Crossing the Bridge from Victim to Victor . . . and 2:00 MTN Friday at www.1360am.co!

The following was taken from an article by Jason Jones & John Zmirak in The Stream (stream.org).

You Might Be a Victimist If …

  • You’re outraged about statues of dead Confederates … but cool with countries “eradicating” Down Syndrome via abortion.
  • You denounce the anti-Semitism of the Alt-Right … but shrug at the vicious Jew-hatred of “anti-Zionist” activists.
  • Your eyes tear up over sea turtles … but you don’t follow the fate of Christians and Yezidis persecuted in the Middle East.
  • You object to images of Columbus … but are fine with Che Guevara t-shirts.
  • You congratulate yourself for “standing up” for immigrants … but don’t care enough to save migrants from being exploited by human traffickers and sweatshop owners.
  • You scoff at older people, less educated, or poorer people for outdated prejudices … but don’t worry about your own prejudice toward them.
  • You feel deep empathy with “transgender” millionaires on the cover of Vanity Fair … but don’t care about Christian florists or bakers facing bankruptcy and prison for obeying their consciences.
  • You fantasize about socialist utopias … but never think about moving to one (i.e. Venezuela or Cuba).
  • You virtue-signal on issues that impose zero cost on you personally … but avoid those where you have “skin in the game” and might pay a price or offend cool, rich, or influential people.

We could go on all day, all week, all year … but you get the point.

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Now for Bev’s thoughts:  Do you get the point?  If the malady of Victimism afflicts your thinking, today’s Homefront Show will help!  Tune in at 2:00 Mountain Time to http://www.1360am.co and go from victim to victor!

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Fruit or Fruity, and, The Gift of “No”

My children are astounded.  Now that they’re adults I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit, and asked them to join me.  Horrors.  They’re called “toaster pastries” by Nature’s Path, but my kids know the truth:  Mom bought poptarts!

I have taught them my disdain for passing off sugar as breakfast, and why wouldn’t they be converts?  While their peers are eating Lucky Charms and Count Chocula, and even Poptarts, they partake of steel cut oats (with blueberries, pecans, honey and cream) eggs, meat (organic and often from the woods) homemade biscuits and scones, hot tea, and usually more, such as potatoes, sliced tomatoes, pinto beans, applesauce, peach crisp, pumpkin waffles with nuts and REAL maple syrup, popovers running over with butter and apple butter, pineapple breakfast bread, and some days even brownies for “appetizers”.

Yesterday we had “toaster pastries” as an early morning appetizer with our coffee.  They were cherry pomegranate (who could resist?), USDA organic, non-GMO, fair trade, and in a lovely package.  And disappointing.  I wanted them to (ahem) taste just like Poptarts.

But this morning I was not disappointed.  Rather than an adulterated fruity thingy, I simply am having the real deal.  After a few bites, my enlightened self had to share this:  REAL IS REAL AND FAKE IS FAKE.  CHOOSE REAL!

I think this is another one of “Need I say more?” instances.  Still, I must continue and tell you that fruity pastries and the like weaken the immune system, even as fruit strengthens the immune system.  Letting kids decide what they want to eat is a shirking of responsibility.  So, give them the gift of “No” to harmful “foods” and the gift of your example in eating fruit, just as nature made it.

Tell them one of the things you love about pomegranates is that each little seed, even the ones deeply buried and hard to extract, is like a jewel.  It’s like eating jewels and it makes the body sing!  Not so, manmade fruity fakes.  OK, I’m done.

WAIT!  AGAIN, I NEED TO SAY MORE!  AND THAT IS THIS:  http://www.1360am.co at 2:00 PM Mountain Time, Friday afternoon.  THE HOMEFRONT SHOW, Today, January 12!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Led, Not Driven in 2018

Great things can happen when you wake up at 2:00 AM. But only if you go with it, getting past the thoughts of the next day’s demands and schedule.  Asking why none of my sleep-ensurers worked is not “going with it”.  I didn’t drink any coffee, I exercised, I accomplished so much, I drank herbal tea and read my Bible before bedtime. Why? 

Giving up on going back to sleep, at 3:20 I got up and read beautiful scriptures from my new Passion Bible, and I prayed and sang psalms and got a drink of water. I made myself a cozy nest on the couch and when my eyes began burning I settled down to try again for sleep, pushing away those nagging thoughts about the 6:00 a.m. alarm.

Didn’t work. “What is it you want, Lord,” I asked.  No writing on the wall in letters of fire, but I did begin thinking of people needing prayer and one by one prayed for them.  And I began remembering the greatness of His love for me, as evidenced by the endless blessings of my life.

Suddenly I went from wishing I could go to sleep to realizing that I could just get up and get ready and be to the coffee shop by the time it opened, at 6:00. I asked God for supernatural restoration of sleep, and quietly got ready to go to town, where I would meet first my lovely daughter at the coffee shop, and later a dear friend at Young’s Vietnamese restaurant for lunch.

Bindle’s Coffee Shop (the above photo was taken at Bev’s coffee shop) in Fort Collins has a little back cozy nook and I snagged it, then made the choice (always a mistake) of ordering decaf. Shoulda gone for the herbal tea. I settled in to read “motivational” books full of great wisdom and powerful ideas, and always there was this nagging thought, this heretical idea that . . . maybe . . . “success” as defined by the experts is for those living on a plebian plane, one those of us who live at the highest place, answering the greatest of callings, must resist.

Resistance is required to rise above a drive to “success” and unto a call to world-building. I am not here to “reach my destiny” or to “make use of my talents.”  Not even in pursuit of God’s call on my life.  I am not here to be driven, by my thankless self, to performance.  I am here to be led in Love to love.

And so, as I hear these voices telling me what I should do, how I should go for my dreams, how I must be passionate, something seems amiss. How bizarre to think you can manufacture passion for that about which you have no passion!

“To whom much has been given, much is required.” OK.  But might it be that those two muches aren’t the same?  Much has been given to me in many areas.  But the Much required of me is faith – the faith to simply follow, simply be led, simply get on board with God and go wherever He says, without any regard whatsoever to what it looks like to other people.

So, while the programming, the ever-insidious programming, says that the kids are raised and it’s time to do something else, circumstances say otherwise. I am still the Queen of the Castle, and there are still residents of the castle, and residents without the castle, who need my time and my attention.

I am daily made aware of yet another person who covets my prayers, who appreciates my listening ear, who wears an invisible sign reading: PLEASE MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I MEAN SOMETHING TO YOU.

Even as I write these words, I am reminded of someone who awaits my call; I am troubled by news of a friend’s child who has lost his way, and is trying to make everyone else feel as awful about him as does he himself. Pray.

The conversations around me in the coffee shop pierce my heart – a mother crying out to a friend for advice and help regarding her very unhappy little girl, who comes home from school more and more withdrawn, harder and harder to reach and to understand. Stories from both moms about untenable situations at school, about teachers with harmful attitudes, about the difficulties for introverts, etc.

I wanted to talk to them about homeschooling, but there was no opening or leading. And it seems to me that the Holy Spirit is telling me to hone in with laser focus on those closest to me.  The queen must not lose her inner circle in looking over the heads and hearts of those right in front of her.

I teach a class at church with an attendance of one. One special person entrusted to me via the Holy Spirit’s leading of my pastor and his wife.  I do a radio show once a week to an audience of I know not how many or how few.  What I know is God put the show in my lap, he put this one special young woman in my class, and most of all, he gave me a Queendom of husband and children.  Family.

It is pride, it is insecurity, IT IS FEAR, it is grief to God, for me to be driven to go after more, at the expense of all parties.

I have a husband and children and grandchildren who need prayer and love and a listening ear and an attentive heart. I have friends and the children of friends who seek my support and love.  There and beloved neighbors and friends who know they’re loved via my hospitality.  My church family is full of brave and uncomplaining souls whose smiles hide a multitude of troubles, whose hearts cry out for true fellowship.  There is an entire radio audience in need of prayer, and of wisdom from God via my lips.

Also, I have myself to nurture and rest and refresh. But again, the programming.  Deep down when it comes right down to it, I am “just” a homemaker.  John Seymour says in Forgotten Household Crafts, “In the great ages of the world the home was held sacred and so it must be again or we have no future on this earth.”  I know this is true, and yet . . .

Perhaps all those great motivators, all those quotes from the rich and famous about success, are for those who haven’t already been put in the highest and most eternally effective place and calling of all, daily living out battle upon battle, always ultimately victorious. When He’s the author of my life.

Led, not driven. Free to love, not enslaved by a lack consciousness.  On an adventure with my Maker, not worrying about “wasting” time doing things that don’t get me to “my goals.”

His unforced rhythms of grace rather than my stumbling steps to goals I “should” be persuing.

This is a new year. This is a new day.  Let our beginnings and endings be His.  Let every single day be full of Love surprises, adventures, and scary escapades in faith.

Thanks for joining me,

Bev

P.S.  IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS, AT 2:00 PM MOUNTAIN TIME, YOU CAN ALSO JOIN ME ON THE HOMEFRONT SHOW.  SIMPLY GO TO:  WWW.1360AM.CO AND THANKS AGAIN!

Proverbs 31 Truth or Consequences?

beautiful home

We’re all in this together, and no one of us is the others’ slave.  We will serve ourselves as we serve others and God via caring for our home.  Amen!

I used the C.O.D. (Child of the Day) plan as a truth vehicle in raising our kids, and even today, as I am creating yet another variation of it, I marvel at its inherent genius.

little-girl-praying.jpg

Born of necessity when each of the kids chimed in during breakfast prayers, the C.O.D. has become my good buddy through the years.  As we (John and I) repeatedly picked up and put our forks back down to the tune of yet another prayer request, I decided we would simply take turns praying.

“Thank you, Father for this beautiful day and for each other and for this delicious food.  Please bless it to our bodies and protect us from anything harmful in it.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen.”

That was the beginning.  Then came, “And please help me find my hungry lizard,” which sparked another creature-in-distress thought in another little mind.  “And pweez help Grandpa’s cow that’s sick.”  Now Grandpa thoughts.  “And please, Jesus, help Grandpa remember to bring gum next time.”  Fork up, fork down.

“And Lord, please . . . .”

“OK, that’s enough.  Let’s eat.”

I quickly wrote up a COD list:  The Child of the Day gets to ride in the front, stay up 15 minutes late in bed with Mom and Dad, pick the readaloud story at bedtime, and have other privileges as determined by Mom and Dad issue by issue, day by day.

pen and paper

Benjamin would be the C.O.D on Monday, Hannah Tuesday, Rebekah Wednesday, and Seth Thursday.  Rarely has an idea garnered such immediate support and enthusiasm.  Not only were they all about the day for themselves, but they staunchly supported the rights of their siblings.  “It’s your day.  You get to choose.”

And what a blessing for me.  “Mom, can you sew my doll’s arm back on?” went from being another unneeded interruption, to something I enjoyed doing because I said, “Tomorrow is your day.  Bring her to me tomorrow and we’ll have a sewing lesson.”  Meanwhile I could round up the sewing box, determine if I had acceptably colored thread, and simply prepare myself to do that thing that wasn’t on my “want-to-do” list.

The C.O.D. concept would have been a success if it had never evolved, and if it had simply solved who was praying at mealtimes.  I was thinking recently when we had guests over and got ready to pray, how nice it was to hear the kids ask, “Whose day is it?”  The guests were blessed and it blesses me that my kids are absolutely unfazed about leading prayer in front of anyone and everyone.

“Whose day is it?”  The C.O.D. program would have been a success simply for the memory of Seth climbing into his high chair with a big grin as he asked, “Whose days is its to pway?”

Seth’s questions lately are about yet another change in the program, which is now less a program of daily privileges and more of a weekly responsibility list.  Thursday is still Seth’s day to pray, or to say, “Hey, Mom.  There’s one piece of pie left and it’s my day.  Can I have it?”  That’s an easy “yes”.  But other questions of late, such as, “Hey, Mom, I think with Hannah gone and Benjamin working for Dad and Rebekah doing Mary Kay all the time, maybe we could take another look here.”

He didn’t actually say those words, and being Seth, he never actually complained that more and more of the load was coming his way, with little appreciation or remuneration to show for it.  (Aside:  Beware of piling more on that child who doesn’t complain and who will do a good job, just because that’s the easy road.  Not good.  Not fair.  And the biggest losers are the kids who are being taught irresponsibility and laziness).

Because the Proverbs 31 Woman “watches over the ways of her household” I know changes need to be made.  I’ve made a few preliminary steps:  asking other kids to do extra, doing extra myself, getting John’s input.  But this morning as I was reading Laurie Beth Jones’ Jesus, Enrepreneur , I realized that this is a matter of, for starters, two things:  1) making a list; and 2) stewardship.

Laurie Jones says, regarding a confused young man, “Doesn’t he realize that how we handle small matters will determine how and if we handle great ones?”  Stewardship.

I realize as I’m pondering how well things C.O.D. have worked in times past, that it was at least in part because everything was clearly understood, discussed, explained, illustrated, and written out.  Time for a new and improved chore list.

Through the years we’ve gone from one day a week on dish duty, to a week on dish duty, to rotating per month, and then back to weekly stints.  The division of labor went as follows for several fairly harmonious years:  Dishes, Floors, Laundry, Miscellaneous.  Four kids, four categories, continually rotating, per a list on the fridge.

John has always been on board, especially if he sees something that will interfere with my peace, i.e. dirty dishes in the sink right before I’m about to start cooking.  “Who’s on dishes?” he’ll call on a Monday, when everything switches.  If there’s any confusion, we simply look at the list.  “Let’s see.  Benjamin was on dishes last week, so it’s Hannah.”

But then Benjamin went away to college and we consolidated things.  Then Hannah went away to Fort Collins and we came to two categories:  1) /Laundry and Floors; and 2) Dishes and Miscellaneous.

“Dishes” (or Kitchen) has always meant you do the dishes as soon as the meal is over, with each diner bringing their dishes to the sink.  Also included is occasional fridge cleaning, and a weekly checklist (which has somehow been misplaced) including clearing and wiping down all counters, the fridge, cabinet doors, baseboards and walls, and putting every single thing in its place, on the last day of the week (to be modified per interfering events).

“Miscellaneous” includes taking out the trash, building fires and bringing in firewood, running errands, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, straightening, and whatever else needs doing.

“Floors” means sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and once per week cleaning all baseboards.

It’s all pretty straightforward, and except for laundry, everyone seems to clearly understand.  Well, there is that one little thing which in the minds of all parties except myself, seems quite difficult.  And that one thing is this so very often repeated instruction:  Don’t take the trash out before you put a new trash sack in the can.  This is particularly important when I am cooking and you’re off to get on your coat and boots and traipse to the dumpster and leave me trashcan-less for a good ten minutes.  It’s the little things, it surely is.  But I don’t and won’t give up on this one.  Don’t leave me trashcan-less!

Back to laundry.  It’s my favorite job.  I won’t call it a chore because I simply love throwing nasty whites into a lovely machine, filling it with wonder ingredients, pushing buttons, and then walking away while its wonders are performed.  Now it’s time to throw bright and lovely-smelling whites into the dryer with a lavender sachet, and again, to walk away!

And then for the putting away.  I only do my and John’s laundry, and when I hear the beep I make every effort, especially now that it’s chilly weather, to get in there and snuggle my face into the towels and get them folded and put away while they’re still warm.  I would happily do all the laundry, time permitting, but time does not permit, and it’s important that everyone contributes.  People need to know they’re needed (those helping) and people need to know they’re appreciated (those being helped).

Kids, such as Seth, who are getting plenty of chances to help, need to know they’re appreciated, both by parents who see and take action, and by siblings who step up to the plate.

This is all truth.  If I don’t teach the truth- it’s important to know how to do basic life tasks; it’s important to do your part and then some; it’s important to live in a nice, clean, orderly home – then I’m teaching lies, and I’m leaving them to a life of unpleasant consequences.

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I have to get off here and make a new C.O.D. list.  Benjamin (Lt. Parker) is here for a very short while, as he changes from the Montana National Guard to the Kansas Guard and then deployment in March.  So, for that time, I must make changes.

Maybe I’ll combine Dishes with more cooking (I don’t need any cooking lessons and they do!); put Miscellaneous with Floors, and let Laundry stand alone.  We’ll have a family meeting tonight to discuss all these things.  I’ll make the most coveted and begged-for of cookies:  chocolate peanut butter no-bakes (make with heavy whipping cream and half-n-half and salt as well as vanilla and almond flavorings).  I’ll encourage input after I set out some reminder truths:  We’re all in this together, and no one of us is the others’ slave.  We will serve ourselves as we serve others and God via caring for our home.  Amen!

 

What was the highlight?

mountains

This past weekend my daughters Hannah and Rebekah joined me and nine other ladies from our church at a women’s conference entitled “Women Arise!” held at Charis Bible College (Andrew Wommack Ministries) in Woodland Park, Colorado.

We arrived home Sunday just before my husband, John, arrived from the airport with my mother-in-law.  We all unpacked, chatted and chattered, and it wasn’t until this morning at breakfast that John got a word in edgewise, saying, “What was the highlight?”

Hard question, but I’d given it some thought.  The spiritual highlight was perhaps the final teaching from Audrey Mack, which lit a fire under me that seems to be getting hotter by the minute.

flame

The setting, the weather, the thousand small favors of God on each minute – these were all highlights.  Maybe, as I said to Hannah last night, “Maybe the most important thing was the bonding between the hearts of the women of our church, and no doubt between all the women there.  The revelation of sisterhood in Christ, the shared hilarity and heartache, the love..

John asked me a few more questions this morning, then turned to Rebekah.  “What was the highlight to you, Rebekah?”  Rebekah said she “got new dreams and remembered forgotten ones.”  She didn’t mention that we got to the conference early and feasted on Brat Kolaches and amazing pastries at Woodland Park’s Donut Mill, but perhaps we’d already said enough about that, and about the other culinary delights experienced by all.  If Rebekah was reticent, Hannah could regale her dad on that account at a later date.

Hannah was already gone to work when John asked his question, but she would have had so much to say, so much to praise.

I could say the praise was the highlight, the worship of our good Father.  I could say bringing home a heart full of praise and thanksgiving and joy was the highlight.

But how do you describe the highlights of God?  It’s all highlight.

Certainty.  I came home with certainty.  With peace and power and a new and greater level of dominion, a new revelation of authority in Christ.  More humility, more surrender, greater power.

More.  Always more.  Because His depths are unfathomable, endless, and marvelous.  I marvel at the question, and so enjoy exploring the answer.

How to choose one highlight?  Would it help to eliminate those things that weren’t my favorite parts?  There was a workshop time slated Saturday afternoon that I skipped out on, in favor of walking around the sparkling lake, crossing the high wooden bridge, and making tracks to sit under a pine in the sun, where I whispered to God and He heard me.  That was definitely a highlight.  So, even the parts that weren’t looking like the best parts, became highlights.

“It’s all highlight in Jesus,” I could say to John.  And I remember what I told Rebekah, and then repeated to John last night.  “You know what’s really great,” I said to Rebekah as we ate lunch on the way home yesterday.  “What’s really great is to go somewhere so astoundingly beautiful and have such a wonderfully blessed time, and yet the best part of it all is going home.

english cottage

And so, dearest husband, the highlight of the entire beyond-all-I-asked-or-imagined weekend, was coming home to you.

2:00 Friday! Decluttering My Way to Peace, Patience and Power Today on The Homefront Show

In danger of becoming Clutterblind, I have been to see Jesus, the eye doctor of my soul, and He said I am in need of patience.  If that weren’t enough, He said when I declutter my mind by spending more time with Him, my surroundings will also begin to take shape, and I’ll be cured of “Acquisition Angst” as well as “Hoarder’s Hell.”

He then prescribed SEVERAL scriptures to be taken at least 3X daily, and said to call Him in the morning, and indeed every morning, and also without ceasing throughout the day.  It seemed a bit over the top.

He smiled when I assured Him my symptoms, at least compared with other people I know, are miniscule, if at all existent.

Sigh.

Today on The Homefront Show (go to http://www.1360am.co) I’ll share the ways we clutter our minds, our surroundings, and our relationships, especially the most important relationship of all (and what to do about it!)..

Wise women from the 1940’s will speak to us about messy husbands and “Getting the Most Out of Life” and I’ll talk about how a wise woman today, in my church, has blessed me and helped me declutter my thoughts about the men in our church.

From The Founder’s Bible I”ll share a great home education idea, and I’ll showcase Melissa Michaels’ new and excellent book, Love the Home You Have., as well as Pastor James McDonald’s marvelous book, God Wrote a Book. 

In discussing patience and it’s power-twin, Faith, I’ll tell you where I need them most (hint:  it’s with other Christians).

And as always, much more.  So, get ready to take notes, call a friend who needs  a blessing, and join me today on The Homefront Show!!!!!

At 2:00 p.m Mountain Time simply go to http://www.1360am.co and scroll over the “Live Radio” button.

Thanks!