The Ecstatic Dance

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Who needs a blast of joy today?

I am telling you, ladies and gentlemen, there is more than enough to go around!

Do you want to know what dearly frightens all of the demons of hell? Ecstatic joy exuding and pouring out from the bliss of knowing that you are forever and always embraced in the arms of your Creator, never to be parted!!! WooHOO!

So, today on the jolly blog, I am going take us back to the basics. If your grid for God has been derived from a bunch of religious guilt-trips and hating-on by haters, I have got splendid news for you: you got messed up on the head! God is the happiest Person that ever there was! (No matter how many times we forget that!) God’s a spinning dance of joy and love and community, and you are a dearly loved creation. Brilliant idea!

So, there’s this guy named Jesus, and He is really awesome. And I believe in Him. I believe in a God who is Three-in-One jolly happy dance and loves everyone. One of God favorite past-times? Loving on everyone who has been completely screwed over by religion! I believe that God is most clearly personified in the Person of Jesus.

You want to know what the cross was? You really want to know what the cross was? Well, that’s what you call spreading your arms wide-open for a hug, folks! Come at me, atheists! God completely loves you. You are amazing! Every time I run into one of you, I am reminded of God’s goodness. You want to know why? You help God deconstruct religious oppression. God doesn’t like oppression, so that makes you one of God’s favorites!

I believe that God wants everyone blissed out on the goodness of Jesus. No one excluded. I don’t care what the heck you call yourself; I call you loved!

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Not So Jaded

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I am not looking for love.

That might sound a bit odd to some of you. How many different posts and articles out there are giving tips on “finding love”?

I stopped looking for love when I realized how absolutely silly that is. I don’t need to find love because I already have love. Or, more accurately, love already has me. It’s the very fabric that holds together my being. I cannot function without it. I would fall apart without it. It is the very substance that I breathe. The image in Whom I was made. It’s just . . . there.  Kinda like that dog in “Up” that just won’t go away. He keeps following Carl around no matter how many times he is rejected. That’s a tiny glimpse of what love looks like. Tiny glimpse, mind you. Tiny! Tiny! Tiny!

Now . . . I am looking for love.

????

Actually, I habitually enjoy looking around and appreciating what I have been blessed with. So, yeah, I look around to see what I already have. Sometimes, I look around for the air. Sometimes, I look at my toes and think, “Nice! I have toes.” I love to go on treasure hunts because I always expect to find a treasure. It’s just out there, waiting for me. Set up for me to find.

Now, as the argument goes, “You just don’t live in the ‘real’ world.” I am sure that anyone with that argument has sources and experiences ready to be quoted. They may do so to their hearts’ content, and when they are done feeling tired and weary and depressed and weighed down by the worries of the world, perhaps they will come and consider Someone different.

I did not mistype.

That word-choice was quite intentional. Capitalization and all. I said “Someone” instead of “something.” Truth, for me, is not merely a list of facts and figures subjectively manipulated to support whatever is morbidly trendy. Truth is a Person. “Truth is Life is Love is Jesus Christ in relationship in the Trinity.”

And if you can say that five times fast, I salute you!

I really, really like being alive. It’s awesome. The thing about seeing the Christ everywhere is that it’s like perpetually being surrounded by a hug. You can have a miserable day, but in the end, you are held in the arms of love! The misery fades, but the love lasts—because love is faithful, and misery is such a cheater!

I define “love” or rather “Love” by Jesus Christ (and—for that matter—the whole Trinity) because I can’t find a better definition out there. Everything else just seems selfish and sad in comparison.

I say that knowing that people have all sorts of ideas as to who Jesus Christ and the whole rest of the Trinity is/are. (LOL, language limitations!!!) I say that knowing it’s not always the best communicated, and people get confused about it all the time. It just can’t stop me from falling head-over-heels and stumbling around like a really, really happy drunk.

Feel free to message me if you would like to taste the Source of the Bliss.

Until Next Time,

The Joy Detective

Release From Shame

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This article is written or anyone dealing with that one secret that keeps your head bowed. That one memory that keeps you feeling like you are not worthy.

“Jesus sees you.”

For some, that is a terrifying phrase. Why? Because they have been taught a Jesus whose character is more akin to the devil.  A Jesus who accuses and is keen to call out sin. Not a Jesus who sees the beauty in a person and seeks to call it out.

People run away from a God who looks down upon them. No one wants to feel condemned. No one wants to feel ashamed. For some people, it’s even just easier on their consciences to claim that they believe that God doesn’t even exist or that God’s existence is highly doubtful.

Oh, but you are so beautiful! You were not meant to be kept in the dark. You were created to dance in the light and know love!

I remember reading a story about a man who lived in a graveyard and had a legion of demons inside of him. Did Jesus look at him and say, “Too far gone?” No. Jesus loved that man who was tormented. He cast those spirits out. The very presence of love cast torment out. Jesus saw past the blasphemous muttering to the man. He knew of the man’s pain and had compassion on him.

May you know love and no longer hide.

Hugs,

The Joy Detective

Joy Experiment #1-Words

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So, I’m just going to listen to what I am sensing that God is saying and declare it over this blog. This should be fun! Am looking forward to some miracles. Please let me know if any of these things I am seeing and releasing right now apply to you. I’d love to hear any testimonies y’all have out of all this! Be sure to reference the number so that I can tell which word(s) applies to you.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the love.

1) I keep seeing a picture of a lady giving birth. I sense that the baby needs to turn around inside the womb to come out headfirst, so I just speak that into existence right now. Turn around and come out the right way! I see a picture of a baby being held up; this baby is wearing a yellow outfit with white stripes. 

2) I see a lady standing over a record player. She is switching tracks on the record. I also see a pink bunny with this same lady. And a pair of brown, slipper-looking shoes than look like they’re covered with suede on the outside and have some sort of soft fluffy, off-white/ivory interior. I am sensing she needs money for a car. I see a picture of an envelope with money inside left on the front porch. If that is you, please check your front porch. I see a white envelope with money in it. I release that right now in Jesus’ name!

3) I see a little girl. She’s wearing a pink dress. It looks like she is having a tea party with some of her stuffed animals and dolls and such. One creature in particular is a bunny rabbit with a bow tied around the neck. I keep seeing sparkles show up in her room and something like a diamond in one of her tea cups. I release that, too , in Jesus’ name!

4) I see a broken leg. Lower part of the leg. Bone’s sticking out a bit. I also see a jar of cookies nearby. I release healing and wholeness right now into that leg.

5) I see a wooden salad bowl. Someone’s serving up salad. And garlic bread. I see garlic bread. I get the sense it’s some kind of family dinner. It looks like you just ran out of salad dressing. Check the fridge again, and I declare you’re going to have more than enough.

Who Do You Expect?

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So, I was talking with God about “The Challenge” and all the joy experiments that we’ll be running together on this blog, and I felt Him impress something quite strongly on my spirit: people need to know who they’ll be meeting.

It’s maybe a little easy for me to take for granted that everybody else on the worldwide web is on the same page as I am when it comes to the goodness and the nature of God because God’s goodness  and nature seems so obvious to me. But He started to remind me that not everybody sees Him that way. Not everybody lives with that as their reality. In fact, some people are downright scared of Him and don’t want Him to come near them.

I used to be.

I remember going to church growing up. There was this sign that someone on the church staff put up—probably halfway as joke. It stood near the entrance and said something to the effect of “Turn off your cellphones. Lightning may strike.” I remember hearing a heavy emphasis placed on God’s displeasure with any kind of sin or unrighteousness. It was understood—at least from my perspective—that if you sinned, God was disappointed in you. Angry with you, even. And He did punish. Look at the Israelites. Look at Sodom and Gomorrah. I was terrified to make mistakes. I was terrified lest some unknown sin go unconfessed. I lose track of how many times I prayed “the prayer of salvation” just to make sure I did it correctly and didn’t wind up in the hot place.

It wasn’t as if I never heard “God loves you.” That I heard a lot. But the meaning of “love” got a bit watered down under the weight of how disappointed I felt God was whenever I screwed up. And of course, it was inevitable that I would screw up. (After all, what do you expect from a sinner? Sinners sin. It’s their nature.) I felt more put up with. Tolerated. And actually . . . used. Kind of like:

“Here, I love you enough to get you out of hell and into heaven—after you die—if you believe in Jesus. Okay, now that you do, I’m going to put you to work. Go convert people. The more people you convert, the happier I’ll be with you. But if you miss just one opportunity, I’m going to sic my frowny face on you. Because they’re going to hell, and it’s your fault. Oh, and by the way, you’re still a sinner. Just ‘saved by grace’ now. I kinda expect you to fail.” 

Yeah. Way to inspire me . . .

Then one day God told me He liked me.

I remember He had this kinda lady come up to me and say, “Hey, I felt like the Lord was saying He doesn’t just love you; He likes you.” It resonated with me. I knew—I just knew—that what she was saying was true. My ears came open, and I began to hear God speaking true love to me on a regular basis, telling me how much He delighted in me and was pleased with me. And He didn’t stop saying it when I messed up. It became clear to me that His love for me was on 24/7. And it also became clear to me that His love and delighting in me were not dependent on what I did and did not do. 

So, WHO exactly am I inviting to show up on this blog? 

Jesus Christ.

Mr. Love.

Mr. I-Healed-Your-Cold.

Mr. I-Put-Sparkles-on-You-Because-I-Love-You-and-I-Can.

Mr. I-Defend-the-Cause-of-the-Orphan-and-the-Widow.

Mr. I AM.

Mr. Get-Up-Out-Of-That-Wheelchair-And-Walk!

Mr. Fun. 

Mr. I-Turn-Water-Into-Wine.

Mr. It-is-Finished.

Mr. I’m-Already-in-the-Room-in-Case-You-Didn’t-Notice.

 I am inviting the God who totally OWNS the title and the name SAVIOR. When He saves, it’s not based on human efforts—because it’s really “saving” someone if they have do it—it’s based on His being Him and actually manifesting the very meaning of the word. When He saves, He does it thoroughly and doesn’t go about calling saints “sinners” after the fact.

And He’s not saving us from some multiple personality manifestation of His who wants go all “HULK SMASH!” on everybody just because He likes to power-trip and appear the benevolent dictator when His kind, anemic, nice-guy version of Himself shows up. Typical “bad-cop, good-cop” routine.

 No, that is NOT the guy I am inviting. 

I am inviting the God who is already here because nothing can exist without Him. The God who’s everywhere. The God who’s madly in love with you. With me. With all of us. Crazy, head-over-heels madly in love. The God Who permanently interwove Himself with humanity in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. (He just overdoes Himself on our behalf. I love it!)

Yeah, I am inviting the Living God.  

The One Who embodies true goodness.

The One Who technically doesn’t even need an invitation. 

That’s Who you can expect.

 

 

Out of the Box Inside the Box

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I love Doctor Who. Fun show. Am especially fond of the David Tennant and Matt Smith characters.

Now, one of the things that cracks me up is how much I have learned about God’s nature through the character of the Doctor. My general impression of his character is that he either has more agnostic or atheistic leanings, as far as theology and whatnot goes. (Of course, I have only seen the seasons with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith. Fellow Whovians, I welcome your thoughts and insights.) Now, there might be some out there who think that a person cannot learn much about the nature of God from either an atheist or agnostic.

I tend to disagree.

See, my perspective is this: every person is a glorious work of God-art—with God as his/her ultimate source and origin. One can learn so much in regards to the artist by looking at his/her art. And . . . when one disrespects or disregards the art, one is disrespecting or disregarding the artist. The cool thing about God-art is that God-art makes more art, including epic shows such as Doctor Who and delightful characters such as the Doctor. So, you can look at the art made by the God-art and get to know the God-art. And in getting to know the God-art, you often get to know God.

So, a quick look at the Doctor:

The Doctor’s compassion for all creatures really touches my heart. It reminds me of God’s compassion for people. The Doctor’s ability to time-travel with his TARDIS reminds me of how God can be inside and outside time all at once. The Doctor’s desire for companionship reminds me that God loves having friends. The Doctor’s ability to get along with so many different species of creatures reminds me that God is an includer who treasures diversity. And whether the Doctor actually believes in Jesus—the God-man—or not, I can’t help but think he resembles Him in a lot of ways . . .