God’s Excitement

Is there any doubt in our minds that God wants us to be rid of guilt and shame and whatever obstacles called sin that come between us and an intimate relationship with Him?  God cannot have the intimacy he wants with us as long as anger and “shoulds” rule our lives.  There is no room for the joy He wants to give us.

John Claypool said his notion of God was a divinity who was so excited being himself that He couldn’t help but want to create creatures to share that excitement.  How can God fully enjoy us unless we experience the excitement He feels in his creative endeavor?

Our first step is to want God’s excitement.  Then to recognize that something in us needs to be destroyed.  Then to engage our Inner Force in conversation to determine that is indeed a force for good and one that can take away what is blocking us from God’s joy.  Then to cooperate with that Inner force by giving it permission to do in us what needs to be done.

God wills us to participate in our miracle of transformation.

Ann Glover O’Dell

17 September 2018

Our Second Birth

Many Christians today are not interested in what others describe as a second birth.  But Jesus gives a graphic picture to Nicodemus about the spiritual birth that needs to happen before one can enjoy full relationship with God.

Nicodemus kept thinking in terms of something physical and Jesus kept talking about being born of the Spirit.  Birth is the essential word because as our anger and guilt and shame are washed away, our new original Self is born in us.  We are not the same as we were before.

Both kinds of birthing include labor—and pain.  Our spiritual birth includes the tears and anguish of remorse of all that we have committed and omitted in our attempts to make ourselves into what we thought we ought to be.  There has to be some rearranging of our personality—which has a similar trauma to the pain of parturition.

But just as a mother will declare, as she dotes on the infant she has born, that all the labor pains are worth the result, so one who has experienced spiritual rebirth will declare those labor pains produced something invaluable.

Your second birth awaits your cooperation.

Ann Glover O’Dell

5 August 2018

It’s Our Story!

To see the Jesus narrative as our story does not diminish the life and death of Jesus.  On the contrary, to see ourselves as God’s beloved child, with the capability of engaging in a unique relationship with God, just as Jesus was, can’t help but enrich his story.  To see in the story not only the human/divine nature of Jesus but also the human/divine nature of all human beings is to complete the picture.

Our interest in all classic stories is enhanced by seeing something of ourselves in one or more of the characters.  Both fiction and non-fiction give us opportunities to identify with real or imagined characters, to better  understand ourselves, to see new paths opening up for us, to gain new  tolerance and sensitivity to others’ situations, and to find comfort in sorrow.

The Bible doubles as Christian mythology where larger-than-life characters capture our imagination.  We identify with Abram as he is called to leave familiar surroundings, with Joseph as he is scorned by his siblings, with Jonah as he resents the change of heart that occurs with the Ninevites.  Classic literature and mythology always develop characters who embody some of our own traits.  Otherwise, we could never identify with the tragic heroes as we do.

The soul we credit with belonging to every human being is nothing less than the essence of our divinity, the piece of God planted in each of us, not to give us bragging rights but to give us the abundant life Jesus spoke of, the ability to be the person God begat us to be.

A story presents so many more possibilities if interpreted on multiple levels.  Can we not imagine that God wants us to glean the most possible from the stories told in Scripture?  That God wants us to learn from the stories and characters to understand more about who we are and how He loves us?  Oh, let us imagine greatly!

The Zeal of the Lord

 

“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:7)

            Zeal indicates to me great energy, enthusiasm.  The “zeal of the Lord of hosts” says to me that God’s great desire is to bring forth something special—someones special—you and me.

            In spiritual terms this suggests the bringing forth of the new being in each being, the full being, combining both human and divine natures.

Scripture doesn’t say the Lord wishes this were so or hastens to ask man to effect the desired outcome.  No, Scripture says the Lord will do it—will do it through His zeal.  An additional promise from God, suggesting an additional covenant initiated by God.  A covenant with the articulated response on man’s part: that God be allowed to carry out His desire.  The individual  freely chooses to cooperate with the process. God asks us to give permission, just as did Mary in the Nativity story, out of our free will, to let Him use our spiritual womb.

The ‘Savior’ is the part of our personality that transforms us by dying.  The ‘Savior’ is the best we know ourselves to be—the part that needs to offer itself to God in order that God might accept it, purify it, and return it to us as part of the best He knows us to be.

23 December 2014

 

Does God Need Us?

What is the relationship between ‘need’ and ‘want’ in reference to our relationship to God? Is there a sense—a possibility that God wants/needs us as much as we him?

Our ‘wants’ we think can be fulfilled through our own will and effort. And as long as we can satisfy ourselves, there is little impetus for examining what might be beyond us.

If we come to the point where we can no longer give ourselves satisfaction and our wants and needs exceed the material and cultural, a new possibility opens. The possibility that something beyond ourselves might be able to give us something unique and life-changing.

The possibility is always there, waiting for us. Accessing it requires some effort. We must do more than simply consciously want new zest for life. We must engage the Life Force within us and cooperate with it. We must exercise our free will in giving it permission to do whatever is necessary in order to make us ready to receive what we most want.

The fact that we exercise our free will and are not coerced into surrendering anything indicates that God wants us in relationship, that God wants to protect one of the most important gifts he has given us, that God wants our will freely connected to his.

And once we cooperate with our own transformation process and the culmination occurs, we realize God not only wants but needs our bodies, minds, and spirits to transmit his ecstatic energy in the world.

(note: The story of one person’s transformation from the Life Force is available on this website in the book Humpty Dumpty Hatched.)