Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God – Really?

I’ve been reflecting on my experiences of God and want to share one with you. I’ve often been puzzled by the talk of sin and God’s wrath. I used to read sermons such as those by Jonathan Edwards and try to fit my belief into the box of an angry God who needed to have his wrath appeased, but I couldn’t ever fit. Here’s a story from my early life that shows why I struggled.

I closed the back door of our home, shutting Hugh out of my life, relieved that I would never see him again. I had been very cold and closed towards him that evening, yet as I closed the door, I heard a voice and felt an impression in my heart. ‘You haven’t loved your brother in Christ.’ That was all. That was it. I heard the words and knew their truth in my heart. I felt no condemnation, but knew the reality was that I hadn’t loved him. No matter what else happened in our lives, Hugh was my brother in Christ and I had been rude to him. I knew that wasn’t the way I was supposed to be living. I wasn’t walking the path Jesus was guiding me along but was veering off on my own direction. I had asked for a life companion, a husband and Hugh had been given to me yet I had rejected the gift. What would happen now? What happens when God gives you a gift and you toss it aside?

My experience of God in that moment was of understanding, tenderness, righteousness and love. God heard the negative churning in my mind, saw the decision I made and didn’t run away from me. My coldness and rudeness were seen, understood and mirrored back to me. God spoke tenderly into my mind and my heart, describing what I had done and what I hadn’t done. I was shown a glimpse of my cruelty yet also showed a different path that I was invited to walk. I’m to love. God didn’t start with me loving the whole world, but loving one person, who was my brother in Christ, one person who has faith and is wanting to walk the path of life with me. God showed me the path of loving, the path of kindness, the path that Jesus walked. It’s a beautiful path, might not always be easy but it is the path of loving.

I didn’t hear any condemnation that day. I experienced understanding, tenderness, righteousness and love. Love for me. Love for Hugh. Understanding for what might have been. Understanding for was going to be because of my choices.

I had listened to the voices of criticism that came from a place of fear, from that place deep inside me where I was taught to fear loving, that place that carts out boulders and builds walls. God saw me in that place, had compassion on me, didn’t run from me or abandon me or shut the door on me, but spoke tenderly, firmly, and wisely into my life. God is good, faithful, kind, compassionate. God knows me, knows each of us and cares.

I’ve never encountered wrath or anger, only God’s tenderness, compassion and invitation.

Perhaps this week you would enjoy journalling one of your experiences of God.

Love and prayers


Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Companion on the Rivendell Way

Society Member of Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living

Broken and Open

He was there every day. How many days had they passed him by? But this day was different. Was he different? Were they different?

‘He’ was a man who had been lame from birth, living his adult life as a beggar asking for help of people as they entered the main worship place in the city. Surely those people would be kind to him. ‘They’ were two of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, that impetuous one and John, the one who sat close to Jesus. That day, they ‘saw’ the lame man reaching out to them and from their open, broken hearts the healing power of God moved through them to heal the lame man.

That was the Gospel in church this week. I listened as the homilist created the context for the story, drawing us into the lives of Peter, John and the Lame Man. She asked us to consider the changes in Peter from a simple fisherman to preacher/healer and how that had happened as he received the Holy Spirit and partnered with God.

She continued to develop that point, but I didn’t want to join her there. I wanted to look more deeply at Peter. I wanted to be on the beach with him when he encountered Jesus after …. after… after….he had been exposed as the superficial one, the one who betrays not for money, but for personal safety, for other’s good opinions…after the humiliating crush of his denial.

There are several resurrection stories that mention Peter. In none of them do we hear a word or reprimand or condemnation from Jesus to Peter. In the beach scene, they walk together, a bit apart from the others. Jesus reaches to him in love, restoring him, entrusting him with ministry.

I yearned this morning… Please take us to the beach, walk us through his denial, his grief, his confrontation and reconciliation with Jesus. Walk us into his humility. I wanted to touch his humility, to sit with him in it and experience it myself.

I believe that’s where our power connection lies. Peter and John could be vehicles of

Christ’s healing power because they had been healed themselves. They knew their own lameness and had reached out their own hands receiving healing. They had been humbled, stripped of their own layers of competency till they were open channels for the flow of Divine Love.

This morning I could feel my own layers of competency, of training, of knowledge, of understanding, of pride, and yearn that the dam be broken, that I not be bound by them. Let me crumble before Jesus as Peter did. Let me know my own weakness so that all that is left is a humble heap, a lame woman, with a hand reaching out.


Openness to God’s Spirit.

I catch glimpses of how much quiet, internal resistance there is within me to humility. Glimpses of how I can flee from weakness and whip up a shield of competency.

May my heart be open, may my heart be broken so the divine healing power can flow through me to those in need.

Imagine with me … what if more and more of us were open, were broken, were channels of the healing power of Divine Love.

If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.

Love and prayers


Mystic in Motion

Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada


What’s on Your Mind?

captureSo it happened again. Suddenly a phrase that I have read dozen’s, probably hundreds of times took on new life and meaning. I’ve been an intentional follower of Jesus since 1972 so I’ve read and studied the Bible a lot, spent ten years teaching it and another fifteen preaching from it, yet it can still amaze me when suddenly I ‘hear’ a word from scripture as if for the first time.

Philippians 2.5 ‘Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus’. Put on the mind of Jesus. So, I’m to have a mind transplant! Not my perspective, longings, interior jumble but that of Jesus. How might the world look through the mind, heart, experience of Jesus? What would be the contents of his mind?

One of my anchoring practices is meditation and when I sit each day I’m very aware of the mind of Anne. It’s not the mind of Jesus. I’m also aware that sometimes I put on the mind of other people. I let them speak into my mind in a way that isn’t helpful. I can hear the voice of….my family, friends, colleagues, advertisers, songs, shows – doesn’t the list go on and on! That feeling of failure that I wake up with in the middle of the night, that’s not the mind of Christ; that feeling of discontent when I’m overlooked, that’s not the mind of Christ.

This week I read that Einstein would get to a silent, non-questioning place and then he could hear what he needed to hear. He wrote, “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence and the truth comes to me.” Ramanujan, the mathematician from ‘The Man from Infinity’ said something similar. In his prayers, the solutions would be evident. Both of those experiences sound like the mind of Christ to me. They are listening beyond themselves into the heart of the universe. In the stillness, when the mind of Anne is quiet, then I can hear the voice of God. What is it like for you to listen like that?

In that moment of awareness when I was reading scripture, it was a fresh wind blowing through my life. A tiny moment of silence; from that place once again, I say ‘yes’. I want to see the world, others, and myself with the eyes and heart of God. And in that moment, I feel the surrender of the mind of Anne into the mind of the Divine and it is good. I know the mind of Christ and I long to know it more deeply.

It’s a complex, mixed up world we live in. We need to be grounded, deeply rooted in who we are and whose we are. Putting on the mind of Christ is one more filter for me as I find my mystical way through a chaotic world.

“Let the mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”

Peace to our world


Contemplative Fire Community Leader Canada



What is ‘teal’?

As some Companions in Contemplative Fire gathered to explore Laloux’s ideas, we called our times together, ‘Teal Talks’.

‘Teal’ describes an evolutionary stage of human consciousness in relation to social organizations. Just as humans mature through emotional stages of development, Laloux describes the evolutionary development of our social organizations from small bands, to tribes, chiefdoms, nation states, and corporations. Within the later stages he describes corporations or organizations that are hierarchical, achievement oriented, and pluralistic. Each stage is allocated a colour – magenta (bands), red (impulsive chiefdoms), amber (conformist tribes/states, organizations), orange  (achievement nation states/corporations), and green  (pluralistic groups/organizations). Finally, he sees evidence of the most current level of our human consciousness in some organizations which are ‘teal’. These communities or companies have let go of much of their hierarchy along with the supporting structures and practices. They embody the three hallmarks of teal or evolutionary growth: purpose driven, self-managed and value a wholistic approach to life and business.

How do you respond to this simple description of Teal? If curious for more, search

We met and we talked. We talked ‘teal’ and that led us to speak of our experiences in life. Our times became rich and meaningful. It felt like to me, the way life was meant to be lived.  We discovered more of who we are individually and as a community. We spoke of becoming more of who we are, both individually and as a community. More. Not more in a BIG sense but more in completeness.

Can you, with me, imagine your company, community, church functioning this way? I think it smells like Jesus. Can you imagine with me our world moving in this direction?

Love and prayers


Community Leader Canada