Holy Roar, The Passion "Translation", and Works that are Published Apart from the Larger Community: Birthright Without Destiny

“It is possible to posses your birthright in isolation but you will only become a person of destiny in the context of community.” -Arthur Burk-
It appears that a dearth of publications have been hitting the shelves apart from a generous dose of scrutiny, and I am tired of seeing the church fall off the cliff because it was exhorted to believe something that was not true or dubious at best. We fall for stuff only to get hoodwinked in the process by weak scholarship and shoddy writing.
HOLY ROAR: SHODDY WRITING THAT ASKS FOR NO EDITORIAL HELP
Recently, worship leader Chris Tomlin, Darren Whitehead “sort of published” a book, titled “Holy Roar” pertaining worship that deals with several words that are recognized as related to praise in particular. I say “sort of published”, because the book:

  1. only relied on Strong’s concordance for its reference of the meanings of words,
  2. printed all the Hebrew backwards (for reference, Hebrew is written right-to-left instead of left-to-right.
  3. made the book avaliable by publishing it through a organization that appears to be little more than an accounting firm, which as a result of #2 above, does not appear to have been thoroughly edited by anyone familiar with biblical languages.

THE PASSION “TRANSLATION”: WEAK SCHOLARSHIP? WE CANNOT TELL.
Similarly, though not in an identical vein, Brian Simmons is in the process of working through translating The Passion Translation. There is a problem with that word “Translation”; the Passion does not even come close to being one, and reads more like a paraphrase.
The issue for Simmons’ work is that it appears to be governed by weak or incomplete scholarship. A couple of elements speak to this issue.
ONE TRANSLATOR OR MANY? WE CANNOT TELL
First, we cannot tell if the Passion is a single-author work or the work of a group of people. In response to the question, “

“Although Dr. Simmons is the lead translator of The Passion…, he is part of a team that gives oversight and accountability to the translation project within the historical missionary translation tradition. “

“Lead translator” implies a team.

Single-author translations have deep, historical roots. In the early church Jerome composed the Latin Vulgate; during the Reformation Martin Luther translated the original biblical languages into German; William Tyndale’s English translation later impacted the King James Version. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries there have been many single-person translations, including the translation of J. B. Phillips, J. N. Darby’s Darby Bible, The Complete Jewish Bible by Dr. David H. Stern, Robert Young’s Literal Translation, Kenneth Wuest’sThe New Testament: An Expanded Translation, The Kingdom New Testament by British New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, a translation of the New Testament by American philosophical theologian David Bentley Hart, and more.

The above paragraph, however, appears to be couching The Passion as a single-author translation. So which is it?
Others such as the New International Version, the New Living Translation, the New American Standard, the English Standard Version, and the New Revised Standard Version list the group of people assigned to translate that particular version. However, neither Broadway Press’s website nor The Passion Website list any such group.
By comparison, the lack of disclosure of the team while the claim there is a team lands dishonestly.
And there is a long history of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement and ministers shelving issues or hiding from reality rather than allowing themselves to be held accountable and deal with the issues.
BADLY TRANSLATED
Second, the way the Passion handled the Song of Solomon is maddening.
There is a long twin tradition that pairs the interpretation of types analogies and shadows in the Song of Solomon alongside the sexual, intimate, and erotic.
Paul addressed the binary between Christ/Church and husband/wife in Ephesians 5…what applies to the one applies to the other. There are principles that apply in the closeness of marriage that apply to our relationship with Christ.
And then there are those that do not.
Any bible translation that purports to be a bible translation that:

  1. substitutes “breasts” with “pure faith and love resting over your heart” (Song 4:5),
  2. substitutes “neck” with “inner strength” (Song 4:4),
  3. substitutes “myrrh” with “suffering love” (Song 4:6-that is gross commentary given there is so much more wrapped up in myrrh than suffering love),
  4. substitutes “[the king’s] chambers” with “his cloud-filled chamber”, and
  5. Misses the references to the acts and agents of sexual love and instead subs in references to the tabernacle.

is not a translation in even the loosest form of the word.
Simmons misses half the point. Paul’s words in Ephesians 5 pertaining to marriage between husband and wife is that he draws parallels between that reality and the reality between Christ and the Church; it is a both/and relationship that is read in the text, not an either/or.
Simmons makes the case for one interpretation, the typical, at the expense of the other, the textual, while both are critical to the work of reading Song of Solomon.
OTHER CONCERNS WITH THE PASSION:
I have some other concerns with The Passion Paraphrase (calling it what it is):
1. Competent, conservative, evangelical, Bible-believing, full-gospel scholars and preachers are not lacking to vet the work Simmons does, yet he provides no such list of scholars who could even recommend this work.. I think of Gordon Fee, Craig Keener, Jack Hayford, Craig Keener, Ben Witherington III, Grant Wacker, Ben Aker, Jim Hernando, Joe Casteberry, Roger Cotton, and others.
2. Simmons argues that various scholars have made single-author translations, such as Martin Luther, J.B. Phillips, N.T. Wright, etc. However, the lion’s share of these authors have had the majority of their works vetted in the context of community repeatedly. Simmons on the other hand is a relative unknown to the Church outside of Charismatic/Pentecostal circles.
3. “And adopting the same stringent guidelines used through his missionary work, including teamwork and accountability, his work has been theologically reviewed by professionals such as Greg S. Greig (Ph.D.), Jeremy Bouma (Th.M.), and others.” Neither of these is a known scholar, and the first is unknown to Google.
THE OVERARCHING THEME
There is a single problem that both Holy Roar and The Passion Paraphrase are missing: community. These works are not being done in the context of the community that is designed to bring each to a place of excellence.
Church, we JUST got done celebrating a reconciliation with our community. We cannot reconcile with the community that wants to live in non-reality and isolation.
This is not the season for isolation but for community.
We cannot have community if SUPERSTAR LEADERS OF THE FAITH have such a high and huge platform that they are incapable of asking for help from garden-variety, bread-and-butter believers who are competent to handle the Hebrew Text, let them know that “hey, you aren’t handling the Scriptures right”,or “there is more to this passage than just the clouds of the temple”, or “for crying out loud, your freakin’ Hebrew is backwards”, “the only reference you cited for your Hebrew is Strong’s Concordance?!”
I am not sorry to say this. Song of Solomon saved my second marriage before it started. Before I got married the first time around, I had a man-to-man conversation with a mentor, Joe Castleberry, who is the President of Northwest Unversity in Seattle, Washington, and the man who taught me Greek. He told me what Song of Solomon was really about.
He explained that the references to “hands dripping with myrrh” and “aloes” and sachets of myrrh was designed as a set of principles to help a couple in the bedroom. He recommended to me G. Lloyd Carr’s commentary on the Song, and gave me the best marriage advice any man ever got. And I have used that advice and revelation (hello, Teacher) to walk out that aspect of my marriage. NOTE: for those of you who think by this point that I am obsessed with sex, just stop.
There is a deep affection woven into the Song that Simmons failed to capture because the community that should have been holding him accountable for the whole depth of the text either did not want to or was not allowed to; we have the textual proof that they didn’t. Tomlin and Whitehead got so much wrong because they didn’t want to collaborate with anyone who could have caught the EMBARASSING mistakes of grammar. I will cite from Unsettled Christianity, the blog of a friend of mine who is a Teacher:

On page 118 in the conclusion, the authors have a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. meant for discussion within a group:

“Worship at its best is a social experience with people of all levels of life coming together to realize their oneness and unity under God. Whenever the church, consciously or unconsciously, caters to one class, it loses the spiritual force of the ‘whosoever will, let him come’ doctrine, and is in danger of becoming little more than a social club with a thin veneer of religiosity.”

This is a very important thought that we will revisit at the end of this post. On to the Hebrew…kind of.
First, it must be confessed, that the Hebrew is all wrong in this book. I mean orthographically. 100%. Wrong. All of it. This is embarrassing for Bowyer and Bow, the book’s publisher. It is common for pastors to be unfamiliar with BH and simply copy and paste from their favorite Bible software (Logos in this case, as indicated in the Notes section of the book). But, I find it unforgiveable in the publishing world to print a book meant to introduce English speakers to Biblical Hebrew concepts and yet print 100% of the Hebrew words completely backwards! There is not one Hebrew word in this book that is typeset or printed correctly. One can only assume that Bowyer and Bow did not arrange for a proof-reader who is competent in Biblical Hebrew. This is unprofessional and sloppy. I’m sure there are students who would have loved the chance to proof-read a Chris Tomlin book for free. Now imagine all the young or hip Christian readers who will take this book to their local tattoo artist and get incorrect Hebrew inked backwards onto their bodies. While the MLK quote is enough to justify the price of the book, this mistake is enough to justify a full refund.

The reason these books are horrible is that they are not done in the context of community. There was no one to catch the mistakes Tomlin and Whitehead made, and Simmons, with a PhD from Wagner Leadership Institute, may not have felt like he needed any help. How many people do you know in the Apostolic and Prophetic Movement that feel like they need any help? I rest my case.
The problem is that, so many marriages, which is the root of community, are lacking two things together.
1) a healthy understanding of how deeply Christ loves them.
2) a healthy understanding of the principles in Song of Solomon that help govern our behavior in the bedroom.
And we are not taught that because we think its way better to spiritualize everything. For crying out loud, we call the interpretation that sees Christ in everything the “spiritual” interpretation. And we hunt for Christ in the Song of Solomon AT THE EXPENSE of seeing that, as men, our hands should be dripping with myrrh.
And “let him kiss me with the kisses of his MOUTH for your love is better than wine”.
I mean, come on. Seriously? Marriage and sex in marriage is supposed to be a two person worship service of G-d Most High, where we advance in our birthright as a couple, and I am sick of translations that sanitize breasts out of the translations and remove the effective and virile metaphors from the text in favor of explaining via overnarrow interpretation what we think myrrh means. Such poor translation mangles the text and causes us to miss out on our birthright in sexual expression as married couples.
The Song was meant to not just be this grand allegory of Christ and the church. It was also meant to be our sex manual.
65 other books, and you don’t think G-d didn’t go out of his way to PROPHESY THROUGH THE MOUTH OF THE EXHORTER-SON-OF-A-MERCY SOLOMON the right way to handle sex?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Translations are meant to be done in community. If the word says “breasts”, you translate “breasts”. If the word discusses bodily exploration, then you engage with your covenant spouse in those things.
But enough with the dishonest, sanitized, Charismatic garbage that is done apart from our community.
And enough with the mishandling of the biblical languages, because we are afraid of an editor catching an embarrasing mistake.
I started this blog post with a quote from Arthur Burk. The point was we were designed to walk as part of a community or a series or set of communities. That is the way we walk into our destiny. Like Tomlin and Whitehead needed an editor to catch their mistakes, and like Simmons needed an actual team that was known to the church to produce an actual translation instead of a paraphrase that maquerades as a translation but is not a translation, so we need a community to take our birthright to the best expression we can take it on all points.
Husbands and wives, the metaphors and types of Song of Solomon are social keys to possessing the sexual dynamic of your birthrights as married couples….
And let me close with a verse from Mark that pertains to this whole post.

FOR THIS CAUSE shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

Emphasize those first three words. Your marriage has a cause. Your life together has a cause. Your expressions in the bedroom have a cause, a purpose, a reason, and a design. And your Bible, darn it, was translated from the original tongues for a reason. And You do not need a gaudy Charismatic paraphrase that really is one part paraphrase and one part interpretation to tell you how to translate terms. What you need is the Holy Spirit, and the Son, and the Father themselves who were designed to be your Interpreters all along.
So, bottom line, go possess your birthright, and go read the text in a way that conveys the many layers of what is written there, not some man’s single interpretation.

My Review Of "When Your Call Is Blocked"

Arthur Burk When Your Call is Blocked
 
Thanks to Megan Caldecourt for the cover art.
I have a list of 5 albums that are at the top of my SLG list.
5. Legitimacy-Because that is one of my personal banner messages with respect to anyone to whom I am ministering.
4. Onyx Business DNA-Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s biography absolutely melted me and the concept of creating environments of trust in the institutions we operate. Social Responsibility lights my fire, and this album is CRITICAL for anyone who wants to thoroughly understand the affection Father has for the Redemptive Teacher.
3. Joy Unstoppable-For the force that Father wants to put in you as his son as you walk those 100,000 steps
2. Life, Dominion, and Honor-The story of how the Trinity ministers to our spirit and the affection He has for South Carolina is infectious.
1. When Your Call Is Blocked
This is my favorite teaching not merely because the subject is gripping (who doesn’t want to be free to pursue what G-d has called us to do?) and because it was the first time I had ever seen Arthur live. I got to understand the land dynamic differences between the U.S, and the Ontarian peninsula, where Toronto is located.
Arthur was excessively gracious in his presentation, and his compassion for people who are broken and powerless really shines through, despite the fact that it is holiness that he is discussing. I think he moved from Teacher to Mercy to Prophet in his presentation, honestly.
And this was not a lullaby time either, as he says in the opening monologue.
He really gives of his time in order to share the resources of the kingdom that are available for us to break through.
I learned from this that I am a Opener and a Closer of Seasons. I recognize the end of a season.
I also, when I was at this seminar, thought I was a Redemptive Gift of Teacher. I recognize now that this is not the case, but I was glad to be responsive.
There were things that resonated with me:
-artificial time
-the need to minister to land and the need for recognizing the need to transition from one piece of land to another smoothly
-the redefinition of community
-curses and devices on our marriage covenant as a result of marrying outside of G-d’s will because we yield to social pressures
-a SOLID definition of reconciliation, that makes us recognize that there are times when G-d pushes for reconciliation, and there ARE TIMES WHEN G-D SAYS YOU NEED TO BE ALIENATED FROM SOMEONE FROM A PRIOR SEASON SO THAT WE CAN MOVE FORWARD! I personally followed up that discussion on reconciliation and alienation with a question for what alienation looks like for a Teacher. The answer, and as soon as I finished asking the question, hit me in the face, and then a split second later, Arthur answered the question with the illustration of Samuel. G-d, at some point, told Samuel to quit mourning the loss of Saul, which was painful for him, but necessary.
I needed to hear that, because I had been living for years with the loss of friends, and the need to move forward.
If we fail to allow for alienation at the right times and seasons, when people do not accept our design, then that can become a severe blockage.
Seriously, I know I covered a few items, but this album is well worth the purchase if you are stuck and wonder why you are unable to advance toward your calling.
Thank you for your time on this one Arthur, and for being patient with me when I was clueless on my design in so many places.

Blessing of Stillness #7

Blessing of Stillness #7
For the Office of Secondborn, With Allowances For a Misscarried/Aborted Older Sibling
Beloved,
I call your spirit to attention, in whatever state it is or they are, broken or whole, shattered or integrated, alive or nearly-fatally wounded, in the name of Yeshua.
Listen to the Word of G-d for you for today
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Isaiah 49:15
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13
Spirit, there was a time when Father planned for your birth, and the birth of your siblings.  This took place in a place of stillness-as the New Living Translation calls it, “the dark of the womb”.  Inside your mother, in that mine of rich gemstones, the Blacksmith turned up the earth as with fire, and put an end to the search for the perfect jewel and that perfect vein of ore:  you (Job 28:1-11).
You are a treasure, and your sibling IS a treasure.  You and your sibling are both gifts, both legitimate, and both precious in Father’s sight (Isaiah 43:4).
Somehow, your sibling was not born on this earth, whether through an attack of the enemy or by some other circumstance.  But a miscarriage does not equal a lack of personhood.  And that fruit, that precious life, though forgotten through the choice of parents as a result of pain, or some other circumstance, is no less real than you are here on earth.  Father knows them as intimately as he knows you.  And He knows your design.
Even when your parents misappropriate your design, Father knows your design.  And your sibling, who perished from the earth, did not perish from eternity.  Their presence, with its first-born Prophet imprint, carries everything Father intended for them.  And you, with your second-born Mercy imprint, carry that flavor of compassion and fulfillment that characterizes the umami of the Mercy gift.
And I affirm you, spirit, in your rightful place, and your proper office.  G-d the affectionate Father set you in that office, and it is okay to affirm yourself as the second-born, and to honor the place your older sibling now occupies.
I bless you, with Father’s original design, to run after all the many different flavors of your unique birthright and design.  As a friend of the Bridegroom, I press in with you, spirit, for the justice and mercy that comes with the affirmation of your right place.  That place where you drop into just the right place in Father’s timeflow, in the family that Father placed you in, into that proper synch that is so necessary for you to walk in fulfillment.
 
I bless you with every last bit of free money that Father set you in place with.
 
I bless you to be lifegiving as you are, and not to be off-kilter in any portion of your design and purpose.
 
I bless you to shoot straight in accordance with that Mercy flavor that imprints all second-borns.
 
I bless you with the flood of your Father’s affections.
 
I bless you with having the tender places and the free access to Father’s presence that is part of your birthright as second-born with that unique Mercy squeeze.
 
I bless you with that squeeze of compassion and those hundreds of onramps to Father’s presence that are part of your unique design.
I bless you with a strengthening and tempering acceptance of your Bridegroom and your completely affectionate Father, who knows your design, the design of your sibling who may have fell before their time, and calls both designs in accordance with the Hebrew, tov, good, and affirms the presence of both you and your sibling.
And I call your design and all of its facets, in accordance with the Hebrew, tov, good.
You are the precious gemstone of Father’s good pleasure, and you carry the sheen of the Mercy’s Amethyst that is part of Father’s design as you run to receive the gentleness that is part of your gift set, as much as your sibling carries the first-born sheen of the Sapphire.
May the Ruach ha-Kodesh rush upon you from this day forward as your Merciness affects exactly the right proportion and amounts of your design, even if Mercy is not your main hardwiring, in accordance with the main part of your design, and in accordance with your Redemptive Gift, as your imprint synchs with your hardwiring.
I also bless you to recover from the wounds caused by a refusal to acknowledge those facets of your design that yield tenderness, when it was expected that they would manifest sharpness because of the false belief that you were the first-born and first-living.
I bless you with a place as still and serene as the womb from which you came so that those realities of your good design might be stabilized.
I bless you by agreeing with Father’s placement of you in just the right place, with the right design, with the right set of accessories and facets, in the right order.
I bless and affirm the tenderness of your design that is in stark contrast to the sharper flavor of the Prophet affecting the firstborn.
I bless you as you really are: second born, and deeply loved in tenderness by your tender Father who is full of both Justice and Mercy, and by imprinting your with a sense of that mercy.
I bless you with stability and a sense of legitimacy that originates from the source of all legitimacy, Yeshua ha-Mashiach.
I bless you to receive revelation from Him and a knowing in your spirit that brings a sweet-watered healing in which you may flow.
I bless you with that many-flavored fountain of life, in the name of Yeshua.

Blessing of Stillness #6

Blessing of Stillness #6
 
Beloved,
 
I call your spirit to attention, in whatever state it is or they are, broken or whole, overworked or at rest, thrown to the four winds or gathered, astir or serene, in the name of Yeshua.
Listen to the word of G-d for you for today
And on the seventh day G-d finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
 
Genesis 2:2
Spirit, there was a moment of stillness in creation on the seventh day, that we call sabbath rest. G-d, finishing his work, rested on the seventh day and set that day apart has a time to be still and watch the movement and interaction of His creation.  It had millions of working parts that all flowed together simultaneously.  Not one thing was out of place in all of creation.  Every hair on every mammal. Every egg in ever spider web.  Every scale on every fish, every snowflake on every mountain peak, and every drop of water in every sea was completely in the right place.  Some things, like the mountains, were still and unmoving, while others, like the waters of the seas, were in constant motion.  To everything there was a divinely-crafted purpose.
 
Father, on the other hand, in the midst of all this interaction was in stilled consideration of His creation.  In the midst of all that was astir, He was not.  His volcanic landslide of activity in creating great whales, of structuring the forest canopies, of tender creation of every fleck of every bird feather,of the delicate creation of the Confederate Jasmine and the ever-present aroma and thorn of the rose, and  of the untapped potential within the frankincense and cacao trees, was finished.
 
Father was enjoying his office of Fatherhood deeply.  He was enjoying not only every aspect of his creation, but also savoring the untapped potential of what would be.
 
He was savoring the day many thousands of years forward when he would share with George Washington Carver the secret of the peanut in synthetics.
And the day when the natives of Middle America would ferment the first cacao beans to make chocolate.
And the day when the first layer of raw fish would be served over vinegared rice for the purpose of making sushi.
 
And the day when fried cod was perfected in New England.
And the days of a hundred other discoveries.
 
And most importantly, Father was savoring the day called Tomorrow, when he would give Adam his first assignment of naming animals.  He was savoring showing Man the untapped potential within his spirit.  He was savoring the time that would find Him walking in the cool of the day with his creation, discussing the various needs of both the garden and the non-garden parts of the world.  He was thinking about how He was going to continue to work in their lives.
 
Spirit, there is a place of stillness that includes the opportunity for joyous rest before we resume work.
 
With this rest comes the opportunity to be with our families, our friends, and those that we enjoy connecting with.
 
And we can have moments concerning our employment.
 
We can have the moment to savor the creativity that is available to us as a gift from our Father.
We can have the chance to learn something new.
We can meditate on those things things the Father has shown us.
We can push aside the burden that is attached work.
And we can do something that actualizes our creativity.
But many people just want to go back to work and work for the man and not think about the deeper stuff.
Instead of just going to work and going home during the day you have to rest doing nothing, there is an opportunity to engage in your work in such a way that it leads you towards your birthright.
Also, when you engage in rest in the right way, you can in the rest that Father wants you to engage in, and to permit Him the opportunity to speak into your life.
So, I bless you, spirit, with the capacity to enter into the place of Father’s rest on a regular and consistent basis.
 
I bless you with the desire to celebrate G-d’s faithfulness on whatever your day of rest is.
I bless you with the freedom from the pressures of the religious culture to have a day of rest that actually is a day of rest.
 
I bless you with a sabbath rest as a time of stillness where you can really hear from and connect with the Father of all Rest.

Blessing of Stillness #5

Blessing of Stillness #5
Stillness In the L-rd’s Affectionate Heart that Brings Order to Chaos
Beloved,
I call your spirit to attention, whether broken or whole, hurting or healed, shattered or melded, in the name of Yeshua.
I call you, spirit, out of the muck of broken, fractured, homeless, outer darkness and into the safe and tender place where Father wants to shine His light through your spirit so the colors of His life can be seen in all of their brilliance.
I call you, spirit, to the place where Father’s home is.  He makes His home in you.  In that home is stillness, rest, light, and clarity.  In that home is no confusion or disarray.  Out of that home flows everything necessary for life and godliness.
Just like the still place that He creates in your heart, spirit, there is a still place full of light in His heart.
Listen, precious spirit, to the word of G-d for you today.
And G-d said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And G-d saw that the light was good….”
From Genesis 1:3
Spirit, I want you to consider the Genesis account of creation from a unique perspective.
Before the L-rd created the heavens and the earth, He fluttered gently, and that gentleness originated out of the still place of serenity in His heart.
And then…
He spoke…
Breaking the stillness…
 
His voice broke the chaos of outer darkness to create stillness in the midst of chaos.
He who possessed all authority spoke, gently.
The L-rd talked the universe into existence.  Out of love.
 
Father spoke, affectionately, as a man speaks to his friend, and the universe, broken, empty, and chaotic though it may have been, was shifted into alignment.  The formless and void existence moved from disorder to G-d’s new order.  The manifestation had absolutely nothing to do with how loudly He spoke.
His word caused the manifestation of that substance that floods the universe with clarity, illumination, and warmth.  In short, every element that makes all of the parts of creation visible to each other was created on that first day because He allowed light to become.
Light brings everything to visibility.
Spirit, with respect to you, there is a moment of stillness available to you in the presence of the Father’s light, that was specially designed for you to recognize and see the Source of Light.
 
It is His light, flowing out of His love, that enables you to see Him as He really is.
 
His authority and permission are wrapped up in His affection.  He won’t speak authoritatively to you or into your life apart from His love.
 
His authority cannot be separated from His love.
So, I bless you, spirit, with recognizing the moment of stillness that comes before He speaks into your life.
I bless you with experiencing the moment of stillness when you first look into his eyes, and recognize the deep love that flows from those eyes into your eyes.  I bless you with the revelation that His love is the context for everything that flows out of Him, from His words to His actions.
I bless you with recognizing that, in Father’s time, after the moment of stillness, He will speak, and when He does, that speaking will create a light-filled space for you to sparkle in your place of brokenness.
I bless you with being a useful set of tools in the Father’s hands to destabilize the forces of darkness.
I bless you with the revelation that no matter how broken you are, you are always precious to Father, and adored by Father, and yearned for by the Father of Lights, lights that shine through all of your shattered pieces both in your strongest moments and your weakest moments.
I bless you with the stillness necessary to allow yourself the space necessary to embrace a part of your life that does not make sense to others and might not make sense to you.
I bless you with the stillness necessary to recognize that Father will work with you and use you even in a place of brokenness.
I bless you with the revelation that, even in your brokenness, Father can use you a a set of tools to frustrate and destabilize the kingdom of hell.
I bless you with awareness of Father’s affection for you that causes His light to shine on you in dark places, and I further bless you with the awareness that the darkness that assaults you cannot comprehend the fullness of the Light that shines on you.
I bless you with this illumination in the name of Yeshua.

Blessing of Stillness #4

Blessing of Stillness #4
Stillness In the Midst of Chaotic Emptiness
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention, whether well-formed or formless, whole or in pieces, in the name of Yeshua of Nazareth.
Listen to the word of G-d for you today
“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of G-d was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2
 
Spirit, there was a moment in the place of this chaotic emptiness, before the earth was defined, formed and filled, when the Spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the dark waters in silence.  In His heart, there was a calm stillness that flowed against the chaos of the creation as it currently stood.
This stillness prepared the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to begin the process of creating the world that followed.  This enabled Them to each step into various roles that forced them to interact with chaos.
G-d stepped into the midst of the chaos, and brought with Him a stillness that the outer darkness could not penetrate.
Spirit, in your chaos and fractures, there is a special moment of stillness that is available to you.  In that moment, you can latch onto the fact that the Holy Spirit is hovering in your midst, and before he even makes the first change, before He integrates you, and before He makes your brokenness whole, He finds you incredibly valuable, precious, lovely, and above all, His.
His desire is to just be with you, to grow your awareness of his presence, and to grow your desire to just dwell in His presence BEFORE He begins the process of moving you out of the divided chaos.
He will not despise your love, though you think it is weak
and immature…
and broken…
and shattered.
 
He drinks in every drop of affection you give Him.  He loves you the same now, as He loved you when He knit you together in the dark of the womb.   He loves you before He repairs you.  He loves you when you do not have it together.
With tender affection.
So, I bless you, spirit, with the grace to love Him.
I bless you with the revelation that, when you feel weak or feel your love is weak, that He sees your love, weak though it may be, as EFFECTIVE ENOUGH TO MOVE HIS HEART DEEPLY!
I bless you with the revelation that He will not resist, reject, despise, or deny a broken heart.
I bless you with the tenacity to keep coming back to Him in your weakness and brokenness.
I bless you with a heart that, though broken, is awakened to His love.
You are as beautiful as Tirzah and as lovely as Jerusalem, O spirit, and as awesome as an army with banners.  Your eyes, and the data-filled light that emanates from them, those eyes that are filled with hurt and pain, the slightest glance of affection flowing from those eyes undoes the heart of my King, and they move Him to act on your behalf.
 
I bless you with the still place necessary to receive that knowledge and necessary for that knowledge to settle into you, in the midst of Chaos.
I bless you with the revelation that it is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, who creates that still place in you.
I bless you with the heart and the fight to keep going and returning to that still place, where you do not have to DO, but you merely need to BE, in His presence.
I bless you in the midst of formless emptiness and outer darkness with that shalom, in the name of Yeshua.

Blessing of Stillness #3

Blessing of Stillness #3
The Good Versus the Best
Beloved, I call your spirit, in whatever state it is or they are, broken or mended, wounded or healed, integrated or disintegrated, to attention in the name of Yeshua.
Listen to the word of G-d for you:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise…
Genesis 3:6
A well-known figure in the charismatic movement heard the L-rd say “son, it wasn’t the evil side of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Eve was drawn to. It was the good side.”
Spirit, in that moment when Eve left off talking to the serpent, her attention was fixed on the Tree of Knowledge itself.  She was pondering the nature of the Tree of Knowledge.  That moment became a moment of stillness for her.
And, lest we drive to quickly past this story because we have heard it before and know how it ends, let’s consider the following.  The Tree of Knowledge had some qualities that were good and desirable.  Remember, everything G-d made in the garden was good.  Repeatedly in Genesis 1 and 2, G-d refers to various things as good.  And on the third day, when he made the lush grasses, vegetation, and trees, he created the Garden of Eden, and the two trees in the Garden, the Tree of Knowledge, and the Tree of Life.  Both were good.
 
But just because something is good on the one hand does not mean that it is something G-d has for us.  In fact, on the other hand we can grasp for something that is good that is not His best.
There is a good that is not submitted to G-d that can blow our lives apart and destroy us.  This unsubmitted good led to the fall of humanity.
In that moment, which was a moment of stillness, Eve had the opportunity to consider what she should do.  Her husband was there, also contemplating what should be done, and he did not speak up, nor does Scripture say that they consulted with one another, as probably should have happened here.  Also, with that moment of stillness, Eve had unhindered access to G-d and could have sought Him out concerning the serpent’s exhortations and concerning things that were good but not the best for her.
Spirit, in your place of disintegration, there are parts of you that are not your core, at the depths of you, that might provide you with all sorts of good options and choices for how you spend your time and who you connect with.  Many of these options lead to some paths that could bear some real life-giving fruit for you and for others.
But then there are those things that the Spirit of G-d is showing you, things that He wants you to do, things that resonate deeply with your core, and those things are the best things, and you know they are the best because deep cries out for deep. The depths of your core cry out for the depths of G-d’s core.
 
Spirit, there is a choice that is good for you to make between the good and the best.
 
So, I bless you with being able to recognize a moment of stillness when it comes, in order to discern between the good and the best.
I bless you with being able to clearly hear the core of your spirit when you are surrounded with voices that pull at you from all sorts of directions to places that lack stillness.
I bless you with being able to clearly distinguish between the voices speaking to you.  I bless you to know when the voice is part of your shattered or divided spirit, the voice of the core of your spirit, the voice of your soul or one of its parts, the voice of the enemy, and the voice of one of the members of the Trinity.
I bless you, those of you who are intense, with being able to have moments and seasons where you can utilize the stillness in order to focus your intensity on the best thing G-d has for you.
I bless you, in those moments of contemplating a good that is not the best, with being able to engage with the Trinity, in that moment of stillness, when that choice is before you, so that you can receive from the Triune G-d the counsel that He would give you in that moment.
I bless you, in those moments, with being able to recall and rehearse the principles G-d has already given you.
I bless you with being able to strongly and deeply lean into those principles, and being able to stand on that counsel when a hundred voices are trying to pull you away from that counsel and from off of those principles.
I bless you to connect, at the core part of your spirit, with the Father of Lights, who provides the good and perfect gift, that is best among a whole range of good options.  I bless you to see the most life-giving option available.
 
I bless you to connect with the Man of Dominion, Yeshua of Nazareth, who is your loyal Bridegroom. Yeshua crushed the head of the serpent so that the serpent’s voice would not have to compete with Yeshua’s voice.
I bless you to connect deeply with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, who was given to you to counsel, guide, and protect you from the pushy wiles of the wicked adversary, and to protect you from the subtle influences of those things which are good but because they are unsubmitted to G-d, they are not His best for you.
I bless you with the quiet place of stillness in order to process all of that, in the name of Yeshua of Nazareth.
 

Blessing of Stillness #2

Blessing of Stillness #2
Differentiation
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention in the name of Yeshua, in whatever state it is or they are, shattered or single, healed or broken, assaulted or gathered,
Listen to the word of G-d for you for today.
Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
And he said, “She is in the tent.”
The L-RD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
Genesis 18:8-10-
Spirit, there were several points in the interactions between Abraham and Almighty G-d that were marked by silence. This account in Mamre is no exception. After Abraham greeted the three men and set a meal before them, Scripture says that “he stood by them under the tree while they ate”.
Abraham did not pepper them with questions about their identity or origins. Abraham didn’t converse with these men about his problems.  Rather, he stood, quietly, while they ate.
Abraham’s most pressing need in this season in his life was a legacy.  G-d knew that, and so, at some point following their meal, he spoke directly to that issue. “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son”.
 
But between the time when Abraham set the meal before the three visitors and when they spoke, there was an important moment of silence.
Spirit, there will be times when we need to ask for counsel from either godly people in our lives whom we trust or from the L-rd himself.  For, as Scripture says elsewhere, “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).  In those times, we might need many voices speaking to our situation from a wealth of experience.
However, there will be times when that multitude of voices will be counterproductive.  A great number of people speaking into a situation can counterproductive, because it can lead us away from the still place that we may desperately need without realizing it.
 
In those moments, we need to be able to come apart from the many words of our counselors, and just to stand in the stillness in the presence of the L-rd and wait for Him to speak.
 
In that place of stillness and silence in the Brooding Presence of the L-rd, Father does four things. First, He enables us to refocus on the point of life:  Our Father.  Second, as we stand still with that focus, He brings a sense of clarity.  Third, He ministers to the depths of our spirits.  Fourth, we receive the patience that is critical for the season of silence between when the Word of G-d speaks and when the breakthrough manifests.
So I bless you, spirit, with the wisdom to be able to differentiate between when you need wise counselors, and when you need to stand still in Father’s presence.
I bless you with the wisdom to know when the moment or season of standing in stillness arrives.
I bless you, spirit, with the desire and the capacity to wait in the stillness for Father’s response, when waiting does not make sense.
I bless you with the willingness to refocus on the Father instead of on the situation.
I bless you with the patience needed to wait in Father’s presence in order to receive the clarity and patience that is critical before He speaks.
I bless you, spirit, with the deepening that comes to you as you wait in His presence.
I bless you with the capacity to receive the amount and depth of patience that will be necessary to carry you between when you first hear the word of the L-rd, and when the breakthrough comes.
I bless you with that receptivity in the name of Yeshua.

Blessing of Stillness #1: With Applications For DID/SRA

I realized that I never saved the blessings I wrote some time ago to my blog, and Jenny Lynn had notified me that she had never read them.  So without further adeiu:
Blessing of Stillness #1
The Still Place
Beloved, I call your spirit in whatever state it or they are in, shattered or single, broken or mended, to attention on the name of Yeshua of Nazareth.
Listen to the word of G-d for you for today.
Be still, and know that I Am G-d
Psalm 46:10
Spirit, there is a place that Scripture calls “still”.
 
In this place called “still”, there is room for hearing the Father’s voice and seeing his face.
 
In this place, where every moment for I Am is the present moment, because Father is off the timeline, He is in no rush.  He speaks in the stillness and works in the stillness.
 
His stillness is a place where, even though your enemies compass about you, there is a capacity to hear in peace and in shalom.
 
In this still place, all the millions of facets of you are able to be in stillness.
 
In this still place, Father shines the kaleidoscope of his affections on you.
 
In the stillness, those who would otherwise be busy with the hustle and bustle of their lives stop to admire the stained glass, which tells a deep tale though it feels it is a jumble of pieces.
 
In the stillness, the beauty of the bride’s radiance is reflected in the bridegroom’s eyes.
 
In the stillness of the secret place, the bride is able to know the voice and eyes of the bridegroom.
 
In the still place, where Father calls you, you are able to know his voice and the depths of him for whom the depths of you cry out.
 
In the still place, you are brought to a place of clarity.
 
And this clarity is reflected in Father’s eyes.
 
I bless you with the capacity to know the many facets of the still place.
 
I bless you with the capacity to reap a dignity in the still place that displaces the shame of you thinking you have to perform a certain way or be a certain way or look a certain way in order to look right in the eyes of other believers.
 
I bless you with a revelation of intimacy that only comes from being in the still place.
 
I bless you with the revelation that he is I Am in the still place.
 
I bless you to know Father’s affection for you in a place that is free from shame shame at who you feel.
I bless you with a place that is free from the pressure to be or perform a certain way in order to gain acceptance from the religious culture that is full of insensitivity.
 
I bless you with that dignity in the name of Yeshua.

An Exception to Forgiveness, Which is Not Unconditional Or Without Exception

This is from a conversation I had recently with a Prophet.
This could get me into a lot of trouble…
I love trouble…here goes.
I don’t always know that forgiveness and asking the L-rd to restrain judgment on others is always the right course of action.
Let me begin the process of building that one out for you.
Forgiveness is a really good thing for many reasons. But during certain seasons, G-d has been waiting to execute justice that is being miscarried because His children have been told to forgive to the point where they have no will in the matter, and such that they are made into doormats. I don’t think unconditional forgiveness without exception is G-d’s will.
As a huge example, the L-rd many times told Jeremiah to stop praying so that He could finally judge the people.
There are times when our only prayer is to forgive them, when we really should be asking the L-rd if it is His desire to execute justice for the purpose of retribution, because otherwise it is delaying a portion of our calling, or it is delaying His purpose in an area from moving forward.
We need to become experts, not at unconditionally forgiving and asking G-d to forgive people, but at moving with the L-rd, keeping in step with Him, and knowing what His will is, even if that will is something that is not pleasant to our sentiments or our own sanctified viewpoints. We need to become experts at knowing what G-d wants to execute and accomplish in a given season. And because we walk in so much authority with Him, sometimes our prayers asking Him to forgive are keeping Him from moving forward so that He can bring to pass a portion of our calling and birthright. If we are asking Him to forgive someone that is blocking His intended purpose for us from going forward, then His intended purpose will not go forward. If we are asking G-d to pour out his grace and love on an obstacle to His intended plan and purpose, then we are frustrating His grace and His intent.
If we behave like Jeremiah, when it is G-d’s season for executing judgment, then we are just as guilty of resisting His will as Jonah who fought G-d’s intent to forgive Nineveh.
We are not to keep in step with unconditional forgiveness; rather, we are to keep in step with His will for a particular season.
Now, granted, I can see people using this to selfishly curse other people, but that is not the dynamic I am driving at.
There are times when we, in our authority, forgive, and forgive, and forgive, when we should be calling for Father to move in accordance with His will and purposes. That is we should be calling for and agreeing with His desire to execute judgment, especially where there is a real (not perceived) perversion or miscarriage of justice.
If the sins of the Amorites are not yet full, then there is still time for them to repent, but if it is time for the L-rd to judge someone or something or a situation, then we would do well to not stand in the way.

Just some thoughts. What do y’all think?

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. -John 20:23-
Let me throw an addendum here, from a conversation with Alan Champkins and Sam Roberts:
It was suggested that judgment was one of two flavors: criticism or assessment.
Let me throw a third dynamic.
Judgment refers to decision.
Not criticism of an individual.
Not criticism AGAINST someone.
But a decision with respect to an individual.
So, since the OP is an Exhorter, let’s use the three easy illustrations from Scripture that expand what I mean.
And we do at some point move beyond assessment to rendering a decision that does not involve criticism.
Moses, judged the people in Exodus 18. He showed them the laws, and decided.
This is first example of judgment at work.
Second, Solomon judged. He decided between two women with respect to a baby. No criticism of people. Just judgment.
Paul criticized the actions of the Corinthians for failing/refusing, not merely to assess, but also to decide between cases, and because they involved the secular, unredeemed governing authorities in court cases.
We are designed to walk in authority through adjudication of cases when there are disputes.
So, as to assessment, I believe we are shorting ourselves as to what we are designed to walk in.
And three Exhorters illustrated and gave us principles for handling judgment rightly.
And guess what? It was done successfully without the involvement of inflamed emotions.
Now in order to set that up in the local churches, it requires a level of maturity that is not held in large part through trustworthy individuals. But it is possible.
And I will probably post a second blog post that covers this as well.
Thanks for the lively responses.
Cheers!