Friday, May 11, 2018

God's Original and Final Intent part 5

This is my final paper for The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation in Spokane Washington. Its is very long paper so I am breaking it down in to smaller portions to post here.
This is part 5 of that paper. I hope you enjoy it. I love to hear your feed back in the comments.
This section probably needs more work. I however needed to be done with this project and on to others that need completed before Graduation. I think this paper has the potential of becoming a book. A lot more could be said in this section.

Thanks, Margot

God's Original and Final Intent part 5

God’s intent regarding reigning and ruling in partnership with Him.

  • The Original intent of God for his Family to extend His kingdom  (My Soul to magnify the Lord)
I would submit to you that how we feed our soul is in how we care about others and God’s creation. One may feed the soul by basking in the evening sunset, or listening to the creativity of others expressed in art, literature and music, but also in what we do for the least of these because what we do for them we do for the Lord we love. As we live and grow in love our soul is nourished.  

As I think about our role as royalty I am reminded that a good king not only cares for His people but for the land that belongs to their kingdom. We have become detached from the land. Most of us no longer till the soil and what we eat comes packaged from the local grocery story.  We can easily miss the beauty of creation because we are trapped like a hamster on a wheel. I pray God will help us not only take some time to smell the flowers but to fill our souls with the great beauty of His creation. 

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (NIV)

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast.

"I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites," says the LORD.

and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

"You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."

and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

I would like to close with a quote that I found on a site called the theology of work. “From the beginning, God perfectly provisioned the world for humans to thrive. The good earth yields food when humans exercise their God-given ability to “till it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). God’s intent is that people would not merely subsist, but have good things in abundance. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). God gives people the capacity to understand the natural world so that we make use of its resources (Genesis 2:20). Human work and ingenuity are more than capable of developing God’s creation to provide abundantly for all people. In partnership with the Creator, we are to make creative use of the resources of the earth, growing and innovating, creating new products, improving on the original. There is more than enough raw material to go around
© 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc.

In the article called 20 Reasons Why Christians Should care for the Environment that I have include as a resource along with this paper. There are two points that really stood out to me. I know when I have thought of being a king, a priest and a prophet before God, my focus has been on transforming people, setting people free. I have had to repent for my short sightedness. In not realizing that God’s creation is full of wonder and variety. He created it for us to enjoy, not for us to destroy. From that previously mentioned article these points moved my heart.  
11 “God is working to recreate and restore not just individual people, but the entire fallen creation. Just as sin was cosmic in scope, causing the very ground to be “cursed” (Genesis 3:17), so redemption is cosmic in scope, causing the entire creation to “groan” in anticipation (Romans 8:19-22) for Jesus’ return, when he will make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Since God has not abandoned his creation with a “let it burn” defeatism, neither should we!

12) Human life and flourishing is dependent upon animal and plant life for food, oxygen, vitamins, clothing, environmental stability, and many other basic needs. For example, without insects (as disgusting as we sometimes find them), human beings would be dead in a matter of months.”

As I end this very long paper I find I am back where I began. I want to be uncomfortable with easy answers. We as God’s people should be seeking God for solutions to the problems of our day. We should be shining lights and ambassadors, and his hands and feet in a broken and hurting world. 

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, 
half truth, and superficial relationships 
so that you may love deep within your heart: 

May God bless you with anger at injustice, 
oppression and exploitation of people, 
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace;
I should find myself angered by injustice. To see needs and not think that the Government will take care of the problem. If I am going to live as a mature adult believer, I have to stop adding to the problems and begin to be part of the solution. In making those hard choices to live differently I may “fast” some of my freedoms for the sake of loving the least and the lost and the broken. 

May God bless you with tears to shed for those 
who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, 
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them 
and to turn their pain into joy;
I have to do more than just shed tears. I have to find a way to help. Be it raising money to put a roof on a church in Africa, or giving up my time to feed the homeless. I am only one person and I know I can’t do it all. I have to begin to inspire my brother and sisters to live not only for them selves and their immediate family but to make room in their hearts to make a difference in the lives of others, and in God’s creation. 

And may God bless you with enough foolishness 
to believe that you can make a difference in this world, 
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”
I love the site called Forks over Knives. The idea of making a difference in the world one bite at a time appeals to me. I post photos of the food I am making, I bring delicious vegan foods to potlucks and meetings. I make an effort not to be condemning but to encourage and help people see that the pain they are experiencing is often linked to the choices we make. The foods we choose to eat and the sins we may not even realize and the people we need to forgive. Gods intent is for us to live life to the full but in doing so we should not be jeopardizing other people or creatures from that as well. 

As a three part being I must feed my body, my soul and my sprit in order to be able to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Luke 10:27

Thursday, May 10, 2018

God's Original and Final Intent part 4

This is my final paper for The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation in Spokane Washington. Its is very long paper so I am breaking it down in to smaller portions to post here.
This is part 4 of that paper. I hope you enjoy it. I love to hear your feed back in the comments.

Thanks, Margot

"The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel." Proverb 12:10 (NIV)
I found this quote in an article in Veg News Spring 2018 issue called Why We Eat Meat by Marla Rose she states ” Underneath this juggernaut of animal agribusiness are consumers as individuals - parents and children, neighbors and peers - who keep the machine well-oiled and fully operational. As consumers, we are the hand that cranks the machine and turns more that 50 billion land animals a year world wide into consumable, often unrecognizable products. The machine depends on our participation, and - with a wold population expected to surpass 9.8 billion by 2050, plus a growing body of evidence linking animal agriculture to massive environmental strain - every effort to examine, unpack, and leave behind the diet that is creating so much suffering must be made.” 
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

God’s intent for Animal life
When God created animals and then he looked among them for a suitable partner or helper for Adam. I believe their original purpose was always to be a help to man. Some might say that would mean that some were intended to be food for man. I think if you look at the whole of Scripture that animals are often used to teach us some valuable truths about God.  The following are just a few examples that immediately came to mind. 

“We can gather that all these creatures of the world lead the mind of the contemplative and wise man to the eternal God. For these creatures are shadows, echoes and pictures . . . and vestiges proposed to us and signs given so that we can see God.” -St. Bonaventure

Proverbs 6:6 (KJV) Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
 Isaiah 40:31 They That Wait Upon The Lord, Shall Renew Their Strength, They Shall Mount Up With Wings of Eagles, They Shall Run and Not Be Weary Walk Faint 

Psalm 42:1  As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
In Song of Songs the bride and bride groom often describe each other using imagery found in animals and in nature. It is from these and many other verses that I believe God created animals to be something more than sacrifices through their deaths so we might live. 
“ I often tell my theology students that Genesis 1 and 2 are among the best pro-animal texts we could ever imagine there being. Nonhuman animals and humans are created on the same day of creation. Both share the breath of life. God commands humans to eat plants. Animals are brought to Adam, not to kill and eat, but “because it is not good man should be alone.” The fact that Eve is latter found to be the “suitable partner” does not change the fact that God brought the animals to Adam to be his companions.” from Why all Christians should go vegan by By Charles Camosy January 5, 2017 In The Washington Post 

My personal journey began for my own health and has grown into a greater consciousness of the ethics of what I eat. I find myself considering things that never before occurred to me. Things like how does what I choose to eat effect my own body, how does it effect my neighbors, and how does it effect my planet. I find my self back to the quote at the beginning of this paper. 

“And may God bless you with enough foolishness 
to believe that you can make a difference in this world, 
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.” 
I know that this journey has been a learning and an eye opening process for me. I don’t expect that everyone will be motivated to make a full switch to veganism but I hope that I might be an advocate and a proponent for helping to change the mindsets of people in my influence by my life and example.   

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Original and Final Intent of God - part 3

This is my final paper for The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation in Spokane Washington. Its is very long paper so I am breaking it down in to smaller portions to post here.
This is part 3 of that paper. I hope you enjoy it. I love to hear your feed back in the comments.

Thanks, Margot

Gods Original and Final Intent - part 3
  • Original intent for the care and sustenance of our physical bodies.(My Body to be a temple in which His Spirit would dwell.)                                                            1 Corinthians 6:19-20 
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
In beginning to look at this section, I want to assure you that my intent is not a crusade for Veganism or even vegetarianism. I believe that there is a ton of grace available to us.  Romans 14 says “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”  As I have grown on my journey as a Christian who is a Vegan. I started for purely heath reasons. I had been having frequent migraines. After many years of see sawing between the SAD (Standard American Diet) and Low Carb, High Protein diet I decided it was time to try something totally different. So over night, I believe by the grace of God I stopped eating all animal foods. At first I thought well eggs and dairy are not bad maybe I can add those back in at some point. Then I began to discover not only the health issues but the treatment of chickens, and cows. In my heart I knew that a loving God would not have sentenced the animals that he created and had Adam name one by one to the kind of treatment they routinely face today. Which led me to begin thinking about what God did originally intend.  I have found myself looking into what our loving creator originally designed for us to eat. What was His original intent and will his final intent be regarding food. Then to take it all a step further I wondered what was His purpose for creating such a vast array of amazing animals.

God’s intent regarding plants as food for Man and Animals
Original Intent: Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground  - everything that has the breath of life in it  - I give every green plant for food.: And it was so. 

Final Intent: Revelation 21: 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”  We have the fountain of living water and the tree of life to sustain us and I believe that food and drink will be amazing. Jesus, just like in the wedding at Canna turns water into wine and saves the best wine for last. 

Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. (NASB) Isaiah 11:6

“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD. (NASB) Isaiah 65:25  From these verses I see that even animals will be changed back to God’s original intent. Can you imagine lions eating straw. If there is no killing there can’t be steak or hot dogs as we currently know them. There is the tree of life and it’s fruits that I am sure will grace the banquet table of the King of kings.   

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (NASB) Revelation 20:1-4

Isaiah 58:11The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” I always thought about this verse in regards to causing others who were recovering alcoholics not to stumble. That in those cases love should cause me to refrain from what I may have the liberty to partake of. This verse has been a big part of my motivation to eat differently,  as I have researched the effects of our American Factory Farms on the communities in their vicinity I find my heart grieved by the suffering not only of animals but of humans.   “Over the last two decades, small- and medium-scale farms raising animals for food have given way to factory farms that confine thousands of cows, hogs and chickens in tightly packed facilities.
Factory farms produce millions of gallons of manure that can spill into waterways from leaking storage lagoons or fields where manure is over-applied to soil. Manure generates hazardous air pollutants and contains contaminants that can endanger human health. Neighbors of factory farms, as well as the workers in them, often suffer intensely from overwhelming odors and related headaches, nausea and other long-term health effects.”  I find myself wondering about the ethics of my food choices and how my choices are impacting my brothers and sisters in the communes where the food I potentially eat is produced. Am I for the sake of convince choosing foods that are not only dangerous for my own consumption but causing sickness to those who work or live where they are produced?  While I may not be able to put an end to the problem, my buying choices will little by little have an effect on an industry that is more concerned with the health of its pockets than with the health of people. I can only hope that others may decide to follow my example. 
From: Why I'm a Christian Vegan by Maggie Olson
Most of us know only vague details about the cruelty of factory farming, but the suffering is impossible to ignore. Cows endure milking machines latching onto their chapped and infected udders multiple times per day, extracting milk produced by repeated forced impregnation. Cows and pigs both experience depression and anxiety from being trapped in too-small gestation crates and pens, and frequently develop sores and infection from standing in their own waste. Male chicks, useless to the egg industry, are discarded en masse in dumpsters, where they either starve to death or suffocate under the weight of the other babies.
These are the creatures created by God, the "livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals" (Genesis 1:24). These are the creatures over which God has given us dominion. God tells us, "clothe yourselves in tenderhearted mercy, kindness . . ." (Colossians 3:12). There is no compassion in factory farming, no kindness in the treatment of these poor creatures that God created. As Christians, we are called to reach out, to protest, to fight—not to affirm this practice for the sake of our own gain.”

So while you may not be concerned for the treatment of animals as a result of factory farming you may want to consider its effect on our neighbors, who we are told to Love as we love ourself. If I don’t want my husband working in the dangerous conditions of a factory farm, or my children sick and disease ridden because of the proximity to the pollution caused by factory farms. I must consider how my choices are impacting my brothers and sisters who because of poverty are forced to live near and work in factory farms. Maggie Olsen in her article Why I’m a Christian Vegan states the following: “Slaughterhouse workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions and lowest wages in America. Injuries incurred in slaughterhouses and packing plants are often ignored and underreported, leaving workers bankrupt or crippled.
Additionally, factory farms are hugely destructive and toxic to neighboring communities. Peter Singer, in his book The Ethics of What We Eat, writes about a family who lived near a factory farm. Their house was so overrun with pests that they caught up to 40 mice per day, and the air and water were so riddled with waste and disease that their little boy regularly became very sick; they even found maggots in his stool."
In addition to these examples I am reminded of Daniel who became part of those captured from Israel’s leading families and brought to Babylon. He is well aware that the food served at the kings table does not conform to the dietary laws and standards that God gave the people of Israel. So he requests a plant based diet and asks his guard to test him for a specific time period. At the end of that time and his friends are found to be much healthier, stronger and more mentally adept than the others who ate the kings fare.  “Everything we need, including protein, can be achieved by eating a plant based diet. There have been countless studies that show that by adopting a plant based diet people live longer, are healthier, happier, and less disease stricken. Research published by The National Center for Biotechnology concluded that "vegan diets seem to provide some added protection against obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes; and cardiovascular mortality." The Christian Vegan by Tabitha James. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Gods Original and Final Intent - part 2

This is my final paper for The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation in Spokane Washington. Its is very long paper so I am breaking it down in to smaller portions to post here.
This is part 2 of that paper. I hope you enjoy it. I love to hear your feed back in the comments.

Thanks, Margot

Gods Original and Final Intent - part 2
  • The original intent for the people of God is to worship and honor and enjoy his goodness in a intimate unveiled, face to face relationship with him. (To Worship Him in Spirit and in truth) JOHN 4:24 NKJ "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Because of the fall the sprit of man is essentially in coma like sleep. We must have the antidote found in the blood of Jesus Christ to cause our spirit to live or be reborn.  Leviticus 17:11says “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.” It is Jesus who’s sacrifice has become our atonement through his shed blood. 

When I originally thought about the three areas for my report one verse and story kept nagging at me. David’s Fallen Tent is mentioned in Amos 9:11 It talks of how God plans to restore David’s tent that is fallen into ruin. I thought first that it was David’s tent as a shepherd boy. A tent of intimacy and solitude, silence to listen and songs of thanks. I have researched it further and found it to be quite an interesting story. I think it is not only a good example of God’s original and final intent to meet with us face to face but also our role in making God accessible to others. 

David’s Fallen Tent 1 Chronicles 15-16
In this story the Arc of God’s presence had been captured by the Philistines who found it caused them too many problems, everything from tumors to the statues of their gods crashing down for no apparent reason. Eventually they decided to return it. They put the Arc on a cart pulled by two milk cows who but for an act of God would have simply headed back to their barns to nurse their babies. Instead they complain and moo all the way to Israel. 

About the same time David is finally king and has moved his family and people to Jerusalem. He wants to bring the Arc to be there with Him in Jerusalem. The Arc should have gone to Gibeon to be returned to the tent of meeting where sacrifices were still being made. It is interesting to note that the presence of God had left but they continued on in their traditions. We need to be careful that we don’t choose the familiarity of tradition over the presence of a Holy God. So while the prescribed manner of encountering the God of Israel was by bringing your sacrifices to the priests who would prepare it and present it to God. Only the High priest could stand before the Arc of God’s presence and only once a year. They would tie a rope around his ankle and attache bells to the bottom of his robes so in case the sacrifice made was not sufficient they could pull his dead corpse out from the Holy of Holies. David somehow finds a loop hole. I can only imagine that it is because of his long relationship with God that he was able to see and do what other would never even have considered. David sets up his own tent for the arc in Jerusalem. In David’s tent there no veil separating the arc from the worshiper. Where the blood of animals is offered in Gibeon and the arc rested behind a veil, at David’s tent what is offered is 24 hour praise, worship and prayer.  This is an unprecedented move on David’s part. There are some commentaries that suggest that David’s background is questionable that he may have been an illegitimate child. When Samuel calls for the sons of Jessie to be paraded before him the family leaves David out with the sheep. It is only at Samuels questioning that they admit there is one more son and bring him in from the sheep fields. For some reason he is an embarrassment to his family and not well liked by his brothers. In this time one could not enter God’s presence if there was a deformity or issues of sin or disgrace with ones family line. You had to be a levite with no birth defects or blemishes to your heritage. You had to be ceremonially clean, not having touched anything dead and a number of other rules. Somehow David has side stepped all these rules and regulations. I believe it is because out watching sheep day in and day out David developed a relationship with the Lord. Relationship is what God desired of Adam and Eve when he walked with them in the cool of the day. Relationship is what he wants from us as well. I believe that what started as David singing songs to the Lord while watching the sheep grew into the 24 hour worship around David’s tent in Jerusalem. God never needed a temple to be built but it was on David’s heart to create it to bless and honor the Lord. David’s tent was later abandoned for the newly built temple. David discovered that through relationship, praise and worship that one could enter God’s presence without the blood of animal sacrifices. Many people today think that restoring David’s fallen tent mentioned in Amos 9:11 is about 24 hour worship and prayer, I think that merely an outward expression of an inward intimate relationship shared between David and Papa God. Yes God sits enthroned on our praise but it is a heart that desires to know Him and be in relationship with him that must be foundational to what ever praise is offered up.  

We like the people who followed Moses have a choice to make. Do we want to have our own relationship with God or will we look to others and live off the crumbs of their experiences with the Lord. The people at the time of Moses did not want to meet with God face to face so they left that to Moses and then to the high priest. Moses face would shine from being in God’s presence and the people asked him to cover or veil his shining face because it frightened the people. God’s original intent was to have a face to face intimate relationship with His people. Sadly His people wanted a medator. We opted for religion over relationship and took to making sacrifices of animals to somehow atone for our sins and to help make us right with a Holy God. You can see from the following scriptures that God desire is for other things than sacrifice. He says in Isaiah 1: 12 Who asked that of you? 
Isaiah 1:11-14 (Tanaka from traditional Hebrew Text)
11 "What need have I of all your sacrifices?" Says the Lord.  "I am sated with burnt offerings of rams, And suet of Fatlings, and blood of bulls; and I have no delight in lambs and he-goats.12 That you come to appear before Me - who asked that of you?  Trample My courts  13 no more; bringing oblations is futile, incense is offensive to Me.  New moon and Sabbath, proclaiming of solemnities, assemblies with iniquity, I cannot abide.  14 Your new moons and fixed seasons fill Me with loathing; They are become a burden to Me.  I cannot endure them.

In Hosea we discover that it is obedience that God desires over sacrifice. Hosea 6:6  Tanaka “For I desire goodness, not sacrifice; Obedience to God, rather than burnt offerings.” 

In Psalm 40 we find that it is to have God’s teaching in our innermost parts that is more important. Psalm 40 7-8 “You gave me to understand that you do not desire sacrifice and meal offering; You do not ask for burnt offering and sin offering. 8 Then I said, "See I will bring a scroll recounting what befell me. 9 To do what pleases you, my God, is my desire; Your teaching is in my innermost parts.”

 In Psalm 51 it is a contrite sprit and a repentant heart. 
Psalm 51:18 You do not want me to bring sacrifices; You do not desire burnt offering;19 True sacrifices to God is a contrite spirit; God you will not despise a contrite and crushed heart.

Another example is the life of Enoch. He walked with God so closely that one day he walked out of our world and was seen no more. He didn’t die. 
His story is found in Genesis 5:24 
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”  In his case relationship was what translated him out of this world so that he did not grow old and die as is common to men. 

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
While we do not have the book of Enoch included in our bible we know from Hebrews that he pleased God. At the time of Jude the writings of Enoch were still being quoted. From Jude we know that he spoke prophetically. He also said stuff that was probably pretty unpopular. 

Jude 14-15 (NIV)
“They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
The first time the word Worship is mentioned in the Bible is in the story of Abraham taking Isaac to Worship God. In this story Abraham is taking that which is most precious to him, his long awaited son of promise and being willing to sacrifice him to the Lord. We find this story in Genesis 22:3-10.  In this first example of worship, there is no singing or playing of instruments, it is about obedience, willing sacrifice. It is about trust of a father and son of The Father. Too often God tells us things that he is going to do and we get hung up on how it will happen. In this case, it is God who provides the sacrifice.  In the case of Abraham the sacrifice is his willing obedience to trust God and offer his son. 
HIs is a trust born out of relationship.  

Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Relationship has always been God’s heart. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall.  I think this is just another of many days in the garden but it is mentioned because it is the day that things changed. Genesis 3:8 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  The relationship had been broken and they knew it so they hid. It is sin that separates us from God’s presence. It is the sacrifice of His son that makes a way that we can again be restored to that relationship. 
James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded.

In yet another example the people of Israel want to have a king like the nations around them. It is their lack of relationship that agains causes them to attempt to place an intermediary between themselves and God. The priests and prophets were not enough. They wanted to be like their heathen neighbors and have a king. Sometimes when we bug God long enough and we refuse to listen he will give us what we have asked for. In this story in spite of God and Samuel’s warnings the people insisted they have a king. On the out side Saul looks, and acts like a king. He is the best looking and the strongest, he is head and shoulders above everyone else. Of course he is the one who should be king. While we look at the external God looks at the heart.  Acts 13:22 (KJV) 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
It should be infinitely clear to anyone who knows even a small bit of David’s or Abrahams stories to know that they were not a perfect men. Yet they had relationships with God when others preferred to trade relationship for ritual and tradition. We too can have a relationship with Papa God because of the sacrifice of Jesus. This is good news for us because religion is a heavy handed task master. It is God who restores us in a sense to the Garden before the fall. We are no longer banned from the tree of life.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Original and Final Intent of God part 1

This is my final paper for The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation in Spokane Washington. Its is very long paper so I am breaking it down in to smaller portions to post here.
I hope you enjoy it. I love to hear your feed back in the comments.
Thanks, Margot

The Original and Final Intent of God 
Part 1 
by Margot Cioccio 

A Franciscan Blessing

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, 

half truth, and superficial relationships 
so that you may love deep within your heart: 

May God bless you with anger at injustice, 
oppression and exploitation of people, 
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace;

May God bless you with tears to shed for those 
who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, 
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them 
and to turn their pain into joy;

And may God bless you with enough foolishness 
to believe that you can make a difference in this world, 
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”

I start my paper with what is called A Franciscan Blessing. It is my hope that this paper will inspire you on a journey to be one who is an answer to such a prayer. As we realize God’s initial and final intent I hope that we would find more and  more ways to align ourselves with His plans and purposes for our lives and for the earth and it’s creatures that He gave us to keep and care for.   

My Bible character for this report is Creator God who in the beginning was the Word. My goal is to seek out the original intent of our creator as we endeavor to return to our biblical mandate to work in partnership with our loving creator to care for the earth and to extend His Kingdom.  We must work to free people from mindsets that have held individuals and generations captive. I will attempt to show His original and final intent as we look at various verses and bible characters who walked in God’s original intent and were a challenge to the status quo of their day. 

One can safely say that things that are created by God are created with intent and purpose. God did not create the world as we know it in its present state. The world he created he declared as good. The world as we know it has been infected with sin. We who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ are able to once again continue with God’s original intent to work from a place of love and acceptance as His family to bring about His final intent.  God’s goal is that things be on earth as they are in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) It is our calling to have dominion over the Earth he created, to tend and care for it and it’s creatures.  In Luke 4 Jesus unrolls the scroll and reads part of Isaiah 61. “  18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

It should be our goal to understand His heart and His intent and work to bring things into alignment with His will. Jesus has accomplished the first part of Isaiah 61 for us. He proclaimed the good news of His Kingdom and helped us to begin to see that we could live as part of that Kingdom now. He has proclaimed freedom from the the many things that have held us captive. Quite often it is our mindset that holds us captive even long after we have been freed from our respective prison. We have to repent and begin to look at things from a whole new perspective. To see our problems through the lease of Gods great love for us. As such he has given us eyes that can see. It is as if he created glasses that correct our particular areas of blindness. He sets us free from the things that have oppressed us and kept us stuck in the ruts of our own futile, sinful choices. Then finally he announces that we have entered into a time of God’s favor. What I thought was interesting was that Isaiah 61 goes on about what “they” will do. Comforting those who mourn, rebuilding cities long desolate, giving beauty for ashes and much more. I believe that God has always desired to walk in relationship with us to bring His life and love to every aspect of our lives so that we may live up to in his original intent. 

There are three areas of original intent I want to consider for our wellness as three part beings created in his image. 

  • God’s original intent for relationship with his people expressed in worship and honor and as we enjoy his goodness in a intimate unveiled, face to face relationship with him.  (To Worship Him In Spirit and In truth)

  • God’s original intent for the care and sustenance of our physical bodies. (Our Bodies to be a temple in which His Spirit would dwell.)

  • God’s original intent for his Family to extend His kingdom, not just in regards to making converts but in returning all things affected and infected by the poison of sin to His original intent.   (My Soul to magnify the Lord)

God created man to be in fellowship with Him and gave man dominion to be His representatives in the earth. Jesus even says in John 5:19 “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”. Man promptly lost dominion at the fall through disobedience to Gods instruction and original intent that man not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  You may wonder why God would even put such a tree in the garden if He knew it would be an insidious poison to man. God is very clear that eating from that particular tree would result in death. While the death was not immediate it is a slow poison that has continued to poison those who refuse the merciful antidote provided by our loving Savior. Yet it is love that put that tree in the garden in the first place. It is evidence of God’s heart to allow man to have a free will to make choices to love and obey God or to become progressively poisoned and estranged from God. It is love that gives us the free will to choose. What the first Adam lost through sin and disobedience the second Adam, Christ regained through obedience and sacrifice. At the fall everything changed, either suddenly or progressively to a world different from God’s original intent. If we also look at God’s final intent it is to restore the world and mankind to His original intent. 

When I was younger, I did not see a need to be responsible for the earth or my physical body. I was convinced that our relationship with God was essentially spirit to Spirt and physical and earthy things were merely distractions. In my past view and mind set Jesus would come soon and wisk us to Heaven to rule and reign with him there. My focus was on learning and knowing his word, experiencing his presence and hearing his voice. Because I failed to look at his original intent I have perhaps not always aligned myself fully to his will or magnified the truth of who He is or His heart for that which he created. 

I viewed care of the earth and even my own body as being as pointless as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Little by little over many years my views have begun to change. I now realize that there is more than the black and white and what is written in red in the Bible but the “green” of life and vitality bursting forth in praise of a loving Creator.  Much of this awakening happened when I first discovered essential oils and their healing properties that were hidden in plain sight for anyone to find and use to bring healing to them self and to others. I wondered what else God might have hidden in plain sight for me to discover? 

Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” 

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  Just as our creator is a three part being made up of Father, Son and Spirit, we who are made in his image are also three part beings and God has specific intentions for how we are to care for each part of our being. I have broken this paper into there distinct areas to try to reflect Gods intentions for our health and wellness as a three part being. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

House Concert - Harpist, Kathlyn Kinney