING”.  Nate asked that I try to combine them. It hadn’t been so easy, and then became impossible. I felt there was a real need to make the book more personal. So I began working on a chapter, tentatively titled “GETTING PERSONAL, CHAPTER 17, a new last chapter.

In this chapter my intention was to be as transparent and vulnerable as possible. I was determined to let it all hang out.  I say, “determined”, because the thought of being that vulnerable was very frightening.  The fear was, and is, the fear of rejection.

As I was thinking about this my wife, Carleen, and I were on a walk together with some friends in our woods. We came to a new insight on the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.  Looking at the one talent slave, in context, we saw that the parable has little or nothing to do with financial investment, stock market investment, putting money in a bank, or even burying it in the ground. It is speaking about high risk investment as contrasted with the relative safety of money in the bank. It has to do with the nature of the investment.

In the Kingdom of God, the investment is in relationships. Jesus is the investor, He staked everything on relationship first of all, His relationship with His Father, and, with His Father as His backer, He invested everything in us who believe. He is after relationships, lots of them. Jesus’ Father is looking for fellowship.  When the Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, He went away and left the job to us.

By His death, He made a deposit in us, and The Spirit continues to bring us even more of Him. Jesus is looking for a return on His investment. He knows what it is to risk rejection, and be rejected, Isaiah 53:3. He expects us to take the same risk, and invest ourselves in others.

As I was working on the chapter, I had an increasing sense that I was violating my original intention, which was to be transparent and vulnerable. Then I realized that I was increasingly using the Scriptures to support what I was sharing, and the reason I was doing this was so that I could hide behind the Scriptures.  I was hiding behind the Scriptures because of the fear of rejection. Jesus was despised and rejected. I don’t want to be despised and rejected. I want to be esteemed and accepted. Talk about “Who do you think you are?”

Recently, Tim (my son) and I were talking, and I found myself wondering about Jesus’ style of ministry, wondering if He had used the Scriptures as I was using them. I have not had the opportunity to make a thorough investigation, but it is now my impression that this is not at all the way Jesus ministered.

In His skirmish with the Devil, He used the Scriptures to defend himself, but that was war. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In the beatitudes, He repeatedly said, “It is written…” but then went on to say, “But I tell you….” When confronted by the Pharisees, He quoted Scripture, but, again, that was war. The Scripture is a weapon, our only offensive weapon. We only need weapons when we are at war. When we are at peace, we can be vulnerable. If I am making love, I don’t have to come on with all guns blazing. For years I have joked about wearing pink to leaders meetings to keep them from being too threatened. I don’t want to be seen as a threat, but as a lover.

Jesus may have “only said the things His father said”, but It did not come out of Him in the form of Bible verses. We use the phrase, “What I am saying is…” and we go on to say what we have already said, but in different words. This, I believe, is who Jesus was.  He was what the Father was saying, but in different words. If challenged, He could use the Scripture to explain Himself well enough, but He did not come to us as Scripture, He came to us as love and life.  If only we too could go forth in tears, to the end that we might enter into His laughter. If only we too could be like Him in His death, that we too might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

More and more in recent months, I have found myself saying what The Father is saying, but in different words, and without conscious effort. It’s awesome, and it’s terrifying all at once. A person could get hurt doing this sort of thing.

It is at the point of relationship that this becomes particularly problematic. Jesus said of those that the Father had given Him that He “kept”(John 17:12) them while He was in the world. That’s my Father’s heart, His heart and my heart. My heart is increasingly broken as I think of inviting others into this same vulnerability. It is one thing to have faith that He can save and protect me.  It is a bit more of a stretch to have faith that He will save and protect those who He has made mine from the fallout of my humiliation.

As I recently wrote to a friend, my own children are still damaged by the rejection I have experienced, and we as a family have experienced, from the church back in Connecticut. As you know, when the church meets in your home the transparency and vulnerability are greatly increased. When people who were like older brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, even second parents walked away, because of pressure coming from the institutionalized leaders and saints around us, they just could not understand, and are gun shy to this day. I do take some comfort, however, in knowing that no one is going to sell them any snake oil in the name of The Lord.

But, it was not just my flesh and blood children, it was my spiritual children as well. At this point, just about all of them have come back in the Spirit, but in between then and now, there were many years of alienation and estrangement. In a recent exchange with a local “pastor”, I am looking down the same gun barrel once again. It breaks my heart to see my children hurt so. For this reason, I make every effort to maintain “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,..” and as for my part, to “be at peace with all men.”

Perhaps that’s enough to give you some sense of what I was feeling at that point. I am wrestling with going back over what I have written, and getting rid of most, if not all, the references and footnotes. The problem is, that the religious will see the passion and the intimacy that I have experienced, and into which I am inviting others, that the religious will see this as illegal. That’s what happened to Jesus. When the leadership got in His face about it, He nuked them with the Scripture. At least, tonight, that is the way it looks to me.

Here’s the chapter I was talking about:

CHAPTER 17

GETTING PERSONAL

We’ll save the Chapter 17 for next week.

These are the things that stand out to me of what he wrote above:

  • In this chapter my intention was to be as transparent and vulnerable as possible. I was determined to let it all hang out. I say, “determined”, because the thought of being that vulnerable was very frightening. The fear was, and is, the fear of rejection.
  • In the Kingdom of God, the investment is in relationships.
  • He expects us to take the same risk, and invest ourselves in others.
  • I was hiding behind the Scriptures because of the fear of rejection.
  • We only need weapons when we are at war. When we are at peace, we can be vulnerable. If I am making love, I don’t have to come on with all guns blazing.
  • He was what the Father was saying, but in different words. If challenged, He could use the Scripture to explain Himself well enough, but He did not come to us as Scripture, He came to us as love and life.
  • Jesus said of those that the Father had given Him that He “kept”(John 17:12) them while He was in the world. That’s my Father’s heart, His heart and my heart. My heart is increasingly broken as I think of inviting others into this same vulnerability.
  • For this reason, I make every effort to maintain “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,..” and as for my part, to “be at peace with all men.
  • The problem is, that the religious will see the passion and the intimacy that I have experienced, and into which I am inviting others, that the religious will see this as illegal.

To me all that he wrote, and in particular the sentences directly above, embody Jay’s heart.  He saw things in the Spirit, and lived them – even while being beaten down – with unspeakable joy and hope (of things unseen… but God saw…).  Jay never stopped “beating the arrows against the ground” for and with the Lord.

I heard in the Spirit this morning to say to any of you who were Jay’s that have found your way here – and were hurt somehow in the vulnerability he speaks of – that he welcomes you with open arms.  He spoke of you often with great tenderness, and never lost sight of who you were to him in the Lord, or the unspeakable joy you brought him.  He’s throwing a lavish party for you as we speak.

Lisa

 

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