I must begin by saying I have never blogged. I really didn't feel that I had anything that important to contribute. But , like many things lately in my life it's turning the other way. I find it hard to put into words the journey I have been on over the past month and a half. But, I will try because I feel God is leading me in this endeavor....
I began having some amazing dreams about a month ago. Dreams that at first made no sense whatsoever. Let me preface this by sharing that I had been praying and seeking the Lord. I was confused by the endless "denominations" with all their contradictory beliefs. I felt if Jesus was real then there had to be a right and wrong answer. As I studied I read about the early Friend's and I felt the Spirit saying these are my people you are seeking. And my heart was filled with such elation by their amazing testimonies. I knew I wanted to be just like them. I sat alone for a few First day's in silent meditation and prayer and again I knew this way of worship was what God desired of His people. But the Lord then laid upon me the scripture verse where it is stated ; " Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together." SO I pulled out our local telephone directory and found a Friend's meeting in town and went the next First day. Well what I encountered was not what I had read about and expierenced on my own. This meeting was so liberal that it shocked me! One said the Light was Buddha. Another two were avowed agnostics with atheist leanings their description not mine. It was a silent meeting but as I sat down to center I felt for lack of a better word a feeling of darkness and heaviness I could find my center..... Why Lord I questioned are you angry with me??? I went home that day and felt so low, lower than I had ever felt before in my life. Were the Quakers I had read about no longer here? Had satan won and defeated God's people...? I was so lost..... There was another Friend's meeting in a few towns over I called the meeting house but it was like a Methodist church with a pastor and hymns and sermons and a five minute silent part at the end??? Again I felt lost . Where were the Friend's of old? : - (
Then God in His mercy began to speak to me in a dream. At first it began where I saw a plain meeting house it was large and had many benches facing one another and Friend's sat in silent worship and the peace that pervade was amazing! This dream and each time it occured there was a bit more detail. By the third time I saw myself on a bench dressed in plain garb in deep fellowship with the Friend's. But , what did it mean? I knew my God could not be so cruel as to taunt me with these visions. So I prayed for discernment. I prayed speak Lord and I knew in my heart of hearts He would!
The Lord showed me that what He was showing was a real live remnant of His people. I felt in my Spirit Him say though they are few in numbers they are still here. Then the Lord spoke to me about the plain testimony. I felt being led to this witness and God told me to look for this on the internet and so I did and to make a rather long story shorter I found the Conservative Friend's and knew in my Spirit this was where God wanted me. Something else that God spokje to me was about that feeling of darkness I spoke of when I attended the "Liberal Friend's" he spoke to me of the verse in scripture about the day of Pentecost where it was stated that " They were all of one accord.." He said there was no accord in those meetings and that when you take Jesus out of the equation you are lost..... I think this is something we all need to reflect on. Is thee in accord with God's will? Have thee tossed the baby out with the bathwater so to speak by removing Jesus????

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Comment by Raye on 10th mo. 26, 2009 at 7:49am
Thanks for this post, Thomas. While the Lord in His mercy is patient with us all, for those who have found true spiritual communion with Him, other experiences pale by comparison. I pray thee finds peace in Him and fellowship that strengthens.

Shalom,

Raye
(an Ohio YM Friend)
Comment by Forrest Curo on 10th mo. 28, 2009 at 4:36pm
There are other valid pointers to the Spirit of Christ as well as Jesus. There's a book, for example, called (I think) _The Raft Is Not the Shore_ where Thich Nhat Hahn talks with Thomas Merton and one of the Berrigan brothers; they seem to be "of one accord" in that all have taken personally risky compassionate political stands out of their connection to God--And their differences in how they describe that don't seem to get in the way. This, I would say, is an example of how the kind of thing that happened at Pentecost undoes the curse of Babel.

The atheists among us--I think Christ calls them to Meeting as well, but necessarily works on them slowly, having to overcome many "common sense" assumptions they cling to about the nature of life and the world. The common notions about Jesus don't appeal to them; what does appeal is the picture of him as a "simple teacher" of impractical ethical platitudes, which they would like to follow "except it isn't possible."

I agree that Jesus is the fundamental spiritual guide this civilization was given, that so far as people fail to give him due attention we're going to miss a lot! A Meeting dominated by the Spirit of Secular Benevolence simply can't see what he was talking about, and won't bother to look. It becomes a Meeting of nice blind people leading nice blind people, bound to feel oppressive to anyone who comes with Robert Griswold's expectations: "The meeting must be at heart a spiritual quest and the people who are members must be seekers after a life of the spirit."

When Jesus said, "Seek and you will find," he was talking about God... and God's willingness to be found by anyone who wants him strongly enough. People who are already good enough, people who aren't hungry enough to look for the Feast... But that's how they look in our surface impressions; God is at work in the depths.

It's good you could find a group you could join in a common spiritual intention; sometimes I miss that badly, myself! (But I seem called to a place of mutual frustration, no doubt good for us all!)
Comment by Stephen Nakao on 10th mo. 29, 2009 at 1:49pm
Thank you for this, I found it very revitalizing. Let me tell you something that happened to my friend. She was going through a period of her life that seemed so unrooted. She would go from church to church in an attempt to find a home, but none of them really seemed to fit. Finally, one day, she had had enough and addressed herself to God. Alright, she said, what do you want me to be? Methodist? Catholic? Episcopalian? Quaker? Baptist? Just TELL me!

And then she heard this low, rumbling, expansive voice. "Just come here," it said. Just come here.

That story has haunted me ever since she told me about it. How many times do I worry about labels and names and things, when really what God asks of us is simple? He just wants us to come to him?

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