Revisiting Cana Afresh


“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’
‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” John 2:1-11 NIV

The first and the last – the Alpha and Omega of The Great Mystery – Christ and His Church.

“These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!” Acts 2:15

The day of Pentecost began with what would be the ongoing consummation of a wedding feast that continues to this day. Just as in Cana, there was plenty of wine, enough so that uninvited onlookers thought them drunk. On that day a wine became available, a wine of more abundant life that no one had ever seen, tasted or experienced before. It was a wine that had never before been served because “… Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:39b

This wedding, this consummation, this wine, not only gets better with the unfolding of human history, but it gets better over the consummated lifetime of each saint. And that is what we who know Jesus are.

As an old saint, I can testify that the wine at the end is even better than what was served at the first. And let there be no question about the ongoing consummation – without the Galilean wedding, the new birth would be illegitimate.

Love!

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“I Write Unto You Fathers…”

I write unto you fathers...Jesus had said: “Call no man father,”  yet it wasn’t long before the “disciple Jesus loved” wrote to fathers. (1 John 2:13)

What’s wrong with this picture? Assuming that the Same Spirit inspired both communications, there must be something beneath the surface that we need to better understand. (Perhaps it turns out to be “above the surface.”)

They both must be understood by the Spirit, and cannot be properly understood in the flesh. John was clearly writing to fathers in The Spirit, because they “knew Him that is from the beginning.”

Let’s take a look at John’s context:

“I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”

Clearly, all those to whom John is writing know the Father on some level. “Father” is a word that has meaning only in the context of relationship, and it derives more from having children than it does from having a father. So these are fathers in a spiritual sense, and in a spiritual relational context. That is, these are those who have spiritual children in some way or other.

So then, what could Jesus possibly have meant when he said “Call no man father”? My own understanding of this has had a great deal of help from two sources: (#1) the way life is. (i.e. The way God does old creation life which foreshadows the way He does the more abundant life that Jesus came to bring us) and then, (#2) is in one of Paul’s prayers:

For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named:  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man:  That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted and founded in charity,  You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge: that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:14-19

I have chosen the Douay Version here because it puts the focus where it belongs. It more accurately translates the original, which is most often translated “family,” but is more accurately translated “fatherhood.” For today’s readers, that communicates a little better, than “paternity.” That said, I’ll put it in my understanding of its plain meaning:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

In heaven we all have one Father. Down here in the “hoods” we have multiple fatherhoods, they get their meaning from our Father which art it in Heaven. These “fatherhoods” are not only recognized in heaven, but are sanctioned by our defining Heavenly Father.

Here is another piece of evidence of the legitimacy of fatherhoods, even spiritual fatherhoods here on earth, albeit in the spirit:

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6

This was never meant to be God’s “plan b” for earthly fathers. No, this was meant to be the beginning of whole new fatherhoods. This was God’s promise of putting in place in the new creation what had been lost to the old creation. Here is the primary focus of its fulfillment: “And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Hebrews 2:13

It gets better: Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.” Isaiah 8:18 (In other words, this is another one of those “this is thats.”)

This was not only fulfilled in Jesus, but it continues to be fulfilled in us who believe – this is our inheritance in The Lord. What Jesus wanted to be clear about is that this was not about earthly fathers, but about our heavenly father hooded in earthly fathers, and legitimate only so long as it was rooted in and reflecting God the father – many hoods – one Father. Jesus didn’t want us taken in by religious pretenders to fatherhood.

In this light and Spirit we can identify and honor God the Father in His earthly representatives. This has mostly to do with our need for a second or even third witness to our heavenly validation in Christ.

At 73 my Spiritual fathers have all gone on to be with the Lord, their validating work done in my own spiritual life. Soon I will be joining them. (I’m already living in Biblical over time, which is to say, beyond “threescore years and ten.”) Meanwhile the validating witness goes on in my own life for those that God has given me in Himself. We are for signs and symbols – in short we are witnesses.

Love!

By Jay Ferris, First posted April, 2012

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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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