Saturday, June 08, 2002

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CHRISTIANITY AND THE GOLLUM (LORD OF THE RINGS)

This is not a debate to justify the amount of Christianity there is in this epic story by J.R.R. Tolkien. I just wanted to draw a parallel with one of the characters: GOLLUM. Following is a description of this character taken from the Lord of the Rings web site. It strikes me as a true warning of what happens when a soul cleaves to a source of power for selfish enjoyment. The ring, goal of the quest, does not represent the Holy Spirit, nor God the Father, nor Jesus. It is a symbol. In fact in the story, the ring is evil, created by evil for sole control of all powers. The ring transforms the one that slips it on into a miserable slave...to the ring. Here's one who represent that:

GOLLUM

AKA: Trahald (birth name), Smeagol, Her Sneak, Slinker, Stinker

Smeagol was once a young boy of hobbit-like folk living near the great river Anduin long ago. Upon one fishing journey on the Anduin his cousin Deagol spotted something on the bottom of the river. Pulling it out Deagol found it to be a beautiful gold band, and when Smeagol's eyes set upon it, he had to have it.

So it was that upon that bank Smeagol strangled Deagol for the ring, and when he laid it upon his finger, all the reasons why he did so became apparent. For it was the One Ring wrought by the dark lord Sauron ages ago, and within its small golden circlet resided power far beyond the reckoning of mortals. So excited was the ring for being discovered and killed over, that it overwhelmed Smeagol the moment he slipped it on.

The ring would twist Smeagol into a wretched creature bent upon the worship of the ring as his own precious. Those that saw this wretched transformation in Smeagol began calling him Gollum for the gulping sound he made since under the influence of the Ring. Gollum would eventually retreat to the Misty Mountains and find a cave to hide from the sun, now shunned by him, and to be alone with his precious. The Ring did not like being hid away from it's true master Sauron, and given any opportunity of being found by someone other than the covetous Gollum was the little Rings silent goal.

That opportunity game when Bilbo fell into Gollum's lair when the Dwarf company was crossing the Misty Mountains on their way east. Bilbo found the One Ring sitting on upon the ground of Gollum's cave and when he discovered that by putting it on it made himself invisible he secretly waited for Gollum to show him the way out. To Gollum's complete and utter dismay he had lost his precious, and now a hobbit had his Ring. Gollum would race across Middle-earth in search of his precious Ring, and he finally caught up with the Fellowship near Lorien.

When he finally caught up with Sam and Frodo on their way towards Mordor to destroy the Ring, Frodo bade Sam not to kill him as per Gandalf's council. And so Gollum acted as their guide into Mordor, but he had his own plan and eventually sprung his trap. But they would struggle past his horrible trap and Gollum would continue tracking Frodo and Sam all the way to the edge of the Crack of Doom where the One Ring was wrought by Sauron.

Here in a frenzy he leapt upon Frodo, who had succumbed to the power of the Ring and slipped it on, but Gollum's sharp teeth bit the finger from Frodo's hand and leaping with glee after finally touching his ring after so long, he slipped and fell into the Crack of Doom. This brought about the end of the dark lord Sauron, as nearly all his power and structures were built with the power of the One Ring.

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We may very well become what we worship, and evil can look pretty tempting and sound very good, but at the heart, it is still evil.

I cry for all those who are being abused by immature and self-seeking leaders that aren opening themselves to the enemy through a quest for position in this new era of the contemporary Church. I'm sure many of them will wake up one day and see the error of their way, and repent from it. I cannot see why God would let all this come to the surface if not to deal with it for good.

The "professional leaders" breed could be in its final hour. Let them bring their heads up high enough for the sickle to harvest them at once. We might see the fear of the Lord grip hearts like never before in our lifetimes.

May we all be sobered in these times by the increasing certitude that many leaders, secular and religious, are puppets to their own lusts. Unguarded inner breaches make for entry points to the enemy, that roaring crowds can silence for a while, but not totally. To leaders who are carelessley making plans to "increase their ministries", consider Ananias and Saphira.

Taking our cues from man instead of God leaves us dangerously exposed. Character flaws left unchecked weaken one's ability and willingness to obey God, and can turn a once gentle person into a raving grabbing manipulative achiever.

Why is it so hard to get through to leaders with warnings and exhortations, unless they pat us on the head and praise our "growth", walking away untouched... There is a Gollum in all of us. But there is also Christ in us, the hope of glory.

We need to talk... for when our brothers and sisters become our employees, servants of men and women's visions, there is little that will distinguish us from this world, which will want nothing to do with us. And God's judgement will be, He says so Himself.

Leaders, while there is light, let's talk with the sheep. Don't be afraid. Give a voice to those who hear yours constantly. You will learn something.

Blessings,

Andre

Monday, May 27, 2002

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ABOUT A WIFE

May 27th, 2000, I had the privilege of wedding the most beautiful woman in the world... they all say that, but in my case, it's TRUE!

So today is our 2nd anniversary. Wow... It's a day of looking back, here and forward and measuring my life as the enfolding of a dual entity living as one, all the while getting to know better and define personal boundaries and individuality.

Joanne, my beloved and true companion, has blessed me with the greatest gift of all: genuine honesty and vibrant passion. The way she moves in life is so inspiring to me. Her humility gives us access to a mutual ground where we can both appears in our utter nakedness, and still see the beauty we connect with. We both experience that our immaturity is not something bad to be ashamed of, but only a stilled-frame of a moment in life.

The gift of transparence to each other defeats pride and diffuses anger every time, and allows our roots to weave deeper and stronger in the ground of our becoming.

She is loving, sweet, intelligent, curious, very gifted with music and dance, and she loves to celebrate God with unabashed devotion and passion. She is a strong and very fluent worshipper. A warrior at heart, a champion for the hurting, a focused and effective pray-er. I am truly a blessed man to know her and journey with her at my side. This has been life-saving in many ways...

Over the past 2 years, we've had to move from Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie, then from Portage to St.Marys, and now we're hauling our stuff from St.Marys to Guelph in 3 days! And looking forward to a new season in both our lives, she's bringing order and focus in the whole thing, as we share the various loads associated wiht it.

That's Joanne... :O)

As Nicholson says in 'As Good As It Gets': "She's making me want to be a better man..." (Hopefully, it's working...)

Happy Anniversary, babe...

Andre

Sunday, May 26, 2002

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'TIS LOVE THE GREATEST

Awards, genius, understanding, knowledge, celebrity, professional equipment, money, all fail to measure the true value of a person. If we usually relate to each other from those platforms, and expect that to be the first thing others see in us, then we fail to know love: love for ourselves, from others, and for others.

Love for ourselves: because we have shrouded our true self in the robes of selective and temporary success, and enshrined our own giftings in a room where desperate self-worship does nothing to elevate us to our own eyes, or fill us with the emotion of acceptance every heart longs for.

Love from others: because we have come to establish a foundation of value within us that demand for others to participate in the rituals of self-glorification we have come to depend upon. Isolating the heart.

Love for others: because we now treat them like we want to be treated, falsifying and negotiating our expressions of love, thinking all we do is bestowing upon the misery of others the gem of our greatness. Or we are so busy working at "receiving" that our giving is but a subtle manipulation, and could not be qualified as love, but rather a desperate display of our own needy-ness.

"1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
(1Corinthians 13)

Blessings,

Andre

Saturday, May 25, 2002

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I'm here....