First Breath

The breath of God, that very one that transformed the DNA of clay into life, is not a quantity to behold but an extension of G_d to partake. Because of love – life and liberty was given. Bodies formed from the dry ground drew its first breath of life and liberty and it was good in the eyes of its Giver. The soul, eternal in every one of us, glides into us upon this glorious stream exhaled from Love Itself. Divine omniscience cannot be grasped by our reason yet the heart feels its gentle pull. Our souls are simple lodestones, always pointing towards a better will. G_d’s will is always mindful and ever-present when love becomes our priority. If we can think of the breath within us as wings of a mother hen, then the words of Jesus ignite our silent epiphany when He says, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NIV)
So consider the choices before us today.

nyfireman

Let us allow love to straighten our path while it gathers us back to the Breath that gave us a choice to give liberty to another.

The Breath He Giveth

pppp.jpg

Miracle of miracles,
Clay becomes new life.
Breath of G_d,
Breath of wonder,
Exhaled in Paradise.
Eyes formed from borrowed ground,
Looks heavenward;
Soul of G_d,
Soul to ponder,
Stretching ever upward.
Vanity of vanities,
Vision growing dim,
Love of G_d,
Love of neighbor,
Blinded by selfish sin.
Miracles of Miracles,
A virgin bears G_d’s son,
G_d is born,
G_d is given,
A chance to see has begun.

To where can I run?
This G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
This G_d of the living,
This Messiah; thee Anointed One.
To where can I hide?
My soul unravels, ravaged; left undone,
Once blind but now I see,
My Lord and my God – my Holy One.

by Chris Clody
12/14/16

Why do we suffer?

images tearwHow can a faithful and merciful God allow suffering? Surely this is a reasonable question.   Especially when the unexpected awful hits us or someone so close to our heart.  This question further rages when the very young suffer.   I doubt my words will change the miserable grip of overwhelming sorrow or doubt that rocks even the core of your faith.   However, I pray that for those who suffer can dry their eyes for a moment and possibly see tribulation through another lens.  Truth, which is an infinite component of God’s love for us, is not a pair of rose-colored glasses but rather a gift of deep, consoling peace.  Truth will not change the situation but the way you see and engage distress will.  God’s love by nature is diffusive and seeps into everything we do and sense.  God’s will can do nothing but good and His love is all encompassing.  His love is our truest form of mercy.  Whether His love leads us in joy or a trial of sorrow, we must embrace His inexhaustible mercy. The ‘reasonable’ question of why we suffer is simply answered as a work of love beyond our capacity to reason.  For those God sees as worthy grapes thrown into the press of suffering ravageing our very mind, body, and soul – fear not.  God’s is truly near and His gaze never leaves us.   Tears are never wasted where faith endures.   Know that wine from your suffering is the very work of love that others will drink so as to lift their gaze to God.

The Vineyard

grapes

Heavy is the fruit that hangs from the vine,
That glisten with dew in the rising sun,
Beautiful red clusters begin their blush,
Harvest for many has now begun.
Worthy are the grapes He chooses to crush,
For only the choicest of fruit will be made into wine.

By Chris Clody 5/4/14

My Jewel to Offer

thumbnailCA5K87RRBefore embracing this new year and its list of resolutions stands my personal prayer for charity.  I realize the truest of all charities is the freedom within the vision that our good God has for my life.  Although this charity is free for my reception, its cost is immeasurable in deafening the voice of selfish independence within my human spirit.  For it is within this willing and hidden obedience that I abandon this roar of defiance in exchange for the quiet, yet unstoppable will of divine love.  I take solitude in knowing it’s not my present concern to perfectly live and express God’s resolution for me, rather it is simply my newfound joy amidst this culture’s disorder to offer its warm glow of invitation showing what only faith can imagine.  Gratefully and humbly, my selfish will is now my jewel to offer to the One who makes all things new.

His Peace,
Chris

Take My Will

isCAWPMQGS

Lord, take this jewel from hands
and place it in Your heart
Take my will, all of me,
Make me holy, blessed, and set apart

Obedience is the burden of the strong
Yet I find the strength to deny myself
For sacrifice is my sweet and soulful song
In doing Your will which has no wrong

Make blind my obedience
“Christus jubet, sufficit…”
Christ commands that is enough
In Him alone I find true peace

Let Your tears of compassion flow from these eyes,
Open my ears O Lord to hear and obey,
Crush this spirit deep within that dares to defy
Fill me with Your charity that can’t be denied.

“Christus jubet, sufficit…”
“Christus jubet, sufficit…”
“Christus jubet, sufficit…”
Christ commands that is enough

By Chris Clody
1/17/14

Mosaic Moments

pursuing-contemplationMoses, means to “draw out”, especially named by the Pharaoh’s daughter who pulled him from the river.   Like the cherished newborn pulled from its amniotic fluid, we’re soon brought through the waters of baptism in our exodus from death to life in the One who makes all things new.   We are a pilgrim people, dripping wet and restless in our exodus towards God.  Nomadic hearts bound only by the consequences that free will and its legacy of personal choices.  It is an intentional and difficult choice in approaching our Gethsemane either to accept or reject God’s olive press used to extract the love for Him as if gathering gold from its dross.  There is no regret worthy of a rational excuse to reject God’s Spirit whom leads us in ways everlasting.  It is the Advocate’s mission to release us through an internal exodus binding our hearts, souls, body and mind from crying out “Abba!’… at least before the rocks do.   We must choose to partake in our own salvation process by accepting we are but myrrh in need of crushing before our imprisoned perfume becomes a pleasing whiff to God. It is a comfort to know the Spirit is so jealous to lead us to the promises won at Calvary, yet… discomfort hardly describes our conviction into humility.  Humility must bring us to the flexible newborn state readying our pilgrim exodus from womb to daylight as the narrow birth passage squeezes the remaining fluid from our lungs to breathe new life.  Life is not fair in ways too brutal to mention – yet, life is a singular gift welling with endless opportunities to travel the unknown road of humility.  Often the road is silent, seemingly wandering while conflicted with pangs of self-doubt, challenging our hearts and souls jousting in monologues of desperate prayer.  Our only recourse to the believer’s untamed restlessness is found in its very own willingness to distribute love.  Soon the questions and want of answers to combat the external persecution grow less vociferous in the warmth of knew wisdom arising from love.   The mission of The Spirit and the promise of Christ to perfect us find all its answers in our love of God.   It is only through the this birth passage of forgiveness extracting the remaining sin and skin stretched by our own humility can we finally be clothed in the righteousness of God.  Yes, life may not be fair, but nothing compares to the gift of redemption.  When the faithful finally breathe the eternal nature of God and see all by the light of the Lamb, the humility sown in forgotten memories will have soon blossomed into extravagant bouquets that adorn the table as they dine with the King.  Life is short and for many cruel and unfair, but be of good cheer because forgiveness lasts forever.

His Peace,

Chris

Please “Leave a reply” and share your experiences that may help others through their personal exodus. His Peace…Chris
For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

Thoughts2Share

Daring To Look Within…

images moses…Moses asked, “Now show me your glory.” Yet the Lord responded, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:18,20). How did the apostles survive the Transfiguration? If we choose to house the Trinity within our heart, that very glory requested by Moses, then what happens to us when we examine the sin that has corrupted our hearts? Jesus proclaimed not only to do the will of the One who sent Him, but even said He and the Father were one. Grasping the mystery that Jesus is fully human while choosing at times to dispossess His full divinity, is enough of a headache for contemplatives like myself. Furthermore, if Christ lit up that mountain during His Transfiguration, how did the apostles survive for Pete’s sake (literally!)? During His short thirty-three years, Christ not only revealed the Father to the curious by believing Him, He transfigured before selected apostles displaying that same glory asked for by Moses. In a single, dazzling moment, Jesus also unites for us the Old and New Testaments allowing Moses and Elijah representing the Law and the Prophets also a role in this current reign of grace and peace. Although Moses is silent, surely he mumbled, “Oh sure show Peter, James, and John your glory but not me…” But seriously, how did the apostles survive? Is there a difference between The Father’s glory and His only begotten? But… are not the Father and the Son one – or is there something protecting these apostles from sure death? Contemplation is fun…no?Transfigure

Although intrigued, I am not swayed by my apparent confusion; for I know this same light that flashed before these apostles will also light Heaven. I know it is the light of pure love and indestructible life fueling the joy of eternity. It is also the brilliant light of forgiveness that will one day rejoin body and soul by their friendship in Christ into sinless perfection before the Father. Since Christ came to save not judge, the three son-burned apostles were spared in this saving light of forgiveness that wrapped their devotion and trust while they stood in awe (- regardless of Peter’s babbling). Witnessing this mysterious and spectacular event infused within them the courageous seeds of Christianity. It also convinced the apostles there can only be one mediator to safely bring them into the Father’s light. I also believe that if we choose to accept the light of Christ into our hearts, we find new reason to confess sins against the Trinity we to house within. It is the very image of God, placed in all people, that craves this light like a black hole craving gravity. If Christ’s light of forgiveness is believed to be real, beyond some symbolic gesture for self-improvement, then repentance brings sin to a believer’s heart for discernment and judgment so behaviors not glorifying God are killed by the glory gifted within. Baptism becomes more than some figurative rite of passage, but a mysterious and real death and birth whether we understand it or not. I believe it is this very process of pruning that makes sense of our free will’s role to partake in a salvific process chosen by our trust in a merciful God. We cannot save ourselves…but we can surely can opt to be rescued through our actions. We must become less so Christ’s glory is magnified within us.  We are not here to judge…let me repeat that…we are not here to judge!  We are here as lamps, learning to grow in self-detachment of behaviors within ourselves that don’t glorify God.  We journey not towards a sense of apathy, but indifference to distractions that once held our gaze instead of the dazzling Transfiguration that holds our joy.  If Christ fulfills all then what remnant of symbolism can be left for us to hold? The mysteries of fasting, prayer, charity, proclamation of God’s word, communion, and intercession have profound realities far beyond reason and vision. Remember Jesus is not a simple bridge arching over a valley of unforgiveness – He is fill. Truly we can be of good cheer because the One who shines for and within us has overcome, overwhelmed, and overjoyed the fear that once bound man’s mortality.
Shine on,
Chris

This Dimming World

The Gospel is a powerful flame from an eternal, consuming fire.    Submitting to its heat and light is governed by the length of wick we allow it burn.

Free will is a battle of control and trust.   Our vanity screams, “How much is enough?” while our soul screams “More!”  We are challenge to set this world on fire in a dimming world.  Although rebellion to God’s will dim the heart and soul, the light, is more often than not, simply unwelcomed.   Although the light is criticized as some prudish moralizer its purpose of casting shadows are meant for something far greater.  Looking at the long shadows behind us remind us we were made for something more – something magnificent.  It is not out of fear that the light draws the moth.  Yes, there is repentance and sorrow for our sins when embraced of the Holy Spirit, yet the release of our regret is our first breath of true freedom.  Freedom from fear and the warmth of indestructible love provide a new haven in which no words could condemn a heart for Christ.

Shine on,

Chris

 

 

 

This Dimming World

Darkness engulfs this dimming world,
Rebellion roots deep into hearts,
Love that bravely hung from a cross,
Is forgotten like abstract art.

The Christ-God is a delusion,
A laughable myth swallowed whole,
Rational thought evades my faith,
Trapped within some clueless black hole.

Maybe I am not your bible,
Or the lid to your problem’s pot.
But the Hope I render freely,
Offers light to your proud, blind spot.

Listen to your abandoned soul,
That aches to hold the Father’s gaze.
Be still and awaken your heart,
Choking in your rebellious haze.

My prayers will always follow you,
Like a faithful dog at your side.
Whose hopeful tail and soulful eyes,
Patiently wait ‘til pride subsides.

Should beating hearts humbly repent,
Before God calls back a silent drum,
Give praise to the Christ in whom God sent,
And shine before the Perfect comes.

 ©2012 by Chris Clody 4/23/2012

Have you been criticized, or worse, persecuted, for your faith?  How do you respond to the following scripture? Let me know your thoughts!

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share

                       

From Suffering to Glory!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18). 

I have been unable to shake this verse from my conscious since I heard it said in church last week.  These words stilled my soul as it quickly pierced the very heart of all my desires.  This promise is overwhelming, after all, “Who am I to expect such favor?”  It is the ultimate carrot on the end of a disciple’s stick to realize that the very glory of God will be revealed in them.   To me, this promise secures for us an ultimate panacea for our mortal march through this valley of tears.  The very concept of divine adoption, impregnates us with an immutable hope galvanized by the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.  Although this perfect hope of redemption cannot be seen, we persevere all the more in our joyful blindness.  Is it irrational to believe in something we cannot see?  Of course not!  That which we do see is never perfect and therefore cannot be our true hope.  The very glory to be revealed in us is the immortal life in Christ.  The very life He generously imparts to His friends raising them as sons and daughters to the Father.   Perfect, immortal life, the very life of God’s Love, will also allow us to see and know what we could not before.  Imagine our blindness, like the two men from Emmaus, that could not see that this stranger they invited to stay with them was Jesus.  Until…we read in Luke 24:30-31, “Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.”  What reveals Jesus to you in your life?  Consider our blindness to the invisible beauty when joining two as one in marriage, or baptism, or laying of hands, or the proclamation of the Gospel, or confessing one’s sins, or praying, or communion, or etc…   Something more than tells me that the orchestration and blessings of infinite wonder are sadly overlooked by our temporary blindness.  Faith, therefore, to be rational, must not be by sight but unseen.  Faith is our joyful response to abide in the true hope with the One who makes all things new.   It is undeniable that we are extended immeasurable mercy in God’s offering all the opportunity to partake in the glory that will be revealed.

 

His Peace,

Chris

 

How is Jesus revealed to you?

Why did God become flesh?

Heaven and Earth embraced at the moment of Christ ‘s conception. 

Stop and imagine why God chose to start as a zygote, actually “yoked” to the unusual innocence of a virgin’s gamete to become a fertilized, “sinless” cell:  the earliest stage of an embryo.  God became flesh at THIS point… Why did God start there?  In order to completely redeem every possible nuance of human existence, God had to become fully human while also remaining fully God.  Ranging from miscarriage, birth defects from genetic abnormality or environmental agents, abortion, all the way to the birth of a “healthy” child, nothing has escaped the details of God’s redemptive plan.  My soul joins Mary’s in magnifying the Lord along with her awe in asking, “How can this be?”  Truly, our God is intimate, faithful and patient in guiding humanity to choose through His gift of free will, a path pre-ordained for our ultimate freedom and exile.   It is my constant appreciation for Mary’s choice to humbly accept God’s will for incarnation that sings among the generations that still call her blessed.  Still, it begs the question, why did God choose to become flesh?  Why does He care about our bodies and not simply our soul?  Choosing to quickly connect the dots, we seem to be returning to our original sinless state in Eden.  “Returning”, that is, by God’s orchestration and by the Grace obtained through the merits of Christ won for us at Calvary.  Yet, like the biblical silence describing most of Christ’s life, questions regarding God’s incarnation along with His reason to redeem our bodies continues to bang my contemplation bone.  Maybe, that silence is not really silence at all.  Maybe that answer is blaring at a frequency or dimension that only glorification enables us to hear and understand.  Like seeing an invisible Kingdom at hand through faith, the mysteries of an unsearchable God is better obeyed than sometimes understood.  Simply put – God’s commands are sufficient for our obedience.  I believe, it is the diligent heart for God that recognizes and responds to these commands with joyful obedience.   Despite our tendency towards professing a rather complete understanding of all things biblical, we should learn to rest in the mystery of this strong tower.   Don’t get me wrong, I believe we should study and research all sacred scripture within their context and traditions, however, we are still limited in plumbing the intentions of God and the capacity of the spiritual world surrounding us.  God does, however, intend that all reach for salvation through His son Jesus.   There is joy and blessing in simply believing without a need to touch the pierced hands that will present the hearts Jesus knows to His Father.  If you stumbled upon this blog expecting a clear answer behind the reason for the incarnation, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.  However, the unknowable depths of God beckons the curious to the broken-hearted with a concept of love that never ceases to dull in its exploration.  In fact, God so loved us,  He unexpectedly wrapped the incarnation’s purpose in blood, sweat, bruises and thorns.   With the possible exception of the soul of an innocent victim’s mother pierced in fulfilled prophecy, onlookers did not understand the purpose of God allowing the crucifixion of Christ.  It wasn’t until later when the hem of this mystery rolled back far enough to reveal to the rest of the world that the crucifixion of Christ was not just another Roman execution but a sacrifice yoked eternally to love.

God with us…

Chris

God Became Flesh 

When God became flesh,

to walk amid our sorrows,

He blazed a new path,

To redeem our tomorrows,

if we simply follow…

 

Trust is measured between each footprint,

taken in sufficient light ,

Obedience sets one’s face like flint,

Love takes hold and fear takes flight.

 

When God became flesh,

Silence was His chosen way,

Heaven falls to Earth,

Angels watching bow to pray,

and speaks one Word to say…

 

We could not grasp the depth of our need,

Yet smiled a toothless grin.

Unfathomable that love must bleed

Washing rain upon our sin.

 

And now we wait ’til He comes again.

 

©2011 By Chris Clody 5/31/11

 

 

What amazes you about the Incarnation?

What commands given by Jesus do you find difficult to do or understand their purpose?

LET GOD SLEEP

Jesus, asleep on a pillow

…soon to be awakened by terrified disciples watching their tiny boat fill with water from the pounding waves.  Jesus arose and stilled the storm.  Turning to his trembling and ragged crew, He asked, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40)  Still sore from the Son of Man’s rebuke, I wonder if the disciples pondered what if they were fearless and faith-filled?   What if one of the disciples drowned if they chose not to awaken Jesus?  What if the one that drowned was Judas?  Something tells me that the death of Jesus was not yet at hand, that he surely would have passed through the midst of this storm untouched like that of an angry crowd that failed to run Him off a cliff.  Fear, faith, free will, and God working all things for good exceeds the reason of this blog and surely any level-headed Christian contemplating divine orchestration.  Compared to the Changeless One, we are a mixed-bag of fear and regrets, faith and confessions, and either sensitive or numb to the Holy Spirit’s jealous nature.  Lately, the weather seems nearly demonic, as floods, tornadoes and wildfires ravage this land we love. To add to our sorrows there are other storms that claim the unborn, break up marriages, cause disease, entice war, and favor the depraved passions of some, which continue to descend upon our culture like insatiable locusts.  Well… should we “awaken” God to fix it all now and just deal with His rebuke later? If Jesus arose and stilled the storm that separates us from God, when do we take action, grow a spiritual spine, and rush to the needs of our brothers and sisters with compassion greater than the weather or the hunger of these persistent locusts?  Although letting an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God “sleep” is an impossibility, we must simply believe that come Hell or high water, God will work all things for good.  We must believe in the awesome capacity of love that still flows from the side of a crucified man who now sits glorified at the Father’s right hand.  Christianity is not about self-preservation, maintaining congregations, or divisive theological one-upmanship – it is about grasping the indestructible hem of compassionate love and accepting Christ’s abundant life… not our abundant life.  Compassionate works are the physical manifestation of another’s prayer.  Christianity finds the joy of obedience to a superior will by drowning their selfish tugs of independence into the vast sea of God’s sufficient grace.  Disciples are mere crumbs, broken and shared, from the living loaf of Christ.  Truly, Jesus is our greatest solve for He alone is life for the world.  Therefore, if we believe Jesus stilled our final storm, then in the spirit of God’s will, let’s roll-up our sleeves and help the nearest one in need and let God “sleep.”  

A little faith, like a mustard seed, has the potential to grow a long way.

His Peace,

Chris

Fear and Faith

 

He arose and stilled,

Our every storm.

Awakened from sleep,

Calming fears that swarm.

When will faith be chosen instead of fear?

When will the sprouts from mustard seeds appear?

What fear awakens,

Faith leaves undisturbed.

Faith crosses the street,

Fear clings to the curb.

Confident – assured,

We live for Our King.

For life is endured,

when death has no sting.

 

©2011 by Chris Clody 4/28/11