Wednesday, November 28, 2012

7000 others

"It is interesting how Ezra and Nehemiah were funded and released into their rebuilding projects as Haggai and Zechariah preached along those very streets. It reminds me of Isaiah’s servant (who just happened to be Cyrus King of Persia) who was going to be used by God to see captives returned home to the city of God. Rebuilders and Restorers of things long devastated are always funded by powerful strangers; these are different kinds of walls and structures.

In 1 Kings 18, it’s interesting that Obadiah tells Elijah that he has hidden one hundred prophets in caves. Later, Elijah tells the people that he is the only one of the Lord’s prophets left. Later still, after the watery carnage of Mt. Carmel, God reminds Elijah that there are 7,000 others who have not bowed their knee to Baal or kissed him. After that, Elijah throws his cloak over Elisha and prepares to leave the scene completely." Clairvaux Manifesto, page 112

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Clairvaux

A view inside the chapter house of New Clairvaux on May 6th, morning after the dedication ceremony you can read about here

Just now reading an email from Abbot Paul Mark, we're pen pals at the moment, going back and forth on various topics and issues... more to come here, there and everywhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 149

(quote) Pure kingdom-businesses are highly personalized, deeply rooted in prayer, openly interdisciplinary, and skilled in international diplomacy so they can thrive among governments and leaders who are deeply concerned for their national well-being and future hope. There are many hybrid kingdom-business leaders whom God is calling to collaborate more in interdisciplinary conversations. And it’s not like God needs businesslike people to “manage the kingdom,” proclaiming some blue-suit, plastic version of God’s temple paradise. It’s more that the root of dignitary is dignity!

Much of our current business and busyness are sore excuses for moral laziness. Look at the example of King David who gave the blueprints of his dream and his personal fortune to his son Solomon. His treasure followed his heart. What are you doing with what has been entrusted to you? There are reasons why all “God’s stuff” keeps changing human hands. We need cycles like Jubilee (Lv 25) to keep us from turning our ideological ideas into idolatrous disasters. Even Solomon’s temple came down to make room for Zerubbabel’s modest rebuilding. Whenever God is not present in our words, we are spewing ideology. Wherever God is not present in our structures, we are constructing idolatries—mimicking and mocking heaven.

(unquote)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 133

(quote) Breathed to life by the wind, drenched in cleansing waters, and salted with fire, the children of God are taking back the earth one broken, yet lovely, person at a time; they are occupying in obedience until he comes. No matter how noble the king’s sacrifice seemed, Samuel retorted Saul’s self-defense with “to obey God is better than sacrifice” (1 Sm 15:22). In Hebrews, we are taught that Jesus, in reverent submission, “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb 5:8). God learned obedience; how much more must we? Like a child undergoing discipline, I must want to learn obedience. I must want to obey.

There is some kind of paradox about obedience to the Father being the focus of the will of Jesus, and Jesus’ sacrifice being the crux of his infinite resignation to the will of his Father.

(end quote)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 99

(quote) Many third-millennial kingdom-ministries struggle like fifth-rate theaters with the world’s multi-million dollar box office. We have perpetually sought out the insights of institutions and organizations endowed with the technical priestliness to heal our inefficiencies and quench our insatiable thirst for reproducible materials. Our generation just might have ignorance as its armor. More and more of what we buy into is less and less creedal. We can no longer hide under the plastic veneer of know-nothingness....

(unquote)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 181

(quote) It’s time to abandon the idea that we can avoid suffering. Suffering is the key to authority. Those who suffer well lead others well through it—and well beyond it. Don’t think that you won’t be alone as you suffer. Joseph, Daniel, and Esther suffered well away from home. Mary and Martha suffered well in their home, throughout their brother’s sickness, death, and burial. Then there were Peter, James, and John after the crucifixion. They were in anguish; totally alone.

(unquote)

Friday, January 28, 2011

artisans

(quote from Clairvaux Manifesto, page 147)

We must set our hearts and minds on things above (Col 3:1-2) so that we may eventually know the unknowable mind of heaven, “. . . having the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). We might be entrusted with the mind of Christ if we at least admit to him, and each other, that we don’t know a bit of his business at all.

Our only security is faith in him.
Our only leverage is hope in him.
Our only currency is in loving him.

The One who promised to lead us is literally making all things new before us, which includes our minds, interpersonal connections, and our ability to communicate well within this growing consortium— this wonderful global guild of pure-hearted kingdom artisans. The righteousness of God gains ground though us, flowing into every nook and cranny of a society created in the image of its creators. The poor in spirit come in all shapes and sizes.

How do the “poor in spirit” act? Do we love bankers and lawyers the same as we do the homeless in the breadline? Do we truly have compassion on the richest ones, many of whom recognize they are the poorest ones, anyway? Can we hold our heads just as high in the financial district as in the slums, realizing Mammon would have all our heads on a silver platter?

With his final heartbeats, God addressed the indebtedness of us all. Psalm 22 seems to encapsulate Jesus’ full experience upon the cross, amidst the grave, and risen from the dead. There is profound sociological progression to the Psalm. David concluded his prophecy,
The POOR will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the FAMILIES of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the RICH of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future GENERATIONS will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for he has done it.
Yes, he has done it and it is finished!

(unquote)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 185

(quote) Faith allows God to be God. Faith believes in God’s character, in God’s very Word. Faith trusts and acknowledges the understanding and wisdom of that Holy Other, who is wholly other than us. Faith is not stubborn. Faith is not manipulative. Faith can never tell God what to do. Faith can never anticipate what God will do (though God will, of course, do what is just and right). Faith is the most miniscule, flexible, and vulnerable part of human consciousness. Faith is what God targets in us and draws out of us. Can faith handle all that insurmountable glory funneled into the body, soul, mind, and strength of Jesus Christ?

(unquote)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 73

(quote) My children love to dance. Whenever I sketch pictures of heaven on earth, everyone is dancing and everything is spherical. The atmosphere bubbles with joyful enthusiasm. Joy is the surprising destination of hope. I inhale that bloom-scented spring breeze. I can hear that bouncing melody of lively music. In his Revelation, John saw an emerald rainbow encircling the throne of God and the Lamb. I draw circles within circles.

My awareness of God’s sanctuary, creatures, elders, saints, and angels develops through focusing my imagination’s lens on the love emanating from within “all” God is; within all whom God are. Within their eternal friendship, God has always been free to send Godself and free to obey Godself; free to command Godself and free to serve Godself. God continually and willingly submits to the will of another within God’s selves. God is not jealous of Godself. In the truest sense, God loves Godself. And God loves others as God loves Godself. The English language has its limits . . .

(unquote)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 29

(quote) Spirit; Geist; Pneuma; Rhuah; Breath. When we seek God like a drowning soul longs for air, we’ll find God. In the beginning, God got down into the dust and breathed the shell of a man to life. Second time around, God himself became dust. When does God breathe life into himself? Who is God that he should need and receive breath from God’s self? God humbled himself in every way. Mary nurtured God. Joseph, his surrogate father, needed to obey an angel to save all their lives. From his first breath, Jesus of Bethlehem was a thirsty little refugee clinging to the edge of the human condition.

(unquote)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, bottom of page 54

(quote) Post-moderns are confused moderns with pre-modern longings. There are some things God has never changed and never will. We are all coming out of a season of staging and alignment where many counterfeits have overextended themselves and been exposed as spiritual frauds; liars. In Zechariah’s prophecy, the same God who heals the land in a single day (Zec 3:9) cuts off three shepherds in less than a month (Zec 11:8). Establishing circles of quiet is a serious business and an ancient practice.
(unquote)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 183

(quote) Being a word-bearer for the King is not a slow-mo, ambient-lighted, movie scene of an adventure— not when the word-bearer gets sent, time and again, to struggling leaders in big positions (big by their terms). Often, the messenger gets shot in the back. Most of the time, the messenger is so deep in the web of networks, so far removed from the front office, that the word-bearer is totally forgotten once the dust settles. The wordbearer is often marginalized, mocked, and misunderstood by most people on the “inside”. When dealing with sick and diseased infrastructures, the most authentic kingdom authority is typically found outside the current structures. That’s one reason why Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.

Word-bearers pursue God with every ounce of their strength until they are the weakest ones around. That’s the irony of being God’s wordbearers; it means becoming burden-bearers of the weightiest things of heaven. In becoming entrusted with heaven’s words, word-bearers become burden-bearers of things that cannot be picked up and carried in a natural way. It is not easy to speak one word to a church and then watch it close its doors for good. It is not easy to stand with a leader of leaders while they pull the pin from their own grenade. It is not easy to serve a movement from the outside while many on the inside reinforce their walls.

(end quote)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, page 114

(quote) Jesus perpetually desecrated “the religion of intercession” which had been built up around his Law. He ate and healed on the Sabbath. He filled ceremonial washing vessels with wine. He taught his disciples to pray in a simple way. He lobbed all kinds of seemingly rude comments at the temple and worship cult—not to mention how he wrecked the joint once or twice. He even told people to eat him, desecrating everyone’s sacred assumptions about humanity and God in a human body. How awful it must have sounded to those little ears that were the fi rst ones to hear God say, “Eat me!” I’d have been squirming in my seat. They called him a demon-possessed blasphemer; how dare God expose the vacuous dread of their shallow and fallow sacred assumptions?

(unquote)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, bottom of 103

(quote) It wasn’t enough that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. While they waited (not-so-patiently) in the desert, in-between Egypt and their Promised Land, Moses ascended 7,500 feet up a stark mountainside to meet face-to-face with God (for forty days), where he received the creed of creeds. Pointing towards Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, those ten commands given to Moses were clear, credible, and creedal statements, written by the very finger of God (Ex 31:18; Dt 9:10).

In circles of quiet and abbeys of prayer and work, we realize doxology leads to orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy: the process of doxopraxy. Doxa means glory; Ortho means straight; Praxis means practice. Whoever gives God glory will be set straight. Beyond clarity, credibility, and creed, Moses was a straightforward worshiper.

(unquote)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, bottom of 62

(quote) It's about presence. It's about leaning into the covenant. It's about first things being first. It's about going home. It's about carrying the treasure chest of God, all the way, without touching it (2 Sm 6).

Jesus was the first one to lean in and carry the presence past the temple (Mt 4:5-6), through the cross, all the way home. Jesus Christ, our ever present help in trouble (Ps 46:1), is the only one who knows the way home. His incense guides people, cities, and nations (2 Cor 2:15-17) by the nose, back into heaven's kitchen, the heart of our eternal home.

(unquote)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Clairvaux Manifesto, pp. 187-189.

(quote) It has to start with Jesus. It has to respond to Jesus. God will provide. Things are changing in how all this is done. I want to be part of the new, fresh way. I don't know the way, exactly. I just think we're a bit too comfortable with our models, so I'm just calling this stuff out. There is stuff that we assume in our half a century of "fund- raising orthodoxy" that sends the wrong message-- and yes, the medium is the message. Whatever happened to honestly believing that we lack nothing? We can still do big things. If God is in it, people will give without even being asked. There is a hairpin trigger here. When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams and suggested what might be done, he was put in charge of building barns, and they had to be built by the time of the first harvest-- and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and that last one.

This isn't about building a warehouse and figuring out how to fill it and distribute the product within. This is about being dropped into a combat zone and assessing strategy and tactics while dodging shrapnel based on the available resources, strength, experience of local personnel, and mounting casualty rates. This is about a circle of friends strengthening the front lines and pushing forward into the gates of hell. We are not defending a Lego castle with plastic swords. Don't impose limitations on yourself. The weapons and medication entrusted to you are eternal things.

dark night of the soul

small naked curled up ball of fear

numbing darkness joints marrow

tears blur stinging

agony

slipping through the cracks

the cry, "Lord, save me!"

light glint swinging rapier

balm 

stable heartbeat

breathe

(end quote)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

up early today...

Well, I was up at 4 a.m. after some interesting dreams. I don't typically dream. I usually don't remember most of my dreams if I do dream. I remember these dreams.

Typically, I get "communicated to" through open visions etc. So, when I'm asleep, I'm asleep... and I treasure every bit of peace and quiet while in the shadow of His wings throughout the watches of the night.

If He'd like to spend time with me, and communicate with me, in the night, He awakens me at 3 or 4 a.m. and He's consistent with those times. It never fails, I'll wake up and look at the clock and we'll be right there on the hour together. I don't go planning for it, but it happens regularly enough. So this morning, after dreaming, it was 4 a.m. when I awoke and looked at the clock, no coincidences.

So it's been an hour and a half of getting my heart in order before the day unfolds. Due to all the early morning communications and preparations, I would think today is going to be a significant day in one way or another.

All I can do is be obedient and available through it all.