Provided in each of our retreat packs was a journal; diarying is an important aspect of the retreat. In closing today (#7), some thoughts I jotted down in that journal (many of which have appeared already on this new website, itself an outcome of Day 1 back from the retreat (ie: Courage Amidst Anxiety & Meaninglessness; Limp Phlegm or a ‘Man o War’?; Religious Rules vs Heart & Love).
My Journal Notes:
• The central message of Wild@Heart is here. The Central Wild@Heart Message.
• Anaemic ‘Mr Rogers’ is not the church Christ designed or really exists.
• God offers adventure (“here Adam, have this world and these animals I made”). What is your adventure? (Don’t offend? Don’t sin? Earn and provide?)
• What is your male lover’s heart? (Keep your sexuality under wraps? Hide it?).
• Heaven is the restoration of all things, not one thing forever. John’s example of male Hell …singing songs forever. God is about adventure, colour, variety, romance. Just look at the world around us to catch a glimpse of God’s nature and character.
I already have this, and understand the restorative ministry of Christ, which I summarise as “God loves trees and they will always be” (as in, God’s eternity is as interested in rocks, rivers and rainbows as much as anything else; it’s not ‘pie in the sky when you die, but steak on the plate while we wait.’ God is interested in a physical earth -“I will create a new heavens AND a new earth – in other words, maybe I can go trout fishing after death!?). As I say in my own book, The Bloodred Tree (copies available on Amazon here or here).
• Christ’s ministry reiterates this diversity of God: the blind see, the deaf, hear; the dead, live. It’s all about restoration and life. The Pharisees wanted to actually kill Lazarus too, as well as Jesus, because his miraculous resurrection was a threat to their religion. How obscene was that? They wanted to murder Lazarus?
• We see this in the climax of Gladiator. Maximus wants the Senate restored, Rome returned to the people, the prisoners released. These were the dying wishes of the true King (Marcus Aurelias). Life, Order, Freedom. The Enemy, Commodos, cleverly crafted in white juxtaposed with Maximus in black, is left dead, alone, surrounded by blood (the blood of Christ) as rose petals on the floor of the Colosseum (a metaphor for life). Greek history aside: the Colosseum was built by the Flavians with the money from the looted Jerusalem Temple. So we have two temples of two different spiritual powers in the 1st century (God and Satan). The Colosseum is a temple of death, used to murder Jews and Christians…interesting.
• The story of your life is the long and sustained assault of your heart by the one who knows who you could be, and fears you. That is why the retreat is framed with warlike warrior film clips: Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Mohicans, Les Mis, Braveheart, etc.
• Striving to hide something true about oneself is posing. God may orchestrate (allow) crises, to expose us, so we can live in our real heart. The poser just gets in the way.
• We are born onto a spiritual ‘Omaha Beach.’ It’s brutal and real. The heart takes wounds at a young age that begin to define us. Boys need their Dad’s for validation. Jesus’ first public act is to be baptised, at which the Father breaks into our world audibly, “This is my beloved Son, in Him I am well-pleased.” We are all looking for that voice.
• 1 Peter 5:8,9 says ‘as brothers, we are all undergoing the same kinds of trials.’
• The Bible says Satan is a lion (dangerous). The church says he is “toothless” Not so.
• Christianity is not passive, its active and warlike. James 4:7 (Jesus’ brother) ‘If the way of your life is blocked by an Enemy (which it is) barring the way to real life, RESIST HIM! 1 Peter 5. This is about action. Psalm 16:11 says God shows warriors (in this case bloody David) the path of life. Elsewhere the Bible says the Kingdom of God is achieved by ‘men of violence…who storm and wrestle.’
• A key is to discover your personal “gifted desire,” what Bill Hybels calls your “Holy Discontent.” What really drives you, deep inside? You have to resist and revoke agreements you’ve made in your heart and mind that block that desire. “I’m not up to this,” “I’m unworthy,” “It’s to late,” “I’m invalidated because of X, Y or Z that happened years ago.”
I enjoyed this experience deeply; I hope you’ve enjoyed this seven-part feedback.
- Missives from America #1 (Death)
- Missives from America #2 (Arriving)
- Missives from America #3 (Warriors)
- Missives from America #4 (Hearts)
- Missives from America #5 (Technology)
- Missives from America #6 (Interesting)
- Missives from America #7 (Final)