" Oh, trust me, it's not. More like Eurasian funk & blues with a message, & a great beat." She sidestepped toward Mack as if she were doing a dance move & clapped.
"So God listens to funk?" Mack had never heard 'funk' talked about in any properly righteous terms. "I thought you would be listening to George Beverly Shea or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir----you know, something churchier."
Papa replies that she listens to everything & not just the music, but the hearts behind it.'
"I'm not that great a swimmer & besides, the water looks pretty damn cold," complained Mack. He suddenly realized what he had said & felt his face flush. "Uh, I mean darn, pretty darn cold." He looked up at Jesus with a frozen grimace on his face, but the other man seemed to be actually enjoying Mack's discomfort.
"Mack, the world system is what it is. Institutions, systems, ideologies & all the vain, futile efforts of humanity that go with them are everywhere & interaction with all of it is unavoidable. But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social or political. You will grow in freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems & to move freely between & among them. Together, you & I can be in it & not of it."
"The Bible doesn't teach you to follow rules. It is a picture of Jesus. While words may tell you what God is like & even what he may want from you, you cannot do any of it on your own. Life & living is IN HIM & in no other.......You will hear & see me in the Bible...just don't look for rules & principles; look for relationship---a way of coming to be with us(the trinity)."
"There are many who think they are made righteous by following the rules. There is no mercy or grace in rules, not even for one mistake. That's why Jesus fulfilled all of it for you- so that it no longer has jurisdiction over you.***Those who are afraid of freedom are those who cannot trust us to live in them. Trying to keep the law is actually a declaration of independance, a way of keeping control. *** Rules cannot bring freedom; they only have the power to accuse.""My very essence is a verb. Verbs such as confessing, repenting, living, loving, growing, dancing, singing & on & on. Humans, on the other hand, have a knack for taking a verb that is alive & full of grace & turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something growing & alive dies. Unless 'I am,' there are no verbs & verbs are what makes the universe alive. My words are alive & dynamic--full of life & possibility; yours are dead, full of law & fear & judgement. That is why you won't find the word responsibility in the Scriptures."
And it all ends with a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning~~
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it & pluck blackberries.