#16 Part 2: Richmond Friend’s

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This is Part 2 of the Richmond Friend’s post. What can I say....it was a long hour!

Here’s how the conversation went pretty much from start to finish:

Me: So, yeah, sorry about my judgments regarding this Quaker woman, God.

Him: I told you that you’re already forgiven. You’re human but do your best to stop that. Let’s move past this though, I have much more to talk with you about.

Me: Okay, thank you for your forgiveness. Where should we begin, God?

Him: You tell me. What would you like to talk with Me about?

Me: Well, first off, is this You or me talking?

Him: I am.

Me. Okay, I guess that means You. It doesn’t feel like me. I just can’t believe you’re still talking. I’m used to your one liners God. I can’t imagine you’ll be with me this whole hour. I bet 5 minutes from now I’m going over my weekly TO DO list in my head.

Him: Let’s not talk about the next 55 minutes, okay? Let’s focus on the present. Anything you’d like to talk about?

Me: Well, sure, let’s start with this new found search for You.

Him: Glad you brought that up. I challenge you to not think of this so much as a search.

Me: Well, how could I not? I’m searching for truth.

Him: We’re with you now. So what is it you’re searching for?

Me: We? Actually, I understand why you’re saying "We". No need to clarify. It’s like that book the Shack, right? How funny that you’re now saying We though. That’s new, but I think I dig it.

Okay, so you’re telling me that since you’re here with me now I don’t need to search for you.... Okay, I get that, God. But what about all the books I’m reading on Jesus and my Bible study with the Pastor every Wednesday? Do you not want me to look for You then either?

Them: We just don’t want you to approach us as something outside of yourself. We’re right here with you. All you really need is to commune with Us. But continue reading if you like. Continue studying Our Word for sure. It’s good for you to strengthen your faith if those books help you. But it’s important for you to know this Truth: We’re already here with you, right now and We will always be with you as long as you continue down this path.

Me: Wait, did you mean to say "as long as" meaning, you might leave me if I don’t continue down this spiritual path? Could God ever leave my life?

Them: Nope. We’re always here. As long as you want us to be of course and as long as you continue to Love us.

Me: Oh, and by Love you mean to keep your Commandments and have a relationship with You.

Them: Exactly.

Me: Okay, so since I have you All here, let me ask. Is the Bible true?

Them: Yes. It is Our Word. It is 100% truth.

Me: I knew it! But I just don’t understand how so many people interpret it differently then?

Them: I never said that people are Truth. I said Our Word is. It is never changing. It is what We say it is. But only the Spirit can reveal It’s Truth to people. People can’t understand it (even though it’s 100% truth) without the Spirit revealing itself through revelation. The Book is quite magical to say the least.

Me: Ahhhh....so you’re saying that the Truth is in the Word and we should know it through the Holy Spirit not our own human understanding, meaning our own interpretations.

Them: Yes, through Us.

Me: Well, I hope You reveal it to me.

Them: We will continue to do what you allow Us to do. If you ask, it is already given.

Me: Well is there something I can do to better worship and serve you God? I guess I’m asking: How do you think I’m doing in life?

Them: Glad you asked. You have not been given the gift of interpreting the Bible through Spirit and giving it to others. You have tried to understand it instead of allowing it to reveal itself like We say It does. We have shown you it’s truth and will continue to. But you can not share that truth through indepth knowledge of the Scripture with other people. It’s not your gift, We haven’t called you to do so, not now anyway.

Me: I can’t? Well why not? Don’t you want me to tell people about You?

Them: We do. But not like this. Understanding the Bible and sharing it with others is not your gift. You can’t have all gifts, Jessica. Yours are special, but different. Talk about it, question it, sure. But don’t say what it means unless you allow Us to say what it means. You don’t know yet.

Me: Oh, got it. So basically, being a pastor is not in my future? But people like my Pastor on Wednesday, they have this spiritual gift of understanding the Bible?

Them: Yes. Your pastor understands because the Spirit has shown it to Him. It is his gift.

Me: Okay, well I didn’t think that gift was for me anyway. It seemed to go "against the grain" when I tried to understand the Bible and tell people about it. But I was open to being a pastor if that’s what You were calling me to do and I was just missing it. You know that, right God? That I’m ready for however you want me to serve you best.

Them: We know you are. And that’s why We’re telling you teaching scripture is not for you, if we didn’t think you were ready to hear it, we’d just omit that part and let you try and save the world yourself.

Me: Well then what is my gift?

Them: You already know the spiritual gifts We’ve given you.

Me: I think I do. Can I run them by you so you can tell me if I’m right?

Them: Of course.

Me: The blog and coaching. I’m supposed to help coach people and write about you, those are my gifts.

Them: Well, you have it somewhat right.

Me: Somewhat? Where am I missing it? Is there more? Less? You know God, I’m open to whatever you will have me do.

Them: We know. Which is why we’re ready to give you the understanding you’ve been asking of Us.

Me: Great! Let’s hear it!

Them: The blog and your writing is for you. Not for other people. The coaching is for others, not necessarily for you.

Me: So I shouldn’t share the blog anymore? What do you mean "for me" and "for others"?

Them: Keep writing in your blog. Don’t worry about the blessings or whose reading. Just keep continuing to write about Us. You MUST be obedient in this. However, We are having you continue writing for your own good, not the good of others. This is for YOU to have a strengthened faith. For you to be accountable for continuing your relationship with Us. If We choose to bless you here, great. We may not choose this as your blessing in the way you think of it though. Instead, you are to write the blog in obedience to Us. And you are to obey because it is good for strengthening your faith. It is good. And that’s all you need right now. The blog is not yours. It is ours. And I am using it for your good, not necessarily for the good of others. So don’t worry about every word you write and whether or not you are helping spread our message through it. Just write the truth and We will strengthen your faith through that Truth. And We will do with OUR blog, what We see fit.

Me: Wow. So my words mean nothing to others when I write? It’s just for me only? That’s disappointing, I guess. I put so much time into it.

Them: Your disappointment is proof that it continues to be for YOU, not for others and you haven’t even allowed it to be for Us. Your words you say. All glory be given to Us. Not you.

Me: You’re right! Oh thank you God for pointing that out. I can’t believe I’m saying this.... But I love when you show me my weakness. This understanding of myself is nothing short of strict discipline and I desire it. What about the coaching? How is that not for me but for others?

Them: I’m calling you for service of others.

Me: Service, huh? Through coaching?

Them: Through serving. In your coaching sessions, you are serving others. Think of each coaching client you’ve had thus far. All 4. What do they know of you?

Me: They know I care about them.

Them: What else?

Me: They know I want them to succeed.

Them: What else?

Me: They know I want them to be happy and encouraged.

Them: What else?

Me: They know I’m willing to go above and beyond a traditional coaching role to a doing role if it benefits them in some capacity. They know I’m willing to give my time. My energy. They know that I would spend my time outside of our sessions doing for them. They know that without really even knowing much about them, I love them. And to be honest, they all know that I do this because of YOU.

Them: Bingo. There you go. Witness by serving. Not by your scriptural knowledge but through service they will see Us. Serve and give of yourself and let them know who YOU serve. It’s not forced; it’s natural, it’s not "against the grain" as you like to call it. You’ve already done it without knowing or thinking about it. This is your calling from Us. Share Us by serving people.

Me: *Ahem* well God, they actually pay me for this service. Should they continue to pay me? Or since this is your service should I do it for free?

Them: Any financial blessing you receive is a gift. So allow it. But if someone can not afford your love and help, give it anyway. For free.

Me: Okay, well how often should I be doing this?

Them: Constantly, Always be Serving.

Me: Well, what about our web design business?

Them: You will always be blessed financially with or without your help in your husband’s business.

Me: Okay. Actually that’s easy for me to believe, God. Because I’ve always just felt blessed financially like I understood that I was just supposed to have money.

Them: You always will be. It is a gift from Us. You’re welcome.

Me: I was going to say thank you but you beat me to the punch.

Them: We know. Anything else you want to know?

Me: Let’s see. What about my marriage?

Them: Another blessing given to you by Us. You’re welcome.

Me: But we’ll have hard times like everyone else and we’ll have to....

(They interrupted me)

Them: Stop using the human idea of having to struggle and just accept the Truth. We’ve blessed you financially and we’ve blessed your marriage. No struggle needed. They are gifts offered by Us. You shall not struggle in the sense that everyone tells you that you will. You are blessed by Us. There is no struggle here if you just allow Us to do what we do in your marriage.

Me: Thank you.

Them: Anything else?

Me: Okay, about my marriage, so you say it’s good. What about my spiritual development and it co-existing with my marriage? I fear that if I go in one direction, he may go in another.

Them: As we said...your marriage is blessed by Us. The two of you have, and will have, a marriage like We intended people to have from the beginning. You will grow together, not apart. We are telling you the Truth.

Me: Thank you.

Them: What else would you like to discuss?

Me: Well let’s see. How about my friend Susie. She really wants a baby. Since you and I are talking I may as well ask....is Susie going to get pregnant? Is prophecy something you’ll reveal to me as a gift too? She really wants to.

Them: Whether or not she gets to bear a child isn’t your concern. We will tell you this.... She has been conversing with Us just as you have. She will share in Our blessings the same way you have. And Our will be done. That’s all you need to know.

Me: She has? I didn’t know that!!!

Them: You have enough to worry about with your own journey, there was no need for Us to reveal her journey to you.

Me: Fair enough. Well I hope it is your will for Susie to have a baby. She REALLY wants it.

Them: We know what her desire is. WE will bless her the way We see fit.

Me: Okay, sorry. You already said to kinda stay out of it. I will. Glad to hear she’s talking with you though.

Them: So are We. Your desire for Susie to Love us pleases Us.

Me: That’s a good question, let’s look at that for a moment....Do You All get happy or is that an emotion just for us humans?

Them: We are certainly pleased when people commune with Us if that’s what you mean.

Me: So me talking with you makes you happy.

Them: Nothing makes us happier than your love.

Me: I’m glad I could make you happy, God. I didn’t realize I had that ability to do that since you’re God and all.

Them: You have pleased us much lately. Continue to let Us guide you on your path.

Me: I want to be guided. I want you to light my way. Like the song! A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I love that song!

Them: We do too. And it is just like that song. We are looking to show you all things. You just need to talk with Us. Like you are right now.

Me: What else should I ask of you since I have your ear?

I turned around at this point and looked at the clock, I had 20 minutes left until the service was over.

Me: Okay, God. I have a whole 20 minutes, what should we cover? Oh! How about how my brother Jon in seminary. You must have great things in store for him, right?

Them: Jon pleases us much. We have decided that you two should gather continually in Our name for your sake.

Me: For my sake?

Them: For both your sakes. You and Jon are talking about Us because We decided that the two of you needed one another to strengthen eachother’s faith. Not that you couldn’t find Us without each other, but having a family member who is equally yoked helps clarify many things for the two of you. I’ve gifted you both with one another so that you will grow strong in Us. The power of two in my name is more awesome than you could ever imagine.

Me: Great. I’m so happy for that. I love Jon so much.

Them: We know you do. We have blessed you both. Just be patient in all things.

Me: How about my friend Bobby and Mary? I’ve been praying God for you to illuminate the lives of both Bobby and Mary with your Spirit. Are you going to do that?

Them: We will.

Me: Can you clarify the meaning of that? Are You going to make sure that they both have You?

Them: Everyone already has Us. They just have to have understanding of that truth. Remember, I came for the Jew and the Gentile.

Me: Oh no, this isn’t going to go in the direction I think is it? That frustrating direction I keep coming to about who gets the Kingdom and who doesn’t? I don’t want to think or talk about that anymore.

Them: And so you shouldn’t. I’m glad you brought this up. You have been defending Our name in Our honor with arguments and logic. You know better. First, you know so little about the Bible yet you use It to spread the Word. Stop it. This is not your gift as We’ve told you before. Your gift is service. Not to understand who gets Us. We came for everyone. Bobby, Susie, Mary, Everyone.

Me: But that’s big because Mary and Bobby have both asked me whether or not they get you if they don’t believe in the story of Jesus. How shall I answer?

Them: With Love. With Service. As We called you to do. When asked, tell them about Me, but tell them you don’t know about everyone else. Because YOU DON’T.

Me: So let me get this straight. If I pray for Bobby and Mary to find You and then if they ask me, (who clearly has found you otherwise we wouldn’t be talking right now) what the truth is, I shouldn’t tell them?

Them: How can you tell them truth if you don’t know it?

Me: But i do, I know THIS.

Them: Then this is what you should tell them. Tell them with your gifts. Which are what again?

Me: Service and encouragement.

Them: Perfect. So from now on, try not to defend Our honor with argument or defend it with scripture. Instead, use your gifts to spread our gospel and say "I DONT KNOW" for the parts you are unsure of. Service and encouragement, that’s what you are responsible for.

Me: So for instance, I should help serve Bobby and Mary and that’s how you want me to witness.

Them: Exactly. But Our only request is that when you do, during your service, you let them know why you serve them with no strings attached. Not because of you and your goodness, but because God has asked you to.

Me: I can do that. I think I’m feeling much better about not having self-importance these days. I am finding less of a need for recognition from others. I still have a long way to go, I know. But I feel like I’m making strides in that department.

Them: We see that is so. And it is good. But you’re human and you will stumble, continue to stay close to Us and We will continue to make you more like Us.

Me: Oh good. Can you do me a favor and make me humble? Can you continue to give me understanding? And faith?

Them: Yes, this is Our promise to you. Our will be done.

Me: Thank you so much for this conversation.

I opened one eye and checked out the time behind me. I had 3 minutes left.

Me: So we only have 3 more minutes.

Them: Anything else you want to know about Us?

Me: I just want to thank You....All of You, I guess.

Them: You’re welcome.

Me: Can you please keep me strong in my faith?

Them: All you need to do is believe that We are real. That this conversation is real. When you open your eyes and re-enter the world, just remember you spoke with Us today and that’s the reality of all this. Don’t equate it to talking to yourself. Know it for what it is and you will be doing Our will and We will continue to show ourselves to you and your faith with multiply beyond your dreams. We are Real.

Me: Okay. I can do that. This conversation IS REAL. This conversation is Real. This conversation is Real.

Them: I am.

Me: Thank you.

Them: Thank you, it has been Our pleasure talking with you today.

I opened my eyes and the rest of the congregation did as well. Everyone stood up and one by one, we broke our silence by saying good morning to one another and shaking each others hands. The woman I had assumed was a mean old Amish lady made her way toward me. The minute our eyes connected, I could see her Light shining. I thanked God silently. She said, "you’re new aren’t you? How did you hear about us?" I told her I was new to the service and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Which was a complete understatement. I wanted to shout, "Do you know that God talks back??!!!" but I had a sneaky suspicion she already knew.

As I left the service I looked back at the modestly dressed woman one last time and my heart filled with joy and peace. She offered me a warm inviting smile as if she knew that I had judged her and then had asked God for forgiveness. I felt that she too had offered her own personal forgiveness to me without hesitation. I smiled back at the Spirit I had come to know so well. The same Spirit her and I both shared. I knew with certainty that the past hour was indeed very Real and we were real Friends.

To learn about what I think is by leaps and bounds the best service I have attended so far, check out the Richmond Friend’s website at: http://www.richmondfriends.org/

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2 Comments

  • Joe

    Joe April 19, 2010

    Jon!!?? Not one question of “them” about ME??? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Cmon Jess!! I got alot of questions for God!!!

    - Your loving (other) brother!!

  • Jessica

    Jessica April 19, 2010

    Well Jon was shocked that I didn’t mention dad. I told him that maybe I did…I just didn’t post it for all the world to see:) I mean, I’m incredibly open but even I think some things are better kept for my eyes/ears only!

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