“Father, Anoint Us as Parents.”

When the kids were growing up John and I prayed this daily:  Father, anoint us as parents.  

But even though I vehemently disagreed with the idea that kids are adults at eighteen, that our job is finished, somewhere along the way I started acting like I believed that rot.  Somewhere, for some reason, we stopped praying that powerful prayer.

Sure we still prayed for our kids, sure we were still very available, but we thought, what?  That they no longer needed parenting anointed by God, that we no longer needed His help, that the battle was over and won?

The words began whispering themselves to me a few weeks back:  Pray for anointed parenting.  Finally, last night, after listening to my kids’ conversation and seeing the evidence of needed peace in their hearts, I said to John, “We need to pray for anointing as parents again.”  He immediately agreed and we IMMEDIATELY did it.

NEVER, EVER, EVER WAIT TO PRAY.  Do it then and there, or that very important opportunity will escape.

You may be asking, “What is this anointed parenting stuff?”  This is parenting with the power and wisdom of God Himself, wherein your child’s heart is revealed, and the words coming out of your mouth are words of life, rather than words of nonsense and destruction.

After listening to the prideful disdain for others coming out of my child’s mouth last night, and keeping still until I prayed, I received revelation about what’s really going on in his mind.  Rather than being aggravated with him, my heart became very tender toward him.  Rather than being afraid of the tendencies I see him learning toward, I became warlike in my desire to fight for and with him.

I began to strategize.  I went to the Word and then got on my knees, and I realized something:  I haven’t been showing the humility necessary to get his attention.  I haven’t been humble enough to realize that apart from Him, I can do nothing.

I can sense the Holy Spirit ordering my thoughts, cleansing my heart, and strengthening me for the task at hand.  It’s exciting.  The call to battle of motherhood is a continual call and a continual battle, and in Him, we win.

Amen.

So Many Opportunities for Joy, Why Let Anything Steal Them?

We went to a Christmas ballet we’ve dubbed “Ballet Bizarre”.  We looked at the checking account and decided repurposing is indeed a wonderful thing.  It will be our first Christmas with our son overseas in the Middle East.  The world is a powder keg, and our child is in the smack dab middle of it.

And so on.  There are reasons to lament during this Season.  There are reasons (but then aren’t reasons simply excuses?) to Bah Humbug it all.  But I am not one to say “Tis the season to be jolly!, or as I was singing (shouting) all morning, “Tis the season to be Jarry, fah, rah, rah, rah, rah!”, and leave it at that, fun as it may be.

I am here to dig and delve deeply into the Reason for the Season.  I am here to say the money (or lack thereof) in the checking account and the bizarrre-ness of “Art” and the locale of loved ones are simply opportunities to remember Jesus.  This is the season for the ultimate of all beauties – the Love of Christ.

And so the bizarre ballet is an opportunity to be thankful that I have yet another focus for prayer.  The repurposing is a reminder of all the treasures I own that will now grace the lives of others.  The son overseas reminds me that technology can be a wonderful thing – his Christmas package will arrive today or tomorrow most likely, and he will open it in our presence via Internet.

The powder keg world?  Still and as always, Jesus is our refuge and our strength, our high tower and deliverer. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Amen!

Sharing Him at Christmas can be done with or without cash.  We are opening our home on Christmas Day for the first time.  We will be sharing a Christmas brunch with people the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts to invite, and there will be much merry-making, joy and celebration.  We’re including the most important of guests via the special invitation of prayer, and as always, He will be right on time.

I have decided and decreed that I will not even think, for one moment, thoughts of lack this Christmas, much less speak words of lack.  What indeed, do I lack?  I serve a Risen Savior.

As for those pesky arguments about December 25 not actually being His birthday so what?  I was born December 28 and I would have no problem with people celebrating my birthday on July 28 or whatever day suited them.  What I would have a problem with would be people being upset because they didn’t have a gift for me, or feeling pressured because the day was a reminder of what they lacked in their lives, rather than a reminder that I loved them.

So, that’s it – the key to joy in this Season, no matter what your circumstances:  We must choose to worship and serve and receive His great gift to us all.

Mr. Bennett, in Pride and Prejudice says, “No lace, Mrs. Bennett!”  I say to myself, “No Lack, Mrs. Bev!  You have Jesus and it’s time to celebrate.  Each and every moment of each and every day.”  Jesus the Savior is Born.

You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.

Anyone Can Find Crappy Christians – They Advertise Quite Effectively, But . . .

The only Christian we need to be looking at is Jesus.  I am always meeting people who justify their faithless lives with their sob stories of mistreatment by Christians.

Consider this:  Just because someone calls themselves Christian does not mean they know Christ, and that His Spirit has shed abroad the love of Christ in their heart.

And consider this:  Even born-again, Spirit-filled (yes that’s a thing, and I do mean a THING) Christians can really miss it and really be deceived and deluded (they can spout the BLASPHEMY that God does horrible things to people to “teach them a a lesson.”   See John 10:10).

And consider this:  If you let any person be your lens for looking at Christianity, you’re looking through a clouded lens.  Look at Jesus Himself.

The Christianity of the Bible is about love, hope, and victory through a living Savior, and if anyone presents it as a religious set of rules, they look suspiciously like someone who does not know Him.  Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  It brings life not death, conviction but not condemnation, victory rather than victimhood.  Again, real Christianity brings life, because it is alive.

Jesus is alive, and He lives in the hearts of those who will invite Him in.

What a deal.  Don’t let any poor specimen of Christianity steal the deal.

Amen!

What’s More Important than Scripture? and Does “All Things” Include Pounds?

I have before me an excellent article by a wise man, and it will help some folks very much, no doubt.  But for me, not so much.  It’s one of those 7 steps, 15 ways, change your life in 30 days kind of things.  And it’s more than scripture-based.  It is scriptures –  a list of marvelous and beautiful scriptures for “Weight Loss and Health”.

And yet.   I know and have often spoken these scriptures, and they have helped me time and again.  But I know that this time the Holy Spirit is saying, in effect, “Forget the formula, and remember Jesus.  He has a lot more on His mind, a lot better for you, than the plus or minus of pounds.”

“What might happen,” I muse, “If I really did seek Him first?”  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  ALL these things?  Wouldn’t that include weight loss?  Exercise?  Health, vitality, energy, and strength?

What if I found, through communion with the One Who Knows, that there are higher things than the high number on my bathroom scales?  Who knew?

And yet, it is important to me.  I am programmed to focus on the belly fat, the lack of fitness, the dearth of plans carried through.  The SHOULDS undone.

It just so happens, and not because of weight, that last I began a fast.  And on Day Three I bought a new dress (I love Dillard’s in Cheyenne, Wyoming) for an event.  It looked great, fit perfectly.  One that day I ate a seared tuna salad, wanting to break my fast sensibly (this after having achieved the spiritual breakthrough, the answer I was seeking).

The next day, not hungry, but also not wanting to arrive at the gala starving and shaking, I ate an egg and toast and a salad.  That’s it, except for lots of mineral water and lemon water and plain filtered water.

That evening, as I tried on my beautiful new dress, I looked as though I’d been poured into it.  I wanted to rant:  “How could I gain all that weight back?; What is wrong with me?  I shouldn’t have eaten at all.  Maybe I’ll just fast for the rest of my life!”

But I remembered my wise husband’s words from years ago, in response to such a lament, or something equally fruitless and unpleasant.  “Why don’t you just forget about it.?”

And this morning I thought, “Why don’t you just forget about it, and remember Jesus?”

Can I do that?  Can I stop with the fruitless and futile and go with the fun and fulfilling?

When He said that with Him all things are possible, did He really mean ALL things?

I think He did and I think I can (Philippians 4:13).  I think when I stop focusing on the fat, I will be free to . . . to who knows what?  What might open up when I close that door?  All things?  All sorts of things?

I might even be convinced John is telling the truth when he says I’m “hot” and that “real women have bellies.”

 

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Oh, and by the way, I just happened to buy a second dress, which fit just fine, and was the PERFECT dress for the event.  So, all is well and swell, and the next time I have a shindig to attend in my lovely electric blue dress, I’ll just fast and not break my fast until the actual event, and it will be a science experiment of sorts to see if a perfectly fitting dress can get too tight while being worn.:  We know we can gain five pounds in two days of eating almost nothing, but can we gain five pounds during dinner?

Formative Years and Transformative Years

It’s Springtime in the Rockies and I have never been more excited than I am about Spring, 2018.  It’s been clean up, declutter, and cleanse time, and I don’t just mean closets and cupboards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

God is at work in my heart and it’s astounding and marvelous.  Just as the water turkeys, ducks and geese on the almost-thawed local lakes are going ahead with their visiting, fishing, and welcoming Spring before it’s quite upon us, I too am welcoming, ready for Spring.  I am ready for newness, growth, surprises, adventure – transformation.

At the ripe young age of almost 60 (I love being older each year!) I have learned to embrace and give thanks for those things from my formative years which have stood me in good stead.  And I am learning that each year I live is more a transformative year than was the year before.

But there is something in the air, something special about 2018.  I believe the Love (God’s Agape) more than ever before and the Love is changing my heart, cleansing and decluttering my mind, transforming me.

It is, as I told my husband, John, as though God has me out in a river on a raft without sides or oars and He is taking me I know not where.  I only know that it is somewhere good.  And the price of the raft ticket was faith working through Love.

Transformation, cleansing, peace.  The Bible says He put eternity in our hearts, and like so many of  His marvelous mysteries, I don’t fully comprehend and understand this statement, and yet, how it speaks to me.

How He speaks to me – patiently, tirelessly, lovingly.  Come along with me and be transformed.  Faithless to fearless, touchy to tender, defensive to delighted, whiny to winner, grouchy to glad.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  Thank you, Dearest Lord, for renewal, for transformation.  Amen.

P.S.  I’ll be going more deeply into transformation and ever so much more (like surviving church!) tomorrow, Friday the 23rd, at 2:00 MTN on http://www.1360am.co so please join in and call a friend.  Thanks!

A Sense of Humor, Death to Life, and Tricky Pastor’s Wives on The Home Front Show at 2:00!

So much ado about nothing with Joy Behar.  If Christians would choose to love an pray for people, and REFUSE, FLAT OUT REFUSE to be offended, and therefore DEFEATED by comments we simply don’t have time for, God might be able to get some things done, things like dominion.

We are called to take dominion over everything, including things that “creepeth”.  Pastor Bill Winston jokes that we have dominion over creeps.  We are not called to get distracted and disgusted by people who just don’ t know any different.

We are called to be as great and lovely ladies on white steeds watching over and gracing our given domains (personal domains demand dominion).  We are called to know who we are – Queens of our Realms – and that Queens have Divine Right of Dominion  (See Proverbs 31).

We don’t take dominion with our opinions.  We take dominion with love  And there’s this characteristic of Christians who walk in love – they’re funny, and they laugh at the funnies of others, even the ridiculousness of others.

To take dominion of the world must include having the attention of the world, having something they want.  They don’t want or need any more offense or strife.  But joy, laughter, light-heartedness – those make an impression.  Those open ears and eyes.  And hearts.

Dominion involves reaching hearts for Jesus, with the Love of Jesus.  So, if our hearts are full of disgust and disdain and disagreement with and for those who don’t know Him, and can therefore not possibly act like Him, the only dominion being taken is by Satan Himself.

DEATH TO LIFE

We can go from death (best friends with unforgivness and taking offense) to Life (walks hand in hand with Love) by CHOOSING to obey God, CHOOSING to accept the freedom from slavery (unforgiveness and taking offense are slavery) Jesus bought on the Cross.

That’s the bottom line.

TRICKY PASTOR’S WIVES

My sister-in-law is a pastor’s wife (yep, my brother is a pastor) who has this tricky thing she does to deal with all the nastiness Satan sends her way – he has special emissaries for pastor’s wives.  She laughs.  Lots.  And often at herself.

One of the things I love most about the church we (John, me, kids) attend is our pastor’s wife.  She’s another tricky one – she tricks Satan all the time by seeing the humor in everything.  She is funny and fun, and she gets a real kick out of life.  That mindset turns Satan’s little schemes upside down.

So, I say rather than being the tricked, we become the tricky!

Thanks,

Bev

P.S.  Join John and me today , Friday the 19th of March on The Home Front Show at 2:00 Mountain Time.  Go to 1360am.co and be inspired and uplifted and BLESSED!

 

Don’t Butt Heads with Buttheads, or with Granite-Skulled Mountain Goats

goats

There is Door Number 3, the door where I don’t go to jail.

Door Number 1 goes into Strife City, and the path leading there is Stupid Street.  Someone says something idiotic and offensive and devoid of all logic, reason, and wisdom, and I act accordingly.  That is, I decide I am going to set them straight.  This is idiotic and devoid of all logic, reason and wisdom, and I end up even more offended than when I started.

“Don’t butt heads with a butthead, Bev,” I admonish myself and promise never to do so again.  I know!  I shall (once again, even though it’s never worked before) try Door Number 2.

Door Number 2 is the High Road, where I pay them no mind whatsoever.  At first.  But I keep thinking about what they said, and vainly imagine (the Bible says to cast down “vain imaginations”) what I coulda, shoulda, woulda said.  I stew, and simmer, and stew, and simmer.

And then I murmur, and maybe gripe a little about it to someone else.  Then comes the fun had by all:  the rant.

Which leads me to, finally, mature spiritual genius that I am, Door Number 3.  I think I know the way, and what to expect, based on past (admittedly rather limited) time spent here.  I take the path marked “Forgiveness” and follow it to “Pray for them” and finally bask at a high place:  Mount Victory.

But, lo, what is this heretofore unnoticed path?  And what do I see here in this high spot but a Granite-Skulled Mountain Goat?  I look to the left and to the right and there are others.  I turn around, hoping to go back the way I came.  Another goat.

I’m surrounded.  I did the tried and true.  The Formula!  I forgave and prayed for any and all buttheads in my life – past, present and future.  And what did I get?  Another version of the same animal.

I look to Heaven.  That’s the joy of Heaven!  No buttheads allowed!  Sheep, not goats!

I look around me again, hoping the goats will go away.  Instead, one is moving toward me, a little one, making tiny “maaaaa” sounds.  I can’t help but reach out my hand toward it, and suddenly it becomes a sheep, a little lamb.  I look at its anxious mother, and she too, is morphing into a fluffy sheep, fretfully following and nudging her baby away from me.

I squat and gather grasses into my hand, reaching and gently calling.  “It’s OK.  Here you go,” I whisper.  I turn toward the fretting mother and reach to her.  She sniffs and gently nibbles the grasses in my hand, then backs up and lets her little one approach.

And I hear our Maker’s voice on the mountain breezes:  If you think in butthead, you will see in butthead.  Don’t be a granite-skulled goat.  Be my sheep and feed my sheep.  And I felt His hand stroking my fleecy head, and maybe even scratching behind my ears.

The mama sheep and her baby stand before me, at attention.  I feed them more grasses, pat and stroke their heads, make lovey noises at them, and even scratch behind their ears.

The goats watch to see if such treatment is only for sheep.

I repent.