The Little Red Book

The Little Red Book. I was young when I got it, no more than ten years of age. The little red book was given to me, but I do not remember from who. I think it was a “gift” handed out out a church wedding. Within the little red book were verses pulled from scripture, all out of context and arranged in a flow that talked of sin, God’s anger and wrath at us for our sin with damnation assured to be followed by hell unless we got in on the “safe side” of God by accepting His divine “Get Out of Jail – Free” card through Jesus. Jesus who died to take our deserved place because God was royally ticked and someone had to pay and to appease.
My friend Jesus! Thank you! But this free pass was only good for one shot; you had to “keep on the sunny-side” by doing good, following the rules and supporting the program that the experts said was very important. After all, you had to keep on the stern but “good” side of this God who saw all and watched from above. At the end of the little red book was the “sinner’s prayer” and a place to sign your name, indicating that you had accepted Jesus Christ ( the free “Get Out of Jail” card). God must indeed be very powerful to read that scribbled signature in that tiny little red book from so far away.

I felt better. I felt safe. No one wants to burn so I signed the pledge. Being the typical young child, I eventually set the book aside and went and played and did my homework and tried to do what my parents and teacher asked. I wasn’t a bad kid. Oh sometimes I did stupid and selfish things like everyone does in their life. But all I wanted to do was play, have fun and be loved and accepted.

After some time had passed I found the little red book again admist the clutter of toys, books and other things a young boy collects. I would read that little red book again and become fearful that I had “lost my salvation” and that God was pissed at me again because I ad forgot about the rules and the program. I was sure that there was a very hot place awaiting for me as my “Final Destination”. After all, that’s what the Rules said, that’s what the Program ( and those who ran the Program) said. That’s what the Little Red Book said. So I would pray and repent and promise. I would go through a performance on inner spiritual gymnastics until the Religious Taskmasters of Guilt, Shame and Fear were appeased. I would be fine and do fine. I was “safe”. All at the tender age of ten.

And that Little Red Book?

It has haunted me, tormented ever since. Again and again.

Quite the burden for a ten year old, eh? Or for anyone at any age really. “Salvation” born of Guilt, Shame and Fear is not salvation. It is a cruel taskmaster that terrorizes.

Love is the true catalyst of transformation. Love is the alchemy of salvation. Love is the Light that heals and guides. Love is the only Way that can bring us out of the darkness of Guilt/Shame/Fear into the Light. Love in the heart, in the core of who we are is the way. That is where we must be led from. Not the ego-mind. The heart filled with Divine Love instructs the mind. Not a little red book of dried ink on paper with no light or love.

Oh Divine Source, fill me with Love, Light, Grace and Truth. Yeshua, let me be informed and formed by Love. May Love be my Guide, Friend and Companion. Take from me that little red book and give me relationship.

“I want to know what Love is, I want You to show me. I want to feel what Love is, I know You can show me.”


“But the Greatest of these is Love”

“Oh dear! I’m afraid his little red choo-choo has gone chugging off the tracks.”

“Look at him, he’s gone loopie!”

“Ah, another victim of ‘New Age’ influence. Tsk-tsk.”

“He’s Too Pagan.”

“He’s Too Christian!

“He’s Too Liberal.”

“He’s Too Conservative.”

Ah, and so it goes. Sad day that so many have fallen upon labels and dogma. I can understand. It’s easier to do so rather than spend the time and energy to really get to know someone, to explore their realm, to get out of my comfort zone. Because then I might really have to love them. I might really have to be vulnerable and risk being misunderstood, being labled . . . being challenged.

But all I know is God and the Mercy of God. The farther along I get in The Journey, the more of The Story I experience the more my Paradigm gets shifted. The more I see the “fingerprints of Christ” everywhere, on everyone. I mean EVERYONE. Whether they realize it or not, acknowledge it or not. I’ve begun to realize that it’s Papa’s job to do the paradigm shifting, not mine. My mission is to know, to experience Papa’s Love more and to live out that Love with all others; learning to Love others in like manner.

And so I love my conservative orthodox friends here. And I love my liberal ecclectic and unconventional friends here. I love my fellow “christian” friends here. And I love my “pagan” friends here. Papa has blessed me with all of them and has used their paradigms to free me up. To let go of the false security offered by dogma and labels. To let go the fear of opinion, of not having “right” opinion, perspective, info . . . whatever.

All I know is God and His Mercy. Papa’s Grace and Love.

And that it is for and in everyone. EVERYONE. It’s His business to bring that into transformation in each person . . . in HIS time. It’s my privilege to see and to call that out in everyone I meet. For that is the Way of Love.

And it is the Greatest.

It Don’t mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing

On New Year’s eve we watched the last Harry Potter movie; “The Deathly Hollows” parts 1 and 2. There is a lot in that story that reflect elements of the Gospel Message.  I know that there are those who would scoff at that (some of them violently) . . . but that’s their problem.

Universal themes of laying down one’s life for others, dying to oneself, being aware of the lies we tell ourselves, acknowledgement that there’s a bit of “Voldermort” in oneself.

But the greatest message I see woven subtly throughout the entire story thread is that without Love, it all doesn’t mean a thing.

I remember way back to the Disney Movie Classic “The Sword and the Stone”. Young Arthur is being mentored by Merlin. In his many adventures in learning, Arthur comes to the conclusion that the greatest “magic” (power) is Love. That it is the only true and real power.  Some of course would again scoff at connecting the word “magic” to that of the word “Love”. I can understand this.

There is perhaps no perfect descriptive for the word “Love” save that of what Paul the apostle was inspired to write in his first letter to the Corinthians. It is interesting to note that this part of his letter falls right smack-dab in the middle of the section that is dealing with gifts (“powers”) from/of the Spirit (Ruah Kodesh “Holy spirit”; Papa God’s Creative Breath of Life). Without Love, it don’t mean a thing.

And this: Without Love, it is not of God.

In the “grays” that I struggle within my life, this is what bothers me most. There are parts of “me” that have little love in them. And there are parts that have no love at all. So when crap from those parts surface, I am troubled and disturbed. Though I should not be surprized by that crap surfacing (though my ego is by the shocking fact that I’m not perfect). Papa God is not surprized either (nor is He disappointed or angry) when my crap surfaces. So why am I? Papa God accepts me. crap and all. It seems that The Divine is in the Sanitization Business. Which is a good thing as I would do a crappy job all on my own (though my ego thinks otherwise).

Note that I said “all on my own”; The process involves my participation. But I can’t do it all by myself. In one sense it is something that Papa has done completely (in Christ) and “is doing” (in Christ) but invites me to join in this process. I see echoes of this in Merton’s writings in “New Seeds of Contemplation”.

Wow! From Harry Potter to Merlin to Merton. That’s quite the Quantum leap.

But  . . . “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”.

That “swing” being Love.

Shalom, Grace and may it be that Love tackles you to the floor.

Happy New Year.

” . . . and my paradigm gets shifted”

Paradigms, perspectives, view-points. This page will be dedicated to stories that encompass those things. I see bits-n-pieces of Papa’s Truth popping-up all over the place, often in strange and far-out places. You might want to visit those links I have listed in the “Paradigms” section of this blog. Be warned, you may find your paradigm being shifted . . .