Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forgiving a father

I forgot I had a blog... And here it is! I need to tell a story of something I had the privilege to witness the other day. One of our neighbors' dad was visiting from overseas where he now lives. He is in his fifties but has a little baby girl around a year old. He was married before with our neighbors' mom but has since remarried and started a new family overseas and is now father to a toddler again. Little children are such a great and natural way to connect to people. We spent hours together the past few days because the kids saw each other and started playing peek-a-boo and what not, so delighted to see each other. That is how I got to hear part of his story... Saturday he was waiting to see his youngest son, now 18 years old. He hadn't seen him in 5 years because the last time he was over here the son had refused to see his father but now he was on his way over to meet with him. That gave me chills just to think about it. What a big and important moment for these two. To choose to get reconciled with your parents and your past is one of the most important and fundamental things for your well-being and peace in life. This is something I am learning more and more... As the car pulled up in front of our house I snuck inside to leave them to themselves in this intimate moment but I saw the whole thing through our front window. I saw them embracing on the street and holding on to each other for a long time and I was bawling inside. The next day I asked him about it and how the time with his son had been and found out it hadn't been that great after that hug. They had spent the whole day in silence pretty much and the son had refused to talk to his father at all. But finally some emotions had been stirred up and some anger had leaked out and they had been able to talk about some of their hurt feelings. Apparently something had been said 5 years ago that had caused this 5-year spell of silence. Now they were able to bring it out in the light and explain - as adults - what had been going on at that time of stress and frustration etc. The father was able to say to his son the magic and freeing words: "It wasn't your fault". And the son was able to see his father in a new light as a failing human being in need of forgiveness and grace. I love stories like this!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

God is nice and He likes me

I accidentally walked into a New Age store the other week thinking they were selling handbags (the store was called the Bag Lady). I found it quite interesting to look around there for a while on all their books and stuff. What caught my attention more than anything was a bumper sticker that simply said: "Don't make me come down there - God". That sentence left me really sad and troubled and I have been contemplating on it ever since. It represents such a huge misconception of who God is. This view of God is way too common among people - people who call themselves Christians and people who don't call themselves Christians alike... Even if I know in theory and through experience that God is good I sometimes buy into that lie too, the lie that God is the big police up in the sky and that I am in trouble in one way or the other. Last night I heard a talk about grace and the following questions came up, questions to see if you are comfortable with grace: Would you (metaphorically) wear a T-shirt that said: "God is nice and He likes me". How about this one: "God loves you but I am His favorite" These are fundamental truths. The truth that I am LOVED by God. Even LIKED. I AM his favorite. So are you and everybody else in this world, but I need to know that I am his favorite - that is the fundament for the rest of my life, my thoughts, emotions, deeds... That is the thermometer with which I can check and see if I have a healthy heart - am I filled with love, hope and faith? In any area of my life where love or hope or faith is missing - that is an area where I need healing... God is not a threat in the sky that we need to watch out for and protect ourselves against ("You better behave or else... God sees you wherever you are... etc) We live under a friendly sky! God is the garbage man of the world that came to take away all my garbage! I don't need to hide anything.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Power and Love

I made a discovery the other day as I was reading from Revelation chapter 4 about the throne of God. Certain passages in the Bible I like to return to often and try to visualize and dig into and ask questions around. This is one of them. God is sitting on a throne. Angels and various creatures around Him. What does all this mean? In verse 5 it talks about seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. God's seven Spirits? What is that? I have always heard you should let scripture explain scripture. Well, Isaiah chapter 11 verse 2 tells us what the seven Spirits of God are:
Spirit of the Lord Spirit of wisdom Spirit of understanding Spirit of counsel Spirit of might Spirit of knowledge Spirit of the fear of the Lord
And then verse 3 adds for good measure: His delight is in the fear of the Lord. This is all good! But still... As I was meditating on those words they all seemed a bit hard, masculine, authoritative, very much like you would describe a king in those days. They are power words. But what about all the soft, feminine side of Gods, his loving, caring, tender, gentle ways? It was then I made the discovery (in verse 3) that blew me away.
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.
The rainbow - God's love, goodness, faithfulness, loving-kindness, mercy, grace, gentleness etc is all around Him, shining like emerald. He is a king, but He is a loving Father. As He reigns in power, He does it in perfect love, even humility. The rainbow is all around Him. I don't know how He does it. We can keep on meditating on this forever. King David wrote about it in Psalm 62:
"One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Lord's rebuke

One thing I have learned is that I tend to read the Bible "backwards". When you are poisoned with a religious thinking it is like you read the stuff that is supposed to be good news but somehow it gets twisted with the glasses you are wearing and it comes off as heavy burdens when it was intended to be joyful invitations. Religion is putting yourself in the centre and asking what you are supposed to do and how you are supposed to act when the Bible actually delivers the exact opposite message: put God in the centre! God loves you! God has done for you what you never could do! Relax! Receive His grace and love!!!! And from that position a new life is going to flow out of you and your actions are going to change as your whole outlook on life is changing when you dare to start living as "the Beloved". Every word in the Bible is being seen in a new light. The words that seem harsh like "rebuke" has to be read from this new understanding of who God is and how good He is. Religious people (myself included) have mis-used the Bible and made it sound bad when it is good! "The Lord will rebuke you" is used as a threat when it is actually Good News! Hey, The Lord's rebuke is the best thing that can happen to you! Because He is Good. Even His rebuke is Good. And gentle and tender and loving and joyful and life-giving! The Lord's rebuke is an invitation to repentance = to turn around to God and find our place as His Beloved again, wrapped in His loving arms. The Bible is often using the picture of us as sheep and God as the shepherd. The shepherd is carrying a rod and a staff to rebuke the sheep as they are wandering astray. With the rod He might hit the sheep to call attention to Himself or save the sheep from danger and with the staff He is pulling the sheep into His arms. The whole purpose of the rod and staff is COMFORT.
your rod and your staff, they comfort me
God is
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
2 Cor 1:3 So the Lord's rebuke is really comfort! He is rebuking us because we are getting it backwards! He rebukes us tenderly. Hey listen, stop striving! Enter into my rest! Listen: it has been completed, it is finished. Your sin has been paid for!
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for
Is 40:1-2 Then He is raising His voice, not in anger, but it needs to be shouted it and proclaimed:
“Here is your God!”
This is what your God is like, this is how good He is. Don't forget!
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
That last sentence struck me this morning as I have a young one. He is extra gentle with us, fancy that. Sooo good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I have started a journey through the Psalms and what struck me already in the very first chapter was the word DELIGHT. This is so far from religious burdens that you can get. I think I have actually discovered the antidote to religion and the recipe to keep our souls free from the poison of religion: DELIGHT! God wants us to delight in Him and all He is and all He does. He is GOOD. Even delicious. It almost feels sacrilegious to use such terminology in connection to God but that just proves how truly thwarted my thinking is when it comes to God. Ps 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
It says in this Psalm to delight in His LAW. The law is not what you usually associate with delight but pretty serious stuff, judges and punishment etc but whenever we read the Bible we need to remember that it is all about JESUS. God's law personified is Jesus Christ. It is not about black and white letters, it is amazingly colorful and life giving and full of Grace and Truth.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 God's Law is Love and we are to delight in His Love for us and in being the Beloved. Then our souls will surely prosper.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


If you haven't noticed - this blog is not so much about me or my everyday life but I just write about my discoveries in God and especially misunderstandings I have had about Him and different spiritual realities.

My latest discovery (not that I have it figured out, but a few thoughts...) is about righteousness. I have had some wrong ideas in my head about righteous people that is probably more self-righteous people. Self-righteousness is an appalling thing in the eyes of God (and men) and not to be confused with the real thing. Self-righteous people are absorbed by being right and are constantly watching others to see if they measure up. There is no peace or joy in self-righteousness.

Righteousness on the other hand is overflowing with joy.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

Ps 45:7

Jesus personifies a righteous person and He was (and is) the happiest person in the universe. Never a wrinkle on his forehead.

A righteous person is not nervous about being wrong but there is a profound peace and confidence coming with it.

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

Is 32:17

Righteousness is playful and not all serious. Like a passionate couple in love kissing, righteousness is completely absorbed by the joy of being loved that there is no room for concerns about other people's mistakes or failures.

righteousness and peace kiss each other...

Ps 85:10

Righteousness - together with joy and peace - is what constitutes the kingdom of God. They come together as a holy trinity.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy.

(The Message)

It is not about what we do (eat or drink)! It is about experiencing the mystery of being utterly loved and accepted by the living God through Christ. Righteousness looks down from heaven. Like a playful hide and seek. Welcome into the joy of the mystery of God.

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.

Ps 85:11

...about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;

John 16:11

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

God's power also looks different than we are used to in this world. His throne that He sits and reigns on is not a threatening throne with any need to show off its power, strength and authority to make us bow down, fear and submit Him. Quite the contrary - it is inviting us. Come boldly! Come with confidence before the throne of God as His children.

It is a throne of GRACE.

I wonder what a throne of GRACE looks like? Grace extended towards me, overflowing, inviting, covering all of my shame, drawing me in to His majesty. His power doesn't try to squish me. He doesn't need to prove anything. He HAS all the power, because of who He is and He KNOWS who He is. And His throne is a throne of grace. Grace, not justice, punishment or judgment. All those power words that we are used to they are also included in God's nature but we have to start in the right end - in God's heart! After all - He is HOLY, different and "other" than we think.

He is sitting on a throne of grace.
And we are invited.