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.

Create in Me (and especially in that other person) a Clean Heart, O God.

I recently heard two very different sermons – one was an admonition that if you don’t do what your pastor says you are in rebellion, and the other was a preacher accused of rebellion himself, because he was preaching not to do what the world does, or what anyone says, but to do what Jesus says: to trust, love, forgive, and to take dominion by faith-filled, absolutely fearless, uncompromising words and actions.

The sad thing is that the attempt to squelch and squash and force people into doing whatever they’re told, and saying if they don’t they’re rebellious, is a surefire, tried and true, works-every-time way to push people into rebellion.

Satan’s ways. They don’t work very well, folks.  We try to force our spouses into behaviors based on what our vision is.  Usually when we’re under that controlling spirit our vision amounts to this:  you agree with me on every single issue and we’ll all be happy as larks.  That controlling spirit is a spirit of rebellion, and so blinding it makes us think everyone else is in rebellion.  It walks hand in hand with pride, and therefore, goes before a fall.

That spirit comes after us when we give into fear – fear God can’t or won’t handle this, we must take it into our own hands, do it like some other book, certainly not THE BOOK, says to do it: Childrearing 101; Husband-fixing 101; Basic I know best; Making others behave so I don’t have to for dummies who think everyone else is a dummy.

Disrespect is what this amounts to.  Listen, if you’re gonna take that line you had better be the second perfect human. Of course you’re saying that you’re actually more perfect than that one perfect man, Jesus.  You’re ignoring Him, disrespecting and disregarding Him, and in His Name, Glory Hallelujah, you’re spouting Satan’s lies, and going his way.

But please don’t let us judge anyone else for doing this, because the more horrified we are about it, the more susceptible we are to going from a place of grief and prayer to a place of anger and judgement. And then we, too, will be easy prey.  All of a sudden no one will want to be around us, all of a sudden we’ll be lecturing our kids, and dishonoring our mates, and thinking no one is as smart and wise as are we – just like the behavior we so recently abhorred in someone else.

John Maxwell talks about this in How Successful People Win. He says it was hard for him not to buy into his own press, his own place of leadership, without becoming prideful and unwilling to listen to others’ gentle corrections.  The problem, as he said in so many words, is that once you disdain what someone prayerfully and carefully and in love, tries bringing to your attention, they’ll stop.

It’s an untenable position for the one wanting to help. There is only one answer and that is faith in God through prayer.  The flesh and every logical thought says, “Fine.  See if I try to help your know-it-all self again.”  But after prayer for this attacked and fragile human, remembrance of the real enemy comes, we get revelation about what the enemy is up to, and what’s going on in the precious heart of the one we love.

And, we are ready to fight again.  This time, however, we will let God handle it.  We will only speak if He says to speak (if you’re unsure and have no peace about it, keep still), and we will only say what He says to say.  And . . . we will do it under the anointing, the very love, of Jesus.

If you try and try and try again, and all you get is trampled for your efforts, as the one you love is acting less like a friend or lover, and more like a swine, you can remember two things: 1) God doesn’t expect you to get beat up and disrespected and disregarded; and 2)  He really can handle it.

And here’s where another fear must be faced and fought and brought DOWN.  It’s the fear that this person is going to have that promised fall that follows pride, and that the fall will be too great to be borne, the damage beyond repair.

But when all else fails, it is a clear sign that it’s time for the only thing that never fails: Be still and know that He is God.

About this time is when the object of your prayers starts asking you what’s wrong, what’s on your mind. But unless you know they’re in a place where they really want to know and to do the right thing, rather than in  a place where they simply don’t want the discomfort of you not being all about them, just keep still.

You can say, “I’ll tell you if you really think you want to know, and are ready to listen, and you promise not to get upset.” There’s a good chance here, and be ready for it, they will not respond well to this.  That’s OK.  It’s time to trust God, remember?  He is so much more than able.

What a difference 24 hours can make. You can pray and declare and do warfare, and it looks like it didn’t do a bit of good, and then one or two days later you find yourself trying to keep up with this person set free, and about to sail away to a higher place in Jesus.  Set free.  This is not the time to say, “Ha!  You’d still be acting like a pig in a pen if it weren’t for me, and my super-anointed, spiritual giant prayers!”

All this requires harnessing the tongue to the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Bible tells us in the Book of James that no man can tame the tongue.  But the Holy Spirit can not only tame it, He can make it a powerful weapon against the enemy of our souls.  I like to pray David’s words from Psalms: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

When we get too focused on the wrong spirits operating on and pressuring and having a high old time in other people, when all we can see is their stupidity and ignorance and stubbornness, it can mess up our own spirits. Not only that, it can make us prey (judgement does this) to those very same problems in our own sweet selves!

Let us not focus on what the enemy is doing, but on the Greater One who can whip him every single time. Amen!

P.S.  Love is Patient.  Love is Kind.  And Love is Fearless, which is why, as we know, Love never fails.

P.P.S.  Remember to get your copy of “The Maker’s Marriage” right here on homefrontshow.com just by clicking on the picture of the book! 

Freedom From Fear – Hooray! Today at 2:00 on 1360am.co

Life is once again colorful.  The cloud I’ve been struggling and smothering under has made life as grey and bleak as a cold and cloudy day.  It’s the cloud of fear.

Fear is the world’s currency, as faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God.  After a two-year struggle with fear in a certain area, I am free indeed.

Join us today at 2:00 Mountain Time on The Homefront Show.

Just go to http://www.1360am.co and click on Live Radio.

God is good and His mercies are new every single morning, and you’ll hear lots more about that today when you join me.

Thanks!