immanuel

Dance with Immanuel – Cold Wax Painting

Dance with Immanuel – Cold Wax Painting

Suddenly I felt lifted up with a lot of momentum and whirled around as if we were dancing exuberantly before Immanuel put me down in the middle of a green mountain pasture.

Tanz mit Immanuel, Wachssalbe auf Papier, 50x65 cm * Dance with Immanuel, cold wax on paper, 20x25.6 in © 2015 by Faith Dance Art
Tanz mit Immanuel, Wachssalbe auf Papier, 50×65 cm * Dance with Immanuel, cold wax on paper, 20×25.6 in © 2015 by Faith Dance Art

Come, trust my guidance!

Dancing is like no other activity an expression of vulnerability (Brené Brown). Especially if it is a free style form of dancing. Only when you are inwardly free and healed, do you have the liberty to express yourself in dance.

During a conference one unit started with a time of quiet and guidance for the Immanuel process (a kind of spiritual exercise). We had just been told to remember a moment where we experienced God’s presence especially clearly. Even before I could think of something, I suddenly had the inner impression that Jesus lifted me up with a lot of momentum and whirled me around in a circle as if we were dancing and frolicking around, before he put me gently down in the middle of a green mountain pasture.

What a surprise! I was completely unprepared for this and speechless. I certainly could not have imagined that on my own. It was a moment of reveling joy in a beautiful surrounding. It was an expression full of exuberant joy, joy about being together, freedom, liberty, vulnerability, beauty, wordless appreciation and agreement.

When reflecting on it and wondering what Jesus wanted to tell me through this vision, he showed me that this was in a direct contrast to the treatment by others I was used to. Jesus rejoices in me, despite my imperfections and treats me with a lot of appreciation and respect as a woman.

With Jesus, I do not need to be afraid, that he might tear off my stripes or treat me pejoratively because of some failure or lack of gifting, or that he would treat me like a second-class citizen because I am a woman.  Only in Jesus can we find such complete acceptance and security!

***

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zeph, 3,17

Share Immanuel – Book Review

Share Immanuel – Book Review.

Wilder, E. James, and Coursey Chris M. 2010. Share Immanuel – The Healing Lifestyle. Pasadena, CA: Shepherd’s House.

“Share Immanuel” is the latest publication from Shepherd’s House in Pasadena, CA. It was written in collaboration by Jim Wilder (director of Shepherd’s House) and Chris Coursey (Thrive!)

Share Immanuel

The booklet has only 21 pages but is an excellent introduction to and summary of the Immanuel approach, which was developed by Dr. Karl & Charlotte Lehman and is part of the Life Model teaching at Thrive! conferences and Thriving recovery classes. It has already been used successfully in several different countries and cross-culturally situations.

The healing lifestyle of “Share Immanuel” includes only three simple steps:

  • Sitting with God
  • Sharing minds
  • Speaking

1. Sitting with God

means spending time in God’s presence, so to say “on the hill top.” This works much better as starting point for working through painful memories, than sitting in your pain, waiting for God to intervene and trying to “climb uphill.”

A good starting point is either remembering a situation where we experienced an interactive time in God’s presence (called the “Interactive memories seat”) or remembering things that fill us with appreciation (called the “Appreciation memories seat”). The later can include thankfulness for God’s gifts, or just special moments like a sunset or the smile of a child.

2. Sharing minds

means synchronizing our perspective with God, understanding how he sees things, and thereby making sense of things that trouble us. This results in “God peace” – a peace that is so perfect that you can’t improve on it.

This step often includes a “question time” with God, where we can ask him, for example, where he was in the painful moments, what keeps us from seeing him in the painful memory, and what we need to know about a certain situation. Once we have received his perspective on things, we can share the joy with others.

3. Speaking

refers to telling the Immanuel story you just experienced to others. It helps us to consolidate the new perspective and it creates hope in others.

We can tell the story from two angles: the “Once I lived in thorns” version has the bottom of the hill perspective, elaborating on all the pain we experienced – this will trigger similar memories in our listeners and depress them; while the story “What I appreciate about Immanuel” is told from the hill top perspective and encourages both story teller and listener.

This is the basic idea of “Share Immanuel.” The booklet includes of course much more, such as more details on how to tell the story, explanations on how we process pain, a chapter on solutions when you get stuck in the process, frequently asked questions, and links to more resources. I found that the booklet explains the process very well and in a way that anybody can understand, even without knowing the Life Model.

It is exciting to hear how the booklet has already been used in workshops in different countries and caused a snowball effect – participants who learned the basic steps, then shared their Immanuel story with others, and through this helped others to start “sitting with God” and experiencing Immanuel.

The booklet is a great summary and tool to share the Immanuel process with others.

 I found one phrase in the booklet especially descriptive:

 God offers hospitality!

 Let’s accept the invitation – come and sit with Him!

 The booklet can be ordered here.

Life Model Bites

Life Model Bites

Every time I want to explain to somebody what the Life Model is about, I realize that there are so many aspects to it, that is is nearly impossible to explain all of them at once. In addition, they are so interrelated that it is sometimes hard to understand one, without understanding the other one. It’s only over time that I started to understand and appreciate the different aspects, but probably I am not yet done.

The subtitle of the Life Model book is of course a good starter: “Living from the heart Jesus gave you.” The Life Model is about living out who we were meant to be. What does it take to really be the person God has created us to be? In a way, all the other aspects – mentioned in the book, addressed in the Munchies CD teaching [now called Jesus In Mind] , taught and practiced at Thrive conferences and in Thriving classes – flow out of this. But as I said, there are many different aspects and it is easy to lose the overview.

In one of the recent webinars at Deeper Walk International (already mentioned here), Jim Wilder gave the following

Summary of the main characteristics of the Life Model:

  • Multigenerational community
  • Immanuel lifestyle
  • Relational brain skill training

That’s a great summary.

Nevertheless, there are many subtopics that are essential for understanding even these points. This gave me the idea to try and describe different aspects of the Life Model in ‘bite size.’ I want to do this in a new series – called “Life Model bites.”

Caveat:

There is no guarantee that I already understood everything perfectly that there is to the Life Model. Neither am I officially associated with Shepherd’s House. But I am happy to share what I have learned from them, what I found interesting and helpful.

You are there

In yesterday’s Bible study group, we discussed another chapter of Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God“. It was on God’s omnipresence. Among other things, we read Psalm 139:7-10 and were then encouraged to rewrite the verses with those places where we need to be reminded of God’s presence. Here is my personalized version:

When I am wasting time with red tape,
you are there.

When I feel powerless in the face of corruption,
you are there.

When I am overwhelmed with things to do,
you are there.

When I am exhausted from the noise around me,
you are there.

When I am unable to meet others’ expectations and accomplish my own goals,
you are there.

When I feel lost and uncertain about the next steps,
you are there.

Even there you are IMMANUEL – God with me,
surrounding me with your love,
and delighting over me.

Rewriting these verses was very helpful for me and a wonderful reminder of God’s presence.