Monday, June 29, 2009


What a delight it is to discover the many ways in which we are creative beings! Whether as artists, or writers, or gardeners, or cooks, or actors, or salespeople, or entrepreneurs, or singers, or organizers, or parents, or students, or whatever our particular bent..! What joy to join God, as co-creators, in this life we've launched into! I love the sense of *beingness* that I experience when I'm lost in the moment-of-now, in the midst of the creative Process & mindset ... I forget time and even my surroundings ... as the clamor of the tyranny of the urgent fades mercifully into the background, and I just get to BE who I Am... ahhhhh, sweet Rest-infused-with-energy!

Recently, I've rediscovered my artistic-bent ... the past 5 years have been tumultuous, and creative in other ways. We got catapulted out of the church we served in ... our marriage was gloriously renewed and healed ... we moved 3,000 miles ... we began the (never-ending?) process of remodeling a Victorian and a Craftsman guest house ... I had our 8th (& final!) baby (at age 45!) ... and quite frankly, my spiritual journey took over my life with a huge intensity. And so, something that I love to do had to take a backseat for a while ~ a temporary hiatus.

However, it's become clear to me that it's time to bring it back, to reclaim this sidelined part of who I AM ... that my inner-creative-bent must come out to play! And so, I've started to paint again ... not portraits or still-lifes, or even walls (I do that too, as a faux-artist), but in painting my wild and wacky furniture as art, or FurnARTure.

I've shared the photos on the side-bar <----, but I'd like to share a little bit about why I do what I do ...

I was bulimic for many years, from 1979 - 2000 (ages 18-39)... very seriously addicted, and came close to dying many times ... tried everything to recover (you name it, I did it, to no avail). I felt like a totally spent, useless, discarded human being, a complete failure ... utterly hopeless.

In the fall of 2000, I got the sudden out-of-nowhere urge to paint-over a little stool in my house (this after having had all creativity sucked out of me by the addiction). This particular stool had a Pennsylvania Dutch "hex" sign on the seat, of a two-headed bird ... each head looking into different directions. It suddenly spoke to me of "double-mindedness"... conflicting inner desires - a confused-compulsion for self-destruction on one hand, and a haunting desire for life (rather than merely existing) on the other. That stool wordlessly taunted me, reflecting the inner-judgment that tormented my soul. A silent indictment. I couldn't bear to look at it for a moment longer!

I primed that little stool, marveled in the inviting clean-whiteness of it, and launched into the creative process ... it was as if the life and joy was coming to me, as if the stool spoke to me about what it wanted to be. I was delighted with the final outcome -- I felt a spark of long-forgotten joy in my heart. I continued, transforming many items, just for the sheer joy of it. It was a thrill to take old, discarded, unwanted, useless items (which I found in yard sales, thrift stores, and dumpsters), to clean them up, prime them (that fresh blank slate), and bring out the hidden inner-life. Something within ME was feeling the hope-of-life again...

Three months later, in an incredible moment of transformation, I was healed of bulimia (the tool/mode was Theophostic prayer - I will share more about that juncture of my journey in another blog post) ... it was as if God said to me, "as you did with the furniture, so I do with you ... you are not old, discarded, unwanted or useless ... you are a conduit of joy and life, which I'm now bringing forth, from where it was long-hidden."

The outward manifestation was a pronouncement, a foretelling if you will, of what was happening within me, where it could not yet be seen.

I have "remained healed" (though some are awaiting my relapse, LOL!), these past nine years, and have flourished in ways that I would've believed utterly impossible, nine years ago...!

Out of the ashes of a life deemed hopeless, beauty has emerged. I am the most astonished & grateful of women! I've transformed from barely surviving, to gloriously thriving!

And so, my painting continues to be an affirmation of life and joy ... complete with the inherent imperfections that come with the rescued, and forgotten, and passed-over things of this life ... testimonies of where they once were, and what they have now become. Nothing wasted, nothing regretted. All good.

I love that I rescue these diamonds-in-the-rough out of the landfills (recycling in a sublime form - more rewarding than merely rinsing out cans, LOL!) ... that I give them new life and purpose again ... that they serve to bring joy and delight to those who see them. They're meant to be beautiful and useful, if "only" to bring a smile to the face and the heart, when they catch the eye.

I call my art Serendipities by Dena ... for each piece is an unexpectedly-revealed treasure, a reminder that within each of us there is a hidden source of joy and beauty, a spark of Life, that can come forth if only we take the time to draw it out...!

I dare you, I challenge you, and I hope to inspire you to freely-express YOUR joy and creativity today...!

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, June 28, 2009

God Comes to Me Disguised as My Life...!

Someone asked, rhetorically, if all this online-connecting wasn't just a poor substitution for face-to-face connectivity. Good question! One I've certainly asked, myself. My perspective, which follows, is based on how I see things these days ... in becoming more of an inclusionist, I tend to see things through a lens of both/and, rather than either/or.

I'm always looking beyond the surface of a thing, wanting to peer into the heart of a thing, to understand on that level that goes beyond mind (as well as to glimpse the "big-picture"). This insatiable curiosity has both landed me in trouble with others, AND served as a catalyst for my relentless seeking, knocking, asking ...

So many things we better comprehend in hindsight, it seems ... though I think perhaps we can learn, here and now, in the present at-hand moment, to see things (events and other humans - even ourselves) through the eyes of God (which is our deepest/truest perspective)... it is, I believe, what the "dying to self" process is all about ... allowing my own "so sure" ego-perspective to be replaced with His higher/deeper perspective ... to have my mind renewed (lies replaced with truth), that really does set me free.

Given that, I want, and intend, to accept whatever life is presenting to me ... God comes to me disguised as my life ... God is "what IS", and I want to find the gift, the blessing-in-disguise, in whatever is currently-presenting (whatever form in which He is Present). If God/Life is presenting me with online conversation and fellowship - beautiful! If God/Life is presenting me with face-to-face conversation and fellowship - beautiful! The beauty of one isn't diminished or overshadowed by the beauty of the other ... and in fact, since we connect MORE at a spirit-level than at a body-level, I see them as extensions of One and the same. I want both. I want it ALL...!

I receive it all with joy. And I notice that I get precisely what I need ... no more and no less...!

I desire and intend to see each person, each situation, as gifts that I joyfully receive, to see the good in each one, to embrace the experience each one brings -- this goes for anyone with whom my path crosses. I'm in the process of learning here, so I can't say that I've yet achieved this as I'd like... as I'm drawn. However, I see the point to be more about the learning, than the achieving/arriving -- this, too, is a gift.

Thank you, each of you who is reading this, for being the gift that you ARE.

Shalom, Dena

Recommended Books on this Topic:
"Loving What Is" ~ Byron Katie
"The Four Agreements" ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is Church Dying...?

Articles abound on the condition of the church-at-large ... many are lamenting that it's slowly dying -- claiming that this is a tragedy that must be stopped.

I have some other-than-normal thoughts on this ... I define church differently than most ... I see it as a first century (only) phenomenon (that the ekklesia, or called-out-ones, were the ones called out of the old covenant, into the new covenant - and that it was only that 40-year generation) ... and I'm rather inclined to believe that Jesus never intended to set up what we call church, or Christianity for that matter.

Out there in cyberland, some folks were having a discussion about how church is dying ... here's how I chimed in:

What if it's *meant* to die?

As I see it, all things in their tangible form must die, so that the real life of that thing, the spiritual reality, can emerge.

I see this in nature (& see that Jesus taught of it often).

Caterpillars becoming butterflies ... seeds becoming plants ... the old covenant disappearing while the new covenant was emerging ... egoic/carnal natures giving way to spirit. In each case, the former has to die (or yield) to the new ... to cling to that which is fading away is to perish with it ...

As well, there's a time, a season for all things ... when it's time is past, if we insist on propping it up, pretending that it's still alive, it's as if we're trying to have a relationship with that which has been gutted and stuffed -- all taxidermy and hollow fluff.

The healthy thing to do is to let the form, of that which has died, decay ... and to let that which is true life within that thing, resurrect... the temptation to overcome is the tendency to simply set up another "form"...

I see the death of what calls itself "church" to be a good, healthy, and God-initiated thing. Maybe if we stop being fixated on that which is past, we can discover that which we *have*...!

Shalom, Dena

Friday, June 26, 2009


A while ago, a friend passed on this article on invalidation, which I found to be hugely impacting - one of those stop-in-my-tracks-and-see-things-more-clearly sort of things:
(scroll down to read it)

(go ahead, go read the article, or at least skim it -- I know your time is valuable! -- and then come back to read the rest here ... I'll wait for you!)

I've been on both ends of this equation -- the invalidatee, and the invalidated. Neither feels good, when all is said and done. Neither lifts the other up.

I've observed and experienced that when we suspect/fear that we'll be rejected, we don't offer out our true selves, but hold them in a reserve of self-protection -- offering only a masked faux-persona instead. We have become, to some degree, a society of projected personas, rarely connecting in a deep and meaningful way... lonely in a crowd ... isolated in a mob.

I'm astonished at how very learned a behavior invalidation is ... and thus how insidiously it can be habitualized. Honestly, I believe that far too many of us don't SEE that we do it, or even that we so often receive it.

Look at our sources of humor and entertainment -- much of what passes for comedy is laughter at the expense of another.

That we even see people as "other" is a huge part of the problem -- the ultimate illusion.

Everything must change ... because everything is different than the appearances would suggest. Judge not, we are told, by appearances.

It seems to me that the more we know we are accepted as we are, the more we know we have intrinsic value, the more we KNOW our worth, the more we are secure in our own identifies ... then the more we will extend that same value onto others.

If we KNEW who we really were, how God sees us ... then we could not help but to extend that to others.

When we realize who we really are, and live with the resulting integrity, we can call forth the true self of others ... deep calling to deep.

So, in a sense, the way I view and treat "others" is a barometer for how I believe God sees/treats me.

Pretty powerful thought ... do I dare to really look and see...?

Am I prepared to let everything be revealed as it IS, and thus to let everything be changed...?

Or, am I more committed to the comfortable and convenient status quo...?

Shalom, Dena

In the Garden...

A message I received today:

In The Garden

"All that is required now is that you continue to till the soil of your
soul. Just as you would not neglect seeds that you planted with the hope
that they will bear vegetables and fruits and flowers, so you must attend
to and nourish the garden of your becoming."
~Jean Houston

Today's Affirmation

I gratefully accept the abundant harvest of the Master Gardener.

Today's Meditation

Dear Mother, Father God,

During this summer-time, I rejoice that my heart is also made new.
Into the cultivated ground of my being, You have planted seeds of gladness,
hope, mercy and love.
I open myself wide to the Water of Life that flows through, over and
around me now.
As more and more light enters me everyday, I am reborn.
You are the very life in me dear God and I am grateful beyond words.
My spirit rejoices and my heart joins the celestial song of praise.
Everything is in the most divine arrangement.
And I let it be.


This speaks deeply to me ... hidden growth, going on, even though I cannot observe it with my senses (just as Jesus told us the Kingdom would be -- not by observation).

This is a time of anticipation of fruition ... fruit appearing after developing unawares ... we knowingly-hope that it will emerge, knowing on a spirit-level that evades the mind-level ... a lack of evidence does not deter us, for we know that we are changing, transforming, blossoming, from the inside out ... that which has always been true in the deepest reaches of our identity is coming forth ... breaking through the outer husks of our resistance - emerging through egoic resistance, into the joy of our awareness ...

We merely receive what we have always been..!

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Food for Thought ~ Tasty Tidbits!

Here's an offering of spiritual appetizers ... morsels I've tasted and enjoyed, from my readings this morning. Too good to not share! So, taste and see what nurtures & fulfills you. Just as your body knows how to digest -- what to absorb and what to pass on and release, so too does your spirit know. You can trust the process ... eating meat, and spitting out bones, as you go.

I've discovered that I can even consider the challenging concepts to be akin to roughage - that which cleans out the old (& even toxic) build-up, enabling me to better absorb the new...

Perhaps this is yet another meaning of Jesus invitation to feast on Him...?

Without further ado, here's what tasted delicious to me this morning:

- Information is not necessarily transformation...

- We have made the Bible into a bunch of ideas - about which we can be right or wrong - rather than an invitation to see with new eyes...

- God is much different than we thought -- and much better than we feared!

- Outside of a personal experience of a God who is merciful, gracious, faithful, forgiving and steadfast in love, religion will remain merely ritualistic, moralistic, doctrinaire, and largely unhappy.

- It does not help to give people quick conclusions before they have made any inner journeys.

- The Bible doesn't give us the conclusions -- it offers us a process of getting there.

- Without an inner experience of how God works in our own life, we will just substitute the text for the real inner Spirit.

- God doesn't change, but our readiness for the true God takes a long time to change (it takes time to move beyond our need to be dualistic, judgmental, accusatory, fearful, blaming egocentric, and earning).

- God is always both totally hidden and perfectly revealed -- we see what we're open to see.

- God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in the concrete incarnateness of life.

- God comes to us disguised as our life -- this disappoints the religious who would prefer church services...!

- The principle of Incarnation shows us that spiritual and material have never been separate.

- We must experience the negative side of the actual, along with the positive.

- Ideologues replace real experiences with their predetermined conclusions.

- Pain teaches a most counter-intuitive thing: that we must go down before we can even know what up is. Suffering is necessary - in that, suffering is defined as "whenever I am not in control."

- If we do not transform our pain, we will assuredly transmit it.

- We can learn to read the Bible with both a healthy head and a happy heart at the same time - to read it both critically and spiritually.

- Our family of origin is divine -- our core is original blessing, not original sin.

- The biblical narrative is about awakening - not accomplishing.

- The ego makes the Scriptures all about achievement and attainment - religion thus becomes a worthiness-contest, in which everybody loses.

- It is not that if I am moral, then I will be loved by God -- it's that I must first experience God's love, and then I will - almost naturally - be moral.

- We have never been separate from God -- it's sin (our egoic nature) which *thinks* we've been separate from God.

- It's not a "those who believe/do it right go to heaven" thing, as much as it is a "those who live like me [Jesus] are in heaven now" thing!

- The ego always wants to settle the dust quickly, and have the answers now.

- When God warns them/us to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He's wanting to keep us from the lust for certitude - an undue need for explanation, resolution and answers.

- Not knowing, and not needing to know, is a deeper form of knowing - and a deeper form of compassion.

- False moral certitude (insisting we know what is good, what is evil) is the original sin ... missing the mark.

- "First the fall, and then the recovery from the fall, and both are the mercy of God." (Julian of Norwich)

- Salvation is only secondarily assuring us of eternal life - it is first of all giving us life here and now, and saying, "if now, then also later."

- God's chosenness is for the purpose of communicating that chosenness to everybody else! (The ego insists upon the illusion of exclusivity ... this chosenness is for the inclusion of all.)

- Only beloved people can pass on belovedness.

- One day my gaze will match God's gaze - at that time I will find God lovable and myself lovable at the same time.

- We can't always be correct - but we can always be connected.

- If I am not trained in a trust of mystery and some degree of tolerance for ambiguity, I will not proceed very far in the spiritual journey.

- Love is the true goal, but faith is the process of getting there, and hope is the willingness to live without resolution or closure (& the journey, I have discovered, is within - to discover who I really AM, and what I already possess).

Bon appetit!

Shalom, Dena

Doing? Being? Do-be-do-be-doooooo

If I believe that I'm *not* something I'm *supposed to be* (loving, for instance), then I'll berate myself, and strive to do loving things. However, it will be exhausting to continually strive to do something I believe I'm not (can anyone say "double-mindedness"? can anyone say "treadmill"? can anyone say "Christian life"?).

BUT ~ if I choose to be something (loving, for instance), and believe I already am that, my doing flows naturally out of my being.

"As a man thinketh in his own heart, so is he."
(emphasis mine, but also, I dare to say, God's)

Semantics, you say? Perhaps. If you think that in your heart, then sure. ;)

But what if it's a larger, perhaps universal, truth...?

I see that I'm made in the image of God (as are you, y'know) ... and that can mean many different things, to many different people.

For me, what I've come to believe, is that I'm made in the image of God, because that's the only "stuff" from which anyone/anything can be made...! Everything is God-stuff, in various forms. As I was reading this morning, in the 11th chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans:

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (verse 36)

Yes, I'm made in the image of God, who IS Love. If I really *believe* that, if I think that in my heart -- so will I be. And thus will I do. (Can anyone say "Abundant Life"?)

I AM Love.

So be it.

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"What About Jesus?"

I've begun to suspect that, like so many things I've been taught by other humans, that my understanding of Jesus is inadequate. Despite having been in and around Christianity for the past 34+ years ... despite having had a husband attend seminary, and be ordained ... despite having taught the orthodox doctrines ... despite having read & studied the Bible all this time ... despite having heard umpteen sermons.

Or, perhaps because of all of that...?

Having lived through the unsettling and defragmenting experience of my many sacred cows being tipped over into oblivion (like so many dominos, LOL!), I've come to *expect* that this is a way of life ... that this will continue ... that this is the very process of mind renewal, of dying-to-self, of being led into all truth.

I suppose it's a sign of growth that I'm less annoyed, and more excited, about this being an ongoing process...! Bring it on, God!

Anyway, back to Jesus.

And, that's the point, isn't it? Having been introduced to the notion that it's all about Jesus, I want to keep going back to Him -- to keep understanding all these paradigm-shifts through His eyes. And YET - I am now fully cognizant that I have misunderstood WAY too many things ... I can no longer afford the luxury of assuming that I've got Jesus "down."

So far, every single blessed time, I am blown aWAY with how much *better* the new (to me) understanding is, than the old (traditional) understanding was. Seriously, folks, this just keeps getting gooder and gooder! It's almost too good to take! No wonder people have tried to put a lid on this stuff all these centuries -- God is almost too good to be moral or legal! I mean, I keep thinking I need to repent for feeling this good about God!

So, given that, I'm open to the concept of God showing me the truth about Jesus. Whatever it may ultimately be. I want truth more than I want to be right ... more than I want to cling to what I think I already know (comfy though it be).

And, I keep running into folks who are very protective of their view of Jesus ... wanting to retain Jesus-quo, as it were. Sorta-kinda, "I've got Jesus in my little box, and I want to keep Him there." I don't mean to be unkind, or disrespectful -- and I truly, truly understand that desire ... though, I see that fear is behind it ... I mean, if we let Him out of the box, no *telling* what He will do (He's quite the unpredictable One, y'know!).

So, the other day, a friend of mine writes to me, sharing some concern, perhaps even alarm, with what he perceives I'm saying, where he sees I'm going, in my spiritual journey.

And, he asks: "Where is Jesus? 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'"

And, I answer:

I hear your concern -- and I certainly prefer a more Christ-centered framework. I love how Tim King puts it -- Presence is a think-tank arena for those who want to keep Christ, but ditch the religion (& that includes Christianity).

I've come to believe that we botch the message, for ourselves and for others, when we confuse (or combine) Christianity with Christ. I don't believe He set up Christianity (though of course He uses it for our good, as He uses all things).

I see that God is all in all, that all is fulfilled ... and that Jesus was indeed the way to bring this fulfillment about. All around the world, people are experiencing the benefits of this fulfillment, in this covenant (in which ALL are in Christ, and ALL are alive) -- even if they don't yet know it!

As I see it, we're all in various forms of delusion (believing lies, on various levels, we are in need of continuous mind-renewal, as a way of life, perhaps as a way of eternity - I don't know). So, a person who does not yet know Christ, and yet is experiencing the Abundant Life He made possible, in one way or another, will one day (as they can bear it) enter in to that level of all truth. And a person who knows the name of Christ, and believes that, as a Christian, they already possess (& must therefore defend) "all truth", is in another form of delusion ... and they will one day awaken to the part of the all truth that they are now missing.

I wonder -- which one is closer to the truth of Christ? The one who sees that all are one (& is thus loving toward all) but has yet to connect the dots that Christ enabled him to do so ... OR, the one who, claiming to be a Christian, believes that they are "in" while most others are "out," and thus treats others as less-than...?

I cannot blame those who have discovered the truths of Christ, and yet are reluctant to claim Him ... due to how Christianity has portrayed Christ these past two millennia. Neither do I believe that Christ Himself is alarmed about it ... I believe He knows, and is fully confident, of His ability to show us Himself, whenever and however He knows we can best bear it. I'm seeing Him as more than confident.

IOW, I don't think He's as offended that He's not getting full credit, as Christians are, on His behalf -- I see that they've taken up an imagined offense. And further, I believe that the very offense that Christians show, is causing much damage, to themselves and to others.

To me, this is all part of the paradigm-shift ... a new way of looking at the too-familiar story ... a way of seeing past the traditions of man that keep nullifying the word of God, but the Word of God is able to meet us where we are, and to draw us to Himself, He who is All Truth.

It's happening ... shift happens. But ALL of us need a *new* way of perceiving Christ Himself ... both views, the Christian view, and the non-Christian view, need major overhauling.

May we fully cooperate with the Spirit as He continues to draw us into All Truth...!

So, God ... I would really like to know and experience the real and full truth of Christ. Show me what's of man, and what's of God -- thank You!

Shalom, Dena

"Church" as a Stage of Development...

Some thoughts this afternoon ...

Wondering if "church" (both historically and personally speaking) isn't a necessary stage of development, in both our personal and collective maturity..?

It seems that children see themselves as one-with-all until the age of differentiation (~ 7 yo), and then they seem to need group-think -- to be aligned with the identity of "people like me." And, as I've observed, a great many people remain in that group-think mentality-ghetto ... needing to conform/comply with the group-think in order to feel a sense of safety and belongingness.

Then, there is meant to come, as a healthy development, a stage of becoming an independent being ... a time of "wilderness" ... of learning self-identity.

Then, it seems, that a truly marvelous thing can happen ... when the individual again sees itself as belonging to the Whole (outside of group-think) ... the beingness of "in Christ." Coming to see God as all in all ... when the illusions of separation and division fall away.

It seems to me that Christianity/Church represents group-think -- an important and purposeful stage of development -- but not a final destination.

It seems to me that despising our former stages (whether infancy, childhood, or young adulthood) is both unhealthy and detrimental ... I don't see God despising the very reality He set up for us ... perhaps that hate-energy that we can tend to put into who/where we once were is causing us harm, and halting our growth. I'm seeing a need to accept all stages as necessary and relevant -- and purposeful for the journey.

Perhaps all things really DO work together for our good, as we are transformed into that state of being called "in Christ"...?

Just my thoughts .. for what it's worth.

Shalom, Dena

The Dance...!

Can't *not* share this one!

Last week I read "Jesus Unplugged" by Bert Gary -- he and are are seemingly on the same page in many ways, and I found his insights to be inordinately confirming of my own. I just adore this quote from his book:

Those who understand the Kingdom of Heaven know that it is here - among us, around us, and in us; those who see it are dancing, and those who do not are complaining about all the dancing.


Yes, yes, yes!!! That describes both my own experience, and the reaction from those around me...!

And yet, I cannot help but to dance!

Shalom, Dena

Women, Men & Biblical Equality - a Response

I received a most-gracious response from my worthy "opponent" (opponent only in perspective -- not in reality). While he affirms our mutual respect, he stands his ground.

Additionally, I received an email from another gentleman ... someone who read the interchange, and shared his own comments -- they're worthy of consideration, and so I'll post them at the end of this message. Isn't it glorious to live in such an age, that we can inter-connect in this way, and all benefit...? LOVE it!

First, the response from my male/female-hierarchical-minded friend:


Your input is excellent, and you have a unique way of presenting your views. Thanks. I agree with a lot, perhaps more than a lot, of what you wrote.

Yes, I agree, God did not issue a command to Eve about leadership. He issued a fact. And that fact has borne itself out throughout the history of God's people. Take Sarah, for example. She called Abraham "lord." And if God intended that the leadership role change under the grace era to place women on the same leadership level as the man, as it was centuries prior, Paul would surely have instructed Timothy and Titus to choose both male and female shepherds to lead His people. And I think he would also have changed his wording in Ephesians 5:22.

Yes, I understand that culture and traditions have much to do with how we apply the scriptures. But understand again that in all cultures prior to the grace era, and we're talking about thousands of years, the male was the foremost leader—in the home and elsewhere. Was this God's doing? Certainly.

The husband and wife should mutually love, respect, and honor one another. However, where two or more people are involved in a common cause, leadership is essential, whether formal or informal. So in this vein, leadership cannot be equally mutual. The male has been given this role.

I highly appreciate your comments. I will evaluate any reply you wish to make—in a spirit of love and respect. God bless you.—XXXXXX.

I SO appreciate his heart-attitude! How refreshing is that?!?

One one hand, he's affirming my observations -- on the other hand, he stands his ground -- he desires to affirm and maintain relationship - beautiful! His plumb line seems to be the traditional understanding of Scripture -- my plumb line is "how does this line up with the God I've come to know and experience." I no longer assume that Scripture is inerrant (for it never claims to be), but that it's an unfolding understanding of who God is, and who we are, in Him.

I do see a practical need for leadership within the egoic system of this world. As long as we continue to see ourselves as separate and therefore competitive, leadership and structure prevents utter metldown. However, given what God has done (in both His Story, and in the demonstration of history), I'm seeing that we no longer have a "need" for human leadership, in the Kingdom. There is no male or female, no Greek or Jew ... all are equal, all are One. We are each and all led by the Spirit within, whether we yet *know* it or not. The Kingdom is not about accomplishment, but about awakening. We believe before we can see. Once we know Whose and Who we ARE, the need for leadership falls away, as moot. Inter-relatedness and unity trump all manner of systemic organization. Unfortunately, our illusion of separation so permeates our thinking, we've super-imposed that upon our view of the Kingdom ... and so we imagine that God has inspired our egoic tendencies ... rather than realizing that our egoic thinking is the very thing that must fall away and die, so that the Mind of Christ can emerge.

I no longer believe that male-domination was God-inspired ... but that it's a result of the egoic thinking and misogynistic scape-goating that occured once man "fell" into dualistic thinking ("it's the fault of that woman You gave me!"). Separation again. Rather than seeing ourselves as One, men and women have been under the delusional thinking that we're separate and competitive. And so man seeks to dominate, and woman seeks to usurp. What we miss is that God created them as ONE, and took her out of him (she was in there already, created in him on the 6th day & removed on the 8th day -- and ever since man has come forth out of woman -- bringing the relationship full-circle). This full-circle is symbolic of how we are made in the image of the Male/Female God. It's only together that we best and fully function as One (& this is the beauty and power of the act of sexual intercourse ... we again join as one, demonstrating unity -- hence, why sex is so easily corrupted and tainted, rather than fully enjoyed and celebrated, when that power is misunderstood and abused).

We also miss that God told them both, with no hint of any hierarchy, that they were to have dominion (stewardship) over all of creation - together. We further miss that "helpmeet" is the same word used to describe God, who is our *helper*, and the Holy Spirit, who is our *helper*. It's far from a subservient, secondary calling.

Regarding the wording of Ephesians 5:22 -- I find it ironic that the biblical translators were the ones who indeed *changed* the wording, adding "hupotasso/submit" into the text...! Can we not see the agenda at work here, altering the text to support the traditions of man? It's not about being placed on the same "leadership level" (an utterly moot concept!), but about recognizing what God intended in the first place -- the mutuality-celebrated-within-diversity demonstrated in how One lives face-to-face, in order to experience community...! Love kept within stagnates, while love given and received is dynamic.

It's both hard and painful to shed our old, familiar paradigms. Male-dominance has had a stronghold on this planet for millennia ... and the catastrophic results are obvious. Men have been responsible for 90-some-% of all the violence on the planet, including crime, rape and war. Would God, knowing this penchant, really say, "I know - I'll put man in charge!"...? I no longer believe that that was God's purpose. Neither am I advocating for women to be "in charge" ... I'm advocating for mutual respect, mutual submission, mutual honoring of all other humans on the planet ... finally awakening to the truth that we're all One, and that there is enough of everything to go around (including water, food, land, resources, opportunity, love, and access to God). What sort of world would we experience if we all believed that...? What sort of world can *I* experience if *I* believe that NOW...? It's my choice to discover that.

(I will share the other gentleman's response in a following comment)

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Women, Men & Biblical Equality...

Some days are just more blog-worthy than others ...! :)

So, I get a newsletter from a man I've only met online ... someone who has previously provided food-for-thought. And in this newsletter, he writes something that I find to be -- shall we say, contorted (even as I recognize that it's what I once believed myself!).

Here's what he wrote:

Leadership in God’s Ekklesia
In Christ man and woman can live harmoniously—and should. But where leadership is required—and some form of leadership is essential where two or more are involved in a common cause—the man surfaces. Paul confirms this in Ephesians 5:22. He is not talking about dictatorial headship, but rather a loving leadership.

This seems to be the message in Genesis 3, where Eve was told that her husband would “rule” over her. “Rule” is not a good English translation. The woman is to show deference to her godly husband, and the husband is to respect and honor his wife. In every era of God’s people, the man is considered the foremost leader. We can take the “politically correct” position until the cows come home, but in the end God still places the man in the leadership role.—Buff.

Now, nevermind for the moment that my understanding of the ekklesia (or "church") differs from his (I see it as the 40-year generation who were called out of the old covenant, into the new covenant, during the first century) ... and that I see no more need for institutional leadership in this current covenant ... what I really want to address is the confusion over the verses that he references. A confusion that has done much to malign the nature of God, not to mention wrecking havoc with male/female relationships through the centuries ... causing untold damage and pain toward women in particular, as well as burdening men with a dominion that they were never meant to shoulder.

Here's my response to him:


I appreciate that you are a man of integrity - a man who values truth -- who wants truth more than he wants to be right. I admire that about you, and I share that aspiration with you.

May I share something I've discovered in my own journey? Something that has brought me both joy and liberation? If what I share bears witness in your Spirit-to-spirit connection, wonderful. If not, then do with it as you're so led ...

I notice in Genesis 3:16, after the fall (or "turning" as I have come to see it), God is here addressing the woman, Eve ("And he will rule over you."). IF God were giving a command, for the man to rule over the woman, then God would address the man directly (this is consistent throughout Scripture). Instead, I notice that He addresses the woman. What I see is that He is not commanding the man that this *should/shall* happen, but He is warning the woman that this *will* happen, due to the condition of the man's heart now ... IOW, now that the man has chosen to turn from a God-focus to a self-focus, he will surely abuse his relationships ... and God wants to warn her, so that when it happens (as it inevitably will), she will understand that it's not about her - it's about his own self-tainted nature. From this verse, we have made a command out of a warning - a doctrine out of faulty decision.

Regarding Ephesians 5:22 -- are you aware that there is no verb in that verse (seriously - check it out in Strong's concordance - notice the utter lack of it in the Greek*)...? Hupotasso ("submit") is only found in verse 21. So, whatever it means in verse 22 (where it is implied), it derives its meaning from verse 21 (where it is defined).

Here's how those verses read in the NASB:

21 and be subject to one another in the fear [reverence] of Christ.

Marriage Like Christ and the Church

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

I see that in verse 21, the notion is all about mutuality -- mutual submission (IOW, the Christ in me recognizes, and honors, and submits to the Christ in you).

The insidiousness of the traditions of man (which continue to nullify the word of God), is that not only is this singular thought broken down into two verses, but many translations further abuse the text by putting in extra-biblical sub-headers (see above, and also in the NIV, the New Irrational Version, as an example)..!

Women in that culture had to obey their husbands, by law -- they were considered as property -- barely above cattle. They wouldn't dream of disobeying, without severe consequences. BUT, this entire letter of Paul's (which really must be read in full, to perceive the full contextual meaning) is about going beyond the *doingness* of a thing, into the *beingness* of a thing ... IOW, it's not about what to do, but about the heart's inclination. He's saying, in effect, "Wives, I realize that you already know our society calls upon you to obey your husbands ... and yet Jesus is showing us that in the Kingdom (which is at hand), there is no male/female distinction -- all are one. What I want to impress upon you is that God wants your hearts inclined in mutually-submissive love toward your husbands ... not to merely conform to outer obedience, as our primitive culture now dictates, but to also yield, voluntarily, to an inward submission, out of the recognition of Christ who is in all. Oh, and husbands -- this is critical -- you are to see your wives as your partners, not as your property -- you are to love her as you love yourself ... as Christ loves His own Body ... you are to treasure her as a priceless porcelain vessel -- the type honored for special occasions, and not merely used as an every-day earthen vessel. We in the Kingdom are not to limit ourselves to the dictates of our current world's culture, but to move into the higher/deeper realm of the Spirit, of the Kingdom."

Consider the absurdity of the husband who reads these verses through the understanding of the traditions of man. In verse 21, he is taught that in the Body of Christ, there is to be mutual submission ... and so he would see all the other women in the Body as his spiritual equals. However -- regarding his own wife, imagining (due to what he's been taught, and his own dominating inclinations) that he is to consider his wife as submitting to him alone, he would then, in effect, put all other women in the Body *above* his very own wife ... relegating her to the lowest position amongst all other women...!

We have learned to read & interpret the scriptures through the lenses of our misogynistic collective mindset - that which goes back for millennia ... rather than allowing the Spirit to show us what He both inspired and now interprets to our own spirits. Reading the letter of the law, we miss the deeper nuances of truth, which indeed set us free.

What if it's time we questioned the traditions of man, including their tainted agendas, and discovered the "too good to NOT be true" nature of our God, and to discover what He's been communicating to us ... that which we could receive if we would but put aside the traditions that blind us.

Thanks for listening ...

Shalom, Dena

*Here's the link to that Strong's entry:

(What) The Bible Tells Me So...

I started reading Richard Rohr's "Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality" this morning, and about ran out of ink, underlining the introduction ALONE...! [Richard Rohr is a Catholic priest ... a contemporary mystic, and a wonderful reSource I've recently discovered.]

I'm loving that he's making sense out of the Bible ... I've never had the the notion that I'm to discount the Scriptures (or Jesus, for that matter!) just because the traditions of man have nullified them. I see the Bible as a gift, and I want to appreciate the gift for what it IS -- not a rule-book, not a source of "how to form the correct conclusion," but a macrocosm of what's going on within mySELF (& humanity in general) ... my journey, writ large, through the collective consciousness of humanity, as it/they/we encounter God, seemingly without, and finally withIN...!

Just as we so-often take 3 steps forward (grasping a concept, glimpsing truth), and then 2 steps backward (doubting the concept, thinking the truth "too good to be true"), so TOO has humanity, through the ages! This reality is painstakingly revealed throughout Scripture - a live-action demonstration of the fallibility of man, and the patient-mercy of God.

We make a mistake when we read the scriptures literally/woodenly, thinking that the backward-motions are to be codified ... where they're really meant to be demonstrative, showing us how we do the same ... showing us that we too can move from darkness into Light, even if the path seems hopelessly circuitous and meandering ... even if we *imagine* ourselves to be "lost," "forsaken," "separated," or "condemned" along the way (always keeping in mind that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he).

Just as our own concepts of God are birthed in our immature/obscure perspective, and then emerge, slowly (& even painfully!) into maturity and clarity -- so TOO has it been with mankind as a whole. Just as we once saw our own parents' disciplines as harsh and unloving (& SO unfair!), only to later realize that they were motivated by love for us (unless we had parents who were confused & unconscious) ... so TOO has mankind evolved from seeing God as a harsh and wrathful demanding-volcano-God (who requires sacrifices), to seeing that God is 100% love, and 100% goodness ... the God who sacrifices even His own reputation for His beloved children ... allowing us to malign His nature and character, as all the while He woos us into all truth ... knowing well that we know *not* what we do (for He knows we are as He made us to be).

The Bible teaches me that stumbling is part of the process (how did we not get this, in watching our own children learning to walk?).

It teaches me that my choices (in not just what I *do* but in what I choose to *think*) are part of my transformation.

The Bible teaches me that God did not want sacrifice and appeasement, but mercy and intimacy.

The Bible teaches me that the letter of the law kills, but that the Spirit brings life.

The Bible teaches me that I'm to be an experiential-participant in my own life, and that God wants to have experiential encounters with me (rather than to have me living vicariously off of the historical encounters of others).

The Bible teaches me that I'm to have the approach of a curious child (a "beginner's mind"/humility), rather than a mind that assumes I've already arrived at "all truth" (pride/arrogance).

The Bible teaches me that I'm not a human being trying/striving to become spiritual, but that I'm a spiritual being, having a human experience (that we're all spiritual beings, whether we yet know it or not).

It teaches me that I'm not to be afraid, despite appearances that would seem to be fearful ("judge not by appearances").

It teaches me that I don't have to believe everything I think (HUGE "aha" for me!).

The Bible teaches me that God doesn't want my understanding of Him to be based on "what the Bible says," but on what I experience in the dynamic spirit/Spirit relationship within me!

It teaches me that change is integral to life ... that we are not static, but dynamic (shift happens)!

Best of all, the Bible teaches me that God is much different than religion has taught -- that He is better than we had feared -- that He's too good to NOT be true...!

God does not change -- but our ability to perceive and accept God as He is does indeed transition and enlarge over time. Both individually and collectively/historically. The Bible demonstrates this in graphic and living color. I have learned to not just read the "black" of the Bible (the ink-on-page), but to also read the "white" (the space in-between, where the Spirit both inspires and interprets).

How beautifully FREEING it is for me to finally realize that life is not meant to be a straight line, a pass/fail test, but that it's *meant* to be a process of getting-the-point, and then missing-the-point and then getting-it-anew-again ... of encountering God in various ways (through various means), and to learn who He is (and thus who we are) even while fighting Him, avoiding Him, running from Him. Catching glimpses of breath-takingly beautiful truth, only to dismiss it as "too good to be true - I must be making that up." God uses ALL of it. Out of all the infinite options God had at His disposal, in setting up this universe, THIS is the one He chose -- the very one we're experiencing. It is utterly laughable to imagine (in our arrogance!) that we have thwarted the plans and purpose of God...!

There is a grand purpose in this adventure of life ... discovering who we are *not* (through our harmful-or-helpful choices, and the resulting consequences) ... so that we can recognize (re-cognize, re-KNOW) who we really ARE...!

I love discovering that I can appropriate and appreciate the Scriptures (including Scriptures from other faith-traditions) for what they ARE, rather than for what the traditions of man told me they are ... NOT a rule-book, NOT a guide for forming the "correct" conclusions, but a panoply of an unfolding/dawning perspective ... moving out of murkiness into the brilliance of Light -- emerging out of a dim-glass perspective into the "too good to NOT be true" glory of all Truth..!

Yes -- it is true -- God comes to me disguised as my life.

May the grand adventure continue...!

Shalom, Dena

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Truth Quote...

“From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,
From the laziness that is content with half-truths,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
O God of Truth, deliver us.”

What more needs to be said on the topic...?

Shalom, Dena

Questionable Quote...!

Love this!

Questioning makes one open, makes one sensitive, makes one humble. We don't suffer from our questions, we suffer from our answers. Most of the mischief in the world comes from people with answers, not from people with questions.

-Joseph Needleman

Did God Forsake God...?

I'm no authority on anything, but I do think and read and ponder a lot ... and I do really-really trust Jesus when He said that the Spirit would lead us into all truth.

Speaking of Jesus ... all my life, or at least during the 30-odd years that I was an Evangelical Christian (& they really were some *odd* years, LOL!), I heard some truly interesting explanations as to why Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me" on the cross ... yes, we've all been told, ad nauseam, that since God cannot have anything to do with sin, and since Jesus was then filled with our sin, that God had to "turn away." That God had to forsake God, when God became filled with the sin that God had chosen to take away from humanity... in order to appease God.

May I say - POPPYCOCK! :)

How can any of us, at any time, not be in the Presence of the Omnipresent God..? David affirms, in his psalm, "where can I go from Your presence ... if I go to Sheol [the place of the dead, not "hell" ... there's no hell in the OT, or the NT for that matter, but I digress] there You are."

Plus, the NT affirms that "God was IN CHRIST, reconciling the world to Himself [at the very moment in which Christ took on sin, in order to *take away* sin]."

Another possibility of what Jesus was doing at that time, could be a very intentional act. I believe that He fully knew what He was doing, in dying for everyone (my personal view is that He didn't come to accomplish anything, but to demonstrate what had always been accomplished -- the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world -- we just needed a live-action demonstration to *believe* it - a cosmic flannel-graph if you will).

I've come to believe that He was very intentionally letting the witnesses know what He was doing ... He called out the first line of Psalm 22. Psalms didn't have numbers then ... they were known by their first lines, much like we know songs by their titles. Psalm 22 is all about the Savior of the World ... read it for yourself. The Jews would know that psalm inside-out (Jewish men memorized all 151 of the psalms ... there are 151 psalms in the Septuagint, the scriptures that Jesus read and quoted from... even though our versions only have 150 - makes me go "hmmm").

When Jesus called out the first line of that psalm, He was letting them know that He was the Lamb who was slain ... that He had come to save the world (btw, we're not saved from "hell"... scripture says that we're saved from sin ... that He took it *away* - so why are we so danged sin-focused?).

Anyway, that's what I've come to believe ... and I'm smack-dab thick in the middle of studying the various Atonement theories. I no longer buy into the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (that God was pissed, that somebody had to die, and God had to have blood, and so Jesus paid the price). I'm more in favor of the Christus Victor theory, but am looking into the other 5-6 theories, and letting the Spirit lead me...

I suspect that we've gotten the Atonement "all wrong" ... that we've put our own human thinking onto God (as we're wont to do... He made us in His own image, and we've been returning the favor ever since!).

While I'm en route here, I see that there's only one thing to really do ... to trust Him to lead. He promised He would. He'll keep leading us into all truth - as we can bear it...

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Transmillennial 2009 - One Woman's Experience

(We sent this out to family and friends ... and received quite a wide variety of responses. The vast majority were positive, encouraging, and there were even a few "Wow, me too" confessions. A few negative responses also were returned ... I would rather be judged and rejected for who I am ... than for what others imagine about me. I can bless and release them ... appreciating what they've given to my life!)

Mark and I attended our second Transmillennial conference this past week, put on by Presence International - the topic this year was "The One Inclusive God." We went, not fully knowing what to expect, as we are no longer just "UR" focused, or "Fulfillment" focused ... but we've embraced those concepts and then-some. The Spirit continues to lead us into all truth, as we can bear it.

For some of you, this will be "news" ... this will even feel like we're "outting" ourselves. Perhaps we are. We've never been ones to hide who we are, and what we believe. We feel free to share how God has been leading us, the past 5 years, what He's been showing us, and the joy that our relationship with Him is bringing us. Some of you have been part of this journey, and some others of you share it with us. We want to live with the integrity of being who we are, honestly and transparently. And, of course, we always welcome conversation.

The conference was held at Indian Hills church, in North Little Rock, Arkansas ... the pastor, Dick King, has long believed that all are saved ... and his beliefs have grown on from that point. Obviously, he's been much maligned, and has lost most of his church ... about 100 or so are still with him (this is the same story for Carlton Pearson in Oklahoma). It was a stretch for us to be in the land of humidity (in June!), and more so to be back in a church, LOL! But this group of people is a beyond-rare group ... for them, I willingly endured both the swelter and the sanctuary!

Presence International is a ministry that has long believed that all is fulfilled ... that Jesus returned (albeit differently than the traditional view would have it) in 70AD, with the end of the (old covenant) age. Eventually they came to see that if all is fulfilled, then God is all in all, and that means all are saved (this shocked many, and some left). It's gone beyond that understanding, into "what does it mean then to be in this covenant, wherein all is fulfilled and all are saved?" Rather than being stuck in the past, or fixated on the future, they're about living in the NOW, wherein we connect with God, who said be still and know that He is God - within us, not "out there, somewhere."

Further, if the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world -- then as far as God's concerned, it was always done. We were always reconciled to God. Further ... what if our "story" - the way we read Scripture - is based on blindness, shame and fear, rather than on truth and love? What if we never were separated from God (and really, how would any of us escape Omnipresence?). What if mercy has always triumphed over judgment? What if we always were One with Him (and with each other), only our perspective, based on the lies that we believed (both individually and collectively), *kept* us from seeing reality from God's point of view? What if Jesus came, not so much to accomplish something new, but to show us a live-demonstration of what had always been done...?

What if our comprehension of God was incomplete, murky, and based on pagan beliefs in the OT, rather than on truth? What if we didn't comprehend God until Jesus showed us the Father? What if we STILL missed the point, even then?

The conference this year, Transmillennial 2009, was entitled, "The One Inclusive God". While there were numerous break-out sessions (wonderful ones, from Mike Morrell, Frank Spencer, Micah Redding, Rob Hunter, Willie Cripps, and others), I'll share the highlights from the keynote speakers.

Tim King, CEO of Presence, opened with the video I previously shared ... then went on to talk about some various aspects of religion (this will come from my notes) ... he mentioned that Jesus on the cross didn't feature in artwork until the 10th century -- prior to that, the Resurrection was the feature of artwork, which signified restoration in heaven and earth. The forced conversions of Saxons to Christianity, by Charlemagne, led to depictions of a tortured Christ on the cross ... as the people were experiencing pain, it showed up in their art.

Then, religion vs. science ... once upon a time, Geocentrism (the doctrine that the earth was the center of the universe) prevailed -- going contrary to that belief was punishable by death. But when it was proven wrong by science (& the church finally caught up with reality), everything changed! We're discovering yet-more new things, due to science ... science is now telling us that there is but One Source of all things (in both the micro and macro directions). Once again, the church and science are at odds ... once again, the tradition of man nullifies truth ... and once again, religion will be the last to catch on to reality.

Our classic philosophical theism says:
- "God is separate from the world, but somehow present."
- "God can only be understood as Trinity."
- "We are separate from God."

But Panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism, which says that everything is a god), says that God is all IN all, as well as beyond all.

Much of our religious misunderstandings can be traced back to Augustine, who claimed that there was a rupture in the order of the universe ... that humanity fell, moved from God, and needs to be redeemed. But, what if the whole model is as wrong as geocentricism was...? (What if Augustine, and others in church history, really, really needed Prozac..?)

What if we were never separate from God in the first place? What if we didn't "fall", but progressed from an infantile-spiritual state, into a more mature state, wherein we learn from our choices, and the consequences that follow? What if our shame and fear caused us to have an errant point of view? And, what if our point of view has given us the experience we've since had? What if we could change our perspective, and thus change our experience, and thus the world (as a man thinks in his own heart, so is he)...?

Here are the highlights of Kevin Beck's discussion:

The assumption of Presence, is that everyone belongs -- no one is excluded. That this is the very heart of God.

But our insides are reflected in our outsides ... and religion is a catalyst for brokenness (separation and isolation). In fact, the Bible can be read as a Rorschach test (inkblots) ... it can tell me what's inside of me. Does the way I read the Bible lead me to inclusion or exclusion? How I read it, how I respond, reveals my heart...

Here's what's left out of the traditional Christian "good news" story:
- Most of humanity (they go to hell)
- My own integrity (I have to ignore it)
- My own intuition (I'm not to trust it)
- Science (must ignore the very evidence God has given)
- Political views (there's only one right way to see things)
- Awareness of cultural diversity (the folks who aren't like me are "them" - separate)

However, by all accounts, religion is decreasing, while spirituality is increasing.

The teaching of original sin leads to a sense of defectiveness ... we then need institutional rules and rituals .. we strive to be approved of by God ... we sense separation ... we feel exclusion towards others ... and we generally feel bad about humanity (including ourselves).

Here's how exclusion functions:
- It fights reality (we're all One)
- It fosters fear (making fear more powerful than Love)
- It's judgmental
- It holds out for a magical solution ("rapture", Jesus' *soon* return)
- It seeks to offer escape (withdraw from the world into a religious ghetto)

Doug King (Tim's brother; Max King's son) shared on the Ego vs. the True Self:

On one side we have Ego/Self/Knowledge of Good & Evil/External Events.
On the other side, we have Presence/Love/Peace.
See these as overlapping circles ... and the overlapping section (where they join) would be the Mind.

When Jesus was on the cross ... THEN, with His arms spread open wide, He drew all men to Himself (and I keep in mind that from God's perspective, this occurred from the foundation of the world).

I have an ego, but it's not my enemy ... it's a gift from God, to help me to know who I am not, so that I can know who I really am. It gives me context (just as I cannot know hot without the context of cold; I cannot know good without the context of evil ... it's all on a spectrum). I can accept my ego, because "it knows not what it does." It's within me, but my ego is not really me (think of Paul's letter about the carnal nature).

What I AM, is love, peace, joy, kindness, reconciliation, gentleness, etc...

When I'm facing a decision that could go "either way," I can ask myself, "What do I WANT?" The real me, within, where spirit and Spirit are One, will show me my purpose -- my purpose is IN me. I do not have to go "out there, somewhere," and find it.

When I hear a voice within me, I can ask myself, "What voice is this? Ego or Spirit? Who said that?" (of course, this is best not done in the middle of Walmart!)

In every situation, I get to declare, by my choices, who I AM -- I don't have to know the "how" of it (how a thing works out). It's the ego that demands to know how -- it was the ego that led Sarah to bring Hagar to Abraham, to "help" God out ... the Spirit knows to wait and trust ... to continue to BE who I AM, no matter the appearances of circumstances (I'm not to judge by appearances).

I can apply this to real life .. for instance, when others hurt me, that's NOT who they really are ... that's their ego lashing out. And every attack is a cry for help. The real me can meet the real them, and call them forth... for we are One.

Kevin Beck shared about change (which is inevitable):

We think: Change = Bad; Permanence = Good.

Here's the story we tell ourselves (as Christians):
- God made perfection
- We blew it - we fell (we thwarted the plan of God)
- We "should get back" to that garden-perfection
- We're messed-up (we have messed-upedness)
- We must reclaim a utopia
- Life now doesn't matter - tread water and await evacuation

Here's another story:
- God created infancy
- We grew through choices/consequences (the process of learning)
- We had a wrong perspective (based on shame/fear/separation)
- We can awaken to truth and reality (God's perspective)
- We can have our minds renewed
- We have an unlimited future & endless creative choices
- How we live now *matters*
- Our now is based on our perspective
- We are either consciously or UNconsciously creating our own life and future

A breakdown (a shattering of old paradigms) isn't necessarily a "curse" -- it can be a blessing in disguise ... a new life-ordering.

One new life-ordering can be called "Loveonomics" - Here are the indicators:
- Inclusion (vs. exclusion)
- Inter-connectedness (vs. independence)
- Cooperation (vs. competition)
- Spirit (vs. religion)
- Integration (vs. separation)
- Community (vs. individualization/ghetto)
- Always Learning (vs. staking a claim and defending it)
- Process (vs. arrival/stagnation)
- Creation (vs. defending tradition)

Science shows us that life thrives in an environment that's rich in diversity - creativity is spawned in diversity. Uniformity, on the other hand, breeds stagnation. God grants us the freedom to be who we are - and to allow others the same freedom.

EVERYTHING reflects God! He's far too fast to be shown in any one of us alone ... and we can resist the notion to say, "you are different - therefore I judge you as bad."

Within the system of myself, I can practice self-inclusion ... embracing even my ego. In fact, the degree to which I reject/exclude parts of myself, is the same degree that I will reject/exclude others.

Religious people need the fear of hell ... while spiritual people have been to hell and back.

Enlightenment isn't being better-than -- it's having a lighter burden.

The hard currency of Loveonomics is welcome and compassion.

"Go confidently i the direction of your dreams - live the life you've imagined."
(Henry Thoreau)

Then, Tim King wrapped it up with "The Mythology of Hell":

"If your concept of God is false, and the more devoted you are to it, the more devastated you'll be." (Tim King)

He then went on to quote Jonathan Edwards, in his infamous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon (that supposedly sparked a revival ... my thought is that it sparked mass hysteria and panic):

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours... once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God as to any regard to your welfare; God will have no other use to put you to but only to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel but only to be filled full of wrath: God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that ’tis said he will only laugh and mock

An awful hush fell over the room ... Mark spoke out, "That is not God!" Once we know Him, we know what's not Him, and we cannot be fooled by the errant beliefs of others.

How unlike the words of Simeon, allowed to live long enough to see the infant Christ - he who declared that the salvation would be for all people. How unlike the words of the angels who announced Jesus' birth - saying that it was good news for *all* mankind.

How could God require that we forgive our enemies, but then refuse to do so Himself? Hell is never (not once) mentioned in the entire Old Testament (though countless temporal punishments are laid out in detail - did God "forget" the much more atrocious eternal punishment..?).

Jesus didn't create, nor condone, the concept of hell ... the Pharisees were the only ones who bought into the concept -- they used it (borrowed from pagan mythologies) to try to manipulate the people into good behavior. The Christian concept of hell mirrors the teachings of the Pharisees, rather than catching the concept of Jesus' usage of hell against the Pharisees themselves.

The mythologies continue ... even adherents to Universal Reconciliation assume that Jesus' point was to save everyone from hell eventually ... but the truth is we are saved from sin here and now. More adventures in missing the point...!

My own take-aways from the Transmillennial 2009 conference:

- It was rather fun and freeing to get to pretend to be *normal* for a week...! ;)

- What I love about this group of folks, is that everyone really is included -- no one's ideas are ridiculed - no one is looked down upon ... everyone has something to share ... conversations are the point, rather than conversions.

- It is expected that we only have an emerging picture of truth ... that there is yet-more to come, that God knows how to lead us into all truth, and that He is indeed doing it.

- Everyone is accepted as they are ... no sense of shame is extended. Everyone belongs... no one is left out.

- This is a brilliant bunch, including members of Mensa -- and yet, no arrogance.

- Materials and information is freely shared ...

- People are invested in making a real difference in the lives of others (all others), whether it's through material means, political means, socio-economic means, spiritual means ... since God's Presence is here, everywhere, in everything, everything is holy unto the Lord. No sacred/secular divide, no us/them divide. Nothing wherein God is not. So, reach out, use what you have, share what you can, connect.

Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow ... by recognizing a whole in the world today.

Mark - what did you want to add to what I've shared here...?

Shalom, Dena

(Mark, my main squeeze and adventure-partner, now chimes in)


That's like asking the victims of Jonestown to share about floods after hearing Noah talk for a couple of hours!!!

And, that's not fair - you've got all the stinkin' notes!!!

Actually, it's pretty amazing to be around a group like this in general, and some of these people in particular. There is such a sense of inclusiveness among these people, even if you don't agree with them or them with you. They know that (to steal Dena's comment) that Unity does not require Unanimity. These people take your comment "there is no us and them, there's only us" to the max and back. They realize that life is a journey and that heaven is a state of being not a destination. And that, as Jesus said, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As I go through life, more to the point, as God continues to strip away things that I once believed - without necessarily replacing that belief with a new one, my list of absolutes, the things that I know for sure, gets shorter and shorter. And, because of His work in me, I am learning to be more at peace with living in the ambiguity of life (Paul Young's comment). All of the "leaders" that were there said this in one way or another.

Of course many, if not most, of these people have been shunned, or worse, by those that call themselves Christians. It is really sad to see how ugly they can be if they don't agree with you, or if you try to get them to see beyond their respective noses. The longer I am out of organized religion (Christianity) the easier it is to realize that Jesus did not come to establish a new religion; He came to model relationship with the Father and with others.

Presence does not focus on getting others to join their group. They want to take this new and unfolding understanding from God and make an impact on this earth. Presence is about living NOW not awaiting something in the future.

Blessings upon blessings!!

Mark I. Brehm

(Back to Dena)

Presence is currently undergoing a MAJOR over-haul, both internally and on their website. The website itself will be under construction until next summer, but the forum can still be accessed, for those who wish to explore: (another website for exploring the salvation of all, and the fulfillment of all prophecy is this one: ).

Presence is having an online Zone meeting on June 25th ... if you're so led, you can join the live conversation (both mics and texting work) -- we'll be there! Let me know if you're interested, and I'll be happy to pass along the link.

Mark and I are excited to be connected with this group, with this vision. We've let them know that we want to be involved, however we may be of use, and we're ready to dive in (& they've promised to take us up on it, LOL!). Our personal gifts, and talents, and passions are aligned with them, and we've rarely felt so "at home" as with them. Our emerging beliefs are very much on the same page, and there's a beautiful sense of "margin" ... room for everyone to grow uniquely, even while staying in spiritual unity.

Here's my final take-away:

God is love, and God is good. Everything that can take root within that paradigm either already has or yet will. Conversely, any and all ideologies that yield a God who is less than 100% love and 100% good, simply don’t merit my time or attention.

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

There's a Hole in the World Tonight...

I'll be sharing more about my experience at the Transmillennial 2009 conference soon (likely later today, after I *sleep*!), but I wanted to share this video first ...

Here's how the conference started (with the sharing of this song):

And here are the lyrics:

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

They say that anger is just love disappointed.
They say that love is just a state of mind,
but all this fighting over who will be anointed.
Oh how can people be so blind

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

Oh they tell me there's a place over yonder,
cool water running through the burning sand,
until we we learn to love one
another we never reach the promise land.

There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

More on this later ...

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In Response to a Friend's Newsletter ...

Just some questions that occurred to me, after reading a friend's newsletter ... as I read it, I realized how very many Christian concepts are utterly moot to me. Of course, this wasn't a new revelation ... the transformation from "Christianity-adherent", to "post-Christian-Jesus-follower" (or just "human") has been an incremental one. Still, my own developing understanding struck me as being in stark contrast to the very things I used to swallow-whole, unquestioningly. Here was my response to my friend:

- Why do we think we're in (or coming toward) the "end times" when the Bible doesn't speak of end times, but only speaks of the "time of the end"...? And the end of what? The world? How does "aion" mean world, when it means "age"? What age? What age was coming to an end during the first century? And, how do we not notice that they (every single author of the NT) believed that they were IN the last days of the age ... and that they were even down to the last hour (due to the antichrist(s) John mentions)...?

- Why do we equate the secular state of Israel with the spiritual nature of Israel in scripture? Why do we blindly support a nation that has overlorded others (including followers of Christ)?

- Why do we differentiate between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven? Scripture seems to equate them as one and the same. What would that mean if we missed the point? Why do we focus on "life after death" when scripture speaks of life here and now? What if the transition it speaks of has nothing to do with biological death (and what happens then), but spiritual death, and was referring to the covenantal-shift (the end of the former age, and the emergence of the new age/covenant to come)...?

- What if the church (an institutional world used to denote the ekklesia) was about those who were called out of the old covenant, into the new? What if church was only a first century phenomenon (a transition team if you will), and has nothing to do with this new covenant, wherein no one needs to be taught about God, wherein God is all in all, wherein there is no more iniquity, wherein all has been fulfilled, completed, and God merely wants us to wake up to what He's done (even what had always been done), and join Him in awakening others...?

- What if Christianity has been a grand adventure in majorly missing the point...? What if Christianity has been more in line with the Pharisees than with Jesus...? What if the very exclusion that Christianity is built upon was what so incensed Jesus against the Pharisees?

- What if it was never Jesus' idea to have a religion called Christianity at all? What if it's been entirely man's notion, arisen out of ego and control? What if we did what Peter suggested, and merely erected "booths" (which morphed into a system) to make a monument out of a transcendent moment, rather than seeing the big picture of what God did, what it means, and who we really are, in Christ? What if the Christian Life (never mentioned in scripture) has usurped and counterfeited the Abundant Life (which Jesus wants to show and give us)...?

- What if no one is excluded, what if even the story of separation-from-God (& the notion that man fell, and is now evil) arose out of the perspective of man, and what if Christianity has done more to cause harm, than any other entity on the planet..?

Just my thoughts, where I am these days ... shaken and thrilled to be shaken...!

Shalom, Dena

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm Baa-aack...!

Sometimes the best part of going on a trip, is returning home ... and sometimes the returning home is bittersweet, when it requires the leaving-behind (even if temporarily) of those we love ...

This was just such a trip. On the one hand, having been both an army brat and a "heretic," I've lost my share of friends over the years. On the other hand, God has been so gracious as to connect me with SO vastly many wonderful people in recent years! First, my family-of-origin, who have arguably seen me at my worst, all love me (they don't always understand me, but they love me anyway!). My own family, who have definitely experienced my dark side, love and accept me. And I continue to meet and "accumulate" some tremendously wonderful people ... people who enrich me in numerous ways.

On this trip, which was to Transmillennial 2009 (the yearly Presence gathering -, I was able to schmooze again with some old friends (like Kevin Beck, Tim King, the Redding Brothers, Frank Spencer, Mike Morrell, and Rob Hunter), as well as to meet some new ones (Frank's other half Sherry, and Gary & Michelle Amirault).

Only such a glorious gathering could incite me to make my way to Little Rock in JUNE (sheesh, I'd nearly forgotten what humidity feels like!) ... and into a church building to boot (though, Indian Hills church is *not* your typical church!). But it was well worth it! I'll be blogging out of the rich resevoir from which I drank ... life is becoming blog-fodder, LOL!

I've been altered again ... in that wonderful way that feels both liberating and challenging ... with a heart that dances, even while the mind hollers "huh?!?"

But more about that later ...

I must now drag my jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, travel-weary body to bed!

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way Out of Town..

Howdy y'all - I'm in a hotel room in North Little Rock, on Mark's laptop (he being my main squeeze and beloved compatriot in madcap adventures for the past 23+ years) ... fingernails sliding all over the keyboard, LOL!

Thought I'd give an update, sorta like "You Are There...!"

(Now I'm dating myself -- is that even allowed in Arkansas?!?)

We got up early yesterday, and settled the household (no easy feat), and drove up to the airport (1.5 hour drive). While in line for security, we talked about how Mark (a frequent flyer) always looks for Paul Young (author of "The Shack" - another frequent flyer, and a friend) ... I looked around, uncannily thinking that there was someone there I knew (found out later that a woman I knew in a "Shack" discussion group was there, way behind us -- she didn't want to holler, as TSA doesn't always take kindly to such disturbances, so she emailed me instead).

Our itinerary was plotted to give us a boring 2-leg flight, with a quick 45 minute layover in Denver.

However, in Denver, we learned that we had an unexpected 3-hour layover, due to a mechanical failure -- the door wouldn't shut. Lessee .... waiting 3 hours for a door that will shut vs. flying immediately and being sucked out of the plane ..? Ok! My first thought was a flash of annoyance at the inconvenience, but quickly morphed into, "Hmmm... I wonder what manner of adventure God has in store for us here?" Looking around, I made quick note of a Jewish man (clearly an observant Jew) within striking range, as well as a young man who looked remotely like Chris Rock ... I kept stealing glances at him, but had to quit, lest he think I was on the prowl (well, I was, but of a spiritual nature!).

But first on the agenda - a potty-break. En route back from the restroom (wherein nothing adventurous occurred), I saw a man reading "The Shack" - near the beginning. I bee-lined over to him, and asked if he was enjoying it. Recovering from being startled by this stranger swooping down upon him, he smiled and said it seemed good -- had picked it up for some "light reading" while flying - bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa! Man, had God pulled a fast one on him, or what? I encouraged him to keeeeep reading, and to not stop 'til he was IN the Shack! I noticed that when I went for potty-break #2, that he was no longer there; whether he got on a flight, or was hiding from me, I shall never know...

Back in my seat, I asked the Jewish man if he was heading home, or away -- he said home ... that he had missed his previous flight, and now had to wait another hour for his next connection. He's living in Philly, but is originally from Iran ... he fled right before the Shah was disposed. The conversation went from there ... about Mark being Jewish, about leaving church, about how he (our Iranian/Philadelphian friend, not Mark) had to pretend to be Muslim (including learning the Qur'an) as a boy, in order to survive ... about religion vs. relationship ... about how to relate to God in various ways ... after a couple of hours, he told me that I was a rare soul, who dares to think and believe, and that I clearly practiced the "religion of God" (high complement from this gracious and grace-filled man). We exchanged email addresses, and book recommendations, and then he realized that our chat had caused him to miss his connection - again! Now he had to wait another five hours! I apologized profusely, but he smiled and said, "it's the will of God - this was very worth it." I plan to stay in touch with him...

We then had to board or own flight (door intact - yeah!), and flew to Little Rock ... at the baggage claim, I noticed the same Chris-Rock-look-alike standing next to me (providentially) ... since we had about 15 minutes to kill, I asked him where he was from (Medford Oregon, where I lived in 2nd grade - likely before he was born!) ... asked him what he did there. Turns out he's a comedian (but of course!), en route to a comedy show here in Arkansas ... he gave me a business card, and I told him that when he's famous, I'm gonna get rich auctioning it off on eBay -- no pressure or anything! He laughed and said he doesn't sweat it, that he just enjoys what he does, and doesn't worry ... I said, "well, when you're at peace with life, good things come to you," He brightened up, yelped, "I'm glad you said that," and pulled out one of Eckhart Tolle's new books from his bag ... I mention that I loved "The Power of Now" which he then produces out of his jacket (like a shady salesman, LOL!), dog-eared and clearly read repeatedly ... so we launch into a nice chat about new awarenesses, and growing up within Christianity ... how we've shifted -- LOL! What fun conversations! What adventure! I also told him about "The Shack" (which someone had recommended to him the other day, but of course!), and how it would bring the whole package of his childhood faith, and what he's now learning ... full circle fullness.

Wonder what other manner of adventures God has yet-in-store for me here...?

Enjoying life wide-eyed, and open-armed ...

Shalom, Dena

Monday, June 8, 2009

Laughing with God...

Rather provocative video ... try to listen with your spirit, rather than your mind:

The lyrics:

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’ve lost all they’ve got
And they don’t know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they’ll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one’s laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one’s laughing at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

Shalom, Dena

Thoughts for a Friend ...

A sweet young friend wrote to me recently, in much fear and pain, asking for prayer for a physical problem. Certainly I can relate to being catapulted into a tailspin of fear and anxiety ... it goes with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness ... when all we can see at the end of the tunnel is a faint light (& even then, the fearful assumption can be that it's a train coming right for us!).

And YET -- I've been learning that I've got a much more profound role to play in my own life ...

I see much of what passes for faith in God to be merely a sanctified sort of fatalism ... a resigned victim mentality ... as if God is fickle and capricious, but that since He's the only option we have, we may as well oy-vey ourselves into compliant acceptance.

What if that's a product of our own imaginings, and not the design of a loving and lavishly gracious God...? What if that concept arises from our own ego (both individual and collective) and not from the intersection of spirit-and-Spirit..?

What if God really *is* good, and all His plans are good, and that we're invited into not merely cooperating, but co-creating with the God in whose (Creative) image we are designed..?

With all that in mind, I'll share what I wrote to my friend:

My friend - you are created in God's image ... that means you have incredibly powerful creative abilities within you. Your mind is a powerful tool. When you think negative thoughts, you are, in effect, creating negative outcomes, bringing them about in your own experienced reality.

When you choose to focus on fear and illness, you empower them, and even bring them into manifestation.

When you choose to focus on trust and peace, you empower them, and even bring them into manifestation.

God gives you this choice, and this glorious responsibility.

You have nothing to fear but fear itself ... God is good, His universe is good -- ALL things work together for your good. No exception. No matter HOW things appear to be, we are to judge *not* by appearances (how they SEEM to us at the time).

This is why we're to thank God in *all* circumstances ... you can (by your choosing) thank Him for all that is happening, and to thank Him for the solution that He is right now, at this moment, bringing to you. But if you dwell on the negative feelings (which are actually negative vibrations that you're putting out -- everything is energy, including all matter - study quantum physics to grasp this), you are drawing more negativity to yourself. Like creates like, and like attracts like.

You have a CHOICE. You are not a helpless recipient/victim here.

You can assist your body in behaving as it was created to, by choosing to think on the good things, choosing to believe that it's awesomely and wonderfully made, and that your body knows how to restore itself to balance ... for this is how God has designed it to operate.

Your mind affects your brain, which affects your body -- do you see the awesome part you play in this?

Change your thinking, and you change your perspective, which changes your experience.

It's our *minds* that need to be renewed (to become aligned with our spirits), and then our bodies follow...

Perhaps consider asking God why you seem so drawn to the drama/trauma of life ... ask Him to show you what's at the root of this ... your peace is at stake.

Much love!

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hollerin' About Hormones...!

People who know me well knew that this day would come.

Yes, I'm going to talk about sex.

(for those who are sensitive, just put your fingers in your ears, sing "la-la-la-la-la," and this will be easier to take)

I believe we're meant to have fabulous sexual experiences ... I believe it's one of God's gifts to us. I also believe, and have experienced, how devastatingly painful it can be when sex goes awry...

In my case, there were the years of promiscuity ... (everyone hum "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places"). Those led to the years of frigidity within my marriage. Seventeen of 'em. Loooooong years, just ask my husband. There were many reasons ... I keep seeing the trend of promiscuity leading to frigidity, particular for those of us who were raised as Christians. In fact, Christians (particularly females), can pick up on a message that God doesn't like sex, and that He only gives in to it so He can get more babies (preferably Christian babies) out of the equation ... you know, as if He turns His holy head away when we "do the nasty" ... as if sex is a necessary evil He must put up with to get more church members.

In my case, I believed lies about sex... a myriad of them. That I wasn't meant to enjoy it; that it was really meant for men's pleasure; that to lose control was dangerous; that sexual pleasure was "animalistic" and "fleshly". That it was an appetite to be suppressed. My poor husband..!

About 5 years ago, God did a number on me ... showing me the lies I believed about His gift of sex, and then replacing them with His truth ... in a sudden download of gargantuan proportion...! I'll spare you the details (whew!), but suffice it to say, we were catapulted into a second honeymoon par excellence, and very much made up for lost time (this also got us kicked out of church, but I digress... and no, we weren't cavorting in front of the altar on Sunday mornings ... but I'll share that chapter another time).

Something I've discovered about women and sex ... if we don't use it, we lose it. Just the opposite reaction from men. For many of us, it's often the case that desire DOES go away when we ignore it...

But the lack of desire, the lack of interest, and the wishing sex would "just go away" may not just be about selfishness ... it could also be about biology.

The issue of hormone imbalance is a HUGE one..! I learned this first-hand when I discovered, after having my "surprise-and-welcome-to-age-45-baby", after more than 2 years of trying to "make the libido return with continued intentional sex," that it just didn't return. What worked before (frequency) didn't work now. When I discovered that my testosterone was non-existent, and got onto testosterone cream, it made a big difference (& no, I haven't morphed into a bald, bearded bass-voiced bar-fighter, chasing my man around the house, LOL!).

Women need to be checked ... particularly after the hormone fluctuations of pregnancy and nursing. And very particularly as we age, and hit peri-menopause. AND, further, it's critical to find a doctor who will listen to the one actually living in the body (now there's a thought!), and who understands female endocrinology. My own doctor pooh-poohed the notion that I even needed testosterone ... said it was "optional", and that I was "getting older" - as if to say, "it's time to stop focusing on sex, now that you're done procreating."

As the second-opinion physician said, when I relayed this to him: "Bite me!" (My new personal physician. I like this man. He then proceeded to prescribe testosterone cream from a local compounding pharmacy -- my hero!)

Sexuality is far too important to be brushed aside by anyone ... but it takes a lot of dedication, understanding & compassion from the spouse, and being our own (educated! and persistent!) health-advocate, to get to the root of biological/chemical hormone imbalances.

Far too few women understand the role that testosterone plays in their life ... not only for a healthy libido, but also for mental concentration, memory and a sense of well-being.

Women: if you've lost your groove ~ get checked...! Husbands: become an advocate for your wives' holistic well-being, not *just* so you can get more/better sex, but so that your wives can better enjoy their lives...!

Out of that overflow of wholeness, sex can be what it's meant to be: a physical/emotional/spiritual celebration of Oneness...!

Thar ya are. My $.02!

Shalom, Dena