Hometown Blues

“A seer has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.”

thoughtful-man-small-800x800This morning as he reflected on the words of Jesus this man, well into his middle season of life, considered his own past, his hometown, his old church days, the albums he had made, the songs he’d written, all the band members and different kinds of friends he’d journeyed with over the years and it occurred to him that he was in the process of re-creating himself… with a lot of outside help of course… and that ‘he was not the man they think I am at all’

For somewhere along the road he had let go of the mantles of boy next door and street musician  for the cloak of… well (it felt even strange for the man use say this word)…  a seer…  and though he was still getting used to wearing this elaborate costume in public…  he could feel the change in his songs, stories, the sound of his music, the tours and projects he was now planning… his reason for being was all about breaking shackles, tearing down old rickety boundary fences and preparing others for strange seasons and times ahead. It no longer mattered to him where he had come from or if ‘they’ didn’t get it… for the man was compelled to sow the seeds he gathered from the orchard storehouse behind the kingdom gates.

This, he had to admit was all rather new and sometimes confusing and so, this morning, as he prayed, he soon found himself, in his mind’s eye, running forward into the arms of Jesus, who, once he had him in his grasp, twirled him around and around like a small child.

purple-wild-flowers-pol-ledentIn that cocoon of motion Jesus began to smother the man with an oil blessed with the fragrance of spring and then, blew some kind of angel dust into the man’s eyes, ears and hair so that flowers of bright colors began to grow wildly all about him, so much so that in the days to come, the pollen from the flowers would fall onto all those that came in contact with the man… with the effect of creating an insatiable and infectious desire in them to hurdle the ancient gates and walk within the grounds of the Kingdom on their own.

The man could not help but say “Wow..thank you Jesus”.

The twirling continued at such speed and revolutions that when Jesus let go of the man he was propelled forward into a kind of cosmic space… and so the man assumed he was flying into the future… and yet, when his feet touched down he realized that he was being sent back into his own world… and as he ‘re-entered’ he carried a new restful authority and an eye to recognize that, while circumstances would at first appear no different from any time previous … he now had an understanding of what was going on… where this road was leading… and that he was equipped for the job at hand.

The day was afoot… and there was much to do.

Have Oasis, Will Travel

Water is that lovely colorless liquid that forms rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and puddles. Water is also a metaphor for spirit.Watersplash-NOM-stock-800x800

 

Without a daily supply of clean H20 our natural bodies begin to dehydrate. Dehydration, can be mild to severe, based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. It can be a life threatening emergency. If an adult human being, without clothes, food or water were placed in a shadeless part of the Sahara desert on a hot day, he or she would be dead before nightfall.

 

To survive indefinitely in hot and exposed desert conditions, the average adult requires at least 6.5 liters (1.5 gallons) of water each day.

Adesert-1-800x523 life without the daily refreshment of spiritual water leads to another kind of dehydration.

An Oasis on the other hand is an area within a desert with a fresh water supply for vegetation and human use. It may consist of a single small spring around which palms grow or be an extensive area where the water table is at or near the ground surface.

Planted by the Water is all about helping creatives and communicators become carriers of this spirit water. Our mission is to awaken musicians, artists and storytellers to both the richness of God’s creative spirit and His desire to use their music, art and stories to carry love, life, healing and restoration to their communities.

Let us know if we can help your creative community.

Have Oasis, will travel.

Oasis_in_Libya

Keys Were Designed to Open Stuff

I had a lovely moment alone at the office early this morning and at some point I began to sing this phrase…

“I left the door open for you… so come right in”

& then

“I have given you keys to every door… ever made”

And then I saw a moving picture (kind of dream sequence) of me in a type of an old castle, down deep in the dungeons and on a wall I found a large key ring with keys of all sizes. Each key represented a door. The smaller keys belonged to the doors that I was already able to open… and each key’s size was determined by either how much I used it or understood how to use it or… believed in its actual existence.

Some keys were too big for me to even lift.

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And so I looked at one of the largest keys and saw that it was for the door to wealth. I dragged the key over to a door that was locked and I knew somehow that this door had two names. On the side facing me it was called Poverty, but… I sensed that speaking to this door was the secret to the key… rather than any heavy lifting… and after I spoke to the door to open, I saw that the other side of the door was called Wealth.

For as I waited there asking wisdom about the keys I understood that the shape of a key was merely a symbol, for the kingdom keys come in many shapes and forms. A key could be speaking or proclaiming, it could be giving or sacrificing or letting go, it could be waiting still, fasting, calling on the name of Jesus, loving unconditionally, obedience, repenting, serving, following, worshiping alone or calling many others to worship.

And in this ‘dream scape’ I knew that the keys to the kingdom had been given to all of us. We are all invited inside the kingdom and, when we are in that place we can begin to decipher each key, understand its value, its purpose and learn how and when to use each key.

I stayed in that dream place for as long as I could… considering the use and purpose of different keys. I tried speaking and singing to several doors that seemed locked to me and in this realm, when one large door opened I saw another picture of me standing on a platform in the sky, just above my earthly life. I could see LA, my house, all around the greater city and then I understood that, while I could freely enter this place of quietness, wisdom and presence, it was right here where I am today, not on some distant mountain top. It is a slightly foreign notion to accept… that the door is always open, that I am invited, and that it is up to me to enter… and linger as long as I am able.

Waiting for God Oh!

Sometimes we have to wait a long time to receive an answer….. often years…. and after a while the question, desire, need or quest may have changed or been forgotten…. because we have changed and the answer we first sought is now quite irrelevant or… it just doesn’t matter anymore.

I am inspired by the 4th century desert fathers and mothers…. ordinary people who chose the way of the hermit…. sensing to leave behind all their belongings, their friends, their reputations, their dreams…. they embraced a life of solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Of course public opinion raged against them….. they were deemed crazy…… and though many were poorly educated peasants, former slaves and prostitutes, some of these and prostitutes, some of these men and woman were giving up vast incomes, houses, careers and good family names….. all in the search of something better……. something they knew they couldn’t find in their current lifestyles.
And…. after battling through years of loneliness, poverty, self sacrifice and inner torment….. these hermits…. these “losers” found joy in their waiting….. and many who had once mocked their poor ‘decision making’….. were soon reaching out to them for help…… traveling many miles across deserts….. even traversing continents just to sit for a few moments at the feet of a ‘wise one’. Some of these new ‘pilgrims’, these seekers of truth were actually the Kings, Princes, and the wealthy and the noble…… the movers and the shakers.
Of course most of the ‘new seekers’ returned home disappointed because they were not given the answer they desired.

Busy people demand immediate solutions to their problems.

No the desert fathers and mothers were prone to offer suggestions like this ….. “friend, consider the farmer….. he understands the seasons… first he sows… then he waters…. and then waits patiently, allowing nature do work all things together in perfect harmony… in its own time.”

Waiting isn’t easy…. if it were… well… anyone could do it.