Conversations with God

Finding God, or to express it better, cultivating a relationship with God has been a bit like trying to find Nemo in a vast wilderness. Finding church fellowship and finding myself was the easy part. Finding the place where and how God wants me has been fraught with difficulty, it isn’t easy swimming against the tide. 

Having been afflicted by multiple traumas has tested my faith to its limits. But my journey towards restoration in this season has needed more than what I have been able to do humanly. Knowing that I can not do this work independently of God has been revelatory and liberating. Knowing that I can partner with this amazing God has helped me to deepen my faith in a way I once thought inconceivable – how could I know what I did not know? 

Increasingly, I liken it to falling in love, or the birth of a new baby.  It is a love that is unconditional, unimaginable and it is available to one and all. It is like a whole new dimension. It has to be experienced since no amount of intellectual power can bring this into being. For me, a good news story hinges not so much on one event but the unraveling of this new dimension, a new way of seeing, a new way of being. “Wearing God’s glasses”. 

I have no right to happiness but I do have the right to be the full expression of my self, the multi layered, gifted and messy version of me that I am co authoring and co creating with God. It is not so much about finding but surrendering and yielding to God’s will. A prayerful and meditative disposition is helping me to foster grace and humility. This requires a vow of commitment. It is an act of human and spiritual discipline. Not just on a Sunday, not just in response to enfolding events but in every breath, every thought, every dream, every decision and every action. By yielding to God in prayer and in service, God finds you, God finds me, God finds us. Abba Daddy finds us in those moments and in those lives when we each peer into heaven. Little Nemo was never truly lost but in his wandering and in his wondering, he grew into himself. A loving, spirit filled child of God.

These sentiments are, at this point of my journey, best captured in this beautiful piece of music: https://youtu.be/rwLHr9vNwcQ God sometimes speaks to me through the medium of music and other languages. The lyrics in this exquisite video are helpfully shown in Spanish and English. I hope this good news story will bring you comfort, strength and inspiration to those that pray for and seek it. 

I Am With You.

Your brother,

James

Thought for the day – Stillness

I once heard someone tell me that you should “grow where you’re planted”. Those words have never truly left me. When I take a closer look at myself, my home, my family, my neighbourhood, I am filled with a deeper sense of stillness. The roots I have planted here run very deep. They are an invitation for me to grow, not to move. The following passage from John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress seems very apt:


Excerpts on the Slough of Despond and Giant Despair

“Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew nigh to a very miry slough that was in the midst of the plain: and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.

PLIABLE: Then said Pliable, Ah, neighbor Christian, where are you now?

CHRISTIAN: Truly, said Christian, I do not know.

PLIABLE: At this Pliable began to be offended, and angrily said to his fellow, Is this the happiness you have told me all this while of? If we have such ill speed at our first setting out, what may we expect between this and our journey’s end? May I get out again with my life, you shall possess the brave country alone for me. And with that he gave a desperate struggle or two, and got out of the mire on that side of the slough which was next to his own house: so away he went, and Christian saw him no more.

Wherefore Christian was left to tumble in the Slough of Despond alone; but still he endeavored to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate; the which he did, but could not get out because of the burden that was upon his back: but I beheld in my dream, that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and asked him what he did there.

CHRISTIAN: Sir, said Christian, I was bid to go this way by a man called Evangelist, who directed me also to yonder gate, that I might escape the wrath to come. And as I was going thither, I fell in here.

HELP: But why did not you look for the steps?

CHRISTIAN: Fear followed me so hard that I fled the next way, and fell in.

HELP: Then, said he, Give me thine hand: so he gave him his hand, and he drew him out,Psalm 40:2, and he set him upon sound ground, and bid him go on his way.

Then I stepped to him that plucked him out, and said, “Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is it, that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might go thither with more security?” And he said unto me, “This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arise in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the badness of this ground.”

It’s good to talk!

Just found this amazing new app. It’s called TALKING and has been crowd sourced through the Homo-Sapien platform, or ‘Darwin’ as it is known to its creators. This amazing new app has engaged the entire user community. Commentators are predicting it will take over from MutBook, Fritter and FreeSnail.

Everyone it seems welcomes this rediscovery of old technology. From software designers though to politicians, journalists, anthropologists and lollipop ladies. It is considered to be the only communication tool that can operate in any environment imaginable. The software has been reverse engineered in a way that means it can evolve with models across the globe. It is a work of genius that revolutionises the way we think about backwards and forwards compatibility.

Anyone can do it and if its founder and CEO Nee Ander Tall is right, we’ll all be using it soon. In the words of Tall, “it’s a game changer”. That’s a bold statement given the disappointing performance of his previous creation BANTER 7.01.  Chief software engineer, Chuck ‘Bull’ Schmidt puts BANTER’s failure down to the depressed markets which have been wallowing in a slump since the crash of 08. Schmidt concedes “we learned from that experience and aimed for a more modest yet ubiquitous product that would interface seamlessly with any model or system.”

The signs look good. On my way to interview, I overheard two young students talking to each other at the Met college campus downtown. Their peers looked on in amazement but it was interesting to note that soon, everyone started talking. It was as if a virus had permeated the atmosphere and was infecting anyone within earshot. Students were even using eye contact to bond with their contemporaries.

It’s premature to say whether our electronic devices are collectively destined for the great silicon graveyard in the sky. Perhaps a better fate will be their break up and recovery as the world struggles with growing scarcity of resources. Readers who want to find out more about TALKING are recommended to download the free plug in from www.theartofconversation.com.

I predict a very bright future for TALKING, so long as the volume and listening features are properly calibrated. Too much TALKING can be troublesome and it would surely drive customers back to their Tablets.

© Article by Y. Arn Spinner, Ph.D
Professor of human-centred technology.
Society of Honourable Intellectuals Talking in an Esoteric way (S.H.I.T.E.)
Hashville,
State 51.

Slow down!

Why does everyone want something now? Or yesterday? What is wrong with waiting? Have we forgotten how to wait? Have we no time for delayed gratification?

So where do they pass me? They pass me in their car. They pass me at work. They pass me in the street. They pass me in the supermarket. They pass me in conversation. They pass me in their thinking.

No time for strangers to become acquainted. No time for eye contact. No time to smile.

So why wait? Why take it easy? Well, you can sense more, see more, hear more, feel more, taste more, enjoy more. Why rush from start to finish when there is so much to experience along the way?

So enjoy the ride. Enjoy the journey. Take in the view, breathe in the air and feel your own existence. For destinations and objectives eventually yield to new journeys, new riches, new vistas, new people and renewal. Life is a journey to be enjoyed and lived to the full. We are not machines. We are not slaves to technology.

If we are reduced to goals and objectives, our humanity, compassion and vitality is lost. We are more than machines. We are more than disposable human resources. Let us enjoy who we are and in our own good time.

Time may wait for no man…but man must know the virtue of patience.