Evacuated Yet Again, But My House Will Stand!

It was a Thursday morning, five or six weeks ago, bright and beautiful, during my Quiet Time.  I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Take care of business at home.”  What did that mean?  I prayed about it, for my home and beloveds therein.  I walked through the house, praying, listening, and felt led to go outside.

Outside I walked around the house, praying God’s protection over it.  I then felt led to turn and extend my arms in all directions, praying for all that I could see.

That evening my daughter said, looking outside, “Look at the light, it’s so golden, so beautiful.”  John and I looked, and then at each other.  “That’s not normal.”  From the west it was, the light of a sun setting through the smoke of a forest fire.

I called the daughter who lives safely down the mountain and told her what I’d been led to pray, and that there was a fire, the “Cameron Peak” fire.  “That’s wild, Mom,” she said. “I had a dream last night that the entire mountain was on fire.”

A week or so later (during Labor Day weekend) we were evacuated.  After a few days in the friendliest hotel we’ve ever stayed in, the Cheyenne, Wyoming Days Inn, we were allowed back home.  A lovely rain and snow storm seemed to have defeated the monster.

But alas, here we are again, in Day 10 of Evac #2.  The winds came along with the heat, dead timber, rough and inaccessible terrain and the fire re-ignited, growing to today’s acreage of over 124,000 acres.

Many people are in shelters, their possessions piled about them, wearing masks, coughing from smoke.  Others, like a lovely couple I ran into yesterday are struggling because they’re staying in a condo without a TV.  We are pitied because there are four of us in one hotel room.

Perspective.  I choose a 5-Star perspective, to borrow from Fiona Ferris in her lovely book, Thirty More Chic Days.  Fiona noted that if you read the 1-star reviews of a book, even one you’ve read and loved, it will taint your opinion of the book.  She’s decided to only read the 5-star reviews, as those will enhance your experience and enjoyment of the book.

I would add that the 5-star reviews are written by people who are thankful.  If they were masked and in a shelter, they’d be ever so grateful for the heat and running water.  If they had a condo, TV or otherwise, they’d be glad, glad, glad they could afford privacy.  If like us, they were in a hotel, they’d be grateful for the funds (our employer is paying, hooray!) to cozy up and get acquainted with the charming town of Cheyenne.

It takes a bit of wisdom and smarts to be thankful.  It takes nothing but bowing to the flesh, which anyone can do, to gripe.

So, even though I really want to go home, I’m making the most of, praying for ideas of how to spend, each day.  And I’m knowing we’ll be home when we go home.  Meanwhile, home is where my beloveds are, and our good God is always there.

If it doesn’t feel like it (such as a few days ago when the winds came up to 60 mph and the fire went straight toward our house) it’s because I’m not doing a 5-star lookout.  A 5-star lookout means my mind’s working right and is certain that I was led to pray protection for my home, and that my home is protected.

We have also been praying for protection for our firefighters and thus far (and we’re believing this will continue) there have been no injuries reported.  Numerous structures have been destroyed, but again, no injuries, no lives lost.

Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me to be thankful.  And please bless this lovely coffee shop we’ve found in Cheyenne, The Rail Yard, which had we not been evacuated, I might never have discovered.

I think I’ll do a post about my Cheyenne discoveries.

Get Thee Behind Me, Fear of COVID!

Even as I am grieved and aggrieved at masks, social distancing, and other evidences of people tormented by Fear and lies, I am glad of the changes I see.  In me.

After the third “encounter” with extremely aggressive and just plain demented-by-fear folks because my mask was below my nose, I am at a good place with it all.  I am in a place of prayer, day in and day out, and all the day long.  And even as I want “the end of masks forever and ever amen” all of it is growing me, hooray.

I wasn’t always so sanguine, and handled each mask attack differently.  To the first “helper” I said, “I don’t need a mask, I have Jesus,” which caused him to physically jerk and jump, and then scuttle away as quickly as possible.

I wasn’t feeling so smug after subsequent incidents.  “You’re not that special,” I said to three store clerks actually shouting at my husband and me across the store (about 30 feet away).  We turned and left the store, where they no doubt lamented the idiocy of stupid old goats like us who are too dumb to understand the importance to us all of wearing the masks.

Then there was the wild girl who looked like she was about to lose it, so I pulled up the mask and said just loudly enough for her to hear as I left the store, “Shove it up your ass.”  Yay, Bev.  Way to go!  That really was brilliant and beautiful.

And then.  She was a young mom who just really, really, really got under my skin.  If you’re a bit “mature” as am I, you know the one.  She thinks her child is the first and only and she’s God’s golden model of excellence in motherhood.   Along with that pride, of course, is the knowledge that anyone past fifty is passe, and must be helped and educated and somehow tolerated.  Just the memory of that encounter.  Well, I didn’t say much to her, as she made it clear that listening wasn’t her strong suit.  But I lost my joy over it to the extent that I had to come up with a strategy.

Obviously, I reasoned, these helpful little darlings aren’t going anywhere (there have been two more happy times to date).  I had gone through the usual prayers of repentance, forgiveness, etc. but I couldn’t shake the aggravation of Super Mom.  Finally, I did two things:  I made a plan for exactly how to handle it next time; and I gave her a name and went to work in prayer.

I named her Amanda and her baby Chloe, and prayed for her husband, home, finances, everything that came to mind.  I prayed her free from fear.  And I determined that the next encounter will go something like this:

Helper:  I’ll need you to pull your mask up all the way and keep your nose covered.

Bev:  Oh, certainly, even though I can’t breathe and it’s very unhealthy, and the masks don’t work.  I’ll do that for you, and listen to your views about this, and very respectfully, and in return I’d like to ask you to listen to my views about the real reason, even deeper than those I mentioned, about the mask.

Helper:  OK (not looking very ecstatic so far).

Bev:  The real reason is that Jesus is my healer.  I haven’t been to the doctor since my last child was born twenty years ago, and (if there’s a child) I can tell you how to raise that child free from the torment of Fear.

Helper:  Uh . . . (she very well may leave with a pithy comment about my selfishness and ignorance, punctuated with sighs and eye-rollings, in which case we hope Bev’s best laid plans don’t fly out the window as she blows it yet again).  But let’s just suppose things remain civil.

Bev:  Here’s my card.  I’d love to talk to you about this.  And pray with you.  You don’t have to live in fear.  Call me.  Really.

Helper takes card and I ask if she’s brave enough to shake my hand.  I ask her for her name and tell her I’m going to pray for her, assuring her that I’ve been where she is, only probably much more fearful, as I was a world-class worrier once upon a time.

I hate Fear, and I hate the author of it.  The Great Deceiver, Father of Lies.  

If you’re under the dominion of Fear nothing I can say will change your mind.  The mask, may I suggest, is your God.  But could I implore and beg you to look at the words of God, the deeds of Jesus.  “For God has not given us a Spirit of Fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”  You can’t have it both ways, if you bow to fear, you will be powerless, unloving, and not of sound mind.

Let us all pray for victory over Fear. Let us pray for each other and let us be changed.  Amen.

Doors to Delight in the Details of Daily Life

There is a bed to be made lovely, a thank-you card to send, a bit more Quiet Time to be had, as mine was interrupted by a lovely breakfast with my husband.  We talked, rather than eating, so I reheated my walnut-topped raisin English muffin to be split with my son, this after buttering and toasting and topping it all with pumpkin pie spice and raw honey.

Of course, French press LaVazza on the balcony is the only thing for this, along with birdsong-interspersed conversation, and then back inside for a few more details.  Back to a resumption of my Quiet Time.  Earlier I read the words in red (hanging with Jesus so I can be like Him) and now for Oswald.  In My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers I read this:  “The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.”

Does this resonate, even ring out, to others as to me?  Possibly not.  We are all so very different, unique.  I’m reminded of a previous day’s devotion:  “Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.”

It occurs to me that, other than prayer, all other people really need from me is an example—that of the enjoyment of each and every detail and duty of my life, and the smile on my face because I have chosen to obey God in “the tiniest detail(s).”

Putting each moment, task, and detail under the protection and blessing of His Love adds up to a beautiful and wondrous life.  A unique life.

Choose Love’s Freedom and Victory, Not Jealousy’s Torment and Guaranteed Defeat

The Bible talks of a “spirit of jealousy” and if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it, you won’t hesitate to believe.  This is a spirit that divides those who are meant to be the best of friends, the closest, dearest and most faithful of companions.  It’s wily, pervasive, and deadly to all concerned.

If, like myself, you’ve been a victim of this spirit from childhood, but by some miracle were never prone to jealousy yourself, you are jealousy’s lesser victim.  The real victims of the spirit of jealousy are those under its power.  Not only can they never have a true and unblemished friendship, but perhaps even more tragically, they can never attain that thing about which they’re jealous.

If you’re filled with a furious disdain for the lovely blonde with the darling tribe of little blonde children, obviously cared for by a doting daddy somewhere (or not, you don’t know), let that fury be your signal, your clanging bell with flashing red lights on the arm over the railroad crossing.  There’s a freight train of destruction headed your way, and you’d better stop right now.  This train means to make absolutely certain you never have that family of your own, or whatever it is you fear to even hope for.

Don’t just say “no” say, “ABSOLUTELY NOT, YOU FOUL, LYING, PUTRID DEMON SPIRIT.  I love, admire, respect, pray for, and enjoy the sight of that beautiful little family.  And I know that they have their trials and troubles, and again, I pray for them.  And I dare to believe that You, Lord God Almighty, have the very deepest desires of my heart, for me as well.  I can choose jealousy and defeat, or I can choose faith working through love.  I not only choose faith working through love, I embrace it and hold fast to it, and declare I will never again be under the sway of jealousy.”

Jealousy runs rampant in our society, also known as “class envy” and fostering a festering and demonic hatred in those who want what others have.  Again, until they, jealousy’s primary victims, are free of this spirit, they will never have what they desire.  When we submit to Satan we guarantee our own blindness and defeat. 

The key is to choose to admire people for those relationships, talents, attributes, gifts, accomplishments and possessions you currently lack, and to kick jealousy in the teeth by loving those people in thought and deed.  Then your mind will be cleared of the filth produced by jealousy, and you will see your way clear to praying and believing what the Word of God Himself says about being “no respecter of persons” and giving you “the desires of your heart.”  Then your mind will see yourself as “complete and lacking nothing” and you will laugh at the very idea that you are somehow less than anyone else.

Choose Jesus’ Love, not Jealousy’s Torment.  Those people you think you hate are the very ones God wants you to bless, and vice versa.  Amen!

 

Opportunities to Pray, Because Fear is NOT the Way!

Yay for the abundance of “opportunities to pray” all day!  

When our daughter Hannah was targeted for abortion – doc said I’d die otherwise – I said to my husband John, “You know what this is?  This is an opportunity to pray.”

When she was in intensive care at birth (36 units of Pitocin) there it was again, an opportunity to pray.  What else could we do?  Praise God for things we can’t possibly fix!

I didn’t die, Hannah came home the next day with me, instead of staying in ICU the forecasted “minimum two weeks”, and she is an extremely lovely, fit and healthy 24-year-old today.

I taught her by example, even from the womb, that fear is not the way.

Psalm 139:13,14 – For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.

WHAT? ME WORRY? I’M DONE WITH DEFEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watching everyone lose their minds over Covid has been more than perplexing and puzzling.  It’s been revelatory!  I am EXCITED about what God’s up to here.

Now, before anyone thinks I’m saying God did this, I’m not!  But the Bible tells us He turns what Satan intends for evil to the good of those who love Him.  For me, that is so, so true.

I am seeing (so surprising) that it is often those who never set foot in church who have the most light and the least fear of a flu bug.

I’m finding those who didn’t finish high school, and certainly never got a college degree, are the ones who see through the lies and laugh at the fear.  I’m learning from those “least likely to succeed” types, how to succeed.

There is both logic and the ability to listen without pride, to what I have to say, from those among us who are humble.  And it’s humbling.  And freeing.  To such as these I can talk about ideas.

So here’s an idea:  What if everything we’re worried about and carrying on about in the world, is simply the inevitable consequence of a church that has dropped the ball.

What if the fear that was festering in the breasts of the world, exploded when the church showed that all its talk of faith was a farce, as doors closed without a whimper, citing misunderstood scriptures as justification.

Here’s the thing about all this “obedience to civil authority” stuff.  If obedience to authority is making you comfy, question your motives.  If it’s making you very, very uncomfortable, go with it.  God’s ways are often a bit stretching.

Let me elaborate:  When the likes of Paul and Peter admonished their wildfolk followers to behave and obey laws, they (Paul and Peter) were either on their way to, in, or just out of jail.  For, you guessed it, misbehavior and disobeying “authority”.  It went without saying, so they didn’t say it, that they weren’t talking about disobeying God in order to obey man.

This Covid thing is causing us to look to the real Author and Finisher of our Faith, and it’s obviously not someone who preaches, but does not practice, faith.

“You have to be ready to go to jail,” I said to my daughter about it.  “I am, Mom,” she said.  “I refuse to live in fear.”

No fear here.  As for me and my house, we will obey the Lord.  And to help us in that we’ll hang out with people of simple, unpolluted (by Bible college?) faith.  Amen.

P.S.  If our Founding Fathers had mindlessly obeyed man, had done the comfy thing, there would be no America.  If Paul and Peter had obeyed man, there would be no New Testament, and no New Testament church.  Wait?  Is there a New Testament church?  I’ve looked all over my town and the only one I can find speaks only Spanish.

Perhaps I should learn Spanish.  Or just go to “church” with my daughter, which is on the streets, with the poor, tired, addicted.  The humble.

Church.  What is it?  Who is it?  Who’s the Boss of it, of me?  One of the speakers at the Bible college my daughter attended was saying that American Christians need to be more like the Russians, where “they don’t have the problem we have here with submission to authority.”

We became a nation in part because God wanted to deliver people who were sick and tired of tyrannical authority and who came here for FREEDOM (such as my Russian friends), not yet another yoke of bondage.

There is one God, One Savior, one Final Authority.  And it AINT a man in a suit in a pulpit with a degree giving him man’s stamp of approval.  Will the real Christians please stand up?

Yes, I am asking myself if I qualify.  Do I trust and obey?  Him.

P.S. I was never afraid of the flu, but I was distressed by the frenzied and mindless mask and sanitizer worship, by the evidence of a society-wide lack of faith. I struggled with an uneasiness and  uncertainly early on (when we still called it Corona Virus) and when I prayed about it I realized I had made a grave error.  I had judged other Christians for their faithless reactions, for fear.  Well, as you may or may not know, it’s not only what you fear that will come upon you (see Job), but it’s also what you judge.  So, I repented and began to pray for the Church, and indeed the whole world, to be free from fear.  Absolutely free from the awful torment of fear.  Agree wtih me, please.

And another thing!  The reason I am free from fear is because, day in and day out, I read the Word of God, which builds and builds and builds my faith.  “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

 

Pandemic, or Plandemic? Land of the Weak, Home of the Safe? NO!!! LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just got an e-mail from a favorite local coffee shop saying we can now come in and get coffee to go – must wear masks, blah, blah.  Hip, hip, hooray, we’re “allowed,” they’re “allowed”, everywhere people are asking tyrants for permission to breathe, practically.  Through masks.  Most of which don’t work anyway.

So, I wrote them back, but haven’t yet decided to send what I wrote.  After all, they’re desperately trying to stay in business.  Still . . .

Here’s what I wrote:

What fun!  Exactly how are we supposed to drink coffee with masks on?  Let us know when we’re “allowed” to come in and act like free people – meanwhile we’ll make coffee at home (please Master, can we take our masks off at home?).  Yes, I know this is not your fault, and I feel for you and every other small business owner, but these kinds of mamby pamby e-mails are insulting and tiresome.  Just sayin’.
If I were you I’d refuse to play this stupid game, and consider suing the powers that be who, incidentally, do not own small businesses.  You could sue for damages to be distributed among other local businesses, perhaps.  Of course any funds you get will ultimately come right out of your own pocket, as a taxpaying small business owner.  The folks responsible for perpetrating this fraud (yes, “fraud” – do your homework, or simply read my husband John’s thoughts below) won’t lose a dime.
And yes, Business Owner, I know this is easier said than done, but you are bowing to the theft of your consitutional rights.  Remember, give the devil an inch and he’ll take a mile (or your business).  Or your country.
You, Small Business Owner of America, are our economic backbone.  Straighten your spiritual backbone and stand up straight.  You will be amazed at what God will do if you REFUSE TO FEAR.
P.S.  Let me know if I can put my money where my mouth is via giving to your legal expense fund.
My husband John’s thoughts:
Almost 1 million people die of the flu or  complications caused by flu every yearand as of 2017 2,813,503 from a number of other causes, and never have we responded in this delusional way.
In 2019 there were 251,454 U.S. deaths — almost 10% of all annual U.S. deaths — resulting from medical error, making it the third leading cause of death in the country. Where is the hue and cry to ban doctors?
Just a few more points to ponder and questions for you:
  • Since when do we quarantine the healthy along with the sick?
  • Since when do we destroy the lives and livelihood of a huge majority of the working class of the USA to “save” people who are veulnerable to the flu?
  • Who will decide in the future what supposed diseases we’ll have to be imprisoned for to “save” us?   Will we be incarcerated because of arthritis outbreaks?  Or allergies?  Or lactose intolerance?  It is a very very, very short step from where we are now to totalitarianism.
  • Where in the Constitution of the United Staes of America does it say the government can strip you and me of our Constiutional rights because of an epidemic?
  • Since when is it okay to inflate death numbers with suspected or unproven cases to justify what has been done to the American people?

And just one final word from me, Bev:  Let us remember the world is watching, and that it’s not “Land of the Weak, Home of the Safe.”

He’s the Prince of (my) Peace

The great gift of Christ to me when I was first a believer was peace.  “I still have all my problems,” I told my mom, “but I’m not afraid any more.”  The peace that passes understanding.  This is a peace that can’t be explained.  It can’t be understood apart from experience.

But today, I am not often seeing that peace in others who say they are believers.  This disturbs my peace!  But note I did say “disturbs” not “steals”.  I guard my peace and when I feel its pending absence (no longer a feeling I am willing to live with) it’s time to go to The Prince of Peace.

Some people think that means God’s all about peace in the usual sense of the word.  But I know the truth is that He’s about the peace that only comes via fighting the good fight of faith.  And He’s about giving me peace right in the middle of the battle.

That’s where we are – in the middle of the battle.  I don’t think anyone would argue about that.  But there is mental wackiness going on because of fear.  Fear must be fought!  Fear must be defeated.  Faith, which the Word tells us “works” through love, is what connects us to God.  Not fear.

People are afraid of their own shadows, and teaching their kids fear as well.  I saw a toddler the other day with a mask on and it was unbearable.  Kids are being programmed to fear, to “all their lifetimes be subject to bondage through fear of death.”  But the good news is that Jesus came to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” – Hebrews 2:15

I’ve been released from Fear’s tyranny more than once.  I didn’t hold on to that peace experienced when I was spirit-filled.  For years I struggled to walk in faith, and the biggest problem was that I was in unforgiveness.  Finally, I was finished with the torment of fear, but that’s another and lengthy story.

For now I urge you, I pray for you (for the entire world daily) to be free from the awful bondage of Fear.  Raise your head up and receive your freedom.  Remember Jesus came that we would be “free indeed.”

The physical mess we’re in is a result of the spiritual mess we’re in.  We will not have political freedom as long as we are spiritually bound.  So let’s look at the chaos in the world around us and see it as an opportunity to trust.  What else can we do?

 

Writing and Home and Good Advice

May 6, 2020

I asked my daughter Rebekah  to join me on the balcony this morning.  “I need your advice,” I said (among the many rewards of homeschooling is wise children).  I made LaVazza in the French Press and brought her a San Pellegrino, then sat down with my journal. But before I, the Great Meeting Instigator, could present my thoughts, she began reading from 52 Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know by Dave Adamson.

I wanted to talk about me.  Sigh.  Patience.  Wait, what was that?  About His mercies being new every morning?  The word is rachum.  I remembered why we were on the balcony.  Because not only was it morning, but it was a beautiful, shining, May morning.  A robin was worm hunting beneath us, and another one was pecking a bedroom window  for reasons unknown.  Perhaps he thought his reflection was a possible Mrs. Robin, and extremely attractive.  Perhaps, like me, he thought it was all about him.

Rebekah continued to read and I waited.  Quietly.  Surely I am smarter than that robin?  Finally, I talked.  “Shall I write fiction or non?”  What about this, and that, etc.?  Her answer brought a flirting, flittering thought from the back of my mind to the fore:  “Write what’s in your heart and hold nothing back.” 

What is in my heart?  Home.  Jesus and Home.  Home.

My fiction is about home, and my non-fiction as well.  Write both?  Then where to begin?  It’s Springtime.  Resurrection.  You don’t have to begin, merely resume with vigor.  The whole world’s all about singing a new song, and doing a new thing, and out with the old and in with the new.  And that’s marvelous.  Sometimes.

But sometimes it’s marvelous to go digging through all kinds of old stuff – barely begun stories and mostly finished manuscripts, journals, forgotten thoughts and notes, highlighted portions of old books from friends’ hearts.

They’re friends I’ve never met, but who wrote from their hearts unto mine, holding nothing back.  “Father, help me, direct me, anoint me, to write like that.  Even as you spoke to Rebekah’s heart and she passed it on to mine, speak to my heart so that I can pass it on to those who have home in their hearts.  Amen.”

That’s pretty much everyone.

Thanks for joining me.

P.S.  But what about that “hold nothing back” part?  Yikes.  That sounds quite messy.